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Swimmng @ marinas is a No No

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Old 01-31-2014, 07:03 PM
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Very interesting. I'm glad I found this thread. My boathouse/dock has a 2 story 1 bedroom home built on it. A/c, furnace, dishwasher,icemakers, fridge, tons of things that could go very wrong. My grandkids swam out there every weekend this past summer, our first year here, and I didnt have a clue.

I just got a proposal to add a new 46' slip with a 12k # lift, and was wondering why the boathouse builder(the most well known in the area) refused to do any of the electrical work. He wont even hire the electrician for you.

Now I know why. Thanks guy's.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:22 AM
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I know this is an old thread but it has been bothering me quite a bit and I am hoping I can find a solution. Here is my scenario:

- I have a private dock that was wired professionally not that long ago. It has 3 shorepower pedestals on it and I sometimes have as many as 4 or 5 guests plugged in.
- There is a marina about 250 feet away as my neighbor with about 60 boat slips all with shorepower.
- Swimming at our dock is one of my family's greatest joys.

Since I understand the dangers, I want to do what I can to be as safe as possible. I found the galvanalert online and wonder if you guys have input as to its ability to help warn of this stray current. Much of the literature seems to indicate it does. It seems to be the only thing I've seen that connects between the boat and dock to help identify issues with either of them. My strategy would be to at least have every boat tested before plugging in and potentially even have one of these on hand for every boat plugged in.

I would also offer a free service to neighboring marina boaters to test their setups. This would obviously be a point in time test but I would 'Sell' them on the idea that having one plugged in all the time is a good practice. Of course I would have some on hand in case they wanted to buy them from me at cost since it is an item easily forgotten. Or maybe just take orders...

Would love to hear from some experts what level of protection this device would provide.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:50 PM
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:13 PM
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I found this article that describes a very simple way to test with a 'Clamp Meter'. I just ordered 2 of them from eBay for like $10 each. I will certainly do this for every boat on my dock and encourage others to do so but still like the continuous monitoring of the "Galvanalert" above. I emailed the company and will see what they have to say.

http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/asse...-explained.pdf
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:13 PM
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Stray current associated with galvanic isolators is in the form of DC voltage typically less than 1 vdc. The stray current typically gets introduced by current leakage through DC leads in bilges, enters the water and looks for a path to earth ground. Boats on shore power are an easy path to ground when the boat doesn't employ a galvanic isolator. Galvanic isolators are designed to keep an open circuit on the ground leg whenever the voltage on the leg is somewhere below around 1 vdc to eliminate galvanic corrosion of outdrives etc. In the event the GI detects voltage in excess of 1 vdc it closes the circuit to ground so that it creates a short to earth ground to ensure items like a refrigerator doesn't become "hot" waiting for someone to touch with one hand and a path to earth ground with the other (I.e. electrocution path).
Electrocution risk in a marina is different.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:54 AM
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Thanks bonesmalon. I'm more interested in solving for the stray AC current that is introduced when there is a fault in the boat's electrical system. From what I've read, this can come from a broken wire feeding current through the ground wire or faulty appliance like a water heater or something like that.



Trying to understand if the situation in the picture would trip that galvanalert device.

Now that I know a clamp meter reading amps clamped around the shorepower line should read zero to demonstrate the same amps going into the boat that come back out, I can at least do a test when people arrive.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:47 AM
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A little more learning...

ABYC E-11 Standard calls for ELCI which is Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter to be installed. From what I've seen so far, these are included in some of the new main breaker panels on new boats. Bluesea has them, but here is my issue. I have NO CONTROL over what other people have inside their boats and we will have old boats with old electrical systems around forever. I want to find a solution that can be installed at the dock and kill power to boat if there is an issue.

Here is even an INLINE cord which specifically says electrocution paralysis drowning prevention but it is GFCI vs. ELCI. It seems GFCI trips at a much lower mA rating (like 5 mA) vs ELCI. From what I read, it only takes 5 or 6 mA to get someone.

http://www.trci.net/products/surge-g...-portable-wgfi

Sorry, I'm kind of on a mission here to be sure I what I can. I don't like the solution to keep people out of the water as that is why we have this place! So, GFCI breakers at the pedestal provide what we need here, right? Hoping an expert chimes in for piece of mind.

Last edited by ttrm007; 10-17-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttrm007 View Post
A little more learning...

ABYC E-11 Standard calls for ELCI which is Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter to be installed. From what I've seen so far, these are included in some of the new main breaker panels on new boats. Bluesea has them, but here is my issue. I have NO CONTROL over what other people have inside their boats and we will have old boats with old electrical systems around forever. I want to find a solution that can be installed at the dock and kill power to boat if there is an issue.

Here is even an INLINE cord which specifically says electrocution paralysis drowning prevention but it is GFCI vs. ELCI. It seems GFCI trips at a much lower mA rating (like 5 mA) vs ELCI. From what I read, it only takes 5 or 6 mA to get someone.

http://www.trci.net/products/surge-g...-portable-wgfi

Sorry, I'm kind of on a mission here to be sure I what I can. I don't like the solution to keep people out of the water as that is why we have this place! So, GFCI breakers at the pedestal provide what we need here, right? Hoping an expert chimes in for piece of mind.
we just spent $35k to have all ELCI units installed and it was painful but necessary
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonesmalon View Post
we just spent $35k to have all ELCI units installed and it was painful but necessary
Installed on pedestal or on boats? How many did you have to do for that kind of money?

Thanks.

Last edited by ttrm007; 10-20-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:00 PM
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All metal floaters that now have power posts every other slip. Old wiring was an accident waiting to happen.
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