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Old 27-12-2018, 14:50   #1
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Shore Power & ELCI

Fellow sailors,

I have been reading posts here for many years. Rarely have I ever posted (maybe never). I am trying to clear up some contradictory information I keep getting. I am in the process of rewiring my 1985 Tayana 37 Hull #450. I am working on finalizing my electrical drawings and need help with a question... Before I ask the question a little background on me. I am a computer engineer who previously was a component level electronics engineer. I also worked for the Cable TV company for many years and held every technical role in the company you could. I have done whole house wiring and know the building code around residential electrical and have also read the ABYC standards for marine electrical.

My plan... I am installing a simple AC system on my boat. 30A 120V service. I have no plans for an inverter. I am simply going to have a 30A 120V SmartPlug on my boat. That will go to an isolation transformer and then to my AC panel. The AC panel will simply feed the water heater, battery charger and 7 outlets. That is it.

My question... Reading the ABYC standards they call for ELCI protection for the boat. I have been told by a surveyor and marine electrician that I DO NOT need an ELCI breaker between the shore power inlet and my isolation transformer as long as it is 10' or less. A simple 30A breaker between shore power and the isolation transformer will do. Again, that breaker needs to be installed at, or less than, 10 feet from the outlet. But no need for ELCI. This seems to make sense to me.

Others have told me that I DO need the ELCI no matter what. Even if it is only protecting a 5' run between the shore power inlet and the isolation transformer. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that since it is such a small distance. Do I really need an ELCI for a 5' section of earth ground that runs from the shore inlet power to the isolation transformer?

Oh, and you may want to steer me towards the Tayana Owners Group. I am very aware of hat site as I am one of the site admins for the TOG News site. :-)

Thanks for any advice!

Phil
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Old 27-12-2018, 16:18   #2
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Re: Shore Power & ELCI

Your instincts are correct. Less than ten feet between power inlet and isolation transformer an ELCI is not required. A standard breaker is all that is needed.

Just as a trivial matter of semantics, an ELCI does not protect the wires or equipment, just people.

You’ll find in general grounding and circuit protection subjects that generate huge numbers of comments that are just plain wrong, but very loudly argued.
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Old 28-12-2018, 04:49   #3
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Re: Shore Power & ELCI

ABYC 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).

ABYC E–11.11.1 states:
An Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI) shall be installed with or in addition to the main shore power disconnect circuit breaker(s) or at the additional overcurrent protection as required by E–11.10.2.8.3* whichever is closer to the shore power connection.

More ➥ http://assets.bluesea.com/files/reso...50_002-web.pdf

https://www.bluesea.com/support/arti...our_boat_safer

*11.10.2.8.3
Additional Overcurrent Protection - If the location of the main shore power disconnect circuit breaker is in excess of 10 feet (three meters) from the shore power inlet or the electrical attachment point of a permanently installed shore power cord, additional fuses or circuit breakers shall be provided within 10 feet (three meters) of the inlet or attachment point to the electrical system of the boat. Measurement is made along the conductor.


ABYC E-11 (2008)http://www.blackfinforums.com/sites/.../abyc-e-11.pdf
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Old 28-12-2018, 05:51   #4
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Re: Shore Power & ELCI

Here you go....



"ABYC E-11

11.11 GROUND FAULT PROTECTION - AC

11.11.1 An equipment leakage circuit interrupter (ELCI) or Type A residual current device (RCD) shall be installed with or in addition to the main shore power disconnect circuit breaker(s) or at the additional overcurrent protection as required by E-11.10.2.8.3, whichever is closer to the shore power connection.

EXCEPTION: Installations where an isolation transformer is installed within 10 ft (three meters) of the shore power inlet or the electrical attachment point of a permanently installed shore power cord and supported according to 11.14.4.1.3"
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Old 28-12-2018, 13:06   #5
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Re: Shore Power & ELCI

I can see the logic of not requiring a ground fault, with an isolation transformer. The 5 0r 10 feet seems a moot point. I'd ask your insurance carrier.
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Old 31-12-2018, 09:17   #6
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Re: Shore Power & ELCI

Kudos on the Smartplug. We had to add a second 30 amp inlet for our A/C that we had added a few years back. At startup it pulls about 27 amps, and if anything else is trying to start (Cooler Compressor, Mini-fridge, Battery Charger, Hot Water Heater, etc) it would trip our breaker. If the marina lost power during a storm, etc. we would often come to the boat to find the breaker tripped. I figured it out when power went out while I was at the boat.

You may want to consider going to a 220 50 amp service. It can be split for 110 and also widens your choices of A/Cs.
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