Tips Keep Shore Power Cords Ship Shape
By Bill DrakeBoaters depend on shore power cords to provide AC electricity on board. But the harsh marine environment can wreak havoc on even top-quality wiring devices, increasing the likelihood of shock or fire. Maintenance is crucial in ensuring a safe, dependable connection.
Marinco has more than 25 years of experience producing shore power equipment. The following electrical connection tips can help make boating more fun, and safe.
The nemesis of marine electrical equipment is corrosion from saltwater exposure. If a power cord is dropped in saltwater, shut off the power immediately. Wash the cord thoroughly with freshwater and let it dry for several days. Spray all contacts with electrical contact cleaner to remove any remaining moisture.
Rainwater and freshwater splashing also frequently cause corrosion. Combat this by using marine-grade products, which provide moisture protection for electrical equipment. Sealing collar systems lock out moisture at the connection point between an adapter and the cord set. Vinyl covers protect plugs and connectors.
Bad electrical connections can present problems in the form of loose terminations, wire or terminal corrosion and incorrect wire stripping. A single sign- overheating- identifies electrical problems. Check male and female connections on shore power cords, boat inlets and dockside receptacles regularly for melting or discoloration.
Immediately replace any wiring device that shows signs of overheating. Slice a new plug into the cord set, and install a new inlet or receptacle.
Also examine wire for signs of corrosion or oxidation. If it does not have a bright copper color, or silver color for tinned wire, clean or replace it. A good electrical connection is impossible with an oxidized or corroded wire.
These tips should extend the life of shore power cords and arm the boater with the knowledge to handle small problems before they become major ones. A booklet titled "Boaters Guide to AC Electrical Systems," published by Marinco, also is extremely helpful.
If you have questions regarding shore power cords or marine AC systems please call Marinco at 800-307-6702.
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All contents are copyright (c) 1998 by Northern Breezes, Inc. All information contained within is deemed reliable but carries no guarantees. Reproduction of any part or whole of this publication in any form by mechanical or electronic means, including information retrieval is prohibited except by consent of the publisher.