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TOPIC: Dock Electrical Advice

Dock Electrical Advice 22 Jan 2010 16:44 #26

  • wvboater
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I had originally planned for a seperate 20-amp and 30-amp feed, but am now looking at the possibility of going to a single feed. The pedestal requires a seperate 20 amp and 30 amp so I am leaving that part up to the electricians to tell me the alternatives. I am leaning towards placing the pedestal on the bottom of the ramp itself (so I don't have to worry about line flex as water levels raise and lower). I will have to have a seperate feeder line (20 amp for the boat lift), it will be looped to allow for flex, I was going to use outdoor, water resistant feed for that leg. The line to the disconnect will be buried in the front yard (about 20 feet) and in PVC to the bottom of the disconnect. I am planning on having the disconnect mounted to the top stair post (see pics in the slideshow for details), and I think it does have to be grounded, but again the electricians will let me know. I am hoping the disconnect can be switch only, since another set of breakers would be triple redundant. The pedestal has it's own breakers.
Bounty,
The work of installing the infrastructure can be done by the property owner, but for insurance purposes, I would have a licensed electrician do the actual design and hook-up and have a sign off just to protect myself.
WVboater

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"GLORY BOUND"

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Dock Electrical Advice 22 Jan 2010 17:18 #27

  • 2850Bounty
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Reason I asked, is that in our state, the property owner can perform his/her own electrical work (permitted, of course) and all inspections are performed as usual..... probably more thoroughly!
Upon compliance and approval, all is same regarding liability.

That is why the work is state inspected!

.

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Rick E. Portland, Oregon
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Dock Electrical Advice 22 Jan 2010 17:54 #28

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I have not yet checked with the town to see if a permit is needed, since the scope of work dictates the permit cost (I am sure they will say yes, if for no other reason to get my money!!). I have found out some new information though and the plans are changing in accordance. A disconnect on the shore side is not required but some (electricians) recommend it and others don't. I have decide to run a 50-amp feed to the dock from the house main on a continuous run. Since it is a continuous run, grounding rods are not required since grounding will be through the house ground. The 20 amp boat lift feed will be tapped off of the pedestal 20 amp side so the 30 amp locking receptacle will be dedicated to boat shore power. I am leaning on using #6 wire, even though #8 is all that is required (Still debating this since #6 wire is a bear to work with). This will at least allow me to price the project for the building permit that I am sure the town will want. Hope to order the pedestal in a couple of weeks and the lift shortly thereafter.
WVboater

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"GLORY BOUND"

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Two little itty-bitty ride on top kayaks!
Land Travel accomplished with 2007 3500 CC D/A DRW Chevrolet Silverado

Dock Electrical Advice 22 Jan 2010 19:22 #29

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Remember that when you speak in terms of "wire gauge", and for a given amperage/voltage load requirement, the gauge changes with type.... I.E., Copper vs Aluminum.
Copper may be a smaller gauge (than aluminum) and is much easier to route and terminate, etc.

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Rick E. Portland, Oregon
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Dock Electrical Advice 22 Jan 2010 19:25 #30

  • Jeffw
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I think that's a sound decision, gives you a little more than you need. You may also want to put in a second 30 amp for visiting BOC members!:)

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Jeff & Tara
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In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

Dock Electrical Advice 23 Jan 2010 00:10 #31

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Okay, the plan has been finalized. After much discernment, I am going to go the simple route. Add 50 amp breaker to main house panel (all I have to do now is figure the amp load on each 200 amp service panel in the garage, and put it on the lesser of the two), run less than 100 feet of 8-3 with ground UF feed to the dock and use one hot for the 30 amp and one hot for the 20 amp side of the pedestal. I will also be taking the easy way on the water supply by running about 60 feet of white drinking hose to the dock as well since the pedestal has a water tap (I have an unused tap under the porch where the hose can stay connected). The floating lift will be powered off of the 20 amp side as stated before. I have decided that the pedestal will be mounted on the closest corner of the finger pier closest to the house at the end of the ramp. This will keep it out of the foot traffic path and convenient to the boat and will provide night-time light for the lower part of the ramp where the step off is. Permitting will be checked on next week, and this portion of the project (with supplemental photos to the slide show) will be completed by the end of March. I am hoping to have the lift delivered in March to allow for installation prior to beginning or mid-April launch for this year. Hey, at least all of this keeps my mind off of the lonely looking boat beside the house!! Thanks all for all comments, suggestions, and input. All factors considered, I believe that I will be happy when the project is completed.
WVboater

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"GLORY BOUND"

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Two little itty-bitty ride on top kayaks!
Land Travel accomplished with 2007 3500 CC D/A DRW Chevrolet Silverado

Dock Electrical Advice 29 Jan 2010 02:44 #32

  • Roddy
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Follow the advice of your electrical contractor / electricians, they will research materials, code requirements and best practices for dock installations.
All work requires a permit and must done by journeyman electrician.
Yes, to do it correctly is expensive.

How not to reply

I am fully aware of code, electricians, etc. etc. etc. The purpose of the OP was to solicit advice on different installation options of which I have received good ones to date. I have consulted licensed electricians and will have another one look at the installation as well. Just because someone is a licensed electrician does not mean they are the final authority. My engineering background (PE) tells me that two different electricians can approach the same problem and arrive at completley different conclusions that are permittable and follow code. I have no intentions of installing a system that is for my personal use without knowing exactly what I am planning on doing ahead of time. It is my checkbook, not the electricians. I don't mean to be brash, but as I stated before, I will entertain all opinions and advice before making my final decision.


WVboater
My apologies, was not intending to insult you. My poorly worded suggestion was to have estimates done and choose the one you preferred.
Rod

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Rod
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Dock Electrical Advice 29 Jan 2010 03:37 #33

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After posting the response, I had second thoughts about the brashness of the reply. I definitely did not intend for it to be in any way a personal attack, but rather simply wanted to reinforce that the purpose of the thread was to gather opinions and advice. Many heads are better than one. That is the primary strength of forums such as this one. At the same time, everything can never be taken as gospel, expertise, etc. I did learn from the responses, so the thread served it's purpose. Continuing to post opinions and contributions to the forum is in the best interest of everyone. We all can learn from each other. Thanks for the explanation and rest assured that no insult was taken. Now if only Spring would get here!!:):)
WVboater

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"GLORY BOUND"

2007 245, 5.0 Alpha 1
2009 (new in 2011) Seadoo RXT-215
Two little itty-bitty ride on top kayaks!
Land Travel accomplished with 2007 3500 CC D/A DRW Chevrolet Silverado
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