Water apparently conducts enough to allow for electrolisys (sp?) to
occur in rivers and lakes. That is why outboard motors and I/O
outdrives (as well as the boats themselves on inboards) have anodes
attached. These are made from a metal more subject to being eaten up
than the metal on the boat or motor. I believe that for fresh water
the anodes are made from magnisium. These anodes are eaten away from
fairly natural electric charges in water, but get eaten much faster
near commercail docks with electric service. That is usually due to
some doofus having his boat connected to the electric service with
some type of power leak somewhere on the boat that allows a little
charge to find its way to the water. That reminds me, I need to check
the ones on my boat which are probably due to be replaced soon ;-).
You have a nice pure lake there. "Reference Data for Radio Engineers"
classifies distilled water as an insulator, although as insulators go,
it's a very poor one. 10^6 ohm-cm
Ionized ("impure") water is more highly conductive, but how much so is
difficult to predict. Rest assured that some conduction was going on,
it was just less than the trip point of the breaker. At least the
load was water-cooled. :-)
Not unusual ... when my own house flooded in 2001, and before I could turn
the service off, all receptacles under water were still hot and the only
ones that tripped were the GFCI in the garage ... which brings up the point
that your circuit above ideally should be GFCI breaker protected, for the
outdoor purpose stated.
As the builder you might want to consider springing for one after the fact,
while you still can. :)
We originally installed a GFCI. The owners got real tired of
walking the 600 feet to reset the breaker. It tripped about
every 10 minutes. Replaced it with a different GFCI. Tripped
about every 15 minutes. Replaced with standard. Won't even
trip when underwater.
My electrician checked the drop and found no problems. He
said that on that long of a run, a GFCI is not a good solution
due to constant tripping of the breaker. I have found that to
be true with several other applications, also.
The way it is set up, there is a 50 amp breaker protecting the
line to the pedestal, then to the dock. On the dock is a
subpanel with breakers protecting everything else.
I expect a certain amount of hydrogen and oxygen would have been bubbling up
from that outlet. They may notice when they get the power bill.
Like others have said, if the water is very pure, the current would not have
been enough to trip the breaker.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
Electrolysis from an AC source?
I'll have to give that some thought. Every bubble from either
conductor would alternate between hydrogen and oxygen.
Good one, Peter, now I'll be thinking about that... you know.. a bitf
like a song that won't go away...a whistled tune...like Andy
Griffith's Mayberry RFD
Just check any boat at the yacht club that has a shore power system
grounded to the water instead of back to the service entrance.
Those installations EAT anodes.
Ever hear of "ground loops"?
Yes of course. But how does the rectfication occur so that you're left
with an anode/oxygen only bubbles?
Are you talking about cathodic protection of propellor/shafts and even
a steel hull? The good ol' galvanic sacrifice?
Just trying to learn something here.....
That is exactly what I'm talking about.
It is the basic reason you NEVER want to go swimming in a marina.
Most marinas that provide shore power will have stray currents in the
water and they can kill you.
Don't immediately see any reason why not.
During the specific half cycle between each zero crossing, the
voltage/current is time varying DC.
If there is no time delay between the current beginning to flow and
electrolysis beginning, or if such a threshold does exist and it's
less than 1/120 sec, then H2O molecules should be split into hydrogen
and oxygen during each half cycle.
If there is no mechanism to recombine the hydrogen generated during
one half cycle with the oxygen generated during the previous and/or
next half cycle, the bubbles from each electrode should contain a mix
of hydrogen and oxygen. Possibly separate bubbles, possibly a gas
mixture in each bubble, but in either case, not a worthwhile
separation technique without calling on Maxwell's Demon to direct
| Yup, I'll buy that. *in my best Maxwell Smart voice* "the ol'
| cathode/ anode switch at 60 Hz"
Agent 99 would probably suggest that it's really the more recent
"cathode/anode switch at 120 Hz" :-)
DeSoto, Iowa USA
But now, Smart & 99 are having a difference of opinion. For half the
cycle, the voltage is positive, the other have it is negative....
switching only once per cycle. (Taking my shoe off and calling the
| (Taking my shoe off and calling the Chief.)
ROFL so hard it Hz!
Give it up, Max - one switch from positive to negative plus one switch
from negative to positive is two switches per cycle.
Check with Emma Peel - she'll set you straight.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
The cycle starts of at 0 degrees and rotates to a max positive at 90
degrees then positive diminishes to 0 at 180 degrees. Then at 270
degrees max negative diminishing to 0 at 360 degrees.
Or, as the Chief says; "One positive lump. followd by a negative hump,
polarity changes once."
I want to write more, but Emma is trying to strap me to the bedposts.
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