caravan power leads

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:34
ThreadID: 65885 Views:2450 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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Can anyone tell me, with confidence, why a 15m x 15amp power lead has wrinkles (or wriggles) in it about every 15cm? It's about 12 years old , has been used annually and doesn't appear to have any obvious problems. I have had several possible explanations but they have been countered by just as many opposite opiniions.
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:46

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:46
As an electrician I can tell you that those "wrinkles" are the wires (inside the outer sheath) that are twisting. Depending on the manufacturer, and how the outer sheath was formed, how often the cable is rolled up etc. will determine how soon, and how and when those wrinkles are formed. Like everything else, including us, nothing lasts forever.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:56

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:56
How it is rolled up can cause this problem. It should not be rolled up around the hand and elbow. It should be looped on one hand and the twist taken out as it is coiled.
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Follow Up By: discovery099 - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:17

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:17
Absolutely correct Rod.

It is the quickest way to destroy any cable. Eventually the wires will break out of the plug and render the cable useless and even dangerous if high voltage is required.

Any cable will last years if the correct coiling procedure is used.
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:35

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:35
Hi
Not only the way it is rolled important , the way it is unrolled is equally important.Treat it the same as a garden hose never force it to wind up/unwind against its natural curve.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 16:30

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 16:30
The biggest problem causing this is not so much rolling it up around the the hand and the elbow but by not removing BOTH ends from their mating plugs and sockets. We noted this effect with cleaners, they used to roll the cord around the barrel of their back pack vacuum cleaners. Those who rolled the cord up without disconnecting the plug from the wall had badly cork screw twisted cables. Those who unplugged first were OK (they were the ones who did not get electroplated.) There were written directions from the Dept of Supply to all their cleaning contractors to instruct their cleaners in the proper care in rolling up their power cords.

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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 16:47

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 16:47
Take the others word for it Peter - it IS the way you roll up the lead (winding from wrist to elbow) !
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Follow Up By: Member - Hughesy (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 19:51

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 19:51
Kiwi Kia - I think what Peter is getting at is that if you have the lead out straight with the far end unplugged and roll up over wrist and elbow the cable untwists its self as you roll....meaning no damage (effectively the same as rolling it onto a reel).

Same theory applies for garden hoses, steel cable, rope etc etc.
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:19

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:19
Gday,
Like others have said....generally its because of the way it has been wound up.
In saying that...I have two leads the same length, bought at the same time, of different brands, but generally wound up by me.
One is still in great condition and one is twisted badly.
When they get like that I chuck them....twisted and badly rolled leads is a pet hate of mine.

Cheers
AnswerID: 348581

Follow Up By: billv - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:50

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:50
Many thanks for the range of information. However, we always roll up the lead in the correct manner. The suggestion that it may be due to the manufacturer is a real possibility. We bought this lead from the caravan section of Big W while three other 25m x 15amp leads were bought from Lawrence and Hanson and these three leads have never (in more than 20 years) developed the same problem. But, only the caravan lead is left unused for about nine months each year while the other three are used regularly throughout the year. The appearance of the lead doesn't offend me in any way so I'll continue to use it now that it appears safe but "unsightly". Again, many thanks for the help.
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Reply By: Tony J - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:54

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 13:54
I have had success at restoring leads that are twisted by laying them out in the yard in the sun (not plugged in) for several hours and then rolling them properly. Try it, it may work for you.
AnswerID: 348590

Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 17:54

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 17:54
You've rolled it up around your hand and elbow.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 21:37

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 at 21:37
It must be an Aussie thing.

I couldnt believe how my new(aussie) wife rolls cords up and gets them like this.
You hardly ever see it in NZ and the cords I brought with me have been used on building sites for several years and are as straight as the day I bought them.

I had one which was over 100 meters long and even it didnt twist.
It did however melt when someone plugged it in to run a clothes drier whilst it was still rolled up on a drum.
She didnt live that one down easily.
Needless to say I dont let her touch them now.

Even the hairdrier I brought with me which is over 10 years old she had the cord in a twist in a few months.

ROFL
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Reply By: billv - Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:16

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:16
More thanks for the range of information. While my wife is meticulous about rolling the lead, she has reminded me on a few occasions that , perhaps when in a hurry, that I have been guilty of winding the lead from hand to elbow and of course, perhaps the lead was then put in the boot of the van and stayed there for six or eight months. Therefore I must plead guilty to being the cause of my own concern. Again, thanks.
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