I smell something electrical

Southport NC
Posted by Bill

It has been hot and humid most of the last week here, especially during the day. The sun is very hot. Consequently, we have been running our air conditioners full bore. If you recall from previous posts, we have 2, a larger one and a smaller one. They are set up to service different parts of the boat. We haven’t used the air conditioners very much since we were in heat mode last last fall. When in cooling mode, the moisture in the air condenses on the coils and drips into a collection pan. There is a hose connected to the pan that sucks the water out and pumps it overboard. As we are packing for the beach, we are pulling stuff out of the storage locker below the larger AC unit, and I notice that the hose is not connected to the collection pan….rut row! The storage locker ended up having about 1 1/2 gallons of water in the bottom along with all of the canned goods stored there. So…pull out the several dozen canned goods, wipe them off, wipe out the storage locker and put a fan to dry it out. Did I mention…these lockers are not easy to get to, and oh, we don’t have a lot of room to spread out dozens of canned goods inside the salon, and oh, we need to pack!

After dealing with that surprise (which I am glad we found before leaving the boat for a week), as we are packing, we smell something electrical burning…very much NOT COOL! So now, a mad dash examining everything in the boat…sniffing and searching…nothing. I finally narrowed it down to something in the back of the galley, but couldn’t determine the source. I asked my buddy Matt to see if he smelled it, and together we found the culprit…the shore power connection for the air conditioners. One of the wires (the black one) had melted, destroying the connector in the boat, and the shore power chord.
plug 2
plug 1

Matt dropped me off at the local marine store and thankfully they had a replacement part. It was even on sale! Matt loaned us a shore power chord so we could order one cheaper on the internet (thanks again Matt), and we were back in business. We couldn’t figure out what caused the problem to begin with, and everything ran fine until we were ready to head to the beach, so we dodged a bullet (and a potential fire while we were gone). Several people told us they had similar thing happen and it was a single event, so fingers crossed!!! In spite of the fire drills (no pun intended), we are ready to meet the kids at the beach!

2 thoughts on “I smell something electrical

  1. Jim

    Loose connection in the plug! The amp draw will heat the plug, if plug doesn’t have tight connection on prongs in the female side it will do that to the plug! Close call! Don’t let anyone tramp or lean the cord when connected! The heat will take the spring tension from the clamps inside the female plug! Check the plugs for heat with your hand occasionally to get a feel when the cord is under heavy load! This will give you a indication when it is getting worse!
    This could happen at shore side box too!
    Safe travels


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