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Old 09-15-2021, 05:47 PM   #1
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30 amp power cord failures.

Any of you folks experiencing failures/overheating with 30 amp power cords?

I have had 2 of the 30 amp power cords with the light blue translucent plastic female ends over heat and partially melt the plastic surrounding the hot and common slots.

The first one was an older cord used with a 15/30 amp adapter connecting to the onboard 30 amp cord of an Alpinelite trailer.

The second one is a new cord plugged directly into a 30 amp service and then connected to my Alpine 36FDS via a Marinco 50/30 amp reducer.

I have used other 30 amp cords with black bakelite female ends with no issues.

Is this a common problem with the non-bakelite connectors?

Thanks for your input.
1998 36FDS Alpine
Red Bluff, Ca.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:05 PM   #2
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I haven't had any particular issue with the translucent connectors although I don't have one like that at this time, I did with my last RV. In any case, what I have found is that the male contacts get tarnished on the prongs so I use some sandpaper with almost every usage to keep the prongs shiny. Since I have been doing that (many years) I haven't had any connector overheating issues. ~CA
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:09 PM   #3
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Could be that the connections are loose and/or corroded and are therefore generating heat.
2013 Winnebago Sightseer 36V
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:36 PM   #4
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I have had this issue with a 50/30 adapter cord.
My thoughts were also a poor connection and I cleaned the spades with some steel wool. I usually do this when using the 50/30 adapter and have not had any other issues.
Dawn & Steve Byrd
2003 Alpine
Cut n Shoot, TX
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:46 AM   #5
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You mentioned failures/overheating. What were the points of failure? We’re both failures internal and limited to only the 30A cord? Was there evidence of heat damage where the wire connects to the prong?

If I’m understanding the first instance correctly, the 30A cord overheated while connected to a 15A outlet, via the 15/30 adapter. This would be a strong indication of a defective 30A cable. It overheated, yet did not trip a 15A breaker.

In the second case, it is possible that the 30A cable was at or near maximum rated capacity. Load management is essential on our coaches when plugged in to anything less that a 50A service.
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Old 09-18-2021, 09:58 AM   #6
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You can only see and clean the male plug. You should assume any female connectors are similar and near impossible to check or clean.
If plugs are molded on You might better replace both fittings and strip back insulation till you get clean wire strands. If they are not molded at least you can check & tighten the attachment points.
A periodic spray of WD40 or silicone helps keep moisture and corrosion out of the female ends.
A bad CG pedestal outlet can start overheating.
If there is ANY sign or melting or blackening on outside of a female plug safe to assume it is about 10X worse inside. I've done autopsies on several 30A boat cords that were much worse inside than apparent from the outside.

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Old 09-18-2021, 10:06 AM   #7
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I had one melt with the 15 amp adaptor. The adaptor also filed. I contribute it to the adaptor. I now after a few minutes of AC check for heat when using the adaptors.
Art & Joyce
Thornville, OH
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Old 09-18-2021, 12:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ArtJoyce View Post
I had one melt with the 15 amp adaptor. The adaptor also filed. I contribute it to the adaptor. I now after a few minutes of AC check for heat when using the adaptors.
AC on 15 amp plug!???
Angelo & Leslie
2005 Alpine 36FDDS #75268
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Old 09-18-2021, 12:55 PM   #9
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Long term use of electric heater on high can cause this. Any dirty connection.
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:09 PM   #10
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First step is to make sure you're not running too much through the cord. How long is the cord and what do you normally have running when it melts? The other thing that has been touched on is a loose connection will arc and do that...could be on either end. I always also use some dielectric grease on all my cords to keep them from corroding.
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Old 09-18-2021, 03:17 PM   #11
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Melting plugs is usually caused by loose and/or dirty contacts or screws in the plug. the plugs in the busy parks get a pretty good working over each season with all the use and people plugs in or unplugging with breakers on.

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