Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-11-2012 Thread Starter
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Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets?

Short version: 30A main breaker running to two branches. Each branch powers a GFCI outlet. Can I skip the ELCI?


Long version: I'm tearing out and replacing the AC electrical system on my boat.

I have a new AC panel (Tracker model 116516) that contains a 30A dual breaker, one 15A breaker for the battery charger, and one 10A breaker run to an in-panel GFCI outlet.

If I don't wire the battery charger directly to the panel but instead connect it via a new GFCI outlet on its branch, am I sufficiently protected so that I can skip installing an expensive ELCI breaker?


The boat is a 1975 Tartan 30C

Last edited by eko_eko; 09-11-2012 at 07:41 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-11-2012
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Re: Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets?

If you want to be ABYC compliant, you need the ELCI and I would advocate the GFCI as well.

Two different devices to deal with. The ELCI has been tested to work "better" in higher load marine environments....ie it should not trip as often as the GFCIs currently may do, especially on loaded, unbalanced systems.

Down side is they are expensive and larger devices to install, although some manufacturers are finally getting some quite small and boat power friendly. See Hubble.

Your boat, your decision...you may speak with your insurance company for further thoughts and actual events that may have lead to the approval by ABYC
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-11-2012
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Re: Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eko_eko View Post
Short version: 30A main breaker running to two branches. Each branch powers a GFCI outlet. Can I skip the ELCI?


Long version: I'm tearing out and replacing the AC electrical system on my boat.

I have a new AC panel (Tracker model 116516) that contains a 30A dual breaker, one 15A breaker for the battery charger, and one 10A breaker run to an in-panel GFCI outlet.

If I don't wire the battery charger directly to the panel but instead connect it via a new GFCI outlet on its branch, am I sufficiently protected so that I can skip installing an expensive ELCI breaker?
You can't run 15A outlets, even if GFCI directly off a main breaker. You need a main breaker then sub breakers for each branch. However you are going to be running the GFCI off the sub breaker and plugging the charger into it which is fine. The requirement for ELCI's has once again been extended while the manufacturers work out some details, and currently no requirement for the ELCI.. You can always add one at a later date....

A GFCI won't negate the need for an ELCI once the standard is in effect and GFCI's will still be needed in galley, head, engine spaces and weather deck locations on top of the ELCI.

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-11-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets?

This is the setup I was trying to describe.

Code:
[a: 30A Shore Power] ------------\
                                 |
                                 |
                     [b: 30A Double Pole Breaker]
                                 |
                           /-----+---------\
                          /                 \
                          |                 |
                          |                 |
                          |                 |
                          |                 |
                 [c: 15A Breaker]     [f: 10A Breaker]
                          |                 |
                          |                 |
                          |                 |
                          |        [g: GFCI outlet on panel]
                          |
                          |
              [d: GFCI outlet in locker]
                          |
                          |
                 [e: Battery Charger]
Would adding an ELCI breaker between (a) and (b) -- or replacing (b) with an ELCI breaker -- actually make things safer in this configuration?

As I see it, the places where a ground fault are likely to occur are in (e) and things plugged into (g). Each of which come right after a 5ma RCD.

What would a 30ma RCD between (a) and (b) be protecting me from?

I could see the value in a more complex system containing enough branches to cumulatively exceed 30ma residual current without tripping any individual 5ma GCFI outlet or with any non-GCFI branches.

This is a legitimate question, I'm not trying to be difficult.

1975 Tartan 30 Competition Rig

Last edited by eko_eko; 09-11-2012 at 09:05 AM. Reason: clarification
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets?

Where did you obtain the Tracker 116516 panel?
It looks like a compact way of adding shorepower to a small boat.

Denis
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Is ELCI needed if AC only runs to GFCI outlets?

I found mine on either Boat Parts and Marine Supplies - Great Lakes Skipper or their ebay store. I don't recall. The products are the same, but the prices vary.

1975 Tartan 30 Competition Rig
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