Monitoring of AC loads

rbenven44 <no_reply@...>

I have been following the discussion about running the washing
machine and watermaker at the same time, with some owners reporting
overloading the genset.
A few years ago, I had Amel (in Hyeres) install an AC voltmeter and
ammeter so that I could monitor AC voltage and loads. This was
mostly related to low amperage typically available dockside in
Europe, and I wanted to know which appliances I could run without
tripping the circuit breakers dockside.
Since then, I have found these instruments to be among the most
useful on board. They tell me when I am close to overloading the
genset or shore power, and most importantly, tell me when an
appliance is consuming too much (or too little) power. It also is a
good check on shore power voltage. It's a useful diagnostic tool. In
the case of the 220V watermaker, it would warn of impending pump
Since I didn't do the installation myself, I can't provide How-to
help, except to say that the meters were mounted inside the
compartment over the galley sink, where the steering cables are
visible. I'm sure any good electrician (and many owners) could
install them.
I would highly recommend these meters.
BTW, the washing machine uses electricity mostly to heat water, not
to spin, so running at a cooler wash temperature reduces load.

Regards, Roy

PS I am still waiting to hear from the SM owner in Europe who told
me about the salinity sensor on the watermaker being disconnected on
installation... I will post any information received.

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