Electrical, AC Receptacle, Galley, Starboard Side, Part 2: Wiring

The AC receptacle, wired and ready for its final installation
Having decided where exactly I needed to install an AC receptacle on the starboard side of the galley, and having cut the hole and temporarily installed the electrical box, the receptacle, and the protective plate, it was now time for the more challenging part of this project - figuring out how to route the wires to this receptacle. How I did this on Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25, is the subject of this posting.
You'll recall that I had located the heart of the electrical system on the port side of the galley.
Likewise, you'll recall that the AC distribution panel allowed for three separate circuits.
The first circuit I devoted to a single receptacle, and this receptacle I placed on this port side of the galley.
The receptacle for circuit 1 was to serve one purpose only - powering the window unit style air conditioner that I would use in hot and humid weather.
The second circuit, as you'll recall, I devoted exclusively to the battery charger.
The single receptacle for this circuit I placed just to the inboard side of the charger. The hard part, as I said at the beginning of this article, was not deciding where exactly to locate this receptacle; rather it was deciding how to route the wire to it.
I knew that I had to route this wire downward through the lazarette. In the picture below, we see the gray conduit coming down from the cockpit locker. Within this conduit are the three-wire cables for circuits 2 and 3 of the AC electrical system. Circuit 2, of course is the subject of the present posting. Circuit 3, which would service the main salon and the V-berth I discuss in a separate article.
Up in the cockpit locker I had left the two cables for circuits 2 and 3 "stubbed out" as they often say in residential construction. I would later, of course, come back and join the wires in these cables to the AC distribution panel. The green 6 AWG (American Wire Gauge) cable in the black conduit is the grounding cable for the AC system.
Yes, as I said, I routed the cables for circuits 2 and 3 downward into the lazarette. This route was the only one that made sense. This was the most direct way to get to the starboard side of the boat.
One reason why I did not join the AC cables to the AC distribution panel at this point was because things were just a little too uncertain in the overall rewiring project. In the picture below, you see that I have left many a cable stubbed out, because I had to play around with different arrangements to see which one would produce the least cluttered and most efficient design.
In terms of the gray, AC conduit, I decided to route it as close as possible to the entrance of the lazarette. I knew I would have more conduits to route through here, and this first one had to be snug against the bulkhead at the entrance.
Here's a glimpse of what I'm talking about. I took the picture below a few weeks after I had routed the AC conduit.
There's the AC conduit, the conduits for the two different charger cables, and there's the conduit for the DC negative circuit. This picture does not include the final conduit I would install in this space, the one for the lazarette lights. The point is that I had to be conscious of the space limitations as I routed these, especially since they were close to the cockpit hatch.
At this point in the AC wiring process, I ended the gray conduit near the ANL fuse for the charger. The fuse has nothing to do with this decision. By necessity, I had to route one of the cables downward and the other one upward. The downward one was for the circuit 3 cable. It would go underneath the galley sink and through the settee lockers in the main salon. The upward one was the one for circuit 2. It, of course, would go to the receptacle near the charger. Pay no attention to the vertically oriented gray conduit. This conduit was for the wires leading upward to the GPS and VHF.
After I had successfully routed the AC cable upward and through the cut-out for the receptacle, I cut it and then left it in a stubbed-out condition. You'll notice that to the right of the cut-out there are two conduits. These are protecting the positive and negative cables for the charger. You'll also notice another hole that I've drilled for another conduit. I would later drill other holes for other conduits. I knew that I had to drill all of these holes and route all of these conduits. That's why I left the AC cable in a stubbed-out condition and did not join it to the AC receptacle at this time. Access to the cut-out for the receptacle made it easier for me to feed the other conduits upward and through the small holes.
It was only later, after I had routed all of these other conduits, that I finally joined the wires in the AC cable to the receptacle.
In the routing of all these other conduits, one thing that I had done was to go back and add a piece of gray conduit to the AC cable. I wanted it to be as protected as possible against chafing.
To join the wire within the cable to the receptacle, the first thing I did was to strip back the white, protective cover. Then, I stripped the individual 10 AWG wires to the appropriate length. Yes, I used 10 AWG wire for this receptacle, just as I had used 10 AWG for the circuit 1 receptacle that would power the air conditioner. This Iota 45 charger would draw as many as 11 amps, so I wanted there to be as little resistance (and thus heat) as possible in the wire.
To the end of each wire I crimped forked terminals. Forked terminals as opposed to ring terminals, as I have said elsewhere, are, in my experience, the way to go when wiring an AC receptacle on a boat. AC receptacles have screws that are not intended to be fully removed. If you try to remove them (for the purpose of installing a ring terminal), you'll strip the threads. Don't ask me how I know.
For this circuit (and for circuit 3) I used a Leviton brand GFCI receptacle. For some reason Leviton, unlike Pass & Seymour (the brand I used for circuit 1), designed their receptacles to have small plastic nubs near their screw terminals. It appeared to me that Leviton did this not in an effort to hinder a marine electrician from installing forked terminals underneath the screws, but in an effort to aid residential electricians route their bare wires around the screw terminals. To get around this, I decided that I would remove the plastic nubs with my Dremel.
In the close-up below, we see the stub of the nub that I have just removed. My removal of the nub was really quite easy, and took no more than about five seconds.
Now it was time for me to apply heat to these heat-shrink terminals. You might have noticed that in the first part of this article I installed a white electrical box, but that in this second part of the article I am working with a blue box. I ended up discarding the white box, because of the hole that I had cut in it on its bottom side. I had been under the assumption that I would route the AC cable directly up into the box, since I would be routing the cable upward from the lazarette. As it turned out, the 12 to 18 inches of extra cable that I had given myself when I stubbed out the receptacle, I decided to keep as a service loop. This service loop would allow me to remove and reinstall the receptacle easily. After feeling around inside the cavity behind the bulkhead, I decided that the best way to route the service loop was upward. This meant that I would need to rout the end of the cable downward into the box.
The tab on the back of the blue electrical box provided just enough space for this large AC cable with its three 10 AWG wires.
It was nice to have this service loop for this circuit. It made the final installation so much easier. You might recall that due to the cramped space on the port side, I was unable to have a service loop for circuit 1.
As I pushed the blue box into place, I made sure to push the service loop upward and to the right in the cavity behind the bulkhead. I wanted to keep the service loop from going leftward, because the pointed ends of the screws for the charger were protruding into the cavity on that side.
At this point it was simply a matter of screwing the box to the bulkhead with four pan head screws.
The stainless steel protective cover provided the finishing touch. Now I could, at last, route the cables for the charger up and over the AC receptacle.
This ends this posting on how I wired the AC receptacle for the battery charger on the starboard side of the galley in Oystercatcher, my Ericson 25.

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