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  • Ignition switch left on

    I have a 2006 Sun Chaser pontoon, my question is if I turn the key on to use my accessories does it harm anything in the ignition system? I don't have an accessory on the key switch just the on then the far right to crank the engine over. I remember the older cars ( going back a few years ) it would burn out the points or condenser, want to use my depth finder but it is wired into one of the switches that require the key to be on. Thanks

  • #2
    You should not be using the engine wiring harness to run accessories.------Run a separate power panel with a fuse for each item.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by racerone View Post
      You should not be using the engine wiring harness to run accessories.------Run a separate power panel with a fuse for each item.
      This is an accessory rocker switch on the console that has nothing attached to it so I connected a splice wire to the hot wire on the rocker switch, ( which has to have the key on to have current ) so this is not a good idea and why?

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      • #4
        I agree with raceone. But to answer your question you'd need to post the specific engine you have. It would be best to pose that question on the appropriate engine forum here on iboats.com.

        P.S. You'd be wise to find a hot wire that does not require the key to be on. BUT you'll need to remember to turn off the rocker when finished or you'll run down the battery.

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        • #5
          It would be best to pose that question on the appropriate engine forum here on iboats.com.
          Not really. The accessories should be powered by a dedicated fuse or circuit panel fed by the battery. The motor doesn't come into play.

          Moving this to the Electrical section because it's an electrical, not a motor question.
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          • #6
            While waiting for the move to finish, I had a thought.

            One circuit that is always hot, key on or off, is for nav lights. If you find the fuse/circuit breaker feeding the lights, tap on to the 12 volt input to the fuse/CB. Run the fused power wire to the FF. I'm assuming you mean fish finder, not depth gauge.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by GA_Boater View Post

              Not really. The accessories should be powered by a dedicated fuse or circuit panel fed by the battery. The motor doesn't come into play.

              Moving this to the Electrical section because it's an electrical, not a motor question.
              So is using a continual "hot" wire that is under the console the same as running a dedicated wire from the battery or is the idea of using a direct wire to the battery better? thanks for your help

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GA_Boater View Post
                While waiting for the move to finish, I had a thought.

                One circuit that is always hot, key on or off, is for nav lights. If you find the fuse/circuit breaker feeding the lights, tap on to the 12 volt input to the fuse/CB. Run the fused power wire to the FF. I'm assuming you mean fish finder, not depth gauge.
                Thanks for the help! See if I can find it.

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                • #9
                  I did something similar with another hot lead. I don't worry about the FF draining the battery because I remove it when I'm off the water.

                  Too many with sticky fingers and sharp eyes can take it in less than 30 seconds if I'm not at the boat. Ya can't trust anyone.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GA_Boater View Post
                    I did something similar with another hot lead. I don't worry about the FF draining the battery because I remove it when I'm off the water.

                    Too many with sticky fingers and sharp eyes can take it in less than 30 seconds if I'm not at the boat. Ya can't trust anyone.
                    So I have a fuse inline on the FF, are all hot leads also ran through a circuit breaker and if so could I use any hot lead that I find? What is the problem with wiring into one of the existing rocker switches that is not being used for anything? Just curious as to why it would be an issue if it was installed for an add on accessory.

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                    • #11
                      You can use an existing switch if it has constant power regardless of the key switch. If no switch is always powered, you could run a wire to the switch from an always on source as I said in post #6.

                      I used the nav lights as an example because you have nav lights and I don't know what other non-switched power sources you have.
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                      Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
                      That is what the forums are for.
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                      • #12
                        The manufacturer of the motor sized the wiring in the harness for an expected load.-----If a boat owner adds to that load the wiring will / could overheat !!-----I say 12 volts / amperes / ohms and all are not well understood.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks to everyone for all of the input.

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                          • #14
                            No, you will not harm the ignition system if you leave the switch on.

                            Chances are you will have operational issues if you use an ignition switched power source for a fish finder.
                            It will likely turn of and reset every time you start the engine.

                            If you are using a depth finder, no issue.

                            But it is not a best practice.
                            Medford, WI


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                            • #15
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                              I like to run a single heavy duty accessory switch for all items on the boat. It is easier to remember to turn off ONE switch, at the end of the day, when you are thinking about cleaning the fish and drinking that first beer.

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