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Old 11-22-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
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Adding a 120v outlet

Guys, I'm thinking of adding an exterior 120v 3 prong outlet to the exterior of my boat to give me more AC wattage inside. Then I could connect an heavy duty extension cord to a shore power outlet adapter and have some more juice inside.

I currently only have 30A of shore power now. I need the extra wattage for the cold months ahead since I'm a fulltime liveaboard now. I don't wanna overload my AC system (even though each AC outlet has a 1500w breaker). All I'm looking for is just to gain a little more wattage. Not a lot!

It seems that adding the 120v outlet would be the simplest fix for my needs. Ideally I would like to have twin 30A shore power cords but that will require a big modification to the wiring, breakers and panel etc.

I also thought of just running an extension cord inside the boat but that's a sloppy way of doing it.

Any ideas? I'm gonna be doing this ASAP......
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:54 AM   #2
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I don't exactly understand how that would make any additional wattage from an extension cord available to various interior appliances.

??

I suspect better to bite the bullet and add another 30-amp inlet now, maybe then tie that specifically to ACs... or at least one AC... Maybe wouldn't have to bother with an interior transfer bar, that way. Just first thoughts...

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Old 11-22-2018, 11:15 AM   #3
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If I understand correctly, you want to add a 120V/15amp inlet to the standard 120V/30amp inlet your boat has. Done right, this would require a breaker within 10 feet of the inlet and a distribution panel. For the same amount of work, you could add another 120V/30amp inlet and get twice the power.

Just running extension cords through a port/door is tempting but risky especially when used for heating (high loads). Boats move, connections corrode, extension cords end up being cascaded, etc. Does not take much to really create a fire hazard.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:59 AM   #4
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I think he wants to run another 30A power cord and inlet so he can plug in 2 more space heaters and still have something left for other circuits...like most boats that get used a lot.

Look up Blue Seas or Paneltronics for typical 2x30 inlets and panel setups.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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Sorry for the confusion! What I wanna do is probably not done very much on boats. Psneeld is catching my drift...sort of.

I essentially just wanna add one exterior 120v plug on the exterior of the boat so that I can then plug in an extra space heater or iron or whatever without disrupting my normal 30A service.

I don't really add another 30A inlet. That seems like way more work than I wanna get into or hire someone to do. Or is it?? How difficult of a job is it to add another? What's involved? Anyone here done it before on a single 30A boat?
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:17 PM   #6
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I understand what he is asking for. By the time we did it safely it would cost almost the same as adding a second 30 amp circuit. I can think of lots of ways to cheat and accomplish what he wants but I feel like I am handing a loaded gun to a child.

If you do what you are hinting you can not let the second feed come in contact with the existing circuits on the boat.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:21 PM   #7
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https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-5278-...ctrical+outlet

This is the style of socket you are looking for. You still need circuit breakers and this is in no way ABYC or UL approved.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:28 PM   #8
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Plus where are you going to plug the cord into. Your pedestal is probably limited to 30 amps anyway unless the marina has upgraded the wiring. It would be safer and easier to upgrade everything; boat, pedestal, wiring etc to 50 amp so you would have safe additional power. Fast and cheap usually has a higher cost.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:51 PM   #9
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The correct way is to add another 30A panel with 3 15A breakers. Sounds like you only need 1 or 2 interior outlets. You will will need to run 10 ga from inlet to panel, 14 ga from 15A panel breaker to outlet. Sounds like you only want 1 breaker. A separate 30A system would not require any modifcation to your existing 30A system and is an easy afternoon job. (Assuming your pedestal has 2 30A outlets)

Doing anything else would never pass a survey, and would likely void your insurance if you ever put in a claim for fire damage.

(18F at BHSM this AM. I'm guessing your heaters are full on)
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:55 PM   #10
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This is what I would do for your limited needs:


Install a Marinco/Hubbel outdoor 30A shore power inlet. Run 10 gauge wire from that to a breaker within 10' as required by ABYC. Use a 20 amp breaker. Then wire a 12 gauge extension cord from the load side of that breaker to your AC.


It is reasonably cheap, safe as far as I can tell and can be upgraded to a full separate 30A system with breaker panel if desired.


David
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:23 PM   #11
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You seriously need to talk to a marine electrician. Given your lack of knowledge you are going to hurt someone or lose your boat.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:39 PM   #12
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ABYC (E11) allows permanent shore power cabling without an inlet fitting. If $ is the issue, that saves a lot.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
ABYC (E11) allows permanent shore power cabling without an inlet fitting. If $ is the issue, that saves a lot.
Correct (my twin 30's are hard wired) but circuit protection and a GFCI is still required and some knowledge of bonding and grounding. Given the nature of the OP's question and reference to "extension cords" I doubt he has the knowledge required for a safe installation.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diver dave View Post
ABYC (E11) allows permanent shore power cabling without an inlet fitting. If $ is the issue, that saves a lot.
Probably cost more. You still need a waterproof method of getting the cable through the FB superstructure. A $40 nylon inlet connector or a $90 SS one doesn't seem like a huge expense.

A permanent installation means you would not be able to unplug your shore power cable from your boat so it would always be on deck.

I believe the OP's concern is time. Installing a 30A addition to ABYC standards shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 hours with a hole saw for the inlet and a saber saw for the panel. Not a complicated job if he installs the panel under the settee and the gfci outlet close by.

Note that tinned marine grade wiring must be used. This is not a home depot project.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post

A permanent installation means you would not be able to unplug your shore power cable from your boat so it would always be on deck.
Not at all. My twin 30's enter the boat through a recessed box with four rollers into an area behind the helm seat. I simply pull the helm seat back forward and pull the cables inside. The two 30amp ends pull up against the rollers in the recess, completely out of sight and out of weather.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:00 PM   #16
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Wouldn't the simplest be to replace you 30A inlet with a 50A one, change your main breaker and redo the few feet of cabling between your inlet and main if not sized for 50A? From there you can add a 20A breaker to power an extra outlet or whatever you want to power. Of course you will need a 50A dock connection.

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Old 11-22-2018, 04:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
You seriously need to talk to a marine electrician. Given your lack of knowledge you are going to hurt someone or lose your boat.

Boatpoker: This is a pompous and rude response. You essentially said Im gonna hurt someone. How dare you?

Yes, I am a newbie boater but that's why I always do more research than most and post questions here. I don't cut corners and thats evident when you see my boat. And yes, I do have a professional who does most of my boat mods.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:28 PM   #18
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Paneltronics make a fairly small, no gauges, 30 amp panel with main reverse light and 3 branch breakers. NOT having a power inlet on the side of the boat makes this a lowest cost approach; not just the inlet cost, but the inlet and the cordset female go away; many may think this is even safer.
I'm not versed on the latest ACFI/GFCI rules; so that needs to be rolled in also. I would also look up the max length of this buried hardwired shore cable before it reaches the panel.

The 50 amp 120V service conversion might be easier; but check out the 50A cordset costs!
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:58 PM   #19
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Nothing about s 50A service is inexpensive.

But another 30A shore power cord, inlet and panel with appropriate outlets is not cheap either for the pieces and parts ....but not complicated either. Labor would be expensive but a lot of the grunt work could be done under a pros guidance.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:02 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. SoH. To answer your original question, just run a HD extension cord. Messy? Perhaps but it IS, by far the easiest and cheapest for the winter season. Probably AYBC compatible as well. Careful routing of said cord behind or along side furniture might minimize visual impact (mess). KISS.
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