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Old 14 April 2006, 13:53   #1
Country: Other
Town: Stanley, Falkland Is
Boat name: Seawolf
Make: Osprey Vipermax 5.8
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 150
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,712
Fuel gauge safety

I had an intermittent problem with the fuel gauge in my RIB and what I discovered this morning worried me a bit, just after any thoughts.

I thought it was connections on the top but it turned out to be a bad connection (slightly loose) where the sender unit was bolted through the metal plate that it is mounted in - the effect being that the metal chassis that provides the earth path to the actual sender bit, wasn't making a good contact so when you wiggled the connection on top, sometimes the gauge would work and sometimes not. Tightened it up and all ok.

Is this dangerous i.e. could it have created a spark, or is the resistance of the fuel gauge so high that there is no chance of this happening? The whole sender unit is a bit mickey mouse with one thin wire going down to the potentiometer thing at the bottom. I suppose they are designed to be inherently safe if they are for immersion in petrol, what does anybody else think?

BogMonster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16 April 2006, 01:24   #2
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
Well, the gauge is powered by 12V, which has the capacity to spark, but I would doubt that, as long as the power lead itself doesn't short to ground, that you would get anything close to what's needed to spark.

Looks like the standard is 240 to 30 ohms (or thereabouts), so the full scale current range is 50mA to 400mA.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure how the gauge is normally wired. 12V to gauge to sender to ground would make sense (and give you a bit more resistance in the event that the power feed to the gauge did short), but I don't know.

jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote

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