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Old 12-07-2011, 15:36   #1
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Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

I was wondering if the marina itself would put them in, or on upgrades would they be required separate from the boat itself. Say in many years time as things change.
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Old 12-07-2011, 16:26   #2
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

In North America, a device that trips on leakages of nominally 5mA and meets certain standards is called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
A device meeting the same standards but with a trip level of 30mA is called an Electrical Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI).

ABYC regulation E13.3.5 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 regulation E11.11.1 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 E11.10.2.8.3 whichever is closer to the shore power connection.

See also ➥ Introducing the ELCI
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Old 12-07-2011, 20:04   #3
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

an installed requirement only for new boats.
Old boats just a suggestion.

Quote:
If you buy a new boat built in 2010, it'll have one installed. If your boat is built before this year, get one installed or DIY
but tthe writer does not say you dont have to have one legally on your old boat, but he does try to scare you about being killed. All the boats over all the years plugged in without any such device is meaningless, so just spend the $350, after all it is a boat.

my question though is about the marina power at their end. I think the marina power should have ELCI on their pedestal.
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Old 13-07-2011, 21:35   #4
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post

my question though is about the marina power at their end. I think the marina power should have ELCI on their pedestal.
The linked article by Mr. May states: "...the 30 mA trip level of the ELCI. This specification incidently is the same as the devices used in Europe, New Zealand and Australia already. The 30 mA value is a good compromise between nuisance tripping and electrical shock hazard safety."

If you have a "better", i.e., more sensitive, 5 ma GFCI device installed on YOUR boat, and you check it regularly and it works, what advantage is it to have one LESS SENSITIVE on the dock box? Please help me understand your concern.
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Old 14-07-2011, 05:10   #5
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

"Please help me understand your concern."
for example I have the 5 ma protection on the outlets only since a GFCI outlet is installed.
The shore power that comes into the boat is not GFCI from the 30 amp marina plug.
So hardwired AC stove, heaters, other AC wired devices and half of the boat wiring is not GFCI.
Also if marina was required to use ELCI on that pedestal, then any boat will automatically be protected that plugs in. Perhaps should be required for fresh water marina as a start.

I read about how some marina's get miswired shore power on there end and or suffer from poor grounds and corroded connections so why not go TO THE SOURCE of the power instead of considering the boat as an ELCI APPLIANCE.
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Old 14-07-2011, 06:48   #6
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

There is a reason that everything is not GFI protected at the 5 ma level. Leakage currents exist in normal power circuits. Some of them are by design. Some electronc devices, such as polarity testers, run power to ground. A wet shorepower cord on a concrete dock will have some leakage current. Insulation is a bit less than infinite resistance.

If everything was protected at 5 ma there would be lots of undesired trips.
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Old 14-07-2011, 07:19   #7
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

ELCI is 30 ma not 5 ma

If it was GFCI 5 ma, then it would do a lot more tripping. But I read that 5 ma is very safe and wonder if 30 ma is not so safe since I had read somewhere that 20 ma can kill you.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...8112922AAYEzs4
Quote:
the volts is not what will kill you. It is the current transfered, ie the amount of electricity transfered. Lethal current is about 20 milliamperes. ]
http://selectedscience.com/?p=354

so it is still a potential killer even with an ELCI.

SO IS ELCI BEING HYPED AS SAFE ?
when it is just perhaps 'safer'
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Old 14-07-2011, 07:37   #8
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

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SO IS ELCI BEING HYPED AS SAFE ?
when it is just perhaps 'safer'
Please re-read the links. It says that 20ma applied to the heart can kill you. Most electrocution accidents do not involve someone holding probes directly on their heart. In most electrocution accidents the contact with the electricity is on the skin, and there are claims that it would take at least 70ma even in the most perfect conditions to cause heart fibrillation.

Electrocution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hence, unless you have your chest open and probes directly on your heart, the ELCI tripping @ 30ma should save your life. Or at least, that's the theory. :^)
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Old 14-07-2011, 10:08   #9
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
. . . my question though is about the marina power at their end. I think the marina power should have ELCI on their pedestal.
And to answer that, I don't think you will ever see it in a marina that is not a newly constructed marina. And constructing a new marina is a very expensive proposition these days. So slip rates would be rather high compared to the old - grandfathered - delapidated marinas we use to keep slip price costs reasonable. The old marinas are not about to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to "re-wire" their shore power systems.
- - So the result is that we install the protective equipment in our own boats rather than relying on marinas or somebody else to do it.
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Old 14-07-2011, 11:17   #10
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This debate has been over years ago in Europe. Here there RCBO ( aka ELCI, GFCI) on the pilar, on the boat, in houses etc. At less then 40 euros a pop why wouldn't a Marina re wire. On course it's code here.

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Old 14-07-2011, 12:00   #11
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

If you read the statistics on electrocutions on and in the water, something like 90% of them come from problems upstream of the boat breakers. The ABYC solution is not only more expensive, it subjects the boats to electrolysis and doesn't provide protection to people in the water. The real solution has already been instituted in the rest of the world--put GFCI protection on the marina circuits.
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Old 14-07-2011, 21:09   #12
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

Quote:
The real solution has already been instituted in the rest of the world--put GFCI protection on the marina circuits.
I agree completely.
For those who think it not worthy, consider this, the line and plugs and receptacles up to your ELCI boat breaker are not protected with the current system. It is perhaps possible a shore power system before your boat could have a failure, a miswire, poor grounds, etc... that the ELCI would detect and shut off the power. So the marina liability could be lower if they used ELCI and maybe their insurance rates could be dropped.
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Old 15-07-2011, 06:23   #13
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
If you read the statistics on electrocutions on and in the water, something like 90% of them come from problems upstream of the boat breakers. The ABYC solution is not only more expensive, it subjects the boats to electrolysis and doesn't provide protection to people in the water. The real solution has already been instituted in the rest of the world--put GFCI protection on the marina circuits.
I'm missing something. How does the ABYC solution subject boats to electrolysis more than other solutions?

Thanks!
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Old 15-07-2011, 06:27   #14
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

think about it, the most likely highest risk will be boaters or kids or someone plugging into or playing with the shore power plugs, sockets, and pedestal power bases.
Likely most boats already have GFCI protection on the outlets,
so the next highest risk is the power hookups.
But the shore cords have zero protection and zero protection on the shore cords even when the boat has ELCI breakers.
Fresh water marinas ought to have ELCI mandatory as they have the highest risk of electrocutions from the shore power cords.
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Old 15-07-2011, 06:55   #15
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Re: Shore Power Pedestals - Will They Ever Be ELCI Breakered ?

I have a Hubble 50 foot shore cord, part of a dual 30 setup with 50 amp Y splitter that fell into the salt water and apparently got damaged perhaps pinched between boat and dock. I came out to the boat and noticed no power coming in on that line.
So I check and the breakers are on everywhere, including the pedestal 50 amp breaker.
So I pull up the cord and closely looking at it realize the insulating cover has split and the cord is internally arcing into the salt water.

So I cut out the bad section to rewire the plugs and the current ate up around 2 feet of copper wire inside the cord.
So now both cords are around 35 to 40 feet. And I got to reuse some of that wire elsewhere in the boat.
So the power cords must have been putting current into the water, and no boat ELCI breaker would have tripped.
And that power was leaking into the water with no visible warning and likely doing so for some time. Perhaps around a week.
I suppose the electrocution risk was small.
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