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Old 06-09-2021, 10:39 AM   #1
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Doubling up on shore power cable?

OK, first off - I'm going to say that I think I SHOULDN'T do this ... but I wanted a second opinion to see if my reasonable concerns might be too cautious. Can I use two 50ft shore power cables - connected together - as one long cable? My concerns are on the added resistance the longer cable length would cause.

41ft Maxum, 120V/50Amp. Shore power connection stern, stbd side in a tub on the swim deck.

I've always backed into slips, wte of one time I was just doing a short stop and went bow in, and a couple of side tie ups. With a 50ft shore power cable, I've never had a problem reaching the power pedestal.

Thinking ahead to some future trips, I've often wondered what I'd do if I did go bow in (or the pedestal was not at the base of the slip) and my shore power cable wouldn't reach the pedestal. One thought that came to mind was to connect two 50ft cables together (I have an older - in good shape - spare I keep on board) to make a 100ft cable.

So, let's let smarter minds prevail - tell me: Am a showing good concern, or am I a chicken?
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:49 AM   #2
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I run a 100' cord on my motor home all the time. (2x 120/50A)

However, your concern is valid. Do you have a volt/ammeter? If not they are easy to install and it will give you an idea of what's coming out your end of that long cord. As long as voltage holds up and you are conservative on the current side (40A ish) you should be fine.

That said, please use very HEALTHY (new) cords. Any kind of corrosion/wear on a cord/plugs creates potential issues. Double the plugs and length and you quadruple said potential.
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Old 06-09-2021, 11:24 AM   #3
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I have used 2 50’ 30 amp cords together to make it 100’. It worked ok. I just watched the load and didn’t go near 30 amps.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:06 PM   #4
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50A/240/120V shore power AC has much more give than 30A does, mostly because it is usually not operated at the limit. As long as you keep the power down near 30 or even 40A you should be ok with two 50' cords. Feel the connection for excessive heat.

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Old 06-09-2021, 12:11 PM   #5
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50A/240/120V shore power AC has much more give than 30A does, mostly because it is usually not operated at the limit. As long as you keep the power down near 30 or even 40A you should be ok with two 50' cords. Feel the connection for excessive heat.

David
I agree with David.

As background....

I have a 125/250V 50A set up and have run my 50 cord coupled to a 30 cord to a 30A shore power with no issues as long as I managed to stay below the 30A shore breaker. I know not the same but think through what you are doing and stick to a safe plan.

I wouldn't hesitate to combine 2 like you want to do in a second. Just manage the loads. Some may over worry, just the way some are.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:12 PM   #6
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Manage the loads and if your cords are in good condition you should be fine.
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:30 PM   #7
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Wow.... we have consensus. The doomsday engineers must be on vacation.
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Old 06-09-2021, 01:28 PM   #8
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I've hooked 2 cords together frequentlywhen cruising and trying to reach a distant pedestal. As others indicated just watch for overloading.
I added a 25 ft cord to my supplies and find most times I can reach with 75 ft (50 + 25) especially if I run the cord fwd along the less used side deck to the bow and then to shore from the anchor platform. The 25 fter comes in handy for when pedestal is right at the aft connection area.
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Old 06-09-2021, 01:35 PM   #9
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Wow.... we have consensus. The doomsday engineers must be on vacation.
Ok, just to make you feel good, it will never work and the boat will burst into flames before you actually get them connected...
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Old 06-09-2021, 01:39 PM   #10
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Ok, just to make you feel good, it will never work and the boat will burst into flames before you actually get them connected...
That is much more in line with what I would expect to hear on TF!
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Old 06-09-2021, 01:53 PM   #11
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That is much more in line with what I would expect to hear on TF!
I just try to satisfy everyone.
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Old 06-09-2021, 02:39 PM   #12
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Some of the docks that I get to get crowded. That means sometimes running a longer cable to find an unused outlet on the dock. I carry a couple of spare 50' 30amp cables, so can reach 150' if needed. That works for me, as I don't have many loads and am never drawing a full 30 amps in the busy season.
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
I added a 25 ft cord to my supplies and find most times I can reach with 75 ft (50 + 25) especially if I run the cord fwd along the less used side deck to the bow and then to shore from the anchor platform. The 25 fter comes in handy for when pedestal is right at the aft connection area.
Good idea. Lot of people could use 25' in their home slips.

My old boat had shore power connections bow and stern, which was really useful.
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:17 PM   #14
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Measure the voltage at an outlet. If you are at 110V or higher, you are fine. 108-109 maybe. 107V or lower, no bueno unless you are using a super low amount of amperage. Take a 1500W appliance. At 120V, you will draw 12.5A current. At 110V, you will draw 15A. So there lower the voltage, the higher the amperage. Also, if you are running a device with continuous high load such as a heater, you will need to increase the effective amperage by dividing by 0.8. In the above example, 12.5A will require a 16A and 19A circuit respectively. You might be surprised that measuring the voltage at the pedestals might not be that high depending on the wiring at the marina.
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:11 PM   #15
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When joining two cordsets together I try to use sealing couplers to ensure foot traffic doesn’t loosen the connection.
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:57 PM   #16
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Ok, just to make you feel good, it will never work and the boat will burst into flames before you actually get them connected...
The problem here is the OP said he did not think it would work. So of course everyone was ready to say that it will work. Is that reverse phycology?

Dave, I partially agree with you. Instead of 'before' it is more like flames after (about 48 minutes) you get them connected...
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:24 PM   #17
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The issue with adding a second power cord is voltage drop. Some one mentioned earlier to measure the voltage at the boat and see if it is 110v or 108v. As mentioned if the voltage is still 110v then there is no issue. Somethings like lights are just dimmer with voltage drop. Other things like motors can receive extra wear and tear or even be damaged by voltage drop. As is so often said, “you can get away with a lot of things until you can’t “.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:25 PM   #18
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I was just trying to exaggerate as much as possible so I decided to have the boat burst into flames just by getting the power cords close to each other...
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:22 PM   #19
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The actual voltage is 120 volts.

There is no such thing as 110 volts.

The standard for power companies is 5% or 114 volts.

My personal opinion would be to feel the connections. If any of them feel appreciably warm then that connection is at risk.

If you want to extend your cord, fine, just limit your current.
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:35 PM   #20
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I was just trying to exaggerate as much as possible so I decided to have the boat burst into flames just by getting the power cords close to each other...
I know. Having some fun.

Kevin, I have given up on voltage in North America. I know it as 120 but a quick google search 110 and 120 are given as examples. A while back somewhere 108 was normal.
would you agree 5% less than pedestal at 100 feet is acceptable? That should not be noticeable warm.
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