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Old 04-16-2016, 08:28 AM   #1
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Help please! Melted prong on 30 amp plug

This morning when preparing to move after a one night stay hubs discovered that one prong on our 30 amp plug had melted to the surge protector. Surge protector did not indicate a problem, no breakers blew. Was this likely a bad plug and we just need to replace it - and the surge protector - or should we be looking for another cause?
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:40 AM   #2
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:49 AM   #3
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Typically, that's an indication of a loose plug to socket fitting, so current arcs from the socket to the plug blade, creating heat, and causing it to melt. I would replace both the plug and the surge protector, or maybe just the outlet on the surge protector if that can be replaced. The metal from the damaged plug blade is probably fused to the inside of the outlet socket, and it will never make good contact again.

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Old 04-16-2016, 08:52 AM   #4
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Could be a loose connector in the campground's side of the plug. Loose plug equals more resistance equals heat.

A simple surge protector probably would not see that. If you have a more sophisticated power monitor, it might.

My guess would be to replace the plug and try it out at the next stop.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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I concur with the loose connection probably causing arcing and heat. The problem could be in the chord plug or the receptacle on the surge protector. When you do install a new plug on the chord monitor the connection for heat. It could very well be a loose connection in the surge protector.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:09 AM   #6
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Thank you so much! We are at Camping World right now buying new parts. Very glad we bought the extra warranty on the surge protector, and glad to hear it isn't a much bigger problem. We appreciate the replies.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenSanLan View Post
Thank you so much! We are at Camping World right now buying new parts. Very glad we bought the extra warranty on the surge protector, and glad to hear it isn't a much bigger problem. We appreciate the replies.
Thank you, for posting about your problem. I also picked up a new 30 amp surge protector at Camping World on their special deal last month. It makes me aware to check it closely for awhile.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:13 AM   #8
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This problem is often a result of not turning off the source power before plugging into it. Failure to turn off the source power causes an arc at the plug/receptacle connection and over time destroys them. But you are only interested in your plug not the campgrounds receptacle.

Even if you do turn off the source power before plugging in you can get an indication of the status of the campground receptacle as you plug into it. The connection should be snug. A loose connection is an indication the the receptacle is on it's way out and often, if the AC is on, will result in a hot connection and reduced voltage during your stay. The older trailers had an indicator of low voltage. If you have a volt meter on your system any voltage below 105 you run the risk of damaging the AC.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:26 AM   #9
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Thank you for sharing the problem and all thoughts about resolving. Makes me recall the start of a house fire at an outlet with a loosely fitted reading lamp.
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:05 PM   #10
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That happened to me. I had a terrible time removing our power cord from our camper because it was so much melting going on there. I brought it back to the airstream dealer and they found out that this was caused by a loose wire just inside the camper wall from the plug in. My cord was not damage. Thank goodness.

Happy Camping
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:48 PM   #11
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The male plug blades are usually not solid metal but a strip of metal folded over on itself. You can increase their snugness in the receptacle by inserting a knife blade between the two strips and carefully prying them apart slightly, bowing each strip outwards. Carefully and slightly are the key words here.

Also, its good to remove the oxidation from time to time with some steel wool or fine emery paper, wiping the filings off before using the plug. A light touch is best, you want to minimize the removal of metal.

I used to put a fine layer of dielectric grease on the blades but found that it tended to
collect dirt.


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Old 04-16-2016, 02:50 PM   #12
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Good to know ����
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:03 PM   #13
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Factory Defect

After several years our 2004 AS fried the 30 amp plug twice. When replacing didn't work called electrician. We discovered the black wire was missing a wire nut and all wires fused together inside the vehicle. The other end of the hook up cable is connected to a junction box located behind a panel in the "trunk". That is where the meltdown occurred.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:27 PM   #14
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Plug overheating.

Campground outlets need to be scrutinized before using. Melted/distorted or discolored plastic means stay away. Overheating will oxidize your plugs. This can I suspect be passed like a virus. The 30 amp outlet is most used and most likely to have poor conductivity. I carry a 50 to 30 adapter for such outlets, assuming a 50 outlet is available. It was a long day, I noticed the discolored outlet but went ahead. Next morning I found my plug overheated. I'm now more careful.
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