Domestic Electric

hot socket

A few months back, I bought a US socket to replace the UK 240v twin socket that came with Frank, but did not get around to installing it. I just used UK-US adaptors.

This lets me run mains-power devices (kettle, power tools, heater, etc) on board when using shore power.

It has been cold, so I had the heater on, as I have done before. There was a strange smell which I eventually localized to the socket.

I have been using UK -> US adaptors to run 110v items. I pulled out one – no problem. Pulled out the left side one… and the GFPE tripped as the plug flashed. So that works!

The 13a fuse in the adaptor had failed to blow and the brass prong was taking some heat:

adaptor plug

Fascinating. The live, or “hot” in the USA, is shown here after I disconnected from shore power, opened the socket and clipped the wire. I have a plug-in circuit tester to check if the sockets are really turned off.

live wire

I found a cool website, The Circuit Detective to help me translate between UK and USA terms (there is a lot of difference besides voltage) and get the new socket wired in correctly.

So I now have a UK-fitted GFPE on board, where the mains power comes in, and two US sockets fitted with GFCI. I wanted to keep a dual 240/110 system, for when Frank is in Caribbean and other Commonwealth marinas, but I think I will look at installing and running the shore power through a US Standard GFPE, and maybe run two systems later.

Gfci socket

I no longer need big-assed UK plug-adaptors!