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Old 01-25-2018, 02:16 PM   #1
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15 amp breakers

Hi. After reading all info here and elsewhere on my electrical system I still have a question I am hoping someone can answer. I am only putting in a 15 amp plug as that is all the power I have here, but as I want to add receptacles on both sides of the bus (not a straight line), was thinking I would run the other side on its own 15 amp breaker. So I presume I can have a 15 amp extension cord feed going to a breaker box with (2) 15 amp breakers and as long as I don't draw more than that I would be fine? What happens if I do draw more; would the 15 amp local breaker which had too much draw turn off, or would it throw the fuse at the source of the extension cord? Hoping to have 30 amp someday, so makes sense to split into two breakers now. Also didn't see a mention of what gauge wire to attach to bus frame so got 10 to cover 30 amps - should it be beefier? Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:33 PM   #2
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Hi, just build your bus service for 30 amp and use an adapter to plug into shore power. #10/2 awg is good for that, consisting of a black, white and bare ground or green ground conductors.
You can go into a main switch or a breaker panel with an existing switch or main breaker.
Breakers in the panel should trip before the shore power kicks out but no guarantee there not knowing the shore power fusing and voltage drop to the pole.
Wires to the frame? What do you mean? The ac service is grounded in the 10/2 you use for your connection to shore power and only grounds the panel box. No frame connection.

John
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thanks John. For ground I meant from breaker box to frame, that is the only #10 wire I am using - then I was running #12 wire ground, neutral and power to each outlet. From what I understood with the breakerbox ground to the frame, then I can ground each outlet to the 15 amp circuit. I have gotten shocked from the skin of my trailer before so want to ground everything carefully.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by druidwood View Post
Thanks John. For ground I meant from breaker box to frame, that is the only #10 wire I am using - then I was running #12 wire ground, neutral and power to each outlet. From what I understood with the breakerbox ground to the frame, then I can ground each outlet to the 15 amp circuit. I have gotten shocked from the skin of my trailer before so want to ground everything carefully.
Wrong druidwood.

Do NOT ground to the frame like you suggest.
You can ground the skin to ground separate but not from the service. That happens in the entry cable ground back to the service connection ONLY.
Your trailer must have been wired wrong before to get skin shocks. That can kill.

12 is good for the runs but use 14 to wire to receptacles.

John
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:05 PM   #5
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Druidwood,I thought I had a simpler diagram but this will have to do.
Yours is much more simpler for sure.
The thing to note is the ground lug/busbar in the panel. It connects only to the incoming cord. Branch circuits in the panel are also connected there and only ac wiring, no dc.
I hope this helps.

John
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:47 PM   #6
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Thank you John. I reread all the info I had and perhaps my reading to ground the bus (or not to) was less people's opinions and more how you were getting power. So will ground bus to ground on 30amp plug, thus continuing the ground to the shore source. But for DC or running AC through a generator there will not be a ground, so then I need to have a ground to the bus frame, correct? I bought a simple breaker box (said for RV) where the buses are built in under where the fuse goes, so much simpler than any diagrams I have seen. I am keeping my DC wiring completely separate.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by druidwood View Post
Thank you John. I reread all the info I had and perhaps my reading to ground the bus (or not to) was less people's opinions and more how you were getting power. So will ground bus to ground on 30amp plug, thus continuing the ground to the shore source. But for DC or running AC through a generator there will not be a ground, so then I need to have a ground to the bus frame, correct? I bought a simple breaker box (said for RV) where the buses are built in under where the fuse goes, so much simpler than any diagrams I have seen. I am keeping my DC wiring completely separate.
In theory a generator should have a ground rod. That would be a 4 foot copper rod with a brass lug on top. You pound it into the ground until about 12" is above grade, and ground your generator to it.

In practise I know of no one who does this.

Given the relative fragility of a mobile installation, it's worth ground-bonding all metal items fixed to the bus and running them back to the breaker panel. That includes the bus frame.

Also, making sure you use ground fault interrupters (GFCI) is probably wise.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by druidwood View Post
Thank you John. I reread all the info I had and perhaps my reading to ground the bus (or not to) was less people's opinions and more how you were getting power. So will ground bus to ground on 30amp plug, thus continuing the ground to the shore source. But for DC or running AC through a generator there will not be a ground, so then I need to have a ground to the bus frame, correct? I bought a simple breaker box (said for RV) where the buses are built in under where the fuse goes, so much simpler than any diagrams I have seen. I am keeping my DC wiring completely separate.
"So will ground bus to ground on 30amp plug, thus continuing the ground to the shore source."

Your understanding of this is now correct.

"But for DC or running AC through a generator there will not be a ground, so then I need to have a ground to the bus frame, correct? "

Your dc is always grounded back to the negative battery terminal by connecting me or running a wire back to the -ve battery terminal. You can use the skin but clean all paint down to the bare metal. Mostly that works unless the skin has continuity issues then the ground will not be complete.
You can make sure by simply attaching a wire from one panel to the next till it completes the circuit.

"running AC through a generator there will not be a ground,"
In this scenario, you want the case of the generator to have a ground lug.
Not all are sold with one, but simple to drill a hole and bolt a lug onto the
frame. From there a bare ground of at least #6awg down to a temporary ground rod in the ground. I use one 1/2"rebar and a lug fastened to that.
This is also the place to run a ground from the skin to ground it if you have fears of it becoming energized.
Plug your genny into where you would normally plug shore power in and you are good to go. Just pull the ground rod out before travelling.

John
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:18 PM   #9
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In practise I know of no one who does this.
lol ... It appears BlackJohn does this
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:21 PM   #10
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I used a generator to build a fence and each time I moved it I faithfully hammered in the grounding rod. The world is divided into people who think "what could possibly go wrong?" and those of us who faced with that question will make you a list.
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