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Old 10-13-2013, 05:55 PM   #85
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My take on this is the PO had a 110 volt-20 amp outlet at his house or storage yard swapped out to a 50A receptacle and wasn't getting both legs into his coach. He placed a jumper in the CB box to lightly power all circuits. He passed away before it could be put right.

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Electrocuted himself, perhaps?
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:12 AM   #86
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Electrocuted himself, perhaps?


What a morbid thought but certainly a possibility!

Thanks for the laugh!



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Old 10-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #87
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The 30 amp breaker in the RV prevents you from drawing more than the 30 amp shore cord and adapter can handle. My house is connected to more power than my power lines can handle, the breakers in the service panel limit how much I draw, same set up as a 30 amp RV plugged in to a 50 amp pedestal.
Actually your house is connected to a transformer that has fuses to protect the lines going into the house.

You are banking that there is not going to be anything happen between the 30 amp breaker and the pedestal breaker. If anything happens that pulls between 30 and 50 amps in the line going to the pedestal that 10 gauge power cord is going to be a 30 amp fuse and the possibility of a fire is very real. If the 30 amp breaker welds shut. same thing. If there is a short in the line between the the 30 amp breaker and the 50 amp pedestal it is going to be a race which happens first the 50 amp breaker trips or the 10 gauge power cord burns into and catches fire. There are a lot of people that take this for granted. I think everyone that reads this should be made aware that any time you use a power cable that has less ampacity than the breaker feeding it you are creating a danger. IF you want to do that it is your business but the people reading this thread need to have the information to make their own decision.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #88
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Actually your house is connected to a transformer that has fuses to protect the lines going into the house.

You are banking that there is not going to be anything happen between the 30 amp breaker and the pedestal breaker. If anything happens that pulls even 50 amps in the line going to the pedestal that 10 gauge power cord is going to be a 30 amp fuse and the possibility of a fire is very real. If the 30 amp breaker welds shut. same thing. There are a lot of things that can happen. I am a firm believer in not using a conductor that has less ampacity than the circuit breaker that feeds it.
If you are so fearful that it could malfunction and start a fire, I suggest you buy an Amish trailer that uses no electricity. I have a 50 amp RV and so I've never worried about it. At home I hook up to a 15 amp outlet by way of an outdoor extension cord. I just know not to run A/C or any major power through the extension cord.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:29 AM   #89
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Actually your house is connected to a transformer that has fuses to protect the lines going into the house.

You are banking that there is not going to be anything happen between the 30 amp breaker and the pedestal breaker. If anything happens that pulls between 30 and 50 amps in the line going to the pedestal that 10 gauge power cord is going to be a 30 amp fuse and the possibility of a fire is very real. If the 30 amp breaker welds shut. same thing. If there is a short in the line between the the 30 amp breaker and the 50 amp pedestal it is going to be a race which happens first the 50 amp breaker trips or the 10 gauge power cord burns into and catches fire. There are a lot of people that take this for granted. I think everyone that reads this should be made aware that any time you use a power cable that has less ampacity than the breaker feeding it you are creating a danger. IF you want to do that it is your business but the people reading this thread need to have the information to make their own decision.
We have already agreed to disagree on this topic, so no need to rehash. Suffice to say, any OVERLOAD scenario I can think of that would cause a 30A shore cable to melt would have to be preceded by a breaker or fuse failure. Not impossible, but very, very unlikely.

Connecting supply cables to power supplies that exceed their rated ampacity is common practice and happens throughout your house. In fact, almost every step of the way, wire sizes get smaller and smaller the farther you get from the power generation source.

The .2A nose trimmer is connected to a 20A circuit, which is connected to a 200A panel, which is connected to a 2000A feeder which is connected to a 200,000A substation, which is connected to a 2,000,000A Nuclear Power Station. Wire sizes get larger and larger as you go. Breakers and fuses are inserted into the path as necessary to protect the smaller wire.

We will never agree, but I contend that plugging a 50A load into a 30A pedestal is far more dangerous than plugging a 30A load into a 50A pedestal. The 50A breaker is not intended to, or required to protect the 30A shore cable. The 30A shore cable is protected by the 30A breaker in the coach. The 50A breaker protects the CG premise wiring.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:17 AM   #90
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If you are so fearful that it could malfunction and start a fire, I suggest you buy an Amish trailer that uses no electricity. I have a 50 amp RV and so I've never worried about it. At home I hook up to a 15 amp outlet by way of an outdoor extension cord. I just know not to run A/C or any major power through the extension cord.
Actually your suggestion does no have any merit. I want to offer a balanced viewpoint. There are a lot of people that are advising just use the adapter and go on with it. That is fine if people want to do that it is their business. I have found from reading these threads that there are a lot of people that do not know anything about electricity. Regardless of your viewpoint you are taking a risk when you use the adapter. Is it a big risk probably not but it is a risk. I want to make sure that someone who asks for advice is aware of that. I also think it is probably not really a problem. In the few campgrounds I have been to either it is a lot easier to get a 30 amp hookup in the first place or if you go to a 50 amp pedestal they have a 50amp and a 30 amp receptacle both. I also hook up to a 15 AMP breaker with an extension cord at home sometimes. I know very well what I am doing and I would point out that I use an extension cable that is rated for more than 15 amps so I am not using a cable that has more ampacity than my breaker.

From your post I notice that you have mentioned that you have a 50 amp RV so you do not have to experience the danger when you hook up. If you use an adapter to hook your 50 amp cord to a 30 amp receptacle then you still have a cord with more ampacity than the breaker which is what I am advocating. I have an equally meritless suggestion for you to match you amish suggestion. IF you have to replace your 50 amp power cord just buy a 10 gauge 30 amp cord to replace it. They are a lot cheaper. Since you do not think it makes a difference you can save money.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:31 AM   #91
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We have already agreed to disagree on this topic, so no need to rehash. Suffice to say, any OVERLOAD scenario I can think of that would cause a 30A shore cable to melt would have to be preceded by a breaker or fuse failure. Not impossible, but very, very unlikely.

Connecting supply cables to power supplies that exceed their rated ampacity is common practice and happens throughout your house. In fact, almost every step of the way, wire sizes get smaller and smaller the farther you get from the power generation source.

The .2A nose trimmer is connected to a 20A circuit, which is connected to a 200A panel, which is connected to a 2000A feeder which is connected to a 200,000A substation, which is connected to a 2,000,000A Nuclear Power Station. Wire sizes get larger and larger as you go. Breakers and fuses are inserted into the path as necessary to protect the smaller wire.

We will never agree, but I contend that plugging a 50A load into a 30A pedestal is far more dangerous than plugging a 30A load into a 50A pedestal. The 50A breaker is not intended to, or required to protect the 30A shore cable. The 30A shore cable is protected by the 30A breaker in the coach. The 50A breaker protects the CG premise wiring.
You are right we have agreed to disagree and I was not going to get into this subject in this thread until everyone started just saying go ahead and hook up the 30 amp to a 50 amp breaker. I still do not understand why you think that it is more dangerous to hook up a 50amp load to a 30 amp pedestal. All the components of the 50 amp breaker are a lot heavier duty than the 30 amp breaker will allow current to flow through. If I understand you you are saying that the 50 amp load can cause the electrical system to heat up and be dangerous because the 30 amp breaker feeding it will allow to much current and will be a problem. But you do not feel that the 30 amp breaker in the coach would allow to much current for the power cord to handle before the 50 amp breakers feeding it trip. Interesting logic. Do you get that by positive to negative electron flow or negative to positive electron flow or maybe you think the VSWR of the cable will protect it ?

Also you have a theory of what breakers protect what that is different from anything I have ever heard in my life anywhere. I have always heard seen and learned that breakers protect downstream from them not upstream

I also think the lesson that everyone is not looking at is the original post of this thread. Someone at some time severely miswired this coach. AS we buy used coaches they might be miswired. Even new coaches could be miswired. I could see someone adding a new circuit and not realizing what they were doing adding it to the wrong side of the 30 amp breaker so that it is wired up on the input side of the breaker. How much would a 30 amp breaker protect your power cord in that situation. Is it a huge danger once again probably not. But people at least should know what they are doing when they do that.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:43 AM   #92
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[QUOTE=Ramblin;1768700] .

Connecting supply cables to power supplies that exceed their rated ampacity is common practice and happens throughout your house. In fact, almost every step of the way, wire sizes get smaller and smaller the farther you get from the power generation source.

The .2A nose trimmer is connected to a 20A circuit, which is connected to a 200A panel, which is connected to a 2000A feeder which is connected to a 200,000A substation, which is connected to a 2,000,000A Nuclear Power Station. Wire sizes get larger and larger as you go. Breakers and fuses are inserted into the path as necessary to protect the smaller wire. [Quote]

Are you disagreeing with me here. I said that the cable needs to be matched to the breaker. you said that wire sized get larger and larger as you go breakers are inserted into the path to protect the smaller wire which is my point exactly the 10 gauge wire in a 30 amp power cord needs to have a 30 amp breaker to protect it not a 50 amp breaker.

I also thought about what you said last time about cords in a stick house. I looked around my house and very few things have cords for them smaller than the breaker. In my house all of the receptacles are 15 amp breakers which will protect a 14 gauge wire. If you have a plug in nose trimmer (? is it old ) it might be that situation but a lot of those kind of things have fusible links in the device. I am guessing but think most of the houses and wiring in the United States are set up to have the breakers be of lower ampacity than the devices they control.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:31 AM   #93
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You are right we have agreed to disagree and I was not going to get into this subject in this thread until everyone started just saying go ahead and hook up the 30 amp to a 50 amp breaker. I still do not understand why you think that it is more dangerous to hook up a 50amp load to a 30 amp pedestal.
Because to do so, you need a 50->30 adapter. The 50A coach can, by design and without any safeguards, easily present enough LOAD to cook the adapter. Whereas, a 30A coach cannot, by design, present enough load to cook anything in the path. Only if something extraordinary goes wrong can a 30A coach have a problem.
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All the components of the 50 amp breaker are a lot heavier duty than the 30 amp breaker will allow current to flow through. If I understand you you are saying that the 50 amp load can cause the electrical system to heat up and be dangerous because the 30 amp breaker feeding it will allow to much current and will be a problem. But you do not feel that the 30 amp breaker in the coach would allow to much current for the power cord to handle before the 50 amp breakers feeding it trip. Interesting logic.
In this scenario, the 50A breaker will never trip, unless there is a dead short in the cable. And even then, the 30A breaker in the coach will trip first. In the case of plugging a 50A coach into a 30A pedestal, I am saying the 50A load can by design cause the ADAPTER to heat up and become dangerous, whereas a 30A coach cannot, by design, cause a 50A adapter to heat up and become dangerous. The 30A coach has safeguards all the way to the pedestal, adapters included, to protect it, whereas the 50A coach has a weak link, hence my assertion that a 50A coach on a 30A pedestal is more dangerous.

We can probably agree on this: adapting up OR down is more dangerous than not adapting at all.
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Also you have a theory of what breakers protect what that is different from anything I have ever heard in my life anywhere. I have always heard seen and learned that breakers protect downstream from them not upstream
In the case of residential code, breakers protect premise wiring from end user overloading. In other words, the breakers in the panel are there to protect the wire in the walls from you plugging and running in too many space heaters, hair dryers, and toaster ovens at one time for the premise wiring to handle. Likewise, the pedestal breaker is in place to protect the CG wiring from you plugging in too much load, not to protect you from too much available current.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:50 AM   #94
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Gee gemini5362, you've taken a topic many know little about (electricity) and made it scarier! A 50 amp RV plugged into a 30 amp pedestal has very little risk to the RV. Yes, we could dream up all sorts of cascading failures of components along the way, but it's very unlikely. Your arguments with me and Ramblin, would be fine around a campfire over a beer, but to folks trying to learn safe and practical use of their RV it's a little over the top.

A 30 amp RV can't demand more than 30 amps from a pedestal without tripping it's own breaker, so a 30 to 50 amp adaptor is O.K. A 50 amp RV can't demand more than 30 amps through a 30 amp pedestal because the pedestal breaker would trip, so a 50 to 30 amp adaptor is O.K. When I plug in my 50 amp RV to our house 15 amp outlet by way of an extension cord and TWO adaptors (stepping down 50>30 and 30>20) It's O.K. because if I demand too much power from the hook up, my house breaker trips.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:02 AM   #95
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Gee gemini5362, you've taken a topic many know little about (electricity) and made it scarier! A 50 amp RV plugged into a 30 amp pedestal has very little risk to the RV. Yes, we could dream up all sorts of cascading failures of components along the way, but it's very unlikely. Your arguments with me and Ramblin, would be fine around a campfire over a beer, but to folks trying to learn safe and practical use of their RV it's a little over the top.

A 30 amp RV can't demand more than 30 amps from a pedestal without tripping it's own breaker, so a 30 to 50 amp adaptor is O.K. A 50 amp RV can't demand more than 30 amps through a 30 amp pedestal because the pedestal breaker would trip, so a 50 to 30 amp adaptor is O.K. When I plug in my 50 amp RV to our house 15 amp outlet by way of an extension cord and TWO adaptors (stepping down 50>30 and 30>20) It's O.K. because if I demand too much power from the hook up, my house breaker trips.
Once again, you have crystallized my thoughts eloquently.

All this only applies to adapters/breakers/connectors in good physical and working condition. Given 'average' condition problems that adapters and connectors can exhibit (dirty, loose, etc) I still contend that connecting a LOAD that can be by design in excess of the SUPPLY through ADAPTERS is more dangerous than connecting a load that is smaller than available supply through adapters of like condition.

In reality, people adapt up/down as necessary every day without issue. My advice is to make sure the adapters are in good condition, and if your coach is able to overload the supply you are plugged into, exercise good power-management practices.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #96
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Gee gemini5362, you've taken a topic many know little about (electricity) and made it scarier! A 50 amp RV plugged into a 30 amp pedestal has very little risk to the RV. Yes, we could dream up all sorts of cascading failures of components along the way, but it's very unlikely. Your arguments with me and Ramblin, would be fine around a campfire over a beer, but to folks trying to learn safe and practical use of their RV it's a little over the top.

A 30 amp RV can't demand more than 30 amps from a pedestal without tripping it's own breaker, so a 30 to 50 amp adaptor is O.K. A 50 amp RV can't demand more than 30 amps through a 30 amp pedestal because the pedestal breaker would trip, so a 50 to 30 amp adaptor is O.K. When I plug in my 50 amp RV to our house 15 amp outlet by way of an extension cord and TWO adaptors (stepping down 50>30 and 30>20) It's O.K. because if I demand too much power from the hook up, my house breaker trips.
I am going to hope that when you hook up your motor home to your outside receptacle that you use a 12 gauge extension cord if so we are in complete agreement that it is safe to hook up your coach to the house 15 amp outlet because you have a cord that has a higher ampacity than the breaker feeding it.

You say that a 30 amp RV cannot demand more than 30 amps from a pedestal without tripping its own breaker. I have said several times that for the most part that is probably correct. It is going to be a rare occurrence that would be a danger. It is a possibility. I think we can both agree with my point that if someone miswired the electrical panel then it is very possible. I also pointed out that in the thread these posts are i, the original issue, was a severely dangerous miswiring of the breaker panel. What I am objecting to is that you and ramblin are saying that it is perfectly safe to use an adapter and there is absolutely no danger. That is not correct. There is a danger. It is not as big a danger as the driver getting up to go to the refrigerator and getting a soda while driving down the interstate at 70mph. But it is a danger, if you do not want to admit that, then it is your opinion and anyone that reads this post would hopefully do some investigation into the issue and make an informed decision what they want to do.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:01 PM   #97
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gemini5362 you make a great argument for an Electricity Management System. My Progressive 50 amp EMS not only protects me against wiring errors but also displays my amperage draw. Two weeks ago at my son's house it wouldn't allow a connection because his outside outlet had the hot and neutral wires reversed. (Previous owner bad wire job)
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:09 PM   #98
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Because to do so, you need a 50->30 adapter. The 50A coach can, by design and without any safeguards, easily present enough LOAD to cook the adapter. Whereas, a 30A coach cannot, by design, present enough load to cook anything in the path. Only if something extraordinary goes wrong can a 30A coach have a problem.

In this scenario, the 50A breaker will never trip, unless there is a dead short in the cable. And even then, the 30A breaker in the coach will trip first. In the case of plugging a 50A coach into a 30A pedestal, I am saying the 50A load can by design cause the ADAPTER to heat up and become dangerous, whereas a 30A coach cannot, by design, cause a 50A adapter to heat up and become dangerous. The 30A coach has safeguards all the way to the pedestal, adapters included, to protect it, whereas the 50A coach has a weak link, hence my assertion that a 50A coach on a 30A pedestal is more dangerous.

We can probably agree on this: adapting up OR down is more dangerous than not adapting at all.

In the case of residential code, breakers protect premise wiring from end user overloading. In other words, the breakers in the panel are there to protect the wire in the walls from you plugging and running in too many space heaters, hair dryers, and toaster ovens at one time for the premise wiring to handle. Likewise, the pedestal breaker is in place to protect the CG wiring from you plugging in too much load, not to protect you from too much available current.
Ok first of all the pedestal breaker protects all of the coach including the power cable. The next level of breakers that feed the pedestals protect the campground cables.

second the adapter (and I agree we are talking about adapters in good condition making good connection) is designed to have an ampacity of 30 amps. I agree that a 50 amp rv has the ability to over power the adapter but when it does the 30 amp pedestal breaker will trip and protect the adapter. That is why I do not consider that a dangerous condition. I would not recommend it for long periods of time but it is not going to be dangerous and if the adapter should for any reason over heat and catch fire that fire is several feet from the coach. If something happens with a 30 amp rv on a 50 amp pedestal then the potential fire could happen at the breaker panel inside of the coach.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This exchange of differences between us has met my goal of making anyone that reads it aware there could be an issue doing it and do some thinking on the subject rather than just grabbing an adapter and plugging it in. Thank you for helping me get my message out.
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