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New NEC/ABYC shorepower standard...

 
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4249
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:37 am    Post subject: New NEC/ABYC shorepower standard... Reply with quote

...and it's possible complication.

We just spent a couple of nights at Friday Harbor. They have done some upgrades to H dock (and others) including new 30 amp shore power pedestals. We tried to hook 'Au Kai up, but the breaker would instantly trip at the pedestal. I tried a neighboring pedestal. Same thing. I called up to the Harbormaster office and a maintenance worker came down. We went thru my steps on how I connect it. Correct. (We have a dedicated 30 amp at home and the boat was hooked up all winter, so this confused me) That's when he told me the "issue" lay with how the boat is wired. The new pedestals now have GFCI breakers installed. He said the marina was mandated by up-dated code to install them. Since then, they are seeing quite a few boats with the same type of issues. Since the season and pedestals are all brand new...the issue has suddenly arisen. I'm sure I'm not alone.

So I did some research. There is a new NEC code standard (Article 555.3 issued in 2011) that came into effect in in 2014 that requires the use of GFCI breakers at all marinas. Basically, the electricity is disconnected with 30 milliamps of ground fault leakage. This is the new standard. If a marina updated or rebuilt for whatever reason, they are now mandated to comply.

This article explains it in detail: https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/maintenance/why-some-boaters-suddenly-cant-connect-to-shore-power

Our boat's issue lies with the transfer switch (the main breaker) because the symptom is this:
Quote:
First, turn off the primary breaker in the shore power connection. Then, turn off all branch circuit breakers within the boat. Once the shore power cord is connected and locked into place, turn on the shore power connection at the dock pedestal, with the boat’s main AC breaker still off. ...turn on the boat’s main AC breaker with all of the branch circuits still off. If the shore power pedestal breaker trips, the problem is likely an improperly wired transfer switch or inverter.
Exactly our experience.

So I may need an AYBC certified electrician to diagnose and solve this. Or maybe I need one of these installed: https://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/magazine/2015/july/isolation-transformers.asp The article noted that this may solve the issue and provide other benefits. Since I'm dealing with electricity on a boat, I may just hire a professional and have him solve it the correct way.

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TyBoo



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
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City/Region: Warrenton
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No way am I an electrician and no way am I making recommendations, but here is my similar experience.

When plugging my shore power in at home I found it would consistently trip a newer GFCI. It worked fine for years but would not work with a new outlet I had installed in the garage.

What I found was the onboard breaker panel had the ground bus and the neutral bus connected. Separating them solved the problem.

Before hiring a marine electrician you may want to make the simple check yourself. The ground and neutral should be isolated even though they originate from the same spot somewhere way upstream in the circuit.

I am out on the river fishing and doing this from the phone so I didn’t follow your links. If this is discussed there and I am just rambling, I apologize.

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ssobol



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:18 pm    Post subject: Re: New NEC/ABYC shorepower standard... Reply with quote

localboy wrote:
...This article explains it in detail: https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/maintenance/why-some-boaters-suddenly-cant-connect-to-shore-power
...


As mentioned in the article, can you tolerate another 60-70 lbs. on your boat. Also, any transformer that weighs 60-70# is not going to be that small even though transformers are high density objects.
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TyBoo



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok - we’re not exactly busy catching fish so I took the time to read the articles. You probably already considered the only thing I can offer so I’ll just take a little nap and let Lois watch the poles.
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jennykatz



Joined: 15 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: electric Reply with quote

I think they might be tying the neutral and ground together because sometimes the small gen -sets(Honda) won't work unless they are tied together The small gensets have a floating ground .
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4249
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
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C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TyBoo wrote:
Ok - we’re not exactly busy catching fish so I took the time to read the articles.

Laughing A bad day fishing is still a good day boating... Wink
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4249
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to do some more research. I have not even looked at anything. We got back, cleaned up, processed the shrimp...completed some house chores etc. I'll look at it when I have time. Thanks for the suggestions... Beer
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4249
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: New NEC/ABYC shorepower standard... Reply with quote

ssobol wrote:
As mentioned in the article, can you tolerate another 60-70 lbs. on your boat. Also, any transformer that weighs 60-70# is not going to be that small even though transformers are high density objects.


My posting that was facetious; tongue in cheek. I'm sure there is an easier, less expensive and lighter solution.
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Salmon Fisher



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW
We attended the FHCBGT and didn't have any trouble with the breaker tripping.

Here is our shore power procedure:

1) Turn OFF all breakers in the boat.
2) Turn OFF breaker at power post at dock.
3) Plug in shore power at the boat.
4) Plug in shore power plug at power post at dock.
5) Turn ON breaker at power post at dock.
6) Turn ON boat main breaker and then other breakers for needed supply.

Our boat is a 2006 25 Cruiser with a galvanic isolator. Maybe that plays a part in our success.

There were other boaters that were having problems with their power post breakers tripping while we were there.

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smittypaddler



Joined: 30 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:10 pm    Post subject: No certified electricians within 100 miles of Appleton, Wis Reply with quote

I've never succeeded connecting to a 30-amp gfci plug, and I've tried every sequence of switches on my 22 C-Dory I could think of. I'm not a competent electrician, so I'm not about to try to solve this, but when I went to the ABYC directory online and asked for a certified electrician within 100 miles of Appleton, Wisconsin, I got zero hits.
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 4249
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Here is our shore power procedure:

1) Turn OFF all breakers in the boat.
2) Turn OFF breaker at power post at dock.
3) Plug in shore power at the boat.
4) Plug in shore power plug at power post at dock.
5) Turn ON breaker at power post at dock.
6) Turn ON boat main breaker and then other breakers for needed supply.

Our boat is a 2006 25 Cruiser with a galvanic isolator. Maybe that plays a part in our success.


Patrick, I follow the exact same procedure. It would trip...instantly. Confused And yet your boat is one year older than ours. We also have a galvanic isolator. Hmmmm....I am confused. Confused Confused
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One test to do to start the diagnostic chain--is to see if the ground and neutral are wired to a common point. Check for continuity across the green and white wires, with the boat unplugged from the shore power. With the power off, unplugged this is a safe test to perform.

There are a number of other tests, but know exactly what you are doing, and be very careful doing any measurements with the power plugged in and turned on.

Having all circuits and the breaker on the power pillar turned off is always a good idea in both boats and RV's.

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