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Old 02-03-2014, 06:00 PM   #1
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Need Electrical Help

What do I have to do to be able to power a portable heater that uses a 30 Amp NEMA 6-30 plug from a 50 amp pedestal? The heater is 208/240 volts so has to come off the 50 amp and not the 30. Is it even doable? My research says the 6-30 plug is 2-pole 3-wire grounding while the 14-50 receptacle is 3-pole 4-wire grounding.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:08 PM   #2
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Short of changing the heater plug being the easy way yes it can be done.
What are your plans for the heater?
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:14 PM   #3
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My plumbing bays are heated but can't handle single digit temps. There is no room in the bays to place an aux heater. I'm planning to box in the area underneath the bays (under the mh) with rigid styrofoam and put a heater down there. Not as good as in the bays I know but hopefully between stopping most of the air movement plus keeping the air temperature down there maybe into the mid-eighties we can handle the single digits and sometimes sub-zero temps.

Does anyone make an adapter to do this?

P.S. We have no problem keeping the living area toasty with the Hurricane Heater. Just doesn't put enough out of the small, non-forced air registers in the bays. We have even tried cracking windows to make the heater run constantly but still not enough.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airduds View Post
My plumbing bays are heated but can't handle single digit temps. There is no room in the bays to place an aux heater. I'm planning to box in the area underneath the bays (under the mh) with rigid styrofoam and put a heater down there. Not as good as in the bays I know but hopefully between stopping most of the air movement plus keeping the air temperature down there maybe into the mid-eighties we can handle the single digits and sometimes sub-zero temps.

Does anyone make an adapter to do this?
I do not know of anyone that makes this adapter and it needs to be well
marked NOT FOR RV USE or someone will try to use it and that will cause
all kinds of problems.
Not much to making a adapter if one know how long to make the extension cable.
I have made several different adapters that are either hard to find or not
sold.
If you do not know how to do this contact a electrician.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:35 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for your help. While researching just now I came across this:

Electrical Wiring in the Home: Nema 14-50 to 6-30, intents and purposes, neutral wire

This is pretty much exactly what I want to do. Does this guy's answer pass the smell test?
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:00 PM   #6
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I am not familiar with your plumbing bays so if this is bad advice I apologize in advance. On my 2006 allegro bus we have been at a campground for the last 5 months. We did not want to keep moving the bus to get propane and we decided to use space heaters to warm the interior. The plumbing bay ony gets heat when the propane heaters are used. I went to Walmart and bought the smallest space heater they had. It was about 8 inches tall 6 inches wide and 4 inches deep (guesstimates on the size) This was a 600 watt 120 volt heater. I placed it in my plumbing bay and ran an extension cord to the pedestal. With the small heater set at 3/4 of the way to full temp it had the bay up to 110 degrees in 20 degree weather. Needless to say I changed that rather quickly. With the thermostat barely moved from the lowest setting it kept the bay at 50 degrees in singled digit weather and once down to -4 degrees. I do not have a lot of room in my plumbing bay either but the small heater from Walmart fits with no problems.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:03 PM   #7
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As pointed out in your link unless the heater has a breaker there is a risk factor.
I do not agree with the statement of not using the neutral however.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb7auk View Post
As pointed out in your link unless the heater has a breaker there is a risk factor.
I do not agree with the statement of not using the neutral however.
So just where is he going to connect the neutral on a 3 wire 240 volt plug???
DAH
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:18 PM   #9
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Since you are SAYING your heater is 220 volts, and you are not going to use ANY OTHER POWER from this plug, you do not need a neutral, only a ground. However, that all sounds like the hard way to go. The small space heater in you water bay appears to me to be more practical. Just make sure the YOU know what you are doing. It is OK to read these threads, but remember all of this advice is free and that what much of it is worth.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:28 PM   #10
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A neutral and a ground are not the same thing.
On a 220/240 you have two hots, a neutral, and a ground also known as a chassis ground or safety ground.
If you do not use the neutral any GFI will trip as it will see the ground being used
as a return.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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Yep, the link is correct. I would suggest a 120V heater or even a trouble light with a 75W bulb. Anyway, if you must, the neutral wire is the one that won't be connected to the 3 prong connector for the heater. You will not have adequate circuit protection to protect the wiring to the heater unless it's rated to carry at least 50A.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb7auk View Post
A neutral and a ground are not the same thing.
On a 220/240 you have two hots, a neutral, and a ground also known as a chassis ground or safety ground.
If you do not use the neutral any GFI will trip as it will see the ground being used
as a return.
A neutral is only needed if you are also powering something needing 120V. This was common on things like clothes dryers. The heating element is 240V and the timer 110V. Based on the OP description, he doesn't appear to need 120V.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:36 PM   #13
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Just my opinion ... I would refer to a licensed electrician about this re-wiring.

As far as winterizing, again my opinion, from a lot of experience in Chicago winters. I think a 240 volt heater is way overkill in an insulated box. My approach would be to heat the bay if only one bay needs to be heated. Adding rigid insulation to ground level would be ideal. Done properly, I think it could be heated with a heat lamp or small heater. Either should be plugged into a thermostatic switch (Cube) to go on at 35 and off at 45.

It would make sense to make the insulated box as large as possible to provide protection for more bays or floor space. Done properly, I think a bedroom sized box in the rear, to the ground with maybe 2 inch insulation, could be heated with a small heater.
Also, a remote thermometer would be very helpful.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
airduds
Any "50A coach" can be rewired to use a 208/240V heater.

However, it would probably much be less expensive (and certainly less trouble), to simply buy the 2-4, (depending upon the watt rating of your 208/240V heater), inexpensive, 1500 watt, 120V electric space heaters that will produce as much heat, and require no rewiring.

Mel
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I have two bays. One contains holding tanks and plumbing. The other contains the water filter and what I assume is a captive air tank. There really is no room to put any heater I've been able to find in either. The access panels are just too small.

I do have two cheap 120v 1,500 watt heaters. I suppose I could go through with my plan of enclosing the bay area underneath the bus and then trying them, but the forced air heater I have on the way puts out 5,600 watts at 240v and I'm pretty confident it would keep us okay down to the occasional minus 5 or 6. We're currently in Two Rivers, Wi.
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