When purchasing marine electrical cables, safety is the number one concern. When purchasing a cordset
, look for the term heavy-duty and that the cord is stamped with SJTOW, which is an industry standard marking indicating that the cable is rated for 300V, is oil resistant, and weather resistant. Marinco
shorepower cords do have this marking, which means the cord will stand-up to harsh marine environments. Another safety issue to consider is the connector. Smartplug
powercord connectors are unqiue in that they have over 20 times the standard contact area than standard twist type connectors. This reduces the chances of overheating and fire on your boat or RV. Marinco and SmartPlug powercords typically have an LED light on the female end so that you can tell if there is power running through the electrical cord. Marinco and Smartplug have another safety feature which is a slide lock at the end of their marine shorepower cables that locks extension cables together rather than twisting cables which can lead to hazardous conditions when the cables are bent tightly.
Marine Power Outlets
Marine power outlets should be waterproof with connectors that either snap, twist or screw in place. Smartplug leads the industry in safety when it comes to marine power outlets
for boats. Smartplug's outlet plugs provide an increased connector pin area which reduces the heat build-up and fire potential. In the old twist type connectors, the pins were responsible for holding in the cord and bearing any stress on the plug which would increase friction in the powercord plug. Smartplug's design uses the body of the connector to hold the cord in place, reducing stress and heat on the pin.
While saftey is the number one concern when working with electricity and water, Maintenance and warranty issues are also a consideration. SmartPlug produtcs are made in the USA with a 7 year warranty. Marinco products typically have a 5 year warranty. Always turn the breaker off at the dock pedestal before unplugging which will prevent arching. Arcing creates carbon buildup, which can cause overheating. When plugging electrical cables in at the boat end, make sure to twist the plug after inserting it in the receptacle, and use the locking ring (if you don't have a Smartplug or Marinco EEL plug). Lastly, make sure you frequently inspect all shore cables and outlets for abrasions, burns or other issues that might cause shock or fire.