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no switches work

2016 hurricane sundeck 188.  So none of the switches work on the panel including the master.  I replaced two corroded in line fuses that come off the battery.  There is one that says circuit processor too which looks corroded.  could that be the problem?  Also, the master switch circuit breaker button does not quite spring out like the others.  what does that mean?  Do I need to replace that?  If so, how do I remove it.  


  • mtk_rob
    mtk_rob Confirm Email, Member Posts: 32
    edited April 2022
    to the reader (including OP for whom much of this is probably TMI):
    • this is not advice and the only occurrence of the word "you" in this post is that one there
    • i will relate what personally i did once in the past on a much older boat but with way more safety steps than i would take given my experience and risk profile
    • if i were to reperform such i thing i would definitely wear safety googles, a kevlar suit, consult with a medical professional, rabbi, or licensed electrician first
    • can repeat this process with any two position switch
    • a voltmeter is required

    • verify there is a battery in the battery compartment. OP did this already.

    • the battery itself is not dangerous unless it's leaking, but things connected to it, say a metal wrench, can be
    • voltmeter does a bunch of things, so make sure it's set to DC power (dashed rather than wavy line) in a range around 12V
    • touch red/positive lead to (+) terminal and black/negative lead to (-) terminal
    • battery should be NORTH of 12v, a mere 12v on a lead acid is not fully charged
    • if no/low juice, charge
    • if that doesn't work, get new battery

    if battery itself was good:

    • double check battery hookup connections
    • look around compartment, make sure no obvious disconnects like a big mess of black wires that look like they should all connect to a terminal block but are corroded out or hanging loose.
    • if so, fix and test again

    • see if there's a battery switch in the battery compartment. trying turning it to the ON position. does that help?
    • does it have more than on setting OFF/1/BOTH/2?
    • Trying setting it to BOTH as long as or 2 batteries tested out OK above

    if still doesn't work:

    • disconnect battery, and/or if battery switch exists, turn it to OFF, take any other precautions recommended by 9/10 dentists who chew gum
    • disconnect battery negative first, then the positive. 
    • unscrew switch panel at helm w/phillips head
    • carefully stow screws so can be located easily later
    • gently pull switch panel out
    • locate main switch, take a picture of how connected from the back, just to be safe. can use picture to hook it back up later
    • assuming this is a type V1D1 on/off rocker switch
    • there is a bunch of stuff piggybacked on this switch, but it's nothing to worry about
    • there are really only 3 male connectors on back (see diagram below, those guys also have youtube videos that cover this stuff):
    • top is negative/black in, will be daisychained to other switches in the panel with short wires that leap from switch to switch on the top lead
    • middle is positive/red DC power in
    • bottom is positive/red DC power out - this one will lead out to some circuit blocks to which everything else that's tied to main for power connects
    • (to bypass this switch could just connect the in/out red wires)
    • check that there's no dangling leads, that everything is properly connected, if not fix those
    • if grimey in there, try cleaning up the leads by disconnecting them one by one, cleaning, spraying with some deoxit or dielectric grease, and reconnecting them in the original order
    • that battery is disconnected so it doesn't really matter what order
    • turn the battery on and see if it's working now, or just skip to the next step
    • connect battery positive first then negative.

    Still doesn't work:

    • disconnect/switch off the battery
    • go back to switch panel at the helm
    • only concerned with top 2 terminals on main switch for now
    • disconnect top wire (black/negative/IN) from top terminal on switch
    • connect black/negative voltmeter test lead to this wire (if its a probe type, the pin of the probe can go right into the the female connector on this wire, or if alligator clips just attach)
    • disconnect wire on the middle terminal of the switch
    • connect red/positive voltmeter test lead to this middle wire (which is red female positive DC power IN)
    • make sure nothing is touching/shorting out against anything else
    • turn on battery switch or reconnect battery (connect positive first then negative)
    • voltmeter should now read 12v or more
    • if it doesn't, problem is somewhere between battery and switch

    if this is the problem, skip to BACK IT OUT. it will be necessary to physically locate the break or short along the path between the battery and the panel. it's probably somewhere in the mess of wires beneath the helm, but it could be anywhere in the hull.

    can also test the positive and negative lines separately. basically run a wire from the battery to one side of the voltmeter while testing the other side at the switch. this would tell whether it's one or both sides that's broken.

    if however getting a good 12Vs into the switch next test switch itself:

    • turn off battery
    • remove voltmeter test lead from middle wire (positive DC in), but leave the wire that was connect to the top terminal (negative DC in) connected to voltmeter
    • reconnect that middle wire female connector to middle/center male shunt on switch (the way it was originally)
    • now disconnect lower/bottom female connector (positive DC out) so the male terminal is exposed
    • at this time the negative/black voltmeter lead is still connected to the the black wire that started off connected to the top terminal on the switch
    • connect red/positive voltmeter lead to the bottom terminal on the switch
    • do all safety checks mentioned above, call therapist and/or authorized dealer
    • turn battery on
    • voltmeter should read ZERO
    • now flip main rocker switch to ON positive
    • this time voltmeter should read 12V
    • if it doesn't, this is a bad switch

    switches are easy to replace. there's plastic tabs top and bottom that expand to hold switch in panel. just squeeze these on the left and right and ease the switch out. to insert a new switch, just push it in and reconnect the old wires in the same order.

    but if that did work, the main switch is actually working correctly and the problem is one the other side of the switch. reperform the PHYSICAL check step. look for any terminal block that's fed from the main positive power out wire (lower connector) that should have 100 other things connected to it and verify and clean all the connections there.

    • disconnect voltmeter
    • turn off main
    • turn off battery
    • reconnect red DC positive out to bottom terminal
    • reconnect black DC negative in to top terminal
    • use the photo taken earlier to verify
    • reperform PHYSICAL CHECK
    • push panel assembly back into helm
    • reconnect panel with the Phillips head screws that were set aside earlier

  • Flatsman
    Flatsman Member Posts: 6
    This is well written and hilarious!  There is a lot of good knowledge in this post and I am sure it would be very useful to those with electrical problems!  Good Job!