Keep the Energy Flowing

July 2019 News

Onboard 16, 30, 32 and 50 amp shore power systems require periodic maintenance to ensure reliable and safe operation. Too important to overlook, SmartPlug Systems, the pioneer in next-generation shore power technology, recommends simple practices to keep components functioning at peak performance and the current flowing.

Whenever inspecting shore power equipment, safety is paramount. Switch off the shore power at the pedestal, then switch off the main circuit breaker on the electric panel.

First, look for any yellow or brownish discoloration at the connections. This indicates overheating has occurred and is common with older, twist-type inlets and plugs.

Overheating is when the metal-to-metal contact has been compromised due to corrosion and/or arcing. Causes are many, including heavy loads like air conditioners, electric space heaters and generators, and water intrusion. A serious fire hazard, damaged equipment should be replaced immediately.

Next, check the plug's metal blades. They should be solidly attached and clean. Loose, bent, broken or discolored parts indicate a potential problem. The part or entire component should be replaced.

The SmartPlug was developed to overcome these safety issues. It uses a unique pin and clip design that pushes straight in, so there's little chance of damaging equipment. It also provides more than 20 times the metal-to-metal contact for maximum flow of electricity and a dramatically reduced chance of overheating.

The cord should be inspected for cuts and abrasions. If there is damage and it's close to one end, it can be cut off and the plug reinstalled. If it's near the center, the cord needs to be replaced. Patching with electrical tape, even temporarily, is a dangerous liability and should be avoided at all costs.

If the plug looks okay, smear a dab of dielectric grease on the metal elements. Silicone-based, it repels moisture and protects against corrosion.

The SmartPlug system replaces outdated and troublesome twist-style shore power connections. It's available in 30A and 50A versions, and matches industry standard hole patterns, so it's easily installed. Current SmartPlug users can upgrade to the latest technology with Parts Kits that include a Female Connector Service Kit, Gasket Service Kit and a Male Inlet Connector Service Kit.

Contact SmartPlug Systems, 2500 Westlake Ave N., Ste. G, Seattle, WA 98109-2262. 206-285-2990; Fax: 206-285-2981.

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