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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Electrical Wiring and Circuit Breakers
|Author||Topic: Electrical Wiring and Circuit Breakers|
posted 06-08-2010 02:43 PM ET (US)
Just returned from Florida trip. Had a series of small electrical [problems or malfunctions] with the 20 Outrage. I have been putting this off for sometime, but I have finally decided to rewire the entire boat. Figure it will take three weekends to do correctly once I have the parts.
The front electrical panel on the outrage has a circuit breaker in addition to the inline fuses for each switch. What is the advantage of having both the breaker and the fuses? Can I eliminate the breaker to free up space for an additional switch. On occation I have had to push the button to reset the breaker so it obviously serves an important purpose since the fuses never blew. Looking for advice.
I am also considering changing to an LED lit toggle switch similar to these.
posted 06-08-2010 03:12 PM ET (US)
The reason for the “main” breaker on your distribution panel is to protect the “feeder” cable. These are the conductors running from the battery selector switch feeding the panel in question.
It is possible that the total current draw of the individual switches can exceed the capacity of the feeder conductors therefore tripping the main breaker before damage would occur to those conductors.
There is also the possibility of damage to the distribution panel itself causing a short circuit and again leading to an overload condition on the feeder conductors.
The main breaker is an important part of any assembly of electrical distribution.
posted 06-08-2010 03:34 PM ET (US)
Usually there are not two current-protection devices wired in series in one circuit. There may be a master circuit breaker that protects all secondary branch circuits, where the secondary branch circuits each have their own current-protection device.
Fuses usually act faster than circuit breakers, but they're a one-time-use device.
posted 06-08-2010 04:03 PM ET (US)
Thanks, that helps explain the need.
posted 06-09-2010 08:59 AM ET (US)
Thanks for fixing my link. Anyone have any opinions pro / con on the LED lit toggle switches
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