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Old 13-04-2011, 22:29   #31
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

delmarrey-
On all of the Navy ships I served on the shore power connections were pin and sleeve, not twist lock.

Trust me, these twist lock connections were not made for marine use. In fact, the 30A version is rated at < 30A continuous by UL.

Charlie
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Old 14-04-2011, 06:28   #32
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
delmarrey-
On all of the Navy ships I served on the shore power connections were pin and sleeve, not twist lock.

Trust me, these twist lock connections were not made for marine use. In fact, the 30A version is rated at < 30A continuous by UL.

Charlie
Charlie,

Have you seen 30a and 50a pin & sleeve connectors? I am familiar with 100a and larger pin & sleeve devices and always have believed that they were not made in lower ratings.

After writing the above, I looked up some pin & sleeve information: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/pin...ecatalog/N-8dj. They do exist down to 30a. But notice they are rated for higher voltage, four pin circuits. They would be better, but are more costly and more cumbersome. And I have never found them installed at any docks that I have visited.
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Old 14-04-2011, 08:56   #33
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

Quote:
Charlie,

Have you seen 30a and 50a pin & sleeve connectors? I am familiar with 100a and larger pin & sleeve devices and always have believed that they were not made in lower ratings.

After writing the above, I looked up some pin & sleeve information: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/pin...ecatalog/N-8dj. They do exist down to 30a. But notice they are rated for higher voltage, four pin circuits. They would be better, but are more costly and more cumbersome. And I have never found them installed at any docks that I have visited.
These are IEC 309 plugs and sockets exactly teh same set as EN60309. ( teh blue 230 vac) units. They start at 20A for 110Vac and 16 amp for 230vac and go up from there in various ratings and pin configurations.

dave
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Old 14-04-2011, 09:52   #34
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windseeker View Post
At the end of past season, I noticed these burn marks on my electrical cord. I know they were not there for the past 6 years. The difference with this past years is that I was using a Honda EU2000 portable generator. The burn marks are only at the boat connection. The other end is fine. I've included a picture of the adapter I use for the generator and 120v 20 amp shore power connection. It does not have any burn marks.

What's causing this?
What to fix it?
How to prevent it?

I would rather not just replace parts if there is some underlying electrical problem that needs to be addressed. Feedback would be most appreciated.
For years now I have seen this problem. The main cause is not tightening the terminals enough and not aplying a grease of some kind. When ever I make up leads for yachts I ALWAYS use a good smear of VASALINE petrolium jel on all connections and especialy on the contacts. As someone here said just incase you drop it in the water. Also check the condition of the cable if there is any blacking or discolouration of the copper change all the cable for new. Hope this helps
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Old 29-04-2012, 09:28   #35
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Unhappy Re: Will my boat catch fire?

The boat builders are probably not going to be including SmartPlug's on new boats becasue it's not UL approved. Unfortuanatly, UL says that and new design has to be compatible with existing twistlock inlets that have been the standard for 50 years. If you get the SmartPlug then you have to install their inlet.

I agree that the UL Spec is outdated in terms of the requirement for NEMA twist-lock terminals, but until or unless that changes, boat builders will likely adhere to incorporating UL and ABYC approved designs. One of the scary down sides to the SmartPlug is that the thermal protection automatically resets itself every couple of minutes when it trips. So, its a situation where it gets hot due to electrical loads on the boat and terminal corrosion causing higher resistance; then it trips to open the circuit; then it resets itself and heats back up. That sounds like a band-aid to me. I also found out that the thermal switches are only protecting the electrically hot conductor and not the neutral side. Well, that's an accident waiting to happen. If the dock is wired with reverse polarity, which is all too common, and the SmartPlug thermal switch opens, then the stuff inside the boat goes dead for a few minutes. But in this situation it's only opened the neutral line. Now imagine someone opening a panel on the load center or an appliance to figure out what's wrong. That person will be messing around with something that looks dead, but actually has an energized hot wire. Look out!

The new Marinco EEL is cool looking and a step in the right direction because it solves the age old locking ring issues, but it is still held hostage by the UL spec. Too bad.
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Old 29-04-2012, 11:52   #36
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

Full disclosure: I am a dealer for SmartPlug. Now to clarify and correct some of the information in #35 above:

Quote:
One of the scary down sides to the SmartPlug is that the thermal protection automatically resets itself every couple of minutes when it trips. So, its a situation where it gets hot due to electrical loads on the boat and terminal corrosion causing higher resistance; then it trips to open the circuit; then it resets itself and heats back up.
This is a non-issue. To demonstrate the superior electrical contact inherent with the design (20x the contact area of the NEMA twist lock), the 30A SmartPlug has been tested with well in excess of 30A continuously with no temperature rise on any of the SmartPlug components. During this very rigorous testing, the thermal protection has never tripped.

Quote:
...and terminal corrosion causing higher resistance...
Terminal corrosion is virtually impossible again due to the inherent design of the SmartPlug. The cord plug engages the inlet and is sealed with a lip seal that is integral to the inlet. The two spring loaded ears on the plug lock the plug to the inlet and when the inlet cover is snapped down, it engages the plug with two additional positive locks. Straight in engagement of the plug with the inlet and three locking features ensure that the plug stays put and seals with the lips seal in the inlet cavity.

BTW, ABYC does not "approve" any design, equipment or component. That said, as verified by conversation with ABYC Staff, the SmartPlug meets the requirements of ABYC E-11.6.3.1.2.1:
"Except where the shore power cable is permanently connected to the boat, the boat end of this cable shall be terminated with a locking and grounding female type connector to match the boat power inlet." Although the referenced figures show only NEMA connectors I assume that the figures will be changed in the next revision cycle.

Here is the link to the website: SmartPlug Systems - Shore Power Products and Accessories

Hope this helps clarify.
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Old 29-04-2012, 11:54   #37
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

have never had an issue with the old fashioned twist lock marinco plugs. never since 1990 when i moved on board my first ever my own boat. good luck reinventing wheels.
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Old 29-04-2012, 15:48   #38
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

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have never had an issue with the old fashioned twist lock marinco plugs. never since 1990 when i moved on board my first ever my own boat. good luck reinventing wheels.
Ditto!
It's the shore end where the dock receptacle is already half cooked that I have to watch out for. I've had to replace that end on two different cords, so far. This ones a bit old but you get the idea.

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Old 29-04-2012, 16:00   #39
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
delmarrey-
On all of the Navy ships I served on the shore power connections were pin and sleeve, not twist lock.

Trust me, these twist lock connections were not made for marine use. In fact, the 30A version is rated at < 30A continuous by UL.

Charlie
BTW I was only talking about ship board use only, inside the shops. All our power tools had the twist lock connectors. If you wanted to plug in a radio or other item one had get an adapter.
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Old 29-04-2012, 16:29   #40
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I had a boat with Marinco 220V twist lock and iec 309 3 pin found at the shore end. The twist lock definitely showed signs of arcing and overheating after a few years.

Dave
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Old 29-04-2012, 19:19   #41
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Your use of the Honda generator was not a coincidence, it was a cause. In that line of generators, Honda uses an inverter to create a faux sine wave. If you compared a true AC sine wave with an inverter produced AC sine wave on an oscilloscope, the true wave would be smooth while the inverter produced wave is seen as a series of steps, or short pulses. This type of wave will create a lot of heat very quickly in any less than perfect connection. If I used a generator of this design I would want to refresh all my AC connections with dielectric paste and even use it on the plugs of appliances drawing more than a few amps, like a toaster oven or electric griddle. Honda does this so they can lock in the wave frequency at 60 hertz, otherwise electronics won't work. I prefer a clean AC generator, and occasionally adjusting the idle screw on the carb to maintain 60 hertz. Of course, you would need a hertz meter to do this.
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Old 29-04-2012, 19:48   #42
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

UL doesnt "approve" anything.. they llst it...


it isnt a recommendation, either..

check with marina requirements.. they may require UL listed devices connected to their power pedestals... and if so, you cant FIX power cords either...

they DIY ends/connectors cant be listed with the UL if you put them on..

sorry
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Old 29-04-2012, 20:19   #43
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Back to the generator, the disadvantage of a non inverter generator is it runs at a constant 3600 rpm, as opposed to the inverter gens which throttle back, use less gas, and are quieter. So if you use the gen for sporadic draws for say overnight rather than a steady draw for just a few hours, stick with the Honda and get greasy.
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Old 30-04-2012, 05:52   #44
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, MarcoIslandB, rkfitz, and sailinman.
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Old 30-04-2012, 06:25   #45
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Re: Will my boat catch fire?

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
I second osirisail's use of Dow Corning 4 silicon grease (DC 4).
FWIW, we had all sorts of minor corrosion problems in instrument connectors behind the instrument panel of a Grumman Mallard flying boat until we started using DC 4 on every connector; after that the problems were very few and far between.
Apologies for the off topic but would that have been one of Nick Paspaley's Mallards ??
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