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Old 07-26-2019, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default When to use Parallel on the panel

Will someone please confirm this for me? I have a 2003 Maxum 2700 SE. On the electrical panel, there is a switch that is labeled Parallel. Is that only use in the event that there is only one shore power available to my dual shore power boat? Here is s snippet from a manual I found. I currently have it on with two shore powers connected. I hope it's not doing any harm.

When only one dockside outlet is available, you can use the parallel switch to provide power to both lines.
1. Connect to shore power as described in the Connecting to Shore Power section above.
2. Switch the parallel switch (transfers power from line 1 to line 2) On instead of the SHORE POWER 2 master breaker.
3. Turn On the individual component breakers as required
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:21 PM   #2
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Yes it shares line 1 with line 2. Line 2 is typically only used for air conditioning.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:22 PM   #3
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Thanks! That second piece of info is great to know too. I appreciate it!
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:17 PM   #4
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It's kind of silly that many smaller boats have twin 30 amp lines and larger boats have a single 50 amp line. Why would the small boat ever need a combined 60 amps? Typically only one A/C, small water heater and fridge. My old 4600 had 2 A/Cs, big fridge, ice maker, big water heater and never an issue with a single 50 even with my wife using a blow dryer.

Is there a good reason? Using the single 30 and the parallel is so much easier. In addition, smaller boats even have smaller generators (usually 5-7.5 kw) that seem to handle the load just fine
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbriceno View Post
It's kind of silly that many smaller boats have twin 30 amp lines and larger boats have a single 50 amp line. Why would the small boat ever need a combined 60 amps? Typically only one A/C, small water heater and fridge. My old 4600 had 2 A/Cs, big fridge, ice maker, big water heater and never an issue with a single 50 even with my wife using a blow dryer.

Is there a good reason? Using the single 30 and the parallel is so much easier. In addition, smaller boats even have smaller generators (usually 5-7.5 kw) that seem to handle the load just fine
Sounds like someone has power envy

Itís most likely because of shore power options are 30 or 50 amp and even a small boat can load a 30 amp with range, microwave, water heater, tv, other brought aboard appliances. So if it has AC and the start up time of it overlaps the other items the resultant surge could trip a 30 amp breaker.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:44 PM   #6
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After checking my boat yesterday, I noticed I can't even turn on Parallel if shore power 2 is on so it all makes sense now. I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:19 PM   #7
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It's for the Generator ONLY. Both panels combined will exceed the 30 amps shore circuit. So the boats split the panel. The manufacturer provided 2 x 30 rather 1 x 50 because there are very few stanchions for 28-40 foot boats with 50 amp service.

The parallel switch is to allow the generator to power both AC circuits on the panel.

If you plug in a single 30 amp shore cord and use the parallel switch you can have power to both sides, but will need to manually balance loads.

I had a neighbor do this because he was too cheap to buy a second shore power cord, The boat breaker tripped before the power stanchion breaker, but not before frying his cord.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:11 PM   #8
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I got rid of second cord years ago on my 2500 scr from 2002. Never had a problem and I tripped breaker on dock post only once through out many years. It rarely happens that I'll be using many devices at the same time and managing single cord is so much easier.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:30 PM   #9
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mmwjr - Good point, forgot about the microwave and the stove
Shrew - Yes, not worth frying a cord. If only using a single cord you need to be really managing your usage. Often cords get fried at the connectors with large loads.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:05 PM   #10
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Often cords get fried at the connectors with large loads.
Yep, that is exactly where my neighbor's fried. Again, possible, but not a good idea.

Honestly, if you're already dealing with a single cord, dealing with two is no more cumbersome. I handle them in a set. I coil and uncoil them together. I've been thinking about using velcro cable ties, to make them more manageable, but it hasn't really been an issue.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:14 PM   #11
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Just so we are clear - you are talking about the parallel switch on the main panel in the cabin?
My 1998 3700SCR has been converted to single 50, despite the fact that my panel has two lines. I have an adapter cord for 30A, and am very judicious about what I run off the dock...

BTW, there is a PARALLEL switch on the cockpit panel - that has nothing to do with 110V service - that is to parallel all of the batteries in an emergency to start the engines in case one of them batteries is run down. That switch should not be applied while the engines are running, or you will fry the alternators.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhalter View Post
Just so we are clear - you are talking about the parallel switch on the main panel in the cabin?
Quote:
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Will someone please confirm this for me? I have a 2003 Maxum 2700 SE. On the electrical panel, there is a switch that is labeled Parallel.
That is what I assume.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:58 PM   #13
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Yes, I'm all set now. Use parallel while on the generator if I want air conditioning.

The panel wont let me turn parallel on when both shore power cables are connected and switched on so its dummy proof there.

I appreciate all the help.

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