Trolling Motor Circuit Breakers (A Complete Guide)

(Last Updated On: March 28, 2021)
 Trolling Motor Circuit Breakers

The circuit breaker is a key element when it comes to any electronic motor equipment, be it for your house or your boat. There are a lot of important things you need to take into account if you’d like to understand how a trolling motor circuit breaker works. 

Luckily, this article will walk you through the nitty-gritty of your circuit breaker. It will help you understand the installation process. You’ll be able to make the most of your electric trolling motor while extending its longevity.

Importance of These Circuit Breakers

The circuit breaker is the first line of defense for your electric motor against any electric short circuit. It plays a crucial role in the safety of your electric trolling motor. It protects the inner electrical system. 

Usually, when you work with trolling motors, it is necessary to check the electric load. That’s because they are prone to get overloaded and get short circuit.

This is where circuit breakers come in handy. They receive this excess electricity first. It gets turned off resulting in the successful prevention of any damage to the electric motors.

Electric motors are made to overcome any resistance and work smoothly. And in this case, they tend to draw excess electricity. For instance, if the propeller of your boat gets stuck among rocks or gets entangled among weeds. In this case, the motors will draw more electricity to maintain the proper speed of rotation of the rotating motor. And if this continues for long or it draws more electricity than needed, then it will cause a short circuit.

And if the electricity is not cut using circuit breakers, then it can damage many crucial parts of the motor.

And, even if everything is working well, there can be some other factors that may cause a short circuit. It can be a long and wide wire to and from the power source, a high number of strands of the wire, its material, or any corrosion or any loose connection.

Circuit Breaker Types

To overcome all the aspects of safety, they are primarily categorized as per the capacity of the trolling motors they will be used for. A circuit breaker with more electricity-bearing capacity than the trolling motor will not serve the purpose. 

So when you go out purchasing a circuit breaker, make sure you have considered all the factors. Check them below to ensure greater efficiency and safety.

  1. The model of the motor or its thrust.
  2. The maximum electricity draw for your motor and the circuit breaker.
  3. The VDC capacity of the circuit breaker.
  4. The length of the wire of your motor.

Now, for your better understanding, we bring to you these two circuit breaker types.

50 Amp Circuit Breaker

50 Amp Circuit Breaker

The first circuit breaker is a 50 Amp circuit breaker with four different variants, that can be used in a variety of trolling motors. The base ampere is the same as these circuit breakers with a variation in voltage.

  • 50 Amp Circuit Breaker with 12V DC

This circuit breaker can be used with small electric trolling motors that are primarily used for light works. It is compatible with a 30 pound, a 40 pound, and a 45-pound motor. And after overcoming the minimum resistance offered by the wires and other factors, these motors can draw a maximum ampere of 30 to 42 amperes. It is sufficient for this circuit breaker.

  • 50 Amp Circuit Breaker with 24V DC

You can easily use a circuit breaker with 24V DC with motors of light boats and other light motors. The highest ampere draw would be about 42 amperes. A machine weight of about 70 pounds is fine.

  • 50 Amp Circuit Breaker with 36V DC

This circuit breaker with 36V DC is a great fit for trolling motors that weigh about 100 pounds. It can draw electricity up to 46 amperes.

  • 50 Amp Circuit Breaker with 48V DC

And lastly, this circuit breaker is compatible with E-Drive motors that can draw electricity of up to about 40 amperes.

60 Amp Circuit Breaker

60 Amp Circuit Breaker

After 50 Amp circuit breakers, now let’s look at the 60 amp circuit breakers. These circuit breakers are also available in four different variants ranging from 12 volts to 48 volts (combined).

  • 60 Amp Circuit Breaker with 12V DC

This circuit breaker can also be used with small electric trolling motors but with slightly more ampere input. You can use these circuit breakers with 50 pounds and 55 pounds electric motors with a maximum ampere draw of about 50 amperes.

  • 60 Amp Circuit Breaker with 24V DC

This circuit breaker is compatible with electric motors that weigh about 80 pounds with a maximum ampere draw of about 56 amperes.

  • 60 Amp Circuit Breaker with 36V DC: 

This is the highest single circuit breaker on our list. Use it with trolling motor engines of 112 pounds. It will be totally fine. It can deliver maximum ampere draw up to about 52 amperes.

  • 2 x 60 Amp Circuit Breaker with 24V DC

This is the most powerful breaker set available. It comes with two 60 ampere circuit breakers of 24 volts. You can use them for heavy trolling motors with maximum ampere bearing up to about 120 amperes. Here’s an important note.  you should use this combination only if it is manufactured by a recommended brand.

Installation Process of Circuit Breakers

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It is always advised to use professional technicians to carry out the installation process of the circuit breakers. However, these are the steps that you can follow if you insist to do it on your own.

  1. Select a safe place to install the circuit breaker and it is recommended to install it near to the batteries.
  2. There will be two small holes to mount the circuit breaker as its base, use them to fix it.
  3. The Circuit Breaker will come with 2 terminals, the one labeled ‘AUX’ should be connected with the positive power cable of the trolling motor.
  4. And the terminal labeled as ‘BAT’ should be connected to the positive ends of the battery.

And after completing all these four steps, the circuit breaker will be ready to protect your trolling motor.

How Effective Is Fuse Instead Of A Circuit Breaker?

The fuse and circuit breakers, both work differently for the same purpose but are not interchangeable. A fuse is a one-time use short circuit protector that uses the heat produced during the current flow to break the circuit. The fuse has a conductor that has a certain melting point. And when the heat due to excess electricity is more and breaches the melting point, the fuse blows out breaking the circuit.

While on the other hand, a circuit breaker uses the electromagnetic process to detect excess electricity. When the electricity increases, the magnetic force also increases. It causes the circuit breaker to trigger the metal level and breaking the circuit.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages, a fuse is cheaper but cannot be reused again. A circuit breaker is rather expensive. Some of them have a low trigger capacity. 

If you have a stable electric connection and do not face electric fluctuations much, then you can go for a fuse. It takes less space and is also cheaper. However, make sure to carry extra fuse all the time as they can break quite often.

And for circuit breakers, if you face regular electric fluctuations, you must make a good investment in the circuit breakers once. Even though it requires some amount of space but still it is easy to install and can be reused again.

Some Additional Guide for Your Circuit Breaker Purchase

Even though you’ve made your mind to go with a certain circuit breaker recommended by someone, consider these additional points. In this way, you can ensure you have perfect circuit protection. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Before purchasing a circuit breaker, you must make sure it is easy to reset and you choose a trip-free one to reset manually.
  • Check the ampere draw of your trolling motor and make sure your circuit breaker has an ampere interrupting capacity more than that.
  • Make sure the circuit breaker does not burn and has ignition protection and remains operable after a short circuit.
  • To ensure safety, you can tape the positive terminal of the battery so that it does not come in contact with any object.
  • Purchase a circuit breaker that is compatible with all wire types and connections in your boat.
  • For added safety, you can use a fuse before a circuit breaker as in case the magnetic trigger fails to trigger soon, the heat trigger of the fuse will do.
  • Lastly, try to keep the propellor of your boat free from obstacles.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose a circuit breaker or a fuse for your trolling motor, it must be your utmost priority to ensure safety. Trolling motor circuit breakers play an essential role in ensuring safety. So choose them carefully to avoid any disaster for both your boat and the trolling motor. Hopefully, now you can get the most suitable circuit breaker for your electric trolling motor.

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