Car Mechanics (UK) - - Your Letters -

With ref­er­ence to reader Bill Ni­chol­son’s com­ments about trailer sock­ets (‘Socket to Us’, Your Let­ters, Novem­ber 2018), th­ese can be a prob­lem on car­a­vans where a re­frig­er­a­tor is fit­ted. Both the fridge feed and the earth pins can carry heavy cur­rents and must be kept clean and tight. What is not of­ten re­alised is that the con­nec­tions on the rear of the pins/sock­ets must also be tight.

This has been high­lighted in do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tions where a smart me­ter is fit­ted and the screws have not been cor­rectly tight­ened onto flex­i­ble cable. The cable can soften and ‘creep’ un­der heavy cur­rents, re­sult­ing in a poor joint that will then de­grade fur­ther due to heat.

The so­lu­tion is to crimp a fer­rule onto the end of the lead and fit this into the con­nec­tor. This is not al­ways pos­si­ble in the re­stricted space of 12N and 12S con­nec­tors, so a pin or blade crimp should be used.

Th­ese must be set on the wire us­ing pres­sure-re­lease or ratchet crimp­ing tools – plier-type tools won’t do the job. As was sug­gested by Mr Ni­chol­son, a lib­eral coat­ing of Wax­oyl or sim­i­lar should be ap­plied to both the front and back of the con­nec­tor. Ed Din­ning

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