Electric Hookup lead warning

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Gromett, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    For years now I have left the EHU lead trailing across the floor without any problems.

    for the last few months I have been parked at my mums to help here out after her hip replacement. Due to the distance from the house I had to make up an extra hookup lead. I did this using standard connectors and arctic cable.

    Just recently the breaker in her house has been going intermittently and I thought it was the lead but couldn't confirm it even with a Mega.

    Anyway to cut a long story short. I eventually stripped down all the connectors and the one next to the house which was sheltered under a step was absolutely full of water and was corroded to hell. This connector was only 4 months old.

    Now I do not know exactly how the water got into it as it is under a step 10 feet in the air so not sitting on the ground and not in direct rain.

    All I can think is the rain/snow water has run down the cable and into the socket. With the freeze defrost cycle it may have damaged it. The other option is for this connector I have used arctic cable which is a bit thinner than the usual orange cable and it may not have formed a perfect seal.

    I was under the impression that these connectors were ok to be left outside no matter what the weather so long as they were not immersed in water.

    Anyway to the point. I would recommend that you check your connectors regularly.

    BTW: My original trade is electrician so I am not a total dummy on these things so If I can be caught out I am sure others without my background may be as well.

    I now put the connectors in a polythene bag and seal it up with gaffer tape.
     
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  2. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I had a similar problem with the EHU/Domestic patch lead when I plugged into an external "normal" three pin socket on the garage. I used the bag/tape method at first then got round it permanently by installing a commando socket so I can plug in direct.
     
  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Good advice Karl..

    As a sparky, I'm sure you are aware of IP ratings... (Ingress Protection)

    but just in case and for others who are not..

    On the plug/socket there is a number starting IP XX

    This tells you what the protection rating is ..

    the most common on outdoor plugs sold is IP 44

    The first number 4 = Protection against solid objects with diameter greater than 1mm
    The Second number 4 = Protection from splashing water

    This type are clearly not 'waterproof' , only splash proof..

    If you want better protection you should buy IP 46 This is the one I always buy ..
    The first number 4 = Protection against solid objects with diameter greater than 1mm
    The second number 6= Protection from heavy seas

    This is much better .. but not suitable for immersion ..

    To get that protection you need to specify

    IP47 or IP48

    see a fuller explanation

    so check your IP rating and don't assume just because it is blue and looks waterproof... that it is ... it may not be ...
     
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  4. aba

    aba

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    if we have to join 2 cables we put the joining plug and socket in a split coke bottle sealed with gaffa tape and have it above the cables so if rain does get on it it runs away from the plugs
     
  5. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I am aware and conversant with IP ratings. However I "assumed" as this connector was designed for outside use it would meet the required IP rating.

    The word "Assumed" covers the full depth of my error :Wink::Rofl1:

    I am not going outside now to unplug and check the IP rating.....

    I knew full well that they were not suitable for full immersion, but did expect them to be able to survive rainfall and snow.

    The two connectors on the other end (on the floor) survived without any problems at all. It was only the one not on the floor that failed badly.
     
  6. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Only if you use an IP67 coke bottle!:thumb:
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    or 'splash out' and buy the fancy one :Wink:

    CCE 4058 Safebox Protector
    Safebox protects external mains plug and socket connections from moisture and water, both during use in winter and whilst overwintering. Tough, rigid casing comes complete with padlock and keys to avoid tampering. (Does not include plugs and cable).

    [​IMG]

    http://www.caravanparts.co.uk/electrics-240v-240v-leads-connectors-c-53_239_199.html?page=2&sort=2a
     
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