Can anyone explain the risk? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 08-03-2008, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default Can anyone explain the risk?

I am currently swapping my rig over to run Halogens. I am a little concerned about the electrical aspect when running a generator for power. What is the risk involved with using the generator. If it starts raining, do you guys shut them down? What would happen if a dock board for some reason broke off one of the mounted lights and it fell into the water? Being that our rig is an aluminum boat, do we all get defibrilated all at the same time? Or does the water have something to do with it and would the water the light fell into, just ground out the electricity. Is there any risk of running the generator(aware to have all wiring not exposed and contained) and letting my grandchildren or my wife go with on the trip? I just want to make sure I get educated on the generator use on the water before I go. I practice safe boating and need to know. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

i reckon the same thought crossed my mind a time or two. hmmmmmmmmmmmm. when i built my rig i made sure to double insulate all the connections with heat shrink, i also soldered all the connections so they wouldn't come loose. reckon the best way to ensure that you don't kill nobody is to make sure you don't run into anything to knock a light off. like you i have asked myself all these questions. what if ????????????????? if it starts raining i guess i would probably shut down and call it a night. with everything you do there is always a drawback. but sometimes you just gotta try what works for you and just try to be careful doing it ya know. i'm probably not much help, but basically in the same fix as you.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Yeah, I agree. And touching back on the dock board -- sometimes when another person attempts to pole the boat when I am poling it, we seem to counter act each other and we do a little bonding. LOL! Just wondered about it because I always expect the unexpected and with the added AC power being in the equation, I just was curious. It could happen with a grandchild by accident, but I usually have control of what our boat touches when we are out. Don't want to touch anyones dock and have them start chanting at us. I guess things will be fine, just a little paranoid.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Don't most of the generators have a breaker on them? One I used 20 years ago did.You could go an extra step and hard wire in a ground fault receptacle and plug the lights in to it for added protection.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:12 PM   #5
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Haven't got my generator yet, will be buying a buddy's. Not sure if it has abraker on it or not, that would be ideal! The outlet sounds good too, I would want one that was resetable though. The GFI ones I've used outdoors, once they are tripped a few times, they have to be replaced so I decided to just replace the breaker for them with 20 amp ones so it would be safer and they would trip sooner, rather than overload. I wasn't sure, but can a ground wire be ran to the boat hull itself and attached to the generator to create a ground for the generator?
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Pretty sure to make a ground anywhere straight to a Aluminum hull

will cause rapid electrolosys ending with thinned out metal and pinholes in the hull and not nessisarily at the ground point.

I know, I can't spell.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Wow! I didn't know that. Thanks man! This is why I'm asking, I don't want to do something stupid that might get one of us hurt. Hopefully it has a breaker on it.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:26 PM   #8
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Definatly dont ground the generator to the boat!!! just like others said...that will cause electrolosys (sp) and ruin your boat in a hurry. i believe the generator has a breaker in it but im not 100% sure...have to check when i get home. but a GFCI is definatly a good idea. they make inline resetable ones that you could easily use.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:01 PM   #9
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

I hate to be the one to tell you that a GFI will do no good if the boat is not grounded.If the boat is not grounded a GFI will only work if the ground lead in the wire (3 wire cable) and the 'hot" lead seea conductive path, i.e. water.

To make the most save and prevent galvanic reaction to hull, double insulate and completely isolate the generator...the light fixtures from ground and neutral.Meaning make sure the fixtures and light bases do not reference groundvia the case. And that it is doubleisolated. Most off the shelf 120 volt AC light fixturesreference ground per the National ElectricalCode. What happens most of the time is the generator will be isolated and somewhere in the fixture the case will be grounded and then the boat ends up being grounded via the pipe on the light attached to the boat...then a conductive path can be made via the hot leg and the boat.

You can take a volt meter and check for conductivity between the generator and ground/neutral on the case of the generator and then from the fixture and the ground/neutral. If you see conductivity then you have a ground path.

Hope this helps?
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:11 AM   #10
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Default RE: Can anyone explain the risk?

Some pretty good advice guys! I appreciate it.
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