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Old 11-06-2020, 11:41 AM   #1
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What would cause this to happen?!?

I use an extension cord to connect my 50 amp power when at home. Last time I unplugged it, this is what I found.

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Why would this happen?

I've since replaced the plug on the extension cord and it is back in service, but I would sure like to know what caused this. The junction between the dog bone that plugs into the MH and this female plug is exposed to the weather, so could moisture intrusion be the culprit? (I have protected the gap with duct tape in case that is the problem.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:47 AM   #2
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A poor connection (for whatever reason) = RESISTANCE.


Current flowing through a resistance= HEAT


Heat melted it.


Reasons could include one or more of the following:

Corrosion
Loose prong contact
Poor connection between neutral wire and that connection



Certainly, moisture/water can accelerate these.
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Old 11-06-2020, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
A poor connection (for whatever reason) = RESISTANCE.


Current flowing through a resistance= HEAT


Heat melted it.


Reasons could include one or more of the following:

Corrosion
Loose prong contact
Poor connection between neutral wire and that connection



Certainly, moisture/water can accelerate these.
I think THAT^^^ is your answer


**Side Note: My 50A PI Portable Surge/Voltage Protector AND my OEM 50A Cord Plug have hung/been exposed to RAIN, SNOW, SLEET, ICE, HAIL, DUST STORMS, SUN etc for YEARS and none of those have affected my connections/plugs/prongs etc

Loose Connections WILL cause issues...Arching, Melting, Excessive Heat etc
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Old 11-06-2020, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortriede View Post
I use an extension cord to connect my 50 amp power when at home. Last time I unplugged it, this is what I found.

Attachment 307076

Why would this happen?

I've since replaced the plug on the extension cord and it is back in service, but I would sure like to know what caused this. The junction between the dog bone that plugs into the MH and this female plug is exposed to the weather, so could moisture intrusion be the culprit? (I have protected the gap with duct tape in case that is the problem.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Eric
I am not clear on where/why you use a dogbone in this instance. Also, what is the setup when plugged in at home? Are you using 120/240 volts for the MH shore power? It is the neutral that overheated, so is there a chance you pushed more that 50 amps through the neutral by applying the same 120 volts to both hot legs?
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Old 11-06-2020, 02:30 PM   #5
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Do you turn the power off before unplugging the cord?
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Old 11-06-2020, 03:02 PM   #6
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Need a clearer description of what components your adapting together to connect at home.

It could just have been a bad connection. Bad connection causes heat buildup.

Be sure your supplying 120/240 volts If your using a few adaptors at the house.
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OldWEB View Post
I am not clear on where/why you use a dogbone in this instance. Also, what is the setup when plugged in at home? Are you using 120/240 volts for the MH shore power? It is the neutral that overheated, so is there a chance you pushed more that 50 amps through the neutral by applying the same 120 volts to both hot legs?
The dogbone connects the extension cord to the 50 amp inlet, like so:

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The power into the extension cord is 240 50 amp (2 120 volt legs). I don't use much power when parked at home. Just the fridge, inverter (to charge the batteries - which, except when I return from a boondocking trip, is just a trickle) and little else. If freezing weather is forecast, I sometimes run a small heater (1500 watts) and turn on the electric side of the water heater. The water heater can suck a bit of juice to begin with, but once it has heated the water, it doesn't take much in keeping it hot. All of these loads are nominal at any rate and should not be an issue.

I do think that the plug itself is the culprit. I think that the neutral conductor was not making solid contact with it's male counterpart. (Pictures coming.)
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Need a clearer description of what components your adapting together to connect at home.

It could just have been a bad connection. Bad connection causes heat buildup.

Be sure your supplying 120/240 volts If your using a few adaptors at the house.
See my post just before this one for the setup.

I have come to the conclusion that the female plug neutral conductor is the culprit. I mangled it a bit taking it out of the plastic but it is clearly open whereas all of the other conductors are tight together.

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Old 11-16-2020, 09:46 PM   #9
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Look at the male neutral plug, and all of the male plugs, and they need to be clean and not dirty. The dirt, causes resistance that builds heat and that heat makes more resistance that builds even more heat.

That end of the dogbone should be the part that plugs into the coach? check or have checked the connections on the male side of that connection. a loose connection to the Neutral plug will cause heat and burn up more components.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:51 AM   #10
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Melted connection

Actually I have seen that before, my buddy had been using his generator boon docking when his rv went dark, the connection on his generator was melted as was the plug on the cord, he sent his wife out to buy a new generator and a dog bone, it had done the same thing to the new generator. discovered the other end of the cord where it attaches to the breaker panel had a very loose neutral and very melted, he was lucky not to have burned his rig to the ground. im guilty as the next guy, out of sight out of mind, follow your service to the neutral buss Barr
and repair/replace as needed. Remember to check the dates on your fire extinguishers.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:57 AM   #11
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It might be helpful to put a Velcro strap around the point where the two cords meet. I find that any weight on a plug in area like this leads to the connection pulling apart slightly just from the weight of the cord. Any amount of pulling apart is going to have the potential to create a problem. A Velcro strap keeps things tightly held together.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:05 AM   #12
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I had a power issue on my rig. The issue turned out to be a bad connection, but not where the male and female prongs met. The issue was internal in the plug on the end of the house cord at the male end. The actual copper wires attach to the male prongs internally inside the plastic plug housing and the screws that attach them to the prongs were loose to the point that one of them had actually fallen off. That plug end gets pulled on, twisted, dropped, etc constantly. Make sure you check those internal end connections periodically.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortriede View Post
See my post just before this one for the setup.

I have come to the conclusion that the female plug neutral conductor is the culprit. I mangled it a bit taking it out of the plastic but it is clearly open whereas all of the other conductors are tight together.

Attachment 307370

Attachment 307371
Why don't you plug your standard power cord into the side of the RV and then add the extension cord to the other end of it.

Wouldn't that elemenate the adaptor in the picture ?
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Why don't you plug your standard power cord into the side of the RV and then add the extension cord to the other end of it.

Wouldn't that elemenate the adaptor in the picture ?
Looks like their coach has a twist lock receptacle, and the dog bone adapter is allowing them to use a regular "extension" shore cord.

If this is truly the case, it would be possible to switch the end of the cord to a twist lock and eliminate the adapter.
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