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Old 04-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #1
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Electrical Question

We have recently reserved a group site at a national park. This site comes with one 50A plug. Does anyone have ANY suggestions on how to wire a breaker box that I can then add seperate 110V plugs for about 8 rigs?

I'm confident on how to run the 110v's out of the breaker, but not sure how to wire the 50A into the box.

Any help is greatly appreciated
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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You have 2x50A/120v inputs, so you have 100 amps to divide up among the eight rigs. I would put 8x15A circuit breakers and receptacles in a box and the easiest way to do that may be to get a pre-packaged subpanel with the breakers already in it. That way you have the bus bars all set to distribute power to the breakers. Then get 8 x 15A female plugs and wire them direct to the breakers with 12 gauge wire. The female sockets used for heavy duty extension cords will work fine and it saves buying/building an enclosure and installing standard wall outlets. I'm guessing this is a one-time use, so just put a tarp over it for weather.

If you expect to reuse this set-up, it is worthwhile to build your own box with a load center and receptacles.

Wire a standard 50A male plug to the inlet side of the load center box. You can probably get a 4-prong dryer or stove pigtail that will fit the standard RV 50A outlet on the site. That's likely to be cheaper than buying an RV plug and 4 feet of 6 gage wire with insulation. Make sure it is rated for 50A @ 240v, though. If you can't find one that big, you can make one up using a RV 50A male plug and 6/3 w/grd wire.

Here is a load center with 6 breakers and room to add more - the whole thing is $53 at Home Depot.
http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-...&storeId=10051
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Does the word over load ring any bells?
With a 50 amp service you have two 120 volt outputs at 50 amps. They are 180
degrees out of phase and can not be connected together.
One can use a sub box to provide service to other outlets.
Having said that unless you are very qualified in electrical work this is not recommended.
With being limited to 50 amps per leg that will allow each of the 8 a 12 amp max
draw, not much.
The bottom line is you have more demand than you have available.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:46 AM   #4
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This is a standard house service box quesiton.

Basically you want a standard household "Sub Panel" this is like a standard breaker box save for two things.. NO main breakers, and the ground bus, and the neutral bus is isolated from each other.

Your short 50 amp cord/pigtail will have red, black white and green wires

White to the neutral bus
Green to safety ground
Black and red (one each) to the two "hot lines" (One each)

That simple.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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I can't let this go by without a comment. Please drive a real ground rod into the ground near the box and make sure you have like an 8 ga. wire from the box's ground bar to the earth ground. We had a kid die in our state by holding onto something metal while stepping out onto wet ground. Electricity can't be seen, does neat stuff, but is a silent killer in waiting.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:12 AM   #6
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Please drive a real ground rod into the ground near the box
There will already be a proper ground connection from the sub-panel to the 50A power outlet. That's what the ground wire in the pigtail is for, and why the neutral and ground are never bonded together in a sub-panel. A separate ground rod is not required and in fact generally prohibited in the electrical code for sub-panels, except for a few very specific circumstances. And this is not one of those.

It wouldn't hurt to use an outlet tester to make sure the ground in the power pedestal is properly wired, though.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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What will be connected, 30 amp 120 vac, 50 amp or mix?

Be sure to properly balance the loads to avoid overloading the white wire.

And be sure green safety ground makes it to the end unit

And be certain you use correct breakers and other materials

To be safe have it inspected by a qualified party, a mistake may damage property or hurt someone do be sure it is done correct
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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Does a national park allow this?
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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"Be sure to balance the loads to prevent overloading of the white wire"

Not possible to overload the white wire,, The rules say the White wire must be at least as big as the black or red, and if all the load is on one leg (Black or red) that means the white (Which is rated at 50 amps) will NOT be overloaded.

If there is any load at all on the other leg, the white will be carrying LESS current than the black or red.

The only way to overload the white wire is to use two 30 amp outlets and a cheater box.. This can put up to 60 amps on the 50 amp rated white wire. In practice I do not believe this will cause a problem, but in theory, it could.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:02 PM   #10
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What everybody is trying to tell you, in a round about way. Call a lic. electrian, pay the money for you and your guest safety. All it takes is .60 amps to kill someone. I think your home insurance company will cover you and your guest, if something happens, if the work is done by an lic. electrian. If you do the work, you will not be covered!!!!!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jcrowder47 View Post
What everybody is trying to tell you, in a round about way. Call a lic. electrian, pay the money for you and your guest safety. All it takes is .60 amps to kill someone. I think your home insurance company will cover you and your guest, if something happens, if the work is done by an lic. electrian. If you do the work, you will not be covered!!!!!!
I do not know of any licensed electrician that is going to build a extension
to provide 8 users power from a 120 v 100 amp service.
If they all try to plug in a coffee pot at the same time the breaker will trip.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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I do not know of any licensed electrician that is going to build a extension
to provide 8 users power from a 120 v 100 amp service.
If they all try to plug in a coffee pot at the same time the breaker will trip.
Give each of em a 15A circuit and and individual breaker. Then they can pop their own breaker with their coffee pot.

...or don't, and watch the group arguing about whose turn it is to reset the main.

15A x 8Circuits = 120A demand
120A demand from 100A available = formula for failure.

None of this, while do-able, strikes me as a particularly good idea, but may make for an interesting show for onlookers.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #13
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Did you all notice the OP still has only one post and has not yet responded back
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:09 AM   #14
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If you do the work, you will not be covered!!!!!!
Probably not true. You are liable for damages whether you are competent to do electrical work or not, and your home owner policy includes liability coverage for your acts. About the only reason to deny such a claim would be if you charged for the service, i.e. did it as a business rather than personal project.
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