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Old 22-02-2017, 15:06   #1
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Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

I recently got a nice MR040 Engel unit and it is working fine via the 12v cig style plug that came with it. Any guesses on how much of a performance benefit or reduction in juice consumed I might experience if I hardwired it? I will have a dedicated circuit for it in either case. I guess I am trying to decide if the $38 for the special cord is worth it (the 12v plug on the Engel unit is quite proprietary and expensive). I don't want to trash the current cord as I may take the unit out of the boat at some point to use it in a vehicle. The unit and the plug are inside and therefore will have minimal exposure to the elements. The bigger Engel units come with the hardwire cord so I realize at higher amperage the cig style plug isn't the right solution. Perhaps I am over thinking it and should just spend the $.
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Old 22-02-2017, 17:13   #2
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

Assuming the cig plug is currently sized properly, you shouldn't see any performance difference hard wiring it. I wouldn't hard wire it, but I may change to a different plug rather than a sig plug. But if it is working for you, keep it.
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Old 22-02-2017, 18:00   #3
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

​Blue Sea twist lock style, fairly secure and also compatible with standard plugs.

Merit style is nice.

Anderson plugs for high amps.

If you standardize on one of the last two types, there are adapters for devices with ciggie plugs.
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Old 22-02-2017, 18:22   #4
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

Amps is Amps...so there won't be any advantage is hard wiring the 12v DC plug...BUT....
On more than one occasion I have had the 12v plug in chord come lose from my 12v DC socket. Luckily each time I found it before my steaks melted! So that's a reason to hard wire!
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Old 23-02-2017, 04:12   #5
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

Larger units are hard wired because they either exceed the current limits on a "standard" lighter type DC plug or are too large to be considered 'portable'

Myself, would install a dedicated receptacle for the Engle, and call it good. Take the time to check for corrosion every now and again... Salt never sleeps.

As a third option, I have a nice Igloo cooler I will swap you for the Engle... Plug free
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:15   #6
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

never had a problem with the engle cig plug ... but I did use the best cig sockets I could find, not the cheaper ones. This don't hold the plug worth a darn.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:32   #7
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

IMO it's the fundamental design of ciggie connectors that's faulty, just too easy to fall or get pulled out, I flat-out hate 'em.

99.9999% won't carry a high current, usually can't trust the ratings.


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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
​Blue Sea twist lock style, fairly secure and also compatible with standard plugs.

Merit style is nice.

Anderson plugs for high amps.

If you standardize on one of the last two types, there are adapters for devices with ciggie plugs.
Merit is AKA BMW style, see Powerlet http://www.powerlet.com

Speakon connectors are another option.
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Old 23-02-2017, 06:57   #8
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

Cigarette lighter plugs/sockets are not the ideal 12v connection, especially for higher currents and semi permanent installation. They are rated up to 10A some even to 15A, but I would be reluctant to use them for anything more than half this amount. I have seen several that have melted.

The Engel fridges use a different compressor design to most fridge units. One advantage is that the maximum power draw is quite low. It is around 2.5A for the smaller units. At start up, fridge compressors can demand very high currents for a short time, but it should be low enough that the cigarette lighter plug socket is acceptable.

However, in a marine environment it easy to get some corrosion, so keep an eye on the connection. An easy way is to check if it is getting warm.

A good alternative is to cut the cord and install a more reliable connecter like an Anderson plug on both sides of the joint. Thus the same cord can normally be used with a more reliable Anderson plug to connect to the boat, or a cigarette lighter adapter, similar to the one shown, can be quickly plugged in for use in a car.

Anderson plugs have silver plated contacts. They lock together and are rated up to 50A without being bulky.

This gives you some idea. This was an adapter I made so a cord with an Anderson plug on one end (not shown) could function to supply the power to a large capacity emergancy bilge pump, or with the shown adapter a wandering 12v cig lighter socket. In your case you would have a male cig lighter plug.
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Old 23-02-2017, 09:22   #9
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
...A good alternative is to cut the cord and install a more reliable connecter like an Anderson plug on both sides of the joint.
Which model of Anderson plug is that?


Thanks,

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Old 23-02-2017, 11:58   #10
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

What Noelex77 said ^^^^

I have an Engel MR40 wired that way - much more reliable than using a ciggy adapter. It draws 4.5A when running. Nice fridge, only drawback is that I can hear it.

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Old 23-02-2017, 12:20   #11
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

Cut the last foot of the cord off, put in Anderson plugs on both sides, then you can put it back with the cigarette lighter and have an Anderson to connect direct too.
If there is a model airplane store around you, they have excellent Anderson type of connectors. A 5 lb electric model helicopter pulls an enormous amount of amps, their battery plugs are very good.
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Old 23-02-2017, 12:23   #12
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

These guys work great too, are cheap and relatively waterproof and can be found almost anywhere
https://www.delcity.net/store/2!Way-...FZA6gQodxIgKvA
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Old 23-02-2017, 13:13   #13
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

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Originally Posted by ayates View Post
Which model of Anderson plug is that?


Thanks,

Allan.

They are commonly known by their amp rating so this is the "50 amp" model.

There are smaller and larger models, but this size seems the most popular. 50A is plenty to handle most connections, but the connector itself is not too bulky.

I have a thick cable which is long enough to reach all corners of the boat. This terminates with an Anderson plug so I can attach a large emergency bilge pump, spot light etc. I also use this for my laptop 12v to 19v converters. The laptop charger was originally fitted with a cigarette lighter plug, but if the laptop battery is flat and the computer is running at full brightness, the current draw is around 7A. With this sort of current a cig lighter plug gets a little too hot for my liking in high ambient temperatures.

I have 10 cig lighter sockets scattered on my current boat which is fine for low powered connections like phone chargers, but I think the Anderson plug is a better solution for higher currents, or something plugged in on a semi permanent basis.

I think the 10A limit for cig lighter plugs should be looked at the equivalent of the UTS. Around 5A or a bit less is the SWL in a marine environment.
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Old 23-02-2017, 13:32   #14
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

Totally agree with the comments about changing to Anderson plugs and the problems associated with cig plugs especially the female end.
However will also add that I am still using after at least 15 years the original cig plug that came with my fridge which has been used in the back of 4x4s outback camping and a couple of boats and has run continually as a freezer for periods of at least 6 months.
Great fridge/freezer.
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Old 23-02-2017, 14:23   #15
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Re: Engel Fridg/Freezer; Benefits of hardwiring

We use Andersons as well, on our National Luna twin compartment 95 litre unit. We also have one made up as an adaptor - for use mainly when we manhandle the fridge freezer into a vehicle for shopping excursions or a road trip.
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