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Nav Light Switch Gremlin

Old 05-20-2020, 08:38 PM
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Default Nav Light Switch Gremlin

I have a three position nav light switch. Up is nav lights (overhead and bow), middle is off and down is anchor light (overhead) only. Off is not an issue. Up turns on all nav lights no problem, but in the down position, anchor light only, it trips the breaker. Nothing changed, no modifications, the lighted switch lights up in the up position but not in the down position, etc. Could it be a bad switch? Seems if it was related to either lighting device it would pop the breaker in the up position also.

p.s., I'm pretty good about maintenance and repairs, even some electrical, but no idea on this one.
Old 05-20-2020, 08:47 PM
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Does your masthead/anchor light have 2 bulbs?
Like 1 for your 20 point masthead and another behind it that does the remaining 12 points when at anchor?

If so, pull the rear bulb and see what happens

Old 05-20-2020, 09:05 PM
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One working LED overhead and one working LED at the bow.
Old 07-31-2020, 08:56 PM
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Hey there! Did you manage to fix this issue? I just bought a brand new switch panel and I'm having the same issue...... Also for some reason whenever I flip the switch up to "Nav Lights" both Nav & Anchor turn on... Moment I flip the switch down to anchor light only the breaker trips? Help?????
Old 07-31-2020, 09:05 PM
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No, I have not torn into that yet. our fishing season's here are hot and heavy right now so I'm taking advantage of that. But that's very interesting, sounds like exactly my problem. Faulty switch?
Old 08-02-2020, 03:40 PM
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disconnect the ground to the switch...it is only there to illuminate the switch...see if the problem disappears...in the down position the switch may be shorting to the illumination ground and popping the breaker...if the same overhead lamp is lit in nav and anchor that lamp or wiring isnt the problem...you may have a faulty switch...
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:20 PM
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Thank you! I've not yet tackled the problem. I do have a new switch and I'm just waiting for our spectacular fishing to slow down a bit and then I'll get on it. I'll post back what I find. Thanks for that advice.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bladenbullet View Post
disconnect the ground to the switch...it is only there to illuminate the switch...see if the problem disappears...in the down position the switch may be shorting to the illumination ground and popping the breaker...if the same overhead lamp is lit in nav and anchor that lamp or wiring isnt the problem...you may have a faulty switch...

this or corrosion on that side of the terminal wiring.

bad switch or load issue (bulb too large, bulb terminals, switch terminal corrosion causing short). But I’d start on blades point first.

are there different wires to your separate anchor light? Check to make sure no short in them.
Old 08-03-2020, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for advice. I'll start with the bulb. It's a new LED. Maybe and issue there. Then onto the switch, which I already have. Mechanically, I'm most capable. Electrical however, not my strong suit. I'll report back... Thanks again.
Old 08-03-2020, 06:23 PM
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First question: is this a new install or was it working previously?

Reasoning: Much of any troubleshooting is greatly reduced if its the latter.

I am going to assume it is.

You know the wire runs are likely fine since they get power. (unless you have two separate wire runs to the anchor light)

First piece back is the switch itself, swap the leads ...so that when you select nav/anchor, its only the nav light, and when you select nav only, both light up.....try it. If the problem moves to your nav/anchor lights, your switch is bad.

Next step would be the swap to a known working breaker...does the problem go away? If yes, your breaker is bad. Since the breaker panel is direct to the battery, and rest of everything works, you know from there back is good.

Its just a very methodical approach to find the problem.

Start at the light and work your way back. Assumption corrosion in fixtures is ok as one way works.


IF its a new install, thats a bit more in depth as it can be any of the things mentioned above or any combination thereof.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:31 PM
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Not a new install. Was working until we replaced the fabric on our t-top. I took down the overhead light (only two wires to the light), and put in a new LED (the old was ok, just not very bright but had 12+ volts when on). After reassembly, the multi position worked, but overhead white only pops the breaker. I inspected the wiring during the work and all is good. I'm going to go: 1- Bulb. 2 - Switch and 3 - Breaker.

I've been baffled by how it works in combination with the nav light, but pops when just the overhead is on. So, I'll follow the advice given and post a follow-up. Hopefully a quick and positive resolution.

Thanks again!
Old 08-04-2020, 09:41 AM
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The load draw on LEDs is just about nothing, so we do not have a load issue causing this. It can be only one of 4 parts, bulb/housing, switch, breaker, wiring.

Because the anchor light works on one side of the switch, and you only have one pigtail going to the fixture, we just about can eliminate wiring, leaving the other 3.

Eliminate the bulb/fixture by disconnecting the anchor light or remove the bulb, test the switch.
- If the breaker trips, it's your wiring or the switch or breaker since you've eliminated the bulb, but are still causing a short. See my reply above, to test each piece.
- This is more expected however, ...if you pull the bulb and switch works fine with no breaker trip, its 100% your bulb.

Start there, and keep working backwards. You will find it, but you have to go through that full (and sometimes slow) process of elimination to do so.

My best guess is the switch has gone bad, or corrosion on the switch terminals have cause a short on ONLY that side of the switch which is why one side works and the other side trips the breaker.
Old 08-04-2020, 09:47 AM
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i would imagine the same breaker is powering both sides of the switch...this appears to be switch related...
Old 08-04-2020, 11:21 AM
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You guys are the best. Thanks for the guidance. I'll post what happens.
Old 08-04-2020, 01:09 PM
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Had a similar issue but instead of breaker/fuse popping, I would get nothing at all with switch in down position. No light on switch and no light out. It ended up being the switch.

As mentioned before, swap the positive outs so the switch operates and reverse and report back.
Old 08-07-2020, 05:36 PM
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Hello everyone! I decided to swap the switch out instead. All wiring is new, so most likely it's the switch..... Anyways!I am almost completely done from re-wiring my 23ft CC. I have zero knowledge & experience, but did manage to get most of it wired up.

I have recently purchased a brand new Switch Panel. (With Breakers) Same one that had Nav/Anchor switch problems

I need help on buying the right thermal circuit breaker size to protect my switch panel & wiring in general.



(Switch Panel Switches)

Rated Amps

Nav/Anchor- 10A

Bilge- 15A

Baitwell- 15A

Baitwell- 15A

Light- 10A

Light- 10A

Horn- 10A

(Total 7 switches)



So my switch panel came with a set of 7 red positive 16gauge wires which I have hooked up to a terminal block then to the loads... Bilge, baitwell, lights, nav, anchor, etc

It also came with another set of 2 wires. A red 14 gauge positive and Black 16 Gauge.



I have hooked up the Black 16gauge wire to the nearest negative Busbar.



Where do I hook up the red 14 gauge wire?

1. do I just run it to the battery switch?

2. to a circuit breaker then to the battery switch?



Not so sure! Need help on this?



Also what Thermal Circuit breakers size is recommended?

How do I find out?



I would appreciate anyones help!
Thanks!!!
Old 08-07-2020, 07:19 PM
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If your switch panel has breakers on it, direct to battery, no need to be redundant unless you think the breakers are bad for some reason.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:26 PM
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Sounds Good! Thanks
So it would be connected to the battery switch then right? Im running dual battery on a single outboard setup.
Old 08-07-2020, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Salty_Boils View Post
Sounds Good! Thanks
So it would be connected to the battery switch then right? Im running dual battery on a single outboard setup.
Anywhere you have a constant un-switched positive AFTER the battery switch (Battery switch should kill everything). You can come off the battery switch terminal And that will work fine.
Old 08-08-2020, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by seanfishy View Post
Anywhere you have a constant un-switched positive AFTER the battery switch (Battery switch should kill everything). You can come off the battery switch terminal And that will work fine.
this is sound advice. I’ll just add one detail most of us take for granted. The 7-40-72 rule.

You should also have a fuse Already there between the battery and feeders. It’s safe to be no more than 100% (assuming no sub breaker panel) of main lines capacity. I’m guessing 100amps but check your wiring. This should be a main circuit protection between your battery and feeders.

https://www.bluesea.com/systems/42/2...ctrical_System

https://www.bluesea.com/systems/41/3...ctrical_System

I highly recommend each piece of wire having fuse protection somewhere. I’m amazed how many times the main distribution line is not properly protected and it carries the Most amps.

Last edited by Xcomunic8d; 08-08-2020 at 02:17 AM.
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