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Old 16 June 2005, 17:05   #1
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Use of Isolating switch on engine

Should an isolation switch be incorporated inbetween the battery and the engine - my preference would be to do so for safety and security - however I have heard that a failure on the switch can result in a spike to the engine management system and thus a big bill. Would a diode or rectifier solve this potential problem?
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Old 17 June 2005, 04:56   #2
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Allways a good idea to fit a switch. Go for a good quality unit and not a cheap one. As regards spikes... check what the engine manufacturer recommends.
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Old 19 July 2005, 15:08   #3
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be careful

I am just picking up a new merc optimax and asked for an isolating switch be fitted and was told they would fit it but if there was a faut in the charging cct or electronics they thought there would be trouble with the warentee if one was fitted as even having it isolated and switching it on whilst the engine was running could cause a spike that could either damage the engine or the electronics on the boat. :-(

Mark
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Old 19 July 2005, 17:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark-f
I am just picking up a new merc optimax and asked for an isolating switch be fitted and was told they would fit it but if there was a faut in the charging cct or electronics they thought there would be trouble with the warentee if one was fitted as even having it isolated and switching it on whilst the engine was running could cause a spike that could either damage the engine or the electronics on the boat. :-(

Mark
I annoys me when so called professionals (outboard dealers / riggers / boat sales) completely miss the point and show themselves to be ignorant.

All boats should have an isolation switch between the battery and the engine / services.
The switch should not be switched off when the engine is running - this will damage the alternator and possibly other engine electronics.
The switch cannot be switched on with the engine running as it would not have been possible to start the engine with it in the off position.

The only thing that should not be switched should be the bilge pump.

Presumably your boat will be/is CE Marked? Part of this requires that the electrical system is safe and the most common way of proving this is for the system to comply with the relevent ISO standard. This requires an isolation switch.

Perhaps you would be better off buying your engine from someone who knows what they are doing.

Rant over.
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Old 19 July 2005, 18:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Searider
...The only thing that should not be switched should be the bilge pump...
And the device which gives the thieves 20kv.
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Old 19 July 2005, 18:23   #6
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Isolation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Searider
I annoys me when so called professionals (outboard dealers / riggers / boat sales) completely miss the point and show themselves to be ignorant.

All boats should have an isolation switch between the battery and the engine / services.
The switch should not be switched off when the engine is running - this will damage the alternator and possibly other engine electronics.
The switch cannot be switched on with the engine running as it would not have been possible to start the engine with it in the off position.

The only thing that should not be switched should be the bilge pump.

Presumably your boat will be/is CE Marked? Part of this requires that the electrical system is safe and the most common way of proving this is for the system to comply with the relevent ISO standard. This requires an isolation switch.

Perhaps you would be better off buying your engine from someone who knows what they are doing.

Rant over.
Duncan

110% percent agree and well put forward.

What I see in many cases is that the boat fitter finds it difficult to find a proper cum easy position for the isolation switch and his margin on it dicatates that it is easier to get out of it. Without it is a potential timebomb and obvious breach of RCD and/or commercial applications.

Suggest the fitter is reported to the local trading standards/public protection who agent the RCD.

If I remember right, and it is a bit late, but all is in ISO 1033 (low voltage marine wires etc). Apart from no isolation switches common faults are not taking into account voltage drops on the main runs and also fuse protection runs to be limited to 200mm.

Cheers

John
www.quinquari.co.uk
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Old 19 July 2005, 18:35   #7
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Whilst not disagreeing and my boat has a switch etc. I do wonder why there is such importance placed upon it. Motor vehicles have essentially similar, and often more complex, electrical systems and one would be hard pushed to find a battery isolator fitted to any vehicle, except competition ones where the facility to disconnect the system externally is important. Surely an electrical failure is more likely while the boat is being used and bouncing and crashing through waves than it is when it's moored or on its trailer. Or am I missing something like a requirement to have access to the main switch at all times?
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Old 19 July 2005, 18:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quinquarimarine
... and also fuse protection runs to be limited to 200mm.
John, do you mean the max distance to the main fuse/breaker must not be more than 200mm?
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Old 19 July 2005, 19:01   #9
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Any unprotected run i beleive... so that's normally battery to fuse box. Technically to CE mark a boat it shoudl comply a boat it shoudl comply with "all relevent standards" but i woudl say few boat manufacturers follow this one.
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Old 20 July 2005, 04:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Searider
......The switch should not be switched off when the engine is running - this will damage the alternator and possibly other engine electronics......
This is where the ‘removable key’ type switches fall down because they are easily turned off by things banging against them, the 3 position (off, Batt1, Both) Plastimo switch seems to offer better general function with the only disadvantage being some loss in security.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwalker
I do wonder why there is such importance placed upon it. Motor vehicles have essentially similar, and often more complex, electrical systems and one would be hard pushed to find a battery isolator fitted to any vehicle, except competition ones.......
I think this due to the level of development and testing that goes into an automotive loom, by comparison a marine loom is a joke (unless you have a P22 ). And when I say marine loom generally speaking, other than the engine specific parts, it is hand made on each boat and is therefore very variable.
By fitting an isolator switch you have a quick way of make the whole system safe (in theory) without the need for lots of testing.

Des (at full spout)
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