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Old     (moondoggie)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-02-2011, 3:16 PM Reply   
So took the boat out to do a watertest for this upcoming season. Was going through all of the system checks. Noticed the Stereo was on, but had no sound. Checked factory amps and saw that the amps were not getting power. Could not figure out why there was no power getting to them. The fuses looked good and all connections looked good. Went on with the system check. Checked Ballasts and began to fill all 3 ballast tanks. When I switched on the ballast tanks to fill, the stereo sound came to life. Thought that was odd. Continued to let the tanks fill until they were pushing water out of the overfill tube coming out of the side of the boat. I then turned off the ballast fill and switched over to empty the ballast. Just when I flipped over the switches, the Stereo went silent again. I looked over the rub rail and noticed that the ballast system was not emptying. I switched back to fill, and it sputtered, but would not fill. I went back and forth a couple of times, thinking that the impellor may have something stuck in it. Nothing. So we drove around for a couple of hours with the Ballast tanks full, occasionally trying to empty them to see if it would come to life. Nothing. So now I have my boat on the trailer, with Ballasts full and the amps still not getting power to them. Does anyone have any experience with this issue? Do the ballast tanks and the amps have the same power source or use the same wiring? possibly just a loose wire, or corrosion somewhere in the electrical? Fuse? Any help would be appreciated. All other systems worked flawlessly. Thanks in advance. Chris
Old     (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-02-2011, 4:37 PM Reply   
Are the amps and the ballast system both factory on that boat, and are they controlled by a computer? It sounds like the amps' remote on is somehow now tied to the ballast fill circuit and that your ballast drain circuit is an open circuit. This sounds crazy, and to have it happen to all 3 ballast pumps is even more insane. With a central computer, I can see this possibly happening. Without one, it would require someone to actually have incorreclty re-wired the system. Have you had any work done recently on the sound system or ballast system? Also, how many amps do you have, and are the remote "ons" of the amps daisy-chained? Check each pump individually to see if 1, 2 or all 3 amps come on when the first pump is filling, then when the second pump is filling, then when the third pump is filling. You should only need a second to test each one. You can begin to isolate this very odd problem that way.
Old     (moondoggie)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-03-2011, 8:18 AM Reply   
Yes, all ballast systems and main amp are factory. There was a secondary amp added to power the Sub woofer, as it was cutting out at higher volumes when the amp was warm. The added fuses for that amp are in a clear window housing, and look perfect. Good question about the ballast switches. I do not know now because none of the 3 ballast switches will operate "Fill" or "empty". The red lights on top of the switches light up when pushed to both "Fill" or "empty", but the pumps do not appear to be getting any juice. Where would I look to find the connections for the ballast? There is a kick panel that can be accessed from the front bow cushion to look behind the driver's lower wall. I have not attempted to open that panel and look back there. Could be coincidental that the Amps power shut off when I hit the "empty" ballast switches. I usually hit all three switches at the same time to "empty", so not sure if one switch made the amps power cut out. Where is the main fuse panel located on the boat to look at each fuse individually and check to see if one has popped? Thanks again for the reply. Hoping to fix this demon, and get all the systems operating normally. Chris
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       05-03-2011, 9:12 AM Reply   
I'm gonna guess that you have an issue with a common ground that's shared by the ballast pumps and the amps.

My theory is that the amps and the pumps currently have no path to ground. However those Contura SPDT switches have a separate ground for their indicator LEDs. I'm wondering if your amps and ballast pumps are attempting to ground themselves through that small gauge wire (12-16) but they aren't acting right because the wire is providing too much resistance. Those ballast puppies draw a lot of current, especially on startup when switching direction because they have to "flip" that impeller around.

So, check your connection at your grounding block and at the battery and at an isolator or perko style switch if you have one.

Someone more familiar with the electrical layout of an X45 could give you more specific ideas. I'm also guessing that the electronics on the dash (i.e. gauges, switches, and probably the radio) are on a separate power bus than the non-essential high current devices like the amp and ballast pumps.
Old     (moondoggie)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-03-2011, 10:24 AM Reply   
Thanks for the advice. Will check the battery ground wires, make sure they didn't get knocked loose. We did change out the Perko-Switch late last season. You may very well be onto something. Will check that as well after work today. Again, appreciate the help. Will respond the results tomorrow morning after I check the two potential areas you mentioned. Chris

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