Originally Posted by zzjea
I posted this while you were posting yours so it may be outdated....
Wow. You have a big job ahead.
I hope your "extension" cable is heavy duty bulk cable similar to this:
Americord: 12/3 SOOW Black 90C 20 Amp 600V NA Heavy Duty Rubber Bulk Cable
Most circuits will be ok at 20A but if you have one where you could pull more than that, I would go with 10g wiring for that circuit. Even the ACs only require a 20A circuit to run. Of course those are dedicated for that purpose only. The key is the maximum draw on any circuit. Beakers are there for safety and should be rated both for the wire size and the amp draw.
Since your generator puts out 7KW, it should be 50A out: 1 30A and 1 20A circuits. That will be enough to power your coach when you get the ATS and install it. Plan ahead for that so it will be easier when you get around to doing it. Do the research on the wiring for an ATS so you will be prepared to make it work. You will need it when you decide that the generator might be useful (power outage, etc.). Big cables are harder to manipulate as you know so where/how you leave room to install the ATS is important.
Good luck today.
Thanks for following the thread.
The job continues! Yea, this has not been an easy task. Will probably take a break today, I'm so sore from the past two days of crawling around underneath the coach running wires.
My extension cord wire is a real heavy duty 12 gauge wire. Most of the circuits / outlets I plan on adding, will all be 20 amp.
I could have got away with 15 amp curcuits, but with electric heaters using 12.5 amps at 1500 watts, those outlets would be about useless for anything else.
One of the things that kind-of inspired me... I have a 15 amp outlet in the living room, which has an electric heater plugged into it, then a receiver and television.
If I run the heater on high, am say watching a DVD, which means naturally the television, then my receiver being on, I'll pop the 15 amp breaker.
So lately, I've only been able to run the heater on the lower 750 watt setting. I can run just the television and the heater on high, and not have a problem, but as soon as I add the receiver into the equation, I'll exceed that 15 amps.
I only use the receiver to drive a very small set of bookshelf type speakers. Among 'numerous' other issues, chemotherapy treatments I had a year back, robbed me of half my hearing.
So I'm considered hearing impared, and need those extra external speakers to be able to hear my movies.
I already blew out the first set of speakers in my big screen television. Was still under warranty so was able to get those replaced.
Out of warranty now, so can't afford to be replacing speakers all the time. The only resolution now are external speakers.
So anyway, that was just one of the things that set my mind towards this upgrage. Then the fact that it looks like I'm going to have to try and survive the winter here, I've got to have the ability to run more electric heaters in here.
I know most people do this so they can run both air conditioners at the same time, and yea, I'll be able to do that as well eventually.
Actually this past summer, I was able to get by on one air conditioner. It did get hot in here, like as much as 90, but that doesn't bother me as much as the cold does now.
Another 'gift' from the chemotherapy... a total intolerance to the cold. Especially in my hands and feet, where I suffered from a lot of nerve damage, (peripheral neuropathy).
So anyway again, the job continues. I've got about 99% of the wires run, and most of the crawling around the coach runing wires done.
I do have to get back under there to wrap some of the wiring in plastic wire loom. Don't know if I'm going to get that part of it done before winter hits. That may have to wait until spring.
I did make one run of a 14 gauge romex. That went to my water heater. I did the electric conversation to it, and think that was one of the best things I've done here.
Well, I did have a neighbor help me with that, as I was recently back from a hospital where I had to have hip replacement surgery after a fall.
The kit was only about $65.00 through amazon, and was extremely eazy to put in. When first looking at it, first reading the instructions, it looks complicated and overwhelming.
But the way the kit was designed, really anyone with some basic skills can do it. Well, as long as one isn't color blind... Just 'everything' in there is color coded. Just connect all the like colors together, and the electrical part of it is done.
And no stripping wires, no soldering, no wire nuts... everything has push together connectors on it.
The hardest part was attaching the thermostat to the actual metal part of the tank.
That involved removing a lot of screws, disconnecting the propane line, and pulling the tank part way out. Well, that's the way it was with mine... newer, or other models might be even easier.
'Anyway'... I'm a lot more concerned about that romex run, than I am about the extension cord wire I ran.
And despite someone's suggestion of using direct burial romex... Well, I didn't for this part of it.
I had some leftover 14 gauge romex in a box, had no other use for it, didn't even know if i had enough for that run until I actually uncoiled it.
Besides I didn't money left over to buy the direct burial kind... I figured 'whatever' I had, I was still going to put it in plastic wire loom anyway, so why waste what I already had.
This entire job has been a project! Even if I wasn't going to add any more circuits...
As I mentioned, all the DC wires are too short for the new panel. I'm not able to pull the panel completely out of the opening to work on it easily.
Splicing and extending all of them will probably be a winter project. I've got to get the new circuits done.
I've now got wires going from the panel to where the new extra outlets will be going. I just need to put the outlets in, then make the connections at the panel.
In the living room, on an outside wall, (where it won't be seen anyway), a surface mount box, with the wire ready for the outlet.
In the dinning room area, I'll be putting in a recessed outlet. There was a nice big hollow area in back of the dinning room 'booth'.
The wire actually came up through the floor in the storage area under the one bench seat. It's now sticking out of the wall waiting for the outlet that should be here today.
Then in the bedroom, (and I wish I would had found this sooner), I found a shallow box that I could recess in these narrow walls, and will still accommodate a standard outlet.
I did fish that wire up the wall so I could have the outlet at the standard height. It took a lot of measuring, looking at, 'this and that' to do that task!
I had to drill up from underneath, and where I was inside the narrow wall. And that wire is actually going up through one of my basement compartments.
There was only one good spot to put an outlet in that room, based on where I'd most likely be putting an electric heater. Though that might change... but if it does, it would only be by a couple feet.
When I completely removed the old panel, (labeling wires as I went along), the romex in that back was twisted, tangled, and what's often referred to as a 'rats nest'. It was like a bowl of spaghetti!
It took a lot of time just straightening that out. Especially with 'everything' in here being combined on 3 circuits.
I was able to split some of it up so far, but have a couple others to work on. One of the things I previously mentioned, was this ground fault outlet in the bathroon.
The outside outlet, (which isn't a ground fault yet... I will be changing that), was connected to that ground fault in the bathroom.
When something got wet outside, it naturally popped the ground fault in the bathroom. 'But', every other outlet in the coach was tied into that as well. So it killed 'everything' in the coach.
There's just no reason for that. So I was able to split some of that off, but still have some circuits to work on.
Then the other is splitting the two air conditioners off on their own circuits. That I have to think about, maybe post a question here.
Both are wired into a switch in an overhead compartment. I 'know' there's got to be a way of doing that without opening up a wall. Again, just have to think about that one.
Then I have to split the washer/dryer from the microwave. Those are switched in the kitchen right next to the microwave.
That one will be easy... I already know how I'm going to do that. It's going to involve crawling underneath and making one more short wire run.
One big challlenge I've run into, is the double floor. Something I completely didn't think about in the beginning.
I'd drill a 'small' hole, stick a straightened out coat hanger up the hole, then go looking for it. I bugged the hell out of me when I couldn't find it! Turns out I didn't go all the way through the second floor.
Then naturally, you've got to be 'real' careful where you're drilling a hole!
And this is going to be impossible to get to, but if I open my basement compartment where my srorage tanks are, I can see a bundle of wires, wire tied together, that's about 6 inches in diameter.
Television cable, low voltage wires, and romex, all tied together. Something that shouldn't be done...
There's no way to get to those wires, and is the only area where they can be seen. Everywhere else, they're inbetween the floors.
And I know that some of the things I still need to split apart, are running through that area. I just need to find an alternate way to split things up.
And I think I've pretty much got some of it figured out already. But that's not as important right now as getting these extra outlets in for extra heaters. So some of that might have to wait until spring time.
So the entire changeover, the way I want it to be, is going to be an ongoing project for some time. At least into the spring.
And I have that generator transfer switch to put in next spring as well. I figured the best way to do that already.
From the little compartment in the back, I'm going to split my 50 amp cable there, make a run to the generator from that point, (only about 8 feet away), then back again, and then I'll splice back to the 50 amp cable going up to the panel.
That way the genetator transfer switch can be installed up by the new panel, where the old one was.
Admittedly something I should had researched better before I started this project.
One thing I question, one company I called about the generator transfer switch told me I would have to use 8 gauge wire from the switch to the generator.
My 50 amp cable has three 6 gauge, and one 8 gauge wires in it. I'm thinking I'm going to have to make that run to the generator and back with 6 gauge wire.
Otherwise I really won't have 'true' 6 gauge wire feeding my panel.
Anyway, when it's all done, it will be nice, and in my mind, the way it should had been done.
One more quick note, there are 'a lot' of wires run under the coach. And I do mean 'a lot'!
However they are all run in plastic wire loom, and from the looks of it, the undercoating spray was put on after all that wire loom was installed under there.
Again, thanks for following the thread and for your input. I'm figuring when it's all done, I'll probably have about $1200 in the project.