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Old 09-05-2013, 06:30 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post

How many amps does it take to trip a 50 amp breaker immediately ?
I'm no expert but I'll take a shot at the question.

When new it takes a lot more than 50 amps but if it is getting old and tired or has been tripped a lot over time it may take less than 50.

How'd I do?

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Old 09-05-2013, 08:43 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
I'm no expert but I'll take a shot at the question.

When new it takes a lot more than 50 amps but if it is getting old and tired or has been tripped a lot over time it may take less than 50.

How'd I do?

Dr4Film ----- Richard
New or old I am not sure how much difference it makes I am sure it makes some but not sure how much. According to the trip range of cutler hammer if I am reading it right for a 40 to 60 amp breaker the instantaneous trip range is 460 to 600 amps.
http://downloads.eatoncanada.ca/down...20Breakers.pdf

That is the link to the chart I saw. If I am reading right again it looks like it takes about 300 per cent overcurrent or 150 amps to trip in one minute. Fuses unlike breakers are basically a piece of wire that heats up and breaks they are a lot faster than breakers and can basically interupt in 1 cycle of ac power. To get that breaker to trip takes instantly takes a minimum of 450 amps running across a piece of wire that is rated for 30 amps (#10) Which is going to happen first the wire melt and open the circuit or the breaker tripping. that is of course if the wire is in good condition and does not have any broken strands from being bent at too sharp an angle. Being run over. Being subjected to 450 amps before the breaker tripped etc. My risk assessment for me says that is an unacceptable risk. Everyone else is free to do what they want. Now that I have read this post I am going to pay a bit closer attention to what kind of unit I am parked beside and what is available at the pedestal. If I hook up to a 50 amp pedestal without a 30 amp receptacle and I notice the unit next to me has a dogbone with a 30 amp cord hooked to it I will move.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:24 AM   #59
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OMG your comment even putting on a wire nut correctly. I used to spend a lot of time on another forum I swear the posts about the correct way to put on a wire nut was one of the biggest disagreements I have ever seen. Amazing how something that simple can have so many different viewpoints. Just to give it a starting point. I think the best way to put on wire nuts is to take pliers and twist the wires together (if solid copper twist with hand if stranded) after the wires are twisted together put the wire nut on to help hold them together and give electrical inuslation. After the wire nut is on take a piece of tape and tape the bottom of the wire nut in place to keep dirt and moisture out also to keep vibrations from loosening the wire nut. I do not actually do it quite this way I only put that out for what I think is the minimum acceptable right way to do it. I actually solder the wires together first then do the steps above
I know what you are saying. The problem is with technology and code changes. In the open wire days of our grandfathers splices were wrapped around the feed wire, soldered then wrapped with friction tape. As time progressed it was found that soldering AC connections actually introduced resistance, especially when not done correctly.

The old wire nuts were notorious for loosing with vibration. Many houses have become smoldering rubble because of a bad wire nut. Ideal has a grey or tan nut that works very well and, if used correctly, will not shake off.

In my early years I used to twist the wires, trim them square and apply the nut. After reading some literature on this practice many years ago I slowly converted to what I do now. Placing the stripped ends of the wire bundle together with tips square to each other and using a 3/8" (I think) nut driver to tighten the connection, when using the above Ideal nut. This method has never failed me.

Tape is an option I do not subscribe to. When I open up old taped connections when doing repair or replacement work I usually find a sticky mess and rust in the connection.

Thanks for your input. Great discussion.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #60
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Lt Dan... Your conversion was sweet. Most people don't realize that a failure of the neutral on a 50A service causes much damage. Many components become junk. I know of a couple of times that has happened. It will never be a major problem if one of the neutrals goes ary from the genset or 30A service. Well, that is if it don't catch on fire!

I like your work style Dan. Great job that should serve you well for a long time.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:09 AM   #61
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I haven't read all of the posts carefully, but in case it has not be stated before, I would highly recommend you add one of the surge guards below to your coach.

The hard wired unit was my choice as it can't be lost or stolen. I bought it even before picking up my new coach. From what I read on this forum 2.5 years ago, one of these devices and a 50 to 30 amp adapter will give you safe power.

Amazon.com: TRC 30 Amp Portable RV Surge Guard with LCD Display: Automotive

Amazon.com: Progressive Industries EMSHW30C Surge Protector: Automotive
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:32 PM   #62
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There's a lot of misinformation in this topic. A lot of people were telling you what you have without actually knowing. I had a 2000 Itasca Suncruiser with 30 amp service and 2 air conditioners. I converted it to 50 amps. The only items that needed replacing were the main circuit breakers, the connection wire between the transfer switch and replacing the 30 amp cord with a 50 amp cord. Even though the shore power portion is only 30 amps, most likely then generator is more. This means that the transfer switch and breaker panel are most likely more.

I won't say that the conversion is easy. There's a lot of rewiring and it requires a basic understanding of electricity. Based on most electricians I have met, most would have a hard time knowing where to start in a project like this.

Search this site and other RV sites. There are articles on others, including me, who have done this and the methods they have employed. If you're comfortable working with high voltage and current, give it a shot. Electricity isn't magic. It can be understood by mortals like you and me.

That being said, if you don't have confidence in your skills or understanding, find someone who is or don't do the project. You can find out if your breaker panel and transfer switch can handle the current by checking the specs on the model plate.

Good luck?
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:13 AM   #63
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About circuit breaker... One thing I have not see mentioned is exercising your circuit breakers. One of the jobs I had when I worked power for the phone company was to do a routine that involved manually operating each circuit breaker is the service panel I was assigned. The manufactures require this also.

Over time breakers have the ability to have the contacts corrode enough to stick the contacts together enough to cause the breaker not to trip correctly when it should. Manual operating on the breakers once or twice a year helps to prevent this from happening.

When I maintain my service panel at my house or in my coach I make certain nothing major is running. It makes sense not to generate a heavy arc across the contacts of the breaker or to cause a surge to the device it is protecting.

As breakers age the problem worsens to the point that the breakers won't trip at all. The contacts are fused. The old Federal service panels are notorious for this and for catching on fire. Square D is a favorite among many of us who install because of the good reputation this equipment has for a long and trouble free life.

As someone has mentioned previously, a breaker that trips too many times because of overload will become too sensitive and not hold under normal load.

Just thought I would menting these issues.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #64
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I know what you are saying. The problem is with technology and code changes. In the open wire days of our grandfathers splices were wrapped around the feed wire, soldered then wrapped with friction tape. As time progressed it was found that soldering AC connections actually introduced resistance, especially when not done correctly.

The old wire nuts were notorious for loosing with vibration. Many houses have become smoldering rubble because of a bad wire nut. Ideal has a grey or tan nut that works very well and, if used correctly, will not shake off.

In my early years I used to twist the wires, trim them square and apply the nut. After reading some literature on this practice many years ago I slowly converted to what I do now. Placing the stripped ends of the wire bundle together with tips square to each other and using a 3/8" (I think) nut driver to tighten the connection, when using the above Ideal nut. This method has never failed me.

Tape is an option I do not subscribe to. When I open up old taped connections when doing repair or replacement work I usually find a sticky mess and rust in the connection.

Thanks for your input. Great discussion.
Interesting observation where do you get the data that shows soldering wires actually increases the resistance. This is the first time I have heard that and would love to read the data on it.

yes taping the bottom of the wirenut can leave a sticky mess if you have to unwind it but it does stop any mechanical vibration from loosening the connection if the wires are just pushed together and the wire nut twisted around them to make the connection.

UH I am a grandfather and I used to work on tube type televisions, radios and missile fire control radar systems.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:57 PM   #65
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Maintain your cord contacts by burnishing them and applying a scant amount of dielectric grease.
Dielectric grease is an insulator so be careful how much you use. It's useful to stop corrosion caused by water/moisture but too much and you won't make contact. Although usually the contact pressure will penetrate the grease and seal the contact point from moisture.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:01 AM   #66
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Good morning Dear critics. Thank you for challenging.

About solder resistance: I, too, am a grandfather. I built radios and a tv in my younger years, graduated from Wentworth Institute with an associates in electronics, spent 4 years in the Army fixing radios and on of my jobs in the phone company was modifying emergency power generators. I learned about this many, many years ago in one of the many schools I have been to. During the post and tube days solder was pratice then wrap with friction tape. Over time this practice was replaced with "Romex", junction boxes and wire nut splices. Solder continued to be used for many years. But this tradition went away for many reasons and the manufactures and NEC now determine the accepted methods to use in wiring. As new inventions come along these practices will most likely change also. Please refer to this product by Ideal: IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. - Twister Twist-on Wire Connector. It specifies "No pre-twisting required". It is impossible to solder this connection.

Solder was a lead product at one time. The resistance of lead is higher than that of copper. In soldering the lead would get between the twisted wires and put a small amount of resistance there. On low power current this is not a problem. When pulling current for an iron, coffee maker, microwave, AC unit, etc this does become a problem.

At this point I need to apologize to you all for stating the wrong product type. Thanks for picking up "dialytic" grease. TOTALLY WRONG on my part. I meant antioxidant grease as found in the electrical department on our favorite stores. Why do so many, even on this forum, stress clean and solid plugs for the pedestal, protected with antioxidant grease? Could it be the resistance of a dirty connection and the heat it produces under load? We will all agree on this one. So, back to the solder. It is like putting dirt in the connection.

I am sorry to disagree with gemini5362 so firmly on the taping issue. To me, using electrical tape on a power connection for the purpose of keeping the wire nut from loosening is like keeping your cat from your canary in a string cage. Won't happen. The only thing that keeps a good wire nut connection from coming undone is the friction within the wire nut to the wires. If the outside force is strong enough to loosen the nut, no electrical tape will prevent it in the long run. I have way too much experience in this area to ever agree.

Thanks again guys for the challenges. I don't know if I have convinced anyone with my reasoning or not. But you did get me to think in areas I have not delved into at this depth form a very long time.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:04 AM   #67
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PS: I should have done a better job of editing. I'm still a bit sleepy at 5AM and the grey matter is a bit blue yet. Please let me know if you can't figure out my missing or half words.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:27 AM   #68
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Like I said the biggest arguement on the tractor by net forum I saw was over how to put on wire nuts.

Jerichorick and I disagree on a couple of areas. I got in the habbit of taping wire nuts when I worked at the steel mill. Everything there got a lot of banging and vibrating. Putting tape on the bottom of the wirenuts seemed to do a pretty good job of keeping them in place and keeping dust ( which steel mills have a lot of) out of the connection. If he does not want to do that is fine with me. I do it on all my wire nuts and it makes me happy.

I have two experiences with soldered connections. After I graduated from college I went to work for the same defense contractor that made the equipment I worked on in the navy. When we had to make butt splices we would put a piece of heat shrink on one end of the wire and slide it away from the connection. We would then twist the wires together and slide the heat shrink back in place. The heat shrink had a band of solder in the middle we would use a high temp heat gun on the heat shrink. It would shrink down to the size of the wire and then melt the solder to melt the connection. Never once did anyone say anything about increased resistance from that wire. These were high power connection with a lot more current than an iron or toaster etc. (Think missile fire control radar circuitry) This equipment was a vital part of the defense of navy destroyers, and cruisers. I am thinking that if solder was a bad thing the navy would not have used it.

The second example is my short career working for NASA in the downrange safety tracking station in Bermuda. Part of the training was to certify on the NASA soldering course. This was the same course that people involved in assembly of components and space vehicles for manned launches had to certify in. We learned to solder connections terminals and my personal nemesis turrent terminals. I learned a lot of things about soldering wires together with one of the biggest being wicking and how to solder without doing that. No one ever mentioned in any of the training courses I took about high resistance because of soldering wires together.

In the article that he mentioned where this would be a problem such as microwaves any circuit boards used in these devices are assembled with wave soldering techniques

I personally think wire nuts are only useful because they are faster and easier to install. I have no doubt that I can take two #12 gauge copper wires twist them together solder them and using the right taping techniques have them connected with less resistance than a wire nut and still be as well protected maybe even better than a wire nut. That of course is just an opinion.
Bottom line . I am going to make the connections the way I want to and everyone else will do the same. I am sure that my connections will take a lot longer than a wire nut connection will take and probably the wire nut for almost everything we would use them on will take a licking and keep on ticking.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:33 AM   #69
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gemini5362, your military soldering experience are much different than house wire soldering. You were using silver solder. Silver is a great conductor, better than copper. My references were to what the electricians have used. I don't know of many folks who have the bucks to spend on silver solder for home wire splicing. We did a lot of things in the service that just won't work in the civilian world.

Your opinion is your opinion. If you have the time and need to solder, go for it. I just know what I have experienced with such connections when done poorly. Under normal conditions wire nuts are safe and much easier to use. Safe only when used correctly in both cases. Ease of use I think we can agree on are wire nuts over solder.

I still think you will find the NEC book is against you on the solder and tape, though I could be wrong. I think of soldering house wiring in the same class as DC-3's for passenger air transport today. Great in their day, but their day is long gone.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:18 AM   #70
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I do not use the screw on type wire nuts or solder in any RV or home wiring.
The crimp stile with a push on cover is what I use so the will not come loose on the road.
This is what I use.



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