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Old 01-06-2020, 14:09   #1
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Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

Hi - still learning but I understand there's a suggested sequencing of plugging in the shore side cable. First to the boat, then to the shore side power source. Then reverse when unplugging. It is also suggested that the both the shore side power source breaker be off while connecting and the boat breaker also be off. My question is if both breakers are off (the boat and the shore side power source) why does the sequencing of the making the connections matter? I understand that you don't want to handle a live wire and I understand a little about reverse polarity but if the breakers are off at both ends does it really matter which one gets plugged in first and taken out first? Th. Again, still learning
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Old 01-06-2020, 14:28   #2
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

My sequence is, on arrival at the dock

Connect the cable to the boat but with boat side breakers off.

Connect to the pedestal with the pedestal, breaker off

Power up the pedestal
Board the boat and look for reverse polarity on the boat
power the main breaker, onboard
Power the branch circuits, on board.


Departure is pretty much reverse
Power off A/C devices especially air conditioning

Power off branch circuits, on board

power off main breaker, on board


Flip the breaker on the pedestal
Disconnect fro pedestal

Disconnect from boat.


I always do it myself. I because the one time I didn't do it, I heard the phrase no one ever wants to hear "Honey I smell smoke" and it cost my an air conditioner because the boat side circuits were on an the surge was too much when the dock hand flipped the pedestal.
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Old 01-06-2020, 14:35   #3
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

I leave my plug in the pedestal and just disconnect the boat. Yeah yeah, I know... not 100% kosher. Obviously breakers on both sides are off, triple checked, all switches off and the shore power switch in the OFF position too (basically isolates everything). My wife usually handles the dock power switches and I ask her twice to check... plus I check visually from stern of boat.
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Old 01-06-2020, 14:46   #4
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

If the shore side circuit breaker is truly off then it doesn’t matter which end you plug in first. You really want to do any plugging and unplugging on an unenergized cable.

Having a regular pattern in place, like tmw posted above, will help you make sure that you don’t plug in energized cables, or a cable onto an energized circuit.

Cheers!

Steve
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Old 01-06-2020, 14:56   #5
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

Habit vs Theoretical.

Theoretical: If you are extra careful as long as the shore side breaker is off, it doesn't make a difference what side you plug in first.

Habit: You plug in the shoreside first because theoretically it doesn't matter and while going in, the dockhand "helps out" by flipping the breaker on as you slip and fall in the water with the live end.

Obviously a worst case scenario but better to follow good procedures so if something unexpected happens, you are covered.
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Old 01-06-2020, 15:03   #6
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

Depends on the setup. My shore power goes to the inverter/charger first. So, I disconnect only at the dockside. There are no switches anywhere, just an electronic switch in the inverter (ie it does not put AC on the shore power cord when inverting).

There are (theoretical) risks with this setup but it is really easy to use. It is a trade off.

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Old 01-06-2020, 16:17   #7
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Habit vs Theoretical.

Theoretical: If you are extra careful as long as the shore side breaker is off, it doesn't make a difference what side you plug in first.

Habit: You plug in the shoreside first because theoretically it doesn't matter and while going in, the dockhand "helps out" by flipping the breaker on as you slip and fall in the water with the live end.

Obviously a worst case scenario but better to follow good procedures so if something unexpected happens, you are covered.
This is an excellent answer

As a addendum, you turn the pedestal breaker on first so that you can check voltage and polarity on your panel before turning on the boat side breakers.

I also use a plug in circuit checker with LEDs to check for open ground and other problems at the pedestal if the marina looks at all sketchy before bothering to plug in my shore power cable.
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Old 01-06-2020, 16:25   #8
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

If you plug the shoreside in first you certainly want it switched off when taking the lead back on board and plugging it in. So you have to get back on board, plug in, go back to the pedestal, switch on, go back to the boat.

If you plug in the boat first (making sure breakers are off), it's only one trip to the pedestal to plug in and switch on.


(Two trips ashore v one)
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Old 01-06-2020, 18:57   #9
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
If you plug the shoreside in first you certainly want it switched off when taking the lead back on board and plugging it in. So you have to get back on board, plug in, go back to the pedestal, switch on, go back to the boat.

If you plug in the boat first (making sure breakers are off), it's only one trip to the pedestal to plug in and switch on.


(Two trips ashore v one)
Agreed if alone. My wife is on the dock and I am on the boat. She hands me the cords (we are marina based on long term rental slip), I plug them into boat and she then flips on breakers.
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Old 01-06-2020, 19:09   #10
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

Only one breaker needs to be off. Pick the easy one. You just don’t want current flowing while plugging or unplugging. As it will arc and burn out the plug over time.

Hooking the boat first. Prevents you from dropping a live cord in the water.
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Old 01-06-2020, 19:09   #11
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

I think you guys are overthinking this, it’s essentially just an extension cord.
So how many of you turn off the breaker before plugging in the vacuum cleaner etc? If you use an extension cord for a power tool what’s the plug in / circuit breaker sequence?
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Old 01-06-2020, 19:36   #12
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
Depends on the setup. My shore power goes to the inverter/charger first. So, I disconnect only at the dockside. There are no switches anywhere, just an electronic switch in the inverter (ie it does not put AC on the shore power cord when inverting).

There are (theoretical) risks with this setup but it is really easy to use. It is a trade off.

SV Pizzazz
NO trade-offs at all. If you don't open the shore circuit before you disconnect ... all that wiggling of the plug to get it out is giving your charger a stroke and will shorten it's life and the unavoidable arcing is destroying your shore cord prongs.
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Old 01-06-2020, 19:43   #13
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think you guys are overthinking this, it’s essentially just an extension cord.
So how many of you turn off the breaker before plugging in the vacuum cleaner etc?
Me! me!

I always turn the socket switch off before plugging anything into a socket, then switch it on.

If there's a problem with the plug, cord or anything at the end of the cord, I don't want arcing across the socket contacts when the plug is part way in.

Have you never had a vacuum cleaner burst into life when plugging it in?
Quote:
If you use an extension cord for a power tool what’s the plug in / circuit breaker sequence?
Same response as above. Never plug an extension cord in with anything connected to it.

If nothing untowards happens when you switch the socket on, make sure the power tool is switched off before plugging it in to the other end of the cord.
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Old 01-06-2020, 20:06   #14
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think you guys are overthinking this, it’s essentially just an extension cord.
So how many of you turn off the breaker before plugging in the vacuum cleaner etc? .................
I'm with a64pilot on this one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
....... If you use an extension cord for a power tool what’s the plug in / circuit breaker sequence?
Confirm the power tool is switched OFF at the tool; plug it into the extension cord and you are good to go as the other end of the extension cord is already powered up (as stays powered up until it is time to put it away which could be days later)!
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Old 01-06-2020, 21:08   #15
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Re: Connecting and disconnecting Shore Power



When I'm away from the boat... everything is plugged in and batteries are charging and all is well.

When I come back to the marina to sail out... I switch off the black breakers to the left, then I untwist and unplug shore power cables. They are not extension cords, so I always take them with me when I sail out.

When I come back, I make sure breakers are still off (switched to the left), then I plug in the two shore power cables and twist them clockwise to lock them. Then I turn the breakers on (push to the right).

I'm assuming that's the correct method.

Also, should I get one of those long, yellow extension cords and then just leave them at the marina? Or, not really recommended?
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