Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or dipping your toes into marine adventures, one thing is clear: maintaining your equipment is key to smooth sailing. One often overlooked aspect of boat maintenance is cleaning marine shore power cords.
These essential lifelines carry electricity to your vessel, and neglecting them can lead to electrical issues, corrosion, and even safety hazards. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and learn how to keep those cords shipshape. Materials you’ll need include:
- Warm Soapy Water
- Soft Bristle Brush
- Clean Cloth or Sponge
- Corrosion Inhibitor Spray
- Rubber Gloves
Steps to Clean Marine Shore Power Cords
Always, always, always disconnect the power source before handling the cord. Shore power safety is non-negotiable. Examine the cord for any visible damage, like fraying wires or exposed conductors. If you find any, it’s best to replace the cord altogether. Mix warm water with a mild detergent. Dip your soft bristle brush into the soapy water and gently scrub the cord’s outer sheath. This will remove dirt, grime, and salt residue.
Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe off the soapy residue. Make sure the cord is completely dry before reconnecting it to the power source. To protect your cord from corrosion, consider using a corrosion inhibitor spray. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When not in use, coil your cord neatly and store it in a dry, cool place. Avoid sharp bends or kinks, as these can damage the internal wiring.
Why Cleaning Power Cords Matters
Now that we’ve discussed the how, let’s move on to the why. Cleaning your maritime shore power lines is important for both safety and lifespan. With clean cords, you’ll lessen the possibility of electrical problems and short circuits, both of which can be dangerous onboard.
A well-maintained cord ensures that your boat’s systems receive steady power, eliminating unexpected outages. And remember, regular cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your power cords, saving you money over time.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Marine Power Cords
- Abrasive cleaners from hardware stores can be too abrasive and damage the insulation of the cord. To avoid unnecessary wear and tear, avoid them.
- It’s better to avoid chemical cleaners, especially if they aren’t specifically for marine use.
- When working with chemicals such as acetone, use industrial-grade rubber gloves to protect your hands. Disposable gloves may not provide sufficient protection.
- Leaving the cord’s surface dry and dull after cleaning can expose it to pollutants. To keep the cord’s integrity and look, apply a protective wax or coating.
Maintaining Shore Power Cords for Smooth Sailing
We hope you’ve enjoyed our quick guide to keeping your marine shore power cords in tip-top condition. It may seem like a small task, but it’s these little things that add up to a safe, enjoyable boating experience. Remember, safety always comes first!