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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: KM4AH on June 23, 2014, 01:51:25 PM



Title: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KM4AH on June 23, 2014, 01:51:25 PM
A friend of mine has had one to wash his dock, boats etc. for years. He was told yesterday that they are not legal, which very well may be the case. But, he was also told that if it shorted it would electrocute anybody in the water for 100's of feet. I'm thinking that unless you actually touched the pump and had less resistance than the water that nothing could happen. What say you ?


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: AA4PB on June 23, 2014, 02:37:48 PM
Hundreds of feet is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. However, if the pump is not properly grounded it could be an issue for someone touching or very close to it. The normal way to provide protection would be to connect it via a GFI breaker. Pumps are used in swimming pools all the time and that's a whole lot more confined area than the lake.




Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on June 23, 2014, 02:45:40 PM
Submersible pumps are meant to be used where nobody could be hurt if they did short out--that is down in a well, far removed from contact with people. 

As for the shorting out, the same thing that happens when an electrical device was plugged in and fell into a bathtub would happen to whomever was in the water around the pump.  Since quite a few of those pumps are 220 volt, the danger factor is even worse.  The only way for that not to possibly happen is if it were wired into a GFI breaker set--but I doubt if it would be legal all the same. 

BTW, a submersible pump in a swimming pool?  Even if the pool were in ground, I have never heard of anything like that.  The pump motor is not a submerged type for just that reason.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: W1JKA on June 23, 2014, 03:32:33 PM
   This ranks right up there with a couple of my neighbors who run a 120 line out on their aluminum docks to a weather proof receptacle so they can run the trickle chargers for their boat battery. Probably the reason I have a wood dock and sail boat.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KE4JOY on June 23, 2014, 03:34:42 PM
I had a small submersible pump in a fish pond go bad. It dident short but it did leak.

One day I was tending to the pond and got a 'tickle' when putting my hands in the water.

I replaced the pump and put a gfci receptacle out there.

I was lucky  8)


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: AA4PB on June 23, 2014, 03:51:53 PM
Are we talking about a big 220V submersible well pump here - or one of the little sump pump types of units?


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KM4AH on June 23, 2014, 04:03:06 PM
It is 110 volts. Somebody explain the physics to me of how it is going to shock you if you don't touch it just by playing in the water. Circuit path ?


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: W8JX on June 24, 2014, 04:53:27 AM
It is 110 volts. Somebody explain the physics to me of how it is going to shock you if you don't touch it just by playing in the water. Circuit path ?

The danger is in coming in with defective wiring or pump itself if not grounded proper. Not in open water. Also if you feed it with a GFCI breaker it will interrupt circuit when it detects a few ma of leakage making risk very very low. 


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KM4AH on June 24, 2014, 05:18:47 AM
It is 110 volts. Somebody explain the physics to me of how it is going to shock you if you don't touch it just by playing in the water. Circuit path ?

The danger is in coming in with defective wiring or pump itself if not grounded proper. Not in open water. Also if you feed it with a GFCI breaker it will interrupt circuit when it detects a few ma of leakage making risk very very low. 

That's what I was thinking. Killing people in the water 50 or 100 feet away as the plumbing salesman was stating is what I could not wrap my arms around.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: G3RZP on June 24, 2014, 06:19:30 AM
Suppose for the sake of argument that the live side connected to the water. Then there's a potential gradient through the water to wherever electrical 'ground' is. Depending on what gradient is, someone could have enough volts across them to be electrocuted. 50 feet sounds rather a lot, though.

It is the same principle that sees cows electrocuted by a close lightning strike, where current flows along the ground surface as well downwards - the potential between their front and rear feet can be enough to kill them. Apparently (and I don't know why) cows are particularly susceptible, which is why over here, there are fairly stringent regulations on wiring cowsheds and milking parlours.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on June 24, 2014, 06:40:40 AM
Good point about the type of pump, but the little sump pumps can't put out much pressure--they're not made to work that way.  Heck, most of them have a ten or fifteen foot 'lift' limit, and you can block the hose outlet without too much effort, maybe five to ten pounds pressure--if that--at the hose end.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K8AXW on June 24, 2014, 08:30:51 AM
RZP is correct and one other thing.  The pool and well pumps are connected to everything else by plastic pipe. 

The guy using the pump in the lake needs to research this and determine the legalities.  Just thinking of the possible scenarios of what could go wrong will take quite some time!

The whole thing could be resolved by him buying a pump with a plastic suction hose and place the pump on the dock.  Feed the pump with a GFIC outlet just in case the pump gets knocked into the water.

 


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KF7CG on June 24, 2014, 10:05:17 AM
His legality problem may be from taking water from the lake. Does he have any "rights" to the water in the lake? Believe it or not he may not have the right to remove water from the lake. This is of course on top of the safety issue.

Water rights can be even more contentious than antenna rights.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on June 24, 2014, 10:37:45 AM
That could be true--if the water were pulled from the lake to be pumped somewhere else.  Just using water to rinse off a boat and/or dock, however, just puts the water right back where it was taken from.  Some idiot may claim that water rights prohibit that, but since the water isn't going anywhere, they would be hard pressed to prove the 'theft' of the water, which is in effect what water rights are to protect against.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: VE3FMC on June 24, 2014, 03:49:05 PM
Why doesn't he put a length of plastic pipe into the water and simply pump the water out of that to clean his boats etc? My sister and brother in law draw lake water for their cottage and the pump is in the cottage, not in the lake.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: W8JX on June 24, 2014, 04:27:13 PM
Why not just get a good sized 12 volt bilge attached to a hose with 12v feed taped to part of hose and drop it is water when you need it and pull it out when not in use. I have little doubt their concern is 120v shock potential.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K8AXW on June 25, 2014, 09:32:37 AM
Quote
His legality problem may be from taking water from the lake.

Quote
Just using water to rinse off a boat and/or dock, however, just puts the water right back where it was taken from.

Taking water from the lake might present some legal question.  Returning the water to the lake after cleaning something will no doubt have legal ramifications!

Our filter plant pulls water from a river, filtered and used for process.  This in turn leaves the sticks, leaves and a great deal of mud behind which the plant isn't allowed to return to the river......where it came from!  It must be trucked to a landfill.

Water is pulled from the same river and is used to wash out ash from our coal burning boilers.  This water/ash mixture is then pumped to a lagoon where the ash is removed from the water and the water is returned to the river.

However, the water returning to the river must meet EPA regulated clean water regulations that are extremely rigid. 

The guy washing his boat and dock might just well be in violation of federal law.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KF7CG on June 25, 2014, 10:04:52 AM
Federal law on this stuff can be insane. Several property owners in Idaho were fined by the EPA for drawing water from one of the tributaries of the Snake River without having extremely fine mesh filters on the pump inlets to prevent the pumps from sucking in salmon fry. No chance of this the propeties were above a single drop 200 foot waterfall. NO way for adult salmon to get up the stream to spawn, hence no fry.

Still rules is rules.

KF7CG


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on June 25, 2014, 12:08:30 PM
Why doesn't he put a length of plastic pipe into the water and simply pump the water out of that to clean his boats etc? My sister and brother in law draw lake water for their cottage and the pump is in the cottage, not in the lake.

It's probably something he had on hand.  After all, would you go and get a brand new pump to pump wash water if you had another pump on hand that could do it just as well?  (no pun intended)


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on June 25, 2014, 12:19:26 PM
Taking water from the lake might present some legal question.  Returning the water to the lake after cleaning something will no doubt have legal ramifications!

Our filter plant pulls water from a river, filtered and used for process.  This in turn leaves the sticks, leaves and a great deal of mud behind which the plant isn't allowed to return to the river......where it came from!  It must be trucked to a landfill.

That's a great deal different than incidental use by a private individual.  As long as cleaners or detergents aren't added to the water, there isn't anything to be filtered or cleaned from it before it's returned to its source.  

Quote
Water is pulled from the same river and is used to wash out ash from our coal burning boilers.  This water/ash mixture is then pumped to a lagoon where the ash is removed from the water and the water is returned to the river.

However, the water returning to the river must meet EPA regulated clean water regulations that are extremely rigid.  

The guy washing his boat and dock might just well be in violation of federal law.

Again, that case is substantially different.  If the guy can prove that the water contains nothing that wouldn't find it's way to the lake anyway, he can argue that his 'diversion' of the water isn't doing any harm.  Rainwater would rinse off the guy's dock and boat anyway--is the government going to sue God for the rain?  (Although, with the present administration, I wouldn't put it past them!)

Added--If what you say is indeed the case, every Joe Shmoe that washed his car and let the run off onto the street would be liable for the same charge.  It would probably never happen.

In any event, we're getting off track here, we're not lawyers, and until the guy is charged, why worry about it?  73.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: N6AJR on July 06, 2014, 07:25:27 AM
#1, the guy who needs to keep his batteries up on his boat, I would reccommend a small ( 1 foot square or so) solar panel and a tiny charge controller.  batteries always up and no wires needed to the shore. 

#2, If you have a problem wit the pump going south while in the water, it will most always end up blowing the fuse, circuitbreaker or release maximum smoke.  I doubt it will sit there and kill fish.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K8AXW on July 06, 2014, 10:55:53 AM
Quote
In any event, we're getting off track here, we're not lawyers, and until the guy is charged, why worry about it?  73.

CJS:  You're correct.  I suppose what I am really trying to say is for the guy to be aware of what COULD happen.  Considering the government (Read: EPA) insanity these days, it's always wise to err on the side of caution.  And we are off subject.  Sorry for that.

(Sorry again, can't help it.  The state of Maryland wants to tax each individual "for the amount of rainwater draining from their roof!"  Big roof, big tax.  Small roof, small tax.  You believe that brother?)



Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on July 07, 2014, 06:10:02 AM

(Sorry again, can't help it.  The state of Maryland wants to tax each individual "for the amount of rainwater draining from their roof!"  Big roof, big tax.  Small roof, small tax.  You believe that brother?)


Yes, I do.  The city I live in is doing the same. 


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K8AXW on July 07, 2014, 08:31:50 AM
Quote
Yes, I do.  The city I live in is doing the same.

It's no wonder citizens are becoming more and more paranoid!!


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: KD0REQ on July 07, 2014, 08:49:00 AM
AJR, lots of running pumps have dangers.  before the motor dies, often you will start to have insulation breakdowns.  enough charge from what amounts to a tap on the motor windings will get down the shaft to the pump well to kill.  there are one or two lights-out lake home owners in the paper each year whose heirs and assigns find out the hard way.

the NEC has not mandated GFI to lakeshores.  I did a little chasing a year ago after reading about the 12th boat owner who got blasted stepping on their dock, and among the public documents (few) was one from a few years ago, in which the assembled code poobahs read through marina owner objections to the cost (8 bucks a unit) and decided that was the most significant factor.

geez, folks, if you are required by law to bond all metal, the motor, any heater, and the electrical service to ground with a #6 copper wire at a whirlpool tub and use a GFI, should that not be a clue?  it is no crime to exceed code.  put in the darn GFI and if it trips twice, find out why.  eight freaking bucks.  lunch money.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: N6AJR on July 07, 2014, 10:47:21 AM
good point, excellent reccommendation


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1DA on July 08, 2014, 08:18:46 AM
  Avoid the problem, put perforated casing in on shore but as close to the waterline as possible.  Drop the pump into that. 


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on July 09, 2014, 03:12:02 PM
...geez, folks, if you are required by law to bond all metal, the motor, any heater, and the electrical service to ground with a #6 copper wire at a whirlpool tub and use a GFI, should that not be a clue?  it is no crime to exceed code.  put in the darn GFI and if it trips twice, find out why.  eight freaking bucks.  lunch money.

That's just plain common sense.  Too bad common sense is all but dead, especially in people who complain about how the code doesn't require it....


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on July 09, 2014, 03:17:54 PM
Quote
Yes, I do.  The city I live in is doing the same.   (Rainwater tax.)

It's no wonder citizens are becoming more and more paranoid!!

Yeah.  No kiddin.  Now my city wants to charge for the garbage bags--the 'pay as you throw' solution.  The only thing is that the city, three or four years ago issued separate garbage and recycle bins, and bought new trucks to handle them.  If the garbage and recycling isn't in the bins, the city won't pick it up.  

Yes, the city owns the trucks.  Now they're going to defeat the purpose of those bins and trucks by picking the bags out of the bins and refusing anything not in bags.

City government has gone crazy.  Common sense is dead.  Paranoid doesn't describe how some city residents feel about it.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K8AXW on July 09, 2014, 07:17:32 PM
Quote
Paranoid doesn't describe how some city residents feel about it.

It's becoming more and more difficult to express oneself without using profanity.  It seems that in some cases, the socially accepted English language simply fails to adequately express true feelings.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: G3RZP on July 10, 2014, 02:35:56 AM
My feeling is that the people making the decisions are less well educated than in bygone days, as well as being less encouraged to use common sense.

In some cases, it's pay peanuts and get monkeys, but it often seems that managers - even at senior levels - are heavily  overpaid monkeys.


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2014, 01:13:30 PM
People who still have their morals find a way to express themselves without the use of profanity.  There are lots of ways of expressing one's feelings too.  Only the uneducated have to use profanity--and they claim they can because of freedom of speech--but that's another topic.

Getting back to people expressing themselves, I have a bit of a story. 

The town I used to live in has a town meeting type of government, and once a person wanted to start a fleamarket in a parking lot of a church who had sold him the land when they built a new church nearby.  He had grand plans, and there wasn't too much to stop him since the zoning of the land wasn't residential--it was combination residential and commercial, but his was the only planned commercial venture in the middle of all residences.  He and I locked horns because of a request he made to me concerning removal of a structure on my land to let him carry out his plans--something I did not want to do.

At the selectmans meeting where he made his proposal and requested a permit, he had several abutters including myself who kept up with introducing requirements that would either put the guy out of business before he started because of costs, or that would tie his hands effectively closing the fleamarket at any sign of violation.  It was that man who first had a lawyer come to subsequent meetings and then--against the advice of that lawyer, start ranting at those meetings about how he had a right to run a business, a right to do as he thought best, a right to refuse special restrictions and so on. 

The permit he had to have never was issued because the abutters calmly kept up with the stated restrictions and how the guy would affect the conditions around his property.  He finally gave up when the selectmen stated they would issue a conditional permit--with every single issue brought up by the abutters addressed and spelled out and with most of those issues going the way of the abutters because of how he had expressed his unwillingness to bother thinking about how his fleamarket would affect those around him.  He then stated --through his lawyer--that he could neither afford the conditions nor was he willing to be bound by such a permit, and that he was giving up his plans. 

Not one of the abutters argued or used any type of colorful language or did any yelling or carrying on--rather they expressed themselves calmly and intellegently.  Only the applicant ranted and raved, and it got him nowhere with the town officials--or the abutters who didn't want to see their peaceful neighborhood changed into a noisy one every weekend there was decent weather around.

What has this to do with ham radio?  Only this--I was the next door neighbor of that property, and the thing this guy wanted me to remove was the 60 foot tower I had up on my property, a tower that was guyed with two of the guy points on the property line.  The tower permits had been applied for and granted, yet this guy wanted the tower down because he believed it a menace to his plans and to the safety of people at the flea market.  It was interesting to note that not one of my other neighbors ever complained about that tower, as I had kept all people within 500 feet of the tower site informed as to my plans before and after I had it put up, and AAMOF, several made comment that THEY wanted the tower to stay as it was at the meetings!  There again, maybe that was because they wanted that guy gone, and anything and everything that kept him away was welcome to them!


Title: RE: Submersible Pump in a Big Lake ?
Post by: G3RZP on July 15, 2014, 08:52:13 AM
But a part of the problem are those who do not understand anything expressed without indecent and/or profane language.

Some years back, there was guy in a boat somewhere off Florida calling his girlfriend on about 14190, no callsign given, cussing enough to fit an upset marine. Even when calling her. Obviously not an amateur. He got real upset when I called CQ over the top of him........it's fundamental to the Radio Regulations that a station authorised to operate on a frequency cannot, by definition, be deemed to be causing interference with a station that isn't.  Eventually he went away......upset.