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Old 08-13-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
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Power cord melted

We were packing up after a 7 day trip, went to disconnect power cord and..
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It melted to our portable power surge protector, we never had a power interruption so the surge protector did its job question is do we need new power cord or can we replace the end? Same with the progressives protector do we need to replace it as well? And what do you suppose happened?
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:39 PM   #2
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No clue on what happened. If you can find a replacement end, replace the burnt one, if not, your stuck with buying a new power cable. The Progressive should be fine unless there are "weird" or no indicators on the read out.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #3
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You should be able to buy a new end for it. We pulled away with our power cord still hooked up (blushing red) and thankfully the only damage was that it broke the plug and prongs...NO damage to the 5er receptacle.

We priced the replacement ends, and with the cost of the plug, plus paying someone to wire it on, it was actually cheaper to buy a new cord.

We'll eventually get the original cord fixed for a back up...for now it's piled up in Sneak's shop.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:49 PM   #4
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Wait...yours *looks* like 30 amp, from the size of the wire....it might be a much cheaper fix for you. We're 50 amp.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:09 PM   #5
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Heat would be generated by any connection with corrosion or dirt that has a higher than normal resistance. If you get them apart, check both sides.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:46 PM   #6
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Ok we got them pried apart and oh my gosh!
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So we have the part to replace power cord end bot what about the power guard? Can we replace its plug or should we by a new one? I am amazed, have no idea when it happened like I said never a power interruption. Crazy!


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Old 08-13-2014, 09:59 PM   #7
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Sometimes inside the female end, will spread apart therefore having a loose connection, loose connections will get hot and melt.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:38 PM   #8
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I'd go ahead and replace both ends. It's easy and inexpensive. If the surge protector didn't cut power, the problem apparantly existed in the female plug.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:31 PM   #9
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I had a similar issue a month ago. I was using a SurgeGuard basic protector and it melted the plug making the flat blades loose in the plug.

I contacted the manufacturer of the Surge Protector and they stated it was due to a poor connection. That my plug blades were likely corroded a bit and cause electrical resistance.

I replaced the end of my 30 amp power cord and moved up to a better surge protector. Spent 10 days in Myrtle Beach and ran the AC to death. Plug and surge protector never got hot, worked as it should.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:40 PM   #10
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Thanks, we replaced the cord end still deciding what to do to surge replace plug or unit. I will definatly pay closer attention to the plug prongs from now on, It was always hot when we unplugged from surge guard now I know why!


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Old 08-18-2014, 06:01 AM   #11
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Connecting and disconnecting from a power source without turning OFF all the breakers in the campground pedestal will arc on connection every time.

Each time that arc happens, a different area of the blade is burned until the connection has a high enough resistance to generate sufficient heat to melt the connections as you see.

My technique is to meter the power before I plug anything in to make sure the pedestal has good power; THEN switch the breakers off.

Plug in your power cords to both the pedestal and camper; then switch the breakers back on. Doing this will prevent the arcing in the socket that destroys cords.

Also a real danger is using a 30 amp extension cord on a 50 amp coach pigtail. You can pull a more than 30 amps through the extension cord before a balky campground 30 amp circuit breaker can trip.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvlcy View Post
Thanks, we replaced the cord end still deciding what to do to surge replace plug or unit. I will definatly pay closer attention to the plug prongs from now on, It was always hot when we unplugged from surge guard now I know why!


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You said in the first post that it was a progressive didn't you? I thought they were supposed to have a lifetime warranty. Have you tried contacting them yet about this?



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Old 08-18-2014, 06:37 AM   #13
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The (30A) socket in a C/G is the (Most Abused) item of ALL! People (Plug/Unplug) under Full Power! They (Jerk/yank/Tug) the Power Cable out of the (Box/Socket) at Weird Angles,(Granted) this is caused by Goofy/Stupid design of the(Male Plug)! The Plugs should have a Handle that makes pulling (Straight Out) easy! Some do have this feature,most do Not! I have seen people use a flat blade screwdriver to Dislodge a (Tight) male plug from a C/G pedestal! They sell (Male/Female) cord ends with (Handles) for Proper Disconnect. Youroo!!
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Connecting and disconnecting from a power source without turning OFF all the breakers in the campground pedestal will arc on connection every time.

Each time that arc happens, a different area of the blade is burned until the connection has a high enough resistance to generate sufficient heat to melt the connections as you see.

My technique is to meter the power before I plug anything in to make sure the pedestal has good power; THEN switch the breakers off.

Plug in your power cords to both the pedestal and camper; then switch the breakers back on. Doing this will prevent the arcing in the socket that destroys cords.
That's also my standard operating procedure (sop)....... so X2
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #15
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As mentioned a weak connection will cause heat.
This is related to the old campground power post has a weak socket but
in this case it was not at the post it was at the female end on the surge
protector.

These cords- in fact all cords are molded and during that process it's
possible some plastic got in between the folds of the female connection.
I have a brand new 3 way orange extension cord tap that was name
brand and cost $5 but 2 of the 3 outlets are iffy. I can plug in something
as mundane as a 60 watt "trouble light" and it might come on and
it might not. If I still had my receipt I'd definitely take it back!

I blame a faulty female socket from the factory.
I hope they (surge protector warranty) will step up and fix yours.
IF not you can replace the end yourself but the ends are kinda pricey.

Any time you unplug ANY cord, lamp, vacuum, weed whacker or trailer and find
the plug more than just slightly warm it's a warning sign.

Good luck getting yours fixed!
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:23 AM   #16
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I'm a licensed electrician and have worked for a municipality for 27 years on Long Island where we have lots of marinas and saw that problem all the time. I do not believe the problem is mostly with the outlet (although occasionally it is). I've replaced burned outlets with new, expensive marine grade outlets to have it burned out in a week. Most campers (myself included) unplug the cord and store it inside their unit and drive away. At the next campground they take it out and plug it in. Over time corrosion builds up on the terminals of the cord and causes heat to build up and VIOLA melted cord. The outlet is kept relatively clan due to the constant in and out of everyone's plug. Outlets are built for the constant abuse. We should all take a small wire bush and periodically clean the cord end and apply some dielectric grease. This may help lessen the problem and be much safer. (Just a thought)


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Old 08-18-2014, 07:42 AM   #17
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I'm a licensed electrician and have worked for a municipality for 27 years on Long Island where we have lots of marinas and saw that problem all the time. I do not believe the problem is mostly with the outlet (although occasionally it is). I've replaced burned outlets with new, expensive marine grade outlets to have it burned out in a week. Most campers (myself included) unplug the cord and store it inside their unit and drive away. At the next campground they take it out and plug it in. Over time corrosion builds up on the terminals of the cord and causes heat to build up and VIOLA melted cord. The outlet is kept relatively clan due to the constant in and out of everyone's plug. Outlets are built for the constant abuse. We should all take a small wire bush and periodically clean the cord end and apply some dielectric grease. This may help lessen the problem and be much safer. (Just a thought)


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After reading all of this was thinking dielectric grease would be a good idea but wasn't sure about using it for this, thanks will make it one of my permanent items in the camper along with a small wire brush.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:52 AM   #18
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Dielectric grease is a good thing but messy. I've been known to stick
a good old plastic grocery bag over the male end just to keep the
grease from getting on me and other things in the storage hatch.

Same thing for my hitch when it's out of the truck receiver. I have to
grease the ball and top and bottom of the torsion bar sockets so there
are LOTS of places you don't want to touch when carrying that heavy
thing. Walmart bags to the rescue!
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:31 AM   #19
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You don't slather the grease on. Just a thin coating is fine. The problem lies where the coating might pick up all sorts of dirt\debris in storage and if not visually checked, shoved into the outlet.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:13 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the advice, I always unplugged the power cord from the surge guard (not progressives) and it was tight I guess I should just leave them plugged together? DH wonders if we can wire them together? I always turn off breaker before plugging or unplugging Herk explained that to me a few years ago . Did not think about the grease like that idea and I will from now on always brush off plugs before inserting!


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