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jfisher16

Boat will shock you (no kidding)

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I have a 2014 Tracker TXW175 (aluminum) with a 2 bank charging system. I recently had a "fair" amount of water get in the boat. I have drained and spent a couple of days drying the compartment out. When I plug in the charger I noticed when I touched an unpainted part of the boat, I would receive a shock. Not a full 110v but enough to make you pull back. This is when the boat is in the garage and I am standing next to it. It has a Genius charger (not names for me) that from my understanding is water proof. After a few min the thing will trip a ground fault outlet. I tripped 2 different GFCI outlets and one house fuse when plugged into a non GFCI outlet. Not sure if I need to replace the charger, maybe water in wiring, or just give it more time to dry out. Any suggestions would be appreciated...Thanks

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I have shocked and burned myself dozens of times with several different boats. It's the price of doing business, luckily I don't wear a wedding ring. I know a guy that was working on a golf cart and his melted onto his ring finger. Just wait til the magneto shocks you when the engine is running! That hurts worse! Not sure what to tell you about the ground outlets, those things have a mind of their own. I had to replace two at my house after a lightning strike 

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GFCI outlets are more sensitive than a regular breaker, if your charger is tripping a GFCI, it could be the charger or it could be the GFCI outlet.  Your tripping 2 GFCIs, so I'm leaning towards charger. Add in that charger is also tripping a regular breaker, and you're feeling a shock, I'd say its almost certainly an issues with the charger.  

 

@TnRiver46 you're not lying when you say that magneto packs a punch.

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6 hours ago, Troy1985s said:

GFCI outlets are more sensitive than a regular breaker, if your charger is tripping a GFCI, it could be the charger or it could be the GFCI outlet.  Your tripping 2 GFCIs, so I'm leaning towards charger. Add in that charger is also tripping a regular breaker, and you're feeling a shock, I'd say its almost certainly an issues with the charger.  

 

@TnRiver46 you're not lying when you say that magneto packs a punch.

Ha! I was idling through a no wake zone and my ignition was a little loose so I thought, “ah it’s only 12 v” and I reached under the console to hand tighten it. Jumped back out of there a billion miles an hour, my buddy thought I stuck my hand in a wasp nest hahha

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On 6/26/2018 at 4:44 PM, jfisher16 said:

I noticed when I touched an unpainted part of the boat, I would receive a shock. Not a full 110v but enough to make you pull back. This is when the boat is in the garage and I am standing next to it. It has a Genius charger (not names for me) that from my understanding is water proof. After a few min the thing will trip a ground fault outlet. I tripped 2 different GFCI outlets and one house fuse when plugged into a non GFCI outlet. Not sure if I need to replace the charger, maybe water in wiring, or just give it more time to dry out. Any suggestions would be appreciated...Thanks

If breakers are tripping, they are trying to tell you something, sending you a warning sign. Plugging it back in, even to diagnose the problem, is inviting fire, injury or death. The problem sounds frustrating for sure, but given that you already know there's a power problem, the worst thing you can do is to apply power. Do you have an ohm meter? You might try removing/unplugging as many components from the system as you can do easy (batteries, charger, etc) and ohm'ing out different segments trying to find where the short is.

 

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I got about 45 Volts AC shocks off an outside faucet once, traced the problem to a faulty (not solid) ground  to the well pipe.  Filed the corrosion off the well pipe, reattached, and good to go.

 

Point is that a faulty ground may be a problem, too.  In fact, I think a short would act differently than what you are observing, but that's just an educated guess.  

 

As stated above , proceed with caution.

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On 6/26/2018 at 4:44 PM, jfisher16 said:

I have a 2014 Tracker TXW175 (aluminum) with a 2 bank charging system. I recently had a "fair" amount of water get in the boat. I have drained and spent a couple of days drying the compartment out. When I plug in the charger I noticed when I touched an unpainted part of the boat, I would receive a shock. Not a full 110v but enough to make you pull back. This is when the boat is in the garage and I am standing next to it. It has a Genius charger (not names for me) that from my understanding is water proof. After a few min the thing will trip a ground fault outlet. I tripped 2 different GFCI outlets and one house fuse when plugged into a non GFCI outlet. Not sure if I need to replace the charger, maybe water in wiring, or just give it more time to dry out. Any suggestions would be appreciated...Thanks

Sounds like the charger may have gone bad.  Check all cables including the extension cord.  Tripping a breaker or fuse indicates short circuit,  GFCI indicates current traveling where it’s not supposed to. 

 

2 hours ago, MickD said:

I got about 45 Volts AC shocks off an outside faucet once, traced the problem to a faulty (not solid) ground  to the well pipe.  Filed the corrosion off the well pipe, reattached, and good to go.

 

If you have current traveling on the ground conductor,  that indicates a “ground fault”.  😉. You didn’t fix the problem lol.  

 

Most commonly caused by corroded electric water water heater elements,  poor neutral connection etc.

 

 

 

 

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I had current somehow leaking to the water faucet, its path I don't know.  When I would touch the metal faucet with bare feet and a wet brick surface, I would get a tingle.  That circuit was not a GFI circuit. 

 

What I do know is that fixing the ground wire fixed the issue and since then a pro electrician re-did the wiring at the box when he put in an all-house generator, never mentioned any problem, and everything has worked well since.  

 

Relative to this problem, you sound like a pro, and I defer to you.

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@MickD if the electrician wasn’t made aware of the problem, he most likely wouldn’t have looked for it. If you have an electric-water heater, an element could be leaking.  If you have an old house,  someone may have used a copper water line as a neutral(return path).  I would need more info to troubleshoot it, but This is off topic to the OP,  so PM me if you’d like, or perhaps a topic in “everything else”

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3 hours ago, MickD said:

Point is that a faulty ground may be a problem, too.  In fact, I think a short would act differently than what you are observing, but that's just an educated guess.  

That's what I'd check first, before getting a new charger.

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9 minutes ago, Further North said:
4 hours ago, MickD said:

Point is that a faulty ground may be a problem, too.  In fact, I think a short would act differently than what you are observing, but that's just an educated guess.  

That's what I'd check first, before getting a new charger.

a faulty ground will in turn make the chassis live,  only in the condition of a “ground fault”.  You may have a messed up extension cord, (male ground prong broken, or ungrounded house wiring AND a hot to ground short within the extension cord)  or the charger has water in it causing a ground fault.  The GFCI is doing its job,  and if the circuit breaker is tripping on a non GFCI cuircuit,  chances are there is a short circuit in the charger,  as an idle extension cord probably won’t short out.  If it trips while he is moving it,  it probably is the cord.

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ESD is a very real problem

 

 

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Real simple get yourself some rubber gloves.  cheap ones you can buy for cleaning the kitchen work.  Ive had the same problem with my tracker.  

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Try removing the charger and make sure it's dry. Don't mount a charger directly onto the aluminum, put a wooden board inbetween the charger and hull.

get a voltmeter and check the ground and positive leads.

Tom

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12 minutes ago, WRB said:

Don't mount a charger directly onto the aluminum, put a wooden board inbetween the charger and hull.

I need help understanding this.

 

The insides of the charger are insulated from the outside...the part that gets mounted to the boat...regardless of the outsides of the charger are metal, or plastic.

 

It seems to me, that should we have a situation where mounting the charger to a non metal part makes any difference...we're already in a world of hurt because something inside the charer is shorting to the outside of the charger...and that's not gonna end well...

 

Unless I'm missing something?

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My thought is water or moisture is trapped behind the charger and the mounting bolts maybe in contact AC current powering the charger if there is a current path. It's obvious there is a ground fault.

Taking the charger off allows for inspection and testing.

Tom

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19 minutes ago, Further North said:

I need help understanding this.

 

The insides of the charger are insulated from the outside...the part that gets mounted to the boat...regardless of the outsides of the charger are metal, or plastic.

 

It seems to me, that should we have a situation where mounting the charger to a non metal part makes any difference...we're already in a world of hurt because something inside the charer is shorting to the outside of the charger...and that's not gonna end well...

 

Unless I'm missing something?

Correct,  insulating the charger from the aluminum boat will not fix the ground fault.  Same with MickD ^ and his water pipe,  you might be able to avoid shocks in some cases but the fault is still there.  And the biggest concern is that it’s tripping the 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker. He eliminated the house wiring side already,  he is left with his cord or the charger. 

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33 minutes ago, Arcs&sparks said:

Correct,  insulating the charger from the aluminum boat will not fix the ground fault.  Same with MickD ^ and his water pipe,  you might be able to avoid shocks in some cases but the fault is still there.  And the biggest concern is that it’s tripping the 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker. He eliminated the house wiring side already,  he is left with his cord or the charger. 

Thanks Taylor.  I was 2nd guessing myself.

 

Agree that I'd be nervous as heck about tripping a 15 or 20 amp breaker.

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Mtn house is grounded to the cold water pipe, electrician man told me to drive a 8 ft grounding rod into the dirt, use football clamp to attach a #4 copper wire to the top of the grounding rod and run it to any one of several screws on the left side of the top of my breaker box . Only problem is I’m too chicken to do it, I just quit showering during storms.......

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The boat sitting on a trailer with rubber tires isn't grounded. When you touch the aluminum that is carrying current you become the ground path. 1 amp across your heart can stop it! Tripping a 15-20 amp 110V breaker from touching Can be fatal, if you are the ground path.

The OP's trouble started with water flooding the rear compartment, that is where the problem is. The only 110v power source is the onboard battery charger and extension cable, so that is the problem and the reason drying it and testing it and isolating the mounting was suggested.

Tom

PS, working with power use 1 hand.

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