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Captdiver

2003 Signature 240

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I have been using shore supplied AC for some time at the same dock. Recently when using a 1,500 watt (12.5 amp) heater the GFI popped and would not reset. I replaced the GFI and it still would not reset. I flipped the "check ground polarity" switch and it showed the polarity was reversed. I pulled the panel in the cabin and found the polarity to the AC breaker was incorrect. I then checked the the polarity on the back of the shore cable inside the hull and it was correct. I'm a fairly competent marine electrician but am stymied.

Where should I look next.

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I was thinking the "polarity" issue was more of a dock issue than a boat issue and the dock should fix.

That said you stated that you had been using the same AC at the same dock for a while so it is not a polarity issue causing your GFCI issue. What I would do:

1) Unplug everything on AC including shore power and flip all circuit breakers off.

2) Reset GFCI without shore power - does it stay reset - if not it is defective

3) Plug in shore power and check GFCI - hopefully it stays reset

4) Flip each breaker on one at a time to see if GFCI trips, if it does then there is a short somewhere in the wiring - heater could have melted some wires in the receptacle it was plugged into or it might have damaged breaker.

5) That's all I got...

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Did someone rewire your shore power connector?

Inside of the male plug (cord cap) and the female recepticle the lighter (silver) color screw is always the neutral, white wire. The darker color screw is for the hot on 120vac systems.
Your electrical system can not change polarity by it's self.

Also, if the system was wired correctly the grounds and neutral wires (white or light gray) are bonded together in the main electrical circuit breaker panel.

Sounds like your GFI is doing it's intended job.

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I flipped the "check ground polarity" switch and it showed the polarity was reversed.

FWIW ... that polarity check light and test switch is confusing.

The polarity check light should be OFF when connected to correctly wired shore power, and ON when shore power polarity is reversed, or when not connected to shore power at all.

Now, the test button/switch ... when you are connected to correctly wired shore power and the light is OFF, then you can test the polarity sensor. When you momentarily push the button or switch the switch, the light should go ON to indicate that the polarity sensor detected reversed polarity ... this is the correct and intended result of the test, and not a sign of reversed polarity. Relevant excerpt from Chap's boat manual:

polaritytest.jpg

Hope this helps ... :)

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GFI stands for Ground Fault Interrupter. It is different than a regular overload breaker if it senses an imbalance between the energized conductor (your a/c) and the neutral circuit (your ground connection) it will open the circuit and no A/C. You can check for continuity in the ground circuit or just clean the ground connection and retest.

Ari

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