Circuit breaker needed for winch?

tworley

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
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May 23, 2018
948
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Morrison, CO
#1
I have a superwinch LP8500 that came with a circuit breaker. Does anyone think that a circuit breaker is needed for a winch? Its three, 50 amp breakers mounted on two BUS bars which mount directly to the positive post on my battery. I realize that a winch uses much more amperage than that. Plus this causes my positive cable to not have a great connection sometimes. Id much rather wire the winch directly to my Superstart battery (Deka brand) using the side posts and remove the circuit breaker all together. Any thoughts?

IMG_2940[1].JPG
 

Equilibrium31

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 7, 2018
498
494
Burnsville, MN, USA
#4
I have a SuperWinch 9500 Tiger Shark and while I've never questioned the need for the circuit breaker that much (I have the same one as what you pictured), it hasn't caused me any issues. However, mine is attached to a bolt that's on my battery connection which I don't see on your connection. Unfortunately, I don't have a great picture of this at the moment since I can't get to my Jeep at the moment, but I circled the area on a previous pic I had which kind of shows what I'm talking about.

upload_2018-10-11_9-23-41.png
 

Mr. Bills

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 24, 2017
522
700
Area Code 530
#5
Several manufacturers of top-of-the-line winches (Warn, Ramsey, etc.) recommend wiring directly to the battery without a circuit breaker.

As for connecting winch power leads to the side posts of a dual post battery - don't do it. The side posts are not designed to handle the heavy amp draw of a winch. Instead, wire your starter and winch to the top posts and accessories to the side posts.
 

TJ4Jim

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
1,056
741
Brookings, Oregon
#6
Several manufacturers of top-of-the-line winches (Warn, Ramsey, etc.) recommend wiring directly to the battery without a circuit breaker.

As for connecting winch power leads to the side posts of a dual post battery - don't do it. The side posts are not designed to handle the heavy amp draw of a winch. Instead, wire your starter and winch to the top posts and accessories to the side posts.
There are only a few batteries with dual terminals that cannot handle the amperage, most can. I have been using a dual terminal battery for years and it's a great way to set up a winch.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Equilibrium31

Boinked

TJ Addict
Jul 7, 2018
1,462
1,483
Mesa,az
#9
If the manufacturer spent the money to include circuit breakers for their winch. There is probably a reason for it.

Other manufacturers may have internal Breakers_self resetting Breakers_ or some other way to handle a short or heavy load.

If they gave them to you to use I would use them.

I have never heard of a side post battery not being able to handle a load. I've known many people that use the side post for their winch.
 

Mr. Bills

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 24, 2017
522
700
Area Code 530
#11
. . . I have never heard of a side post battery not being able to handle a load. I've known many people that use the side post for their winch.
Although Optima hasn't been the jeep battery du jour since production moved to Mexico, there are still many offroaders who use them. Optima specifically recommends against using the side posts of its dual post batteries to power winches.

See: https://www.****forum.com/forum/f9/optima-battery-side-terminals-winch-1118099/ [Replace **** with jeep]

From that post:

We do not recommend attaching a winch to the side terminals. The side posts are intended for starting your vehicle which, although high current, is a short duration electrical load. A winch is also high current but can be very long duration. Using a winch connected to the side terminals could damage the connections in the battery, it can melt the side terminals right out of the battery housing. Only use the top (automotive type) terminals for connecting your winch. This is not only true for Optima, but for ANY battery.

Thank you,
Adam
Optima Customer Service
That is one example. I'm sure there are others. I would prefer to play it safe and use the top posts for my winch rather than take a chance that the side posts of my current battery or any future battery choice aren't up to the task. One can say "I've been playing Russian Roulette for years and never been hurt" but that doesn't mean that the next spin of the barrel and pull on the trigger won't be one's last.
 
OP
OP
tworley

tworley

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May 23, 2018
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Morrison, CO
#12
I have researched and found that some brands battery side posts are unable to handle the load a winch can dish out. That is why I mentioned that I have a Deka brand battery. It will handle a winch wired to the side easily.

I do need to upgrade both my battery cables (to short after moving PDC box) and terminals. I would like to run the military style terminals that are stickied somewhere here on the forum. I have my CB wired to the battery, as well as the winch with the circuit breaker. Those have been causing a poor connection. The CB terminals are loose after vibration, the breaker bar is square and my terminal is round which also causes a poor connection. If I could eliminate then it would really clean up the battery tray area, plus as mentioned--many winch brands do not even offer a breaker.
 

Equilibrium31

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 7, 2018
498
494
Burnsville, MN, USA
#13
If the manufacturer spent the money to include circuit breakers for their winch. There is probably a reason for it.

Other manufacturers may have internal Breakers_self resetting Breakers_ or some other way to handle a short or heavy load.

If they gave them to you to use I would use them.

I have never heard of a side post battery not being able to handle a load. I've known many people that use the side post for their winch.
Yea, that's pretty much my thought.

As for why other winches would not need the same protection, it may be due to different amount of current being used or simply a decision from company policy to do so based on liability.
 

ac_

zombicon
Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2017
3,205
3,039
AZ, United States
#14
I have been told from battery manufactures that if the battery is a side post it can handle the amperage just fine, but if it has both such as the optima and others that they are not designed to handle that much power at the side posts.

I actually am one of the Optima hold outs, but mine don't have side posts. I wired my warn 8K directly to the battery. That said I have dual Optimas in my TJ. Neither have side posts.
 

TJ4Jim

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
1,056
741
Brookings, Oregon
#15
I have been told from battery manufactures that if the battery is a side post it can handle the amperage just fine, but if it has both such as the optima and others that they are not designed to handle that much power at the side posts.

I actually am one of the Optima hold outs, but mine don't have side posts. I wired my warn 8K directly to the battery. That said I have dual Optimas in my TJ. Neither have side posts.
Actually Optima is one of the few where the sideposts are not rated for full amperage, checking the specifications prior to purchase of any battery will tell you the ratings. My battery is just a typical dual post setup and is rated for full amperage at either post.
 
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ac_

zombicon
Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2017
3,205
3,039
AZ, United States
#16
Actually Optima is one of the few where the sideposts are not rated for full amperage, checking the specifications prior to purchase of any battery will tell you the ratings. My battery is just a typical dual post setup and is rated for full amperage at either post.
That's what I said, or meant to say
 

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