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Old 09-03-2018, 11:24 AM   #1
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30 Amp Power Cord Prong Melted Into Surge Protector

Our 2014 Wildwood DBUD 30 amp power cord was melted into one prong of our expensive surge protector when we unhooked to go home today. We went camping in a brand new park. Could their power pedestal have been the cause? Weve been camping several times this year at other parks, and this has never happened before. At the other parks, we would have our breaker trip sometimes. Weve only had the surge protector for 4 months!!! It was not cheap either. What does this mean? Any thoughts or suggestions are very welcomed!! Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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In my limited experience, a melted prong, pin, lug, spade (and so on) is almost always due to a poor mechanical connection. Sometimes corrosion but not likely here because your equipment is all fairly new.

Perhaps one of the pins was slightly bent/crooked before you plugged it in?
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:34 AM   #3
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Most probable cause is a loose (poor) connection of that prong or a very heave oxidization of that prong. This causes a voltage drop across the connection that generates heat just like a toaster does. This is what melted the plug. Not likely it is the power pedestal at fault here.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:36 AM   #4
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loose or corroded connections cause heat which can and does melt the surrounding plastic...

I use this to help that situation...

use it on all electrical connectors including your trailer/TV connectors
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:46 AM   #5
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cot is correct. The blades must be kept in pristine condition. No dirt or dust on them and no nicks or scars. Ive seen people drag them through dirt and across pavement and I just shake my head.

I treat mine like my water hose; the end never touches the ground and gets wiped prior to every connection.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:53 AM   #6
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High resistance in your power cord to surge protector connection. Probably causes are loose or dirty connection(s). Not the fault of the pedestal or it would have arced and burnt there. For dirty or corroded connections a $3 can of WD-40 will solve that problem.
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Old 09-03-2018, 11:57 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for the shared information! Could it also have been caused from our camper pulling too much amperage? Our connection from the camper to the surge protector is clean according to my husband.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
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your plugs and connectors are rated to handle 30 amps... any more then that amount and your fuses would blow... high amperage below 30 amps on a dirty or corroded connector will heat/melt faster then much lower amps but both will do damage
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:17 PM   #9
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Also...you should have the circuits turned off when plugging the trailer in...then flipping the switch on.

And turn the circuit breaker off at the pedestal before unplugging the trailer.

We were up in Sedona, AZ last week and when we arrived on Monday all three of the switches in the pedestal were still in the on position.

I find this at almost every RV park or campground we go to.

I'm surprised that the office doesn't mention this at check-in.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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Every so often you can clean and get that new brass look with Brasso. Makes sure there is no corrosion, oxidation or varnish buildup.
Melted spade or pin indicates resistance due to poor contact at that point.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #11
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Wow, this is the first time I've seen all responders agree on the answer to a question posted here. Just to add something new to the mix, in my first go-round with RVing, in 1970, we returned to our camper and found the 110 lights didn't work. Next morning we found our 20amp (old RV) plug had fused into the receptacle of the pedestal. It had been hit by lightening while we were away from the camper. Our cat was never the same after that.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:39 PM   #12
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We did have a storm with lightning roll through last night. Wonder if that could have been an issue.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
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It had been hit by lightening while we were away from the camper. Our cat was never the same after that.
Poor kitty.

Another agreement. Plus an observation.

Sometimes due to the weight of the EMS and the position when attached to the post, we've had the 30 amp cord start to pull out from the EMS. Now we make certain that the EMS and the 30 amp cord is supported to keep the connection stable.

Doesn't happen often, but a bit of prevention never hurts.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:33 PM   #14
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I had that happen once. Bought replacement plug and cut the end off and put on a better connection. No issues since.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
In my limited experience, a melted prong, pin, lug, spade (and so on) is almost always due to a poor mechanical connection. Sometimes corrosion but not likely here because your equipment is all fairly new.

Perhaps one of the pins was slightly bent/crooked before you plugged it in?
And the solution.................."Dielectric grease"............Before this happens.....
Now you need a new cord end and Surge Protector end................
and then..............Dielectric Grease
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
Poor kitty.

Sometimes due to the weight of the EMS and the position when attached to the post, we've had the 30 amp cord start to pull out from the EMS. Now we make certain that the EMS and the 30 amp cord is supported to keep the connection stable.

Doesn't happen often, but a bit of prevention never hurts.
I've found that if the door on the pedestal is kept closed it should hold the plug in place.

I used to put a padlock on the pedestal to not only keep my surge protector from getting stolen, but to also hold the plug in place, but I've found that many RV parks are not allowing locks on the pedestals anymore...saying it is a fire hazard.
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:18 PM   #17
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Melting and fusing plugs...

Wow...all great stuff above! I had the same idea by locking the pedestal cover but that also is bad for your neighbor if sharing the same pedestal...oops. However, we probably could put a hasp in the lock hole to keep the box closed and yet removable by anyone. Don't know if that trespasses on fire code or not?

Also, a lightning strike (even indirectly) could over-surge your protector possibly. But at least it worked despite the loss and possibly prevented the unthinkable...dunno.
-------------

Personally, I use WD-40, sometimes dielectric grease(if I have any...) but only after taking my Dremel with round wire brush and carefully clean all the prongs to a nice brassy finish. Don't overdo tho! Then rub the brass down with WD-40, let it sit awhile, then cloth it off. Makes a BIG diff. on lowering resistance and makes the electronics inside purr. Probably makes sense to get a new plug every 5(?) years, regardless? You might be surprised what you find inside?

Am happy you posted this important safety issue...not to be taken anywhere near lightly! Stay safe!
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Old 09-03-2018, 03:50 PM   #18
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I've lost two surge protectors like this and the last one damaged my trailer plug. I agree that is caused by high resistance in the connection due to corrosion but I also think that the short distance between the male and female plugs on the surge protector amplifies the problem because the wire also dissipates heat. Short wire between to heat sources equals even more heat.
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:15 PM   #19
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It is also possible to have a bad connection in the molded plug on the cord that you cannot see.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasReid View Post
And the solution.................."Dielectric grease"............Before this happens.....
Now you need a new cord end and Surge Protector end................
and then..............Dielectric Grease
X2! I use this on all outside connections, even the trailer plug into the TV.
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