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Old 09-23-2019, 10:06 AM   #1
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Best Lubricant for tight electrical plugs? Old hands.

I'm finding my electrical plugs to be getting harder and harder to unplug. I have 50 amp, power protector and then reducers when parked in storage to deal with. It's gotten harder over the years to remove each piece and I know some of that is just me, and maybe some of that is wear/corrosion on the prongs and receptacles. I see silicone based dielectric grease, like the Camco Powergrip 55013 electrical protectant and lube gets good reviews. Is their something better that would help these poor old hands do the job?
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:21 AM   #2
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Dielectric grease. Makes a good connection, keeps water from the plug and easier to unplug.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
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Coming from someone with weak hands, I'd also recommend looking at cords and adapters that have handles. It's so much easier to unplug things when you have a big handle to grab onto vs. grabbing the outsides of the connectors.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Coming from someone with weak hands, I'd also recommend looking at cords and adapters that have handles. It's so much easier to unplug things when you have a big handle to grab onto vs. grabbing the outsides of the connectors.

My cords mostly have small grip handles but still require lots of jiggling and wiggling (the cord, not me - well, sometimes me, too) and pulling to get them off. Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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..still require lots of jiggling and wiggling (the cord, not me - well, sometimes me, too) and pulling to get off.
I sometimes have to wiggle, jiggle, and pull to get off, too.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:44 AM   #6
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Oh my. Edited.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by salwolfe View Post
My cords mostly have small grip handles but still require lots of jiggling and wiggling (the cord, not me - well, sometimes me, too) and pulling to get them off. Thanks.
Oh my, not going to touch that one (funny though).

I go with dielectric grease on my plug prongs, but I suspect the issue is the contacts inside the outlet more than our plugs. Those outlet contact have probably been installed outside for years and the brass is tarnished/oxidized. Dielectric grease will help both your plug and the outlet for you and the next camper! Plus it's cheap.

A $7 pack (3 ounces of Permatex 22058) will probably last you forever and has uses well beyond the camper. Great for any vehicle, boat, or RV connection, the contacts on light bulbs, inside spark plug boots, the contact on your 7-way trailer plug & outlet, etc...

https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-22058-Dielectric-Tune-Up-Grease/dp/B000AL8VD2

Don't use it on your lead battery posts though. CRC spray works better there. It will work on the screw terminals though, just go lightly. Dielectric grease is basically a silicone grease and is non-conductive, but in a properly fitting terminal connection the friction between the plug and the socket will let the two surfaces mate directly moving the film of grease out of the way.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:40 PM   #8
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plugs

You don't want dielectric grease because it is an insulating material, although it probably gets scraped off anyway. There is a lot of misconception about how to use that grease.
Look for something like Penetrox a-13, it is a lubricant and is designed for electrical connections even with dissimilar metals like copper to aluminum.Power companies have been using it for years.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:44 PM   #9
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Dielectric grease for me. Works great.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:54 PM   #10
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plugs

Maybe it makes it slide in and out easily as any lubricant would, it is just not the proper application for the product. I am trying to educate the correct product instead of something that worked without knowing what the product really is made for. It is an insulating grease for rubber parts like boots on spark plugs without being a conductor.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:24 PM   #11
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Talking

Thanks to all. This has been helpful and I'm looking forward to not having to bulk up any more just to get power cables apart.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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You don't want dielectric grease because it is an insulating material, although it probably gets scraped off anyway. There is a lot of misconception about how to use that grease.
Look for something like Penetrox a-13, it is a lubricant and is designed for electrical connections even with dissimilar metals like copper to aluminum.Power companies have been using it for years.
Correct.

Here is the definition of dielectric grease:
"Dielectric grease, or tune-up grease, is a silicone-based grease that repels moisture and protects electrical connections against corrosion. The grease DOES NOT conduct electricity, so it shouldn't be applied directly to the mating surfaces (pins and sockets) of an electrical connection."

Here is the definition of a contact grease grease that DOES conduct like NO-OX-ID:
"NO-OX-ID electrical contact lubricant (electrical contact grease) is an electrically conductive grease that keeps metals free from rust and corrosion.
NO-OX-ID A-Special electrical conductive paste is recommended by connector manufacturers for trouble-free joint connections."
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:40 PM   #13
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Maybe it makes it slide in and out easily as any lubricant would, it is just not the proper application for the product. I am trying to educate the correct product instead of something that worked without knowing what the product really is made for. It is an insulating grease for rubber parts like boots on spark plugs without being a conductor.
Originally for the rubbing block inside the distributor of a car built prior to electronic ignition. The rubbing block rode on a square-, hex-, or octagon-shaped cam on the distributor shaft and opened and closed the breaker points, causing a spark for each cylinder at the proper time.

If the rubbing block wore down, the on-off (dwell) time would change, affecting driveability, so grease was needed.

But the high-voltage part of the distributor would not deliver the spark to the right place if undesired arcing took place. A non-conductive (dielectric) grease was needed to solve the first problem without creating the second problem.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:45 PM   #14
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I'd expect some lite corrosion. Could try contact cleaner in the female ends of the cord and a lite steel wool buff of the prongs on the male end (unpowered). Then the suggested lube non dielectric grease, that stuff seems to get on everything somehow.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by aircommuter View Post
Maybe it makes it slide in and out easily as any lubricant would, it is just not the proper application for the product. I am trying to educate the correct product instead of something that worked without knowing what the product really is made for. It is an insulating grease for rubber parts like boots on spark plugs without being a conductor.

Thank you aircommuter. Your choice makes better sense to me. Buying some today before I head out on Thursday.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:08 PM   #16
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You don't want dielectric grease because it is an insulating material, although it probably gets scraped off anyway. There is a lot of misconception about how to use that grease.
Look for something like Penetrox a-13, it is a lubricant and is designed for electrical connections even with dissimilar metals like copper to aluminum.Power companies have been using it for years.
An insulator? That is odd! Ive been using it for years to help create connection s and to help keep them free from moisture. It has worked every time.

Maybe Im just lucky? I don't think so, if this is my luck it is the first and only time I get lucky in such a manner
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:18 PM   #17
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Lubricant for tight electrical plugs

I worked as a Industrial Maintenance Electrician for 63 years. The best lubricant we found was PETROLEUM JELLY or know as good old VASELINE. We used it on low voltages up 5,000 volts. It works great, cost less and goes a long ways. I use it on plugs and breakers now. Hope this helps you
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:10 PM   #18
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Not exactly what the OP is talking about, but I have a great trip for loosening those blasted threaded locking rings that secure a twist lock female plug to the TT male plug.. Buy a cheap open-ended oil filter wrench - it'll loosen up that ring easily. Mine is so tight this is the only way I can get it loosened many times.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:40 PM   #19
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Will work on the threads too.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:57 PM   #20
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I was at Mike Sokol's presentations held at the FR International Rally. His suggestion was to spray first with a cleaner then with a silicone based lubricant. Solves two problems: first get rid of some oxidation, then lubricate. I think he suggested some specific products but I don't remember the names. I use what I can find at Menards.


First spritz in a bit of cleaner then a spritz of lubricant on both the pedestal receptacle and my plug.
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