Your Toilet Macerator Manufacturers Discuss the Importance of Good Shorepower Cord Upkeep
Raritan Engineering your toilet macerator professionals would like to share with you this week some great information regarding AC shorepower cord maintenance tips.
One of the often overlooked maintenance items in the pre-season rush to the water is the AC shorepower system. Accredited surveyor and PS Contributor Capt. Frank Lanier sent a few scary photos from past surveys showing the common examples of neglect he has encountered.
Barring improper use or some owner fabricated MacGyverism gone bad (jury-rigged adapters, botched plug installations, etc.) overheating and corrosion are the primary causes of AC shore power cord problems. Charred plugs and receptacles are the most common and are a result of resistance build up due to loose or corroded connections, which in turn generate heat and the potential for fire. The problem is especially prevalent among boats that continually run high energy loads such as water heaters and air conditioning units.
Basic inspections of your AC shore power system are easily accomplished and are well within the ability of any boater. The first step is securing all AC power to avoid accidental shock hazards. Turn off your boat’s main AC breaker, then the shore pedestal breaker. Next unplug the shore power cord and verify that all other sources of power (such as power on-demand generators and DC to AC inverters) are turned off and their respective breakers secured in the off position.
Start your inspection with the shore power cord itself, ensuring it’s constructed of proper marine grade components, uses appropriately sized wiring, and is the shortest cord that will get the job done. Always replace cords that show signs of chafe, cracks, split insulation, or those having electrical tape repairs.
Your Toilet Macerator Experts Share Great Maintenance Tips With You
Your toilet macerator professionals continue discussing industry standards call for shore cords to have molded-on plugs with sealing flanges or appropriate weatherproof boots. The plugs themselves should be checked each time you disconnect shore power (prior to getting underway for example) or monthly at a minimum, particularly for discoloration or corrosion on or around pins and plug inlets.
By the time discoloration is visible at the front of a plug or inlet, you’ll typically find that the damage is greater upon opening up the back for inspection. If left uncorrected, the damage will snowball (due to increasing resistance and heat buildup) until it burns a hole through the face of the plug, possibly leading to a fire.
When inspecting your shore power cord it’s also crucial to check the dock pedestal outlet and your boat’s inlet receptacle, ensuring both are corrosion free and undamaged. Upon finding a charred power cord plug, many owners simply replace it or the cord itself, only to find the new one also damaged a short time later due to a burned dock receptacle or inlet.
Another good practice is checking the “feel” of the connection when plugging in. Those that feel loose or don’t seem to be making firm mechanical contact likely won’t provide good electrical contact either. Avoid using worn or damaged pedestal plugs and report them to marina personal as soon as possible.
Practical Sailor has looked at a variety of “smart plugs” that warn owners of impending problems. These include the SmartPlug, which watches for shorts, and Raritan’s reverse polarity alarm.
Boat Maintenance Tips
1. Manage Your Gelcoat with the Right Materials
The gelcoat on your boat needs proper maintenance to continue to protect it – yes, gelcoats are strong, but the wrong cleaners can dissolve them or stain them, so pick the right boat cleaners and use them regularly.
2. Wipe Off Moisture – Any Moisture
Always keep a couple towels around, and wipe off your watercraft when it is wet. We don’t mean just when you pull out of the water, either – although drying after use is an important part of preventing waterline stains. But all types of moisture are bad for your boat if they linger.
3. Know Your Oil Schedule
Be aware of the specific oil requirements for your boat, which vary based on the model and type of engine. Change your oil whenever required. The easiest way is to take your boat to a certified dealer and have them change your oil.
4. Always Check the Engine Before an Outing
A boat engine requires careful maintenance, especially before you take your boat out for an excursion. Every time you use your boat, run through a checklist so that your engine is ready for the journey. Check the bilge and hoses for any sign of leaks, check the fuel level and never go out without plenty of fuel, and check the water coolant level if necessary.
5. Dewax Before Applying a New Wax Coat
A new wax coat is a common pre-season step to getting your boat ready for the waves. However, you can improve the efficiency of the wax coat by dewaxing beforehand. Dewaxing solvents are readily available and easy to use, and your new wax coat will go on more smoothly afterward.
So don’t forget these helpful tips regarding AC shorepower cord maintenance. 1) Botched plug installations, overheating and corrosion are the primary causes of AC shore power cord problems; 2) Charred plugs and receptacles are the most common and are a result of resistance build up due to loose or corroded connections; and 3) another good practice is checking the “feel” of the connection when plugging in.