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Old 30-09-2016, 05:46   #1
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Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

I was in west marine yesterday and browsing clearance as I always do.
I noticed the defunct 125 volt 50 amp plugs and inlets for super cheap.
It got me thinking, instead of a 30 amp inlet plug, why not use a 50 amp inlet plug?
I have fried at least 3 inlets because of bad dock power. The 50 amp should have better contacts in the plug.
What do you think?
Change one wire end, and change the inlet.
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Old 30-09-2016, 05:55   #2
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

"I have fried at least 3 inlets because of bad dock power. "


Nope, you didn't do that. If you damaged your inlets it's because your shore power cord has a damaged female (boat) end. Or, you aren't keeping it tight.


You can, of course, change the end on the cord and the inlet but you'll confuse people and you won't have a spare cord unless you buy an extra and change the end on that one as well.
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Old 30-09-2016, 05:56   #3
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
"I have fried at least 3 inlets because of bad dock power. "


Nope, you didn't do that. If you damaged your inlets it's because your shore power cord has a damaged female (boat) end. Or, you aren't keeping it tight.


You can, of course, change the end on the cord and the inlet but you'll confuse people and you won't have a spare cord unless you buy an extra and change the end on that one as well.
Thank you, and you might be right in some circumstances, but with 95 volts showing at the podium, in one case, and a damaged breaker on the podium in another, I know what caused the issues.
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Old 30-09-2016, 06:21   #4
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnow2011 View Post
Thank you, and you might be right in some circumstances, but with 95 volts showing at the podium, in one case, and a damaged breaker on the podium in another, I know what caused the issues.
I will have to agree with rwidman on this one. Regardless of the supply voltage, if you had a perfect connection at the boat the plugs would not be damaged. Think about it this way, the wire in the shore cable wasn't damaged (although it very possibly got hot) and it carried the same power that the plugs carried.

So why was the plug damaged and not the wire? Because there was higher resistance at the plug. Of course, low voltage and the resulting higher amp draw will exacerbate the problem and a plug that works with perfect supply voltage may overheat with low voltage but the bottom line, if the plug connection was perfect then it would get no hotter than the cable.

Regardless, if you want the best connection on the boat forget the old style plugs and go with the Smartplug. Replace the boat connection and the cable end that connects to the boat. Best electrical supply upgrade I made on my boat.

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Old 30-09-2016, 08:24   #5
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

Two words.

Smart Plug.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:25   #6
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnow2011 View Post
I was in west marine yesterday and browsing clearance as I always do.
I noticed the defunct 125 volt 50 amp plugs and inlets for super cheap.
It got me thinking, instead of a 30 amp inlet plug, why not use a 50 amp inlet plug?
I have fried at least 3 inlets because of bad dock power. The 50 amp should have better contacts in the plug.
What do you think?
Change one wire end, and change the inlet.
Sailnow,

I second Skipmac's recommendation for the SmartPlug.

We have two 50A 120/240VAC input jacks, and one had the issue you describe when 19A was the max draw. Of course, I was 8+ flying hours from the boat when that occurred...

I did the research and replaced everything with SmartPlugs and have not had a problem since.

If you want more details, here is my blog post on this topic.

Best wishes resolving things in a way that best suits your needs.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:34   #7
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

I like the "Smart Plug", but if your are cruising, then you'll need to adapt to the standards where you cruise if you expect to include some marina stays.

I guess one option would be to carry a "pig tail" to adapt your system to whatever dock supply you might encounter. I already keep a 50 amp adapting "pig tail" to use for my 30 amp need when I only have a 50 amp dock supply. I even keep a rarely used adapter for converting a household plug supply to the marine fitting that I've used at some restaurant docks.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:40   #8
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

I agree the SmartPlug is much superior to the old Hubbell style.
Even better, in my opinion, is to skip the inlet plug altogether, and hardwire the shorepower cord directly to the boats' main breaker. This only works, of course, if you have a convenient way to permanently store your power cord on deck.
My next electrical mod involves building a deckbox for the cord, with the wire entering the hull side inside that box.
With the number of boat fires blamed on bad shorepower connections with burned and corroded inlet terminals, it makes sense to me to remove this one built-in hazard.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:50   #9
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

Converting to SmartPlug with an adapter for standard shore power dock connection assures you that if there is a fire it is on the dock and not the boat.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:54   #10
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

50 amp cords are hundreds of dollars. You are better off with two 30 amp systems. Yes 30 amp cords go bad and burn badly. When living aboard I would typically only get 1-2 years out of a cord due to small electric heaters being used.
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Old 30-09-2016, 08:59   #11
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I like the "Smart Plug", but if your are cruising, then you'll need to adapt to the standards where you cruise if you expect to include some marina stays.

I guess one option would be to carry a "pig tail" to adapt your system to whatever dock supply you might encounter. I already keep a 50 amp adapting "pig tail" to use for my 30 amp need when I only have a 50 amp dock supply. I even keep a rarely used adapter for converting a household plug supply to the marine fitting that I've used at some restaurant docks.
Hudson, that isn't an issue as the Smart Plug only goes on the inlet end of the cord. The end that plugs into the outlet stays the same.

The Smart Plug is better than Twist Lock fittings in several ways. Much larger contact area is the most important way it's better. It is also much easier to use.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:43   #12
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

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Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
Converting to SmartPlug with an adapter for standard shore power dock connection assures you that if there is a fire it is on the dock and not the boat.
Have to admit, somewhat cynically, I had the same thought.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:47   #13
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

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Hudson, that isn't an issue as the Smart Plug only goes on the inlet end of the cord. The end that plugs into the outlet stays the same.
Exactly. In fact you can buy not just Smart Plugs to change out the connectors on your cable (boatside) but Smartplug will sell you a new shore power cord with their plug on the boat side and a standard twist lock on the dock side.



Quote:
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The Smart Plug is better than Twist Lock fittings in several ways. Much larger contact area is the most important way it's better. It is also much easier to use.
All very true. Also the OP decides to go with a SmartPlug I'm sure HopCar can sell him one. (you can send my commission later )
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Old 30-09-2016, 10:01   #14
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

I replaced my standard plug with a Smart Plug. I prefer the way it is made and the fact that it can only be inserted one way, with a double lock mechanism. West used to sell them, then stopped. There are some interesting sites that show the damage that can occur from using the old style plugs.

The receptacle was easily replaced and the cord end as well.
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Old 30-09-2016, 10:03   #15
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Re: Replacing the power inlet for the last time?

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Hudson, that isn't an issue as the Smart Plug only goes on the inlet end of the cord. The end that plugs into the outlet stays the same. ......................
Good to know,- thanks. I assumed this was an option, but I did not know that this was standard.
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