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# Thread: Ideal dock wiring Questions?

1. Originally Posted by jwelectric
.........
You know that in a series circuit that the total resistance will be all the resistances added together.
With someone in series with the earth the total resistance will be the human plus the earth and the total amount of the current will be through the human in or out of the water.
With a parallel circuit the human will only carry that portion of current that is not carried by the equipment grounding conductor but if that equipment grounding conductor is cut then the human becomes part of a series circuit and carries the blunt force of the faulted current.
This is basic electricity and is taught in the first semester of class. ...........
I think this may be where our difference or argument is getting confused. If there is a fault current to a dock connected to a ground rod then a swimmer contacting the metal dock does not become PART OF A SERIES CIRCUIT... That swimmer becomes PARALLEL to the return path of that earth ground circuit. Those electrons traveling through a metal dock, as you point out, seek a path back to the transformer through the earth... with all of it's resistance, stray voltages and sine waves and straight waves and curly waves....and all the salts of the earth... if there is no continuous route to the neutral of the transformer or power company's generator. If the POCO had never driven a ground rod this danger would not exist.... right???

2. Originally Posted by jwelectric
.............
Even if everything was installed in non-metallic enclosures and raceways it would not relieve the stray voltages. There would still be the step potential between the water and the dry ground.

Now that's silly.... I ain't never in my life seen dry ground unner a boat slip... 'cept in the drought of 2007.

I'd be willing to bet a fair amount of money that if you cruise all 500 miles of shoreline of this lake you'll not find the first EPG. And if a compliance officer or inspector did the same thing looking for code violations he/she would spend the rest of his days writing citations and going to court for this lake alone.... much less all the river and tributaries between here and Mobile bay in the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Originally Posted by Randyj
I think this may be where our difference or argument is getting confused. If there is a fault current to a dock connected to a ground rod then a swimmer contacting the metal dock does not become PART OF A SERIES CIRCUIT... That swimmer becomes PARALLEL to the return path of that earth ground circuit. Those electrons traveling through a metal dock, as you point out, seek a path back to the transformer through the earth... with all of it's resistance, stray voltages and sine waves and straight waves and curly waves....and all the salts of the earth... if there is no continuous route to the neutral of the transformer or power company's generator. If the POCO had never driven a ground rod this danger would not exist.... right???
No that person is in series with the earth
True if the electrical was not ever connected to earth how could it return

4. Originally Posted by Randyj
Now that's silly.... I ain't never in my life seen dry ground unner a boat slip... 'cept in the drought of 2007.

I'd be willing to bet a fair amount of money that if you cruise all 500 miles of shoreline of this lake you'll not find the first EPG. And if a compliance officer or inspector did the same thing looking for code violations he/she would spend the rest of his days writing citations and going to court for this lake alone.... much less all the river and tributaries between here and Mobile bay in the Gulf of Mexico.
go just a few inches from the water and what do you have? dry ground

The reason why there would be no grounding grid is because there is no requirement to install one under a metal dock. Most people with a little common sense know better than to go swimming in waters such as these in the first place

5. Originally Posted by jwelectric
go just a few inches from the water and what do you have? dry ground...........
..........
Wrong... ya got MUD... water 'n dirt.

6. Originally Posted by Randyj
I'm good with discussing the theories of automotive electricity and comparing to utility company supplied power to it's customers. I'm also good with comparing the term "ground" in those cases. It appears to me that the term "ground" should be completely thrown out except to refer to a wire or circuit connected to the earth, dirt, ground... Seems the term introduces much confusion. So, a term should be used to describe the negative side of a DC circuit and another term or equivalent term to describe the neutral side of an AC circuit. In dual circuits such as 240 volt AC a similar delineation is made by saying L1 and L2. IMO, to compare a utility to an automobile is totally like discussing apples and oranges because the automobile is like a completely self contained utility and all of it's users/customers. Another big difference is that the modern automobile contains RF circuits, AC circuits, and DC completely self contained.. if compared to a dock that's like installing a gasoline engine powered generator on a dock rather than running electrical wires from a service panel hundreds of feet away... no more need for an earth ground than installing a ground rod to an automobile. It would then have it's own electrical source and the green wire would lead directly back to the generator without the earth contributing anything, no voltages, no currents, no resistance of earth. In common vernacular just about everyone uses the term "ground" for "neutral". In my posts I have tried to avoid this confusion. If we get particular about the correct use of the language then we should refer to it as a "neutral connection or neutral side of the circuit".. a short cut is to simply say "neutral (for continuous connection to the neutral of the transformer)" or "ground (for continuous connection to earth)". As a professional multi-skilled laborer I have to know the difference. A discussion of all the different professions encompassed in the field of maintenance should be a different thread (more apples and oranges). There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the NEC as well as all plumbing codes are totally devoted to safety and health. In medicine it is the field of preventive medicine (health inspector) (one of my previous occupations/Military) that is the first line of defense. Same as in buildings/structures/utilities.. it is the maintenance man who is the first line of defense.
Back to dock wiring.. Wouldn't it or would it not be... safest to simply NOT directly connect any earth ground at all to a metal dock? All earth ground wires terminate at receptacles. All wires in insulated (PVC) and all outlet & switch boxes be made of a non-conductive material? All switch box panels on the dock insulated from contact with the dock? .. .this would be comparable to how any appliance is wired, everything insulated from human contact and totally avoids any possibility of even a tickle voltage from the difference in stray voltages, voltage drops and any kind of electrical currents. It appears that this would certainly satisfy the NEC requirement that the green wire/ground be a continuous connection all the way back to the service entrance. No need for epg's, grids in the earth, buried hamster cages, ground rods... nothing except circuit wires to provide electricity and protection from faults. KISS... Keep it simple suckah. For one thing... wiring a dock is the big time equivalent of running an extension cord to the dock. You would not connect the ground wire of an extension cord to a dock or metal building....
Dude, look at the keyboard on your computer. Two rows up from the space bar on the far right is a key labeled "Enter". Help some of us out and hit it once in a while.

7. Originally Posted by Randyj
If the POCO had never driven a ground rod this danger would not exist.... right???
Randy

After a discussion with one of my students I have been ask to find out just what you mean by this statement.

Would you mind taking a few minutes and explain what you are saying for the benefit of those who are reading this thread?

8. Hello Group,

Lets not let this thread die, It is good, and long lived. (Thanks to Terry and the Group)

Did the problem ever get resolved ?

Real Ships connect to ShorePower when they pull up to the docks.

Not only does it put the boat at the same potential as the Power Ground it also discharges any Static Electricity,
that the sacrificial anode does not.

Look at how boat docks that have gas pumps are wired, They have the same threat as Humans when it come to safety.

And also "Theory only works in a vacuum" , there are just to many unknown variables in every day life.

Here is a question for You, Does a light give off light or does it suck up dark ?

I would like to see a thread on RF, where the Earth Ground is everything, And it can carry big time Current. (Must be FM)

Have a Great Day.

DonL

9. Originally Posted by DonL
Hello Group,

Here is a question for You, Does a light give off light or does it suck up dark ?

I would like to see a thread on RF, where the Earth Ground is everything, And it can carry big time Current. (Must be FM)

Have a Great Day.

DonL
To answer your question dark and light would have to be defined in terms that relate to sucking up darkness or giving off light. In my opinion, light invades darkness like pouring water on something. Actually, astronomers consider light in many cases to be contamination of darkness...In this line of thinking I would assume total darkness to be devoid of any kind of radiation.... so what do you call vacuum?

Want a thread on RF, grounding, FM ... start one!

10. Originally Posted by jwelectric
Randy

After a discussion with one of my students I have been ask to find out just what you mean by this statement.

Would you mind taking a few minutes and explain what you are saying for the benefit of those who are reading this thread?
Sorry for the delay in replying to this question...
If the POCO had never connected neutral wires to ground rods then the stray voltages from the power company sources would not be entering earth. As I understand it, some power companies are running only one wire but depend on the earth to carry the return current. I've not been concerned enough about it to think about this very hard...

11. Hello Randyj and the group,

Very good on your answer Randy. Light does interfere with astronomy, That is why stargazers go to the county for a good view.
City lighting is a big problem. Light Clutter is one name for it.

I have seen the bashing that you have gotten.(Call it what You will, I am not a book worm, Nor want to be.) Don't think nothing of it. Some people have Book Smarts but No ability to apply what is in the book, In the World we live in. They are smart, but contrary to popular belief, They do Not know it all.

Nobody knows everything, Or their Head would be so big for the brain to hold all the information, That is needed to be a Mister Know It All.

The fact is that Opposites attract.

Grounds can kill, If your potential is Above OR Below Ground, when you come in contact with something. Only takes Milli-amps, but also
Voltage is needed (for Your skin to Conduct). A good example is to go across a 12 Volt car battery and you don't feel a thing, even tho it can produce many hundreds of amps. Increase the voltage and it can grab A-hold of you even if you do not touch it. (I hate when that happens)

Ground Loops are very common in many electronic systems. (Electric , electronic, call it what you want, Flow of electrons)
Simply a difference in potential. You don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to figure it out.

A Vacuum is mostly available in outer space, and it is very cold. And electron theory is based on ideal conditions, In a Vacuum, Where
electriciy can travel at the speed of light, But only in theory, Not on Earth, Yet.

Electrons will flow mostly in the path of least resistance, but also takes other paths that are in their electric connections.

Lightning take the quickest path that it can find, And will blow something apart if the current get to high for it to be dissipated. (Heat gets involved)

I know that a lot that I am saying, You know first hand, I just wanted to refresh your memory and the others that need too be Refreshed.

Have a great day.

DonL...

"Theory only works in a vacuum" , there are just to many unknown variables in every day life.

12. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there, does it make a sound?

13. LOL

Yes the trees do make a sound, And the birds and squirrels say O-Shit, and run for cover.
But there is no one but God that ever hears them...

14. FWIW, you can't measure cold...you can measure the amount of heat (energy) (the less energy, the less heat, the more cold)....similar to light, dark is the lack of light....

15. Well DonL... the thread was everywhere from very serious to highly entertaining for me. I learned a little and refreshed a lot of things I haven't seriously studied in many years. However, the principles of electron behavior still applies just as it did back then. There is some difference in interpretation in several things. One being the idea that electricity takes the path of least resistance or takes the shortest route to source. I think that though lightning is not the same as generated AC or DC since it is static electricity it still shows the fact that electricity can and will take several paths and is analogous to stray voltages... and as far as I'm concerned shows the path of least resistance. The only time I know of that electricity takes the shortest route to source is when it is in a wire and that is the only time it will follow a straight line unless maybe you want to consider an arc such across a spark plug gap or getting zapped by an electric fence... and that is also an example of one wire carrying a current or charge while the ground acts like a conductor. Speaking of electric fences, they work by using a capacitor to store electrons and a 12 volt source can and will knock you on your ass when a capacitor discharges through you in which an electric fence does just that. When I was a kid we used to have fun by charging up a condenser out of a car then handing it to a buddy and telling him to see if it's any good.... It was fun to watch'em jump... pee in their pants if they were drinking..

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