Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

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Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Paulmold on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:02 am

Just a sombre reminder not to leave your hook-up cable coiled up when connected...

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Re: Hook -up cables.

Post by whisky on Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:44 pm

Hi Paul.

Good warning that. Paves the way for cutting the 25 metre down to a 10 &15 metre cable. So much handier.

Cheers. Whisky. champagne

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by plattypus on Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:03 pm

That is so tragic Paul.
I've always uncoiled ours as others have always said it could overheat, but that's the first time I've seen a result of this. Glad you posted the picture.
Roger
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by deckie on Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:03 pm

Hi Paul,

Made my blood run cold, reading that, so sad !!

Over the years I as i'm sure you have all seen people with coiled up leads and often want to explain why they shouldn't, but are afraid of being called a busy body !!

Perhaps carrying a copy of that News cutting would help !!

Brian






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Re: Hook up cables

Post by eatona on Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:10 pm

Hi Paul - What a dreadful thing to have happened. We often worry about our super long hook up cable as it coils itself up due to repeated storage and use when we are away. Seeing that has made up our minds to get two shorter cables instead. Has anyone got any ideas about the best way to roll them to stop the coiling and kinking?
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Paulmold on Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:30 pm

I think one way to stop them coiling is to not make the hoops too tight. When on site I lay my cable in long lengths up and down the side of the van and then take enough at the end to reach the socket. When putting away I hold the plug then make loops approx 14/15 inches diameter making sure they don't twist and then I store it quite loosely in a large carrier bag. I don't use a reel as I think this makes too tight a coil.
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Re: Hook up cables

Post by eatona on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:21 pm

Hi Paul
That sounds like a better idea - laying along the van and then storing in carrier bags. We don't have the room for reels but I think our initial problem was one of turning the loops too small and not taking note of any twists. These in turn developed over time into kinks which go white on the orang plastic and won't straighten out properly.
Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by CC on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:39 pm

Bit of a shocker that pic especially when you see the 2 guys in that photo, just ordered myself a shorter 10m lead as our 25m lead is way too long and will from now on just stay in the locker for those very rare occasions when it's needed in future! These kind of stories really bring home the importance of safety and proves you can never be too cautious!

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Tony F on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:02 pm

Shocking stuff that - it's shocked me into reviewing how I use our 25m lead. I like the idea of splitting it into 10m and 15m lengths, but in the event of then having to join them, I assume just using the blue socket and plug is not the best (safest) way to do so, especially if the ground's wet. Does anyone know if there is an alternative interface that would be both waterproof but still enable both leads to be used independently.

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by CC on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:14 pm

Tony you want something like this here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Tony F on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:49 pm

CruizingComet wrote:Tony you want something like this here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Cheers CC allthumbz

Now all I need is someone to tell me these aren't waterproof, or are banned, or too small to fit the connectors... I'm guessing they're intended for use on building sites and such so should be OK.

To be fair, I've never really had a problem with 25m, but it is a pain to coil without twisting (I've got the knack now!) and it has been sworn at more than once...

Tony


Last edited by Tony F on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammar!!)
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by CC on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:03 am

They should fit fine as I understand they are extra large, and they are weatherproof... Go-Outdoors do a similar one but it's not showing on their website but I've seen them for sale there, quite a few people use these for joining hook up leads together, it's been discussed on the forum in the past but cant find it as posts frequently end up getting buried on here smile!



Edit: here is the thread, just found it

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If you scroll down to post no 12 by Alf you will see external & internal photos of cover available from Go Outdoors

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by boxerman on Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:35 am

I have a 25mtr lead cut into 10 & 15 mtr lengths with a plug and socket on each.
On the occasions that I've used them connected together (not very often) I don't bother covering the connection and have never experienced any problems. I don't have water ingress problems with the connection to the hook-up post or to the van in the rain, so why should the one connecting the two cables be any different?

Frank
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Paulmold on Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:53 am

I think it unlikely you would have water ingress at the hook-up post as they tend to slope downwards so any water would run off and with the cable plug 'inside' the post socket, water would not enter the plug. At the van end there is normally the flap from the socket covering it so again water could not get inside the connection but on the ground? What happens in a heavy downpour, the water could puddle and your plug and socket could be lying in a pool of water. It's for those occasions that you need a cover such as this one.....

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by boxerman on Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:00 am

"Could" is the operative word Paul, it's never happened yet and I doubt if it ever would, at worst, it would trip the circuit breaker on the post.
I do try to ensure that the "joint" is on higher ground but I don't cover it and have never had any problems, even in downpours.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] doesn't look to have any proper seals anyway, you'd be better off wrapping it in cling film. smile!
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Robbie on Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:07 am

Water ingress is not the main issue its people leaving cables on coils, When left on the roll the cable in effect becomes an inductor ie an electric fire is an inductor. This causes the cable to over heat, the higher the cable temperature gets the more inductance hence even more heat.
An electric fire does not trip until it draws to much think_smiley_46 , but it still heats up. I have seen a few EHU that i would not like to overly trust safety wise :(
Short lead or just leave the slack in long runs up and down the camper length and tucked under so nobody trips :).
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Paulmold on Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:26 pm

I agree entirely and thats exactly what I said in this post above


Paulmold wrote: When on site I lay my cable in long lengths up and down the side of the van and then take enough at the end to reach the socket.

The water ingress issue was only raised following members concerns at having to join two shorter lengths when not close enough to a hook-up post.
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by deckie on Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:45 pm

[quote="Paulmold"]I agree entirely and thats exactly what I said in this post above


Paulmold wrote: When on site I lay my cable in long lengths up and down the side of the van and then take enough at the end to reach the socket.

That's how we do it Paul & Robbie allthumbz

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Warning - Electric Hook Up Cables

Post by immobilejim on Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:49 pm

I would suggest that the original article merits being put in the 'Important & Sticky' category by Admin !
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Dutto on Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:27 pm

Hi there,

Before everyone goes hacking up their cables into shorter and shorter lengths could I just put in a slightly different perspective?

For a start let me tell you all that I nearly strangled the "busybody" that decided to sling my cable all over the campsite I was on back in August on the basis that "it is coiled and could overheat!"

In this case "Wrong!" It would not overheat because for a coil of electric cable to reach a temperature sufficiently high to cause deterioration to the insulation there are a number of factors to consider.

1). The diameter and purity of the copper wire itself. I have seen brand-new cables that are so flimsy in design that they would be barely capable of carrying a 13 amp load. In my case the cable is top quality, weighs a ton and has been tested to ensure that there is no damage. However, modern cables are getting thinner and lighter as raw material prices soar and manufacturers try to maximise profits. The cables pass the relevant tests (just) although in some cases counterfeit cables have been discovered and these can be lethal - coiled or uncoiled!

2). The load (in amperes) that the cable is carrying. In the instance I mentioned above there was, at most, a 2 amp load on the cable as all the current was doing was charging my battery and running the fridge. The maximum load I can possibly pull with everything switched on is somewhere around 4 amps (as demonstrated numerous times by being hooked up to 4amp supplies with no problems).

3). The "tightness" of the coils and the ability (or otherwise) for air to circulate and thereby dissipate any heat generated. In my case the cable is loosely coiled with one metre of cable per coil. (I know this because I have been coiling rope on almost a daily basis for over 50 years!) This, laid on the ground will dissipate heat quite adequately for the needs of the cable. Whereas, a lightweight cable wound tightly onto a reel with a "coil depth" of four or five turns of cable will dissipate almost no heat!

4). Ambient conditions. The warmer it is the more chance there is of a cable overheating. The good news here is that on warm nights people seldom stick on the three-bar electric fire!

5). Finally, the condition of the equipment being powered by the cable and the condition of the connections. If a bit of kit starts to malfunction there is every possibility that an increase in current load will, if it doesn't overheat itself or trip the supply, overheat the cable.

With regard to the connections themselves, EVERY additional connection adds an additional risk of overheating at the connector itself.

I refer you to my first sentence - and I will stick with my loosely coiled heavy duty cable running at less than 5 amps. Please don't interfere and scatter it over the park.

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by janet withers on Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:19 am

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, it's a valuable lesson to us all read

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by ki on Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:34 am

Voltage drop in the cable causes the heat build up when larger currents are drawn from the supply.

Shorter, thick cable should be used to minimise this problem.

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by Tony F on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:24 pm

Thanks all for your contributions to this discussion.

I have no argument at all with what Dutto has to say; in fact what he describes accurately reflects my own practice with my own (very heavy) EHU cable. My main concern is with the length of the 25m cable and the associated problems of handling it, and it's for this reason that I'm considering "hacking" it up. I just wanted to know if the resulting cable connection - should it be necessary - could be made safer (not "safe"), and it seems it can. Personally I don't like the idea of leaving a live connection lying on the ground when it's wet, and I'll probably invest on one those boxes for two reasons; to minimise exposure to water and to warn others that there's something here big enough to warrant stepping carefully. Make that three reasons: peace of mind. No, four reasons: ease of handling of a shorter cable.

Cheers

Tony


Last edited by Tony F on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:25 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling!!)
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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by CC on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:48 pm

Think Dutto has a point about cutting cables up...

Surely it's better to do as I have done and just purchase a 10m lead, then just keep your 25m lead for those "Rare Occasions" where you may need it shrugg
From my experience a 10m lead is adequate for the majority of sites we have stayed on, otherwise just use the longer lead!

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

Post by boxerman on Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:09 pm

CruizingComet wrote:Think Dutto has a point about cutting cables up...

Surely it's better to do as I have done and just purchase a 10m lead, then just keep your 25m lead for those "Rare Occasions" where you may need it shrugg
From my experience a 10m lead is adequate for the majority of sites we have stayed on, otherwise just use the longer lead!

You're a fickle lot on this forum! smile! On the one hand people are removing bits of their vans and leaving them in the attic to save weight and on the other folk are wanting to carry extra items that they will only use occasionally confused3
My 10mtr cable is kept in the cassette locker as, like you say, it is the one used 90% of the time. The remaining 15 mtrs is stowed away elsewhere as it is not used very frequently, but slightly more frequently than having both parts together (which is not very often at all).

Frank

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Re: Warning: Electric Hook-Up Cables

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