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Electric shock from the windlass


PAOLO CUNEO
 

Hi Craig,
As soon as I can get back on board I will put your advice to good use and post the result
Thank you all
Paolo
SM 454 Whisper




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Craig Briggs
 

Hi Paolo,
Now that you confirm there's no 240v involved, it is dollars to donuts just some corrosion in the windlass feed wires inside its housing. And you're right, the windlass, rails and rigging are not in the anti-galvanic ("grounding") system. The 24v short is taking a different path to the rails, like down your chain or whatever.

Regardless, this is so likely such a basic and simple fix that you really should do it yourself, if for no other reason than to gain some self-sufficiency for your trans Atlantic crossing ;-)  Don't even bother checking with your multimeter - just open the windlass cover and clean up the connections!  If you've still got the problem, then spend the money for the electrician, or, better yet, keep looking yourself. Plus, as Ken points out, it's good to do this as preventive maintenance. 

Good luck with it,
Craig, SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


Ken Powers SV Aquarius
 

Since there is no connection to 240VAC in the windless circuit, I fail to see how toggling the windless switch could result in a 240VAC short?  It is much more likely to be a 24VDC issue, which is not too dangerous.  Measure the voltage with a volt meter, not a crew member!  Unless you have an undesirable crew member,  this could be your lucky day.

If there is a potential(or Voltage) a volt meter should see it.  Stick the negative on you and put the positive on the what ever was shocking you.  You should see movement in the voltage without having to touch the rail and shock yourself.  

I believe Craig is correct.  Remove the back cap off the windless and make sure everything is clean and tidy!  Might want to use some Corrosion X on the motor when you open it up.  I do this to keep corrosion down on the motor housing, just paint the entire motor with CorrosionX.

Best,
Ken 
Aquarius SM262


PAOLO CUNEO
 

hi Craig, Bill, Nick,
I understand from your words that you all seriously care about my safety in case we are talking about 220V AC, and I sincerely appreciate your attention. But no, it never happened to me with the shore power, but only operating the windlass on 24V in some bay for the night. Occasionally I have also had the generator switched on during the anchoring maneuvers, but in the great majority of cases the generator was switched off, so I would feel like excluding 220V. I add that the sensation was more like a burn than the classic shock that can happen to you at home.
I hadn't thought about disconnecting the small inverter that permanently powers the chart table area but I certainly will.
I add a question: I seem to have read somewhere in this forum that, at least on SMs, the rigging and the guardrail (and perhaps also the windlass) are not included in the Amel general bonding system, and I wonder how this can direct my research (or rather , give the correct information to the electrician who I will certainly call).
Bests to you all and thanks for your help

Paolo - SM 454 Whisper, Genoa

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ngtnewington Newington
 

Hi Paulo,
You really need to make sure this is not a 240v AC problem as that is dangerous.
Turn off the inverter
Disconnect the shore power
Do not run the generator

Then see if you still have the problem.
If you do then it is serious and potentially life threatening. Get an electrician immediately.

If not then it is on the 24v side; not dangerous to life and limb but is likely to be damaging to the sea water exposed fittings, like propeller, skin fittings etc.

Then it is a question of figuring it out. If you use a professional it could be expensive as it may take a long time. It took me a week to find a “Masse leek” ! Maybe 20 hours of testing testing thinking testing.....

so I suggest you either open your wallet or your mind.

Nick
Aboard Ameliai in Leros enjoying the last of summer for me.

AML 54-019

On 29 Aug 2020, at 00:09, PAOLO CUNEO <pc43ge@...> wrote:

Hi Craig,
Thanks for your prompt reply. I will try that as soon as I am back on board.
For testing, I have little hope with the crew. They had already mutinied when I asked for volunteers to experiment the extent of the problem and I had to do it myself
Bests
Paolo Cuneo

SM 454 Whisper
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PAOLO CUNEO
 

Hi Craig,
Thanks for your prompt reply. I will try that as soon as I am back on board.
For testing, I have little hope with the crew. They had already mutinied when I asked for volunteers to experiment the extent of the problem and I had to do it myself
Bests
Paolo Cuneo

SM 454 Whisper
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Craig Briggs
 
Edited

Hi Paolo,
I see Bill Rouse has assumed you are getting a 220v AC shock whereas I assumed it to be 24v DC. Are you running the generator (or connected to shore power) when you get this shock.
If you are running the generator and you've got 220v AC in the rigging and rails, then you might not want your crew to do the testing, but, instead, get an electrician post haste. If you are not running the generator, go back to my advice.

Added thought: If you are running the generator when this happens, try turning it off (and unplugging from shore if you are plugged in) and see if you still get the shock (a 24v shock only tickles - won't kill like 220v). That would eliminate it being a 220v failure. Odds are this is indeed a 24v fault with an easy fix of cleaning up the connectors. 

Let us know.
Craig  -  SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


 

The next step is to get an electrician on the boat ASAP. Your problem is likely that some 220 volt AC device is wired wrong and is sending 220 volts through the earth/bonding system (yellow/green wire). This can be serious. If this is happening when disconnected from shore power and not running the generator, somewhere in the inverter installation is the problem.


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


On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 12:51 PM PAOLO CUNEO <pc43ge@...> wrote:

 

Hi all,
For some time now, when I operate the windlass, either from the control in the cockpit or using the switch on the windlass, I have received a significant electric shock if I touch either the shrouds or the guard rail (wet deck, bare feet). I've already called an electrician to no avail (actually for a very quick and superficial check) and I think, at this point, I need the help of the  Amel community.

Keeping in mind that I am practically illiterate in terms of electrical systems, is there anyone who can tell me, step by step, which checks I need to do and in what logical order?

Thank you all 

Paolo Cuneo 
SM 454 Whisper 
Back to Genoa after a conservative (due to COVID) summer cruise


Craig Briggs
 

Hi Paolo,

You've most likely got a short between the positive wire and the ground wire inside the windlass housing. Take off the rear windlass cover (where the manual button switches are) by unscrewing the two bolts holding it on. Then inspect the wires and you will probably find some corrosion on the connectors allowing the short. Remove all the wires from the connector(s), clean everything up and reassemble.

Test by having your crew go barefoot and wet and grab the shrouds so you don't get hurt.

Cheers,
Craig  -  SN68 Sangaris, Tropic Isle Harbor, FL


PAOLO CUNEO
 

 

Hi all,
For some time now, when I operate the windlass, either from the control in the cockpit or using the switch on the windlass, I have received a significant electric shock if I touch either the shrouds or the guard rail (wet deck, bare feet). I've already called an electrician to no avail (actually for a very quick and superficial check) and I think, at this point, I need the help of the  Amel community.

Keeping in mind that I am practically illiterate in terms of electrical systems, is there anyone who can tell me, step by step, which checks I need to do and in what logical order?

Thank you all 

Paolo Cuneo 
SM 454 Whisper 
Back to Genoa after a conservative (due to COVID) summer cruise