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Old 12-20-2019, 08:55 AM   #1
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Melted wire nut View

I opened the junction box on my 15 Winnebago G. The white and black wire nuts were melted. I hate wire nuts so I used a WAGO 30 amp connector. This was in April.

Now I Have smelling melted wire and had a melted WAGO on the white wire.

My plan is to replace the 30 amp shore power cord with new as I replaced the plug a couple of years ago. My plug look good but it is a low cost fix. I will use new WAGO 30 amp connectors.
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Old 12-20-2019, 10:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffie Drink View Post
I opened the junction box on my 15 Winnebago G. The white and black wire nuts were melted. I hate wire nuts so I used a WAGO 30 amp connector. This was in April.

Now I Have smelling melted wire and had a melted WAGO on the white wire.

My plan is to replace the 30 amp shore power cord with new as I replaced the plug a couple of years ago. My plug look good but it is a low cost fix. I will use new WAGO 30 amp connectors.
It's your RV now and you don't have to have a quick disconnect type connector there. Just use a butt splice. Make sure you cut the wires way back before the melted insulation...past the discolored copper wire that you always see after a melt. Get 'high temp' butt splice connectors, often called 'stove connectors' and available at most appliance stores. And if you don't have it, buy a crimp tool that puts a deep dimple on the back side of the spice connector. You want to put that dimple on the non seam side of the metal barrel too.

Over heating like you're seeing is from a poor connection as long as there hasn't been a miswiring and it's chronically running currents over 30 amp.

If the umbilical wires aren't discolored after you trim back a couple inches, no reason to replace it really. Check both ends of course. And of course check that the wires are captured under the screws and the screws are tight at the terminals in the head but that doesn't sound like the issue.

Main cause in my experience is a poor connection so whatever you can do to reduce the contact resistance is paramount. Getting rid of the wire nuts was a good choice but using the WAGO instead, despite the 30 amp rating, didn't seem to be.
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Old 12-20-2019, 12:39 PM   #3
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
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I would think that a properly twisted and tightened wire nut connection will out perform any slip and clip type connector.

The trick is to do it correctly.
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:34 PM   #5
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Regular twist wire nuts have no place in a moving vehicle. The vibration and movement may eventually loosen them. There are crimp-on versions of the wire nut available. I like these, however, and having a few different sizes of these in your tool box can be quite handy:

https://www.grainger.com/product/6VG...g!461787465034!

If the heat came from a loosened wire nut, then fixing the connection should resolve the problem. If, however, the problem is further upstream you still have a problem that needs to be addressed.
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Old 12-20-2019, 02:37 PM   #6
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Regular twist wire nuts have no place in a moving vehicle. The vibration and movement may eventually loosen them..
Yet the RV industry still installs them.
I don't think they agree with you.

I have wired up electric motors on shaker decks, to screen dirt. The wire nuts didn't fall off, even when the mounting bolts did.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:02 PM   #7
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Yet the RV industry still installs them.
I don't think they agree with you.

I have wired up electric motors on shaker decks, to screen dirt. The wire nuts didn't fall off, even when the mounting bolts did.
The RV industry does a lot of things. I hope you're not saying that if they do it then it's the best way.

I've seen brand new RVs on display at shows, and more than a few of them had wiring done in a way that should embarrass everyone who worked on it. Tangles of wires shoved in the back of compartments, unsecured runs of wires hanging loose, loose receptacles, wires routed through unprotected openings in metal, etc. Obviously not everything the industry does is best practice.

Wire nuts can be used safely in many applications. There are also other methods which are more secure and easier to consistently use properly. My guess is that the RV industry uses them because they are cheap and quick to use. We have the luxury of taking our time and spending a few dollars more to get the best connectors available.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:51 PM   #8
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I installed wire nuts for 50 years. It's all in how you train the monkeys and how you inspect them!!!
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:30 AM   #9
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I installed wire nuts for 50 years. It's all in how you train the monkeys and how you inspect them!!!
Was the melted wire nut in an electrical box or exposed in the open?
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:05 AM   #10
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Was the melted wire nut in an electrical box or exposed in the open?


The Winnebago View has a electrical box in the service bay. There the 10 awg solid connects to the power cord a multi strand via Wire Nuts (stock) or in my case WAGO connectors.
I had in April 2019 opened the box found the black, hot and the white, neutral melted. The ground, green was ok. I don’t like wire nuts so I came across WAGO connectors. I ordered the 30 amp connectors installed them. Last week I opened the box after smelling the melting. I don’t like crimp connections. I ordered Morris inline connectors that screw down the wire.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:31 PM   #11
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Here are a couple of pix that show the cause of my loss of genset power. Melted wire nuts were found at a 4-inch junction box where my 30-amp braided wire genset feed met with the solid wire cable going to the 30-amp receptacle. 2014 FR3-25DS.
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Old 12-27-2019, 06:50 AM   #12
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Yet the RV industry still installs them.
I don't think they agree with you.

I have wired up electric motors on shaker decks, to screen dirt. The wire nuts didn't fall off, even when the mounting bolts did.
Twinboat I agree, have installed many wire nuts on industrial 3 phase motors however I always tape them up with good 3M tape as well. I used to use ring tongue crimp connectors with 8-32 screws, rubber tape then electrical tape, this is the method I still use if motor FLA is over 20.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:08 AM   #13
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Here are a couple of pix that show the cause of my loss of genset power. Melted wire nuts were found at a 4-inch junction box where my 30-amp braided wire genset feed met with the solid wire cable going to the 30-amp receptacle. 2014 FR3-25DS.
Is that 10-gauge copper? It looks a bit light in the pic, but of course, it's hard to gauge from a photo.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:15 AM   #14
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IME, you need to replace the female 30A socket for starters.....

The problem is in the internal wiring of the socket that is creating high resistance leading to failure of the receptacle to coach harness. High resistance in the receptacle also causes failure of the 30A male plug due to overheating of the internal connection in the female receptacle. The heat generated conducts to the blades of the plug and that melts the molded plug internally.

Evidence: heat discolored blades on the male plug; loose/wobbly blades on the plug. Female plug shows no external damage but if you carefully disassemble it you will likely find that the black & white wires were improperly stripped and then jammed into the connectors beyond the screw clamps creating a “wad of gnarly” strands. The screw retainer has been torqued down on the insulation and barely makes contact with the wires, maybe 1mm square. That is the failure point.

Ham fisted installation and figment by “hired hands” who don’t know or care AND lack of supervision and QA/QC.

Properly installed, there really isn’t a big issue with the screw cap connectors in this application. The key is...”properly installed” . Meaning wires are stripped to proper length and correct size connector is fitted right and tight.

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