Western wideout melted power cable

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
Hey, I am getting my plows ready for the season and while i was testing the plow up and down it started moving slower and slower until it quit. When I looked over the cables I saw the solenoid was hot and the wires were to so followed the battery cables and found the plug was melted on the neg cable side. I assume there was a bad connection where it was plugged in even though i cleaned the plugs out and put elec grease in them so I don't want to replace the cables on both the truck and plow for them to short out again. Maybe moving the ground cable from the frame of truck, directly to the battery will help but i'm just guessing at this point.
 

cwren2472

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
north east
If the bad ground was at the mounting point, it would be hot and burnt there, not at the plug. If there was a bad connection at the plug itself it would cause it to melt there. Either because the pin(s), either side, were corroded or the connection is faulty inside the molded end(s).

If the solenoid was hot, my guess is the solenoid got stuck and stayed running. That would overheat the solenoid and melt the plug.

Incidentally, dielectric grease is good for preventing corrosion, but it does not improve a connection. It does the exact opposite, it actually hinders it. But I doubt the grease was the source of the issue.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Smoke comes out at the weakest point.
The relay was probably just overloaded from the xtra amperage draw.
They make grease just for electrical connections, surprised most do not use it on their trailer and other plug in receptacles.
The most common brand is---

NO-OX-ID "A Special" Conductive Terminal Grease​

 

cwren2472

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
north east
Smoke comes out at the weakest point.
The relay was probably just overloaded from the xtra amperage draw.
They make grease just for electrical connections, surprised most do not use it on their trailer and other plug in receptacles.
Interesting. Never heard of that. How would you use that on an application like a trailer plug or plow multi-pin connector where the pins are adjacent to each other? Wouldn't that grease short them all together? I do see that the mfg page lists the 7 way trailer plug as a recommended application but don't follow how that would work.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Interesting. Never heard of that. How would you use that on an application like a trailer plug or plow multi-pin connector where the pins are adjacent to each other? Wouldn't that grease short them all together? I do see that the mfg page lists the 7 way trailer plug as a recommended application but don't follow how that would work.
It is conductive.
 

Hydromaster

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
406
NO-OX-ID electrical contact lubricant (electrical contact grease) is an electrically conductive grease that keeps metals free from rust and corrosion.

7, 7+pins

TRUCK, AUTOMOTIVE, AND MARINE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM MAINTENANCE​

  • Apply a thin coat of this electrically conductive grease to mini-lamp bases before inserting into sockets.
  • Apply to base of lamp socket and lens contact area.
  • Apply to all electrical conduit connections by packing the end of the tubing and nut before connecting to box connection.
  • Apply to all wire terminal connections and wire splice connections. Dip the spade or ring into the NO-OX-ID.
  • Apply to all electrical junction box connections or terminal posts in light system, starter cable connections, alternator terminal connections, battery posts connectors and ground connections.
  • *****Apply a thin coat of this electrically conductive lubricant to 7-way trailer plug connections and VW cable connector.******
  • Use NO-OX-ID A-Special as a battery terminal grease to prevent battery corrosion for your car battery maintenance and marine battery maintenance. For battery connections coat the post, screw, clamp, and terminal liberally with NO-OX-ID. A little NO-OX-ID goes a long way!


No-ox-I’d has been used in the power industry for over 65 years to prevent corrosion in electrical connectors from low micro-power electronics to high voltage switchgear.

 

Hydromaster

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
406
The word dielectric is assumed to mean the connection will have future problems because "dielectrics" are insulators.

The primary difference between dielectric greases and "conductive" greases is that "conductive" greases and anti-seize greases include some amount of finely-powdered metal. The finely powdered metal is suspended by insulating grease, so it does not conduct. The suspended metal powder does lower the voltage breakdown of any arc paths through the grease.

Tests show anti-seize and other metal-loaded "conductive greases" reduce high voltage breakdown voltages of air paths or surface path resistances of insulators significantly. Fingerprints on, or worse yet slathering of "conductive grease" on insulators or insulation, seriously degrades high voltage hold off.

bottom line
The working theory of "conductive" grease is when pressure is applied, the grease squeezes out of the way. This leaves a fine metal powder that theoretically pierces oxides or fills voids.
 
Last edited:

cwren2472

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
north east
  • *****Apply a thin coat of this electrically conductive lubricant to 7-way trailer plug connections and VW cable connector.******
I notice the many asterisks in that sentence.

Does that mean that the average consumer (who thinks a little dielectric grease will make his connection good and a lot will make it great) are expected to know that they need to apply it with a Q-tip to the plug connection? 'Cuz I totally see that as happening.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
I notice the many asterisks in that sentence.

Does that mean that the average consumer (who thinks a little dielectric grease will make his connection good and a lot will make it great) are expected to know that they need to apply it with a Q-tip to the plug connection? 'Cuz I totally see that as happening.
It is not that critical. Probably stated that way for industries, because it is expensive. Usualy applied with those disposable acid brushes. You can even gob it around your battery connections, to stop corrosion.
 
OP
M

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
If the bad ground was at the mounting point, it would be hot and burnt there, not at the plug. If there was a bad connection at the plug itself it would cause it to melt there. Either because the pin(s), either side, were corroded or the connection is faulty inside the molded end(s).

If the solenoid was hot, my guess is the solenoid got stuck and stayed running. That would overheat the solenoid and melt the plug.

Incidentally, dielectric grease is good for preventing corrosion, but it does not improve a connection. It does the exact opposite, it actually hinders it. But I doubt the grease was the source of the issue.
So probably I over greased the plug and it wasn't making a good connection so it heated up and melted the ruber. And then me pushing the plow up and down made the solenoid overheat and quit.
 

Hydromaster

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
406
So probably I over greased the plug and it wasn't making a good connection so it heated up and melted the ruber. And then me pushing the plow up and down made the solenoid overheat and quit.

No,
A Open circuit would not have caused anything to heat up,

a load, yes
 
OP
M

MarshallTT

Junior Member
Location
Minnesota
So probably I over greased the plug and it wasn't making a good connection so it heated up and melted the ruber. And then me pushing the plow up and down made the solenoid overheat and quit.

No,
A Open circuit would not have caused anything to heat up,

a load, yes
If it cant handle a load does that mean my pump motor is going out? I have a parts plow in the yard so maybe swapping the pumps out.
 

Mountain Bob

Senior Member
Most common causes of bad connections in "plug in's"
Wire to terminal corrosion,or partially broken
Corrosion on the terminals. Just because you do not see it does not mean it is not there
The terminals were "spread" and loose, therefore not making good connection,or only connected part time
 

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