On board electric shock hazard protection takes a giant step forward. GFCI receptacles have an extremely high failure rate, especially in marine environments. One of the reasons for this is that few of us actually subscribe to the “test monthly” dictate found on the units. Doing this helps to exercise the mechanical mechanism inside the unit to ensure that it can move freely when called into action. Our friends at Hubbell Marine Electrical Products have just announced a new product receptacle that at least will tell us when danger is a real possibility. The following press release came in over the transom this past week and is important news for EBT readers. Replacement of old GFCI units with these newly designed units will go a long way toward enhancing on board safety.
RECEPTACLES MEET 2015 GFCI REQUIREMENTS
Studies show the majority of installed GFCI devices are not being manually tested on a monthly basis as required by UL. Applying to all permanently installed units, new 2015 UL 943 requirements must automatically monitor GFCI functionality every three hours or less. If the device can no longer provide this protection it must deny power and provide a visual and/or audible indication for end of life. Hubbell Marine’s GFCI Receptacles meet these new guidelines.
In addition, if the line conductor is incorrectly wired to the load terminal, power to the receptacle will be denied. This includes initial installation and any subsequent reinstallations.
The up-to-date receptacles place no impact on the installer or end user, since there’s no change in wiring or method of installation. They are the same physical size and have the same interface, while now including green power, solid red trip and end of life flashing red indicators.
Hubbell’s UL Listed receptacles have been designed to protect people from line-to-ground electrical shock hazards which may develop from faulty appliances, tools or defective portable cords. If a ground fault does occur and the leakage level exceeds 4 to 6 milliamperes, the GFCI unit quickly acts to protect the user by opening the circuit, thus interrupting the power supply and limiting the duration of any electrical current flow. After tripping, the receptacle is reset with the push of a button. Users can also easily test that the GFCI is in working order.
These receptacles can be mounted on any standard 2-1/2″ deep box. A feed-thru feature provides protection not only at that receptacle, but also at any other receptacle located downstream from it on the same circuit. These devices meet the requirements of The National Electric Code (NEC) and American Boat and Yacht Council Standard and will accept locking fork terminals.
Hubbell’s GFCI Receptacles have a starting price of $23.99.
Contact Hubbell Marine Electrical Products, 40 Waterview Dr. Shelton, CT 06484. 475-882-4838; Fax: 203-783-9195. www.hubbell-marine.com.