Shore power fire near miss

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
We went for a short overnight on Friday and when I disconnected the shore power I found this. I installed a smart plug on my last boat and now have one on order. Good reminder, again, to not take anything for granted. My surveyor even checked this last year when we purchased the boat. My guess is the heat gun i've ben using for wiring and paint removal put the system to the test and it failed.
 

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trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
I don't have a picture of the socket. It's not as bad, but still needs to go. I'm going to replace the whole thing and add a galvanic isolator while I'm at it. I knew it needed to happen. I just thought I had some more time. This quickly moved it to the top of the to-do-list
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
I'm not sure why I thought this would be an easy fix. I went down to the boat today to install the smartplug and realized the main 10/3 from the outlet to the panel is damaged and can't be used.
 

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trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
I think corrosion caused high resistance which caused the heat. I was running the heat gun off of a 15 amp receptacle circuit and the 15 amp breaker only tripped when I forgot to turn my heater off (fed with the same circuit), so the load was never even close to the 30 amp the receptacle is rated for.
 

nquigley

Sustaining Member
I think corrosion caused high resistance which caused the heat. I was running the heat gun off of a 15 amp receptacle circuit and the 15 amp breaker only tripped when I forgot to turn my heater off (fed with the same circuit), so the load was never even close to the 30 amp the receptacle is rated for.
I had the same overload issue this winter ... I could run the heat gun, OR the cabin heater ... not both!
 

gabriel

Member III
I think corrosion caused high resistance which caused the heat. I was running the heat gun off of a 15 amp receptacle circuit and the 15 amp breaker only tripped when I forgot to turn my heater off (fed with the same circuit), so the load was never even close to the 30 amp the receptacle is rated for.
I’m glad nothing caught fire!

My boat had a very similarly problem when I bought it so I ended up removing everything A/C. As I don’t have need for shore power I don’t think I’ll reinstall it other than a small inverter and charger if needed.

Maybe run an extension cord directly into the boat next time? ;)

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bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Scary! Glad nothing bad happened. Maine Sail has an excellent article on this issue. The smart plug is great on the boat side but the janky old standard shore power outlet box seems to be the weak link at my marina.


 
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