Why Your 30 Amp RV Power Inlet May Be Melting / Acting Up

Has your RV’s inlet been acting weird? Not getting power from the Inlet, or worse yet, melting the plastic on the unit itself?

When your RV’s inlet starts to act up, it’s a good reason to stop and take a look at the problem. If left untreated, the inlet could start your RV on fire, and then where will you stay at Yellowstone Park?

Why an inlet may get hot…

30A-rv-inlet-gets-hot-what-to-do

These 30A RV inlets are a little different from the standard outlets you plug in at home. As many of you have noticed, the Male side is inside of the housing rather than the female and is a turn to lock (otherwise known as twist lock) style as well. Generally when your RV’s inlet is hot, you face a few possibilities:

  1. The power cord is not locked / attached properly
  2. The cord you have is damaged.
  3. The inlet is wired incorrectly or is shorting out.

Here’s a few explanations for these problems…

1. The power cord is not locked / attached correctly

How to properly lock your 30A 50A shore power cord into your RV inlet system. Conntek

The turn to lock style RV power cords can be very difficult to plug in at times. It requires that you push the connector into the inlet and turn the cord clockwise until is snaps in place. Sometimes people like me (bless my soul) might plug it in, but not lock it, or incorrectly lock the cord. Simply plugging it in and screwing on the sealing ring won’t do the trick either.

This can cause electrical arcing from the connections of the cord and inlet and will melt the cord and the inlet if this happens. Sometimes you can see the arcing by looking at the prongs of the power cord (they will be pitted / corroded / burned).

Make sure to double check that your cord is properly connected and locked into place every time you plug it in. If you notice the cable getting very hot, it may not be inserted and locked all the way.

2. The power cord is damaged

02212014WP

Sometimes the cord itself may be damaged or incorrectly manufactured. When the cord is molded, the insides of the connector may not have been connected properly, or the mold blocked the path where electricity should travel and may not insert correctly. Generally when this happens you will not receive power to your RV, or you will feel the cord get hot. Heat = Bad!

When this happens, you should immediately get a new cord. (You can also test an RV cord’s continuity to see if the path of electricity is broken). The good thing is many manufacturers provide excellent warranties for just such occasions, and a simple phone call can get you a replacement fast!

3. The inlet is wired incorrectly

02212014WP2

There is a chance that the installed inlet has a broken wire, or was improperly wired to begin with. Most systems would detect this problem and trip a breaker, but we have seen extreme cases where shorting occurred and caused a smelly, melted inlet. Yuck!

Take that bad boy off and get rid of it. It’s time to buy a brand new 30A detachable inlet.

What you can do to prevent this from happening

Small things like: turning off the breakers at both the RV and pedestal before plugging in, or using a portable voltage tester can save you money if a disaster were to occur. Take time to inspect your cords before use, and double check that it is fully pushed in and locked into the inlet. It’s also a smart move to make sure you’re buying quality electrical parts that are UL – C-UL listed. Although some cords such as adapters may not be eligible for UL listing.

You may also want to consider upgrading your inlet system to a safer and easier option which is proven to outperform standard locking RV inlets. We offer a Straight Blade Inlet System for RVs that utilizes straight blade parts found on typical 30A RV cords. This new system reduces electrical arcing, manufacturing defects, and installation steps.

You can read more about this combo here.


Conntek LogoInterested in the Straight Blade Inlet System? Send us an inquiry or call us Toll-free at: 1-877-267-3788 and we can help you get a quote, or find a retailer!

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Posted in FAQ, RV
2 comments on “Why Your 30 Amp RV Power Inlet May Be Melting / Acting Up
  1. Anonymous says:

    I just love this company

  2. Dave M says:

    there is one more very common issue that causes the cord to heat up and melt, specially dealing with 30 amp service. Over drawing 110 vac thru your cord. in other words with a 30 amp service, running your ac, water heater, and or other 110 vac all together, creating a low voltage to your RV. creating heat at your shur power plug

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