Some of our Galvanic isolators are fitted with two LED lights, called Status Indicators. You might be wondering exactly what these indicators are for.
These are NOT "Isolator Working" Lights. In fact, under normal circumstances, neither of the LED's should be lit. When one or both of the LED's are lit, it's a warning that there is a problem that needs investigating.
There are TWO types of electrical currents that can damage your boat's hull, prop, outboard etc.
1) Galvanic Currents
2) Earth Leakage
Galvanic currents are caused by a chemical reaction between your boats metalwork, and the things around it, such as pontoons, other boats, or even the minerals in the bankside.
Galvanic currents are TINY, but they cause their damage because they flow continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are not powerful enough even to light a LED light, but over time, they corrode your boat's metalwork. The Galvanic isolator BLOCKS these currents. The LED's don't light, because the currents are blocked, and can't damage your boat.
Earth Leakage is even more serious than Galvanic currents.
If you think of Galvanic currents as a Little Green Monster, then Earth Leakage is the Big Angry Red Monster!
A Galvanic isolator is not intended to stop earth leakage. That's because Earth Leakage is an electrical problem that needs to be put right. It's usually caused by an electrical fault on the boat (or sometimes by nearby boats). The Status Alert LED's on the Galvanic isolator light up when earth leakage is present, giving you the opportunity to resolve the problem before it has time to damage your boat.
Earth leakage is FAR stronger than Galvanic currents, and can quickly cause VERY severe damage to a boat. It is MUCH more damaging than Galvanic currents.
The big problem with Earth leakage, is that it often goes undetected for months or even years.
In most cases, Earth leakage will not blow a fuse, operate a trip, or have any obvious symptoms. The ONLY way you can tell you have an earth leakage problem is when your boat shows severe corrosion - unless you have a Galvanic isolator with Status Alert, in which case the LED's warn you of trouble, and for that reason, we strongly advise Galvanic isolator with Status Alert LED's.
Takeaways from this Article...
- Galvanic Currents are completely blocked by a Galvanic isolator. However....
- Earth Leakage is more damaging than Galvanic currents
- A Galvanic isolator with LED's warns you about Earth Leakage so you can take action.