Friday, January 10, 2014

Marine Grade...or not.

One of the many projects I had to do when I arrived was to replace a 110 volt receptacle that seemed to have something jammed into the grounds so a 3 prong plug wouldn't fit in the socket.  When I went to remove the outlet I took off the cover and found that the plug was pretty rusted.  Obviously this was not an outdoor outlet, much less one designed specifically for marine applications.  In fact, after I removed the mounting screw, the socket was still so rusty it would not come out of the hole that was cut where it was mounted.  I guess this boat didn't typically have a plug in this location as this was obviously not a "factory installed option".

Using some vice grips and a little persuasion, I was able to finally get the outlet pieces.  This is what was left:

While I was glad to see that the plug was installed using marine grade wire instead of household wire, the connections were made as one would do in a house outlet, the wire was twisted around the terminal screw and clamped in place.  I've read up on this and know that the wire should have had properly crimped on ring or spade terminals designed to handle the movement that can occur on a boat.

So, I cut the ends of the wire, added the proper terminals and heat-shrunk (is that a word) the ends, cut the mounting hole a bit bigger to accept a GFCI plug, and assembled everything back together.  I think it looks pretty good and is now a bit safer than the rusty thing that was there before. Hopefully it is a more "marine grade" installation.

I will be the first to admit that I don't know a lot about how things should be done on a boat.  The one thing I have going for me is that I know this is true and will seek out the knowledge necessary before taking on any boat project.  For your safety, if you aren't quite sure how something should be done on a boat (they have different requirements than houses) please do a little research.  The life, and boat, you save may be your own.

No comments:

Post a Comment