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View Full Version : Check the electrical system at your docks guys!


CantRepeat
04-19-2017, 09:24 PM
So terrible.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/dad-warns-about-electric-shock-drowning-after-teens-death/ar-BBA3hg4?li=BBnbcA1

2RLAKE
04-19-2017, 09:42 PM
I have mine on a GFI

Tragic loss of life

lashburn1
04-20-2017, 12:01 AM
I got shocked at a neighbors dock in Middle school.....bizarre feeling on no control...

terrible news

Stefan
04-20-2017, 03:35 AM
I'm sorry but I don't get it, are GFI's not mandatory?

Snipe
04-20-2017, 06:17 AM
So terrible.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/dad-warns-about-electric-shock-drowning-after-teens-death/ar-BBA3hg4?li=BBnbcA1

I have mine on a GFI

Tragic loss of life

Thanks for bringing this to TT's attention. Never occurred to me. There will be some changes made here.

73blue
04-20-2017, 06:39 AM
I have mine on a GFI

Tragic loss of life

Test your gfi monthly at least. They can and do go bad.

I'm sorry but I don't get it, are GFI's not mandatory?

Yes, but...
Many residential docks in particular have electrical systems added by diyers after the fact and never inspected.

hunter991
04-20-2017, 08:16 AM
A GFI is required by law in most every state. But we just purchased a house on a lake and the electric for the dock was NOT GFI protected. It was a pretty easy fix, just install a GFI outlet.

JohnE
04-20-2017, 08:17 AM
Test your gfi monthly at least. They can and do go bad.

And when the old GFI's failed, the still put out power, but without protection. Change to a new GFI, when they fail they don't put out power.

Rocketboy
04-20-2017, 08:28 AM
I have mine on a GFI

Tragic loss of life

Where do you have the GFI located? On the dock or on shore?

I have a PLT Lic. That really doesn't mean sh!t other than I have to take class every year to keep it active. It is the lowest level of elec worker there is. I am in communications but it is the way the rules are.

That all said- I had class this week and this came up. They said to have the GFI up on shore so it protects everything along the line and not just out on the dock.

I never got to worried about AC on the dock- I would pull out a cord and vacuum the boat out, but the older I get the more worried I get. The teacher had just heard about a guy that had a battery charger and was walking it out to the boat. Something happen and he dropped the charger in the lake- he died.

Crazy stuff and sad story.

CantRepeat
04-20-2017, 08:36 AM
I don't know if it's code or not but an emergency shut off that is clearly marked and is close to the boat house/dock seems like a great idea.

ryancassidy
04-20-2017, 09:02 AM
GFCI's are only part of the issue (but a very large part), correct wiring, correct insulation and then (and most people forget this) a correct grounding scheme(not just through the 12/2 wire) are essential for a boat dock.

And test, test, test those gfci's. I see them go bad all the time. I've had 3 alone go bad in my main house in the last 8 years.

Terrible news.... its one of the biggest fears in being a lake house /dock owner I have.

Snipe
04-20-2017, 09:29 AM
I don't know if it's code or not but an emergency shut off that is clearly marked and is close to the boat house/dock seems like a great idea.

We have an emergency shut off in the boat house, but I'm replacing all the outlets with GFI's anyway. After seeing this, I have these visions of our grand kids in the water and.....:(

hunter991
04-20-2017, 09:51 AM
Another thing you can do is use a circuit breaker GFI for the line that runs to the dock. These breakers go right in your electrical box. They are more expensive but are better made. This will protect anything on that line and everything behind it.

most people make the mistake of putting the GFI in the wrong place. Remember that anything wired downstream from the GFI is protected, but nothing upstream of the GFI. Know what you need to protect.

Stefan
04-20-2017, 10:26 AM
Another thing you can do is use a circuit breaker GFI for the line that runs to the dock. These breakers go right in your electrical box. They are more expensive but are better made. This will protect anything on that line and everything behind it.


That's the type that's mandatory here for the house installation electrical box, 300mA fail current for the whole house, and 30mA for wet rooms. And it's been mandatory for any new installation for at least 25 years.

edit: those currents are concerning 230Volts in Germany

76S&S
04-20-2017, 01:33 PM
Another thing you can do is use a circuit breaker GFI for the line that runs to the dock. These breakers go right in your electrical box. They are more expensive but are better made. This will protect anything on that line and everything behind it.

most people make the mistake of putting the GFI in the wrong place. Remember that anything wired downstream from the GFI is protected, but nothing upstream of the GFI. Know what you need to protect.

I was just about to add this before seeing your post. I even have the GFI breakers on my bathrooms.

CruisinGA
04-20-2017, 01:41 PM
No matter how your dock is wired it is so easy to have the power supplied through a GFCI outlet or breaker on land there's no excuse. Don't just have GFCI outlets on the dock itself, current could leak before the GFCI and it wouldn't do you any good.

Sconnie
04-20-2017, 02:13 PM
Use caution selecting circuit breaker GFI's and make sure they are Class A (6 mA or less). I've seen people do their own installs and accidentally select 30mA GFI breakers meant for heat trace / snow melting equipment. These might not trip soon enough to be safe. Also, test your GFI's!!!! They rarely fail closed but it could happen. Both breakers and receptacles use electro-mechanical contacts and I've seen them get gummed up with dirt, corroded, and melted shut to the point that the spring tension of the tripping mechanism could not overcome it.

slalomjunkie
04-20-2017, 02:17 PM
So was it the ladder that triggered the shock?

Sconnie
04-20-2017, 02:29 PM
So was it the ladder that triggered the shock?

Misread the story. Sounds like the faulty wiring energized the dock which in turn energized the ladder. People on the dock would have been at an equal potential like a bird on a wire. The current would have traveled through anyone touching the ladder in its search for a ground path.

slalomjunkie
04-20-2017, 02:50 PM
I hired my electrical on my dock out, and that is just one reason. shocks HURT if not kill.

CottagerGreg
04-20-2017, 03:54 PM
We had the GFI fail on the lead for our lake water pump for the cottage.. was "buzzin" around it. Needless to say we had to changed out.

some spring its always a good time to check any outlet near the water.

curver900
04-20-2017, 04:29 PM
I always find it interesting that even the dock lifeguard product "senses" voltage in the water.. which is fine, but you can have 120 or 220V in the water that won't kill you... it is the CURRENT that kills you.. only 60mA-70mA will do it, I thought it was 200mA but research is saying lower numbers... the voltage might hurt but won't stop your heart...

get a GFI and make sure it is upstream from ALL your dock wiring... very sad...

captain planet
04-20-2017, 05:00 PM
Ugh, that's awful.

There are GFCI circuit breakers that can be installed as well. I'm no electrician, but know that these exist because the outside outlet on my house has one.

73blue
04-20-2017, 05:57 PM
Something else on the gfis that my state inspector pointed out. It says on the packaging to test monthly. Obviously the first concern is safety and liability is secondary, but he had seen insurance companies ask for gfi test logs, particularly in commercial applications, to determine liability in cases where the gfi failed and injuries resulted. At the time, I was under the assumption, as another poster alluded to, that when gfis failed, they always failed open. I had 3 outlets on my dock that had failed closed. I now have gfi breakers as well as outlets, and you can bet I test them all once a month. I'm just glad I learned the easy way.