Ask PYS: DC Electrical Components

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How Many Battery Connections are Acceptable?, on Mar 29, 2018 asked:

I’ve recently watched some of your You Tube electrical videos and realize I have some no-no’s at my battery terminals. Is it acceptable to have more than one cable ‘stacked’ on each other at the terminal? For example, a starter cable, bus cable and battery charger cable? If not, what is the proper protocol? How do you determine the size of the cable going from a terminal to a bus (add up all the amperage of the devices being serviced)? Is there a schematic somewhere illustrating a typical marine battery hookup? I realize there is probably no typical hookup, but something that could be used as a guideline. - Brent

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YouTube Video About The Common Ground On My Boat, on Feb 01, 2018 asked:

Hi Jeff, during one of your videos, you commented on the critical need for a chassis grounding cable, one size smaller than the supply cable. Where should this ground cable terminate? The engine, thru-hulls or somewhere else? Thanks so much for taking the time to produce these videos; they’re a great source of information and safety and they instill the need for professional expertise and at times installation, when working with marine electrical systems. Thanks again, Rick

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Crimp vs Solder, on Jan 02, 2018 asked:

I am rewiring my Ranger 23. When I tried to replace an instrument I found that the wiring was a tangle of wires. I have watched all your videos on marine wiring and you always crimp connections. Is there a reason you do not solder them? - Richard

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Can I Heat Hot Water with an EFOY?, on Oct 31, 2017 asked:

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me the other day. While we were originally dead set on buying a CutWater with a generator we have moved forward with trying to go without. One question I forgot to ask. If all of my batteries are ripped off and I have an EFOY would it even be feasible to heat the hot water heater up using the inverter? - Scott

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DC Only Fridge, on Oct 13, 2016 asked:

Thank you again for the audit and the install. I am delighted so far. The installer was very professional and seems to have got everything set up properly. As you know the battery monitor is great fun. I've been obsessively testing all my devices to see what load they put on my system. I have a question. My fridge will only work off my battery. How much damage am I doing to my house batteries if I leave it on all the time while connected to shore power with the batteries charging? The battery monitor says the fridge draws about 2.5 amps and 30 watts at the setting I would use. One obvious risk is if I lose power I would drain my house batteries. But if I eliminate that risk by checking in every few days will I be causing unreasonable wear on my batteries?

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Reverse Polarity Light and a Portable Generator, on Oct 05, 2016 asked:

I'm up here in Prideaux Harbour and tried to charge my batteries and can’t. I have a Yamaha 2000 watt generator connected to the shore power - it worked with the old charger. However when the generator is connected, the 120 volt reverse polarity lite comes on (always has). Is the new charger sensitive to this, thus causing the charger to cut out? Is there a fix for this? - Dieter

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Our 12V Nova Kool Fridge Shuts Down Periodically, on Jul 12, 2016 asked:

Our 12V Nova Kool fridge shuts down periodically on its own accord. Sometimes while plugged in at the dock sometimes at anchor. Last year we installed a new thermostat switch and new house batteries. This last weekend we came into dock and discovered a defrosted fridge. We played with the thermostat switch inside the fridge and nothing. Then turned off the fridge at the electrical panel and turned it back on again and it started right away. Any thoughts? - John

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Should I install an external fan for my inverter/charger? - Mike, on Apr 04, 2016 asked:

I would like to install a fan in the area that I have installed the inverter. I have cut two large holes to help with circulation but I still don't think there is enough ventilation. Is it possible to add a fan that operates automatically each time the inverter turns on?

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What Should My Voltage Be on Shore Power? - Greg, on Mar 10, 2016 asked:

My Grand Banks 42 is on shore power but the charge only ever goes to 12.8 VDC. Is this correct or should it be higher?

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What Tool Should I Use To Measure DC Current Draw - Mike, on Dec 16, 2015 asked:

I am the owner of the White ACB (Aluminum Chamber Boat) boat that you did an electrical audit on a couple of years ago. My question is do you have a recommendation for a good multimeter to measure DC Current draw that will not break the bank? I want to understand the current load of different items on the boat for planning the size of the battery bank, trouble shooting, etc. Would one of the Fluke clamp on style tool be a good bet?

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