Sea Fire module question

ZZ13

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2009
5,307
Lady's Island, SC
Boat Info
2001 400 Sedan Bridge
Engines
Cummins 450 Diamond
Right now this is just an analytical exercise with no real plans to do this, but since I have diesels and there is no actual requirement for an engine suppression system, what would it take to remove a Sea Fire system? Is the controller a parallel wired device that can simply be removed and the wires feeding it disconnected at their source? Or is it a serial device that would require jumping and rerouting the wires feeding it?
 
It is a required safety system. Why would the manuf install if it wasn't? Should your insurance require a survey you'll surely reinstall if removed.
To your point, it is integrated into the engine ignitions, the blower fans, and generator ignition.
Should the fire suppression bottle discharge the system shuts down the engines, generator, and blowers.
However bypassing would be as simple as bridging across the relays that shut down these things.
The only thing I don't like about the system is the relays are a single point of failure regarding things operating - with that said however there are many single point failures on our boats.
 
It is a required safety system. Why would the manuf install if it wasn't? Should your insurance require a survey you'll surely reinstall if removed.
To your point, it is integrated into the engine ignitions, the blower fans, and generator ignition.
Should the fire suppression bottle discharge the system shuts down the engines, generator, and blowers.
However bypassing would be as simple as bridging across the relays that shut down these things.
The only thing I don't like about the system is the relays are a single point of failure regarding things operating - with that said however there are many single point failures on our boats.
Thanks Tom.

Fixed system in machinery space is not a USCG requirement if boat is under 65 feet. If you have one installed then it cuts down on the number of portables required. For over 65 feet an extinguisher in the machinery space is required. So you are saying insurance companies require it regardless? Or insurance companies require it if it was factory installed?
 
A good read on ABYC -
https://www.proboat.com/2023/03/fixed-fire-suppression-systems/
For some unholy reason getting insurance has required a survey and haul every year where I live. The last survey (December) didn't specify if the fire systems fixed and portable were in certification - the insurance carrier sent a cancellation notice due to no evidence of certified systems in the survey report. I had to bring a fire protection company in to document the certification and provide that to my agent. It was a total mess and expensive to say the least. There were eight months left on the annual cert but I went ahead and had them update anyway. Florida is a bit unique in the insurance industry due to the damage from hurricanes and lightning damage but regardless the insurance requirements for renewal are spreading across the US. If you have a system on the boat and it has been disabled or not in certification then beware - just saying.
 
A good read on ABYC -
https://www.proboat.com/2023/03/fixed-fire-suppression-systems/
For some unholy reason getting insurance has required a survey and haul every year where I live. The last survey (December) didn't specify if the fire systems fixed and portable were in certification - the insurance carrier sent a cancellation notice due to no evidence of certified systems in the survey report. I had to bring a fire protection company in to document the certification and provide that to my agent. It was a total mess and expensive to say the least. There were eight months left on the annual cert but I went ahead and had them update anyway. Florida is a bit unique in the insurance industry due to the damage from hurricanes and lightning damage but regardless the insurance requirements for renewal are spreading across the US. If you have a system on the boat and it has been disabled or not in certification then beware - just saying.
Roger. Annual is tough. Every 5 years for me so far. Insurance I guess was happy with just seeing a needle in the green. Didn’t bring up anything regarding weighing or certifying.

My thinking here is preparing for unplanned end of life issues with a 24 year old electro-mechanical module that’s integrated into the operation of the engines. I am trying to find out am I SOL if it suddenly fails and shuts everything down 15 miles offshore? Or can I easily bypass or disconnect stuff and get back into running order. I’ll trace schematics and wires and figure stuff out and maybe give Sea Fire a call and talk about preventative testing and/or preventative replacement.
 
That's what the switch on the helm is for. Position it to "Bypass" and she'll run like nothing happened.
 
Right now this is just an analytical exercise with no real plans to do this, but since I have diesels and there is no actual requirement for an engine suppression system, what would it take to remove a Sea Fire system? Is the controller a parallel wired device that can simply be removed and the wires feeding it disconnected at their source? Or is it a serial device that would require jumping and rerouting the wires feeding it?
It's an active module that for lack of a better explanation has a little relay logic in it. If a fire is detected, the bottle releases and all engines...both mains, generator and blowers run circuit are cut, killing them. I believe the idea is to prevent the blowers from removing the fire suppressor

I suppose you could hard wire a run signal.

Parts are available to keep it working. There is a troubleshooting guide.
 
If the concern is the module fails it can be bypassed easily.
There is a terminal strip on each side of the module with two wires for each device, port, starboard engines, generator and blowers.
All you need is a Phillips screwdriver and combine each pair onto a single screw. Take about five minutes and you’ll be back in business.
 
If the concern is the module fails it can be bypassed easily.
There is a terminal strip on each side of the module with two wires for each device, port, starboard engines, generator and blowers.
All you need is a Phillips screwdriver and combine each pair onto a single screw. Take about five minutes and you’ll be back in business.
Thanks. Yes, looks like it’s just five normally closed relays that all open when the tank goes off, cutting off all those circuits (two blower circuits, each engines fuel solenoid, and the generator). Not sure it can actually fail in what I assume is its normal non powered state. That would mean it can only fail to open the circuits when the tank goes off and applies power to the module. I’ll double check with a meter that it’s normal state is non powered.
 
Thanks. Yes, looks like it’s just five normally closed relays that all open when the tank goes off, cutting off all those circuits (two blower circuits, each engines fuel solenoid, and the generator). Not sure it can actually fail in what I assume is its normal non powered state. That would mean it can only fail to open the circuits when the tank goes off and applies power to the module. I’ll double check with a meter that it’s normal state is non powered.
The normal state (engines and blowers will run) is the relays are energized closed. If a relay fails the engine/motor it switches will not operate. If the fire bottle discharges the power from the relay(s) will be removed and they will open. Setting the helm switch to bypass will close the relays again. If a relay fails the bypass switch won't have any effect.
 
The normal state (engines and blowers will run) is the relays are energized closed. If a relay fails the engine/motor it switches will not operate. If the fire bottle discharges the power from the relay(s) will be removed and they will open. Setting the helm switch to bypass will close the relays again. If a relay fails the bypass switch won't have any effect.
Figured I’d guess opposite of that. Thanks.
 
Curious why your contemplating this? The electrical side is pretty easy to maintain. The real issue is the fire suppression bottle. Old ones can't be refilled, new ones are much larger physically.
 
Curious why your contemplating this? The electrical side is pretty easy to maintain. The real issue is the fire suppression bottle. Old ones can't be refilled, new ones are much larger physically.
I need to know how things work at the lowest level possible so I know what to do if something adverse happens. The Sea Fire module was one I had never gotten to. So just trying to learn about its operation. But you are right. I just spent a little while pushing switches, feeling relays click, tracing a few wires and metering a few things. It is pretty easy to understand. I probably should have just done that from the get go and not bothered you all with a thread.
 
I need to know how things work at the lowest level possible so I know what to do if something adverse happens. The Sea Fire module was one I had never gotten to. So just trying to learn about its operation. But you are right. I just spent a little while pushing switches, feeling relays click, tracing a few wires and metering a few things. It is pretty easy to understand. I probably should have just done that from the get go and not bothered you all with a thread.
No worries. That's one item that does get much attention because it just works...until it doesn't.

I had to learn about it a couple seasons ago as the dash mounted switch pad didn't work. I tore into it and learned the basics. Their tech service sent me a troubleshooting guide. I ended up turning it into a checklist in excel. Screen shot below. I can email it to you if it would help, can't attach it here.

From this they could tell me what part I needed.

1707772493540.png
 
You probably have this module installed. Manual attached.
 

Attachments

  • ESRS Mark V SR Installation Manual.pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 28
Thanks to all of you for helping educate me. There is still one part of it that I haven’t figured out. There is a 16 gauge purple wire on the load side of each main engine connection, along with the 10 gauge wire that goes to the fuel solenoid. On the schematic it says it’s for “Electronic Controls” and has wire numbers 787 and 788. I can’t find those two wires anywhere else on any of the schematics. What are they for? My only guess is for the electronic shifters on the transmissions. I’m considering temporarily removing one of those wires and seeing what doesn’t work.

IMG_7123.jpeg
 
Thanks to all of you for helping educate me. There is still one part of it that I haven’t figured out. There is a 16 gauge purple wire on the load side of each main engine connection, along with the 10 gauge wire that goes to the fuel solenoid. On the schematic it says it’s for “Electronic Controls” and has wire numbers 787 and 788. I can’t find those two wires anywhere else on any of the schematics. What are they for? My only guess is for the electronic shifters on the transmissions. I’m considering temporarily removing one of those wires and seeing what doesn’t work.

View attachment 158900
Can't specifically answer but purple / violet is always switched ignition power.
 
Thanks to all of you for helping educate me. There is still one part of it that I haven’t figured out. There is a 16 gauge purple wire on the load side of each main engine connection, along with the 10 gauge wire that goes to the fuel solenoid. On the schematic it says it’s for “Electronic Controls” and has wire numbers 787 and 788. I can’t find those two wires anywhere else on any of the schematics. What are they for? My only guess is for the electronic shifters on the transmissions. I’m considering temporarily removing one of those wires and seeing what doesn’t work.

View attachment 158900
Looks like they are wired parallel to 218A and 225A going to the ENGINE HARNESS DROP-OFFS. Maybe cutting power to and engine ECM?

Possible you don't have that and was drawn up with the expectation that electronic control engines were coming in the near future?
 
Looks like they are wired parallel to 218A and 225A going to the ENGINE HARNESS DROP-OFFS. Maybe cutting power to and engine ECM?

Possible you don't have that and was drawn up with the expectation that electronic control engines were coming in the near future?
Makes sense. Notice the printing of that is lighter and thinner than the rest of the schematic. Like it was added to the drawing later.
 

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