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Old 11-15-2006, 06:04 PM
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Default Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

I just read some archived posts and also Dave Pascoe’s Yacht Survey webpage about bonding and grounding. Dave recommends keeping the engine grounding system separate from the boats bonding system. My engine bunks are bonded to the boat’s bonding system by the factory. This clearly connects the boat’s bonding system to the engine’s grounding system. My auxiliary aluminum tank is grounded to the engine block.

I’m replacing my main fuel tank and have my cockpit deck cut out. As such, it’s a great time to upgrade my entire bonding system. Should I disconnect the engine bunks from the boat’s bonding system and provide the "free floating” bonding system as recommended by Dave? Should the fuel tank be bonded to the fittings with a separate ground connected to the sending unit or should the tanks be grounded with a jumper to the sending unit.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

re-did mine last winter. My tank is grounded seperate from the sending unit. One thing on my install that may be differnt for you but will mention anyway. My tank is sloped on both sides to the form of the hull and even after putting starboard on both sides of the tank every six inches i stiil found the bottom of the tank rested on the liner so i put strips on the bottom as well.
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:32 PM
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Default RE: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Did not read the article, but.....

The tank should be bonded, not grounded.

Having said that, if the bonding system is connected to the grouding system, I don't see a problem with that. Natural gas pipes in homes are bonded to the electrical grounding system, for example. To take the example further, you should never ground to a gas pipe, but the gas pipe must be bonded to the ground. The only downside to the bond and ground being connected is if there is a break in the ground in a bad location, this could mean your tank theoretically could be energized electrically.

A bond is meant to assure equal electrical potential, as where a ground it meant to conduct electricity.

I think the main thing here is to assure your tank will not be conducting electricity, but will be at the same electrical potential as the rest of your boat. Metal items with equal potential DO NOT flow electricity. You have to have a difference of potential to achieve a flow of electricity. That is why we bond.

Grounding on the other hand is meant to assure flow of electricity, where bonding is meant to assure electricity will not flow.

Does that make sense to you? If not feel free to email me. If the author of the article has any additional input, that would be great also.

I am very tired right now so I'm not sure how much sense I just made LOL..... I apologize if it rambles a bit.
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:39 PM
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Default RE: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Quote:
Carrie-Dee - 11/15/2006 6:04 PM
This clearly connects the boat’s bonding system to the engine’s grounding system. My auxiliary aluminum tank is grounded to the engine block.
To be nitpicky correct here, your engine block is GROUNDED. Your tank is BONDED to your engine block. There is a difference.

As I said above, as long as everything is of equal potential and the connections are reliable, I don't see a problem with leaving it that way. I can see both advantages and disadvantages.

Being an electrical engineer by degree, I personally would leave it as is. Again, making sure the connections are reliable.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Think about this.

The tank is bonded to the filler neck fitting to stop static electricity. Yet the sending unit is fastened to the tank and that is grounded to the battery.
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

That's why you are supposed to touch whatever you are fueling before inserting the nozle.

Good point tho.
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

My fuel tank sender has its own ground connection on it, but if you hook up an ohmmeter you will see that the tank is electrically connected to the sender's ground connection. Therefore, your tank is grounded to the engine.
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Electrons don't care which path they take to return to the battery as long as it's the quickest.

Make sure your grounds are good - the electrons will leave the bonding system alone.
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:31 AM
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Default RE: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

The metallic fuel storage components (tank and fill fitting) shall be eclectically connected to the boats DC ground system. That's CG and ABYC, they differ on the resistance values but agree on the connection. ABYC mandates the engine blocks and drive line be connected at a single point to bonding system (for very good reasons) and the AC and DC ground buss's be connected at a single point. Your boat is right and Pascoe is wrong. Sailboats are a different story.
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Quote:
Inspector62 - 11/15/2006 10:39 PM

To be nitpicky correct here, your engine block is GROUNDED. Your tank is BONDED to your engine block. There is a difference.

Being an electrical engineer by degree, I personally would leave it as is. Again, making sure the connections are reliable.
I don't think this is technically correct.

As alluded to by warthog, the tank is GROUNDED to the ships' negative electrical system (and in turn the engine block) so as to provide a current path for the fuel gauge and its sender. The sender grounding wire actually carries a normal amount of current that is requried by the fuel gauge.

The tank may be (should be) bonded to other parts of the boat, such as the fuel fill cap. This is to reduce, if not eliminate, the possibility of static electricity building up between the components. The bonding wires only carry the small amount of current that occurs when they eliminate any voltage that may exist between the two devices that are bonded.

Grounding circuits are rated in their amp carrying capacity. Bonding circuits are rated by the total amount of resistance in their circuit.
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Quote:
Inspector62 - 11/16/2006 12:08 AM

That's why you are supposed to touch whatever you are fueling before inserting the nozle.

Good point tho.
We agree, but if the fill neck is not bonded to the tank, then there is no where for the static to discharge and the just touch the fuel nozzle to the fill neck does no good to discharge the static. You then have the potential for the static to discharge and ignite the fuel.

On another note. DO not fill plastic fuel container's in the back of a pickup truck. Set the tank on the ground before filling.

We had a local guy loose his truck due to this. The static was not discharged from the plastic tank sitting in the back of the truck. Lucky for him, he escaped with only minor injuries.
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Old 11-16-2006, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Bonding, Grounding and Aluminum Fuel Tanks

Fuel tank sending unit should have a pos and a ground feed.Fuel fill cap/base should have a bonding wire rap around the hose,feeding to the fuel tank(not to the sending unit) and then jumps to the bonding system.There should be a tab to connect them together on the tank.USCG and ABYC states it.Cut and dry!
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:19 AM
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Default

What's the best way to connect the ground wire to the fuel deck fill ?

Is a ring terminal on one of the mounting bolts adequate? What if the mounting bolt gets all covered with caulk from bedding the fitting?
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