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AuthorMessage
lesfragle
lesfragle

Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:31am

Post Subject: Electrical earthing

I have a steel narrowboat and the question is; do I need an earth point on the hull for the DC and/or AC electrical systems. On the DC side my main negative point is the engine block and the engine is on anti-vibration mountings (Barrus Shire). There is no earth connection from the AC consumer unit to the hull. This lay out is what was suggested by 'an expert' and the boat passed it's BSC no problem but is this situation acceptable/safe ?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:57am

Post Subject: Electrical earthing

Dear Les I am sure your hull is “DC earthed”. Just like thousands of others, via the control cables which is bad practice, so it will not hurt to fit another link between the block and engine bed. The lack of AC earth is far more concerning. Arguments rage over this topic (have a look through the forums on canalworld.net) but as I understand your situation a fault to hull at present will not trip any RCDs you have and would present a real danger to swimmers and those stepping on or off the boat. I think there have been deaths in the USA attributed to a lack of hull earth. If you are talking about a shoreline and you fit an earth you need to consider the implications for galvanic corrosion. If you decide not to fit an earth, and the BSS does seem a bit blind in this area, you might like to start thinking how you will deal with the HSE if the worst did happen, unlikely though some would say it would be.

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