Supplying electric to my dock

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by liv2ryde100, May 13, 2019.

  1. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    so I would like to run electric out to my dock. Not a floating dock, just bulkhead. Trying to do some research to learn how to do it myself the right way with a sub panel and all that. Anyone done this job and have any experience? Also would like to run some lighting out there as well. As far as plugging in the boat, either one or two 30amp 110v should be sufficient. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Bt Doctur

    Bt Doctur Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    New Jersey
    Ex SRV 240 Weekender twin
    in between
    Well to be safe you should have GFI protection and signs prohibiting any swimming off the dock
     
  3. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    Yes aware gfci is what I have been seeing, just trying to see what kind of sub panel I should be installing that can provide power to 30amp 110v and handle some lighting
     
  4. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    165
    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    the first questions we need to know, how large is the load and how far from the main electrical panel is it? Are you just feeding (1) 30 amp or do you want power on the dock for lights, general purpose receptacles etc?
     
  5. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_4230.JPG I didn't perform the work but did hire an electrician to run power to our dock. He used a trenching machine to lay the line in. Depth is maybe 12". The line comes out of the main electrical panel in our basement and runs beneath the joists to the outside wall. He drilled a hole through the brick and the line comes out about 6" above the ground and that is where it goes into the trench. I believe there is a box in an inside closet that the outside line connects to. The run is fairly long outside, on the order of 100 plus feet. That line is pretty hefty and is rated for underground service. It comes out of the ground and connects to wiring at the dock with mechanical fasteners and that connection is protected by epoxy waterproofing. That wire goes into a box with a shut off handle and all the devices are powered from that box. All of the dock wiring is run inside nonconducting conduit and is grounded to an iron stake driven three or more feet into the ground. There is a GFI installed at the beginning of the dock. We power a 5 HP 220 volt irrigation pump for landscaping, a 110 volt flagpole light, and three 110 volt 30 amp plugs. Two of the plugs are for the slips and the third is for a power washer and bubbler we use in the spring and winter. The picture shows some of the conduit.
    It is important to keep any boxes above the high water level. The GFI is in the small 110 duplex on the first fender pile. This pic is current and the installation was done about 25 years ago. Great care must be taken with these installations. Many people underestimate the effect of wave action on wiring. The constant vibrations can wear through the insulation on the wiring if metal conduits are used. They then become electrified and unsafe as the ground becomes hot along with the steel beams supporting the dock. Nonconducting conduits subject the wiring to less wear and should that occur, the conduits remain safe. They need to be firmly attached to unistruts so wave action does not cause them to break free.
    We have lived in this home since 1977. During that time period we know of 4 different fatalities caused by electrical problems with dock wiring. Each of those accidents occurred at different locations across the lake from our home. I would suggest you have a licensed contractor perform this work if you are not a trained electrician. This is not a dyi job for an untrained person. FullSizeRender.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  6. KevinC

    KevinC Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    How far is your bulkhead from the furthest structure of your house? It might be easier and cheaper to just add a 30amp or 50amp outlet to your house are pickup some used Marinco lines to use as your house lines.

    The way permits and inspections go around here it might be something to think about. This way you can always remove them too.

    -Kevin
     
    MonacoMike likes this.
  7. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    I’d say I’m going to run about 150ft. Yes I will calculate for voyage drop and I plan on mounting a weatherproof subpanel 5ft off the ground to make it hurricane safe. Sbw1 how many feeds do u have going out there from the house? Sounds like u have a lot of power out there. Also do u have a sub panel or shut off at the dock? Kevin that’s a good Idea to run long cords, but having them draped across the lawn will not make the wife happy, plus I have small kids I don’t want them playing with the cords.
     
  8. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    I have done massive amounts of electrical work over the years. I gutted my whole house and rewireded every room. I just am not totally familiar with what is available as far as weatherproof sub panels and making the job as safe as possible. Yea I will be digging a trench and running pvc in the ground. And I’m assuming I will be running at least 8 gauge wire through there. Just thought someone could point in right direction as far as supplies go.
     
  9. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
  10. Spark600

    Spark600 Member

    50
    Dec 28, 2013
    Long Island NY
    2008 Sundancer with 496 SeaCore Bravo 3
    Kohler Generator
    Mercury dinghy
    496 SeaCore Bravo 3
    Install a 100 amp weather proof panel on a CCA wall ( 2- 4x4s with 5/4 boards ) to mount the sub panel and switches, Time clocks, outles Ect on. ( I would dig the trenches with a Ditch Witch trencher that I own )
    You need 1" PVC Pipe, Schedule 40 PVC underground and Schedule 80 above the ground ( this is code ) I would also install a 1' poly pipe for water when you do this.
    Pull four wires in the pipe ( 3 - # 4 THHN and 1 - # 10 THHN ) ( 2 - Black wires for hot legs, 1 - White wire for neutral, 1 - Green wire # 10 for ground )
    As said above install 90 amp main breaker in the sub panel with 8' ground rod ( # 6 THHN Wire from panel to ground rod )
    Use ALL G.F.I. breakers for what ever you add out of the sub panel.
    In the past I have used towers that have water and electric in them a little expensive but worth it.
    I own a small electrical business in NY any question call my cell 631-433-8602
     
    JVM225 and Chris-380 like this.
  11. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    What is amperage of your electrical service at the house?
    Please note that any electrical advice that I put out here is based on the Canadian Electrical Code. Ensure that you are properly informed by a registered electrical contractor in your state. You are fortunate to have a CSR member close by to set you up properly. (Spark600)
     
  12. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    Yes thank you so much spark600. This looks good. I appreciate the help
     
  13. Todd320

    Todd320 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    772
    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    Props to you guys, I could never do this, and if I did, I would be constantly worried about blowing up/burning down/electrifying something/someone that shouldn’t be. Not to even mention the liability if something bad did happen. The only thing I can think of worse than this is running gas lines!
     
  14. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    Is the #4 wire stranded? Also is it ok to run the water line in the same ditch as electric or do I need to dig a separate ditch
     
  15. Chris-380

    Chris-380 Active Member

    165
    Jan 20, 2019
    Pontoon Beach IL
    380 Sundancer 2000
    454 Horizon w/V drives
    it's a simple job, sounds like you know what you want, now you need to get a NEMA 3r panel the
    In Illinois you can..... not sure if New York code, but should be ok

    I am an electrician also, spark600 has some good info, it’s really a simple job
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  16. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    I'm just curious......why wouldn't you start in a different place and find a new dock power pedestal that had the features you wanted and supplied the electrical specifications for a marine environment. That way it is a matter of connecting the existing house supply to the pedestal. Yes a pedestal is $600+ but the connection points are clearly spelled out if you have to pull permits. They also specify the wire gauge necessary for the distance and the sub-panel.
     
  17. liv2ryde100

    liv2ryde100 Member

    377
    May 17, 2012
    long island
    05' 340 dancer
    Twin 8.1's
    i was under the impression I still need to run a sub panel with shut off at the dock with or without a pedestal so I figured may as well skip it. Not really about the money. Plus I want to run some lighting out there and another standard outlet to plug in underwater lights down the road
     
  18. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_4230.JPG
    It has been many years since the work was done, but if by feeds you mean how many wires, I believe there is just one. But it is a thick copper wire as is the ground. The ground is multiple strands if memory serves. Yes, there is a weather proof box at the dock with a handle on it that shuts off the power at the dock.
     
  19. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    IMG_4230.JPG View attachment 69815 We would have had the same wiring set up with the pedestal as with out it. We elected to go without a pedestal because of the space it would take up on the dock and the need to clean it from time to time. For us, mounting the outlets on the fender piles was a cleaner look. I would do it the same way today based upon how it has worked. The shut off is mounted behind the bushes on the left side of the dock when looking at the left front of the dock viewed from the shore.
    I did not mention, although you probably assumed it to be the case, a permit was required to do this project. It was also inspected by our township before we began using it. We had just had a death of two people across the lake from us from a shorted out light on a dock a week or two before we did this project. The inspector was very interested in insuring another tragedy did not happen as a result of a botched job on our dock. Sadly, another electrocution happened a year or two later across from our home when a Sherrif deputy died trying to save a drowning victim. He dove into the water and was electrocuted just like the person he was attempting to save.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  20. atrick

    atrick Active Member

    230
    Mar 4, 2017
    Penna
    1995 searay 290 Sundancer
    1990 21 maxum
    Twin 4.3 mercrusers with alpha one genII drives
    305 chevy with a alpha one drive
    You can get weather proof breaker panels and put on the dock. I got one on mine with a 50a welding outlet, 2-30a boat outlets and 4-15a outlets and have room for more. All breakers are ground fault except the welding outlet. The main breaker is 100 amp but you can get bigger or smaller depending on your needs. I have docks the rise or lower with the water level-on a river-so my line is overhead with a weather head like your house.I have a main weather proof panel on the lot that feeds the dock panel with separate main breaker for docks. Important thing is to maintain your grounds and make sure hot and neutrals aren't reversed. I got a ground wire that ties the docks to ground thru the water with a ground wire so no chance of stray current. I got 85' of docks floating at my place and the wiring been in place since 1990 and never a problem,
     

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