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Old 05-10-2015, 11:20 AM   #29
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"If you also want a household 120V plug, that will likely mean running a separate feed for it, or putting a breaker-sub panel by the plugs, both of which increase costs. I do not believe it wold be legal to tap the 15 or 20 amp household socket off of the 50 amp supply without it having its own breaker."

Tap a GFI 15 Amp off of the 30 A breaker or 1 side of the 50 A. There is no need to pull a separate pair unless you are trying to run both at the same time.

FWIW I dug a bit into boxes. IF it cost $100's more it was because the electrician was clueless or you were dealing with a code nazi. The ideal is to pull 50 A max or less with a 50 A breaker in the distribution panel and maybe a local one. Here is a source for a box at retail:

RV Power Outlet Box - Multiple Plugs - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Read what a 50 amp connection is...

It is not 50 amp at 120 vac...

It is 50 amp at 240 vac meaning 4 conductors with L1, L2, Neutral and Safety ground...simple as that.

Read the instructions and follow them...

We picked up a square d 50 amp dual pole grount fault breaker the other day at an estate sale...was intended for an rv connection so there are more options for safe connections.

The proper installation can be done by a teenager...assuming they can read the instructions and do the process correctly.

Problem is most folks fail to read the instructions and listen to folks who have no clue and then make assumed choices then do unsafe work.

For those who have not performed any electrical work and who may not have the tools to properly do the work and it is a one time event they are best served by waiting and saving up to have a licensed person to do the work and that includes pulling a permit to be certian that work is inspected and the existing work is also checked as part of the package.

For others do your proper homework and if you feel capable of doing the work you should proceed but please be sure to have the means to properly test your work (voltmeter) and have a helper so you can get help if needed.

A 50 amp 2 pole GFI breaker should not be used on a RV.

RV's almost always have point of use GFI receptacles in them.

A GFI after a GFI almost always causes nuisance trips.

Secondly your comment about a 50 amp connection is confusing to you and others.

You absolutely have 50 amps of 120 volts available on L1 to neutral AND an additional 50 amps of 120 volts available on L2 to neutral.

You have 50 amps of 240 volts available between L1 and L2 on the receptacle.

Most RV's do not have 240 appliances so the 120 volt amp capacity is of more importance.

And PLEASE don't let teenagers do this unless they have been mentored by a professional.

I can read up all day long on how to fly the Space Shuttle but I don't think you'd want to go on a maiden voyage with me....
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:40 PM   #31
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I've decided against the 30 amp and 120v plugs. As mentioned I have the outlets in the compartments of the coach. I'll get clarification from my licensed electrician when he returns next week. This input was invaluable, thanks again for the informative and spirited contributions.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:19 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon190 View Post
The 50 amp circuit is two separate 120 volt circuits, with two individual circuit breakers.
Please don't post incorrect or confusing information. While it's true that the required double pole 50 amp breaker is usually made up of two electrically isolated single pole breakers, it is NOT correct to say that they are two individual breakers. They MUST be physically connected together to prevent them from being connected to the same hot leg, and so that they both trip if one leg is overloaded. I'm guessing you know this, and you did actually use a double gang breaker, but you don't say this and someone who doesn't know the difference could very easily take your advice, use two individual breakers, and wind up in trouble.

It's a relatively simple concept, when you know what you're doing, but it can be very confusing to inexperienced people. It's very easy to wire something up that works, but it's much more difficult to wire it up in a way that is safe and will stay safe under various difficult conditions. The inexperienced person who reads bad or conflicting advice may wire something up, and because it doesn't blow up of kill someone the first time they plug in, they think they are good to go, and everything will be fine. Unfortunately, giving incorrect information (using two independent breakers) increases the odd that they will run into trouble, just as giving conflicting information can.

For example, in your recent post you wrote:
Quote:
Sure, there's 240 volts available
But in a prior post you write:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon190 View Post
It is two 120 volt 50 amp circuits. NOT a 50 amp 240 volt circuit.
Make up your mind, is it 240 volts or not? It's not rocket science, but it is complicated enough (and definitely dangerous enough) that you need to be clear in the terms you use so that you don't cause even more confusion. Please be careful with your terminology and accuracy of your information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
Tap a GFI 15 Amp off of the 30 A breaker or 1 side of the 50 A.
Again, just because something works, doesn't mean it's safe under all conditions. If you tap one hot leg of the 50 amp circuit to feed that 15 amp socket, you give the person who later plugs into that 15 amp outlet the ability to seriously overload the circuit with no protection. Because a heavy cable rated for 50 amps won't fit under the screw of 15 amp socket, you are bound to use a smaller gauge wire to the outlet. You now have that smaller wire, plus the cord of whatever is plugged into that outlet, that can now act as a radiant heater or fusible link because the 50 amp breaker protecting it will allow much more current than the wires can safely handle.

I don't know all of the electrical codes, but I can recognize some dangerous conditions, and I can't believe that tapping off like that would be allowed without adding its own 15 amp breaker (in an approved enclosure) between the 50 amp source and the 15 amp outlet.

You specifically mention a GFI outlet. Yes, you need that for an outdoor general purpose socket like that, but I hope you are aware that it will only trip on a ground fault (current leakage path to ground) and will absolutely not act as a 15 amp circuit breaker to limit the current in or out of the outlet. A GFI outlet is not a replacement for a properly sized circuit breaker.

Quote:
There is no need to pull a separate pair unless you are trying to run both at the same time.
Running loads on both circuits has nothing to do with my comment about running a separate line. If you ignore the safety risk of not having a breaker on the 15 amp outlet, there isn't a problem running both at one time, it's just that any load on the 15 amp outlet will limit the safe load you can draw from the 50 amp outlet.

Quote:
FWIW I dug a bit into boxes. IF it cost $100's more it was because the electrician was clueless or you were dealing with a code nazi.
Prices appear to have come down since I searched a few years ago, I was seeing prices closer to (and and well above) $200 for a similar box. The weatherproof exterior 50 amp single outlet box I used was well less than $30.00.

Code Nazi? What's wrong with following electrical codes? The codes are there for a reason! I would not suggest people bypass safety issues by recommending potentially dangerous outlet taps, or denigrating code inspectors. The codes and inspectors are there to protect you and the people around you.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:40 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark
Tap a GFI 15 Amp off of the 30 A breaker or 1 side of the 50 A.

Again, just because something works, doesn't mean it's safe under all conditions. If you tap one hot leg of the 50 amp circuit to feed that 15 amp socket, you give the person who later plugs into that 15 amp outlet the ability to seriously overload the circuit with no protection. Because a heavy cable rated for 50 amps won't fit under the screw of 15 amp socket, you are bound to use a smaller gauge wire to the outlet. You now have that smaller wire, plus the cord of whatever is plugged into that outlet, that can now act as a radiant heater or fusible link because the 50 amp breaker protecting it will allow much more current than the wires can safely handle."

Not a problem if one is tapping the 20 A breaker feeding the 20 A outlet off of the output of the 50 A breaker. I would agree about tapping off of the 50 A to feed the outlet directly. A foot of 20 A wire will not fuse at 50 A so the breaker will do it's job if there is an overload.

That ties into the code nazi concept. The issue is that the box is intended for 50 A at the most thus wire size and feed breakers are chosen accordingly. The problem occurs when somebody decides it has to feed all those outlets indepently so one really has 100 A capacity to the panel as in 50 + 30 + 20. Way overkill. OTOH there are reasons somebody with a 30 might want another 20 available and that will fit in the scheme. With a 50 A service the coach can supply it all. As far as code it would seem that setup meets it as there are thousands of park spaces wired that way.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:48 PM   #34
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50 Amp service install on side of house questions

I'll now just stay out of the discussion whenever a thread like this is started. I have a properly wired circuit because I did exactly what the inspector (who is a friend of mine) said to do. Also, I didn't mean two "disconnected" breakers. Sorry for my wording. True, my theory was wrong and it is 240 volts and I apologize to all that didn't get the gist of my original post. And that is, it's not a "do it yourself" project and use an electrician.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:22 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Not a problem if one is tapping the 20 A breaker feeding the 20 A outlet off of the output of the 50 A breaker.
Yes, that was my point, as long as there is a breaker there. But that means another box for the breaker (or a combined 50/15 box) which adds to the cost. My point was to address the "low cost" statement of simply hanging a 15 amp socket off of a 50 amp box.

Quote:
A foot of 20 A wire will not fuse at 50 A so the breaker will do it's job if there is an overload.
The 50 amp breaker will indeed likely do its job if there is a hard short on the line. However, it will still allow 50 amps of power to flow through a 15 amp extension cord if there is a serious overload. (ie: someone plugs several electric heaters into a long extension cord: don't laugh, there are plenty of people who feel that as long as the breaker doesn't trip, they can keep adding more and more loads -- after all, why do they make power strips with 6 or 8 outlets, surely that means I can run 8 electric heaters at once, right? NOT!)

Quote:
The issue is that the box is intended for 50 A at the most thus wire size and feed breakers are chosen accordingly.
It depends on which box you're talking about. I'm talking about a box with a single 50 amp socket. You sound like you're talking about the box which has a sub-panel in it with three breakers, and 50 + 30 + 20 amp sockets. If you look at the ratings for them (like in the link you provided earlier) it is billed as an 80 amp panel, as it is designed for the outlets to be used simultaneously.

Quote:
The problem occurs when somebody decides it has to feed all those outlets indepently so one really has 100 A capacity to the panel as in 50 + 30 + 20.
The problem is that your math doesn't add up properly. The 50 amp outlet has two 50 amp hot legs, the other outlets only have one hot leg. So you have 50 + 30 on one leg (80 amp max) and 50 + 20 (70 amp max) on the other. You only need 80 amp conductors to fully power this panel (as long as you are not daisy chaining as in the next paragraph.)

Quote:
As far as code it would seem that setup meets it as there are thousands of park spaces wired that way.
In a park, the panels are often daisy-chained with power running from one panel to the next. While the panel is rated to output up to 80 amps of power, those panels designed for daisy-chaining have internal bus bars that can take more than 80 amps on the pass-through lugs, as the first panel in the line has all of the power for all of the chained panels passing through it. However, knowing that not all outlets will be powered on all pedestals all of the time, the code has formulas for the allowed de-rating of the service supply. For example, if there are 5 panels in a row, with a max of 80 amps per panel, it would appear that would mean 400 amps total, and would seem to imply a 400 amp main breaker feeding the chain. But the code does allow a smaller main breaker than that. (The specifics are too detailed for a thread like this, and not pertinent to the OP who only wants a single box, not a chain of them.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon190 View Post
I have a properly wired circuit because I did exactly what the inspector (who is a friend of mine) said to do.
The more you say, the more I'm convinced that you have a properly wired setup. My concern is that your advice was easily misinterpreted, and that can cause problems for others who may take it on face value.

Quote:
the gist of my original post. And that is, it's not a "do it yourself" project and use an electrician.
VERY GOOD ADVICE! There is more to it than would appear on the surface. Don't try to do it yourself unless you are 100% sure of what you're doing! Even then, get it inspected! If you have even the slightest doubt in your mind, seek professional help.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:50 PM   #36
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I've been thinking of the same thing. But I can't keep my MH at the house except for a night or two before a trip. Besides, it barely fits in the driveway. So instead of running an outlet to the outside, in thinking of just having an electrician put a 50 amp plug right at my breaker box. I'd be able to run the line from the coach to the connector. Then I could run the AC or whatever without having to fire up the generator (which I don't really mind doing for a few hours once or twice a month)
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:26 AM   #37
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No need for extra boxes if one buys the box the campgrounds use. They are standard hardware. It will cost maybe a $100 more retail than a basic weatherproof 50 A and then you have it all if you need it later. That is the point. The electrician will cost you significantly more than that to put in the wire and get the inspection done. Then any future changes or visitors are easily accommodated.

Looking at the digression into the safety side just shows how clueless this can get. Anybody who can spec the correct wire can do the job as it is relatively simple with the correct hardware.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:52 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
This is what I used and it was surprisingly inexpensive and had everything, breakers and all. 50/30/15.
This is what I have as well, great box, was around $100 @ Home Depot
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:58 PM   #39
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cost to move RV Box 65 feet

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Originally Posted by Golfer Guy View Post
Any idea what the ball park cost is to have a 50 amp plug added to the parking pad 50" from the house?
I just ran a 65 ft RV connection from the main circuit breaker panel located in the garage to the front of my Shed at the end of the RV pad.I used conduit so my #6 cable was cheaper at $2.79 a foot. about $185 Plus tax. $24 for 50 amp Plug in box. $35 for conduit and fittings so it cost around $250 in parts and the labor was free. Did it myself. Here is a link to pictures of what was done. https://picasaweb.google.com/1042267...MmYrbKagJW17AE
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:45 PM   #40
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The only real concern about keeping it plugged in all the time is if your converter/charger will overcharge the batteries. If you currently leave it plugged in all the time to a household 120V plug and don't have issues, you won't have any issues leaving it plugged in to 50 Amp. The only difference is that you will be able to run more stuff, like running air conditioners to cool it down while loading and before hitting the road.

If you also want a household 120V plug, that will likely mean running a separate feed for it, or putting a breaker-sub panel by the plugs, both of which increase costs. I do not believe it wold be legal to tap the 15 or 20 amp household socket off of the 50 amp supply without it having its own breaker.

In my case, I didn't bother with a household plug out by my 50 amp outlet. If I'm home, the coach is there and plugged in, and the same compartment that has the shore cord reel in it already has a 20 amp household socket on a dedicated circuit (for the engine block heater.) If I need to plug into a household socket, I just use that one which is only a few feet from the pedestal.


I don't know about that. When I put in a 50 Amp socket on a pedestal by my parking pad, the 50/30/20 panels were hundreds of dollars, while a single 50 amp socket was MUCH less expensive. Plus, you will need larger wires run to a combination panel, and heavy gauge wire is not cheap!

If you say you don't need the larger wires because you won't be using the 50 and 30 amp sockets at the same time, then why pay the extra money for the combination panel? A 50 to 30 amp dogbone adapter is MUCH cheaper, and fully functional for the odd occasion that you may have a visitor with a 30 amp rig.



WRONG! A 50 amp RV socket is exactly the same as a four prong 50 amp household electric range or electric dryer socket powered by a double pole 50 amp breaker. There are two 120 volt 50 amp circuits, and there MUST be 240 volts between the two hot legs. The coach may not use any 240 volt circuits, but if there isn't 240 volts between the two hot legs, you may be seriously overloading your neutral conductor.

If you don't understand this, are you sure you wired your socket correctly?

General RV electrical service information
Description of 50 amp RV socket
How to wire a 50 amp RV socket
Excellent information. I visited, read and printed all of info in the links. I suggest everyone else interested in clarification and self installation to do the same.

Thanks, ShapeShifter!!
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:32 AM   #41
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This is what I have as well, great box, was around $100 @ Home Depot
So $100 for the box and it gets wired with the same wire as any other 50 Amp system. I'm closing the gap to ~$50. ;-)
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