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Old 09-29-2018, 05:27 PM   #1
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What Happened to my Power Cable

Hi everyone! Hope someone has the answer to my issue. Today while cleaning around the RV I was moving the RV power cable, which was connected to a Surge Guard (model 34830) and hooked on the electricity. To my surprise the cable was extremely hot, so hot I couldnít grab it. Immediately I turn off the power 30amp, to find the power cable connector was fused to the Surge Protector receptacle. I had to pry it with screw drivers and knife, cleaned the connectors with a fine steel wool pad and reconnected the power cable directly on the electrical stand without the burnt surge protector. What could have caused the overheating of the connection? Was it a Surge Protector issue? Did I have to many things running inside the RV on the 30 amp power source? Or could it be the electric outlet on the state park stand? I donít know much electronics, but I know it wasnít good! And I was lucky to find it before it really caught on fire. Any help would be deeply appreciated! Thank you

Nelly
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:29 PM   #2
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Did you turn the male end right, to lock it in the outlet?
Many simply push it in and not lock it.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:34 PM   #3
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What could have caused the overheating of the connection?
Loose or corroded connections cause most all overheating issues like yours.

I clean the blades well and then use a little dielectric grease on them to ensure good connections.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:12 PM   #4
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That happened to me at a RV park that had been flooded. They came and changed out the breaker and everything was fine. I think I was on 50 amp though.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:37 PM   #5
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No twist locks on the pole end, only on the camper end.

Connectors (and connections) is where heat normally occurs. You've doubled those at the power pole. Never seen the need for a surge protector (but I don't have a network server on board either).

What's hot, the cord before or after the surge protector? That's you clue to what connectors are flaky/dirty/burnt.

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Old 09-29-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
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My cable does not twist in any way. I had the surge protector connected to the 30amp section on the park stand like I always do, then the power cable to the surge protector. The part that fused and burned was the male plug on the power cable to the female connector of the surge protector. I have never had this issue, and have been using it since I bought the RV in 2016.
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Old 09-29-2018, 07:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DaRealDeal77 View Post
Hi everyone! Hope someone has the answer to my issue. Today while cleaning around the RV I was moving the RV power cable, which was connected to a Surge Guard (model 34830) and hooked on the electricity. To my surprise the cable was extremely hot, so hot I couldnít grab it. Immediately I turn off the power 30amp, to find the power cable connector was fused to the Surge Protector receptacle. I had to pry it with screw drivers and knife, cleaned the connectors with a fine steel wool pad and reconnected the power cable directly on the electrical stand without the burnt surge protector. What could have caused the overheating of the connection? Was it a Surge Protector issue? Did I have to many things running inside the RV on the 30 amp power source? Or could it be the electric outlet on the state park stand? I donít know much electronics, but I know it wasnít good! And I was lucky to find it before it really caught on fire. Any help would be deeply appreciated! Thank you

Nelly


I had a very similar issue with my 30DS 2 years ago at South Carlsbad State Beach. A storm caused a power outage in the area and we lost all power to the park pedestals. When the power came back on, the surge protector took the brunt of it. It was nearly fused to my 30 amp power cord plug running to the coach. The cord was hot to the touch with power running through it with a nearly fried surge protector. Also found out that my outside switch on my water heater had been fried when the power came back on. Lesson learned, when power goes out at pedestal, disconnect and run off the generator until power is back on and stable. Needed to replace surge protector, male end plug of 30 amp coach cord and outside water heater switch. Luckily didn't lose any other electronics in the coach.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:31 PM   #8
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The problem was with the two plugs you had to pry apart. your surge was defective and did not work as advertised. Pretty sure they will send you a new one. I find it interesting that it stated that it protects against Overheating plug/receptacle.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:24 AM   #9
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LeisureLarry, thank you, and thanks to everyone’s responses. LeisureLarry had the same incident as me, my cord and surge were totally fused I had to pry off. I will contact the company I bought the surge protector from, and also notified the state park electrician to check the pedestal. I will check my water heater switch. We did have a lot of bad storms, lighting and power outage in area. Thanks
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:03 PM   #10
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This has happened to me too. I am 100% convinced that is was the power pole at the campsite. I had to cut my RV cable and replace the plug, as well as buying a new surge protector. (I let the campground host know what happened)


Just think what may have happened if you did not use the surge protector!
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:36 PM   #11
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Loose or corroded connections cause most all overheating issues like yours.

I clean the blades well and then use a little dielectric grease on them to ensure good connections.
Actually...dielectric grease is a NON conductor. Better to use something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:04 PM   #12
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X2. You need to use electrical contact grease for better contact, dielectric is an insulating grease and will do more harm than good.
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:59 PM   #13
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The fusing of the plugs is commonly caused by low voltage. A surge protector will not protect you against low voltage. An EMS will. I had this happen a few weeks ago due to voltage lower than 104 and running the A/C. Just installed an EMS today after replacing the ruined outlet and plug.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:19 PM   #14
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X2. You need to use electrical contact grease for better contact, dielectric is an insulating grease and will do more harm than good.
You actually don't want to use conducting grease because as grease is want to do, it migrates across the plug and receptacle over time even using a tiny bit and that will possibly cause a short. The Deoxit linked above is good, but it's a cleaner and not a lubricator.

FYI. I've been using dielectric grease on high current plug and receptacle connections for nigh on 40 years, and have never had a problem. The mechanical wiping of the receptacle blades wipes the grease off the blades at the contact surface. So label me lucky I guess.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:40 PM   #15
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You actually don't want to use conducting grease because as grease is want to do, it migrates across the plug and receptacle over time even using a tiny bit and that will possibly cause a short. The Deoxit linked above is good, but it's a cleaner and not a lubricator.

FYI. I've been using dielectric grease on high current plug and receptacle connections for nigh on 40 years, and have never had a problem. The mechanical wiping of the receptacle blades wipes the grease off the blades at the contact surface. So label me lucky I guess.
I wasn't advocating smearing large quantities of grease on the blades, but if one feels something is needed, then a light coating on the blades would suffice. Personally, I would be cleaning the plug off completely before storing it after using it. But, I don't use anything, but keep the blades clean with fine sandpaper and a thorough cleaning after.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
The Deoxit linked above is good, but it's a cleaner and not a lubricator.
Don't mean to start an argument and I'm not an electrician, but if you read the product description it does claim to be a lubricant.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:22 PM   #17
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lose & hot cable

Couple years ago we had a fire at the post in our yard (30amp) which burnt the connector off the end of the power cable. Turned out the culprit was a loose wire in the service post side.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:44 AM   #18
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In this thread the heat/damage is after the surge protector where the trailer power cord was "welded" to the protector. Great example of a loose connection and nothing at all caused by the power pole since the trailer cord doesn't touch it. Had dielectric grease been used this would be unlikely to have happened. The construction of these devices does not allow water tight connection either something that a liberal amount of dielectric grease also does.

Apply dilelectric grease liberally. Yeah it's non-conductive to electricity by itself but won't prevent metal to metal contact between the socket and plug. It prevents corrosion of both the plug and socket. For example I pump the trailer light fittings full of it every season.

As contacts corrode they tend to have tiny air gaps between the two surfaces in many places. This can cause arcing which is the cause of heat and damage. Dielectric grease fills those air gaps -- insulates them -- so this does not occur.



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Old 10-01-2018, 10:16 AM   #19
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Hello Oldgunny,
You guys are absolutely right! I spoke with a camper electrician and he told me the same. This morning the State Park changed the pedestal and told me the cables and breakers were bad. Now I must replace the Surge Protector and the RV male plug! At least the RV and other electronics were spared! : )
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:24 PM   #20
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Hey DaRealDeal!


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