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Old 08-07-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

opinions please.

my 80amp intellicharge charger came with a sideways 20amp pigtail plug.


i am planning on mostly using my generator to power the bus and charger, but i want to be able to plug in at pedestals with a normal 15 amp cord.

hmmm

ok, i can change the wiring to the outlet inside the bus that i was going to plug into....(rewire with 10g), change the outlet to a 20amp.

but, what about when i was planning to plug in at a pedestal? i still have to down convert to a 15amp pigtail.

can i just cut off the 20 amp pigtail on the converter and replace with a 15amp one?
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

I would leave it as is. They make a 20 amp to 15 amp adapter. I have 30 amp and use the 30 amp to 15 when I'm parked in front of my parents house.

Here is a simple 20 to 15 amp adapter.

http://www.showmecables.com/product/...Fc5FMgodUx8AlA
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

We just use adapters. The Class C was 30 amp and we had a 20/15 amp adapter as well as a 50 amp adapter. You should not need an adapter to plug a 20 amp cord into a 15 amp receptacle.

We have the bus set up with a 30 amp cord and carry adapters that allow us to plug into 50 amp and 20/15 amp.

Always check your adapters for damage. Especially if you are adapting down as pulling higher power thru the adapter may damage it. Before using, spray holes with a electrical silicone spray as well as after using and putting it in storage. Keeping it in a dry, waterproof container will help keep your adapter in good working order. Carry a spare.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

Lorna a 20 plug has one pin turned 90*



15 amp



website with plug types

http://frentzandsons.com/Hardware%20...nfiguratio.htm
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

i see the adapter and..... well.....

if it is always gonna be in a 15 amp receptacle, why not change the plug? doesn't the adapter rob some efficiency off the connection to begin with? if im cheating a 20amp appliance, cutting the cord and rewiring seems to be the lesser of 2 evils.

sideways plug on converter



$15 adapter
or
$15 hard wire plug?
or
upgrade bus wiring to 20A and get adapter for pedestals
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

I don't believe the adapter will give you measurable losses, and it gives you flexibility. If you hard wire it, you may loose some flexibility. That being said, most 20 amp outlets take both plugs. Just pick one
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #7
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf
i see the adapter and..... well.....

if it is always gonna be in a 15 amp receptacle, why not change the plug? . . .
The purpose of the sideways pin is to prevent you from connecting a 20-amp load into a receptacle where the wiring in the wall is only sized to handle 15 amps. If you know what your loads are and accept responsibility . . .

In my camper, I got rid of the heavy 30-amp direct-wired shoreline cable that powered the DC converter plus the AC circuit breakers. We have no air conditioner or other heavy 120-volt loads to support. In its place I wired in a 20-amp piece of 12/3 rubber "cord" only long enough to reach the "mouse hole," and capped it with a used hospital-grade 15-amp plug I happened to have in my "junk box." This allows me use the converter to charge the battery, and with the right extension cord to optionally use the camper outlets for smaller loads up to 20 total amps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeC
I don't believe the adapter will give you measurable losses, and it gives you flexibility. If you hard wire it, you may loose some flexibility. That being said, most 20 amp outlets take both plugs. Just pick one
I am picturing "hard wiring" being cutting off the 20-amp plug with the sideways blade, and putting a 15-amp plug on end of the existing 20-amp cable. I would not put a 15-amp cable with smaller wires into the unit without seeing what the actual converter draw was.

1. A 15-amp plug on a 20-amp cable will give more flexibility, not less, as there are may 20-amp circuits with 15-amp receptacles on the end. You can still plug into dual amperage outlets, but can also plug into 15-amp outlets if you watch your loading.
2. I believe it is easier to find a 30-amp/120-volt "RV" to 15-amp adapter (I have one) than it is to find a dual-amperage one that also accepts the 20-amp sideways pins.
3. With an adapter, you may not be able to close a campground pedestal cover. While we had always boondocked, two weeks ago we camped for the first time with power. Closing the cover all the way over the 20-amp outlets 'squished' the 20-amp extension cord where it came out of the back of the straight plug. Having a "hockey puck" adapter to fit the plug into the 30-amp socket would have been worse. I am now looking for a right-angle 15-amp plug for the extension cord. The one at the HD near the campground was $12, but I put off getting it until we got home so there would be more funds for fuel and 'touristy' stuff if needed.
4. There may indeed be losses with an adapter. But worse than lost power is heat. Ever have to jiggle a plug to make a device work? If the contacts lose their springiness, there could be trouble.
For example, imagine you had a slight contact-to-contact resistance of 1/4 ohm on a 120-volt circuit when drawing the full 20 amps. The voltage drop in the adapter is (E=IxR) 20A x 0.25?, or 5 volts. The appliances run OK on 115 volts, but the ' lost' power is from turning the adapter into a 20Ax5V = 100 watt heater, and there could be a fire. Yeeowch!

Turf, I cannot advise you that it is OK for you to do what I have done. You need to read, understand, and be responsible for your own choices . . . .
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

cool beans.

i accept the responsibility of my own actions here..... just trying to make an informed decision.

i agree that a 15A end makes the appliance more useful. i think that is my best option for my situation.

i just checked the interior ac wiring in the bus.

from the AC panel i have a dedicated 15amp breaker hooked to 12/2 romex which travels about 10' and terminates at a 15amp gfci outlet which is where the appliance is plugged in.

12/2 is rated at 20A
the breaker at 15A
the outlet at 15A

the small print on the charger says 1300 watts. 1300w/120v is about an 11amp draw.
i guess the charge rate is an 80A rate...

math says it should work.... i think.

watch it burst into flames 5 minutes after i hook it up

it will be a couple of weeks before i have the batteries to test the appliance. the wall is open now, so if i need bigger wire....now or never.

thanks for the input
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #9
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

You will knowvsomething is wrong when the input pigtail starts to glow and get hot.

Way to go Redbear, nice write up.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:17 PM   #10
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Re: ugh... 20 amp plug on converter/charger

Remember that DC amps and AC amps aren't the same measure of power.

The converter draws 80 amps DC or 960 watts (12v x 80 amps = 960 watts)

Your 15 amp AC extension cord delivers 1800 watts (120v x 15 amps = 1800 watts)

A DC watt is equal to an AC watt so I like to use watts instead of amps for DC and AC comparisons.
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