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Old 06-13-15, 04:24 PM   #1
keithdog
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Default Dumb question.

Do you or don't you unplug your trailer lights before backing into the water? I always heard it wasn't necessary, but other tell me I always should. What do you say?
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Old 06-13-15, 06:55 PM   #2
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when i had reg bulbs always unplug installed led now i do not unplug
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Old 06-13-15, 08:34 PM   #3
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I never unplug my trailer lights. I tried to do it but kept forgetting. I believe if cool water seeps into the fixture and makes contact with the hot illuminated bulb then the bulb will shatter. Also the bulb heat in the fixture and the cool water on the outside will cause condensation to form inside and that causes rust. When I return from a fishing trip and park my boat I then check my trailer lights before going into the house. I can remember to do that. That way if I need to replace a bulb I can do it the next day and I'll be ready for my next trip. So far I haven't had a bulb pop in about two years. The last bulb that went out caused me to replace the complete fixture due to so much rust. Do whatever makes you comfortable
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Old 06-13-15, 09:18 PM   #4
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No never do Keith.
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Old 06-13-15, 10:34 PM   #5
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As has been said: If you're running incandescent lamps and they get submerged, then you should unplug ... also for the reasons stated.
If you're running regular LED lamps, you should also unplug, since they have electronics board that will corrode VERY quickly.
The only lights I know of that do not need to be unplugged, are the submersible LED lamps. $30.00 from Harbor Freight if you want them.
I have my light on poles, and they never submerge, so I don't need to unplug.
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Old 06-13-15, 10:57 PM   #6
keithdog
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That's fellas. My reason for bringing this up is I just replaced the left tail light assembly, which I just replaced a year ago. It quit working and when I took it off and checked it out, the inside had a lot of rust on the metal sockets, and the main bulb actually had water inside it. I've never unplugged before but I think I will now and see if that helps. So far, the right side assembly has never given me any issues.
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Old 06-14-15, 09:37 AM   #7
bassboogieman
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I don't think unplugging the lights will help the rust/corrosion issue. That is due to water/moisture getting inside the light either by a bad seal or crack in the lens. I believe most trailer light kits you can buy now are marked as "submersible", they should be no problem (leaving them connected) as long as the seals are good and the lens is not cracked. There may be kits available for use on "land trailers" that are not intented to be doused in water (submerged) or intended for use on boat trailers - those may pose issues when used in an incorrect application. What was the question? Oh yeah, I do not unplug the trailer lights for launch and haven't experienced any issues.
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Old 06-14-15, 09:51 AM   #8
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If the lamp is submersible, the only advantage to unplugging it would be temperature differences. In any closed container, when it gets hot, the trapped air expands. Sometimes, seals that are designed to keep water out don't necessarily keep air in. If some air escapes due to expansion, when the container cools, it becomes a "vacuum" and can draw in. If it's underwater when that happens, you can get water in.

Doesn't always happen, but it can. Unplugging the lamp can allow it to cool some before submerging.
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