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Old 20-01-2014, 11:42   #1
RDW
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shorepower cord prongs heating up

I noticed that there was evidence of heat at and around the connections of my shore power cords. More specifically I noticed evidence that the male ends had been hot enough to blacken-slightly burn the yellow plastic at the base of the prong. I used emery paper and tried to clean the connectors. Of course I could get to the male prongs much easier. After doing all this, a friend was using my boat and blew a dock fuse-breaker. He ws using a 30 amp cord. He switched to a 50 amp cord and tripped the breaker by just plugging in the cord to the pedistle and not connected to the boat.
When I am at my boat next, I plan to examine the plug on the boat to check for corrosion at the wires going to the plug. I may try to clean the female connectors with a small file or emery paper attached to a metal thin piece.
I am open to suggestions. Should I replace the ends of my shore power cords? Should I replace the connector on the boat? Or should I start with checking and cleaning everything?
Thanks
RDW
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Old 20-01-2014, 11:52   #2
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

This is a sucky deal, but from my experience, the best route is to forget cleaning... It WILL work, but it WILL become another ongoing maintenance task.... Replace the guts of your boat mounted shore-in (you don't have to replace the whole unit) , new cord, or two new ends to the cord....
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:01   #3
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

I would definitely replace the shore power connectors and examine the wire for corrosion and replace it if it is corroded (or cut off a bit and check for corrosion)
Also I would check to make sure all of the connections in your A/C distribution box are tight and clean. Also check that your outlet connections are clean and tight.

Any connection which is loose or corroded will increase the amp draw.
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:08   #4
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

This is the time of year when all the shore power cords seem to start melting. A combination of high current use (heaters) and damp.

I was on the boat, exactly this time last year, when the cord melted down - fused solid with the receptacle.

What happens is that the connections get damp, corrode a little, the high resistance creates heat, and from then on it's a viscious cycle where the heat causes faster corrosion and so on.

At this stage you need to replace the termination on the shore power cord or the whole thing, and probably the receptacle on the boat.

Around here most people reckon on a 3-5 year life for shore power cords.

Secondly, your friends 50A cord has a ground fault.

Thirdly, your friend is using too much current if he made the breaker trip with a 30A cord.
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:15   #5
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

PS, a shore power cord with a ground fault is a very dangerous thing - to you, the boat, any divers, and anyone else in the marina. It could easily kill someone.
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:31   #6
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
PS, a shore power cord with a ground fault is a very dangerous thing - to you, the boat, any divers, and anyone else in the marina. It could easily kill someone.
1,000th post Mark.... Tooot.... Toooot ... toot... I'm overtaking to starboard...

{PS} good info above.... Start fresh and avoid the mess...
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:34   #7
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

Haha. thanks for pointing that out... I hadn't noticed!
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Old 20-01-2014, 12:45   #8
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Re: shorepower cord prongs heating up

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Haha. thanks for pointing that out... I hadn't noticed!


I'm in a goofy mood today.... I think my helpful advice is waning rapidly...
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