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No Power At Panel

Discussion in 'Viking Yacht' started by Eifeler, May 26, 2022.

  1. Eifeler

    Eifeler New Member

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    I had a new Phasor generator installed in our 47. Power is getting from new genny to panel but panel is not happy. Any ideas on why the panel would not want to accept the power?

    Called a couple marine electricians and they are slammed until end of June so hoping this group might have ideas on what to check.

    Thanks,
    Ron
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Need to see how your panel is set up? Do you have a rotary switch to select shore/gen or dual breakers with safety slide or some relay transfer switches.
    Post pictures or the panel. What year boat ?
  3. Eifeler

    Eifeler New Member

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    Hey Pascal - It is dual breaker with safety slide. Boat is 1998 47' Viking Convertible.

    upload_2022-5-26_16-30-22.png

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
    Ron
  4. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Don't get me wrong Eifeler, but if Pascal (or anyone else) is capable to solve the problem you are experiencing based only on your description and photo, then his telepathic skills are way better than even the best electrician! :)
    captholli likes this.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Newer gen-sets have a breaker on the set itself. Did the installer not check this out?
    Orlando or Sanford?
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    As Ralph suggested check the AC breaker on the generator itself

    Then start at the panel. You said power is getting from the gen to the panel. How do you know? Have you checked for power at the wires coming into the panel from the gen behind the generator main breaker. It you have power on that side ofnthe breaker, check at the output and then check where the wires go from the breaker. They should go to the main buses.

    Who installed the generator? They didnt test it???
  7. Eifeler

    Eifeler New Member

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    Capt Ralph - Live in Orlando. Boat in Stuart.

    Pascal - Install is well know and respected diesel shop that was smart enough to stop when they ran into something they did not know how to solve so they pumped the brakes and suggested we engage a marine electrician. While I'm not happy about it, I would rather that than they mess up more stuff experimenting. Here is what they emailed this afternoon:

    "There is a short somewhere between output lines 1 and 2 going from the generator to the ships panel inside the boat. the problem is in the wiring to the panel. Its just not something we do here so having an electrician look is the only option. It could be something as simple as the breaker but more likely in the wiring itself. He left the generator unhooked from the panel so nothing happens and back feeds power to the generator for any reason."

    Based on the above it would seem that a competent mechanic would be able to test the breaker and wiring run but I'm not going to push anyone I'm paying for their expertise to do something they are not confident about. Hoping to find someone in Stuart that is not booked out.
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    They install a marine generator but are not marine electrician qualified?
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Ok so your original post was misleading as you said “Power is getting from new genny to panel but panel is not happy”

    so power is not getting to the panel.

    breakers rarely get shorted. They trip for no reason, they get stuck, but rarely short out. Replace the breaker just in case. Cheap and easy. If that doesn’t solve it, inspect them wires coming from the gen, not just the two hits but neutral as well

    If they look ok then you ll have to test. Disconnect the wires coming from the generator at the generator breaker in the panel. Insulate them to make sure they can’t touch anythjng

    two options, nr 1 Make sure the breaker on the gen is off and start the gen then turn the breaker on the gen. If it trips, it means the wiring is shorted out. trace the wires and replace them if damaged

    nr 2 safer… disconnect the wires at both breakers ( gen and panel) then using the continuity function on your meter check for continuity. If it beeps it means two of the wires are shorted. Test between every pair of wires, incl N and Ground.

    Obviously, turn off shorepower before opening the back of the panel
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Carbon trails develop inside transfer breakers as in your installation.
    I have found this issue a couple of times before from opening and closing these breakers while under loads.
    To a DVM, it would make strange readings.
    While connected to shore, I have found this to have damaged running gen-sets.

    There are different ways to config a gen-set. 240Vac, 230/115Vac, or just 115Vac are common.
    More voltage options may be available pending the mfg or model of the sets electrical end.
    Single or 3 phase may be another config option.
    To a DVM, improper config would make strange readings.

    Past these thoughts, it is a simple 4 cable hook up. Sometimes the colors of the cables can be confusing.
    Usually Black, Red, White and Green. I have found a few times the ships wires to include 2 blacks, blue, yellow used also.
    On my 44 year old Bertram, the factory used 2 reds, 2 whites. What ever was cheap during that build week in '78.
    What ever the color, It takes a minute to confirm correct orientation between the gen-set and the panels transfer breaker.

    Some gen-set installs did not have a breaker built in. A stand alone breaker box may have been installed between the gen-set and the breaker panel.
    Cable colors may have changed here. On one customers boat, neutral and ground were found tied here causing some strange DVM readings.

    So, I have to ask, how did the previous gen-set run? Making power?
  11. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    This suggests power is NOT actually getting to the panel yet, yes?

    -Chris
  12. Eifeler

    Eifeler New Member

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    Thank you Gents.

    An electrician took a look on Saturday. Said genny looks to be configured properly (230/115) and is making 115 on each connection independently and 230 combined. I was incorrect in the prior post, in that the installer did not do anything with the power panel inside the salon. Next step is installer is coming back and will talk to Phasor while on the boat.
  13. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    If the gen is making correct power, what's the installer coming back for and talking to Phasor about? I thought your issue was after the gen and before the panel? Did your electrician ring out the main power wires from your gen to the panel?
  14. Eifeler

    Eifeler New Member

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    Dock - Installer left genny disconnected. Electrician tested system but did not want to hook it up to the boat in case there is something wrong with the generator that he was not able to test for. In the end, he didn't want to be in the middle if the genny somehow got wasted. Thus, original installer is coming back to hopefully finish with Phasors guidance (as they should have done from the start).
  15. Eifeler

    Eifeler New Member

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    Issue RESOLVED.

    Turned out that the problem was caused by two oversized washers on the generator power output posts. When the wires are attached and everything is tightening up, the washers became close enough to arc, creating a short. Replaced those washers with smaller ones and everything is solid. Very strange and easy to miss because it it is in a place that is difficult to see due to limited overhead space.

    Thank you for the feedback and suggestions!
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Whoever did this has to be some kind of special stupid and should not be allowed to work on a boat or anything electrical. No it it not easy to miss. He should have felt the space with his fingers and realized there was a problem.
    MBevins and Capt Ralph like this.
  17. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Glad to hear you got it resolved and it was a simple fix, even if difficult to troubleshoot. Appreciate you sharing so others can hopefully avoid the same situation.
  18. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Avoid the same shop of SFBs.
  19. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Holy smokes. Fender washers were the washers of choice here? Disappointed that no crow bars were available to assist the hold-down...
  20. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Thanks for the outcome and glad you have resolution.