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Q & A

Fridge wiring

I recently rewired my fridge in 60foot narrowboat. I took advice from Chandlery who said go direct to the batteries instead of going via the trip switch panel. Have now been told it will fail BSS inspection as new regs say it must be wired via battery isolation switch. Can I fit an in line isolator switch near to the battery bank and will that meet the BSS regulations?

Asked by: peter willard  | 1.38pm, Wednesday 27 November

WW says:

Possibly the simplest approach is to wire the fridge to the output from the domestic battery switch- this should have a low-resistance connection anyway to the battery (and the megabits can be connected via the common negative return to the battery bank).
You would also need a fuse or circuit breaker in the positive line fitted as close to the master switch as possible- the supply to the fridge must not be unfused.
You should also ensure that the wiring is multi strand conductors and also has the correct minimum cross-sectional area as specified by the fridge manufacturer, based on the distance of the fridge from the batteries

Mark Langley  | 2.01PM, Wednesday 27 November

The best solution is to wire it directly to the domestic battery as you were told; but it MUST have a fuse as close to the battery as possible.
The BSS requirement is for all electical circuits to EITHER pas through an isolator switch OR be protected by a suitable device such as a fuse.
Ignore the Mega bits!

Rupert Smedley  | 10.56PM, Wednesday 27 November

Megabits... Another iPad autocorrect I didn't notice! Thanks Rupert...!
Wiring via the battery master switch output has the advantage that when (if) you isolate the batteries when leaving the boat, you don't accidentally leave the fridge running, as can happen with direct wiring to battery. Also, if you are using an ammeter or battery monitor, wiring direct to the battery will avoid the shunts and you will get incorrect readings on the monitor.

Mark Langley  | 11.52AM, Thursday 28 November

Readers say:

Many thanks to Mark & Rupert. Both very helpful.

peter willard  | 1.30PM, Saturday 30 November

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