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Old 09-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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Electrical - 30AMP Input Help

While trying to figure out a problem I'm having with my AC I decided to disconnect power from my Air Stream. I could barely get the plug out since it was locked solid due to charring on one of the connections. In addition to replacing the power cord, the plug on the Air Stream side needs replacing as well. Does anyone have a good source for these components? If you have worked on this before are there any land mines I need to avoid?

Thanks in advance for your help.

John Geisen
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John Geisen View Post
While trying to figure out a problem I'm having with my AC I decided to disconnect power from my Air Stream. I could barely get the plug out since it was locked solid due to charring on one of the connections. In addition to replacing the power cord, the plug on the Air Stream side needs replacing as well. Does anyone have a good source for these components? If you have worked on this before are there any land mines I need to avoid?

Thanks in advance for your help.

John Geisen
Of course I can't tell for sure without being there and doing some testing, but it sounds like you may have several problems. First you are drawing too much current to burn the plugs, so there is a problem with your air conditioner, or possibly other items in your trailer. Second, you may have problems with circuit breakers that are not tripping when they should and protecting those plugs. I would get all of those things checked out to see why you are drawing so much current.

To answer your question about availability of plugs, I have found plugs, sockets, and complete cables at good prices on Amazon. Good luck with your problem.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:48 PM   #4
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Steve,

Thanks. Yes, I've been wondering about that very thing as well. Once I get the electrical sorted out I'll have to find a reputable place to test the draw from the circuits as well as the performance of the breakers. I'm convinced that one of my problems is that our AS has been sitting in our driveway for over two years in West Palm Beach Florida. We get lots of rain and, of course, temperatures in the 90's on a daily basis. This year I have let the AC run almost continuously to ease the heat that occurs from these conditions.

Still, why didn't the breaker trip?

John
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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John, your problem may not be as complicated as it seems. Usually when there is a charred prong on a cord it is because of the loss of tension in the receptacle which causes overheating. This loss of tension may have been caused by a loose connection or possibly long periods of near capacity loading which caused overheating and loss of tension (or grip) in the receptacle. It is possible that there was looseness in the molded cord end where the plug and wire are fastened together. In either case if you replace the cord and the receptacle both, making sure all connections are tight, your problems most likely be solved.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Geisen View Post
While trying to figure out a problem I'm having with my AC I decided to disconnect power from my Air Stream. I could barely get the plug out since it was locked solid due to charring on one of the connections. In addition to replacing the power cord, the plug on the Air Stream side needs replacing as well. Does anyone have a good source for these components? If you have worked on this before are there any land mines I need to avoid?

Thanks in advance for your help.

John Geisen
John....You noted that the plug was difficult to get the plug out. Are you aware that the 30 amp plug locks in place by a few degree turn after you plug it in? If you do not rotate it before pulling, it will not come out. If you need to replace the parts you can also check out a boating supply place like West Marine or Defender Industries.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #7
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Corrosion, or using a post cord or adapter can do the same thing. If you are pulling to many amps through components that are too small, that can do it!
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #8
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I thought most Marine electrical dock stuff used four wire instead of three? BTW, I did remember to twist to unlock the connection but it was "welded do to the heat. I was able to break it loose with some twisting and wiggling.

I will try to find the parts locally today. Otherwise will have to order online.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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You know, if your plug prongs and the receptacle are that messed up, that could also be a source of an AC problem as well. Those things require a good shot of power in order to start, and you're not supplying it.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Still, why didn't the breaker trip?
Because SteveH's advice is just wrong.

Plugs burn up because their components are corroded or loose, not because of excess current draw. The breaker will trip if the current is excessive.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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If the connection was not solid. Arcing could occur that is below the current rating of the circuit breaker. The amount of arcing is based on the load and the contact surfaces of the plug and receptacle.
The more connections there are between the power source and the panel in the coach. The higher the possibility of these kind of problems.
Moisture/dirt entering the receptacle will contribute to the oxidation of the blades that make contact with the plug. The greater the oxidation, the higher the risk of arcing.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Because SteveH's advice is just wrong.

Plugs burn up because their components are corroded or loose, not because of excess current draw. The breaker will trip if the current is excessive.
Well now, that just depends. Plugs, or any electrical connections get hot and burn up because there are too many watts dissipated across them, and that is because of a resistance joint from loose connection, corrosion, or too much current.

But, let's not get too technical. If it were me, I'd still measure the current of the devices running just to be safe, and breakers can fail closed just like they can fail open.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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Never connect or disconnect any power connection with power present. Always turn off the breaker at the source before connecting or disconnecting your power cable. Once the connection has been made, then turn on the breaker. This will prevent arcing which burns the pins. At the power post, where previous campers have connected and disconnected with the power present you will find damaged receptacles. You can not help that damaged receptacle. But, when connected to a damaged receptacle your plug will suffer damage as well. That end of your cord can be easily repaired or replaced. At least you will not suffer the same damage at the trailer end of your power cord. If you detect burned pins on your power cord, they sometimes can be cleaned with steelwool or a fine file. If the damage is too severe, the end needs to be replaced. Shame on those who leave the breaker on and connect and disconnect their power cables.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:54 PM   #14
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All I can tell you from my experience is that three weeks ago my A/C started making a funny noise and the end of my end from the plug to about two feet toward the trailer was fairly warm. I should say that the end plug had been replaced some years back.

Turns out the connections in the plug were loose. Sanded contacts, tightend connections, and all was fine. A/C working normal and cable no longer hot.
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