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post #1 of 3 Old 06-29-2011 Thread Starter
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Arc-fault circuit interrupter

I'm looking to rewire my 1983 O'day 39. Do Arc-Fault circuit interrupters have a place in the protection plan for a modern sailboat ? The units I know of are designed for Residential and Commercial AC circuits and may be helpful for shore power. Are there equivalent devices for DC?

Reference: Arc-fault circuit interrupter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-29-2011
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not required, nor rated for marine use...a standard GFCI at the head of your 110volt receptacle line should do just fine. If planning on using for shorepower entrance, they should be installed in a dry location as much as possible, and some have to be mounted within tolerance of vertical for proper operation and all have to have a pulled, dedicated neutral. Check with a qualified boat electrician

AS much as AFCI and residential wiring are concerned, they are not with out their issues, amongst which are expense, false tripping, panels not wired properly or configured for their use, et al. Metal halides and some halogen lights will trip them almost every time (high heat, and arc to start by design)

YMMV, but bag wiki for information, go to the National Fire protection code or an electrical code book, or manufacturer.

The jury is still out on how well, and at what expense they protect things...if you have aquariums, reptiles or pets that require resistance heating, pumps, lights etc. You will have problems. Some freezers, tools and amateur radio equipment drive them bonkers as well.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-29-2011 Thread Starter
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Just type of response I was looking for. Thanks for the help!

I sure would like to see a 12 volt product that could detect arching. Bouncing volt meters seam like a good indicators but there should be something better.

You guys (gals) are a great resource
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