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Old 03-10-2019, 06:19 PM   #1
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Old Shore Power Cord -- throw away?

What do you guys do with old cords? There was an old 50A shore power cord, probably 50' long in our bilge under the cockpit when we bought the boat. The condition seems questionable and I am sure it was replaced for a reason. I don't plan to try to use it -- it's best days are behind it for sure. Obviously I can just throw it away. I assume there is a lot of copper in it, though. Are there places that recycle these things? Or do you just trash them?
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:36 PM   #2
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If the connectors aren't burnt it is probably ok to use. But the connectors in most old cords typically are burnt.



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Old 03-10-2019, 07:28 PM   #3
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If there's a metal recycling facility nearby, you may be able to get a couple bucks for it, better than tossing it in the landfill. You'd get a better price if the insulation's stripped off, but that's a chore and if you burn it, it's REALLY messy.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AZ2Loop View Post
What do you guys do with old cords? There was an old 50A shore power cord, probably 50' long in our bilge under the cockpit when we bought the boat. The condition seems questionable and I am sure it was replaced for a reason. I don't plan to try to use it -- it's best days are behind it for sure. Obviously I can just throw it away. I assume there is a lot of copper in it, though. Are there places that recycle these things? Or do you just trash them?
When you say "in our bilge" do you mean in contact with water? If questionable, you should meggar the cord to prove the insulation is still good, and check the conductor resistance if you ever plan to use it again.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:01 PM   #5
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The cable itself is probably fine unless the insulation is damaged or cracking. I'd replace the ends, cutting back the cable as needed to get good clean copper. 50A cords are expensive and well worth replacing the ends and continuing to use. Ends are about $100 each.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:43 PM   #6
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The cable itself is probably fine unless the insulation is damaged or cracking. I'd replace the ends, cutting back the cable as needed to get good clean copper. 50A cords are expensive and well worth replacing the ends and continuing to use. Ends are about $100 each.
Or if not for yourself, do a shop a favor and drop off the cord for them. Maybe get a favor in return. Makes a great extension cord for a saw, welder or compressor, etc. In the aftermath of a hurricane it would be golden.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #7
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twistedtree beat me to it.

Check out the price of a new cord complete with the ends.
Check out the cost of new ends to redo your existing cord.

If you do much cruising an extra length could be invaluable where the outlet you need is a long ways away from your boat. If the ends are available it may be worthwhile re/re it for secondary use.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:45 PM   #8
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These are way to expensive to throw away. Just replace any questionable ends. Trim back to clean copper. Good to have a spare and sometimes you need more than 50 feet.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:03 PM   #9
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I take old shore cords, lop off the ends. Install new ends and keep them as back up cords.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:04 AM   #10
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Keep as backup. When you get that spot at the marina out on the end, too far from power, presto, pull out the backup cords.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
twistedtree beat me to it.

Check out the price of a new cord complete with the ends.
Check out the cost of new ends to redo your existing cord.

If you do much cruising an extra length could be invaluable where the outlet you need is a long ways away from your boat. If the ends are available it may be worthwhile re/re it for secondary use.
I recently replaced a very old, very stiff 50 amp cord that I had retrofitted with a Smart Plug. I finally had enough struggling with the weight of that cord but it was its stiffness that finally pushed me to replace it. It was always a struggle to coil it up, a task which my co-captain was unable to do.

I replaced it with a Smart Plug cordset which, of course, had a molded in Smart Plug end. The beauty part is the the insulating cover is of what I believe is silicone rubber which is much lighter and very much more pliable making retrieving and coiling now a simple task, one with which the co-captain now helps. It was well worth the cost, to me, about $400 from Hodges Marine, including shipping. I left the old one with the boat yard for someone to use or salvage.

Don't have a Smart Plug connection? A new "standard" cord will have the same pliable cover. My point is, save the space and get rid of that old cord. A new one will last your lifetime.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:36 AM   #12
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I ended up cutting mine into a 20' and a 30' length with 2 new ends. Got tired of carrying the 50' cord around and having the excess either in the cockpit or on the dock. If side tied, the 20' is usually sufficient. Backed in, the 30' works well. On rare occasions, I put both together.

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Old 03-11-2019, 07:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AZ2Loop View Post
What do you guys do with old cords? There was an old 50A shore power cord, probably 50' long in our bilge under the cockpit when we bought the boat. The condition seems questionable and I am sure it was replaced for a reason. I don't plan to try to use it -- it's best days are behind it for sure. Obviously I can just throw it away. I assume there is a lot of copper in it, though. Are there places that recycle these things? Or do you just trash them?
HEY Hey That's Marine quality wiring in there! use the No 4-6-8 wiring for other stuff.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:49 AM   #14
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Great replies. Thank you everyone. It just didn't sit right to throw it away. I like several of your suggestions. The ends are cracked and worn. I will clean off the main length of the cord and see if it's salvageable. catalinajack is right. It is extremely stiff and hard to manage. If the middle looks safe to use after cleaning, and if I can find a manageable, pliable length, it probably makes sense to get new ends and salvage at least part of it. I like O C Diver's approach to a couple of shorter cords. I'll still have my newer 50 footer for primary use. Great suggestions, folks. Thanks again.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:08 AM   #15
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Fashioned a small meter box with cord stubb to test voltage and current at pedestals. Home made tool using one cord end and couple feet cord. Could also replace ends as others suggested to save some $, although connectors are quite pricey.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:32 PM   #16
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i keep my old 50' cord on-board with new ends for times i need to pair it with my newer 50' cord when 100' foot run is needed.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:06 AM   #17
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I also have an old 50a chord. I was thinking of wiring a galvonic isolator inline for the boat.

Has anyone done this?

I know best way is on the boat, but was thinking of a 20' section with isolator mounted in a pvc or ss box.

I have a new 50' chord that is used while traveling.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:25 PM   #18
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I also have an old 50a chord. I was thinking of wiring a galvonic isolator inline for the boat.

Has anyone done this?

I know best way is on the boat, but was thinking of a 20' section with isolator mounted in a pvc or ss box.

I have a new 50' chord that is used while traveling.
put the galvanic isolator on the boat on the other side of the shore power inlet connection
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:00 PM   #19
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Depending upon the cord cover, if in doubt, replace it
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:24 PM   #20
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I used an old spare 30A power cord, and bought another for $50. I cut ends off, and used them to run new dual shore power access to the bow. -One for the boat, and one for air conditioning, duplicating the original power inlets on the starboard side.

We moor bow in, so it really cleaned up the boat. No lines snaking along the bow rail, or to step over when walking fore and aft.
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