Ignorance is Bliss!!

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:00
ThreadID: 75513 Views:3069 Replies:6 FollowUps:12
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I have just been catching up & was interested to see the post from "The Boss" (thread 75439) whereby he was looking for some advise about 12V power to the tub in his new pride & joy.

Last year I had an Auto Electrician fit a twin 12V ciggy type outlet in the tub of my ute. The outlet he fitted is a $12 job readily available from any Auto accessory place. It is mounted right at the rear & he has picked up the power from the tail/brake/blinker light area.

It is live all the time including when ignition is off (which suits me) and it is NOT fused. I run a small Waeco frig from the outlet.

As said, it was fitted by an Auto Electrician but I am now a bit more than worried after reading your responses to The Bosses thread.

My question is. How worried should I be? Cheers & thanks
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:09

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:09
GET A FUSE!!!!
Not worth the potental fire, especially in the tub when loaded.

Shane
AnswerID: 401174

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:18

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:18
I will, I will, I promise! The Waeco Frig does have its own fuse & I thought that would have negated any risk.
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FollowupID: 670414

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:29

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:29
Not only a fuse.....but I'm a bit sus about the sparky picking-up the juice from the brake lights circuit etc.....the wiring to these lights wouldn't be heavy enough (IMHO) to run accessories such as a fridge.

I'd be getting a decent size cable run from the battery/ies with a suitable fuse close to the battery/ies.

Roachie
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FollowupID: 670416

Follow Up By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:54

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 18:54
The waeco's fuse will only blow if there's a problem AFTER the fuse.
There really shuold be a fuse as close the battery as practicle, that way, if a wire decides to short out, it will blow the fuse instead of starting a fire underneath.

When I was 18 or so I had a hand held spot light in the glove box of an old Shorrt WB Cruiser that I hard wired from the battery, I didn't bother with a fuse, what could possibly go wrong???
2 months later, i was on the freeway when all of the sudden all this smoke started to come from the glovebox, really thick putrid smoke, stopped in a shorter distance than any ABS equipt car could've and opened the glovebox knowing what had happend.
The old cruisers only had external bonnet catches, so I was able to open the bonnet and cut the wire running to the light, It was easy to spot, it was one completely glowing red, burning everything it touched along the whole length of wire.
What had happened was that the light had rattled agaist its switch and turned itself on, a 100 watt spotlight in a confined space with lots of loose paper and electrical wire coiled up around it made for exciting times for me!!.
I was very lucky that apart from some scorch marks under the bonnet and around the glovebox, no real damage, LESSON LEARNT!!
Shane
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FollowupID: 670428

Follow Up By: happycattle2000 - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 21:25

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 21:25
If the line sparky has tapped into the break light or tail light power, the circuit is already fused.....isn't it? i would say that this line would be fine for running a waeco that is running well, they usually only draw about 4 amps. I wouldn't try running something that will draw more than this though.
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FollowupID: 670458

Follow Up By: ob - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 22:06

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 22:06
I don't think running with your foot on the brake pedal to get power to your fridge would be all that good an idea. Tail lights globes unless they are LED usually draw about one amp from memory so I would be surprised if the wiring would be capable of handling a 4 amp draw.

C
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FollowupID: 670469

Follow Up By: happycattle2000 - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 15:32

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 15:32
I am not sure which line he has tapped into but the Barry F has said he has constant power. I know what you mean by the foot on the break thing, but it obviously isny the line that lights the bulbs or he wouldn't have constant power. I bet the fuse on the circuit is probably 10A or at the very least 7.5A which means the cable will handle the fuse amount easily, otheriwse there is no point having the fuse.
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FollowupID: 670624

Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 22:38

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 22:38
you dont say which vehicle you are driving, rodeos, fords , dmax some toyotas do have a live wire at the trailer plug connection , all you have to do is fit the fuse into the fuse box. i doubt that any auto sparky would tap into rear lighting to run aux plugs
AnswerID: 401223

Reply By: The Boss - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 23:41

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 23:41
Geeeez, Barry, that sounds suss.

I wouldnt have thought the wiring would be good enough to run a fridge, must be wrong.

Is it running well?
Does it still freeze ?

If it does, then why must we use big thick cable if this stuff does the job?

But dont worry, i have had some very shonky work done by so called auto sparkies. thats why i now chose to do it myself, and also choose the pieces i will use. Too much cheap crap out there nowadays.
AnswerID: 401237

Reply By: Busy Bee - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 23:44

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 23:44
Have that set up in my ute for a fridge, always on so the fridge can run but I can lock the cab if I want. But the sparky took the power directly from the battery with a 30 amp fuse close to the battery.
The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

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AnswerID: 401238

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 07:35

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 07:35
Barry,

The wire the sparky has tapped into is obviously not leading to any of the lights if it's always on and the lights aren't. There will be a line at the back intended to feed continuous power to a caravan/trailer, so your sparky has probably tapped into that. It will be fused up front like everything else, so shouldn't pose a fire risk.

The only concern would be that it mightn't be a heavy enough wire to run the fridge, but that's working, so no problem.

I'd leave it well alone - its not broke, so don't fix it!

Cheers

John
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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AnswerID: 401253

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 11:22

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 11:22
Thanks all for your responses. The vehicle is a Mazda BT50 & I have not had a problem with the Frig, & it will freeze if set the thermostat to do so.

The Auto Electrical Co that did the job are reputable & have been in business on the same site for 30 odd years, but I will get it checked out.

Cheers & Thanks
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FollowupID: 670577

Follow Up By: happycattle2000 - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 15:36

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 15:36
My sentiments exaclty John, there is more risk in running a line from the battery without a fuse then using an existing cable that has been fused properly into the vehicles wiring harness.

Leave it be Barry, ot should be fine. The worst thing that can happen is you blow a fuse and the beer gets warm.
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FollowupID: 670626

Follow Up By: The Boss - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 16:35

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 16:35
Hi Barry, you also have a BT, i would like to know about where abouts he has tapped into this wire? Left or right hand side, will save me running a dedicated fridge cable that way if its running your fridge fine, surely its good enough for me too.

Cheers mate

The Boss
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FollowupID: 670636

Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 17:34

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 17:34
Hi Boss, He has tapped in on the drivers side. The vehicle is not here at the moment, I had an argument with a fork lift & lost. LOL Anyway its getting a new bumber as a result & I wont have it back until Friday.

If you want more info as to exactly where, MM me & I will check it our for you. The Lense is easily removed, one stud from memory. Cheers
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FollowupID: 670650

Follow Up By: The Boss - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 17:40

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 17:40
No worries thanks Barry. Will have a look and see what i can come up with.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 670652

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:19

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:19
Ok if that is Ok why do Waeco supply a RAPS12 power unit that has 6mm wire to it.

If it was me I would be buying enough 6mm wire and a suitable fuse at the battery to do the job properly.

The beer wont be very cold if the power is on all the time with no fuse and it decides to light up one night in the garage.

Too many think the wiring there will run a fridge when none of it is designed for loads like that..


AnswerID: 401355

Follow Up By: happycattle2000 - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:11

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 21:11
The fridge only draws about 4amps at a time, i have 2 of them running through the controller on my solar panel and the maximum usage even when both fridges are running flat out is about 7 amps.
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FollowupID: 670692

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