Marinas Now Require GFI Compliance

April 18, 2019 5:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Electric shock drowning (ESD) has become a major concern in the boating community. For those unfamiliar, ESD is the result of electrical currents, usually from faulty wiring, spreading through the water adjacent to a boat. When swimmers jump off the dock into the water, the electrical currents can shock the swimmer into paralysis, leading to drowning.

Next year, new regulations will go into effect for marinas, private docks and boat owners in an effort to prevent this deadly situation from occurring. These regulations are intended to keep swimmers, boaters and their passengers safe at all times.

In establishing GFI compliance, you may need the help of a licensed electrician in Forsyth County, GA. Here’s how ESD is affecting boating and what people are doing to prevent it.

The silent killer

ESD is often referred to as a silent killer because you often can’t see or hear the electrical current running through the water. One second, everything is fine; the next, someone jumps in the water and never comes out.

While you might assume that the problem is the electrical shock itself, the reality is that the electrical shock causes paralysis, which then results in drowning. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for any bystanders to try to save the affected swimmer due to the electrical currents coursing through the water.

However, the good news is that the conditions leading to ESD are, in almost every instance, completely preventable, which is a big part of why new regulations are being implemented.

New regulations

The boating industry is honing new regulations and protocols in an effort to completely eradicate incidents of ESD. The first step is by simply raising awareness of this possibility so that boaters don’t allow swimming anywhere near their docks.

Standards that will go into effect in 2020 will require boat owners to take other preventative measures. Already, many marinas have adopted the 2017 National Electric Codes to enhance safety. These require that boat owners install ground fault protection at their boats and docks to prevent electrical currents from entering the water.

The regulations also stipulate that boat owners are responsible for hiring technicians certified by the American Boat and Yacht Council. Regular inspections and testing are crucial for electrical system safety. Adding equipment such as electrical current sensors that detect AC power leakage is another sound step that boaters can take to protect against ESD.

Hiring the right electrician

While ESD might seem scary, hiring a licensed electrician in Forsyth County, GA is one of the best steps you can take. They’ll help guide you toward compliance with all regulations and ensure that your boat is safe.

Duke Electric Co. has delivered quality workmanship for more than 50 years. Our electricians are always here to help in any capacity you need them, from marina and dock work to residential and commercial jobs. As a proud, locally owned and operated company, we keep customers coming back by offering high-quality services and covering all your electrical needs. Call today for more information and a free estimate!

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