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Melted Plug


jwa
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We have a outside electric socket to connect the van to a few days before going away. The van was on charge for three days before leaving,went to disconnect and the plug was tight in the socket finally freed it and saw that it had melted around one of the pins. The fuse had not blown which seems odd,any ideas on this one?

 

John.

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Have had similar in the past when a connection has not been tight enough.

 

Edit. Look like anything leaning towards this inside John?

Not a plug of mine this one.

 

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Edited by Griff

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

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We have a outside electric socket to connect the van to a few days before going away. The van was on charge for three days before leaving,went to disconnect and the plug was tight in the socket finally freed it and saw that it had melted around one of the pins. The fuse had not blown which seems odd,any ideas on this one?

 

John.

What happens is that the flanges inside the socket open up and the plug pin does not make proper contact. This then causes arcing which in turn produces heat causing the distortion. If left unattended could cause a fire.

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It's almost certainly down to a poor connection between the plug pins and the socket contacts, or poor wire connection inside the plug, possibly but not always combined with a high(ish) current being drawn. The solution is to discard the plug-top and fit a new one to the lead, ensuring the connections are secure and then to also replace the wall socket into which the plug was connected as the localised heating will also have weakened the side contacts. Remember too that any connection to a caravan should also be protected by an RCD.

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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We have a outside electric socket to connect the van to a few days before going away. The van was on charge for three days before leaving,went to disconnect and the plug was tight in the socket finally freed it and saw that it had melted around one of the pins. The fuse had not blown which seems odd,any ideas on this one?

John.

Last year I had thirteen amp plug connected to proper outside socket,I went to pull it out and the top came off,exposing live wires inside,all melted,fuse still ok. switched off at mains,had to replace plug and socket.

My belief is,the connections of the plug and socket were perhaps not shiny clean and had a slightly imperfect connection.

Also some plug tops on the market today,although EU approved,are too flimsy and soft and just a little heat destroys under constant high loading.

In my previous lawnmower business,I saw this often on electric mowers, usually 1000 watts. motors.

Very lucky you or I didn't have a fire! I live in wooden chalet!!

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Never re-use an old plug in fact never reuse any plug!

 

Never cut off a plug to re-use, if the appliance is worn out then the plug is too!

 

Always buy the best quality replacement plug you can.

 

If the plug has overheated then the socket has too, so replace both!

 

Finally, the UK square pin system with the clip in fuse is badly outdated and frankly dangerous so a move to the Euro system, when a modern consumer unit is fitted is long overdue,

Edited by Hercules Grytpype_Thynne
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The fuse/mcb will only blow/trip if there is a significant overload. As has been said the most lightly cause is a lose/poor connection causing local heating.

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I would change the plug and the socket as well.

 

Overload would blow the fuse as said above.

 

All the burnt out connectors I've seen ahve been due to either being loose or tarnished/ corroded. .

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Never re-use an old plug in fact never reuse any plug!

 

Never cut off a plug to re-use, if the appliance is worn out then the plug is too!

 

Always buy the best quality replacement plug you can.

 

If the plug has overheated then the socket has too, so replace both!

 

Finally, the UK square pin system with the clip in fuse is badly outdated and frankly dangerous so a move to the Euro system, when a modern consumer unit is fitted is long overdue,

why never reuse a plug? Define old? link to the Euro system you refer to please

 

macafee2

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What did you have connected to the plug?

Mains hookup to the van,power switched on with only the fridge running. Nipped to Brownhills this morning to buy new connector for less than a fiver,for that money its not worth messing about. Thanks as always for all of your advice,the outdoor socket will also be replaced.

 

John.

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At the start of my RAF engineering career nearly 50 years ago I spent many hours checking domestic equipment. In my experience this type of fault was usually caused by either a loose screw securing the live wire to the live pin, or a loose fuse in the fuse holder. However, I have seen a few which were due to severe overloading. Do a Google for 'burnt 13A plug' in images to see how bad they can get!

 

As for the Europlug, if you mean a Type C 2-pin plug, I'd feel safer with one which has an earth and a fuse, like our UK 3-pin plugs.

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I too would like an explanation as to exactly what is so "out dated and dangerous" with the UK 13 amp plug system.

 

Each plug is individually fused, they can ONLY be inserted in one orientation, every plug is earthed, the "live" part of the socket only becomes exposed once the (longer) earth pin is inserted and the live/neutral outlets are exposed by the the earth pin pushing the shields out of the way. The continental system has no "shield" covering live/neutral, no fuse in the plug, plug can be inserted 180 degrees out etc etc.

 

I know which one I consider superior but I am very happy to listen to another view IF it's backed up with verifiable facts.

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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I think the UK 3 pin plug is very safe, if the earth pin of the plug is missing then it will not operate at all.

 

Not keen on "double insulated" euro approved equipment to be honest, like an earth wire for belt and braces. .

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"every plug is earthed,"

 

Class 2(double insulated) plugs aren't earthed. There is no earth wire in a class 2 appliance.

The only reason the UK have fuses in the plugs is because the UK adopted a Final Ring circuit for wiring the house, for cost reasons, plug tops therefore need to be fused to protect the cables they feed from overload current.

One drawback with UK plugs is that the layman can change the fuse for the wrong size and increase the risk of fire if the cable it protects is overloaded.

Fuses aren't there to protect against electrocution.

There is no need to have plugs that can only be inserted one way round on mainland EU, they aren't polarity sensitive as their wiring is double pole switched/protected.

knarf

Edited by KNARF
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"Also some plug tops on the market today,although EU approved,are too flimsy and soft and just a little heat destroys under constant high loading.

 

EU approved is not applicable to UK plugs and sockets,if marked as such they are almost certainly sub standard counterfeit!

knarf

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The uk system is by far the safest to use. To use use a euro system frankly is a stupid idea. They have more fire per month than we do a year. The contact area is much greater than the flimsy euro system. My inlaws are Dutch and they hate it

 

Fuses blow if shorted or are under very high load. Make sure the fuse protecting the appliance is correctly rated. So many people keep a 13amp fuse for things like lights that need 3 or 5 amp fuses

 

Heat build up is either poor connection or very very high load.

 

An rcd won't always trip under load. They are more for shorts or earth faults. You could pull 15+ amps through an rcd and it won't trip. If however you have an earth fault of just 33ma it will drop out even if you have a tiny draw of . 1 amps.

 

Right tool for the right job

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Rather than just buying another outdoor 13a socket, it might be better to get a proper 16amp socket to plug the standard ehu cable into.

If you occasionally use the socket for other purposes, make up a short lead with EHU plug on one end and 13a rubber socket on the other, which is what I use when cutting my grass.

Edited by hp100425ev
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Rather than just buying another outdoor 13a socket, it might be better to get a proper 16amp socket to plug the standard ehu cable into.

If you occasionally use the socket for other purposes, make up a short lead with EHU plug on one end and 13a rubber socket on the other, which is what I use when cutting my grass.

Good idea,where did you get it from?

 

John.

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16a socket from caravan dealer, or mail order from somewhere like CPC or Screwfix.

The short lead is homemade, with 13a trailing socket and 16a EHU plug from CPC or Screwfix.

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