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Thread: Dock Safety

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    southwest Missouri
    Posts
    71

    Dock Safety

    All the recent talk about changes and proposed changes with the NEC concerning docks & Marinas I couldn't help but share my unbelievable situation here. We have a second home on a large lake in northern Arkansas. This is a flood control lake and is the reservoir lake in a string of 3 lakes. The lake can vary 66.5 feet max but does vary 30-50 feet frequently. Private docks on the lake typically have overhead electric with old triplex wire then extra triplex is rolled on a reel in these docks as the lake varies. The vast majority of the private docks here are not wired properly in a variety of ways. Most of the triplex is skinned and spliced frequently. The most egregious violation, especially when the lake is high, is the triplex being in the water. We are very near the top of flood pool so many of the electric poles are far out in the water with the wire running back towards shore to the dock. Many people believe that this is acceptable and safe as that has been the rational over the years for the violations. Many of these same docks have swim decks attached and many people regularly swim off these docks here. Having been around this area since I was a child I am not aware of any electrocutions, at least none that made the media. Of course the rule in our family is no swimming around any docks or marinas. Having my own small electrical contracting business I avoid working on these docks, even avoid giving advice for fear of accidents and liability. The common response to a comment that "your dock is not grounded you know" is "it's been fine for 20 years". I find it unbelievable! I have photos showing "noodles" floating the wires in the lake, everywhere! Because that's OK too.
    Last edited by jsmalone1; 06-30-17 at 12:01 PM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks
    Posts
    961
    Arkansas has a state sponsored electrical inspection program. Why are they not calling this out?

    #PrudentPrePlannigPreventsPissPoorPerformance

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    southwest Missouri
    Posts
    71

    More on dock electrical safety

    The Army Corps of Engineers oversees this lake and require dock inspections, including electrical. I don't know who is signing off on these inspections, I have refused so many requests. I really have been torn between trying to do something and minding my own business. Individuals either don't want to correct the issues, don't have money, or don't believe they even have an issue. I contacted the Corps 4 times since 2008, which is when I discovered this issue is so widespread here. Unless I give them a specific dock they will not act. I don't know what to do, if anything. I don't have a private dock here, we use the Marina. It's a very tough situation and an accident will have to occur for changes to take place. If I wasn't here seeing this for myself I would not believe it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks
    Posts
    961
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmalone1 View Post
    The Army Corps of Engineers oversees this lake and require dock inspections, including electrical. I don't know who is signing off on these inspections, I have refused so many requests. I really have been torn between trying to do something and minding my own business. Individuals either don't want to correct the issues, don't have money, or don't believe they even have an issue. I contacted the Corps 4 times since 2008, which is when I discovered this issue is so widespread here. Unless I give them a specific dock they will not act. I don't know what to do, if anything. I don't have a private dock here, we use the Marina. It's a very tough situation and an accident will have to occur for changes to take place. If I wasn't here seeing this for myself I would not believe it.
    That is a shame. I just saw a dock done at lake of the ozarks for the army rec and USACE is enforcing 2017. There is a huge double standard amongst the districts. I recommend contacting USACE Little Rock distric office and speaking to a safety officer or better yet have the community hire a lawyer to do the talking and sight EM385-1-1 and look at Missouri case law regarding electrocution settlements against Ameren.

    #PrudentPrePlannigPreventsPissPoorPerformance

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Pikesville, MD
    Posts
    6
    If there are local news stations or newspapers, try contacting their investigative reporters.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    southwest Missouri
    Posts
    71

    found this

    Aug 3, 2003

    Bull Shoals Lake, Bull Shoals, AR. Diver found Aug. 5 in shallow water 8 ft. from his dock, drowned. Incorrectly wired dock junction box caused 117 VAC to appear on metal dock components. Rescue diver reported feeling shock sensation 20 ft. from dock!

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