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Old 31-12-2011, 07:17   #76
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Flipping the breaker only means you've cut that boat out of the ground loop.
The double-pole AC breaker switches the hot and neutral, not the ground. You would need to unplug the shore power cord to isolate the ground. This problem is almost certainly DC current through the shore power ground loop between boats.

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Old 31-12-2011, 07:26   #77
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Theres some serious confusion in all these posts,

Firstly measuring voltages from the stays or mast to the water isn't an indication of anything. The problem could be him, it could be you or it could be another neighbour. ( or the marina itself). Trying to decisively prove what's causing it is a waste of money. The practical onus rests with you to protect your boat.

What everyone does is improve the protection in their own boat in such circumstances. A simple galvanic isolator may do the trick, an Isolation transformer will almost certainly fix it as it isolates you from the mains circuit.

Despite a post GFCIs will not protect your boat from such impressed corrosion. That's not what they do. Neither will putting a clamp meter over the power cord really tell you anything. It's too coarse a method.

Thirdly the ground connection is an ABYC rule it's not law. It's a code of practice ( in Europe the RCD is law)

I believe a low cost galvanic isolator installed in your AC protective earth line will cure your problems, it's an awful lot cheaper then a lawyer and had guaranteed results too ! . If it does not you could have DC current issues which can be more severe.
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Old 31-12-2011, 07:32   #78
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

The marina and the referenced boat owner are responsible for the problem. The marina is responsible to provide a safe environment for storage of your boat; which he is not once he / she has been made aware of the problem. The owner of the referenced boat is responsible for any and all damages he or his boat causes. Since he has been made aware of the problem then he is negligent and responsible for damages.

I would recommend that you hire a $2.00 attorney to notify both parties in writing that they will be responsible for any and all damages caused by their negligence This probably probably will be the problem solved; especially if the marina manager passes the letter on to the owner who in the end will be financially responsible.
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Old 31-12-2011, 07:42   #79
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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Originally Posted by tfrankum View Post
The marina and the referenced boat owner are responsible for the problem. The marina is responsible to provide a safe environment for storage of your boat; which he is not once he / she has been made aware of the problem. The owner of the referenced boat is responsible for any and all damages he or his boat causes. Since he has been made aware of the problem then he is negligent and responsible for damages.

I would recommend that you hire a $2.00 attorney to notify both parties in writing that they will be responsible for any and all damages caused by their negligence This probably probably will be the problem solved; especially if the marina manager passes the letter on to the owner who in the end will be financially responsible.
Where can you find a $2.00 Attorney?
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Old 31-12-2011, 07:49   #80
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Theres some serious confusion in all these posts,

Firstly measuring voltages from the stays or mast to the water isn't an indication of anything. The problem could be him, it could be you or it could be another neighbour. ( or the marina itself). Trying to decisively prove what's causing it is a waste of money. The practical onus rests with you to protect your boat.

What everyone does is improve the protection in their own boat in such circumstances. A simple galvanic isolator may do the trick, an Isolation transformer will almost certainly fix it as it isolates you from the mains circuit.

Despite a post GFCIs will not protect your boat from such impressed corrosion. That's not what they do. Neither will putting a clamp meter over the power cord really tell you anything. It's too coarse a method.

Thirdly the ground connection is an ABYC rule it's not law. It's a code of practice ( in Europe the RCD is law)

I believe a low cost galvanic isolator installed in your AC protective earth line will cure your problems, it's an awful lot cheaper then a lawyer and had guaranteed results too ! . If it does not you could have DC current issues which can be more severe.

Thank you Eric & GoBoatingNow for the most accurate posts of this thread! ELCI/RCD breakers are now part of the ABYC standard but they have not dropped the AC/DC ground like Europe did. Per conversations with Ed S. the fear is that the ELCI/RCD could still be a failure point, or fail to perform its duty, and thus the AC/DC tie acts as a redundant safety. Not saying I agree with it or disagree...

A 30A GI can be had for under $70.00. You can't even text or email a lawyer for that..

Here's a ProMariner fail safe GI for $59.00


Unless you like going to Vegas, and are willing to gamble your vessel, anyone who "plugs in" should take the appropriate steps to minimize the potential for corrosion of their vessel. This comes easiest in the form of a galvanic isolator or an isolation transformer.

Even if the OP were to solve his problem, another one will pop up and he'd be back to square one.. In one marina in Florida that went through a soup to nuts corrosion survey a full 1/3 of the boats were found to be leaking current!! 1/3!!

As GoBoatingNow stated the OP's testing methods do not conclusively prove anything so his anger is quite likely to be misdirected. Having taken numerous ABYC corrosion courses & seminars, with some of the best "experts" in the field, all I can suggest is what GoBoatingNow, myself and others have. Protect your own boat or unplug...
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Old 31-12-2011, 07:52   #81
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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The marina and the referenced boat owner are responsible for the problem.

And you know the "referenced boat owner" is the problem? How? We have no conclusive evidence of such a claim.
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Old 31-12-2011, 07:58   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfrankum
The marina and the referenced boat owner are responsible for the problem. The marina is responsible to provide a safe environment for storage of your boat; which he is not once he / she has been made aware of the problem. The owner of the referenced boat is responsible for any and all damages he or his boat causes. Since he has been made aware of the problem then he is negligent and responsible for damages.

I would recommend that you hire a $2.00 attorney to notify both parties in writing that they will be responsible for any and all damages caused by their negligence This probably probably will be the problem solved; especially if the marina manager passes the letter on to the owner who in the end will be financially responsible.
If you make a claim like that without serious proof it could amount to libel. The issue is not claiming this that or whatever it's conclusively proving the issue. If I received a lawyers letter like that I'd use my $ 2 lawyer to write back looking for conclusive proof. More then likely after you've spent $ 0000s trying to do this , you'll find that it wannt t what you thought. Of course that then exposes you to potential counter suit. That's how he legal profession makes loads of dosh , people rushing to litigation when a simple fix exists.

Dave
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Old 31-12-2011, 08:15   #83
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

Lawyers and the people who use them should be against the law in my book.
What ever happened to accountability?
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Old 31-12-2011, 09:51   #84
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Theres some serious confusion in all these posts,

Neither will putting a clamp meter over the power cord really tell you anything. It's too coarse a method.
Dave, have you ever tried putting a clamp-on meter over an AC power cord?? These guys have, and they have probably forgotten more than you will ever know a bout marine electrical systems

Marina Guard / Harbor Marine Consultants, Inc.

I tend to agree with you that its not guaranteed to solve a corrosion problem, but it should test for residual AC current which was the OP's original issue. Its an easy test which can pick up boat wiring problems in marinas which don't have RCD protection on the docks.

Hmmm, maybe I'll try it on my and my neighbor's power cords and report back....
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Old 31-12-2011, 11:19   #85
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

I know the OP is looking for the root cause, but my zinc problems went away when I installed solar panels and disconnected all shore connections. The zincs still need to be replaced from time to time, but much less often now.

I did put a clamp-on DC ammeter over my shore-power cable, taking several turns through the ammeter's jaws to increase the sensitivity. I have no isolation transformer, nor blocking diodes, and there was a measurable DC current through the power cable. I never bothered to track it down, since the solar panels took care of it.

Hanging one of those zinc "fish" over the side (or any kind of zinc, properly connected to your boat's ground system) will also help save your regular zincs. The clamp-on ammeter also showed DC current running through the zinc's connecting wire when I had the shore-power plugged in. It is possible to "over-zinc", but that wasn't a problem in my case.

If the marina or a neighboring boat has a serious electrical leakage or grounding problem it should be addressed for everyone's sake, but you're going to have a very hard time achieving a completely stray-current-free environment -- there are just too many possible sources. I think the best solution is to isolate your boat (transformer, diodes, solar, etc) and that way you are well-protected against even the "normal" level of stray marina current.
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Old 31-12-2011, 11:32   #86
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

Hey guys, I think we are just talking to air (looks around in cyberspace) I don't see the OP anywhere...
Maybe he just got mad and stomped off. Or,
Maybe he just had an agenda and when we didn't match it, he found a more sympathetic group- maybe a lawyers group

For what its worth, I learned something today.
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Old 31-12-2011, 11:40   #87
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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Hey guys, I think we are just talking to air (looks around in cyberspace) I don't see the OP anywhere...
Maybe he just got mad and stomped off. Or,
Maybe he just had an agenda and when we didn't match it, he found a more sympathetic group- maybe a lawyers group

For what its worth, I learned something today.

Thats OK, I for one learned something here. One new galvanic isolator being installed here.
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Old 31-12-2011, 11:44   #88
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

he might have followed davids advise...............without un plugging the cable first lol
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Old 31-12-2011, 11:52   #89
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

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Dave, have you ever tried putting a clamp-on meter over an AC power cord?? These guys have, and they have probably forgotten more than you will ever know a bout marine electrical systems

Marina Guard / Harbor Marine Consultants, Inc.

I tend to agree with you that its not guaranteed to solve a corrosion problem, but it should test for residual AC current which was the OP's original issue. Its an easy test which can pick up boat wiring problems in marinas which don't have RCD protection on the docks.

Hmmm, maybe I'll try it on my and my neighbor's power cords and report back....
Yes I have and being an electronics engineer I have access to some very good ones, sometimes the diverted current is very small or intermittent. in fact in one case I had to actually run my current probe into my fluke Scopemeter ( a brilliant piece of kit) and set it to data log mode to discover what was happening.

Then you have the analysis, even if you detect repeatable current loss ( or current gain), it doesn't mean that's the problem boat.( we then get to the walks like a duck, quacks like a duck , definition problem). You then really have to undertake a root and branch examination of the marina, the boats and any thing else. or course it could be DC current corrosion ( which I suspect this might be given the rapid depletion of the zincs).Now it gets difficult.

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Old 31-12-2011, 11:58   #90
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Re: Neighbor dumping raw AC into water?...what to do?

Just to clearify, my previous post. Yes the ground is not disconnected when the breaker is flipped. However you will find some boats with the neutral and ground tied together somewhere. And a few boats with the hot and neutral switched... scary stuff.. Same for docks for that matter. It happens. Lots O crazy wiring out there.

Plus docks, in the US anyway are probably wired 120/208V three phase, with the phases split along the dock fingers. Another whole set of worms with different phases leaking. Gee the insulation on the main power wiring could be failing for that matter. I know of one instance where A 200 amp feeder on a floating concrete dock melted and caught fire due to failed insulation that was chaffed over 20 years. Lucky the main breaker tripped on that one. That got the old harbormasters heart going....


Reading the voltage from a boat does not tell you the direction the current is traveling. Its just as likely that the current is traveling from the water to the boat... Like another poster said, reading voltage off rigging is meaningless.
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