Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-05-2015, 02:54   #1
Registered User
 
SailRedemption's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Kaufman 47
Posts: 778
ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

I'm just about finished with my electrical upgrades, and I was wondering if anyone has one of these installed? Did you do the remote panel box or changed out breaker on main panel?

I'm eyeing them, I want to do this upgrade once and never have to touch it again. So if I need to do this now, I want to do it while everything is torn down.



- Ronnie...on the geaux
__________________

__________________
SailRedemption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 04:00   #2
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,019
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

The ELCI needs to be within 10 feet (wire length) of the power inlet connector. That's why they are often not installed inside at the main breaker panel. Also, the ELCI breakers are usually too large to retrofit into the main breaker panel.
__________________

__________________
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 04:51   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

ELCI Breaker Installationhttp://assets.bluesea.com/files/reso...50_002-web.pdf

https://www.bluesea.com/products/category/ELCI_and_GFCI
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 17:01   #4
Registered User
 
SailRedemption's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Kaufman 47
Posts: 778
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
The ELCI needs to be within 10 feet (wire length) of the power inlet connector. That's why they are often not installed inside at the main breaker panel. Also, the ELCI breakers are usually too large to retrofit into the main breaker panel.
I have seen the information on them and know what they do, but does anyone actually have them installed? They are $400+ for on of them and more if you get the box, that's quite hefty for a breaker.

From what little pops up on threads it's still a mythical theoretical item that people say we should have but rarely do I actually see they have one...

- Ronnie...on the geaux
__________________
SailRedemption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 17:27   #5
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,019
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
I have seen the information on them and know what they do, but does anyone actually have them installed? They are $400+ for on of them and more if you get the box, that's quite hefty for a breaker.

From what little pops up on threads it's still a mythical theoretical item that people say we should have but rarely do I actually see they have one...

- Ronnie...on the geaux
The primary reason for ELCI I think is to protect swimmers in the water near boats at marinas. If the boat is not connected to shore power then the ELCI does nothing useful. I believe they are required on new boats per ABYC.

The ELCI does not do much in the way of protecting the occupants of the boat. Inside the boat the occupants are protected by GFCI devices on every outlet. This has been mandatory in the US for some time. The ELCI prevents the boat itself from leaking current into the water. There have been cases of swimmers killed by current leaking from boats. The leakage current seems to paralyze the swimmer and they drown. If someone jumps in and tries to help them they might also drown. For esoteric technical reasons drownings due to current leakage primarily happen in fresh water and not as likely in salt water. I have never heard of a case of stray current leakage causing a swimmer to drown in salt water. But it could happen if the leakage was high enough.

In Europe ELCI is much more common I think. It may be a requirement in some EU countries. You would have to check on that or maybe one of our EU friends will pop in with the latest rules over there.

So to answer your question, yes many (mostly new) boats have ELCI devices installed. It is not mandatory to retrofit older boats. In the US the decision to retrofit is up to you and may be affected by where you intend to cruise and how often you connect to shore power. If you are on shore power in fresh water where there are people (especially children) swimming nearby then an ELCI is definitely a good idea.
__________________
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 18:01   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: still in a roll of fiberglass around Cape Town
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,201
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
The ELCI does not do much in the way of protecting the occupants of the boat. Inside the boat the occupants are protected by GFCI devices on every outlet.
I agree on much of yoru post but not this.

Let me give you one example. None of the US-market boats that I have worked on has a residual current device (call it RCD, RCBO, GFCO or whatever) to protect you from getting zapped by the watermaker┤s high pressure pump that runs on 120V AC. Therefore when a hose blows and the pump is flooded you have to hope that the green wire will get zapped and trip the 15A breaker before you do get zapped. A US$30 standard Euro-style DIN-sized residual current device in the genset AC outlet would trip when there is a 30mA leak for one tenth of a second.

In addition, you can also get zapped upstream of an outlet when the insulation of a hot AC wire is damaged for some reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Inside the boat the occupants are protected by GFCI devices on every outlet. This has been mandatory in the US for some time.
I am ABYC-certified marine electrician and have not see a North American standard that requires GFCIs (which is American jargon for a residual current device mounted in the outlet itself)in EVERY outlet of a boat or house. Please share such a standard if you have seen it.
__________________
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 18:23   #7
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,019
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

ABYC regulation E–13.3.5 states:
If installed in a head, galley, machinery space, or on a weather deck, the receptacle shall be protected by a Type A (nominal 5 milliamperes) Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

For 99% of boats that covers pretty much the entire boat.
__________________
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 18:27   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: still in a roll of fiberglass around Cape Town
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,201
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
I have seen the information on them and know what they do, but does anyone actually have them installed? They are $400+ for on of them and more if you get the box, that's quite hefty for a breaker.

From what little pops up on threads it's still a mythical theoretical item that people say we should have but rarely do I actually see they have one...

- Ronnie...on the geaux
I do know that because of all the ignorance and misinformation about residual current devices in North America people do not use them and those who do pay over the top, but you do not need to pay US$400.

1) Cheapest solution is to have a friend in Europe or the third world go to the local version of Home Depot and buy for you a 30mA 100ms residual current device compliant with IEC 61008 such as this:

Interruptor diferencial 25 A┬*-┬*Sodimac.com


This is what Europeans call RCD and it is allowed by point 11.11.1.3 of the current ABYC standard.

You will also need a 2-module DIN box to mount it just before the first AC breaker. You can install one in the genset, one before the main shorepower breaker and one in the inverter┤s AC outlet. All this for about 3 times US$30 based on the prices I saw in Chile last week. See Interruptor diferencial 25 A┬*-┬*Sodimac.com

(The A rating should be at least equal to the A rating of the overcurrent breaker, just to make sure it will not fail due to overcurrent.)

2) You could also get a combined device that has both the residual current device and a double-pole overcurrent device and fits in a 2-module DIN (or sometime 1-module) box. . This is called an RCBO and the relevant standard is IEC 61543. if you can buy this in a country where peopel use them in houses you will get it for about US$50. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/DOUBLE-Circu...&keywords=rcbo

This is also compliant with ABYC standards. See E-11.11.1.3

Make sure you get the right A overcurrent rating though based on usual electrical practice.

3) If you cannot get a friend to this favor then Marinco will do it for you. They will charge you US$120 or so for their RCBO item RCD32A30MA (32A overcurrent rating; there are other ratings available) which is used in houses in New Zealand and imported into the US by Marinco with the appropriate "marine" markup. J Gordon and Co in Annapolis will take special orders for these. You will also need a DIN box that will cost a few bucks.

**
Back to your question. I am very cheap and went for option 1 in my own boat. I just ordered option 3 for a boat I worked on in the US.
__________________
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 18:41   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: still in a roll of fiberglass around Cape Town
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,201
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
ABYC regulation Eľ13.3.5 states:
If installed in a head, galley, machinery space, or on a weather deck, the receptacle shall be protected by a Type A (nominal 5 milliamperes) Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

For 99% of boats that covers pretty much the entire boat.
Thanks for sharing the basis for the statement. That standard does not require GFCIs for the outlets located in the cabins of every Beneteau I have seen, including my lowly 33-footer. All the US-made Beneteaus I have seen have outlets in every cabin. In addition, that standard does not require residual current protection for AC-powered watermakers, battery chargers and MOST IMPORTANTLY water heaters. I am sure more than 1% of boats have outlets in cabins, nav stations or have AC-powered watermakers, water heaters or battery chargers. Therefore I do not agree with your statement.

Another story is that when running on shore power the sensible thing is to have a 30mA 100ms RCD or RCBO at the every marina┤s shorepower pedestal (UK standard) to protect people from getting zapped when plugging/unplugging and this makes the RC device onboard unnecessary. Unfortunately the US became independent in 1776 and has the freedom not to do the sensible thing on this. Don┤t get me going on the stupid new US rule for marinas because it is a joke IMO.
__________________
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-05-2015, 19:16   #10
Registered User
 
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 1,673
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

I bought one of these: https://www.bluesea.com/products/310...le_120V_AC_30A It has both the ELCI and dual breaker, perfect for use at the power inlet. $400? MSRP is $159.42, and it is available discounted from the usual suspects. I bought a gray plastic box to mount it in, sealed Marine UL, at Home Depot (cheap). It did take a few minutes of effort to drill/cut the required holes. I also bought two cable glands for the power in/out. Very neat installation.

Aside from the outlets that may not have GFCI (trip @ 5ma), an ELCI protects from leakage from all 120V equipment: battery charger, water heater, space heater, microwave, all your high tech toys, etc. They are a very good idea.

Alternatively, using an isolation transformer on the power inlet will cover some, but not all, of the failure modes that an ELCI will protect from (and vice versa). If not, then you should still have a galvanic isolator with the ELCI. Retrofitting may not be required but it is still a very good idea. Any good surveyor should be noting the absence of such protection.
__________________
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2015, 01:25   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,698
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

I have only seen one or 2.


one was on a boat with an inverter charger. the charger (and the outlets it passed through too) could not be used on shore power. it would just trip the elci. probably because the time it took for the inverter / charger to release the ground to the N bond (required for ABYC) was slower then the ELCI to trip (which is now required by ABYC) ......


yay boats and new crap.
__________________
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2015, 07:29   #12
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,019
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Another story is that when running on shore power the sensible thing is to have a 30mA 100ms RCD or RCBO at the every marina┤s shorepower pedestal (UK standard) to protect people from getting zapped when plugging/unplugging and this makes the RC device onboard unnecessary.
I agree this would be the sensible thing to do. It would cause a lot of boats to trip the pedestal off I'm guessing and the boat owners would be unhappy. But that's a lot better than killing some unfortunate kid that just wanted to sneak in an afternoon swim off the dock.

It would be much better IMO to specify the RCD as part of the shore power cable at the point where it plugs into the pedestal. That is a better place than inside the boat. Such a device, moulded into the shore cable should not be terribly expensive IMO.

I am not a fan of RCDs on generators. IMO the mains output of the generator (or inverter) should not have its "ground and neutral" connected to the boat DC ground or any other part of the boat. In that case there is no need of an RCD because the generator (or inverter) acts as an isolation transformer. The ABYC rules in this area are madness IMO.
__________________
transmitterdan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2015, 12:21   #13
Registered User
 
SailRedemption's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Kaufman 47
Posts: 778
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
I do know that because of all the ignorance and misinformation about residual current devices in North America people do not use them and those who do pay over the top, but you do not need to pay US$400.

1) Cheapest solution is to have a friend in Europe or the third world go to the local version of Home Depot and buy for you a 30mA 100ms residual current device compliant with IEC 61008 such as this:

Interruptor diferencial 25 A┬*-┬*Sodimac.com


This is what Europeans call RCD and it is allowed by point 11.11.1.3 of the current ABYC standard.

You will also need a 2-module DIN box to mount it just before the first AC breaker. You can install one in the genset, one before the main shorepower breaker and one in the inverter┤s AC outlet. All this for about 3 times US$30 based on the prices I saw in Chile last week. See Interruptor diferencial 25 A┬*-┬*Sodimac.com

(The A rating should be at least equal to the A rating of the overcurrent breaker, just to make sure it will not fail due to overcurrent.)

2) You could also get a combined device that has both the residual current device and a double-pole overcurrent device and fits in a 2-module DIN (or sometime 1-module) box. . This is called an RCBO and the relevant standard is IEC 61543. if you can buy this in a country where peopel use them in houses you will get it for about US$50. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/DOUBLE-Circu...&keywords=rcbo

This is also compliant with ABYC standards. See E-11.11.1.3

Make sure you get the right A overcurrent rating though based on usual electrical practice.

3) If you cannot get a friend to this favor then Marinco will do it for you. They will charge you US$120 or so for their RCBO item RCD32A30MA (32A overcurrent rating; there are other ratings available) which is used in houses in New Zealand and imported into the US by Marinco with the appropriate "marine" markup. J Gordon and Co in Annapolis will take special orders for these. You will also need a DIN box that will cost a few bucks.

**
Back to your question. I am very cheap and went for option 1 in my own boat. I just ordered option 3 for a boat I worked on in the US.
I'll check into those, thanks for the information.. Need to find an EU friend now. (:
I don't plan on being in fresh water, and I do plan to be moored more than at a marina but if I can go one of these routes I can have it regardless.

You said having it on connection, inverter, and water heater. Can you elaborate please?

My boat didn't come with any but I will be installing the gfci outlets that are low and in the appropriate spaces. Just so we're on the same page there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
I bought one of these: https://www.bluesea.com/products/310...le_120V_AC_30A It has both the ELCI and dual breaker, perfect for use at the power inlet. $400? MSRP is $159.42, and it is available discounted from the usual suspects. I bought a gray plastic box to mount it in, sealed Marine UL, at Home Depot (cheap). It did take a few minutes of effort to drill/cut the required holes. I also bought two cable glands for the power in/out. Very neat installation.

Aside from the outlets that may not have GFCI (trip @ 5ma), an ELCI protects from leakage from all 120V equipment: battery charger, water heater, space heater, microwave, all your high tech toys, etc. They are a very good idea.

Alternatively, using an isolation transformer on the power inlet will cover some, but not all, of the failure modes that an ELCI will protect from (and vice versa). If not, then you should still have a galvanic isolator with the ELCI. Retrofitting may not be required but it is still a very good idea. Any good surveyor should be noting the absence of such protection.
I didn't mention but I have a 50a connection so it's $380 msrp for that one.. But thanks for sharing how you mounted it, I'd likely do it exactly how you did it.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/310...le_120V_AC_50A

- Ronnie...on the geaux
__________________
SailRedemption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2015, 12:42   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: still in a roll of fiberglass around Cape Town
Boat: Leopard 40 (new model)
Posts: 1,201
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post

You said having it on connection, inverter, and water heater. Can you elaborate please?


My boat didn't come with any but I will be installing the gfci outlets that are low and in the appropriate spaces. Just so we're on the same page there.
1) IMHO (and ABYC┤s) the AC-powered water heater needs to have residual current protection because they have insulation faults at times and you do not want to wait until the thing is leaking 15 amps for the normal overcurrent breaker to trip. Even if you upgrade your outlets to GFCI outlets (which do not cover water heaters and other loads that are permanently connected ie not plugged into an outlet) the standard calls (for a reason) for a (30mA 100 milisecond) residual current device (called RCD, ELCI, RCBO or whatever) that covers all your AC wiring. If your only AC source is shorepower then you can just install an RCD or RCBO just downstram of where the shorepower cable enters the boat. This will also cover outlets fed by inverter that goes into passthrough mode while on shorepower.

You need to be aware that the residual current (RC) device will detect some wiring issues that may have been hidden until them, such as shared neutrals across two shorepower inlets, circuit that take neutral from one shore inlet and hot from the other, panel pilot lights that take hot from inverter bus and neutral from B bus, etc. Don┤t blame the RC device, blame the bad installation.


2) If you want protection while away from shorepower and using the inverter you can install a RCD in the AC outlet of the inverter. If, like in many boats, in your boat the inverter only feeds outlets (not a watermaker, air conditioner , water heater, etc) then it may be cost effective to replace all outlets (or just the first one in each circuit if you know how to hang the rest from the LOAD terminals of the first one) with US-style 5-mA GFCI outlets. Alternatively you can install a Euro-style RCD near the AC out connections of the inverter. Details will depend on what you have.



Just make sure your inverter has its own neutral bus (required by current stanards) because if it shares a neutral bus
__________________
svlamorocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2015, 14:00   #15
Registered User
 
SailRedemption's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Orleans
Boat: Kaufman 47
Posts: 778
Re: ELCI breakers, anyone have them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
1) IMHO (and ABYC┤s) the AC-powered water heater needs to have residual current protection because they have insulation faults at times and you do not want to wait until the thing is leaking 15 amps for the normal overcurrent breaker to trip. Even if you upgrade your outlets to GFCI outlets (which do not cover water heaters and other loads that are permanently connected ie not plugged into an outlet) the standard calls (for a reason) for a (30mA 100 milisecond) residual current device (called RCD, ELCI, RCBO or whatever) that covers all your AC wiring. If your only AC source is shorepower then you can just install an RCD or RCBO just downstram of where the shorepower cable enters the boat. This will also cover outlets fed by inverter that goes into passthrough mode while on shorepower.

You need to be aware that the residual current (RC) device will detect some wiring issues that may have been hidden until them, such as shared neutrals across two shorepower inlets, circuit that take neutral from one shore inlet and hot from the other, panel pilot lights that take hot from inverter bus and neutral from B bus, etc. Don┤t blame the RC device, blame the bad installation.


2) If you want protection while away from shorepower and using the inverter you can install a RCD in the AC outlet of the inverter. If, like in many boats, in your boat the inverter only feeds outlets (not a watermaker, air conditioner , water heater, etc) then it may be cost effective to replace all outlets (or just the first one in each circuit if you know how to hang the rest from the LOAD terminals of the first one) with US-style 5-mA GFCI outlets. Alternatively you can install a Euro-style RCD near the AC out connections of the inverter. Details will depend on what you have.



Just make sure your inverter has its own neutral bus (required by current stanards) because if it shares a neutral bus
I'll have a Victron Multiplus I/C with pass through, and a single 120/50a shore plug so no shared neutrals.

So I'll add the RCD to the AC out of the inverter, before the galvanic isolator, then the panel. The inverter will power outlets, and probably the water heater. I don't have much else in 120VAC. So I'd get an additional RCD for the water heater AC input from panel breaker.

I'm hoping to have wiring issues taken care of with a new blue seas panel and new wiring.

I have 2 heads, galley, engine room, and some outlets low to the deck in the cabin that I will replace with gfci outlets. The rest will be replaced with regular outlets.

From what you're saying, this above would be ideal a few correct with what I have?

- Ronnie...on the geaux
__________________

__________________
SailRedemption is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Handrails - remove them all together or keep them? Danibug Construction, Maintenance & Refit 55 23-07-2013 20:50
Dead Batteries -- Blast Them or Coddle Them? Dockhead Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 36 02-06-2012 18:07
Dreams - make them good and make them big. anjou Construction, Maintenance & Refit 53 15-04-2012 12:46
GRIB Files: Getting them and Reading them Tspringer Navigation 17 31-01-2011 02:00
LOVE THEM OR LEAVE THEM? Keegan General Sailing Forum 29 28-11-2007 20:24



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:00.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.