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Most Stray Current problems that arise, or what we refer to as Electrolytic Corrosion, are typically found on the vessel themselves. Galvanic Corrosion, on the other hand, can be kept in check by the use of sacrificial anodes or zincs. The best protection against DC stray current is to install and properly maintain a Bonding System, which utilizes 8 AWG green insulated wire that is connected to every underwater metal component, i.e., Thru-Hulls, Shaft Logs, Rudders, etc., & then connected to adequately sized anode(s) on the hull or transom. Bonding allows for all of the dissimilar underwater metals to reach what we term as equalized potential or voltage.
Identifying DC Stray Current can be somewhat difficult because the source could be located anywhere on the vessel due to all the wiring.
DC Stray Current leaks can be more common in nature aboard your vessel. Your Marina can check for any AC stray current at your Shore Power Box if you request it. To check for DC stray current Captain’s Marine Supply stocks the Promariner & Seaguard line of Corrosion Testers. The Seaguard Marine Digital Testers are available with either a Zinc reference cell (ZRE – Standard Model), or a Silver Chloride reference cell (SSC – Pro Model) These units are high impedance voltmeters. They provide a Pass / Fail reading & are shipped with a 16 ft. long testing cable. If your uncomfortable with attempting to diagnose a DC Stray Current problem, aboard your vessel, then you should probably engage a “certified corrosion specialist”. To find one of these type specialists, in your area, go to ABYCinc.org and do the appropriate search. Shop with us today & remember “Be Prepared on the Water”.