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The Mercathode is a device that helps protect against Galvanic Corrosion.
Most newer Mercruiser Engine Packages (with the exception of the 4 cylinder models) come standard with an installed Mercathode Antigalvanic Corrosion System.
The Mercathode system has two parts; the Controller and the Anode.
The Controller is located in the boat and it's usually mounted on the engine. The Controller sends a signal to the Anode which develops a protective field around the sterndrive unit to protect it against gal;vanic corrosion. It should be wired directly to the batteries positive terminal with the included in-line fuse. The Mercathode must stay powered up even if the battery switch is turned off.
There are four color coded wires attching to the Mercathode Controller. One is RED for positive power. Another wire is BLACK for a negative ground supply. One wire is ORANGE and yet another is BROWN. These ORANGE and BROWN wires run down to the Anode device on the bottom of the gimbal housing.
The Mercathode will drain your boats batteries. The harder it has to work the faster the drain. If you are keeping your boat in the water you NEED to keep a battery charger on the battery or the battery will go dead and you could sink the boat. Make sure you use a marine rated fully regulated and fully rectified battery charger.
If you keep your boat in the water and you dont have a Mercathode, GET ONE. They are not too difficult to install and the whole Mercathode Kit is only about $119.00
Boats can explode. Moving parts can rip off your fingers. Hot exhaust can burn you to the bone and props can slice you up. One spark near a battery can cause an explosion. You can never be too careful. Remove the battery from the boat before working with fuel. Always disconnect the batteries negative terminal first. Clean up any spilt fuel and let ALL of the fumes dissipate before installing the battery and starting the motor. Pulleys and Belts can grab your clothes and hair. Don't wear loose clothing and keep your hair up under a hat. Always wear safety glasses. Be smart.
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