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Old 10-18-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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Need to replace 50A plug

Unfortunately, the plug on my 50A cord is starting to separate from the cord so, to prevent any possible power issues, I am going to replace the plug. My question is, should I tin the ends of copper leads or leave them bare copper. I would think tinning would be better.

Any opinions or input would be appreciated.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
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Tinning

I would tin for sure. Make it easier to get a good connection, and there would be no fraying pieces sticking out.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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I am not sure about that. Look where the wire is attached to the plug. If the tinned wire doesn't conform to the metal in the socket, it may nor make as good a connection.

Usually you tin wire so it doesn't oxidize or fray. I am not sure either is a problem in a relatively high voltage connection.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
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I replaced the male connection without tinning.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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I would tin, then it will conform to any shape you need.

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Old 10-18-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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I am not too concerned about dissimilar metals in the plug. All plugs have them. Copper wire to brass plug pins is pretty common. Look at all RV plugs.
I was more concerned about the fraying and that tinning the ends will provide a better surface area in which the plug clamps onto the wire.
I think I will cut open my old plug and see how it was originally assembled and go from there. I will probably do a test assembly with one bare wire to see what that looks like anyway.
Thanks for all the input.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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The wires are not usually tinned from the factory. The way that the 50 amp plug is wired does not really rely on tinning...the wire fits nicely into the slot and will really stay if it is tightened properly.

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Old 10-18-2009, 11:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by WSRG View Post
The wires are not usually tinned from the factory. The way that the 50 amp plug is wired does not really rely on tinning...the wire fits nicely into the slot and will really stay if it is tightened properly.

Bill
I'd agree with the above. IMO the tinning process could add resistance to the connection in that lead tin alloys are poor conductors relative to copper.

Marty
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:03 AM   #9
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If you plan on tinning the wires you'll need a really hot soldering iron. These are really big wires and if the iron isn't hot enough you'll get a cold solder job. If you do get it hot enough be sure to check the insulation on the wires after, it's possible they will become melted and cause more problems than tinning would solve.

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Old 10-19-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WSRG View Post
The wires are not usually tinned from the factory. The way that the 50 amp plug is wired does not really rely on tinning...the wire fits nicely into the slot and will really stay if it is tightened properly.

Bill
Though I agree with what you are saying... The factory cord and plug assembly the wires are normally WELDED to the plug

Kind of elminates the need for tinning.

For: Looks nicer, easier to control loose wires

Against: What you said.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:21 PM   #11
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If you plan on tinning the wires you'll need a really hot soldering iron. These are really big wires and if the iron isn't hot enough you'll get a cold solder job. If you do get it hot enough be sure to check the insulation on the wires after, it's possible they will become melted and cause more problems than tinning would solve.

Dick
I had not thought of that issue. Hmmm, maybe I will not be tinning the wires.

Thanks all for all the input.
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