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Old 09-27-2013, 12:57 AM   #1
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Fuse/circuit breaker distance from battery

I have the factory battery box mounted to the passanger side and currently using fuse blocks that are mounted to the underside of the van. I want to switch to circuit breakers and move them somewhere inside, but I am concerned about how far from the battery these will have to be. As far as I know it should be within 18" from the battery, but it looks like a lot of rigs are setup further then that. Am I correct with the fuse distance or am I missing something?
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: Fuse/circuit breaker distance from battery

I wouldn't think it would matter that much. Just put them pretty close to where you go through the floor. I've never had a problem with mine, it is about 3-4' probably from the batteries.

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Old 09-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: Fuse/circuit breaker distance from battery

The only time it would be an issue is if the unprotected wiring shorts to the chassis (or something else). You could keep the fuses on the frame and up them to something like 50 or 100 A and that would protect that wiring. Or double insulate it. Or, simply don't worry about it.

At least, make sure you grommet the hole through the body.

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Fuse/circuit breaker distance from battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crobins937
I have the factory battery box mounted to the passanger side and currently using fuse blocks that are mounted to the underside of the van. I want to switch to circuit breakers and move them somewhere inside, but I am concerned about how far from the battery these will have to be. As far as I know it should be within 18" from the battery, but it looks like a lot of rigs are setup further then that. Am I correct with the fuse distance or am I missing something?
As close as possible to the battery.

However there is no reason (in my Hillbilly opinion) that you can't have both. Just make the fuse at the battery rated higher than the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker is sized for your load, the fuse is bigger and the wire capacity is bigger still. That way if you have a short between the breaker and battery (like at the floor hole) the larger fuse blows. Anything else, the circuit breaker.

Now, that said- why would you add circuit breakers? If you ever blow that fuse, you really, really need to trace down the problem. Basically you should never blow that fuse, so I don't know why you'd go to 3x the effort of replacing it once to put a circuit breaker in. If you're having a problem that would need a circuit breaker on your main, something is wrong and a circuit breaker would just mask that.

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: Fuse/circuit breaker distance from battery

One reason might be to run smaller circuits with smaller wires. The single big fuse might be too big to protect the smaller circuits, hence the breakers. Similar to the main breaker and the individual circuit breakers in your house.

May not be his reasoning however.

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Old 10-01-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: Fuse/circuit breaker distance from battery

For the fuse at the battery, you need to rate its size to the conductors capability which runs to the breaker. So if you have a 5 foot run of copper running from the battery to the breaker, you should fuse it slightly lighter at the battery than what the wire can handle in amps. Putting in a 150A breaker or fuse at the battery would do nothing to protect the wire if wire can't carry 150A... it would just melt down (depending on the shorted load and/or the length of time the short is applied to the circuit). The distance from the battery affects the resistance which affects volts/amps so if you're pushing the limits of the wire it might be worth calculating that in as well. When judging distance, you calculate the length to the load and back to the source, so check to make sure the wire can handle it.
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