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Switch problems....

FireSong's Avatar
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04-25-04, 03:17 PM   #1  
Switch problems....

I'm having some problems wiring up some toggle switches on a friends fishing boat. Hoping someone could help me out with this. It's a pretty basic setup, 12v power supply coming off the + battery terminal w/in line fuse to the panel which has 3 2way toggle switches. One controls the pump, one controls the aerator, and the other controls the lights. Here's a over-view of what the panel looks like in the back. Each toggle switch has a 5amp fuse next to it. So there are 3 switches and 3 5amp fuses. Here's the basic way I'm wiring it. I'm using 3 pigtails from the 12v power supply to each fuse. Then from each fuse I'm jumping another wire to the hot side of the toggle switch. Grounding it to a wire running from the - side of the battery. Now here is where the problem occurs. In order to use any one device, ALL of the switches have to be in the 'ON' position. If I turn one switch off it is killing the power to every other switch. I've tried a few different ways to wire it all with no success. If anyone could point me in the right direction on how to get each switch workin independantly, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Sharp Advice's Avatar
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04-25-04, 03:47 PM   #2  
Hello: FireSong. Welcome to our Marine forum topic and the Do It Yourself Web Site.

If I understand the wiring description correctly, than each switch has to be wired as though it was the only switch in the panel. For lack of a better description on my part.

In other words, at hot + wire to each switch and a return wire to each switch. Or one hot wire connected to all three switchesm (parrellel) but each switch having it's own return - wire.

Jumping, as you mentioned may be the one area of confusion to me soley. Our other resident members and moderators are more likely to be able to explain electrical wiring than myself.

Seems I can do 12 volt (low voltage) electrical work but not explain it will in text only....

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Desi501's Avatar

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04-25-04, 05:21 PM   #3  
It's pretty easy to do. You can use one power supply going into the first fuse at the first switch. Now your going to run a jumper wire from that same post (2 wires on 1 post) over to the input of the second fuse, now from that one to the third fuse. The result should be the same supply line attached to all three fuse inputs. Now there should be a wire from the other end ot each fuse going to it's corresponding switch. Now coming out of each switch will be the wire going to each component. From each component you'll have a ground wire returning from the component to a main ground buss bar. A buss bar is a bar with a number of hookups that has a main battery ground attached to it. This method could also be used on the power supply side if you chose to. Then you would run individual power supply wires from the power buss bar to each individual fuse input. Be sure to use very secure and water sealed connectors on all of the wiring terminals. Heat shrink tubing works well of maybe some liquid electrical tape painted over the terminal crimp to seal it.

Trying2Help's Avatar

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04-26-04, 01:09 PM   #4  
I agree with everything Desi501 said. However one thing to keep in mind. The wire going from your 12V battery, feeding the three fuses must be large enough to support the possiblity of 15A. You have one wire feeding (3) 5A fuses, if all are running near their max, you will be drawing close to 15A of current through that one wire.

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04-26-04, 02:27 PM   #5  
Posted By: Trying2Help However one thing to keep in mind. The wire going from your 12V battery, feeding the three fuses must be large enough to support the possiblity of 15A.

Yes, I should have mentioned that. That supply line, whether you use the buss bar or just a supply wire with branches, it should be fused at it's source. You could even use 25 or 30 Amp if you use a buss bar because you may use it for additional hook-ups. You need at least 15 for what you already have. The supply wire from the power source must be much heavier gauge also.

Ed Imeduc's Avatar

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04-28-04, 08:57 AM   #6  
If you check at any boat store.They have a bus bar that has the fuse blocks right on it . I think you will find in the long run that this is how to go. Put it up there in the console.
like was said already make sure the wire from the battery to it will carry the amp load.


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