Bilge Blower Circuit Breaker tripping

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by dtfeld, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    My port bilge blower is tripping. I'm trying to figure out if the blower is pulling to much current (maybe corroded wire), or if the breaker is failing. Blower itself looks in good shape and sounds normal (loud). Do these circuit breakers "wear out"?

    The other interesting thing is once it trips, the blower switch on the dash goes from steady on to flashing. Must be some logic in there somewhere.

    Any advice? Hate to throw parts at it until I think I know whats going on.
     
  2. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    Check all connections, then get an inductive amp probe for your DVOM.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  3. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Active Member

    571
    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    2020 Solar 420
    '97 5.7 Bravo 2
    '20 Merc 25 EFI Jet
    Circuit breakers can fail or become weak. A bad connection would increase resistance which decreases the current. It would take a short in the circuit to prematurely trip the breaker. Is there another breaker of the same rating you can swap out to rule out the breaker?
     
    dtfeld likes this.
  4. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    There are two...I’ll swap next time out.

    Still trying to figure out why the dash switch blinks when CB trips...
     
  5. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    David - The two circuit breakers provide port and starboard battery voltage to the blower module which is located in the Main DC Breaker Panel Box (the yellow / red wires). The blower helm switch controls the module it does not actually operate the blowers. Additionally, the blower module is integrated with the boat's fire suppression system in that, should the halon system discharge the blowers are disabled; however, this would not cause the circuit breaker to trip. The blinking light is the blower module telling you that it has detected a fault or has faulted. The lamp in the switch is uniquely operated by the blower module (the blue wire from the module). First, I would disconnect the blower wire (yellow) from the module and see if the breaker still trips and the light still blinks; this would indicate a problem with the circuit breaker or wiring between the breaker and blower module. I believe you will find your owner's manual very descriptive on the wiring. Tom
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    dtfeld and techmitch like this.
  6. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Going to have to dig that out...never realized there was that much to it.

    Now I’m just hoping for cheap parts swap!
     
  7. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Replaced 6 amp breaker and all is well.

    Opened up the dc panel and found the controllers Tom referred to...never knew they existed. Learn something new around here everyday!
     
  8. DWABoat

    DWABoat Well-Known Member

    666
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    I have a 2001 280 with dual blowers in the er. Is this system wired the same as the 410?
    Not having a problem. Just want to know for future reference.
     
  9. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I would bet they are very similar. I snapped a few pics of the components today.

    20200127_102014.jpg 20200127_102026.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  10. DWABoat

    DWABoat Well-Known Member

    666
    Aug 13, 2019
    S Louisiana
    2001 280 Sundancer
    1989 220CC Cuddy Cabin
    Twin 4.3 w/Alpha Ones
    5.7 Mercruiser Alpha One
    Whew!
    Talk about complicating a ham sandwich.
    I will look for that module.
     
  11. BobFino

    BobFino Member

    99
    Aug 26, 2010
    Virginia Beach
    Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge 2005.
    MAN 900
    Twin Disc MG-5114
    Hello, this might be to the info sent over by Tom (ttmot). I read that you wrote the helm switch does not operate the blowers but operates the module. I always wondered why the switch did not turn on the blowers and I wrestled with it for quite a while to try and figure out why. Thank you for solving that issue for me. The question I do have is why is the switch at the helm and why would there be a need to operate the module from the helm?
     
  12. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    The switch turns on the blowers to remove fumes prior to starting an engine or after fueling.

    The blowers are controlled so that if the fire suppression system activates, dumping halon into the bilge to suppress a fire, the blowers don’t remove it.
     
  13. BobFino

    BobFino Member

    99
    Aug 26, 2010
    Virginia Beach
    Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge 2005.
    MAN 900
    Twin Disc MG-5114
    Maybe my question wasn't clear, I know the use of blowers. I have a switch below in the panel for the blowers, which turns them on and off. The switch at the helm will not activate the blowers but will shut them off. So the switch at the helm is there just for shutting them down, in case of a fire and the halon is released? Seems it would be convenient if the ability to turn the blowers on or of from the helm instead of going down below to the salon. Thank you
     
  14. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Sorry, didn’t catch the detail on your issue. That seems incorrect as I would expect the blower to be activated both for starting engines (from the helm) and the generator (from the DC panel). 410 Manual states it should be two way switching both on and off from both locations. I would expect yours to be similar.

    I would suspect a loose/broken wire on the helm blower switch "ON" circuit. My first step would be to check the switch at the helm. Pretty easy and I've had to replace switches as they just get old and salt doesn't help.

    410 manual attached
     

    Attached Files:

  15. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I just re read. Need to get some other opinions...looks like on/off from one station or the other, or on from one, off only from the other!!??

    ive never tried to operate it the fashion you describe...I’ll have to try it next time at the boat.
     
  16. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    The blower control module is a latching relay. When the helm switch or switch in the solon is operated (they are both momentary switches) they simply tie the boat's ground (battery negative) to the switch terminal on the blower module. You ground that terminal once and the blowers run; ground it again and the blowers stop. So both momentary switches (helm and breaker panel) will start and stop the blowers. If your helm switch is not operating the blowers then a simple test is to touch and release the white wire on the switch to ground using a jumper - the blowers should start; then touch it again and the blowers should stop. If this works then either the switch is defective or the black wire on the switch is not grounded; however, if the lamp is working then that ground is good. If the test still doesn't start and stop the blowers then there is a problem with that white wire as it routes to the switch in the circuit breaker panel then to the blower module. Now, if someone changed one or both of the switches from momentary to switch on/switch off then there will be issues operating the system.
    The red wire on the switch is the lamp; no need to dink around with it unless the lamp isn't working.
    Unless something has been modified or SR changed something I believe all of their larger boat blower systems are configured like this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2020
  17. BobFino

    BobFino Member

    99
    Aug 26, 2010
    Virginia Beach
    Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge 2005.
    MAN 900
    Twin Disc MG-5114
    Great! thank you for all the info. I will go back down to the boat this weekend and check the switches. I believe the switch at the helm is a on/off and not a momentary. That could be the problem, I will do the white wire test. Thanks again dtfeld and ttmot
     

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