HI Everyone - I have a 1980 410 Commander. We got new docks this spring. The new electrical code apparently requires a more sensitive ground-fault system and as a result the boat will pop the breakers on the dock if I plug in both 30-A cords and set the switch in the boat to "Both Inlets" I can use one cord and "Inlet 1" on the switch and that works fine (except of course I only have 30 amps to work with).. I'm told that "somewhere" the  neutrals from both sides are connected. They are not supposed be. Anyone had this problem?

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The neutral may be tied together on the rotary switch

Does inlet 2 work if it is the only power source


Would that be a "normal" configuration?
chris said:

The neutral may be tied together on the rotary switch

Not sure if just inlet 2 works alone - I'll have to check

Ronald Zick said:

Does inlet 2 work if it is the only power source

Paul, our marina added a new dock to the basin this year and I have the same problem with my '67 Commander 31'. But, I only have one 30-A cord to plug in.

As soon as I plug in anywhere on E-Dock the breaker pops. I can still plug in to any tower on the older A-D Docks with no problem. The marina staff tells me that several other boats of this vintage do the same thing. So you're right, something's changed with the newer electrical technology. 

No resolution has been found here that I'm aware of, so these older boats all have to be on A-D Dock until someone figures it out. Sorry I'm not of more help!

Start by switching off everything ---- the breaker on the dock tower, the boat's AC main breaker and the boat's individual circuit breakers.  Start by switching on the dock tower breaker, and then the boat main.  And if you're still good, then go each breaker, one by one, on/off.  Then you should be able to pinpoint what circuit the problem device is on.

Robert, I went thru your exact scenario. I can plug the cord in and then turn on the main AC just fine, with all switches off on my breaker panel. As soon as I flip the switch for virtually ANYTHING on the panel, the breaker pops on the marina's tower.

Greg - I did this too and I can use one cord on "Inlet 1" and everything works. But as soon as I move the selector switch to "Both Inlets" it pops the breaker on the dock. I was thinking of taking Roberts suggestion one step farther and unhooking all AC appliances in the boat (stove, water heater, air-conditioning units, battery charger, etc) working back from there one appliance at a time.

Paul,

You only need to investigate the circuits and appliances that are powered from power inlet 2.

I would first have everything off on #2 and see if the breaker still trips with the #2 only position. If the breaker trips, the problem will be in your cord, the power inlet #2 receptacle on the boat or the wiring from the receptacle to the selector switch.

If everything holds with only #2 powered, then start adding devices to it. Concentrate on devices that are only powered by #2.

Compressor motors with high leakage current are a good place to start.

google " marina safety upgrades " boatus        Char - it would be good info for the library 

I might be able to shed light--as the same thing happened to me while wiring a workshop with new codes in place req all circuits to be GFI . The precise thing happened to me --- flip a switch would flip a breaker. What I finally realized is I had NEUTRAL wires of (2) 110V circuits twisted together in a multiswitch box. This works fine for non-GFI circuits---as when I switched out to   a non-GFI breaker everything worked fine. I separated the neutrals from the two different  circuits in the switch box /replaced the GFI breaker and no problem. ! I do not think the ground wires being tied together matters. I t  is the neutral wires and has to do with the way GFI senses load balance between the hot wire and neutrals I think.--Al

I have a 1973 410 with two 30 amp shore power connections. In the off season I have a splitter to connect both 30 amp circuits to one 30 amp cord. Then I have an adapter to convert that to a normal 20 amp plug. That plugs into  a shore outlet that has a GFI outlet. Never had a problem. I had some AC breakers on, but most circuits not  turned on. Just lights.

In the water I just tried an experiment to  see if I could live on a GFI breaker since I plan to travel to Put in Bay this week and they have recently installed ground fault shore power. I have a GFI outlet on my deck. I ran an extension cord from that to an extension cord that also had a GFI breaker in line. So there were two GFI's in  series. I used my adapter to tie both 30 amp shore power cords from the boat to the extension cord. Immediately popped the GFI in the extension cord, but not the one on the deck outlet.

What I found was that I could run one and only one 30 amp cord successfully. They both worked, but not together.

I think there must be a little leakage in each 30 amp circuit and combined it is enough to trip the GFI.....but maybe it is the neutral being tied by the adapter. Not sure why it works ok in the off season.

I tried each appliance with only one cord connected. All ok.

John Brock

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