Now that the recreational boating season is officially upon us, countless families and fishermen are itching to get back on the water. Whether you’re new to boating or you’ve been using your trusty boat for years, you need to know about the benefits of marine isolation transformers.
These important isolation transformers are essential to supplying reliable power to the components on your boat when you’re docked. Here’s why you need to ensure these devices are installed on your boat before you hook up to shore power for the first time this boating season.
Prevent Tripping GFI Breakers From Shore Power
Many boaters may face the nuisance tripping circuit breakers when they plug into pedestals, especially if they sail older boats. According to new NEC guidelines established in 2017, “from now on, we need to allow less leakage current to docked boats when they are being powered by shore power. We used to allow 100 milliamps and now we must reduce that to 30 milliamps.” These new guidelines are essential in keeping boaters and swimmers safe, but it also means that even experienced boaters may face issues if they are on shore power.
These annoying power issues are frustrating to deal with when you’re docked and enjoying the sun in your local marina. As soon as you plug in, your leakage current to ground may exceed that 30 milliamps threshold. This will trip the GFI (ground fault interrupt) systems that provide on shore power. If you’re sipping a cold one on the dock, this is a problem.
Any boat built without these power regulations in mind may face this irritating issue. Luckily, it’s not a problem with your boat with this simple solution: a marine isolation transformer. Marine-Puck isolation transformers ensure that your boat won’t exceed the 30 milliamp threshold by eliminating the electrical continuity between the electrical grid and the boat. These transformers are permanently fixed to your boat and wired to your boat’s electrical circuit, so you never need to worry about experiencing nuisance tripping when you connect to dock power again.
Keep Boaters Safe
The recent regulation changes from the NEC are all meant to keep boaters safe. Electricity and water obviously don’t mix well, so the limitation of 30 milliamps is meant to reduce the danger of leakage current in the water between the dock and a boat. Marine-Puck isolation transformers can make you even safer.
These rounded isolation transformers are embedded in solid Epoxy resin and contained in a cup-shaped Polycarbonate enclosure. Power cords for both the shore side and the boat side protrude from the epoxy potting material and seal the transformer from the outside. By installing a Marine-Puck isolation transformer, you can lower your leakage current to less than one milliampere, which far exceeds the protection level of any GFI device. This lowered leakage protects your friends and family who are on the boat with you as well as the marine life around you.
When you want the best in efficiency and safety for your boat, rely on the marine isolation transformers offered by Bridgeport Magnetics. We offer quality products for all of your boating needs and can match your isolation transformer to the right size your boat needs.