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Old 01-13-2021, 01:18 PM   #1
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Smart plug melt down

This fella has had several Smart Plug melt downs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid...ature=youtu.be
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:54 PM   #2
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Wasn't this the cause of the diver boat in SO Cali
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:20 PM   #3
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Wasn't this the cause of the diver boat in SO Cali
No, the dive boat was anchored and not plugged into shore power. They think it was portable batteries being charged in the main salon, maybe.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:32 PM   #4
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Look at all the water draining out of the cord. Don’t think this is a smart plug issue. This is a water intrusion issue.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:48 PM   #5
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Boatpoker, love your boat. I've kind of lost interest in boats that are "glass specials." For a 2001 boat, it feels like a boat from the 1930- 60 era which is a compliment not an insult from me. I'm a fan of wooden boats, just not a fan of wooden hulls. My boat is glass over plywood which has made a huge difference in maintains (original build).
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:57 PM   #6
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Boatpoker, love your boat. I've kind of lost interest in boats that are "glass specials." For a 2001 boat, it feels like a boat from the 1930- 60 era which is a compliment not an insult from me. I'm a fan of wooden boats, just not a fan of wooden hulls. My boat is glass over plywood which has made a huge difference in maintains (original build).
Thanks, All my boats have been what I call "orphan boats".
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:53 PM   #7
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Look at all the water draining out of the cord. Donít think this is a smart plug issue. This is a water intrusion issue.
So, Smart Plugs can't be used near the water or in wet locations? Kinda limits their usefulness around boats....

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Old 01-13-2021, 09:56 PM   #8
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I have 2 of them on my boat. Never had any issues with them and he has had problems several times??? Maybe he was installing them incorrectly. The issue does seem to be the water inside of the plug. In the video I saw what appears like him pushing on the seal with a screw driver because it was sticking. If I remember correctly the directions tell you to lube it before you put it together. Maybe the lack of lube caused him to use a screwdriver on it and damaged the seal? Not sure because his video is from long distance and you canít really tell exactly what he is doing.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:35 PM   #9
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So, Smart Plugs can't be used near the water or in wet locations? Kinda limits their usefulness around boats....

Customer did a self install of a smart plug end on an old used power cord. We canít be sure that it was done right. We also donít know if he dropped the end in the water. We do know that a smart plug has more contact area then your standard 30A twist lock cable. I suspect that this failure would have happened regardless of what plug was on the end of that cable.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:46 PM   #10
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My shorepower cords are hardwired. When not in use we simply pull them in from inside a locker in the pilot house.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:40 PM   #11
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Without actually inspecting his installation I can think of one big problem that I have seen people create for themselves by improper assembly of all plugs/receptacles on extension cords.

To often the cable insulation is not properly installed so the clamp and seal actually, RELIABLY grips the cable and closes on the insulation really gripping.

This can happen if the actual wires are cut too long, the clamp is improperly tightened or improperly set. The actual cable sheath must be gripped, not just at the very last bit of insulation but some what before the very insulation end. I have seen cables and hoses slip out of the clamping mechanism unless this detail is paid attention to.

Once that happens then water can enter the cable as the seal is gone when or if the insulation slides back.

His cable sheath is yellow so he has adapted his older cable from Marinco, or whoever, so if the installation was not done properly problems can occur.

The bend, as it enters the plug when connected to the receptacle could have contributed to the insulation pulling out or the clamp if not done properly.

Yes, these are details but are important details and this is also a guess from here just based on what I have seen over the years including my own goof ups.

Another could be once he installed the plug and never rechecked the actual wire clamps. Copper can flow from pressure, not much but it can. Add a bit of wiggling from use and it is just possible the wire clamp , not loosened yet, but the cold flow released some pressure under the clamps. Often in adaptions like this the plug should be opened some time later and the wire clamps given a tweak just to be sure.
But any looseness and resulting wetness can speed corrosion of the contacts
increasing resistance and of course heating.

Done properly these plugs are water tight.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:21 AM   #12
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My shorepower cords are hardwired. When not in use we simply pull them in from inside a locker in the pilot house.
My shore cords were hardwired like yours for a very long time. Worked perfectly.

I now use a Marinco 30 amp inlet mounted through a 8" X 8" stainless plate which is fastened to a steel electrical box flush mounted in a cutout on the exterior of the cabin sides. There is a temperature sensor mounted to the top of the steel box inside the boat that will send an alarm if it detects a higher than normal temperature. Since there is metal between the shore inlet and combustibles, nothing to start fires. I use a standard Marinco cordset.

Reason for not hardwireing anymore. I have three shore power inlets and use one most of the time so having multiple hardwired cords was a hassle.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:35 AM   #13
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Hardwired?
Is there any comment from ABYC? In practise how far inside, is the cable used outside OK to run inside for any distance? I have the smartplug, but thinking of relocating.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:39 AM   #14
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On my boat the smart plugs are inside the stern behind a door so they never see any water.
This guys problem seems like load since all the plugs on the stern seem to show black stains from smoke?
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:01 AM   #15
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Here’s another vote for smart plugs. On this boat, the inlet is forward of the helm door, maybe 6 feet off the water.
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Old 01-14-2021, 03:06 AM   #16
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Hardwired?
Is there any comment from ABYC? In practise how far inside, is the cable used outside OK to run inside for any distance? I have the smartplug, but thinking of relocating.
The Glendinning cable system is hard wired. You would still need a breaker within 10í if I read the guidelines correctly.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:20 AM   #17
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The Glendinning cable system is hard wired. You would still need a breaker within 10í if I read the guidelines correctly.
Yes, thats all thats required.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:56 AM   #18
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Especially with the heavy 50 amp cords, we LOVE our Glendinning system. It was on our boat shopping list as a "nice to have" and turns out we were right.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:03 AM   #19
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Especially with the heavy 50 amp cords, we LOVE our Glendinning system. It was on our boat shopping list as a "nice to have" and turns out we were right.

I wish I had a spot to mount something like that. Lugging 50 amp cords around by hand sucks, but with no cockpit or lazarette, I don't have a good alternative. Plus, hard wired cords would be good for reduced potential failure points.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:17 AM   #20
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That guy was an abject idiot. First of all, his cords were retrofitted with a Smart Plug end. And, obviously, he did a shoemaker job of installing the plug. See the duck tape wrapped around the cord where it enters the plug. He did not use the cone-shaped insulators that come with the Smart Plug kit. Of course, there was water intrusion. Of course, a melt-down occurred. It was 100% user error, user stupidity.

When I first read about Smart Plugs, I retrofitted an old "yellow cord" cordset which was very stiff and difficult to manage but still serviceable. It worked just fine, not even a hint of heat at the inlet. But, I finally tired of manhandling that old, stiff cold - my wife couldn't at all - and purchased a factory-made Smart Plug cordset. It was one of the wisest boat equipment purchases I ever made. The cord jacket is some kind of silicone rubber, is lighter weight, and remaines flexible in even very cold weather. My wife is able to coil it whereas it was impossible with the other cordset. Plus, the Smart Plug end is factory-sealed, thus, never any worry about water intrusion. And never mind the ease of plugging in to the house inlet. No more being on hands and knees trying to line up the prongs blindly and having to thread on the locking ring. With the Smart Plug one just pushes without much force necessary until the plug clicks into place with absolutely no danger of it releasing on its own.
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This fella has had several Smart Plug melt downs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid...ature=youtu.be
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