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Old 07-11-2008, 05:50 PM   #1
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1984 31' Airstream310
Dunsmuir , California
Join Date: May 2004
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Maintenance of power cords

In another thread I have recounted how my power cord melted.

It seems that high resistance developed between the male plug on my power cord and the female end of a 30 amp extension. This generated heat and the resulting melt down.

Its not clear whether it was poor quality connectors or poor maintenance on my part which caused this.

So, what is the best way to keep the connections from developing resistance?

In the past I have cleaned the blades of male connectors with emery paper and used an emery board to clean female connectors.

Is this proper?

Is there anything I can put on/in the connectors to reduce corrision and/or increase conductivity?

Dielectric grease?

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1984 310 Limited Motorhome
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:10 PM   #2
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1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
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That was about 30 years ago

I spray the 7-pin trailer-to-tow-vehicle connector yearly with silicone spray.

Dielelectric grease, BTW, is silicone based.

The use of a spray can, IMO, will rinse out debris.

Caution is warranted with too much connector sanding. Most, if not all, connectors are plated. I.e. a structual base metal will be coated with a more conductive material. Sand past the coating and you're in trouble.

I learned this the hard way with the multiple relay contacts on my first reel-to-reel tape transport. Sweet unit - triple sychronomous motors with the only moving part being the pinch roller. Worked like a dream after the first time I sanded the contacts.

Ten or 20 reels later I was back to square one. More sanding/cleaning. Five or ten reels later.... you get the idea.

I replaced all the relays (no small cost issue for a teenager), and had no more problems.

If you are worried about oxidation, I recommend nothing more harsh than 600 grit sandpaper.

1967 Airstream Overlander International
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