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Old 02-23-2007, 02:34 AM   #15
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Finally, I would like to state that I not looking for solutions, but just for ideas on where to focus my search or what could help narrow the problem.
I don't know if I can offer any help with this, but I do have a couple of questions, and perhaps a hint where to look.

The "Ground Bridge" in your diagram -> Is it the common ground for all your 12VDC system? Or a separate ground common just to the 120VAC system?

Your generator output -> Can you measure the Hot line to Hot line voltage? And each Hot Line to Neutral Voltage? Are they the same? Do both hot lines connect to the same terminal on the source selector switch?

The transformer -> Is it an isolation transformer, or an Auto transformer (should say on the transformer schematic)?
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:42 AM   #16
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I dont know if this helps at all.

Most Mainland European power supplies work with an Earth Leakage Breaker. In France this is a 30mA differantial.

I would suggest that you have a short somewhere on your mainboard. I am guessing tis is the case as your power blows with all the circuit breakers off.

Using the generator will not show this problem as there is no breaker in the generator and the leakage is probably very small.

I know this is not your current problem but you may come across this in the future is that the suppliers in France and I guess a lot of Europe only supply by a maximum draw on power in France a house will get only 9 kW (unless you ask for more) as standard and 9kW will blow the main breaker with a couple of kitchen appliances.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:15 AM   #17
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catherine@brittany-gites:

"I would suggest that you have a short somewhere on your mainboard. I am guessing tis is the case as your power blows with all the circuit breakers off.

Using the generator will not show this problem as there is no breaker in the generator and the leakage is probably very small."

This is exactly what the electrician and I think and propably this is the solution to my problem but how can we locate it?

Dnelson:

Thank you for your interest

Transformer: The transformer is a Seven Star ATVR8000 automatic voltage regulator.

Generator: Both hot lines connect to the same terminal on the source selector switch. I will measure the voltage of hot to hot and each hot to neutral and inform you as soon as possible.

Ground: This is something that I haven't been able to clarify yet but will investigate. With reluctance, I think that all 12Vdc ground connections end at the same ground bridge. In this bridge also, the generator's ground and the shore ground wire end. There is also a second ground bridge with yellow wires which seems to be connected with the first bridge. Above the first bridge there is a galvanic isolator-zinc saver with one wire on top and two at the bottom. I believe that 12V ground and 110V ground are connected somehow.

Your questions have been helpful and give me something to work on.

It's quite remarkable to find out that people I 've never met before are sharing their knowledge and spending time and effort to help me.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:42 AM   #18
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Your electrician is probably going to have to dismantle the main board and remove all devices and then reconnect them one by one to find out which circuit has the leak. Of course it may be the main switchboard that is the problem if it blows when all the circuits are off..
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:08 AM   #19
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Ground: This is something that I haven't been able to clarify yet but will investigate. With reluctance, I think that all 12Vdc ground connections end at the same ground bridge. In this bridge also, the generator's ground and the shore ground wire end. There is also a second ground bridge with yellow wires which seems to be connected with the first bridge. Above the first bridge there is a galvanic isolator-zinc saver with one wire on top and two at the bottom. I believe that 12V ground and 110V ground are connected somehow.
You might try disconnecting the transformer 220V side ground from the ground bridge. Then see if you are still getting a GFI trip.

You might also want to try isolating all the 120 V grounds from the 12VDC grounds.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #20
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Dnelson:

Thank you for your advice.

These are among the things I will try to test during the weekend.

I also downloaded a wiring diagram of my ac panel to start unistalling one equipment at the time in an effort to locate the malfunction. I 'll work during the weekend and let you know of anything new that may arises over the next week.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:45 AM   #21
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Yesterday, we disconnected the dock's anti-electrick shock breaker and everything inside the boat worked!

After a few minutes, we discovered that the problem was caused by a faulty kenyon inverter (used to transform the 12Vdc to 110Vac and vice versa) which was bypassing the main ac panel, and overheated dangerously. So, logically, our next step will be to locate the inverter's connections and unmount it from the system. Hopefully, this will solve my problem and let me enjoy at last, the comfort of electricity in my boat.

Thank you all, for your help and suggestions over the previous week.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:58 AM   #22
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Thank you for the update! Very happy that things are coming right.
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Old 02-27-2007, 04:55 AM   #23
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summer75time,

I am very glad to hear that you found the source of the problem.

I have been busy, and haven't been on here for a few days. Reading the posts, everybody that knew anything about something wanted to help. Of course we all want to help.

There were a few posts that suggested looking in the wrong place, but oh well, that doesn't matter any more. We were at a big disadvantage with not knowing the complete system and trying to solve it via the internet. Even with two electricians on site it was a big mystery.

If you ever have to resort to to finding an electrical problem by disconnecting or taking apart the system, keep a few things in mind. 1) Start at the Source, The head, not the tail end and test it as you go. 2) Split the system if you can, e.g. AC from DC and panel #1 from panel #2, and so on. 3) Compare the working to the non working and find the differance.

Now Life should be better in your world!
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:40 PM   #24
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Can someone explain the logic to me why ABYC requires AC & DC to share a common ground?
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:47 PM   #25
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I don't understand.

AC ground is a "leak" to earth - to dissipate a short, spike or leak. The AC "ground" is a third wire that is neither live nor neutral.

DC ground is a common live circuit.

Surely, if you tie these two 'grounds" together you are looking for disaster on your 12v side if there is a spike in the AC circuit.

I am no expert however.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #26
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My point exactly!

I just had my boat surveyed for new insurance, and the surveyor is telling me that ABYC requires the AC ground and the DC ground to be linked which it is not on my boat...never has been. I've since talked with my friend who owns a Swan and he says his boat does not tie them together either and he says it is something thjat European standards and American standards dissagree on.

To me it make no sense....and I'm certainly not going to fix something that isn't broke.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:30 PM   #27
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Does this site clarify the question on grounding (Earthing in British terminology)

Click on ACDC Grounding
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Old 04-12-2008, 03:02 PM   #28
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I don't think a common ground is a problem. When I installed an isolation transformer on my boat for the AC shore power input, I had two transformer output leads and I wondered to myself which one was the "hot" lead. Well it turns out it was totally up to me! With some trepidation I picked one and grounded it. Voila! the other lead is 110 volts AC hotter than the ground circuit. The boat was connected to marina shore power for several years after that and I never experienced any problems with stray currents causing electrolysis nor was I ever electrocuted while cleaning the bottom and bronze thru-hull fittings. The wiring is consistent with diagrams in a boat electrical system book by Charlie Wing (don't recall the title now). Anyway, just my 2-cents.
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