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Testing Boats For Stray Current at Marinas

By ACRA Electric, Inc. on May 21, 2014 in Latest News, Marine News
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It is known that freshwater marinas offer a much more dangerous scenario when it comes to stray current, but all marinas should be concerned about electrical current that is going into the water from boats with defective wiring or failing appliances.

In my quest for education in the area of Marina Safety I came across a unique device manufactured by Marine Surveyors of North Georgia.

The heart of this device is an ELCI (electrical leakage current interrupter) that instead of interrupting current, it illuminates a warning light and sounds an alarm when stray current of more than 30 milliamps is detected. The tester simply plugs into the shorepower receptacle and the boat is plugged into it. No alarm means you are OK. If there is an alarm you shut off all circuit breakers in the boat, then turn on one at a time until the alarm sounds. Because some appliances cycle on and off like air conditioning, water heaters and battery chargers, the tester should be left connected for a while to confirm that all is ok.

For more sophisticated testing the tester can be used in conjunction with an amp probe to measure actual leakage current by clamping the amp probe to a loop of wire protruding from the tester, thereby reading the total leakage current without the ground wire included.

The tester is available in 50 amp or 30 amp configuration and it is $795.00 plus shipping. You can get more info by going to www.marinesurveypros.com. I also have one in my office if you would like to see it.  I think it’s a simple to use device every marina operator should consider having.

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ACRA Electric, Inc. is a company based out of Cape Coral, Florida in Lee County. We service Cape Coral, Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Naples, Estero, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, Port Charlotte, Lehigh Acres and more with electrical contracting services.