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Old 06-11-2009, 16:16   #1
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AC Questions

One winter project is to replace the simple AC wiring in my boat. I rarely use the system but want it to be to up to standards and safe.

I have read about everything I could find here but have a couple questions. I have a very simple system 30amp coming into a fusebox and three serial 15amp outlets. The installation looks clean and neat but it is using solid wire. There is an 8-10 gauge green ground stranded cable running from the ground in the box (and all receptacles) to the DC ground bus.

Currently

Question 1
30 amp older stainless marine receptacle in the cockpit. The back of it has pressure screw clamps for the wire. I thought everything had to have ring terminals? Is this ok today? It is in good shape.

Q2
The wire is solid and I am changing it to proper tinned stranded marine cable. Do I use the regular yellow (Anchorbrand) crimping ring terminals?

Q3
The 30 amp service (10 gauge wire) enters a fuse box rated for 2x30 amp services with two screw in glass fuses. Currently the one 30 amp service comes in and the neutral and hot each pass through one (15amp)fuse. It is not a marine box but a typical small house wiring box (grey metal) With a large manual breaker on the front. Is this ok? Code? Safe? Its inside the cabin and clean (no rust).

Q4
I will replace the solid cable from the box with 14 gauge stranded tinned. The next step is the 15 amp service feeds three outlets in serial. In the first one I installed a GFCI outlet. (This is how I found out about the solid cable.) The boxes are galvanized steel. Should I change to plastic?
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Old 06-11-2009, 18:18   #2
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Get rid of the household stuff.....all of it......

30 amp inlet to panel with main breaker and separate breakers.
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Old 06-11-2009, 18:26   #3
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Quote:
Question 1
30 amp older stainless marine receptacle in the cockpit. The back of it has pressure screw clamps for the wire. I thought everything had to have ring terminals? Is this ok today? It is in good shape.
Q2
The wire is solid and I am changing it to proper tinned stranded marine cable. Do I use the regular yellow (Anchorbrand) crimping ring terminals?
If it were my boat and it was in good condition I would leave the solid wire and use the screw connections. Spin a loop in the wire with the end of a needle nose so that it wraps completely around the screw.



Quote:
Q3
The 30 amp service (10 gauge wire) enters a fuse box rated for 2x30 amp services with two screw in glass fuses. Currently the one 30 amp service comes in and the neutral and hot each pass through one (15amp)fuse. It is not a marine box but a typical small house wiring box (grey metal) With a large manual breaker on the front. Is this ok? Code? Safe? Its inside the cabin and clean (no rust).
Upgrade to a proper marine unit with a few extra spaces for expansion.

Quote:
Q4
I will replace the solid cable from the box with 14 gauge stranded tinned. The next step is the 15 amp service feeds three outlets in serial. In the first one I installed a GFCI outlet. (This is how I found out about the solid cable.) The boxes are galvanized steel. Should I change to plastic? __________________
Steel is fine just make sure it is grounded.
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Old 06-11-2009, 19:06   #4
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Ok the box has to go. I'll do it but is there a reason why? I was kind of hoping for a ABYC type of answer. I don't mind tossing it but I havn't read any best practice that it doesn't follow.

I will be changing to stranded wire and I understand the reason is fatigue.. Its a couple hours job and $30 in cable. But what about the ring terminals. Are the 10 gauge yellow crimp rings ok?

If the outlet boxes are ok I'll leave them.
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Old 06-11-2009, 19:17   #5
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Yes, the yellow Ancor ring terminals are for 10 and 12 gauge wire. Get rid of the solid core wire...its fine for attaching things with wire nuts and machine screws in houses that never move, but it is not suitable for boats. For boats you want to use multi-strand wire with crimped connectors at each end. This is much more secure.
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Old 06-11-2009, 19:56   #6
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Thanks David . Do you know the reason for ditching the fusebox other than its a home depot special? It is wired with a 15 amp fuse on each pole. I'm just interested for the knowledge. I cant even find a marine fuse pannel with one 15 amp breaker.
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Old 06-11-2009, 20:14   #7
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Solitude-
A1 > Just saw an item at IBEX 2009 that is an ENORMOUS improvement over the "conventional" shore power inlet. See this link: SmartPlug Systems - Shore Power Products and Accessories

A2 > ABYC E-11 Table XI specifically prohibits solid and Type I stranded conductors. Ancor conductors are Type III.

Ring terminals give you the most secure termination with yellow for AWG 10 & 12; blue for AWG 14 & 16 and red for AWG 18 & 20. Buy high quality, nylon, double crimp terminations. Buy a proper ratcheting double crimp crimping tool. Physically pull each and every termination that you crimp. According to ABYC E-11 Table XV: AWG 16 should withstand 15 lbf tensile pull; AWG 14 should withstand 30 lbf tensile pull; AWG 12 should withstand 35 lbf tensile pull and AWG 10 should withstand 40 lbf tensile pull. And, just for fun, AWG 4/0 should withstand 225 lbf tensile pull.

A3 > Not as clear cut as I would like in the ABYC Standards. However, the very nature of the screw in fuses, metal to metal threads in a corrosion laden atmosphere is not a good mix.

I know, I know, somebody is going to pipe up about their Uncle Jimmy's lobster boat wired with metal coat hangers wrapped in electrical tape and screw in fuses replaced by pennies and the boat has been operating for 72.4 years with no problems. That's nice but not how I would want to operate.

ABYC E-11 does levy some requirements such as reverse polarity indication; polarized system; panel meters, etc. that the Square D box just can't comply with. Besides, with the limited system you are describing, you could use a small Blue Sea Systems shore power/distribution panel such as an 8043 or an 8409. The better of the two, 8409, can be found on the web for about $250.

A4 > ABYC E-11 allows metal boxes that meet the requirements of UL514A. If they are in good physical shape, I would leave them installed.

Hope this helps.
Charlie
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Old 06-11-2009, 20:35   #8
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If going with the crimps there are shrink tube types that are superior and weatherproof, well worth the extra $$, the yellow ones from a hardware store aren't worth it, IMHO.

With the box I am imagining the gray surface mount homeline type box, maybe I am wrong?? It's all a matter of degrees, a marine panel would just look better and fit in. Apparently what you have is working so it's up to you how much you want to do to make it "right".
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Old 06-11-2009, 20:53   #9
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When Buying Connectors.....Buy them in Bulk.....you aren't going to use them all at once but the price break is enormous....plus you'll end up being the good guy when you neighbor needs a couple.
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Old 06-11-2009, 20:59   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fareweather View Post
With the box I am imagining the gray surface mount homeline type box, maybe I am wrong?? It's all a matter of degrees, a marine panel would just look better and fit in. Apparently what you have is working so it's up to you how much you want to do to make it "right".

Yeah your not far off. Its a small surface mount sub panel like you would have outside for a hot tub or in a workshop. It has a manuel switch. It's in the back of a quarter birth and not visable. I will change it but I want to find a simple marine one first I only find larger Blue Sea system type panels that are "over kill" for this.

I am truely interested in what the best practice is other than "buy marine". Next boat may be a livaboard and I want to soak up the knowledge.
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Old 06-11-2009, 21:00   #11
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Good point Chief!

Will be doin the DC next!
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Old 06-11-2009, 21:10   #12
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Thats an answer you can sink your teeth into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
Solitude-
A1 > Just saw an item at IBEX 2009 that is an ENORMOUS improvement over the "conventional" shore power inlet. See this link: SmartPlug Systems - Shore Power Products and Accessories

A2 > ABYC E-11 Table XI specifically prohibits solid and Type I stranded conductors. Ancor conductors are Type III.

Ring terminals give you the most secure termination with yellow for AWG 10 & 12; blue for AWG 14 & 16 and red for AWG 18 & 20. Buy high quality, nylon, double crimp terminations. Buy a proper ratcheting double crimp crimping tool. Physically pull each and every termination that you crimp. According to ABYC E-11 Table XV: AWG 16 should withstand 15 lbf tensile pull; AWG 14 should withstand 30 lbf tensile pull; AWG 12 should withstand 35 lbf tensile pull and AWG 10 should withstand 40 lbf tensile pull. And, just for fun, AWG 4/0 should withstand 225 lbf tensile pull.

A3 > Not as clear cut as I would like in the ABYC Standards. However, the very nature of the screw in fuses, metal to metal threads in a corrosion laden atmosphere is not a good mix.

I know, I know, somebody is going to pipe up about their Uncle Jimmy's lobster boat wired with metal coat hangers wrapped in electrical tape and screw in fuses replaced by pennies and the boat has been operating for 72.4 years with no problems. That's nice but not how I would want to operate.

ABYC E-11 does levy some requirements such as reverse polarity indication; polarized system; panel meters, etc. that the Square D box just can't comply with. Besides, with the limited system you are describing, you could use a small Blue Sea Systems shore power/distribution panel such as an 8043 or an 8409. The better of the two, 8409, can be found on the web for about $250.

A4 > ABYC E-11 allows metal boxes that meet the requirements of UL514A. If they are in good physical shape, I would leave them installed.

Hope this helps.
Charlie
Thanks to you all for you input, as I said I will follow the best practices.

By the way there is a reverse polarity plug in one of the outlets,.. shows different led's depending on polarity.

I use the system once or twice a year. We're mostly at anchor but, like many on this forum I never feel comfortable about half good solutions.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:39   #13
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Q1: The 30A Twistlock Shore Power Inlet normally has pressure plate terminals which are acceptable (see 11.16.3.5).

11.16.3.4. Terminal connectors shall be the ring or captive spade types.

11.16.3.5. Connections may be made using a setscrew pressure type conductor connector, providing a means is used to prevent the set-screw from bearing directly on the conductor strands.

Q2: Yes, Yellow Crimp terminals are intended for #10/12 AWG wire, and Blue for #14/16 Wire. As Charlie notes, NYLON is the material of choice (Ancor, etc).

Q3: Replace the Fused Disconnect Switch with a 30A 2P Common Trip Circuit Breaker.

11.7.2.2.1.1. The shore grounded (white) and ungrounded shore current carrying conductors are connected from the shore power inlet to the boat's AC electrical system through an overcurrent protection device that simultaneously opens both current carrying conductors. Fuses shall not be used instead of simultaneous trip devices. (See E-11.12.2.9.2.)

11.12.2.9.2. Simultaneous trip circuit breakers shall be provided in power feeder conductors as follows:
11.12.2.9.2.1. 120 volt AC, single phase - ungrounded and grounded conductors (white),


The Blue Sea Systems AC Panel #8029 has a 2P Main Breaker, Reverse Polarity Indicator, and 1 Branch Cct Breaker Position.

BSS AC Panels120V AC A-Series Main + Branch Toggle Circuit Breaker Panels - Blue Sea Systems

OR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie
... you could use a small Blue Sea Systems shore power/distribution panel such as an 8043 or an 8409. The better of the two, 8409, can be found on the web for about $250...
Q4: Steel boxes are acceptable, but I would change out to plastic while its relatively easy to do so.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:31   #14
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Quote:
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Solitude-
A1 > Just saw an item at IBEX 2009 that is an ENORMOUS improvement over the "conventional" shore power inlet. See this link: SmartPlug Systems - Shore Power Products and Accessories
Would this be ABYC compliant?

FIGURE 13 SHORE POWER CABLE CONFIGURATIONS (p 43)
FIGURE 14 SHORE POWER CABLE CONFIGURATIONS, PIN AND SLEEVE (p 44)

Or even NEMA ?
http://www.hubbellonline.com/wiring/bryant/pdf/b/b5.pdf


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Old 07-11-2009, 09:04   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitude View Post
Thanks to you all for you input, as I said I will follow the best practices.

By the way there is a reverse polarity plug in one of the outlets,.. shows different led's depending on polarity.

I use the system once or twice a year. We're mostly at anchor but, like many on this forum I never feel comfortable about half good solutions.
There are some electrical panels other than BlueSeas that are ABYC compliant. Paneltronics, Newmar, Ancor and Sea-Dog offer panels designed for boats.

Electrical Panels
Manufacturer of Marine Electrical Panels and Special Vehicles
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