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Old 01-03-2014, 19:02   #1
TDC
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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, 21:43   #2
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Re: Stray electrical current

ACK !! The marina MUST BE NOTIFIED !!
Start there.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:52   #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.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:15   #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, 06:43   #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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