LV Lighting Electrical Issue on Yacht.

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Question for our EC friends.

    Im on a Yacht and when the captain powers up the LV underwater lighting system we get an electrical issue at the beverage cooler (you get a shock when you touch the cooler). Both the cooler and the lighting transformers are powered by the same 120V circuit. So something is happening between the primary side of the LV transformers and the cooler unit. They have tried to run a separate isolated ground back to the genset and this had no effect.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Addendum: They have tried putting an in-line GFI block on the primary side of the LV transformers. The shock situation still exists and the GFI does not trip.
     
  3. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Multiwire circuit with a possible ground touching neutral? The gfci may not pick it up. Not familiar with any type of boat wiring but I am assuming you are not on a Boston Whaler
     
  4. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 380

    Polarity is reversed somewhere. You are energizing the the shell and all metal parts of the fridge.
    Does the fridge's cord have a 3 prong or 2 prong end on it? Or is it hardwired?
    If the fridge's cord has a 2 prong plug pull the plug out of the receptacle and reverse it when you plug it back in.
    Let me know what you find out.

    Ken
     
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    The cooler uses a 3-prong grounded plug (this is a commercial bar fridge we are talking about). As do the LV transformers for the underwater lights. Using a TRC Portable GFI / splitter to power the two loads. Cannot understand why the shock situation exists and the GFI is not tripping. Have tried replacing the GFI unit with a new one and same situation.

    Baffling.
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Nope, not a Whaler... 85' DeFever M.Y. Check out my avatar photo.
     
  7. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    If you unplug the xfmrs and turn on the receptacle that powers them, does the problem still persist?
     
  8. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    Or if you unplug the xfmrs and put in a table lamp and turn it on, is there still an issue?
     
  9. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Posts: 410

    Not to derail, but tell us about the yacht... I've seen it as your avatar for a while now and wondered why the choice. Is it yours, friends, family? Where kept/do you cruise on it? Very cool.

    Re your prob I don't have an answer but as a boat owner:
    -there is limited room on a boat and options for chasing wires, plus they are not put in conduit like a home. Add to that the vibrations and jarring on the open seas and it can result in chaffing of the insulation off wires where they are pinched/rubbed. I would follow the primary circuit that feeds the LV transformer and see where it is in contact with the ground wire from the outlet for the fridge.

    Alan
     
  10. mgm

    mgm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    The neutral and the ground may need to be connected (bonded )together at the 110/120 tap on the xformer or generator , if the gfci does not trip it is either defective or the neutral is not grounded , if the system is ungrounded you should have only 2 wires at the outlet in question and the gfci will not work.
     

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