tripping windlass breaker

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by Richie89, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Richie89

    Richie89 Active Member

    596
    Aug 20, 2012
    Miami Beach, FL
    450 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 480 Zeus
    2015 450 sundancer, tripping windlass breaker. i replaced breaker for a few hundred dollars (wow it was expensive!), and still trips. anyone else encounter this? it always happens at the worst times.
     
  2. Keith Zibilich

    Keith Zibilich Active Member

    101
    Nov 7, 2016
    New Orleans
    2008 Sea Ray 47 Sedan Bridge, Raymarine Axiom, FLIR M232
    Cummins QSC 600s
    Have you taken the couch and gypsy apart to clean and lubricate with lithium grease? It also could be corrosion on the electrical contacts to the motor. Had the same issue and just did mine.
     
  3. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    768
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    General rule to remember. Breakers normally trip because there is a system problem. Often that problem is drawing too many amps. That it their purpose. As they are expensive, good idea to rule out the cheap stuff first. As Keith said: inspect, clean, tighten all of your connections. The ones at the windlass are usually the culprits. Check to be sure the windlass is lubed properly. Dirty or loose connections will cause increased amperage draw and trip a breaker in a hot minute. Save your original breaker as it is most likely fine.
     
  4. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    Bad/loose connections do not cause a circuit to draw more current... period. It actually does the opposite... the more resistance in a circuit, the less current draw.
     
  5. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    768
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    I may have gotten things backwards. So maybe the less current draw causes it to heat up. Just know that every time I have ever had issues with breakers popping, a connection in the circuit has been loose or dirty and has showed burnt ends. Therefore they had obviously gotten hot. Usually find these after troubleshooting a circuit due to a breaker continuously tripping. Clean em up, change ends and securely fasten will fix it 9 times outta 10. I am not an electrical engineer, but the obvious is the obvious. Last time I ran into this had been trying to figure out why my smart craft kept cycling on and off along with port engine shutting down briefly. Switched out the ignition switch, key switch and breaker with other motor and didn't help. Put computer on it and it did it while running, no errors or alarms. Chased this around for 2 seasons, swapping this and that and getting nowhere. Then someone told me to check the fused power cable that comes off the starter. Crawled under there and found a loose very burnt up connection. Replaced and problem solved. I think the mechanic that replaced some hoses knocked into it and loosened up just enuff for engine vibration to do the rest. The systems on our boats can be quite confusing at times and throwing money at them isn't always a good first choice. Just saying one needs to look outside the box.
     
    LattitudeAdjustment likes this.
  6. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    I=E/R
     
  7. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    A loose connection causes resistance to be inserted in the circuit. When the load (windlass in this case) begins to draw current the loose connection begins to heat up. The available current divides between the windlass and the resistance of the loose connection thus depriving the windlass the full amount of current.

    As electricaldoctor points out, ohms law.
     
  8. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    768
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    Thanks. That helps me understand the nuts and bolts as to what generates the heat.
     
  9. jzanthony

    jzanthony Active Member

    185
    Aug 17, 2015
    Port Lambton, ON Lake St Clair
    99 Sea Ray 380 DA, 2019 SeaDoo RXT230
    7.4 Horizons
    Does it trip right away or works for a bit then trips. Does it trip in both UP/DOWN directions.

    I would also suggest checking the Connections.
    You could also use winch handle to manually move (check if seized).

    Jamie
     
  10. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    Your welcome... now back to Richie's problem. Changing the breaker, although expensive, is working in the right direction. It's been said that these type of breakers (bi-metallic) are only accurate with the first few trips. After that, they degrade and begin to trip early.

    Your windlass is evidently drawing too much current so either the motor is going bad or it's overloaded. Like Keith said, clean and lube the gears. Make sure there are no other friction points that would add more resistance (mechanical in this case) to its travel.
     
  11. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    768
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags
    Bravo III Drives
    Guess when I troubleshoot a problem with a system or particular accessory, I tend to go over the entire system. I find things that need attention and can repair them as needed. So in this case certainly I would check what JimG is stating, but I would also go over everything. Starting at the origin of where the windlass gets it power and move forward checking connections, etc til I get to the windlass. Or starting atthe windlass and moving backwards. This way I know that system is 100%. Everyone has their way of doing things. I have found several things (poor or loose crimps, corroded connections, etc) that would have developed into a problem if not attended to. And of course at the most inopportune time. Guess its just how I roll. Been working for me so far.
     
    JimG likes this.
  12. Richie89

    Richie89 Active Member

    596
    Aug 20, 2012
    Miami Beach, FL
    450 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins 480 Zeus
    thanks for all that info. i'll work on all of it. you guys are lots of help!
     
  13. Keith Zibilich

    Keith Zibilich Active Member

    101
    Nov 7, 2016
    New Orleans
    2008 Sea Ray 47 Sedan Bridge, Raymarine Axiom, FLIR M232
    Cummins QSC 600s
    Don't remember where I found this info but, this was how I started to trouble shoot my windless problem. Clean & lubricate, clean all connection, checked voltage worked for me. Cheep fix.

    • Does it turn freely with no chain on it?
    • Higher motor loads- binding, motor going?
    • lower voltage - battery low, going bad, bad connections to windlass? (1. Check voltage at windlass. If less than 12 volts, check connection at windless breaker. Check screws on ckt breaker and inspect for corrosion. Check voltage at this breaker coming into it and going out.
      2. If less than 12 volts at windlass, ck any connections between breaker and windlass. (probably none)
      3. If you have 12 volts or more at windlass, the problem is in the windlass. Check brushes first. Next, run windlass with no chain/rode, eliminating as much load as possible. If brushes looked good, but windlass runs better without load, change brushes out. If it still trips with chain/rode on windlass, the next step is to measure the current draw of the windlass, using a clamp type DC ammeter, or, using a little more effort, wiring an ammeter in series with the motor. Compare this current reading to what the motor is supposed to draw.
      Do the above with fully charged batteries if possible. The lower your voltage, the higher the current draw.)
    • Clean all connections back to the battery
    • Check the state of the carbon brushes
    • Take apart and lubrication
    • Could be the solenoid
    • Could just be a bad breaker (I had exactly the same problem and it was the circuit breaker. These are usually thermal breakers and if there is corrosion or pitting on the contacts then they get hot and therefore the breaker cuts out early. You can check this by measuring the voltage directly across the breaker. If there is more than about 0.5 volts then there is some corrosion which will be causing excess heat. I had 2 volts across the contacts. I drilled out the rivets and filed down the contacts and problem solved.)
    • Could be bad bearings.
    • Could be the motor it's self
     
  14. stephens013

    stephens013 Active Member

    446
    Oct 8, 2009
    Ft Walton Beach, Fl
    2001 510 Sundancer
    1997 400DA Sundancer
    1994 Chalarral 310 Signature
    3196 Cat; 660 PHP
    3116 Cat; 340 PHP
    Had the same issue on my 400DA. Not all the time just when I needed the most. Did the cleaning thing and swapped out the breaker. Darned thing still did it. Called SeaRay and consulted till I was blue in the face. Started checking every line from the anchor locker to the helm and came across a 40 amp breaker box way up on the port side just under the radar arch that was not on the schematics. SeaRay said it's was just a production line change, basically that 'shit happens.' Anyway, the unit had some coorrosion so I changed it out and all was good from then on.
     
  15. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    My guess is you will find the issue within the windlass motor. Probably corrosion related like one of the brush conductors are grounding to the frame. You could disconnect the green bonding wire and see if it still trips the circuit breaker.
    Pull the motor and go through it; good maintenance regardless.
    The only other area to look at is the opposing relays in the control box next to the windlass but I doubt it unless a wire has come loose and shorting when the relay is energized.
     

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