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Old 08-28-2015, 06:22 AM   #141
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I suspect there are regional differences in the type of usage that results in differing opinions. I've often found east coasters who did not share the poor opinion of the marincos units. Here in the PNW, you don't have to go far to find crispy marincos, or yearly fires resulting from cords. It's not even disputed. I think the east coast is too cold, boats come out of the water, and people don't regularly try to heat boats in the winter with space heaters. Winter is when we get boat fires here. Heaters run 24/7, they don't take the night off.
My guess is that it may have more to do with the constantly damp environment of the PNW. While you are correct about the space heater load in the winter, walk the docks in July and August from the mid Atlantic South and you will find multiple AC units running 24/7. Amps are amps regardless of whether you are heating or cooling. Corrosion of the plug and receptacle from a constantly damp environment is what likely makes the difference.

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Old 08-28-2015, 06:41 AM   #142
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Still looking for the statistics on cord started boat fires...I know people talk about it like it's fact...


But I can't find supporting stats.


According to the BoatUS stats...if is as likely to be space heaters overloading internal circuits and not the power cord...AND that has been my experience as well.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:30 AM   #143
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SBU You can use dielectric grease. As you said the connection is made through the grease. You can also spray anti corrosion stuff on assembled interior terminals. It does form a coating and I don't know if the coating will be displaced on terminals.

My Y has threaded lock rings. The plug covers do age and loose their tight fit on the cable so replacing them might stop your water problem.

I wonder if 5200 would work to seal them to the cord.

You would have to cut the cord to replace then but I usually cut back to clean wire anyway.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:36 AM   #144
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regarding the 250V 4 wire cords. Strictly speaking it is current that is "moving" through the cord. Current causes the heating at poor conductivity areas. 4 wire cords are indeed two 120V sets within one shell. each set capable of carrying 50 A. They share one neural and one ground due to the miracle of phasing. At any time there is never more than 50 A in neutral even though there can be 50A in each of the load wires.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:15 AM   #145
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Still looking for the statistics on cord started boat fires...I know people talk about it like it's fact...

But I can't find supporting stats.

According to the BoatUS stats...if is as likely to be space heaters overloading internal circuits and not the power cord...AND that has been my experience as well.
I find it amazing that we continue to debate whether cords\plugs present a hazard.

Personally I don't need statistics to convince me that any shore power component that heats itself to the point of melting and charring is a disaster waiting to happen.

All of the plugs w issues that I have seen have been at the boat end and the many many photos of melted plugs are also at the boat end. Not to say it can't or doesn't happen at the pedestal. I believe it is less frequent and while not a safe situation is less of a hazard to my boat.
I can't recall seeing a photo of a melted pedestal.

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Old 08-29-2015, 08:30 AM   #146
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My point is that many char, many melt...but how many turn into fires?

And who can say without a doubt that smart plugs once reaching the same numbers may not have problems too? They probably won't.... so as I have posted they are probably better at preventing a disaster....but not any more than other gizmos that I don't have to prevent all the other "disasters" that can happen to my boat.

All I am saying...not every new, more expensive gizmo that comes along is any more like to save you or your boat just because it is safer or better engineered. Otherwise we would all be swapping boats and equipment faster than we could keep up.

We probably have all had people close to us that made it through a lifetime of boating and many of us are pushing another decade of it without burning or sinking.

Why? Because of just equipment? My boating friends that started back in the turn of last century didn't run out and upgrade their boats after every boat show with shiny new toys and they survived. No, better boaters check their boats and act accordingly, some even more than others.

And yes, every bad meltdown I have seen WAS at the power pole and not the boat end. Usually because it was a non modern power pole not on a floating dock. They were probably submerged at times and were problems waiting to happen.

But I would bet that 99% of charred plugs are taken out of service long before a fire was anywhere in sight....otherwise the stats and the boating safety gurus would be screaming...and like I posted before....I just am not hearing it.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:16 PM   #147
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I really appreciate the information. My take, at this point, is that I'm going to replace the Marinco SP cords with Hubbell, thoroughly inspect the boat entrance and act accordingly based on condition, and start using one of the anti-corrosion coatings on a regular basis.

If the entrance is screwed up, I may indulge myself in the Smartplug setup - as much to get out of the stupid "thread the ring" exercise. That has as much to do with the physical placement of the SP entrance on my boat (outboard at the shear line) as the physical merits of the connection.

Thanks, again!
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:59 PM   #148
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I really appreciate the information. My take, at this point, is that I'm going to replace the Marinco SP cords with Hubbell, thoroughly inspect the boat entrance and act accordingly based on condition, and start using one of the anti-corrosion coatings on a regular basis.

If the entrance is screwed up, I may indulge myself in the Smartplug setup - as much to get out of the stupid "thread the ring" exercise. That has as much to do with the physical placement of the SP entrance on my boat (outboard at the shear line) as the physical merits of the connection.

Thanks, again!
I think Marinco has some new clamp on system versus the threaded ring... the EEL series I think.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:01 PM   #149
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Good call, psneed. Checked it out and did some reading. Looks like Marinco is trying to get away from original' EEL uses "jaws" to grab the threaded surface of the conventional Marinco connection. The main user issues with the EEL are: 1. the jaws tear up the plastic threads on the original connection - so you can't go back to the rings (why would you?) and 2. the EEL connector cannot create a weathertight seal between the EEL and the conventional connector on the old style Ys. So you wind up needing the cables plus an EEL configured Y. Back to bucks, again.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:36 PM   #150
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Good call, psneed. Checked it out and did some reading. Looks like Marinco is trying to get away from original' EEL uses "jaws" to grab the threaded surface of the conventional Marinco connection. The main user issues with the EEL are: 1. the jaws tear up the plastic threads on the original connection - so you can't go back to the rings (why would you?) and 2. the EEL connector cannot create a weathertight seal between the EEL and the conventional connector on the old style Ys. So you wind up needing the cables plus an EEL configured Y. Back to bucks, again.

Check out SmartPlug they have a straight in 4 point locking design with double weather tight seals. Heavy duty with no play on the connections with boat movement.

It really is a better mousetrap and to many boaters a safer design.

Oh I am also going to replace my Delta with a Rochna next year. I am convinced it is a better design as an all around anchor esp. when resetting is involved during a tide or wind shift while unattended.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:11 AM   #151
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Limited time at Defender via Active Captain if anyone is interested.

Sale on 30 and 50 amp sets of SmartPlugs.

http://www.defender.com/activecaptain.jsp
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:59 AM   #152
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Defender frequently has sales of items no one will purchase.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:39 AM   #153
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I have seen postings that Marinco will replace cords that have charred or burned ends. I can't confirm first hand but one posted said there was no time limit...he sent a photo w email to inquire and ask he cut off the end and send it in for a replacement.

If anyone tries this would appreciate a post to inform others.

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Old 09-04-2015, 12:12 PM   #154
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Defender frequently has sales of items no one will purchase.
You know what they say about opinions.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:12 AM   #155
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"You know what they say about opinions. "

Defenders opinion comes from what takes up shelf space ind inventory bucks .

If it doesn't sell, it doesn't stay.

They will special order most anything , not stocked.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:39 AM   #156
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If the entrance is screwed up, I may indulge myself in the Smartplug setup - as much to get out of the stupid "thread the ring" exercise.
I switched years ago and never regretted it. You'll love it!
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:13 PM   #157
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Reading this thread makes me glad I only draw about 2 amps of shore power.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:04 PM   #158
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Just a follow-up. I get sort of irrated at the people who post pretty profound questions, a lot of knowledgable TF folks devote some time and energy to the problem to produce thoughtful suggestions, and the OP is never heard from again.

Back to my situation. I was surprised to find that, this inspection round, the boat entrance connections are good - no charring, no corrosion. Likewise the boat end plugs on the SP cables. My 30 amp SP cables connect to a 50 X 30 (2) Y.

Both the Y side and the SP cable side connectors (actually, the white plastic "plate" that fills the connector center) are not charred but discolored brown - looks like heat damage and the precursor to real charring - but only at the White conductor position (using the NEMA reference drawings). The male tang had black surface corrosion - not into the "meat" of the tang.

There was slight moisture present within the plug housing - couldn't tell if it was condensation or water intrusion ( I have the Marinco "sealing collar" installed on both SP cxable to Y connections). Interesting that the ground tang on both showed slight and localized verdigris - may be because the cables went voyaging this summer and were stowed on deck while underway - but with the female/male ends mechanically connected to hopefully avoid saltwater exposure.

Dried out the plugs, used a brass bristled brush to brighten the "White" tang and an old time points file to get into the female side. Final cleaned and applied Boeshield.

Going forward - for now I'll save my $ and be more watchful of connector condition. Although the Y to SP connections are under partial cover and are suspended and supported with the conductors/connections in the vertical, I will rig a rain shield to divert any rain running down the conductor - similar in concept to the old time dock line "rat guards" - and see what happens.

The long term plan will, I think, have a conversion to Hubbel components if not Smartplug.

As always, I sincerily appreciate the thoughtful input and advice from the TF crowd.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:07 PM   #159
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This thread reminded me to do a dock power station check. Another Marinco plug bites the dust, as you can see the black lead is welded to the contact. I have already ordered a replacement plug, I'm going to try a Furrion plug based on comments on TF. The power station female receptacle was clean and un-scorched as was the other 30 amp power cord. I also ordered some dielectric grease.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:43 AM   #160
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The power station female receptacle was clean and un-scorched as was the other 30 amp power cord.
I would check and recheck the pedestal female outlet as I have never seen only one side be affected by heat and arcing. The female side is harder to see the damage as it is hidden...you may need to get the marina to pull the female receptacle to check the back side for melting or charring.

I have seen members posts that stated Marinco replaced components damaged by arcing \ overheating... I can't confirm this but you don't have much to lose by contacting them to inquire.

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