Metal strip in bilge sump A54


Martin Birkhoff
 

Hi all,

in the bilge sump I discovered a metal strip that is fixed somewhere at one end and loose at the other. Does anyone know what it is for? Part of the bonding system?

Thanks for you help

Martin
Mago del Sur - 54#40
currently Marina di Ragusa, Sicily


 

Martin,

That copper foil is part of the Amel Bonding system. It is a copper foil that is connected to a bundle of yellow/green bonding wires at the top of the gray water bilge and to the ballast stud at the bottom of that bilge. It is important because it protects the cast iron ballast from electrolysis. If you have seen some rust marks on the ballast, it is a result of the cast iron ballast being disconnected from the bonding system.
image.png
Attached are 3 pages from my Amel Book which will make this difficult job become easy. I had the same issue with my SM years ago and did not have anyone to guide me through the process and it took days to figure out the materials to use and the dimensions needed. But with the included below instructions and measurements, it will take you a few hours. Amel used a copper foil on your 54. This foil gets chafed by the gray PVC Float Switch Tube. When you read the attached, you will notice that I recommend a copper bar of 2 inches by 1/8 inch (50mm x 3mm). You can buy the original copper foil part from Amel, but I think you will need to change it much more often. Do not make this from any material other than copper because you need the best metal available to conduct micro voltage.
Let me know if you have experienced rust spots on the cast iron ballast. They are caused by either electrolysis or a collision with something that cracks the epoxy coating.

I hope this helps you.

Bill

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Wed, Mar 16, 2022 at 6:50 AM Martin Birkhoff <mbirkhoff@...> wrote:

Hi all,

in the bilge sump I discovered a metal strip that is fixed somewhere at one end and loose at the other. Does anyone know what it is for? Part of the bonding system?

Thanks for you help

Martin
Mago del Sur - 54#40
currently Marina di Ragusa, Sicily


Martin Birkhoff
 

Many thanks, Bill

Indeed there are rust marks on the keel above the cast iron ballast: When we were in the boatyard in La Rochelle in spring 2021, there were some tiny rust marks. But we got the information that this is a typical thing of Amel and not a problem. In 2016, when we got the boat, there were no such marks. Therefore, I would like to believe that there was no grounding before. (The surveyor and we didn't find any hints for a grounding). In any case, we didn't have any.

Well, we are going to look for a copper strap according to your suggestions now.

Regards  

Martin
Mago del Sur - 54#40
currently Marina di Ragusa, Sicily


Ruslan Osmonov
 

Hi, does anyone know what causes this failure? I see it happens for many over time, beside from visual inspection is there way to periodically check ground connection and it’s continuity? 


 

Ruslan,

I believe that there are several causes:
  1. Amel uses a thin copper foil
  2. The gray PVC Float Switch Pipe will chafe the foil
  3. Many owners choose to add chemicals caustic to copper to the gray water bilge rather than clean it.
  4. Nothing lasts forever, especially in a marine environment.
Solutions:
  1. Use copper bar according to the instructions in my book
  2. You may want to cut a notch in the bottom of the gray PVC pipe so that the pipe cannot chafe the copper (If you do this, please email me a photo)
  3. Do not use chlorine tablets or anything else caustic in the gray water bilge
  4. Clean the gray water bilge and inspect the copper every 90 days of use.
One other thing. A few Amel owners try to solve all of the causes by using stainless steel. Please do not do that because copper is much more conductive than stainless steel.

Bill


CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   

On Thu, Mar 17, 2022 at 7:15 AM Ruslan Osmonov <rosmonov@...> wrote:
Hi, does anyone know what causes this failure? I see it happens for many over time, beside from visual inspection is there way to periodically check ground connection and it’s continuity? 


Martin Birkhoff
 
Edited

Bill,

the old copper strip is attached to the wall of the sump with a small screw or nut some one or two inches below the attachment of all wires of the bonding. Does this screw serve for fastening only or does it also provide an electrical connection to a hidden part of the bonding system?
My idea is to fix the new stronger copper strip higher to get more distance between max. sump water level and junction point of wiring and copper strip.

Regards

Martin

Mago del Sur - 54#40
Marina di Ragusa, Sicily


 

The screw is not needed if you use copper bar. The screw is used to support the much thinner copper foil which was originally used by Amel.
image.png

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
   


On Thu, Mar 31, 2022 at 7:11 AM Martin Birkhoff <mbirkhoff@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Bill,

the old copper strip is attached to the wall of the sump with a small screw or nut some one or two inches below the attachment of all wires of the bonding. Does this screw serve for fastening only or does it also provide an electrical connection to a hidden part of the bonding system?
My idea is to fix the new stronger copper strip higher to get more distance between max. sump water level and junction point of wiring and copper strip.

Regards

Martin

Mago del Sur - 54#40
Marina di Ragusa, Sicily


Martin Birkhoff
 

Thanks Bill,
meanwhile - after an hour of struggling - I could get the screw out. The rest will be routine. Hopefully ;-)

Martin
Mago del Sur - 54#40
Marina di Ragusa, Sicily