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Old 04-22-2012, 06:15 AM   #21
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"I have a 12V plug at my helm that well below battery voltage. It looks like it's original equipment from 1977. Replacing it is on my long to-do list."

Home Cheapo, 240V 15A std plugs and socket (safe if there is NO 240 on board).

About 3 grades of product , the higher priced is easiest to hook to., and install.

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Old 04-22-2012, 09:27 AM   #22
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Great idea testing the leads on your panel mount voltmeter with a DVM. At least it'll tell you if it's the gage or the wiring that's the culprit.

Undersized wiring or resistance through old connectors can rob you of voltage. I have a 12V plug at my helm that well below battery voltage. It looks like it's original equipment from 1977. Replacing it is on my long to-do list.
What confuses people with test equipment but limited knowledge of electricity is that resistance in a circuit will cause a voltage drop but that drop is proportional to the load.

For example, you could have a severely corroded connection in the circuit to your 12 volt socket and read 12 volts with a DVM that puts almost no load on the circuit, but if you plug a spotlight in, the voltage could drop to thee or four volts (or less). The rest of the voltage is dropped across the resistance of the corroded connection.

Remember also, current flows in both the positive and the negative sides of the circuit so resistance in the negative side has the same effect.

If this "plug" (socket) worked fine originally, I would be checking the connections in the circuit, both positive and negative. It's more likely to be a corroded connection than the socket itself.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:56 AM   #23
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New wiring made a WORLD of difference on Skinny Dippin'. Let me know if you need any free advice. It'll be worth every penny.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:24 PM   #24
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Unlike a motor or pump, electrical wires do not "wear out". Properly sized and installed wiring, protected from corrosion and physical damage will last the life of the boat (or home, business, etc.).

Wiring needs to be replaced only if it has been damaged or the electrical needs change.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:20 PM   #25
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Unlike a motor or pump, electrical wires do not "wear out". Properly sized and installed wiring, protected from corrosion and physical damage will last the life of the boat (or home, business, etc.).

Wiring needs to be replaced only if it has been damaged or the electrical needs change.
That may be true with newer wire (last 10-15 years)...in benign environment....but a lot of wire I have seen on boats and vehicles, the insulation cracks and eventually corrodes...tinned seems to last longer in that scenario...but it's still not foever.
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