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Old 02-04-2011, 02:19 AM   #15
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There are actually two most likely causes for the plug melting:

1) I agree with Hodum's assessment (see previous post). If the electrical system within the Airstream were drawing too much current it would trip the 30Amp Main Circuit Breaker. A loose fitting 50Amp receptacle could cause melting due to increased resistance across the connection (I=E/R - Ohm's Law).

2) Depending on the wiring, it is possible for it to supply either 30Amps or as low as 25Amps. (2 - 25 Amp 120VAC legs = 50Amps @ 240VAC). If this receptacle was wired to provide 24Amps instead of a maximum of 30Amps, and you were drawing near 30Amps, this could explain the melted plug. You can see how it is wired by looking at the 50Amp breaker. Often it will comprise two 25Amp 120VAC breakers tied together by a common metal pin.

Nonetheless, I would verify the condition of the 30Amp breaker as the consequences of its being bad and drawing too much current could be catastrophic to you and your family.


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Old 02-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Secguru View Post

Nonetheless, I would verify the condition of the 30Amp breaker as the consequences of its being bad and drawing too much current could be catastrophic to you and your family.
I never thought about the inside 30 amp main breaker being bad. That would not be good How do you test a breaker other than putting a high load on it? It does switch off and feels normal on switching on or off.


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Old 02-04-2011, 01:14 PM   #17
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If the breaker is suspect, it's probably easier and cheaper to replace it than to test it. They cost less than $20.

Most electricians would not be suspicious of the breaker unless there were heat damage at more than one point in the shore power connection. Had an actual overload, rather than plug and socket problems, caused the damage, it would be present equally throughout the circuit, and burned or melted insulation would be present in the vicinity of the breaker as well as in the vicinity of the plug. If this is the case, all the damaged wiring should be replaced, in addition to the breaker.

Breakers that don't trip are rare (some industry sources estimate an 0.01% failure rate), aside from the notorious asymmetrical trip defect in older Federal-Pacific breakers.

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