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Old 18-07-2011, 10:05   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston,Tx
Boat: Maxum 37'
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Re: GFCI Outlet in an Engine Room in a Sealed Metal Box with Watertight Cover ?

Originally Posted by Seahunter View Post
If one's worries about an engine room spark, ANY outlet can produce this effect regardless if it's a GFI or not. Having any type of spark producing equipment goes against standards however an appropriate vapor detector can offer some protection.
An outlet will only spark when it is used, (except a GFCI can spark when tripped), feeding the engine room outlet from a GFCI located somewhere else is the best compromise.

As inadvisable as having an outlet in the engine room is, I have never seen a boat that didn't have one. All of MY boats electrical wiring was routed through the engine room, (both AC & DC), by the manufacturer.
Both engines, (gas burners), have alternators with sparking brushes. dozens of pumps, and both Air units are also sparking. The generator has open relays, not even to mention over a dozen "spark plugs", and distributer caps with spark gaps.

Fact is a major fuel leak while operating, and that boat is going to blow. Which is why before starting engines I always check bilge for any oder, or unexplanable liquids. Touch fuel lines, and under filters for wetness or gas smell. And run bilge ventelation system for 5 mins before starting engines.

Maybe adding a remote switch, (outside the engine room), to turn off outlet when not in use? An LEL detector should be common equipment on board a boat. Be safe.

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Old 18-07-2011, 17:14   #17
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Newport News VA
Boat: Egg Harbor sedan cruiser 1970
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Re: GFCI Outlet in an Engine Room in a Sealed Metal Box with Watertight Cover ?

I moved the GFCI into the cabin, simply cut a new hole for a box. The outlet in the bilge is now GFCI.

The fridge outlet is still non GFCI. Over the years I have had several GFCI outlets just stop working. So why risk letting the fridge and freezer melt down.
The fridge is an AC powered midsize, really a house hold model, not marine. The boat was factory built with this space for a fridge. I have shore power, an inverter, and a 6500 watt generator, so I have no problem with AC power.

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