Hella Plug and 3-way fridge

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 09:48
ThreadID: 8637 Views:3786 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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I am about to get a heavy duty line installed so that I can run my 3-way fridge in the car whilst travelling. The auto-electrician suggested the click-in Hella type plugs/sockets, but I noticed on there website that they are only rated to 8A. I have a feeling that 3-ways draw ~10A. Is this correct? The fridge is fairly old (hand-me-down) and about 33 litres in size. I usually use 100-150g of gas per day depending on ambient, if that helps. I think the fridge is an Electrolux (brown with a dark brown lid).

Any help appreciated.

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Reply By: Member - Gordon- Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 10:01

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 10:01
Tim, go to Auto 1 and get an Anderson plug (50amp) grey plug with 2 contacts,approx $12.You will have no worries with this plug.
AnswerID: 37901

Reply By: Rod - Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 11:06

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 11:06
I have melted a Hella plug on my 3-way before. I suspect the problem was more to do with a dodgy connection between the wire and the plug as it was not soldered. Anderson plug is probably overkill but certaily bulletproof.
AnswerID: 37904

Reply By: Member - Ken - Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 11:08

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 11:08

I was over at Outback 4WD in Bayswater a week ago and noticed an ENGEL Cig/Lighter male plug as an accessory.

Its rated at 15Amps and will match up with any Standard 15amp vehicle female sockets.

Its a standard ENGEL accessory and readily available , so they tell me.

Anyway its an option that you may consider.

Ken Robinson
AnswerID: 37905

Follow Up By: Terry - Saturday, Nov 22, 2003 at 15:51

Saturday, Nov 22, 2003 at 15:51
I think you'll find that the 3 way power draw will be far to much for a cig/lighter plug. The Engel plug leaves a bit to be desired if you extend the lenght more than a couple of meters, the drop in power under load is quite high through a connection like that.
FollowupID: 27654

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Monday, Nov 24, 2003 at 01:02

Monday, Nov 24, 2003 at 01:02
The whole thread is food for thought.

I am currently using Hella 'Merits' ,as the electrical fitter called them, along with 6mm cable, 35 amp fuses and circuit breakers.

Can say I've never had a problem (so far anyway) however, I don't run a 3 way power draw appliance either.


FollowupID: 27746

Reply By: Member -BJ (Sydney) - Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 18:05

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 18:05
I run our fridge through an anderson plug as it won't vibrate loose ( nothing worse than hot beer).Regards Bob
Where to next
AnswerID: 37942

Reply By: ThePublican - Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 22:05

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 22:05
Anderson plugs the go,, dont forget to wire + and - DIRECT from battery, inline fuse rated at 20amp close to battery on + is the recomended system for best performance on 12 volt .,,,last thing you want is any voltage drop between battery and unit.
AnswerID: 37967

Follow Up By: Colin - NSW (Bungendore area) - Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 22:18

Thursday, Nov 20, 2003 at 22:18
ThePublican has the right idea - I am using a Hella plug but I may look at the Anderson type.

A couple of other points to look at are -
1. Add a 12V computer fan to the back of frig to help with air circulation
and -
2. cover outside of frig with 'self adhesive foil backed sponge' - from Clarke Rubber for extra insulation.

These 2 things plus the heavy wire and plug transformed my 20yo Sadec 3 way.Subaru Forester
"size isn't everything"
FollowupID: 27545

Reply By: Andrew - Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 09:20

Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 09:20
Hello Tim

I am running the Hella plugs for numerous accessories including a 39 litre Engel.
No problems but I don't think I see more than 10A on any item. Don't know why your 3 way needs so much powe, is that how much current it is supposed to draw.

Please note that all my wiring is heavy duty (6mm) with soldered connections. Lighter wiring and especially dodgy connections seems to cause problems due to resistance build up increasing the current required. That means things can melt and fuses blow. (If your lucky the fuse blows first) It is worth taking the effort to get the wiring right the first time.

The Hella Plugs means I can interchange accessories as needed instaed of having dedicated cannections. (My setup changes depending on what we need for that trip)

The Anderson plugs certainly seem to have the capacity and they are the recommended way to go for trailer connections, however the Hella stuff does give you the extra flexibility.


AnswerID: 38005

Follow Up By: Brimo - Saturday, Nov 22, 2003 at 14:46

Saturday, Nov 22, 2003 at 14:46
Just a bit of a follow up to your post, to shed light on a commonly held fallacy, with direct current, increased resistance in a cable, connectors etc actually reduces total current flow.The heating effect comes about at the connection itself where the voltage drop occurs. which only needs to be a low value of resistance for some serious meltdowns to occur when you try to pull some serious current through it.
Some useful formulas..

Total resistance of a series circuit = R1+R2+R...
Total current in a series circuit =volts divided by resistance
Watts(heating effect)=currentsquaredXresistance.

True about soldered connections though, by far the most reliable, but if you do use screwed connections do not solder the wire before connecting as this can cause some trouble.

Thus endeth the lesson:-)
Cheers Brimo
FollowupID: 27650

Reply By: tim_s - Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 09:51

Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 09:51
Thanks all

It seems that the Anderson plug is the way to go.

AnswerID: 38007

Reply By: Viola - Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 15:46

Friday, Nov 21, 2003 at 15:46
Tom put in Clipsal T plugs for our fridge
I have the part number here for the two pin polarised plug as I had to go and buy a couple more 492/32 15 amps 32V a.c. Sorry dear I do not know the socket part number. Marty our next door neighbour is an auto electrician and he told Tom to use them. Marty did all the wiring and Tom fitted off the sockets to the plywood stand in the back of the Paj.
AnswerID: 38031

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