“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Strange Electrical Issue


This issue has been going on since we’ve owned our Catalina 310 but I never really thought about it until recently.

We have two GFCI Outlets on the boat.  GFCI Outlet #1 is at the navigation station and according to the wiring diagram should be the only outlet connected on that run.  GFCI #2 is at the galley counter and should be the first in the line protecting the rest of the outlets on the boat.

C310 115VAC Wiring Diagram with Markup C310 AC Plan with MarkupNow here is where things get a little strange.  When GFCI #2 is tripped, no problem.  All of the other outlets are tripped down the line.  But when GFCI #1 get’s tripped, it also trips all of the outlets, including GFCI #2.  Further, the bottom outlet on GFCI #1 will continue to work when tripped.

Looking at the wiring diagram there is no reason why tripping GFCI #1 should disable the outlets on the leg for GFCI #2.  But it happens.

Also, I don’t like the fact that the bottom outlet on GFCI #1 continues to work when tripped.

My plan is to verify the wiring is as per the diagram.  I suspect that somehow the factory wired the GFCI outlets different than shown.  I am also going to replace both GFCI outlets, which brings up another question.

Is there any difference between a marine GFCI outlet and a standard GFCI outlet you get in the box store?

I looked at the GFCI outlets at Fisheries Supply, which are made by Marinco.  I read the info on their webpage and they call it a “marine electrical duplex GFCI receptacle” but I can’t find anything that actually makes it marine.  What is the difference between the Marinco and the Leviton Smart Lock Pro 15 amp weather resistant outlet?  The Leviton is less than half the price and I can go pick it up and skip the shipping charge?


4 thoughts on “Strange Electrical Issue

  1. I wish I could be of assistance, but AC scares the crap out of me… especially on a boat. Be careful, call a pro or a friend who knows more than you do is the way I roll!

  2. So after talking to a marine electrician he thinks its likely the GFCI outlets are bad. He gave me some brands of good outlets and I tried 3 different supply houses with no luck. But a quality GFCI outlet is going to run $50-100 each.

    I will post an update once I get the parts and finish the project.

  3. Pingback: Strange Electrical Issue – Update « s/v Smitty

  4. A dying battery can cause all sorts of weird electrical problems and codes. Excellent post I want to thank you for this informative read; I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s