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Author Topic: Electrical fire!  (Read 387 times)

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LogoFreak

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Electrical fire!
« on: July 28, 2022, 03:14:19 PM »

Well it is one of the “must do’s”, so many other things to do that this one was put on the back burner and it came back to bite me. Didn’t get out of hand and for the time being I just spliced the wires and eliminated the plug all together.
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Antoni - Vancouver BC
1992 Catalina 34 Tall rig fin keel mk 1.5 “Polonaise”
Hull number 1179

Ron Hill

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2022, 03:23:42 PM »

Logo : It isn't like we didn't tell you!!!  Think I first wrote about it back around 1993 as being a fire hazard!!!!  Almost 30 years ago!!!  You are one lucky Freak!!!!   

A few thoughts
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 04:16:43 PM by Ron Hill »
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LogoFreak

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2022, 04:30:57 PM »

I live on the edge! A little excitement never hurt anyone right?! 🤣 This happened on my trip down to the southern gulf islands, we are in Ganges on salt spring island at the moment. Thankfully had everything on the boat to make the repairs.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 04:35:10 PM by LogoFreak »
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Antoni - Vancouver BC
1992 Catalina 34 Tall rig fin keel mk 1.5 “Polonaise”
Hull number 1179

KWKloeber

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2022, 08:25:09 PM »

Be sure to eliminate the other gummy bear not just behind the panel; it might be nearly as bad in a different way.  Or did you do both??

Notice the Universal plug is nearly intact; it's the Catalina half that destroyed itself.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2022, 08:27:49 PM by KWKloeber »
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
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waughoo

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2022, 12:12:14 AM »

I JUST got the one behind my panel done about 3 weeks ago agter doing the engine one about 6 months ago.  So happy to have those replaced.  I used deutsch connectors for mine as I like harness plugs.

Glad to hear you caught it in time and had what you needed to fix it!!
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
Std rig w/wing keel
Universal M35
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mregan

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2022, 02:56:53 AM »

How did you notice it. Smell or did you happen to see smoke coming from behind the panel?

Why are those connections so problematic?  Is the metal to metal connection not a good contact or is the plastic housing the weak point?
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2022, 08:36:29 AM »


,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Why are those connections so problematic? 
......

mr,

Please read this thread, it is a sticky on the Forum:

Critical Upgrades  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.0.html

The title of it says "Do these or else!"  It includes multiple posts and links of these dangerous connectors, and why.

We thought we'd gotten the word out for the past 30 years, but we can't make everybody read them, even with dire warnings.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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waughoo

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2022, 08:55:30 AM »

As Stu says, the details are in that link he posted.  The short answer is that the connections were not made to carry the amperages of the charging circuit of anything above a stock alternator replacing starting current and some light house bank replenishment.  And even THAT was questionable.  As the connections get warm from load or high resistance, they start to disform the plug which melts and distorts. As Logo's post shows, the conductors can meet and create a dead short and start an electrical fire.  Others have reported starters engaging without prompt and many other problems.

Give that thread a read through and make sure you look into anything on your boat that hasn't been done yet.
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Alex - Seattle, WA
91 mk1.5 #1120
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Universal M35
Belafonte

Noah

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2022, 09:08:03 AM »

Look around EVERYWHERE. You may find some odd stuff, like I did. Here is a pic of under the overhead trim piece where a screw penetrated the wiring. Also, not a big fan of the spike-style daisy chain connectors Catalina used for the lighting circuits blue wire.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2022, 06:17:54 PM »


Why are those connections so problematic?


There's multiple reasons that cause the plug failures - and, given a perfect storm condition, a FiRE.
see https://groups.io/g/Catalina30/wiki/11336  (Item 1.2)
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

LogoFreak

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2022, 12:27:31 PM »

Hanging out in Nanaimo, decides that I don’t get lucky twice on one trip so engine side harness splicing it is… Good thing I look led too as it’s essentially melted and only the horseshoe up my ass is keeping it from shorting out…
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Antoni - Vancouver BC
1992 Catalina 34 Tall rig fin keel mk 1.5 “Polonaise”
Hull number 1179

Ron Hill

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2022, 12:31:07 PM »

Guys : Those blue multi ground connectors are CRAP!!!!!  I've replaced all of mine after an episode where I turned ON the cabin lights and the bow running light came ON !!

The trailer connector plugs (Gummy Bear) are also CRAP!!!!  I knew about them, but had installed a Balmar Hi - Output alternator and wired it direct (negative & positive) to the batteries.  A few years later I finally decided to change out the trailer connector at the engine.  After I unwrapped the 6 feet!! of black tape around the connector it fell apart in my hand!!!  No amperage heat - just the engine heat slowly disintegrated it.  The one behind the engine instrument panel wasn't as bad- but!!
What's so sad is that when I removed that engine 3 different times (3rd was the last) I NEVER used those connectors that were made for the production line.  I just disconnected wires at the engine!!!

I've had reports of the shore power AC wire being clamped under a stanchion (underside).  Another was a stern running light wire was clamped underside by a pushpit (stern pulpit) nut! That cause DC leakage which eroded the stainless rudder column at the water line!! 

So as Noah mentioned, keep your eyes open when you are tracing wiring!!  And for God sake not only LOOK at the CRITICAL UPDATES, but BELIEVE them!!!! :shock:

A few thoughts
« Last Edit: July 30, 2022, 12:36:38 PM by Ron Hill »
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KWKloeber

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2022, 12:39:23 PM »

Logo

Remember the barrel fuse and crappy S wire connection!!

Can I steal your pix for my Harness 101 article - I’ll give due credit.
I haven’t had one of an actual fire, only melted plugs.
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

LogoFreak

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2022, 02:17:10 PM »

Sure, go for it. Just finished splicing wires, it’s HOT AF right now, melting myself. Took me an hour to splice all 8 wires, hard locations to crimp…
« Last Edit: July 30, 2022, 05:09:44 PM by LogoFreak »
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Antoni - Vancouver BC
1992 Catalina 34 Tall rig fin keel mk 1.5 “Polonaise”
Hull number 1179

Stu Jackson

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Re: Electrical fire!
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2022, 11:43:33 AM »


Can I steal your pix for my Harness 101 article - I’ll give due credit.
I haven’t had one of an actual fire, only melted plugs.

I just added a link back to this thread in Reply #21 in Critical Upgrades.  Thanks, Antoni.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
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