Marine Ground Fault Electrical Safety

The combination of a ground fault and a faulty ground can result in the metal parts in the boat and in the water becoming energized. In addition to the hazard to people on the vessel, there is a serious danger to swimmers near the boat. While people on board are likely to receive a shock from touching energized metal parts, nearby swimmers could receive a paralyzing dose of electricity and drown due to involuntary loss of muscle control. ABYC requirements now include specific measures for avoiding the danger of drowning or potential drowning though shock that did not directly cause electrocution.

ELCI Facts
1 - An ELCI provides whole-boat protection.
2 - Installed within 10' of the shore power inlet, an ELCI provides 30mA ground fault protection for the entire AC shore power system beyond the ELCI.
3 - ELCIs and GFCIs measure current flow in the hot and neutral wires and immediately switch the electricity off if an imbalance of current flow is detected.
4 - GFCIs protect against flaws in devices plugged into them, but offer no protection from the danger of a failing hard-wired appliance, such as a water heater or cooktop.
5 - GFCIs are still required in addition to ELCIs.

Electrical safety for swimmers

Do not swim in marinas or around docks that are equipped with shore power or around boats that are plugged into shore power.




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Nautical Service Technologies is centrally located between the major boating communities of south Florida. We have developed a wide network of marine service providers and our contacts include towing and salvage companies, diver services, shipyards, marine mechanical specialists, marine electronics experts, forensic laboratories and chandlers. We are happy to assist you with your marine surveying requirements.