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Author Topic: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead  (Read 1950 times)

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Offline Doug S

  • Posts: 437
Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« on: July 31, 2019, 01:27 PM »
Was using my RO150 today and a couple of times it seemed to lose power then go back up to full speed again, I was using P40 discs in rotary mode on some rough timber so it was working hard. I thought maybe the brushes were going, it is about 13 years old.

When I came to unplug the plug-it lead it seemed a bit tight but came off okay, when I looked closer it was warm and had melted a bit.

I have read before that it's a known problem with sanders and you can transfer the problem to other tools if you are not careful.

My plug-it lead hangs from a home made boom arm along with the extractor hose. I swapped the plug-it lead for another one but what advice can people give me regarding the sander? I didn't use the sander again, one of the pins in the socket at the back is black. I opened the sander and the socket looks easily replaceable, can I clean it somehow or should I replace it?

Am I right in thinking the plug-it cables have changed in the last couple of years to help prevent this? I know some people hard wire the sanders but don't want to go down that road.

Thanks in advance, Doug

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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1698
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2019, 01:51 PM »
Replace the socket on the sander. 

They haven't updated the plug it cables.  This is an issue with heavily used rotex sanders as far as I know (other sanders don't draw as much power and this doesn't seem to be an issue).  The best bet if you don't want to hardwire is to dedicate one cord to the sander.  If it fails in a few years, at least the issue is isolated and it's easy to replace one socket and cord. 
-Raj

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6077
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2019, 02:37 PM »
They haven't updated the plug it cables.  This is an issue with heavily used rotex sanders as far as I know (other sanders don't draw as much power and this doesn't seem to be an issue).

This can happen with any tool. It is not about how much power a tool draws, but about the socket and plug not making good contact which leads to arcing between the two connectors.

And alas .... nothing's been updated to make the Plug-It system more reliable. Right now Festool can make a lot of money on replacement cords, they break all the time.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1698
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2019, 02:56 PM »
The vibration and amperage draw subject that connection to more wear that you typically see on other tools.  But, yes, technically correct, it is subject to wear on all tools.  The two tools that are particularly prone are the Rotex and the Vecturo.  On the other tools it's a pretty durable connection. 
-Raj

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6077
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 12:35 AM »
The two tools that are particularly prone are the Rotex and the Vecturo.  On the other tools it's a pretty durable connection.

No it isn't. I don't know exactly where you base that on. I've had it a couple of times now, all with my small sanders like DTS, RTS and ETS. Not once with my Rotex. It doesn't matter what movement the tool itself makes or how many amps it draws. What matters is how much stress the Plug-It connection itself gets to endure, and in that regard outside forces have a lot more influence than the vibrations a tool makes.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1254
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 05:56 AM »
There may also be a relation to the number of times the cord has been cycled, as in connected/disconnected to a tool. Much like a wall receptacle that you plug a cord into can fail over time. The pins or blades (depending on the connection style) have a friction fit made snug by spring pressure alone.

Every time you connect or disconnect some of that spring pressure is lost. How, by not always being able to insert or remove the plug exactly in line with the pins/blades. Any off center/angular force will tend to deform the connection, reducing the quality of the connection from an electrical perspective, and increasing resistance which will cause heat that further degrades the connection.

The OP stated that he had one cord that was connected to the boom arm, so I assume that one cord was used for any tool at that work station. So it would see more wear than other cords or the tool because it is plugged/unplugged every time.

Also are there not two versions of the Plug-it cord, one for higher amperage tools?
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1698
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 09:58 AM »
The rotex is one of the only tools where Festool USA offers a hardwire kit.  With the Vecturo it was reported that they switched to a hardwire after failures as well.  They had a reason for doing so.
http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-problems/part-for-hardwire-kit-ro-150-sander/

If the problem was systemic, you'd hear about it on these forums with other sanders with more frequency than the Kapex issues.  The ETS sanders in particular is very popular and I don't recall the last time I've read about issues with the plug it connection there.   Personally, I've only used Festool tools for the last 6 years, but never once an issue with the plug it cord I keep at my MFT workstation.  That one gets the most use (it's also a 16 ga. cord for obvious reasons).  And my ETS sander gets more use than all the others combined, which still isn't a lot.

Given that you've had multiple issues with different tools, perhaps the unknown origins of the tools you're refurbing has something to do with it?  And we know an electrical issue can spread like an STD when swapping cords and tools.  So one bad connection can result in many over time if you're not careful.  I'm not discounting your observations, obviously your tools failed you.  But I don't think this a widespread product or design failure on Festool's part which is what you're suggesting.  For my own part, the plug it connection is fantastic.  And one failure in 13 years is perfectly acceptable.  It is a wearable component.
-Raj

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6077
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2019, 11:55 AM »
If the problem was systemic, you'd hear about it on these forums with other sanders with more frequency than the Kapex issues. 

This particular problem pops up once in a while. It's a good ol' regular here.

Personally, I've only used Festool tools for the last 6 years, but never once an issue with the plug it cord I keep at my MFT workstation. 

From what I've read here some people have problems all the time, others never. I think what Bob mentions above is right on the money, the number of connects and disconnects play heavily into it. And the way you use the tools.

For instance, I am sure you and I have very different ways we work with our tools, you work on your MFT, and I've been runing up a ladder all week sanding the edge of a roof with my DTS, ETS125 and Rotex.



Cord and hose taped to my ladder to get 5,50 meter high, and having to change between sanders at height, multiple times. This was a bit of heck week for me, because the condition of the paint was worse than originally anticipated and I decided to use my own ladder for what seemed to be an easy job, instead of renting scaffolding. To my dismay I had to strip it all to bare wood instead of just some light sanding. [mad] 

I have worked like this before, with other tools before I got into Festool 11 years ago, and I never had problems with cords. But the Plug-It breaks all the time, one way or the other.

Given that you've had multiple issues with different tools, perhaps the unknown origins of the tools you're refurbing has something to do with it?  And we know an electrical issue can spread like an STD when swapping cords and tools.  So one bad connection can result in many over time if you're not careful.  I'm not discounting your observations, obviously your tools failed you.  But I don't think this a widespread product or design failure on Festool's part which is what you're suggesting.  For my own part, the plug it connection is fantastic.  And one failure in 13 years is perfectly acceptable.  It is a wearable component.

Mostly answered above. It is not the origin of my refurbished tools, it is the number of disconnects and the way of working. I'm out in the field all the time with many different tools. With a total of 17 Festools I think I have to buy 2 or 3 new cords each year. I also have a number of other tools from DeWalt, Elu and Metabo, I never have to replace a cord.

The idea of the Plug-It cord is very nice, it's just not strong enough for rough circumstances out in the field. If you work in the shop all the time, sure, you're going to be fine. But I think it could and should be done better.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 11:57 AM by Alex »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6367
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2019, 12:59 PM »

I have worked like this before, with other tools before I got into Festool 11 years ago, and I never had problems with cords. But the Plug-It breaks all the time, one way or the other.


I haven't had any Festool Plug-It issues YET...However I've had ZERO issues with Milwaukee's version in over 20 years. They're both insert and quarter turn connectors but the Milwaukee connector is bullet proof.  [big grin]

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3884
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2019, 03:18 PM »
I was having weak connection issues with my ETS-EC 150/5 -- no arcing but definitely got the stop-start phenomenon.  Ended up buying a new socket for around $7 and switched it out myself.  Two years on haven't had a repeat of the problems:

 http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-problems/loose-plug-it-connection-on-ets-ec-1505/

I imagine the process for the RO150 is similar.  It was very simple, even for someone like myself who is not naturally mechanically inclined. 
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Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 390
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 03:55 PM »
I have had a few cords give me trouble over the years. I don’t know maybe 6 months ago starting having problems with the os400 and two cords. I was on the job site.
I ended up taking some small stranded wire a chucking it up in the drill and rotating slowly in the cord end to polish up the contacts. Not sure what I did with the tool end either some sand paper or a knife blade. End result I saved one cord a pitch the other.
Rick
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 1254
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2019, 05:49 AM »

I have worked like this before, with other tools before I got into Festool 11 years ago, and I never had problems with cords. But the Plug-It breaks all the time, one way or the other.


I haven't had any Festool Plug-It issues YET...However I've had ZERO issues with Milwaukee's version in over 20 years. They're both insert and quarter turn connectors but the Milwaukee connector is bullet proof.  [big grin]

Good point, neither of my Milwaukee drills has exhibited this issue and they are both over 20 years. But then again I don't disconnect the cords that often. Actually, they have seen little use the past couple years except for when I have to spin a large diameter bit or hole saws or for extended operation that I know a battery powered drill is not up to the task.

With Festool, you pretty much forced into disconnecting the cord every time you put it in the Systainer.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 786
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2019, 08:25 PM »
My understanding is that you need to replace the socket AND the cord or else the failures will continue.  At least that's what Festool service told me years ago when this happened to me.  That also prevents the problem from spreading to other tools via the cord.

Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1285
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2019, 10:22 AM »
I am one of those who have yet to have this issue. I am also one that discovered the issue here on the FOG before I started getting heavily vested in Festool. As a result I learned the importance of making sure that the cord is secured/locked properly. I am sure a time will come when either myself or one of my guys will let slip.
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Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1808
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2019, 04:15 AM »
They haven't updated the plug it cables.

And alas .... nothing's been updated to make the Plug-It system more reliable. Right now Festool can make a lot of money on replacement cords, they break all the time.

The cables have been updated.

Basically the text says from April 2018, all Plug-It cables (either accessories or in machine deliveries) will be the new design and from August 2018, only the new variants will be available.


Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6077
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2019, 11:29 AM »
The cables have been updated.

That's a total and utter "meh" update.

What they need to update is the connection itself. Not hang something on a tail somewhere in the back. Make the electrical connection more robust. Make the "click" when you twist it tight more pronounced and secure. Make the plastic stronger. Neutrik has so much better connectors.

The design should be renewed from scratch, not a little tweak here and there within a flawed system just the keep it backwards compatible.

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1808
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2019, 11:38 AM »
That's a total and utter "meh" update.

That surprises me.

I've not seen detailed specifications on the changes, only the above graphic, but I would have assumed that the Festool engineers would have designed the new Plug-it cables to mitigate previously reported and experienced issues.

I can tell you that the connection on my new ETS EC 150/3 is solid and the cable connector feels much better in the hand.

I guess we have to see how they perform in the field.


Offline Doug S

  • Posts: 437
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2019, 02:03 PM »
Thanks for all the advice guys, I have ordered a new socket to be safe.

I might invest in one of the new plug-it leads for my boom arm but to be honest I hardly ever use my Rotex anymore and I do think that is the only tool that will cause me any problems, I will just take it a bit steadier in future when using it.

Doug

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5790
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2019, 12:14 PM »
Little late but I had the same thing happen to me. Burnt Cord and plug it on my Ro150. sent it to festool service they replaced both.

Offline Doug S

  • Posts: 437
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2019, 02:11 PM »
Just to follow up part turned up next day, took 5 mins to fit and all good again, surprised how much tighter the plug-it lead fits now.

Ordered part from Miles Tool and Machinery Centre (am in UK), cost £12.11 including next day delivery.

Offline r cash

  • Posts: 104
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2019, 02:41 PM »
Have not logged in here for awhile. I have posted years ago about this problem after burning or full melt down of several plug-it with the 150 rotex. What worked for me after Festool told me it’s a non issue. Hardwire kit installed. I own 10 or so festool sanders been using them for 18 yrs. The only sander to ruin $40 cords now $47 is Rotex 150. Hardwire kit price much less than 8 or so plug-it’s that melted on me.
Just sharing info not trying to stir the pot.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1279
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2019, 06:38 PM »
As soon as you have one tool or cable where the contacts are corroding the damage will start to spread, from sockets to plugs and the other way around. Simply from the resistance going up, leading to heat, eventually arcing. It's basically a STD for Festools, just with no condoms available to mitigate.

So IMHO in case you notice connection issues you should instantly replace the socket on the tool an bin the cable, then carefully examine all other cables and tools that you used recently with the affected PlugIt connectors for signs of corrosion.

That some might have problems while others do not could stem from differences in local humidity, repeated issues likely stem from continuing to use a defective connector (plug or socket). YMMV.

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1465
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2019, 09:39 AM »
I always leave the cords connected, zero problems so far.   [thumbs up]

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 375
Re: Advice wanted burnt out plug-it lead
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2019, 12:12 PM »
This may not be reasonably applicable to those of you with all, or mostly all Festools.  But I have one Festool, a Domino 700, and many other hand held power tools.  I like the Festool idea of plugging in the vacumn and the power cord but wanted it on my Bosch DEVS 1250 and DeWalt ROS and my DeWalt Track saw.  So I put C14 sockets on these tools - cutting off their power cords to less than a foot long, and then put the female connector on a snipped off cord.  Here is a link to a 10 pack of the connectors for the tool:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XTK6R9W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You want a female version for the power cord, there is a locking one for about $8.50.  I also got a couple of long cables with these connectors and use them too. 

I just got my Domino but will snip it's cord soon and wire in one of these C14 connectors.  To some of you that may seem terrible but I don't like the feel of the power cord twisting into the tool connector - I would probably get used to it.  But with a power cord already on my Bosch 5 meter hose, it is just more practical to me to have the one connector on all my tools. 

If I had a Festool that had a power cord that did not want to make contact, I would be very tempted to solder on a stubby cord, however, and use this type of connector rather than pay for the pieces to "fix it right".