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rydog
06-05-2014, 03:16 PM
I have recently hooked up my ProMariner on board charger and the results are quite interesting. The charger works great and easily charges my 3 batteries but I have found that when the charger is plugged in there is an electrical current in the tower (I was able to feel it with my finger).

The boats electronics are hooked up correctly, seeing how this doesn't happen when operating the boat and running any of the batteries. I hooked up the charger correctly. But now if I plug in the charger there is current in the tower, this does not make any sense to me.

Please help!

Tristarboarder
06-05-2014, 04:00 PM
That's both interesting, and weird. I would say make sure your grounds are all tight, and all follow a path via cable to the cable that goes to the block. Check for corrosion on the connections also

FrankSchwab
06-05-2014, 05:34 PM
If you're feeling it in your fingers, it's likely not 12V on the tower. The only thing left is the 110V that feeds the charger. If you're got 110V leaking onto the tower, you've got a fairly dangerous situation there that you need to figure out. It's obviously not going to be a problem when you're out boating, but it will be when it's parked in the garage.

Did the charger come with a 3-wire plug? Did you plug it into a 2-wire extension cord, or cut off the third prong? Did you plug it into a 2-wire outlet? Can you test the outlet to make sure the third prong is actually grounded? Is the charger case attached to something that is electrically in contact with the tower?

If you're not knowledgeable enough to diagnose this, my suggestion is that it's time to hire a professional electrician.

/frank

drschemel
06-05-2014, 06:45 PM
I think Frank must be on the right track. You may just need to put a cable from the tower to a external ground. Tranformers and static electricity do weird things. I don't think there is a risk of electrocution but possibly explosion if there are any accumlated fumes. I had a Ford truck one time that would shock the crap out of me sometimes when I grabbed the door handle. Never knew why but it never went away.

rydog
06-05-2014, 07:12 PM
So I talked to ProMariner this afternoon and I think I figured it out. I tested continuity between the tower and a battery ground and it looks like something on the tower is using the tower as its ground, I have lights and speakers on the tower (bought the boat this way, did not install it like this).

It was advised to check the polarity of the wall outlet, I did that and they were all correct. The only difference between today and yesterday was that today the extension cord I used had a 3-wire plug. The one I used previously was only 2-wire and bypassed the 3rd prong on the charger cable.

With that difference there was zero current I could feel with my finger. So I think the only issue was using a 2-wire plug which was messing with the charger, which was back sending current through all the battery connections, which resulted in electrifying the tower since it is used as a ground.

Hopefully that makes sense and hopefully I am all set from now one. Do you guys think the one or two charges I did with the 2-wire plug hurt anything on the boat/tower if it had a slight current overnight?

Cain0725
06-05-2014, 09:24 PM
no it didn't hurt anything,, just without the 3rd prong the power didn't have anywhere to go,, its still there, just floating in the metal without the ground if that makes sense.

JayBrown
06-05-2014, 09:56 PM
You had the polarity backwards with the 2 prong cord. If you unplugged it and fliped it and pluged it in the other way it would of lost the feed to to tower. Like those old beer fridges when you would get a shock opening the door just have to flip the plug.

FrankSchwab
06-08-2014, 10:00 PM
You still have a problem.

The third wire is a safety ground - it should have no current in it. It's intended to be connected to any exposed metal on an appliance (like the metal body of an old drill, or the base of a blender), such that if a fault occurs that shorts 110V onto the exposed metal, it will get safely conducted to ground by the third wire. A "Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter" senses any current flowing on the ground wire, and immediately shuts off an outlet if it detects any.

By using the three wire extension cord, you've got a good conduction path to ground, so you don't feel anything. However, the bad situation is still there, and is getting masked.

This is purely the opinion of an untrained bozo on the internet, and shouldn't be construed as the opinion of a licensed electrician.

/frank

CruisinGA
06-08-2014, 10:28 PM
You still have a problem.

A "Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter" senses any current flowing on the ground wire, and immediately shuts off an outlet if it detects any.

This is purely the opinion of an untrained bozo on the internet, and shouldn't be construed as the opinion of a licensed electrician.

/frank

From one untrained bozo to another ;), GFCI doesn't directly sense current in the "third prong" ground, it senses a mismatch in current between the hot and neutral wire. The difference could be travelling through the "third prong" ground or something else.

FrankSchwab
06-09-2014, 12:19 PM
Ahh, you are correct sir.