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Old 01-03-2014, 18:02   #1
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Stray electrical current

Two separate but very related electrical questions I would love some experienced wisdom on.

1. I have a steel boat that is quickly rusting from the outside despite being: blasted, epoxy barrier coated, and properly painted. I suspect there may be some stray current at the marina. Is there a way to test for this?

2. At a different marina a while back I saw a shore power cord drooped in the water. Thought I'd be kind and pull out the slack. As I started lifting I noticed it was two cords connected, and the connector was underwater. It was live and bubbles were pouring out of the connection. I am wondering why the breaker didn't trip. This must have been leaking a significant amount of current into the water? Fortunately no one was zapped, but I imagine that could cause a lot of corrosion quickly.

Now I doubt I'll find anything that obvious around my boat. Assuming current is found, any suggestions on how to locate/remove it? Also I assume it wouldn't take much to attack the steel, or if it's not obvious should I not worry about it? Thanks.

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Old 01-03-2014, 20:43   #2
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Re: Stray electrical current

ACK !! The marina MUST BE NOTIFIED !!
Start there.

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but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

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Old 01-03-2014, 20:52   #3
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Re: Stray electrical current

A steal boat at my boatyard was scrapped because they could not stop the rust and it was only a few years old. The owner built it himself and was showing us photos of his construction and it seemed to us that it was improperly primed as he waited quite a few days after sand blasting to primer. He had other design problems and just gave up.
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:15   #4
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Re: Stray electrical current

Follow the links provided here ➥ How to Measure Stray Current in the Water
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:43   #5
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Re: Stray electrical current

Dave Rifkin consultant to BoatUS and USCG on these issues has a few interesting articles in the "Documents" section of his website.

Last year I took one of his seminars and it was fascinating. Every boat owner should read his stuff.
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cal, current, electric, electrical

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