Why should you check your shore power connections?
As summer heats up, everything on board must work harder; this is reflected in one’s electricity bill. The air conditioner is almost nonstop, the fridge and freezer must work more, the hot water heater is continually working, and the battery charger is going constantly just because we are using the boat more.
All this power for the most part is required to travel down the shore power cable or cables, which is no problem at all for those big wires. The problems occur at the connections due to cables getting knocked around, general wear and tear on the cords being plugged and unplugged and not to mention the horrible (for electrical connections) marine environment. When a shore power connection is dirty it creates resistance which in turn creates heat. Whether the problem is at the pedestal end or the boat end, the shore power cord suffers and typically the plastic melts!
If this condition goes on the plug and socket will weld themselves together as the molten plastic joins the two. This can make it difficult to separate the two when they cool down again and can sometimes lead to dangerous consequences. We won’t go on with a myriad of scenarios to compound this situation but will say to try and be mindful of one’s power consumption on board at any given time.
The shore power cord looks robust, nevertheless, those connections are vulnerable and they should be checked frequently.
To do this:
- Shut off your AC loads and the main breaker on board.
- Then simply unplug the cord and inspect the terminals visually for discoloration.
- CAUTION- Obviously there will be power available at the pedestal socket so we don’t want to do any poking around but don’t be scared to take a look at things, the shore power cable belongs to you and it is ultimately your responsibility.
With prevention being better than cure, if you would like us to check your shore power connections this summer prior to an event or otherwise, just call: