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What is a .......arch-fault breaker ?

 Just noticed that you have the GFCI at the dock............ WRONG !!!!!  It MUST be in the power panel on land. away from the water.  GOOD GRIEF !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Electrician  ??   is a complete danger to all people walking on a flooded dock . They would be swimming in in 120 vac electrified water............ FATAL.

Have a LICENSED LAND ELECTRIC COMPANY inspect & redo the dock wiring.

 

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12 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

What is a .......arch fault breaker ?

Arch-fault breaker is a type of breaker that has been code for almost 20+ years now and must be the breakers to certain outlets that supply current to certain appliances in a house.  Because some appliances were old and had too much arching inside their circuitry and/or motors that they would start a fire.  So they introduced arch-fault breakers that are code now and need to be the breakers on certain powered sourced that may have excessive arching so they sense it and trip immediately.

12 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

Just noticed that you have the GFCI at the dock............ WRONG !!!!!  It MUST be in the power panel on land. away from the water

Yeah, the outlet at the dock providing shorepower to the boat should not be a GFCI.  It should be on a GFI-protected breaker at either the subpanel near the dock/lift or at the main panel breaker that is supplying the power to the outlet.  Either way, I'm sure he has a subpanel at the lift and that outlet should DEFINITELY be on a GFI breaker and not at the GFI outlet.  That way the interruption happens at the breaker and kills any power going to the outlet itself.  Otherwise, the outlet trips but power is still going to the outlet until it's reset. 

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13 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

I thought I am very lucky in life to reach 80 years old.

You have USED UP all your luck standing in that water.  DO NOT DO IT ANY MORE !!!!!!  Our let anyone jump into the water from the dock.

No no no no no, stop freaking the guy out, will ya.  If he shuts off all power to the dock at the breaker(s) then he's only dealing with a possible 12vt DC current, then he's going to need to find out if the props are juiced when he creates a connection between the stray current in the water and his boat/props.  Then he can find out if the boat is wired or not wired correctly.

He already got lightly zinged with all the shorepower not only being on, but also plugged into the boat.  Now he needs to see if there still is a zingalinga without any shorepower whatsoever.

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What did I describe as previous testing ?  Do you read me & then rewrite what I say ? Is that your style  ?  

There is no such thing as a arch-fault breaker.  There is a ARC-FAULT BREAKER   ( AFCI  ).  Or a combined GFCI  &  AFCI  breaker. The NEC 2014 mandates them since then.  But I have not read the latest NEC codes on marine protection requirements. Will catch up on the good & bad of updating old wiring systems. 

If my medications allow retentive short term memory on a life threatening subject.

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Oh, excuuuuuuse me for having a habit of adding an h on arc!  Sheesh.

And they've been code a lot longer than 2014, at least in the state of MA.  Our electricians have had to use them for over 20 years, now.

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The galvanic isolator only helps with leakage to a point. Nothing over 0.6 to 0.8 volts A.C. It will not pass D.C.

Something else too which I did not think of earlier. It was explained that "Electrician who installed shore power", so it was not factory. Was he a marine electrician that understands thing like the boats bonding system and galvanic isolator? 

Most electricians do not use the test button on a GFI to test it. If you use a "wiggy" tester that almost all of them carry. Its the type that is a solenoid voltmeter that are handy partly because the solenoid mechanism vibrates when a voltage is applied. Never tried with a Ohm's meter, but test between hot (the small slot) and ground, say the screw to the cover plate. The GFI should trip, because your pulling current from the hot side alone. Its to easy to do and its a true test of the outlet.

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Wow. I have learned a lot from you guys! Thanks, and for the insights and the diagram. The marine certified electrician will be here today to test the system.

Just to clarify - the boat is new. Shore power on board is by Chaparral. When I said electrician installed the shore power, I meant at the new dock. Also, the GFI is 5 milliamperes threshold and it all way up at the house, where the power is connected to a new panel. That is where I test the GFI, and when I do, all power to the dock is terminated. Once terminated, only way to test for current on the props is get in the water and touch the props. We'll try that today, I imagine. IF there is still current, then it's the boat.

Will advise, and thanks again!

 

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I found this on the internet about galvanic isolators. I didn't' know what they are. This is informative for me, so I thought I'd share it. Enjoy!

"A galvanic isolator is a device used to block low voltage DC currents coming on board your boat on the shore power ground wire.  These currents could cause corrosion to your underwater metals; through hulls, propeller, shaft etc.

Boats in a marina plugged into shore power all act as a giant battery.  They are all connected together by the green shore power ground wire, which is (or should be) connected to their DC grounds, engine block, and bonded underwater metals.  If the boats are in salt water then that forms an electrolyte and the dissimilar metals connected together act as a battery, causing corrosion.

The galvanic isolator has two pairs of diodes set up so that a voltage of about 1.2 volts is required to cause them to conduct.  As most DC voltages caused by galvanic action will be less than this, they are blocked. Good quality isolators also contain a capacitor, which only conducts AC current, as a backup.

Normally no AC current is carried on the shore power ground wire, but it has to be able to carry the full load of the circuit in the event of a fault.  Therefore it is important to have a good quality unit that will not overheat when required to carry the rated load.  Some heat will be generated by the voltage drop and the unit must be able to withstand this."

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Please DO NOT get into that water again.................. YOU ARE NOT A   super / indefinite lucky electrocution test device.......... Call the marine Electrician and tell him you want to go testing the prop again.

If he is any good ?  He will tell you NOT TO DO IT.    The leakage voltage could go to 120 vac.  You will drown in front of him. Just like many people still do as posted by Iggy.

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29 minutes ago, docdixon said:

Also, the GFI is 5 milliamperes threshold and it all way up at the house, where the power is connected to a new panel. That is where I test the GFI, and when I do, all power to the dock is terminated.

I see.  So essentially the entire power source to the dock/lift is on and protected by a MAIN GFI breaker at the house's electric panel.  That's probably better since it will kill all the power to the dock and lift and not just the outlet at the dock.  

Joe, do you have another panel at the dock/lift?

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Yes, the electrician said the GFI at main panel protects entire dock, and even if we have flooding at house the 5mA GFI will trip. It has never tripped.

Yes, there is a small electrical panel at the dock with four circuits breakers (2 20A and 2 30A). We have shore power (30A), one electrical outlet, and a circuit for lighting.

And, color me silly, but I am NOT getting in the water to test for current. If fact, yesterday, it was my neighbor who felt the current while we were re-positioning boat on the lift. I won't ask him to go in again and test it! :-) 

 

Also, is a galvanic isolator something that is installed on the boat by Chaparral?  Or, is that a device installed when shore power is run to the dock and installed by the electrician?

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Great to hear the electrician is scheduled today.  Yesterday's feedback from the electrician and dealer was irresponsible.

A test the electrician should conduct is to take a clamp style meter and measure voltage on each of the 4 circuits at the dock (one at a time).  You'll need proper extension cords to do this because this is what you clamp around, and I assume the two 30 amp shore power circuits use the correct receptacle which is different than a standard 120 volt outlet.  Voltage should be zero on each of the circuits.  If there is any reading, there's a problem and stray voltage is entering the system from somewhere.  What the hot supplies, the neutral conveys back.  They sum to zero.  The principal difference between "land" and boat wiring is the how negative and ground sides are handled. A 120 volt "land" circuit has a hot, neutral and ground.  The ground handles any fault.  In most jurisdictions (not all), it's allowable intermix neutral and ground on the same bus within the panel.  It's not allowed at the receptacle.  A 240 circuit follows the same rule, except there are two hot leads.  In a boat, all metal parts are bonded and separate from the negative.  Your problem seems isolated to your boat.  If stray AC was in the water from your set-up, the island or a neighbor's dock, it would have been felt without touching the drive and it would have been more of a stun and potentially debilitating (overall weakness, weak in the knees, short of breath, felt in the heart, partial or full collapse, weakness or not being able to speaking, partial or full inability to control motor function, etc.).  I am in no way guaranteeing it's not coming from something else.  I'm not there and unable to view what you can.  But, based on the descriptions posted to this point, it points this direction.  I do hope this is figured out.  

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6 hours ago, docdixon said:

Yes, the electrician said the GFI at main panel protects entire dock, and even if we have flooding at house the 5mA GFI will trip. It has never tripped.

Yes, there is a small electrical panel at the dock with four circuits breakers (2 20A and 2 30A). We have shore power (30A), one electrical outlet, and a circuit for lighting.

And, color me silly, but I am NOT getting in the water to test for current. If fact, yesterday, it was my neighbor who felt the current while we were re-positioning boat on the lift. I won't ask him to go in again and test it! :-) 

 

Also, is a galvanic isolator something that is installed on the boat by Chaparral?  Or, is that a device installed when shore power is run to the dock and installed by the electrician?

My understanding that the GFI breaker for each outlet, new laws, needs to be at the power station.

Also, is a galvanic isolator something that is installed on the boat by Chaparral? -- YES it is

 

 

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Thank you. Very useful info.

Something I read at Kennedy Yacht  Services about Marine electric systems indicated the galvanic isolator could be defective and they suggested ways to test it. Apparently testing is difficult. Replacement is expensive. 

Anyone know where in engine compartment the galvanic isolator is located in a Chap Sig270?

man oh man. This is lots more involved than I’d ever have imagined. 

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1 hour ago, docdixon said:

Thank you. Very useful info.

Something I read at Kennedy Yacht  Services about Marine electric systems indicated the galvanic isolator could be defective and they suggested ways to test it. Apparently testing is difficult. Replacement is expensive. 

Anyone know where in engine compartment the galvanic isolator is located in a Chap Sig270?

man oh man. This is lots more involved than I’d ever have imagined. 

No, testing is very easy. You just need a Ohms meter

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10 hours ago, Iggy said:

You two should read this:   https://www.marinadockage.com/technical-bulletin-electrical-changes-marina-code/

In some ways you two are wrong and in other ways right. But, the code changes a few years ago due to deaths on lakes. That now a GFI breaker must be installed in the power station too and the panel.  

Not reading that entire mess of new code interpretations for shore power and marinas or whatever.  Who the heII wants to go through that painful mess?

And in what ways was anything that was said wrong or right?  Clopudus can speak for himself but I'm not sure what you're getting at.  So what are you trying to say, exactly?  That the way the electrician has the entire dock and lift on a single MAIN GFI breaker on the main panel in the house is not enough, and that the 4 circuits at what you call the "power station" need to all be on their own, individual GFI breakers?  If that's what you're getting at, tell Joe to tell his electrician lol.  Not sure what that has to do with me.  And what's the power station?  You mean the sub-panel at the dock? 

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4 hours ago, Hatem said:

Not reading that entire mess of new code interpretations for shore power and marinas or whatever.  Who the heII wants to go through that painful mess?

And in what ways was anything that was said wrong or right?  Clopudus can speak for himself but I'm not sure what you're getting at.  So what are you trying to say, exactly?  That the way the electrician has the entire dock and lift on a single MAIN GFI breaker on the main panel in the house is not enough, and that the 4 circuits at what you call the "power station" need to all be on their own, individual GFI breakers?  If that's what you're getting at, tell Joe to tell his electrician lol.  Not sure what that has to do with me.  And what's the power station?  You mean the sub-panel at the dock? 

Not getting into it..............

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  • 1 month later...

Update to all who offered information and help.

 

Recently, my neighbor took his sailboat to the yard for a bottom job. Guess what, no more current on my prop!

His boat was the source, not mine. Fortunately, he has now sold his boat and it will be removed next week. Meanwhile, my boat is high and dry. 

 

For the curious, his sailboat is wet slipped and is about 100' from mine. My boat is usually stored on my covered lift high and dry.

My last boat, an IP27, was wet slipped and the marina had several devices that kept stray current to a minimum and if they ever discover a boat that was 'leaking' current, that boat had to be moved and/or repaired. The marina actually took periodic readings in the water. Very helpful.

 

Thanks again for all the useful commentary and advice.

Fair weather,

Joe

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22 hours ago, docdixon said:

Recently, my neighbor took his sailboat to the yard for a bottom job. Guess what, no more current on my prop!

His boat was the source, not mine. Fortunately, he has now sold his boat and it will be removed next week

Good riddance!  The bottom paint basically insulated the bad ground he had on his sailboat?  That's actually pretty strange.  I hope he knows that there is something wrong with his boat.  Didn't think bottom paint was much of an insulator but I suppose if the voltage is low enough, it could happen.  That was not a good situation especially forcing your electrician to come up with that theory that there are so many transformers grounded in that area causing the stray current into the lake area is really too bad, since that is highly unlikely and merely an impossibility TBPH, but maybe he felt he couldn't just say "I don't know what it is, but it isn't my work."  Good thing.  Just watch out for the next person who moves in there.

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8 hours ago, Hatem said:

Good riddance!  The bottom paint basically insulated the bad ground he had on his sailboat?  That's actually pretty strange.  I hope he knows that there is something wrong with his boat.  Didn't think bottom paint was much of an insulator but I suppose if the voltage is low enough, it could happen.  That was not a good situation especially forcing your electrician to come up with that theory that there are so many transformers grounded in that area causing the stray current into the lake area is really too bad, since that is highly unlikely and merely an impossibility TBPH, but maybe he felt he couldn't just say "I don't know what it is, but it isn't my work."  Good thing.  Just watch out for the next person who moves in there.

The bottom paint was no way a insulator. It was his bonding system then that was putting current into the water. 

To docdixion, your two boats where ether very close to each other or your in deep water. His bonding system was putting current into the water. When you touched your prop, it is grounded so you felt it. Know i would check your anodes. I would think there eaten up by this.

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