Q & A — June 2004
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
| Why paying attention
to an exhaust elbow is important, a teak cleaning tip, and more.
This is my first
diesel-powered boat, and I understand I should pay special attention to
the engine’s exhaust elbows when doing routine engine checks and
maintenance. Why? R.R., via e-mail
There are two basic reasons to keep a close eye on this part of your engine. The first is that because it is located so close to the exhaust manifold and not water-cooled, the exhaust elbow is one of the hottest places in the exhaust system. The other is that although salt water is injected here, there is no sacrificial zinc to protect it. Hence this is the spot with the highest potential for corrosion and usually the first part that needs to be replaced.
I am thinking of
installing a 1,200-watt power inverter on my 35-foot boat. I have an old
shore-power cord I’d like to cut down and plug the male end directly
into the inverter and the other end into a shore-power outlet. Will this
damage anything? C.E., via e-mail
Second, it may not provide proper neutral-ground bonding. Neutral-to-ground bonding must be at only one point—the shore-power source when plugged into shore power or the onboard electrical system when operating independently. This is a safety feature that should be built into all craft using shore power.
Then, of course, the day will come when you plug into shore power without unplugging the inverter. If you’re lucky, a fuse or breaker will blow before the shore power supply does; if you’re not, the inverter will go up in smoke.
The long and short of this is, get a certified electrical installation technician or engineer to correctly hardwire your inverter to the shipboard supply. If you want more information on this or related inverter matters, check out the Xantrex Web site at www.xantrex.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.