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National Electrical Code Articles and Information

Based on the 2020 NEC

by Mark Lamendola

National Electrical Code Top Ten Tips: Article 555, Marinas and Boatyards

  1. Article 555 covers the installation of wiring and equipment for just about any place where boats are docked, repaired, or fueled. This used to exclude private and non-commercial docking facilities of single-family dwellings in older editions of the NEC, but they are also covered [555.1].
  2. The Electrical Datum Plane is the most important concept of Article 555. The definition, once in 555.2, is now in Article 100. Understand that this plane is defined based on the highest water level (e.g., tide), not some average.
  3. Pier power distribution systems cannot exceed 250V phase to phase (nominal) [555.5].
  4. Transformers and their enclosures must be identified for wet locations [555.7(A)].
  5. Permanent safety signs must give notice of electrical shock hazard risks, and must comply with the three requirements of 555.10(1), (2), and (3).
  6. Bond everything metallic that is non-current carrying [555.13].
  7. Many older sections have been removed over time. For example, 555.15, 555.17. 555.19. and 555.21 all appeared in the 2011 NEC. The 2020 NEC omits these, going from 555.13 to 555.30.
  8. Enclose shore power receptacles in listed marina power outlets, enclosures listed for wet locations, or listed enclosures protected from the weather [555.32(A)(1)].
  9. When you bond per 55.13 and 555.37, ensure your equipment grounding (bonding) conductor is an insulated conductor with a continuous outer finish that is either green or green with at least one yellow stripe [555.37(B)].
  10. Each floating building must be served by one set of feeder conductors from its service equipment [555.1].