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Darwin

Light Bar Installation

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Darwin

I've installed a light bar on my tower (5 lights... I believe they are 55 watts). I connected it to the ACC switch on my dash. The lights work for about 10 seconds until the circuit breaker trips. I can't get them to stay on without tripping the breaker. What do I need to do to make this work right?

Thanks for your help!

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Ronnie

You will need a relay if you don't have one. That's too much current for the switch to handle

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Darwin

OK, I figured I needed something in-between the lights and the switch. So would this relay work?

Thanks!

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RTS

If the 5 lights are 55 Watts each, you are pulling about 23 amps. A 12 Volt relay rated at 30 Amps or greater should do the trick for you.

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Darwin

Thank you!

You guys rock!

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D-GOOSE

What size wire and how long of a run do you have? I don't want you to over heat a smaller wire.

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RTS
What size wire and how long of a run do you have? I don't want you to over heat a smaller wire.

Good Point. For 30 amps, wouldn't you want to run at least 14 gauge (maybe even 12 gauge) wire from the battery, through the relay, and on to the lights?

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tkredline

Adding a relay won't keep you from continuing to trip the circuit breaker as it is likely only 15 or 20 amps. You'll also need to replace the accessory breaker with a bigger one (25 or 30 amps) or rewire to use an inline fuse instead.

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Darwin
What size wire and how long of a run do you have? I don't want you to over heat a smaller wire.

Good Point. For 30 amps, wouldn't you want to run at least 14 gauge (maybe even 12 gauge) wire from the battery, through the relay, and on to the lights?

I ran 12 gauge. I hope that's sufficient... haha.

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Darwin
Adding a relay won't keep you from continuing to trip the circuit breaker as it is likely only 15 or 20 amps. You'll also need to replace the accessory breaker with a bigger one (25 or 30 amps) or rewire to use an inline fuse instead.

I'm confused... (I know very little about electricity). What is the point of the relay then?

Also, are you saying that I can leave it wired the way I have it now (lights to ACC switch) and simply put an inline fuse between the lights and switch?

Is replacing the accessory breaker hard to do?

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RTS

You really wouldn't want 25 or so amps running through the dash switch. I don't think they are designed for such currents.

Ideally, you would run power to the lights from the battery itself, or from the main bus bar, and install an inline fuse - a 30 amp fuse should do the trick. You would interrupt this run with the relay. Then, you would wire a dash switch to the relay.

With this setup, think of it this way. The 25 or so amps the lights require would run through the relay. The relay would act as an on/off switch. When you flipped your dash switch, it would send 12V, but very little current, to the relay, turning the relay 'on', letting the 25 amps run through the circuit. The 25 amps would not be running through the dash switch.

Make any sense? I'm not sure my decription was the best.

EDIT: If you leave it the way it is, and just replace the accessory breaker with a 30 Amp one, you'd still have all that current running through the dash switch. For this to be OK, you would need to confirm that the dash switch can handle the amperage and that all the wiring into and out of the switch can handle the current. Since the factory breaker is not sufficient, I would see no reason why the factory would install wiring that is rated higher than the breaker that they install to protect that circuit....I could be wrong, though.

Edited by rts

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RTS

I found this info on Contura rocker switches

Contura Rocker Switch

They seem to be similiar to the ones Malibu uses. As you can see they are rated at 20 Amps for 12 volts. If the Malibu rockers are similiarly rated, you'll not want to run 23 amps through them. Ideally, you would only want 15 amps running through them (75% of rated capacity)

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Darwin

RTS... thank you! That is very helpful.

So where in the circuit should I put the fuse?

Between the battery and the relay?

This is how I'm visualizing in my caveman terms:

Battery --> Fuse --> Relay --> Lights

And from the relay I would run a wire to the ACC switch?

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RTS
So where in the circuit should I put the fuse?

Between the battery and the relay?

Yes

This is how I'm visualizing in my caveman terms:

Battery --> Fuse --> Relay --> Lights

That is correct

And from the relay I would run a wire to the ACC switch?

Yes, This will give you your 12 Volt trigger to the relay

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