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Old 08-02-2012
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Redoing shore power correctly

I'm finally getting around to redoing my shore power setup on my Newport 28; the PO had household 12/2 Romex going directly to a household GFCI outlet, which I imagine is less than optimal.

Let me emphasize I have NOT been using this setup at all. Ever. Scared me just to look at it.

I've bought the Blue Sea 8077 30A main circuit breaker, and plan on having one run throughout the boat with four or five outlets. I know the first outlet has to be a GFCI, and I've found that at West Marine, but I don't see just regular outlets available. I did find one at Marinco, but it's a 20A 125V outlet that costs more than the GFCI outlet. That doesn't seem right. Who's a good source for marine outlets of this kind?

Other questions: Is it a bad idea to have one 30A circuit instead of two 15A? The switch I got was ~$100; the next upgrade is the 8027 at around $200, and as I said, my needs are simple; but if it's a safety issue, I'll take the 8077 back and get the 8027 6-switch instead.
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

The branch circuts need to have the correct size breaker which most of the time is 15 amps with 14/3 wire


Even at home you have you have one large main breaker on the panel to protect the feed wires and the correct size breaker for each circuit
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

Most older boats do not have tinned copper wiring anyway. I see plenty of sailors getting copper strand wire from non marine suppliers. GFIs don't last, marine or otherwise. they just go bad often.
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

Unless it rains down below on your boat, ACE Hardware has the receptacles you can use. No need to pay WM markups.
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

OK, so sum up the responses so far:

1) get the 6-switch panel with the MAIN and branch switches to get the proper 15A breakers on the runs.

2) don't sweat marine receptacles below deck

3) Tinned wire not necessary either.

Does that seem right?
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

Tinned wire is not necessary but for the small amount extra it costs it is the best choice.

GFCI as the first outlet on each outlet circuit.
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Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

If your wire length, wire length as it came off the spool not as the crow flies, is more than 10' to the main breaker than you'll need an additional 30A main breaker at the inlet. The breakers for the outlets should be 15A branch breakers if using 15A breakers and they should be fed from a 30A main breaker. Buying a pre-made main + branch AC panel is usually less money than an individual main breaker panel and a sub panel..

GFCI's are required in the galley, head, engine/machinery spaces and any weather deck area.. Every outlet does not need to be GFCI..
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Old 08-03-2012
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

"ACE Hardware has"
Funny secret about ACE. I give them great credit for having stuff in the store, on the shelf, that the big box stores just don't carry. And I know that costs money.
But if you order from the Ace hardware web site (Ace, not one of the "Ace sellers") you can order the same things often for 1/3 LESS and then they ship it to your local store, FREE for pickup.
How this makes financial sense to them, I don't know, since I'd rather just pay the same price, go to the same store, and buy the same goods from the store inventory. But, that's how Ace wants it. I guess "I'd like that today" commands a hefty surcharge.

If you're using "household" parts for the AC on a boat? Make sure to use the SCREW TERMINALS on the outlets, not the easy push-in slots for the wires. The problem is that the push-in slots just make an edge contact on the wire, and that contact will corrode (even ashore) resulting in a hotter higher-resistance contact. Using the screw contacts gives you a better connection.

" Every outlet does not need to be GFCI.. " And espeially, as mitiempo said, JUST use it on the first outlet on any run. If you have more than one GFCI on any one circuit, they tend to interact and trip each other off. RFPITA and no greater protection.
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

If you're using "household" parts for the AC on a boat? Make sure to use the SCREW TERMINALS on the outlets, not the easy push-in slots for the wires. The problem is that the push-in slots just make an edge contact on the wire, and that contact will corrode (even ashore) resulting in a hotter higher-resistance contact. Using the screw contacts gives you a better connection.
Better yet use captive spade or ring terminals and not braided wire direct to the outlet.
SVAuspicious and mitiempo like this.
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Re: Redoing shore power correctly

I was planning on using the crimped terminals with the marine wire. Good to see a validation of that idea.

Is the purpose of the stranded, tinned wire for flexibility (the stranding) and resistance to salt air (the tinning)? Is not having it on the boat something the Coasties would bust you for? I want to be sure I keep the boat "street legal."

(What would the nautical term for "street legal" be?)

Thanks again to everyone who responded!
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