remote controled diconnect for a boatlift

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hi everybody, i have a situation with a customer, a charterfishing captain. His boatlift is being eaten away by electrolysis because he leaves the power connected to the lift when he is on a charter. that means 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week. Zincs are replced every 4 to 6 mouths. Because the bond wire, along with the hot wires and neutral, needs to be disconnected when not in use to slow down the electrolysis. I am wondering if anybody knows of a way to disconnect the 4 wires (2 hots, 1 nuetral and bond )by use of a remote controled device? Maybe some sort of relay setup or 4 pole disconnect. Or maybe there is a timer that could disconnect the 4 wires instead of using a remote control device. Any help with this is greatly appreciated
 

johneyw

Member
Location
Sunrise, Florida
Boat Lift

Boat Lift

I would use a contactor, 4-pole, with a remote key fob. I would also wire a light
to the contactor so you could tell when it is on. If you have not done this already
I would double check neutral at the service. I have also done boat lifts in the Florida keys and they have a mind of their own. PM me if any questions.:cool:
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I would use a contactor, 4-pole, with a remote key fob.
I would be very ........ very .... leery of breaking the grounding means with a contactor or any switch for that matter.

I would look for signs of any real problems, like the neutral but if it was all fine I would just tell him to keep adding zincs.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Electrolosys is the result of DC current not AC current.

You may want to find the source of the DC current and address that.

You may have disimilar metals and an electrolyte essentially creating a battery and that is the source.
 

hardworkingstiff

Senior Member
Location
Wilmington, NC
The majority of the time (like almost always) a boat that's eating up zincs has a wiring problem on the boat. They (boat owners) always want to blame other boats or wiring, but it is almost always them.
 

johneyw

Member
Location
Sunrise, Florida
Boat Lift

Boat Lift

I have done boat lifts in the Florida keys for along time and we pull the control box
on a plug just so this would not happen. The owner needed to unplug the system when not in use. I do not see the difference between a plug and the contactor.
Keep in mind the boat lift system is where they drive aluminum I-beams into the water and then about 5+ feet until they hit bedrock. I understand the Zinc and DC
but I have found that if you have a poor neutral to the service it will eat up the zinc plates quick.
 

johneyw

Member
Location
Sunrise, Florida
Boat Lift

Boat Lift

Let me add this, the zinc I am talking about is not on the boat. The company putting in the lift will wire two zinc bars to the I-beams to protect the lift system.
I knew I should have saved those pictures.:happyno:
 

hardworkingstiff

Senior Member
Location
Wilmington, NC
Check for potential difference between the water and the grounding conductor in the circuit for the boat lift controller. If the potential is great enough, you may need to run a GEC from the service to a ground rod near the water.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Check for potential difference between the water and the grounding conductor in the circuit for the boat lift controller. If the potential is great enough, you may need to run a GEC from the service to a ground rod near the water.
If the voltage between EGC and water is very much at all you have an electrocution waiting to happen, you can drive all the ground rods you want it is not going to change things enough to matter much as the rod will only equalize potential for a small area around the rod.

There is a thread on a similar topic that is not all that old - I believe the likely issue in that thread was voltage drop in the POCO primary neutral causing stray voltage problems at a boat lift.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I do not see the difference between a plug and the contactor.
Both are code legal, but I have never seen a plug have one pole fail and it not be obvious.

I have seen poles of contactor fail to close and you would never know until someone got blasted.
 
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