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Old 03-18-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
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GFI outlets

When I had my boat surveyed after the accepted offer, the surveyor indicated that all AC outlets on a boat should be GFI regardless of whether they were in spaces other than kitchen or head, or whether the breakers were GFCI.

Are there GFI outlets specific for marine use in a boat interior or will standard ones from Home Depot be suitable.

Jim
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:47 PM   #2
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When I had my boat surveyed after the accepted offer, the surveyor indicated that all AC outlets on a boat should be GFI regardless of whether they were in spaces other than kitchen or head, or whether the breakers were GFCI. Are there GFI outlets specific for marine use in a boat interior or will standard ones from Home Depot be suitable. Jim
Home Depot.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:13 PM   #3
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I don't think GFIs are required for every outlet....just ones in "weather" or "wet" environs.

If one protects an breakered circuit....or if you have a GFI circuit breaker I think you are OK.

I have heard but don't have the info at my fingertips that while "home style" GFIs will work on a boat, marine GFIs are a better in the sense they don't trip as easily.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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When I wired my boat, I put in two gfci outlets, and daisy chained other outlets to them. I used Home Depot outlets, and have had no problems with spurious trips.

I don't see the need to have dry areas like cabins gfci protected, but I am not a student of the rules. I went ahead and protected those areas with the daisy chain, but only because when running new wire it is easy.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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Trip settings for GFCI outlets are mandated by UL at a specific level regardless of application. Marine grade may be more robust in materials or construction. I prefer hospital grade for both standard and GFCI.

If your circuit is protected by a GFCI breaker and it's wired properly it meets the requirements.

Multiple GFCI's on a single circuit will only operate if wired correctly, ie...pigtails to each device (not good practice in a marine environment).

Best method is to install the GFCI as the first outlet in the circuit and connect the remaining outlets to the load side of it. Wire into and out of each outlet and do not pigtail with wirenuts.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:30 PM   #6
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A good read, although not code specific to GFCI protection...

Electrical Systems Table of Contents

Required on new builds but this is what you're looking for...

http://assets.bluesea.com/files/reso...und_Faults.pdf
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:18 PM   #7
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Trip settings for GFCI outlets are mandated by UL at a specific level regardless of application. Marine grade may be more robust in materials or construction. I prefer hospital grade for both standard and GFCI.

If your circuit is protected by a GFCI breaker and it's wired properly it meets the requirements.

Multiple GFCI's on a single circuit will only operate if wired correctly, ie...pigtails to each device (not good practice in a marine environment).

Best method is to install the GFCI as the first outlet in the circuit and connect the remaining outlets to the load side of it. Wire into and out of each outlet and do not pigtail with wirenuts.
Provided of course that such series connections dont result in potential current overloading of the wiring itself - be careful!
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:24 PM   #8
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Best advice is:

Electricity will kill you if you make a mistake.

Hire a professional.

How much is your or your families life worth?
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:49 PM   #9
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No need for forums if all we had to do is hire professionals every time our boats burped....

Drowning will kill you too...but we all go out on the water...many without professional captains to keep us safe.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:56 PM   #10
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+1 to both Bob and Scott above

Finally found some something I wanted to post earlier. It gives the specs for GFI in Australia. I had my electrical system refitted in Port Townsend, but needed it compliant with Australia. Key difference is we have 230VAC, same as Europe. I bought the AS/NZS standard for Recreational Marine Boats, it is 73 pages, and the sparky who did my work followed it to the letter and did a great job.

I cant even copy and past one word out of the document as its a protected pdf, but here is re-typed some relevant parts:

6.2.1 (in part)
On boats with relatively small single-phase a.c. electrical installations powered intermittently from a shore-supply, a single RCD protecting the whole of the boats a.c system is commonly fitted.

6.2.2
Not every marina or boat yard has RCD protected shore power outlets as standard. The RCD needs to have a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA and an operating time not exceeding 40 ms at a residual current of 150 mA.

I ended up with 2 to cover the needs, and they weren't too difficult to source.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:29 PM   #11
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Provided of course that such series connections dont result in potential current overloading of the wiring itself - be careful!
The reason behind properly sized wire (ampacity rating) and CB.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:29 PM   #12
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+1 to both Bob and Scott above

Finally found some something I wanted to post earlier. It gives the specs for GFI in Australia. I had my electrical system refitted in Port Townsend, but needed it compliant with Australia. Key difference is we have 230VAC, same as Europe. I bought the AS/NZS standard for Recreational Marine Boats, it is 73 pages, and the sparky who did my work followed it to the letter and did a great job.

I cant even copy and past one word out of the document as its a protected pdf, but here is re-typed some relevant parts:

6.2.1 (in part)
On boats with relatively small single-phase a.c. electrical installations powered intermittently from a shore-supply, a single RCD protecting the whole of the boats a.c system is commonly fitted.

6.2.2
Not every marina or boat yard has RCD protected shore power outlets as standard. The RCD needs to have a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA and an operating time not exceeding 40 ms at a residual current of 150 mA.

I ended up with 2 to cover the needs, and they weren't too difficult to source.
An RCD is not the same thing as a G.F.C.I.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:41 PM   #13
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An RCD is not the same thing as a G.F.C.I.

How so? Are these articles wrong?
GFCI - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residual-current_device
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:53 PM   #14
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ABYC definitions .....

A residual current device protects equipment ground fault leakage current and disconnects all ungrounded (110V & 240V) and grounded (110V neutral) current carrying conductors from the supply source at a preset trip threshold.

G.F.C.I. – A device intended for the protection of personnel that functions to de-energize a circuit, or portion thereof, within an established time when a current to ground exceeds some pre-determined value that is less than that required to operate the overcurrent protective device of the supply circuit.

I have not read the Wikipedia definitions on this topic but I was reading some of their stuff on electrolytic corrosion the other day and a great deal of it is simply incorrect. I would not use a crowd source like that for any critical information.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:02 PM   #15
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Fair enough re: Wikipedia.

But to me both the ABYC definitions are saying the same thing. There is nothing in those definitions to say there are two different devices.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:06 PM   #16
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Fair enough re: Wikipedia.

But to me both the ABYC definitions are saying the same thing. There is nothing in those definitions to say there are two different devices.
One disconnects all power from the source (shore power or generator) and the other disconnects a specific circuit from the panel while leaving all other circuits alone.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:13 PM   #17
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So, same device and function but different point of installation.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:15 PM   #18
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So, same device and function but different point of installation.
Pretty much ... but the RCD is a heavier piece of equipment with a higher threshold, primarily designed to protect equipment while the GFCI is specifically designed to protect crew.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:21 PM   #19
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Pretty much ... but the RCD is a heavier piece of equipment with a higher threshold, primarily designed to protect equipment while the GFCI is specifically designed to protect crew.
In the US we're not too familiar with the RCD. My understanding is that it does not provide overload protection though..correct? They must be wired downstream of CB (Unless, it's an RCBO).
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:36 PM   #20
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In the US we're not too familiar with the RCD. My understanding is that it does not provide overload protection though..correct? They must be wired downstream of CB.
In the US they are referred to as
"ELCI" ... "Electrical Leakage Circuit Interrupter"

An ELCI (RCD) shall be installed with or in addition to the main shore power disconnect circuit breaker(s) or at the additional overcurrent protection whichever is closer to the shore power connection.
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