"Marine" GFCI Outlet? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-25-2007
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"Marine" GFCI Outlet?

During the survey, our surveyor noted Abracadabra's AC outlets in the galley and on one of the bulkheads separating the main cabin from the head had no GFCI protection. Naturally, he recommended adding GFCI protection, and advised that we needed a marine GFCI outlet, not just the average GFCI outlet you'd pick up at Home Depot, or whatever.

So how do you identify these and where do you get them? Saw a GFCI outlet at WM, but the labeling was scant (looked like perhaps it'd been re-packaged?) and said nothing about "marine" on it. (It certainly had a "marine" price on it, tho .)

These outlets are the "modern"-looking, rectangular kind.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 08-25-2007
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When I did the rewire of my AC wiring, my advisor, a liscensed marine electrican, told me to get a GFIC outlet from Home Depot. Which is what I have. You only need more than one if there are two different circuits for your outlets. Only the first in a circuit needs a GFIC outlet.
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Old 08-25-2007
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Draw a little anchor symbol and a standard CFCI... and make sure you get the wiring done right.

hahahaha

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Old 08-25-2007
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I was told the same thing, one in the galley and one in the head and that household GFI's are fine
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Old 08-25-2007
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I doubt there is any difference. The point is to cut off the circuit quickly if you get shocked. Land use GFCI would probably be just as heavy duty as a boat GFCI since the whole purpose of them is to protect in wet areas.

Also, if you protect the first outlet with GFCI the remaining outlets on the circuit are then protected. Not sure if the surveyor would have checked that or not...
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Thanks for the follow-ups.

I guess I should've explained as how I'm an electronics/computer geek, am comfortable working with residential wiring anything short of a primary circuit (mains coming into a residence), and know how GFCIs work .

It's not a question of heavy-duty-ness or any difference in circuit behaviour. Surveyor said something about the materials in a standard residential GFCI outlet not being suitable for marine use, due to the constant exposure to a more humid environment. This being true of wiring and most hardware, I thought, "Okay. Makes sense." (Then again: Plain ol' GFCI outlets get installed in bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, outdoor outlet boxes...)

And yeah, I know about "daisy-chaining" GFCI outlets, too.

Jim
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Old 08-25-2007
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IMHO i think my hot steaming bathroom puts more hunidity in the air everytime i take a hot shower than will ever be in my boats cabin just because it sits over a body of water. i have never had my windows in the boat fog up like my mirror in my bath at home
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I think one major difference is that the copper on the marine-grade GFCI outlets is tinned, on the terrestrial outlets it isn't IIRC. That little bit of solder spread out is why they charge you so much more.
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Old 08-26-2007
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Well, since nobody seems to as concerned about marine-grade GFCI outlets as they are everything else being marine-grade, much less able to tell me how to identify one or where to obtain it, I guess I'll just buy a plain ol' GFCI at Home Depot and be done with it.

Two, actually. With new faceplates. The bits of the interior that aren't wood, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, are white. The outlets and faceplates that are in there now are "putty." Yuck.

Thanks, everybody, for your comments.

Jim
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Old 08-26-2007
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There's a BIG difference between Home Depot GFCI outlets and marine ones. The marine ones cost twice the price and are only sold by factory trained salespeople and must be installed by a licensed marine GFCI installer. I think they are running about half a boat unit per outlet these days
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