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Old 10-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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Electrical service

We just came home from 4 days on a rather cool weekend. Temperatures went down to about 40 at night, highs in the mid 50's. As a result we ran the furnace or a small portable electric heater. At varying times we also ran the coffee pot, toaster, and water heater which I think is 12 volts. We have 30 amp service. On the 4th day the power went off, the big user at the time was only the electric heater. I discovered a terminal on the plug for my 30 amp service had burned off. Was this caused by too heavy a usage? My amp meter was often in the low 20s, although once I saw 29 and I turned something off. Or could it be poor campground service, there were no breakers on the pedestal.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #2
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For that cord to burn it was pulling very hard it could been in part of the CG service was it old and dated you said there was no breakers on the pole so what was the safety device in place to protect your unit besides your breakers onboard, you were running at 80% most of the time and at times 90% that makes that cord very hot and I don't like the portable heaters they pull a lot of amps so it might been a combo of all of it to cause the failing of the cord
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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If there is no breaker on the pedestal, that means there will likely be a load on the circuit while everyone plugs and unplugs their RV. Repeated plugging and unplugging while there is a load on the circuit causes a small arc that will eventually cause the contacts in the receptacle build up a high resistance. The likelihood of high resistance in the receptacle and high current draw caused one of the prongs on your plug get hot enough to burn right off.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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I agree X3
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
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If the failure point is in the plug portion of the cord, then my guess would be a high resistance (loose) connection in the plug. Over time, bolted or crimped connection can loosen causing a high resistance (heat), and with a heavy draw, eventual failure. JM2...
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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paz is right on the money. Recepticals get plugged in almost daily. The wear and tear plus arching, causes them to get loose and results in high resistance. The only thing to add is, make sure you keep your power cord plug clean and smooth so it does not add to the problem.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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I would NOT stay in a place that didn't have breakers on the pedestal. Thats just asking for trouble... very expensive trouble.

It wouldn't even be up to code in any state that I'm aware of.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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In some cases a bad connection behind the pedestal outlet wiring will heat up the outlet and then burn out a pin on the plug. Happened to me on my
former gasser. When you see a bad old pedestal,keep the load as light as possible and find a better CG.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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For some reason 30 amp plugs seem to do that, in 7 years I've gone through 3 of them (Different cords and times) I would replace the plug and not worry too much about it.

In many parks the 30 amp outlets are well worn, thus resistance increases due to poor contact, People plug in with the breakers on (And unplug) causing archign with further damages the outlet (Always turn off before inserting/pulling the plug (The breaker in the box) This causes the plug to do what yours did.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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I have also replaced the plug (30A) on our cord for overheating. Would you all recommend using a 50-30A adapter to use a possibly less worn 50A pedestal plug ?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:57 PM   #11
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Makes sense to me, Thanks
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