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Old 04-11-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
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Adding 120V Outlet to Diesel ER

I've got a new charger I'm connecting tomorrow which comes with a 15A 3-prong plug. Rather than cut off the plug and hardwire, I thought I'd add a 120V GFI outlet to the ER at the termination end of my current 120V line to the old charger. It's protected by a 20A circuit breaker at the main panel. I'd like to be able to add the outlet to allow both chargers to be connected to different banks simultaneously. I'd also have the outlet if needed for additional tools or lighting during maintenance and repairs.

It's a diesel boat, so from what I can tell, a 120V GFI protected outlet is allowed. I can't find any problems with to doing this in Nigel Calder's book. I plan to use marine wiring and connection standards and will have a junction box that is wall mounted to protect the double plug GFI outlet.

Can you guys see any problems with my plan? I'm waiting for a call back from fellow TFer Chris Foster who is an ABYC certified electrician. Just thought I'd bounce it by you guys in case he doesn't get the message, figuring you might already have an outlet in your ER.

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:06 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. F. What is your concern? Shock, explosion? I see no problems with an ER outlet although there may be AYBC stipulations but I can't think of any. 110V power readily at hand without running extension cords all over the place is a good thing IMO. Please report what your electrician friend suggests.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:30 AM   #3
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Have had the exact same arrangement for 15 years and have passed four surveys, two of which have been done by nitpickers.

Added benefit of the plug on the charger versus hardwired is the ability to run the charger off of a extension cord in situations where you do not want or cannot use the distribution panel. In the United States this allowed me to connect the charger to one 15 amp shore power circuit and the distribution panel to a second 15 amp shore power circuit. In the Caribbean I was able to connect the charger to a separate 220 volt 50 hertz circuit without running that current through the boat.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:15 AM   #4
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On cold days you might plug the block heater in for a better quick start.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:18 AM   #5
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It's always risky to approve of a project by someone else because of the risk of a misunderstanding but a 120 volt AC receptacle in a diesel boat's engine room is fine if it's properly wired and installed.

My boat has one from the factory.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:29 AM   #6
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Does an ER outlet need to be in a waterproof enclosure with a flip cover? They are on my Grand Banks, and I don't know if that's an ABYC thing or just a good practice. I could imagine sprung hoses and spraying fluids that might cause a hazard? And if a waterproof cover is required/desired, it begs the question of something permanently plugged in since that defeats the waterproof flip cover.

I don't know the answers to this, but it's worth considering.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:13 AM   #7
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Does an ER outlet need to be in a waterproof enclosure with a flip cover? They are on my Grand Banks, and I don't know if that's an ABYC thing or just a good practice. I could imagine sprung hoses and spraying fluids that might cause a hazard? And if a waterproof cover is required/desired, it begs the question of something permanently plugged in since that defeats the waterproof flip cover.

I don't know the answers to this, but it's worth considering.
Modern covers have a provision for cords so they can be closed with something plugged in. Not "waterproof" but "water resistant".

The receptacle in my engine room has no cover. It's not near the bilge or engine.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:46 AM   #8
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My Ocean Alexander has four in the E.R., all GFI, no covers.

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
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My Monk 36 has one, about 3' up from the "floor". I believe installed by the builder.
Very handy too.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Modern covers have a provision for cords so they can be closed with something plugged in. Not "waterproof" but "water resistant".

The receptacle in my engine room has no cover. It's not near the bilge or engine.
I put the covers Ron described on the existing outlets my block heaters plugged into, just to keep things dry (stuff happens) and protected; the BHs were always plugged in and turned on and of with a switch. Other, occasionally used outlets in the ERs were the outdoor type with little individual flip open doors. On the other hand, There are a couple of outlets in the generator room for occasional use that are uncovered, but it is a drier environment with no big vents to the outside, water heater or fresh water pumps like the ERs. I had outdoor style switches in ERs as well, just made thing look a little more ship shape if nothing else.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:52 AM   #11
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I too have a plug in charger.

E-11.13 is where you would look for receptacle recommendations.

A-31 is the standard for chargers, which I do not have. I think you are OK as long as it isn't above the battery bank (due to hydrogen off-gassing).
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:36 PM   #12
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I too have a plug in charger.

E-11.13 is where you would look for receptacle recommendations.

A-31 is the standard for chargers, which I do not have. I think you are OK as long as it isn't above the battery bank (due to hydrogen off-gassing).
What's you take on the repetitious "7" pigtail" comments throughout the ABYC wiring guidelines????

Discusses covering/armoring or current protection....
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #13
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Thanks guys. I'll install it 3.5 ft above the floor, near the ceiling and away from the batteries. I'll look up those references, Spy. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:21 PM   #14
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What's you take on the repetitious "7" pigtail" comments throughout the ABYC wiring guidelines????

Discusses covering/armoring or current protection....
You are allowed no more than 7" of unprotected conductor. An example would be a direct battery connection to a bilge pump float switch. The fuse must be no more than seven inches (measured along the wire) from the battery terminal. You are allowed a longer distance if the conductor is in a conduit or sheath.

The exception is the starter circuit. No protection is required. Keeping this in mind, if there is a battery switch in the starter circuit you could connect your bilge pump float switch to the hot terminal of the battery switch and put the fuse within seven inches of that connection.
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Old 04-12-2014, 02:31 PM   #15
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Hard wired stuff like bilge pumps I know cold...I would hope most do...but what are considered "appliances" and what are considered "installed systems" like battery chargers usually are?

If a battery charger has a 3 foot long cord on it going to a receptacle, it is an appliance? or an installed system? and if so...does it need additional circuit protection based on it's gauge wire versus the 15/20 amp circuit feeding the charger? or if it meets the 7" rule or armored rule is it exempt?
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Old 04-12-2014, 04:00 PM   #16
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Hard wired stuff like bilge pumps I know cold...I would hope most do...but what are considered "appliances" and what are considered "installed systems" like battery chargers usually are?

If a battery charger has a 3 foot long cord on it going to a receptacle, it is an appliance? or an installed system? and if so...does it need additional circuit protection based on it's gauge wire versus the 15/20 amp circuit feeding the charger? or if it meets the 7" rule or armored rule is it exempt?
Without looking up a bunch of stuff I would say that the 7" rule applies to DC circuits. The input (120 volt AC) has different regulations but the cord plugged into a protected receptacle would be fine.

The output (DC) conductors require protection at both ends, the charger and the battery because there is power available from the charger and from the battery. Protection at the charger end is usually internal to the charger.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:46 PM   #17
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Sorry. Left my thumb drive with all my standards on it at work.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:57 PM   #18
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I just took a read through the standard regarding outlets. It looks like you will be fine as long as it's GFI protected, which I recall you were planning to do. Outlets that are "normally exposed to spray etc..." need to be water proof "when not in use". But your ER would not normally meet that criteria.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:01 PM   #19
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The install went well. Placed the new 120V GFI outlet in an outdoor junction box without the covers since both plugs will be in use. The new charger will mount on the port fwd wall of the ER, below the outlet. I found my ground cable was about one foot too short, so I've ordered a new one from GenuineDealz. After it shows up, I'll finish the installation and mount the new charger. In the meantime, it's hooked up and working well with the short cable.

Thanks all for your assistance and advice.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:39 AM   #20
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This is what I used; it protects while the cord is plugged in. Beside wharever water protection, it prevents somebody or something knocking into the plug.

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