Stow cord to protect from moisture. Extensive corrosion from seawater exposure combined with high heat has taken its toll on this shorepower connector, rendering it useless
instead of nickel, it is time to replace the hardware. Corrosion increases resistance and must be avoided. Corrosion on any part of the shorepower chain of connections must be addressed: the cord ends, the exposed portion of the inlet, and the backside of the inlet where the wires attach.
Finally, the condition of the shorepower cable itself must be monitored. A cord that has been pinched against the dock or severely crimped probably has broken strands. With fewer continuous strands, the wire size has effectively been reduced. Under high loads the cable might overheat and melt without tripping the breaker, which is rated for the original conductivity of the cord. Also, a cable end that has been dropped into salt water runs a higher risk of corrosion. If this happens to you, disconnect both ends and flush the exposed end with fresh water. After it dries, apply a corrosion blocking spray and keep a close eye on the condition.
Given the critical nature of the shorepower connection and the risk of fire, you might be wondering if there isn’t a better way. Most, if not all, of the failures described above can be avoided by following the basic guidelines and visually monitoring the condition of the components. The standard 30- and 50-amp plug design was introduced by Hubbell Marine in the late 1950s and has been in use for more than half a century. The design works well when properly utilized and maintained.
Nonetheless, SmartPlug Systems, based in Seattle, Washington, redesigned the shorepower connection in order to minimize the risks of incorrect usage. By eliminating the traditional twisting requirement, SmartPlug® can utilize flat straight blade connections.
Although spring tension still makes the contact, the contact surface itself exceeds the traditional style by a factor of 20. The physical shape of the connector means that it can only fit one way, eliminating the need to locate and line up the locking tab. Protection from moisture has also been improved and the locking mechanism is simple and leaves no doubt when it is secure. SmartPlug® can also be retrofitted onto existing cords, but you