Remote Panel


Old 07-30-07, 05:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Remote Panel

I just puchased an older property (25 years old) at a lake that has a boat house with 220 VAC power (50 amp) supplied by three conductors into panel that is mounted on the dock. There are two power conductors (both black) and a neutral (white). This operates a pump (220 V), lights (110 V), and boat lift (110 v). I could not find a ground anywhere. (It's over about 6 feet of water.) I have felt a light to medium shock a couple of occassions simply by touching the electrical box that some of the switches are mounted in...

I have not looked for loose wires, or worse, misconnected wires yet, but my question is to provide a ground, should I sink a ground rod under the boat house and tie in at the panel?

I realize that this is a dangerous arrangement...There does not appear to be a GFIC anywhere.

This was done by the original owner who seemed to do things down and dirty. I need to fix this so I don't worry about guests, etc.
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Old 07-30-07, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
To be up to code, and and all 120 volt receptacles from this panel need GFCI protection.

Yes, this panel should be grounded by a ground rod (or two).
Old 07-30-07, 06:37 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,533
As Bob said, you need to drive a ground rod or two. Connect it to the panel ground/neutral bus with a bare #6 copper wire. A ground wire between the main building and this panel is optional if there are no other metal pathways between the main building and the dock (water pipe, phone, etc). A supplemental ground (fourth wire) is not always required when feeding outbuildings. The receptacles and motors at the dock should all have grounds which terminate on the ground/neutral shared bar in the subpanel.

The shock feeling can be caused by the feeder neutral being loose at either the main building panel or at the dock subpanel. With the house main breaker off, tighten down the lugs for the subpanel neutral at both locations.
Old 07-30-07, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Remote Panel

Thanks! You've pretty much confirmed what I was thinking....There is no metal conductor between the boat house and the service pole. (The service pole feeds has outdoor box which also feeds into the house). The boat house is fed (three wires only) from the outdoor box as well.

Thanks for the suggestion for looking for a loose neutral. I was thinking that I had a floating ground somewhere.....

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