Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: BobW on July 08, 2019, 05:55:04 AM

Title: AC outlets not working
Post by: BobW on July 08, 2019, 05:55:04 AM
I am not getting power to the most of the AC outlets on my 1989 C34. The main outlet (with the breaker incorporated into it) at the nav station works fine, but the rest of the downline outlets are out. The pushin breaker on the panel seems to be working fine and when turned off cuts the power to the main outlet. Is there a breaker or fuse that I am not considering in the system?
I might mention that there is a splice in the 12/3 cable that runs from the main panel to the downline outlets. Could the splice be bad?
Any help in this matter would be appreciated.
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Jon W on July 08, 2019, 07:39:11 AM
If all outlets were working and now aren’t, do you have a GFCI outlet in the circuit?
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: KWKloeber on July 08, 2019, 10:05:51 AM
I’m not familiar with the 34 panel. What “main outlet”?  With what breaker “built in”?
Are you referring to a GFCI receptacle?

WHY is the power cable spliced???  How??

Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Noah on July 08, 2019, 11:31:50 AM
On my 1990 the port and starboard side A/C outlets were on different circuits. It was odd. Check the individual outlets and GFIs on them each if you have GFI outlets.
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Ekutney on July 08, 2019, 12:19:00 PM
If they were working & now are not, what changed?

If a GFI is connected are the LINE & LOAD side wired properly?
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Ron Hill on July 08, 2019, 02:55:56 PM
Bob : I believe that Jon's comment is correct.  That 1st "main" outlet on the AC electrical panel is a GFIC outlet.
It may have gone bad and is not sending any current to all the other downstream outlets. Pull that GFIC outlet and see it maybe one of the down stream wires may be loose or disconnected??  If not just invest in a new GFIC plug. 
I changed my 1988 GFIC and replaced it with a new one that has a pilot light!! That way I know when it's "hot"!!

A few thoughts   :thumb:
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Stu Jackson on July 08, 2019, 03:20:12 PM
Dare I say RTFM??? :D

Unless your PO(s) made changes to the AC power/wiring, the manuals for each version of our boats show how the wiring goes from main AC breaker to individual outlets.

As mentioned some have GFCIs as the first in each string.

My AC power went out on our trip up the coast in 2016, my son had leaned against the GFCI I put in the V berth.  I hit the reset and on buttons and was back in business.

If YOU know about wiring and splicing, sure, make sure it's good.  If not, get help.

Good luck.
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: britinusa on July 08, 2019, 04:00:19 PM
I don't know if it's standard, but the AC system on our boat is connected using Wire Nuts!

Of course, our boats never vibrate or bang around, so wire nuts should be ok


Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Dave Spencer on July 08, 2019, 04:14:44 PM
Welcome to the forum.  You'll get lots of help here.
To level set Ken who is very knowledgable on marine systems but has a C30 (I think), I've attached a couple of pictures of the C34 AC power panel and used the nomenclature Bob used in his original question. 
Stu's right, the manual can be your friend. (  Page 32 of the Mk 1 manual has an AC wiring diagram that shows three distinct branches; one for the chart table (what you call the "Main"), one for the head, and one for the V-berth, galley and aft cabin.  The schematic show the plugs aren't on their own breaker; they are protected by the 30A main breaker.  (seems unlikely, especially based on comments above from Mk1 owners)  This is different from my Mk 1.5 where the outlets are shown to be protected by a 20A breaker and they are all daisy chained together with Ground Fault Protection for all plugs provided by the outlet at the chart table.  Page 39 here for Mk 1.5 (
Neither manual / schematic shows a circuit for the battery charger nor is the transom breaker shown.  (On my boat and I suspect on most, there is a 30 Amp breaker at the power entry plug on my transom as is required by code and good practice.)  The Mk II manual has captured all of this fairly well in its schematic on page 38 here. (
So, in this case, the Mk I and 1.5 manuals are likely not incorrect but appear to be incomplete. 
You've likely already tried this but to narrow it down, get an outlet tester and check each receptacle.   Ensure the GFI "reset" button on the outlet at the chart table is pushed in.  If you only have the chart table working, try tripping the GFI receptacle by pushing "test".  You should have no voltage at any receptacle including the chart table.  If you suspect a splice and you have confidence, unplug the boat and inspect the splice.  Check the connections at the bus bars.  Ensure the GFI receptacle is wired correctly.  If you have confidence, proceed carefully and systematically.  If not, get help.

Let us know how you make out.

Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: KWKloeber on July 08, 2019, 07:36:53 PM
wire nuts should be ok

Paul,  you are a step ahead (of some.)

I don't recall if I mentioned it before (ignore me if I did LOL) but I was doing some rewiring on a J/120 and found the nav area receptacle box stuffed with so much wire (obviously not code) that I had to reorganize/add another junction box and pigtail back to the nav GFCI receptacle.  Upon removing the plate/GFCI, I saw a bunch of "friction" tape.
Uh ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Anytime I spot tape, I know it's likely hiding a multitude of who knows what sort of bad things.
Sure enough, none of the neutrals even had a wire nut on them -- just twisted together and taped -- OEM straight from the factory "techs."
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: KWKloeber on July 08, 2019, 08:05:43 PM
Thanks for that info Dave,  It helps.

Bob, do you have another pushbutton CB on the panel for the water heater?

Pix of the wiring behind your panel might help diagnose the problem.

Since you say the nav receptacle works, I'd suspect that there is a snafu at the positive or neutral terminal strip.  It's not really (I don't believe) a bus bar as the schematic shows.  Strange that the ScM doesn't show GFCIs.  Was your Nav replaced with a GFCI?

Since you have one good location w/ power I suspect the wiring is "substantially" per the ScM that Dave posted.  It's not so unusual for vibration to work a screw loose on a terminal strip -- possibly a hot or neutral leg to the other receptacles are loose/off? The others may be daisy chained through one leg?  I wouldn't suspect that the down leg issue is due to the Nav GFCI unless the wiring was changed from the schematic.  That is possible and would make sense if, say, OEM had no GFCI receptacles and a PO added one at the nav, and wired the other circuits thru that GFCI.  Do you have a GFCI at the galley and/or head?
ALL receptacles on the boat should be GFCI protected so check that and set it up that way.

By rights, the circuits should ALL be on a 20a breaker (presuming they are 12 gauge cable) -- it's NOT good to have 15a receptacles or a couple of 20a circuits on the main 30a breaker.

From your original post it seems that you may not be as versed in electrical as it takes to troubleshoot/fix the problem (eg, not ID-ing the "built-in breaker" as the GFCI.)  PLEASE proceed with due caution and if needed get help from another with expertise in 120 AC -- making a mistake can quickly ruin either your day and/or down the road ruin the boat's day as well!

Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: britinusa on July 09, 2019, 07:46:28 AM
Here's the panel for my 1987 Mk 1
The AC panel is integral to the DC panel (to the right/fwd of the AC panel)

Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: britinusa on July 09, 2019, 07:50:11 AM
And behind the panel ( not my work)

Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Ekutney on July 09, 2019, 01:47:52 PM
That looks like an updated power panel.

I recently rewired my power panel & used a double pole single throw breaker.  I had to be very careful when wiring the GFI outlet with push button breakers down stream, the neutral line had to be separate from the line input to the GFI otherwise the GFI would not operate correctly because of load imbalance.

Is there any work that was done from when it worked to what you are seeing now? 
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: Ron Hill on July 09, 2019, 02:21:24 PM
Paul : Your 1987 came from the factory with fuses.  A PO has changed the entire panel so you now have CBs.

I don't believe that the ABCYA has ever approved of wire nuts in boats wiring!! I'd change all the "wire nuts " to crimps and or soldered (w/heat shrink) connections.

A few thoughts
Title: Re: AC outlets not working
Post by: britinusa on July 09, 2019, 02:45:30 PM
Ron, Agreed, I'm in the process of doing that.