24V+ Isolated Ground Leak


Mark McGovern
 

Alan,

The Masse - light shows absolutely no sign of illumination even in the pitch black of night one day after a New Moon.  But it lights up like a Christmas tree when I induce a fault by connecting either -ve or +ve to bonding so I know that it is working as intended.

l do still have the OEM Calpeda air conditioning pump on my boat.  It is not the original Amel installed pump but was replaced with the same pump in late 2016 or early 2017 before I bought the boat.  We do have several AC powered devices such as a laptops and internet router so that gives me somewhere to start looking.  I will disconnect that pump from the bonding circuit tomorrow and see if the voltage from +ve to bonding goes to zero.  If it doesn't, I will begin the tedious task of disconnecting all things and checking them one by one when I return to our homeport in the Chesapeake Bay in a few weeks.  Thanks for your help.  It is always appreciated!

--
Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Camden, ME USA


rossirossix4
 

Other ideas--Not sure if I've seen it in this topic posting but a macerator pump leak is frequently the culprit.  Also, salt water that comes in contact with AC pump along with DC pumps and sensors, even parts of the generator can be causal.   You might close your seacock and pull fresh water (first flush desalinator with fresh water to get saltwater out of its supply pump and feed hose and then use a garden hose to control water level in your seachest while another person flushes toilets, runs AC to all 3 zones, generator, engine, anchor wash) so everything is sitting in less conductive fresh water.  Before doing this, push the hose deep into the seachest and its feed hose to get rid of any salt water. I've used a jug and cockpit shower when at anchor and if you are using your own RO water you have the additional benefits of lower, less conductive TDS.  Then see if the indicator still lights.

Bob KAIMI SM 429


Mark McGovern
 

Bob,

Thanks for the idea on how to check all the saltwater pumps for leaks in one go.  I converted the heads to freshwater flush about 2 years ago so they are not a likely culprit.  I also just changed out our watermaker membranes 2 weeks ago so we have the lowest TDS and EC water we've ever had.  This leak is so minimal, that the Masse - light does not actually even light up.  I only know that there is a connection between the bonding circuit and -ve because I can read house bank voltage between +ve and bonding.  

--
Mark McGovern
SM #440 Cara
Camden, ME USA


Paul Stascavage
 

Bill R.,

Those wires appear to go to the stereo system amplifier, but they are not the root of the problem as disconnecting them didn’t make the issue go away.  However, I am keeping then disconnected until I can find a better negative terminal to connect them to.

Alan,

In my earlier post, I thought that I had identified the problem circuit as being the instruments/devices connected to the Navigation Breaker as I was not seeing house bank voltage when testing with the breaker off.  The problem is however, I was doing the testing on the Nav Bus behind the navigation station.  When I test elsewhere, I still have house bank voltage on the positive side.

My situation is basically identical to Marks’.  My Masse Light is working, When I install a jumper wire from the positive terminal on the Nav Bus to bonding and turn the Masse Light to + the light shines brightly.  Likewise, when I do the same using the negative terminal and turn the Masse Light to - the light shines brightly.  However, with no jumper wires installed, I get no illumination at all, and I have checked in the dead of night.

So as you said, there has to be a connection somewhere, but also like Mark, the leak has to be small if the Masse Light does not illuminate correct?

Is there a way to check current flow through the bonding wire with a multi meter?  If so, what is the procedure?

One last question.  I searched for the abbreviation “ve” but could not find anything.  I assume it means voltage but is there anything special about using ve vs V?

All the best,

Paul Stascavage
SM #466 - s/v Rita Kathryn
Currently Exploring Huntington, NY

www.RitaKathryn.com


Porter McRoberts
 

Paul. 
Do you have continuity between the negative pole of the 24 system and the rigging, when testing with a multimeter?

If there is a closed circuit, you should.  

Porter
A54-152


On Sep 11, 2021, at 1:43 PM, Paul Stascavage via groups.io <pstas2003@...> wrote:

Bill R.,

Those wires appear to go to the stereo system amplifier, but they are not the root of the problem as disconnecting them didn’t make the issue go away.  However, I am keeping then disconnected until I can find a better negative terminal to connect them to.

Alan,

In my earlier post, I thought that I had identified the problem circuit as being the instruments/devices connected to the Navigation Breaker as I was not seeing house bank voltage when testing with the breaker off.  The problem is however, I was doing the testing on the Nav Bus behind the navigation station.  When I test elsewhere, I still have house bank voltage on the positive side.

My situation is basically identical to Marks’.  My Masse Light is working, When I install a jumper wire from the positive terminal on the Nav Bus to bonding and turn the Masse Light to + the light shines brightly.  Likewise, when I do the same using the negative terminal and turn the Masse Light to - the light shines brightly.  However, with no jumper wires installed, I get no illumination at all, and I have checked in the dead of night.

So as you said, there has to be a connection somewhere, but also like Mark, the leak has to be small if the Masse Light does not illuminate correct?

Is there a way to check current flow through the bonding wire with a multi meter?  If so, what is the procedure?

One last question.  I searched for the abbreviation “ve” but could not find anything.  I assume it means voltage but is there anything special about using ve vs V?

All the best,

Paul Stascavage
SM #466 - s/v Rita Kathryn
Currently Exploring Huntington, NY

www.RitaKathryn.com


Nick Newington
 

A year or two ago the Masse -ve lit up faintly…
I had fun finding a leak. Eventually diagnosed and fixed by cleaning the built up carbon from the Bowthruster motor and the main anchor windlass.  
The light came on the negative test but only faintly. The builtl up carbon  linked the motor negative side to Bowthruster case which is bonded to the rudder anode.
Ditto with windlass.
Worth checking.
Nick
SV Amelia
Leros Gr


On 11 Sep 2021, at 04:36, Porter McRoberts via groups.io <portermcroberts@...> wrote:

Paul. 
Do you have continuity between the negative pole of the 24 system and the rigging, when testing with a multimeter?

If there is a closed circuit, you should.  

Porter
A54-152


On Sep 11, 2021, at 1:43 PM, Paul Stascavage via groups.io <pstas2003@...> wrote:

Bill R.,

Those wires appear to go to the stereo system amplifier, but they are not the root of the problem as disconnecting them didn’t make the issue go away.  However, I am keeping then disconnected until I can find a better negative terminal to connect them to.

Alan,

In my earlier post, I thought that I had identified the problem circuit as being the instruments/devices connected to the Navigation Breaker as I was not seeing house bank voltage when testing with the breaker off.  The problem is however, I was doing the testing on the Nav Bus behind the navigation station.  When I test elsewhere, I still have house bank voltage on the positive side.

My situation is basically identical to Marks’.  My Masse Light is working, When I install a jumper wire from the positive terminal on the Nav Bus to bonding and turn the Masse Light to + the light shines brightly.  Likewise, when I do the same using the negative terminal and turn the Masse Light to - the light shines brightly.  However, with no jumper wires installed, I get no illumination at all, and I have checked in the dead of night.

So as you said, there has to be a connection somewhere, but also like Mark, the leak has to be small if the Masse Light does not illuminate correct?

Is there a way to check current flow through the bonding wire with a multi meter?  If so, what is the procedure?

One last question.  I searched for the abbreviation “ve” but could not find anything.  I assume it means voltage but is there anything special about using ve vs V?

All the best,

Paul Stascavage
SM #466 - s/v Rita Kathryn
Currently Exploring Huntington, NY

www.RitaKathryn.com


Alan Leslie
 

Hi Paul,

In reverse order I write -ve when I mean negative....

Current through the bonding wire....you can disconnect the wire, put your multimeter on the lowest current range (you probably will need to move the red plug on the meter) and measure between the bonding wire and what ever it was connected to.
I doubt you'd be able to measure anything if your MASSE light doesn't light up....it's probably microamps....

The foolproof, and tedious way to find it is to first unplug all your AC to DC powered devices, if you still have the Calpeda pump and it's bonding connection, and see if it goes away.
Then disconnect the -ve on each DC device which has a bonding wire .... this should be ONLY devices that have metallic contact with seawater. .. until you find the disconnection that makes the stray voltage go away. In my case above it was an AC device that was causing the issue, but I have had it with macerator pumps also. 
As I said before, if you find a DC device that has a bonding wire and ISN'T in contact with seawater, remove it.

Porter's question below.....

On an SM (could different on a 54) the rigging is not connected to the bonding or battery -ve (unless someone has deliberately made that connection)...you should read no continuity between the rigging and bonding, or rigging and battery negative.

In any event, your issue is that there is a connection, somewhere between 24V -ve and the bonding.

Trust that helps

Cheers
Alan
Elyse SM437


 

Porter,

I believe that Amel did not start connecting the rigging to binding until the A54 production. Paul has a late-model SM, and possibly it began then.


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar

On Fri, Sep 10, 2021 at 10:36 PM Porter McRoberts via groups.io <portermcroberts=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Paul. 
Do you have continuity between the negative pole of the 24 system and the rigging, when testing with a multimeter?

If there is a closed circuit, you should.  

Porter
A54-152


On Sep 11, 2021, at 1:43 PM, Paul Stascavage via groups.io <pstas2003=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Bill R.,

Those wires appear to go to the stereo system amplifier, but they are not the root of the problem as disconnecting them didn’t make the issue go away.  However, I am keeping then disconnected until I can find a better negative terminal to connect them to.

Alan,

In my earlier post, I thought that I had identified the problem circuit as being the instruments/devices connected to the Navigation Breaker as I was not seeing house bank voltage when testing with the breaker off.  The problem is however, I was doing the testing on the Nav Bus behind the navigation station.  When I test elsewhere, I still have house bank voltage on the positive side.

My situation is basically identical to Marks’.  My Masse Light is working, When I install a jumper wire from the positive terminal on the Nav Bus to bonding and turn the Masse Light to + the light shines brightly.  Likewise, when I do the same using the negative terminal and turn the Masse Light to - the light shines brightly.  However, with no jumper wires installed, I get no illumination at all, and I have checked in the dead of night.

So as you said, there has to be a connection somewhere, but also like Mark, the leak has to be small if the Masse Light does not illuminate correct?

Is there a way to check current flow through the bonding wire with a multi meter?  If so, what is the procedure?

One last question.  I searched for the abbreviation “ve” but could not find anything.  I assume it means voltage but is there anything special about using ve vs V?

All the best,

Paul Stascavage
SM #466 - s/v Rita Kathryn
Currently Exploring Huntington, NY

www.RitaKathryn.com


Porter McRoberts
 

Copy that Bill. 
My thought was, since the connection is so tenuous, check continuity closer to the possible offending item. Check continuity between the negative terminal of the item and the bonding for that item, or rig, if it’s an A54. 

We also show a Voltage potential between the positive 24 v terminal and the rig. But no continuity between the negative and the bonding/ rig. At the Nav terminal. 

Porter
A54-152


On Sep 12, 2021, at 12:15 AM, CW Bill Rouse <brouse@...> wrote:


Porter,

I believe that Amel did not start connecting the rigging to binding until the A54 production. Paul has a late-model SM, and possibly it began then.


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar

On Fri, Sep 10, 2021 at 10:36 PM Porter McRoberts via groups.io <portermcroberts=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Paul. 
Do you have continuity between the negative pole of the 24 system and the rigging, when testing with a multimeter?

If there is a closed circuit, you should.  

Porter
A54-152


On Sep 11, 2021, at 1:43 PM, Paul Stascavage via groups.io <pstas2003=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Bill R.,

Those wires appear to go to the stereo system amplifier, but they are not the root of the problem as disconnecting them didn’t make the issue go away.  However, I am keeping then disconnected until I can find a better negative terminal to connect them to.

Alan,

In my earlier post, I thought that I had identified the problem circuit as being the instruments/devices connected to the Navigation Breaker as I was not seeing house bank voltage when testing with the breaker off.  The problem is however, I was doing the testing on the Nav Bus behind the navigation station.  When I test elsewhere, I still have house bank voltage on the positive side.

My situation is basically identical to Marks’.  My Masse Light is working, When I install a jumper wire from the positive terminal on the Nav Bus to bonding and turn the Masse Light to + the light shines brightly.  Likewise, when I do the same using the negative terminal and turn the Masse Light to - the light shines brightly.  However, with no jumper wires installed, I get no illumination at all, and I have checked in the dead of night.

So as you said, there has to be a connection somewhere, but also like Mark, the leak has to be small if the Masse Light does not illuminate correct?

Is there a way to check current flow through the bonding wire with a multi meter?  If so, what is the procedure?

One last question.  I searched for the abbreviation “ve” but could not find anything.  I assume it means voltage but is there anything special about using ve vs V?

All the best,

Paul Stascavage
SM #466 - s/v Rita Kathryn
Currently Exploring Huntington, NY

www.RitaKathryn.com


Scott SV Tengah
 

Amel started connecting rigging to bonding with the 2009 A54s.

My 2007 A54 did not have bonding and rigging connected until I installed a new VHF antenna as the braided shield on the coax is connected to the PL-259 plug, which is electrically connected to the mast on one end and the VHF head unit on the other end. The head unit case is bonded, hence the connection between rigging and bonding.

After this connection, the masse light revealed a neg leak in the rigging from a chafed bow light neg wire that was undetectable by the masse light prior.

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com