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Shore power question while on land

Old 10-30-2011, 02:41 AM
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Default Shore power question while on land

Is there any reason I should not plug my boat in while out of the water for winter? I like the power to top up charge on batteries and have a little heat and lights while on board working
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:11 AM
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I don't see why not. I used to use the shore power when working on the boat and to keep the batteries up when installing new electronics, etc.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:19 AM
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not an issue
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:42 AM
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with or without a ground rod?
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:22 AM
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There are 2 things I would recomend doing when using shore power on land.
1. Get one of those receptical checkers available at electrical supply houses and verify that the power pole your pluging into is correctly grounded.
2. When you have the boat pluged in and the devices you want to power running take a volt meter set it to AC and do a test measurement from your rudder/prop shaft/ground block on the hull to a ground rod in the sand under the boat to make sure your AC isn't floating.

I found out in a shocking way that the owner of a boat I was doing some work a few years ago on had messed up the ground and neutral in the boat and got a nice jolt when I went under it in dry dock to clean the shafts and change zincs.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:00 AM
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As long as your electrical systems are sound, plug in and leave it...
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bigjimmie View Post
with or without a ground rod?
His home electrical system will provide the grounding rod. The ground rod only ties the system to ground.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:51 AM
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the plug in only inches away from the meter. It is in the boat yard and only i use it. The electrical service is even in my name. I don't have a grounding rod...didn't think i needed it.
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:57 PM
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FWIW at our yacht club the tightly packed boats are only allowed to plug in to a 20 amp cord when the owner is present. Reduces the risk of a major boatyard fire. If the boat is at home or isolated not a big deal.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by offshore27ns View Post
Is there any reason I should not plug my boat in while out of the water for winter? I like the power to top up charge on batteries and have a little heat and lights while on board working
The answer to your question is no, there is no reason you should not plug your boat in (to a source of electrical power) while it is out of the water for the winter.

But - What's this about "heat" while on board working? If the boat has reverse cycle heat, that won't work out of the water. If you are planing on using a portable electric heater, these can be the source of fires, and if your boat is a gasoline powered I/O or inboard, they can be extremely dangerous around gasoline fumes.

A little more information is needed here.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bigjimmie View Post
with or without a ground rod?
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
The answer to your question is no, there is no reason you should not plug your boat in (to a source of electrical power) while it is out of the water for the winter.

But - What's this about "heat" while on board working? If the boat has reverse cycle heat, that won't work out of the water. If you are planing on using a portable electric heater, these can be the source of fires, and if your boat is a gasoline powered I/O or inboard, they can be extremely dangerous around gasoline fumes.

A little more information is needed here.
its diesel
heat is a certified portable marine heater....only used when im on board if at all
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by offshore27ns View Post
its diesel
heat is a certified portable marine heater....only used when im on board if at all
That's fine. I have one too. I used it this morning as we were anchored overnight and it was about 50 degrees on the boat when we got out of bed.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by offshore27ns View Post
the plug in only inches away from the meter. It is in the boat yard and only i use it. The electrical service is even in my name. I don't have a grounding rod...didn't think i needed it.
Your electrical service (panel) should be grounded to a ground rod.It is probably in the ground right under your meter.You should see a copper wire going to a grounding rod with a clamp on it.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:40 AM
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The comment about the grounding rod is strange indeed. If you're getting electric service from a public utility (not a portable generator), the service will be grounded at the point where the customer's equipment begins (meter, service panel, etc.).

There should be no need for an additional grounding rod anywhere else. It's been 20 years or more since I had a NEC code book in my hands, but I believe it would be a code violation to have multiple grounds.

As with any outdoor electrical outlet, it would be a good idea to have GFCI protection and test the outlet for proper polarity and ground continuity.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
The comment about the grounding rod is strange indeed. If you're getting electric service from a public utility (not a portable generator), the service will be grounded at the point where the customer's equipment begins (meter, service panel, etc.).

There should be no need for an additional grounding rod anywhere else. It's been 20 years or more since I had a NEC code book in my hands, but I believe it would be a code violation to have multiple grounds.

As with any outdoor electrical outlet, it would be a good idea to have GFCI protection and test the outlet for proper polarity and ground continuity.

Some places require a seperate ground rod for the meter socket. If his garage has a sub panel
he is required to have a ground rod for that also.
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