Sunday, November 26, 2006


GFCI outlets, 11/26/2006

Another suggestion by the surveyor, and one that makes sense: replace the galley and head outlets with GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) outlets. GFCI outlets have a breaker that shuts off the power if there is a ground fault. For instance, let's say you're standing in water and providing a ground path through your body, and you don't really like all that electricity passing through your body. Well, a GFCI will help you by interrupting the circuit.

I've installed these at home before, and it's easy, so I thought it would be easy on the boat. You see where this is going, don't you? Riiiiight. The back of a GFCI outlet is a bit bigger than that of a regular outlet, and the holes in the bulkhead on the boat were cut just to size for a regular outlet. No way to get a saw in there, so I used a grinding bit attached to a drill, and ground the edges of the holes until they were large enough.

I also needed a new outdoor-type water resistant outlet cover for the head compartment (we shower in there, so it's likely to get sprayed). Newer GFCI outlets have a square face, so the old cover did not fit. As usual, all more effort than expected, but a good upgrade for safety.

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