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Old 08-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #21
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

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Disclaimer: I have not seen your bus. I am not a lawyer, nor do I "play one on TV." And I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Ask your doctor if you have been to a country where fungal infections are common. Do not spindle, fold, or mutilate. Void where prohibited by law. Your mileage may vary. Have a nice day.
Man, I want to add this to my signature.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:18 PM   #22
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

i very much appreciate the heads up on the things to look for.


i will go back and check all the way to the genset.

the bus isnt wired to plug into a campground pedestal. the big ac loads will only be gen powered.

im making a seperate 12v system for the camper loads which will be recharged by the battery charger from the genny. the 20A plug from the converter will be so i can maintain the camper batteries over winter.

i do want to put a standard size oven/range in there. i've got an old oven sitting around.

i will snap some pics of the electric panel as well. you all follow along amazingly well! blows me away, when i barely understand what im doing.

thanks holiday inn!
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #23
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

becuase of the number of pictures... i posted the "electric tour" in my thread. if you are following along, you can see it here:
http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...art=30#p577995
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:39 PM   #24
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

Your panel is pretty well balanced. Somebody was thinking when they set this up.

If you don't balance your 120-volt loads, but put them all on one leg, you have created a 6 kW genset when limited to supplying 50 amps between that one leg and the neutral. (When loads are 100% balanced between the two hot legs, neutral current is zero. All other times, neutral current equals the difference between leg 1 and leg 2.)

Every alternating row in the breaker panel is on the opposite hot leg, so wherever you choose to connect a 240 volt breaker, it sits across both hot legs. I had forgotten that you had a bookmobile, and the supply side wiring is done.

50-amp 240-volt generator, and 50-amp 240-volt main - Check.

Three 20-amp 240-volt heater circuits drawing off of both legs (balanced) - Check
One 120-volt air conditioner on leg 1, and one on leg 2 - Check
One 120-volt front desk on leg 1, and one on leg 2 - Check
120-volt lights on leg 1, and 120-volt rear desk/microwave on leg 2 - Check

So, You can swap a 240-volt breaker as proposed, but make sure the breaker and wiring support everything in the stove added up - cooktop plus oven. Check the data plate or instruction manual to confirm either the total amps or the total watts.

As I said above, in my experience stove outlets are wired for 50-amp capacity, which if fully utilized is 100% of your generator output. If the maximum stove draw is too high, you may need to put in 50-amp not 40-amp service for that branch against the possibility of having everything turned on at once. Or maybe electricians just leave a lot of room for either error or varying models of stove.

Afterwards check the data plates to find what the actual remaining heaters are rated for, not just the 20-amp breaker size. You may calculate that you have to turn off the heaters to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but it would be pretty hot in the kitchen with everything playing, anyway.

Footnote: You also have an 1800 RPM generator - it will last longer than a 3600 rpm generator.
60 cycles/second for AC times 60 seconds/minute = 3600 cycles/minute.

AC Generators come in 4 styles - 3600 RPM direct drive which produces one cycle per revolution, 1800 RPM direct drive with special alternator windings that produce 2 cycles per revolution, belt drive where the engine and alternator can turn different speeds, and (lower powered) electronic inverter generators where the AC output is synchronized by a digital circuit.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:01 AM   #25
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon
. . . If one will be pulling 20-ish amps then it's a Good Idea (tm) to use 20-amp plugs and receptacles -- ie, don't draw 20 amps through that 15 amp receptacle and plug that are behind a 20 amp breaker.
I disagree. If the breaker is 20 amps, then the wiring should be wired (with 12 gauge wire) for 20 amps. Not everyone will install a "T-neutral" receptacle on a 20-amp circuit, but will just wire in a "standard" outlet. It is more convenient to put a 15-amp parallel-blade plug on your 12-gauge, 20-amp extension cord. And it is safer than using a 15-to-20 amp adapter.

Just be smart, control your loads, and don't draw 20 amps on a circuit truly wired for only 15 amps. The different-shaped plug is to help keep the average Joe from doing just that. The 15-amp receptacles are so they will be chosen for appropriate circuits, not because that is the limit of their load capacity.
Seems that we do disagree, but not in the way you had thought. You are very correct that 12 ga would be appropriate gauge. But I'll maintain that a cord set that has parallel-blade 15 A rated ends is a still 15 A cord set, even if it is wired with 12 or even heavier wire. Heavier wire will contribute to lower power loss in the cord but the connectors must be respected as a limiting link in the design. Those can't be relied upon to deal with the heat of 20 A usage. Just as none of us would use a lamp extension cord with 15 A ends for a 15 A load (because the wire gauge is too small), we also should not use a heavy cord with relatively light ends for a relatively heavy load. If the load is in fact light, as it probably is with OP's converter/charger, then by all means put the more common 15 A connector on it.

The 20-to-15 amp adapter should be used only to adapt a 20 amp cord to a 15 amp socket when the user has done something to control his load so that it does not exceed 15 amps (not 20, even if the circuit has a 20 A breaker upstream). I agree that it's preferable not to use the adapter -- its two connections (one in, one out) will experience more connector-damaging heating than a single connection would.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:40 PM   #26
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

i'm very glad for the discussion.
i say, which ever one doesn't burst into flames is right j/k

but very glad you experts are reading this 'cause i got a good question now.

so with my new stove..... how many wires am i supposed to run? 2 hots, a ground, and ?

i would guess.... just a section of 6-2 or 8-2 wire should work.

i looked at the heaters installed. they are 1500watts wired with 10-2 cable.

do i put in a plug? direct wire? a little advise appreciated
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:12 AM   #27
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

Your 10/2 to the heaters should be 10/2 WG (with ground), not just 2 wires. Heaters generally don't also need 120 volts, so hot-to-hot is OK for them. You should run 8/3 or 6/3 with ground to the stove. There may be 120 volt portions of the stove wiring, such as a clock/timer.

I think you should have a plug. My opinion, and I'm not paying for the parts. The pigtail for the stove will have wire that is flexible, and will allow the stove to be pulled in and out for cleaning. The wire you put in the walls, probably not so much. Plus, if anything goes seriously sideways, the fire department can yank the stove and toss it out the door without looking for cutters and the circuit breaker panel.

Older stove or dryer 120/240 plugs (dryers have 120-volt motors) had only 3 pins, and in the old days the careful installers would run a separate ground wire from the appliance cabinet to a nearby ground. I always saw the same thing with washing machines and 2-prong plugs.

Nowadays, you should see a 4-pin stove connection, similar to an RV 50-amp connector. Match the outlet's pins to the pigtail on the stove, whether already there, or you buy both (or find one side at a yard sale).

On the other hand, if I found a used 50-amp flexible shoreline that an RV-er tossed out because it had a toasted connector on one end, I wouldn't be totally against cutting a length of the 4-wire cord in good condition to run all the way from the stove to the circuit breakers. This is a vehicle, and the electrical inspector is not going to check it prior to granting a certificate of occupancy.

Please read previous disclaimer.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #28
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

"Please read previous disclaimer."

Was that the one that said "Ya Pays Ya money and ya takes ya chances--I can't remember.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #29
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

i had the wall panel out yesterday and switched the 15amp receptacle for a 20a one. i'm also gonna get a 20a end for the heavyduty cord i plan on carrying if need to recharge without the gen.
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