where does the gfci go

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  #1  
Old 03-30-06, 08:52 AM
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where does the gfci go

i have installed and number of sub panels over time but this on is a little different. I plan to install an outdoor 60 amp sub panel down by my bulkhead. The panel will power a lift 20amp 220 a shore power connector 30-50amp 110 a 20amp 110 gfci outlet and a 15amp lighting circuit.

My question is do i use GFCI breakers in the sub panel at the bulk head or do i install a 60 amp dual pole GFCI breaker in my main panel

tia paul
 
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  #2  
Old 03-30-06, 09:21 AM
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You can always put a GFCI in the main panel. The problem is that a GFCI trip will require a walk back tot he main panel to reset.

If the wiring to the sub panel meets certain requirements then you can go without a GFCI in the main panel, as long as necessary GFCI protection is provided at the sub panel or at the point of use, as appropriate.
 
  #3  
Old 03-30-06, 09:28 AM
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You could do either. I would probably put the GFCI breaker in the main panel. It will be a bit of a pain to walk back up to the house to reset a trip, but you have bigger problems if it trips more than a few times ever. In either case you need a outdoor rated subpanel enclosure.

A single 60A GFCI DP breaker will be cheaper than seperate GFCI devices for each of the circuits you listed. The 60A GFCI breaker is commonly used for hottub and spa installation, so you should be able to locate one fairly easy.
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-06, 10:11 AM
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How far apart are the panel and subpanel?

If it's a considerable distance, you may face nuisance GFCI tripping from normal insulation leakage over the distance. I'd recommend GFCI protection starting from the subpanel, IMO.
 
  #5  
Old 03-30-06, 11:54 AM
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First I am no authority on private boat docks and marine type installations, so my advice may be off base.
Your question is gfci protection and where to locate it. I would think you would do well to visit with your local codes department to see what they require for compliancy.
There are outdoor sub's and there are marine distribution panels. I'm not sure which you will need. I am reasonably sure that marina's (not necessarily your situation) require the latter. I dont believe that the hoist motor needs gfci. The shore power connector if equal to or between 30 and 50 amps and 120 volts will require gfci as will any 120 volt 15 or 20 amp receptacles. Also the shore power will need a locking type receptacle (I think they come this way). Most marine applications I have been around have pvc or galvanized EMT raceway methods. I am not sure about uf-b cable.

I dont see any specific code references to private docks or boat slips so I am assuming that wet location rules would apply to all wiring methods.

I am also not sure how you would apply the electrical datum line for your area or if you would even be concerned with it.

At any rate I would gfci at the sub-panel those circuits that require it. I suppose you could gfci the hoist but I dont think I would and it would take a expensive double pole gfci. You will also need enough spaces in the sub to install all these breakers. Not sure a 60 amp sub will accomodate your situation. The ones I have been around are usually 2 spaces and 4 single pole circuits using tandems or slim line breakers.

I would think that a main disconnect/breaker is also required or at least wanted.

I would also think a four wire feeder to the sub will be required with isolation of the ground and neutral bars. I'm not sure about a grounding rod. Seems that would be difficult if water levels fluctuate very much, but I'm not sure if all this is a floating structure or a boat pier type structure.

Just food for thought... again I'm no expert here so dont take anything I have said to the bank.
 
  #6  
Old 03-30-06, 12:57 PM
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Roger, one thing to note is that if the area in question is at a private residence, the rules of Article 555 do not apply.
555.1 ...Private, noncommercial docking facilities constructed or occupied for the use of the owner or residents of the associated single-family dwelling are not covered by this article.
That said, it would be good advice to adhere to it as best as possible, to ensure a high quality installation.

Originally Posted by Roger
First I am no authority on private boat docks and marine type installations, so my advice may be off base.
Me neither.

The shore power connector if equal to or between 30 and 50 amps and 120 volts will require gfci...
Not required by Article 555 or 210.8. That said, it would be a safe design choice.

Also the shore power will need a locking type receptacle.
Agreed.

I dont see any specific code references to private docks or boat slips so I am assuming that wet location rules would apply to all wiring methods.
Yes. 555.13(A)(1).

I am also not sure how you would apply the electrical datum line for your area or if you would even be concerned with it.
What Roger's saying is, all receptacles must be located more than 12" above the pier, and not below the "electrical datum plane on a fixed pier." Perhaps this is the high water mark?

I would think that a main disconnect/breaker is also required or at least wanted.
Yes, 225.31 and subsequent sections.

I would also think a four wire feeder to the sub will be required with isolation of the ground and neutral bars.
Yes, 555.15. In addition, this EGC is required to be copper (555.15(B)).

I'm not sure about a grounding rod.
Yes, 250.32(A).

Just food for thought... again I'm no expert here so dont take anything I have said to the bank.
Ditto.

I've got to say, this could be a pretty involved project.
 
  #7  
Old 03-30-06, 01:10 PM
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FYI: I paid 2 weeks ago $125.00 For a 50 amp GFCI 2 pole!!!

YA, Thats what I said!!
 
  #8  
Old 03-30-06, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. This is a private pier so i am not required to put a marine distribution panel in place. I am considering a pedestal but they are $$$$$. My thought about going with a GFCI in the main panel was just the extra safety. All of the electric down by the water is protected. My concern was nuisance GFCI tripping. The run is around a 100" buried in a trench PVC conduit. The panel will be in a covered location mounted to one of the inboard pilings protected from the weather (going with outdoor rated regardless). Lift will be hard wired to the panel, shore power will be a 50 amp twist lock marine plug with cover. Standard outdoor outlet, and light circuit. the lights could easily feed of the same circuit as the plug but am inclined not to do that so if i am down the after dark working and blow the breaker i will still be able to see . No i have not found a 60 amp panel with 4 slots, will most likely go larger on the subpanel 6 slot but stick with the 60 breaker in the main. I may run larger wire in case i ever get a bigger boat

paul
 
  #9  
Old 03-30-06, 01:20 PM
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Thanks Rocky for some clarification to my replies. I saw the reference to the private docks in 555, what I meant to say was I didnt see code directly addressing the wiring methods for private owned boat docks. So I assumed article 300 applied.
Its funny I read right over the bold type saying "other than shore power" for the gfci protection.....how does one miss that ........

I agree that 555 doesnt apply directly to his situation but thought it would generate some thought in the right direction...your corrections are respectfully noted.

Roger
 
  #10  
Old 03-30-06, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by b0ater01
My concern was nuisance GFCI tripping. The run is around a 100" buried in a trench PVC conduit.
A little over eight feet?

Seriously, though, 100 feet is getting pretty long, I'd skip the GFCI breaker in the main panel.

I strongly recommend running copper conductors. I wouldn't use smaller than 12 wire for any of the branch circuits, going by the requirements of Art. 555 (realizing while it's not required, it's a good idea).

I'd also advise a larger (copper) feeder and panel.
  • 20A 240V lift
  • 50A 120V Shore Power Connector
  • 20A 120V Lighting
  • 20A 120V General use GFCI circuit

If you were to comply with Art. 555, then you'd be required to consider the entire 50A 120V Shore Power Connector in sizing your feeder. You might as well consider it. If your lift is running full tilt, and your shore power connector is maxed at the same time, then your system is overloaded. You'd have 70 amps on a phase. Unlikely? Maybe. Prudent to prepare for? Yes.

I'd recommend:
  • 3 x #1 CU conductors (A, B, N)
  • 1 x #4 CU conductor (EGC)
  • Installed in 2" Schedule 40 PVC (Sch 80 above grade)
  • 100 amp Outdoor subpanel

IMO.
 
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