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Old 11-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
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For you electricians - 30A outlet install questions

Hi all,

One of my winter projects is to install an outdoor shore power outlet (load center) near our RV parking spot (like this one GE 30 Amp Temporary RV Power Outlet-U013P at The Home Depot).

I'm planning to run the wire from my breaker panel out through the shop wall & inside pvc conduit (outdoor rated) along our deck to the deck-mounted outlet. Total wire run will be about 32 feet. I want to comply with current code. Now the questions:

1. What type of wire do I need? Based on what I'm reading, should I use THHN/THWN?

2. Do I need to use a GFCI circuit breaker on this since the outlet itself isn't GFCI?

Other advice welcome too…

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
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Here is a document with the required wiring. Look at the bottom for correct wire sizes.
https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=ae67f...=WordPdf&wdo=1

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Old 11-30-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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Steve,

As it will be in pipe, 10AWG would pass, but price 8 before you buy. And, 6 for that matter, you may want to go to 50A someday and you might as well buy the copper now.

The breaker should be a GFCI if the receptacle is outdoors. That is current code just about everywhere.

I don't do building electrics anymore, but ampacities and NEC codes have not changed much, but some local/states have added things.

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Old 11-30-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both - very helpful! Am I right about the wire type (THWN) for outdoor use?
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Old 11-30-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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Excellent project and well worthwhile!

Not sure why that call the outlet "temporary". Electrical products are never designed to be "temporary", but that's good 'ol HD... I like that design because when you have the plug in, the hood over the outlet will keep rain off. Some weatherproof receptacles don't keep rain out when plugged in and the flap is open.

I highly recommend that you also install a disconnect switch at the outlet. You should never plug in live because it will cause pitting and damage to the plug blades and outlet. Use a "motor rated" switch because it is designed to make/break connection on high inrush current. That's what I did for ours. You'll need the appropriate outlet box size in series with the conduit and under the outlet. An nice option would be to hardwire in an "on" indicating light of some kind.

For 32' you should be fine, but you need to consider the overall length from outlet to wherever the panel is. You could easily have another 50' or more. Unless you want to be able run a full 30 amps at home (with AC and other stuff on) and you have a long wire run, #10 should be fine. The ground wire can be a #14. If you buy the wire at HD, just ask for wire that is rated for underground use or a wet location - needs to have an underground "U" or wet "W" rating on it and will be printed on the jacket, as in say, TWU.

I would use 1" conduit even though 3/4" or even 1/2" (would have to look in NEC table) would be okay by code. 1" will be so much easier to pull through and gives you spare capacity to add more wire if ever needed for something else (yard light, weed eater plug, etc.). If that's a possibility, install a spare pull string for future use.

Do NOT install a GFCI otherwise you'll end up with GFCIs in series which is not good. Do not install a separate ground rod at the remote outlet.

If you are going to all the work to dig a trench, you might want to think about putting in a spare conduit. You could always use that for CATV to the RV for when kids or visitors want to use it.

Tip: when you do install this and want your fridge to run on 120V, do NOT forget to make sure the power is on inside your unit. It is possible to have all your food spoil...
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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It is called temporary, as it is a receptacle for a plug. If it were permanent, it would be hard wired.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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I agree that GFCI is not used for RV service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post

Do NOT install a GFCI otherwise you'll end up with GFCIs in series which is not good. Do not install a separate ground rod at the remote outlet.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:07 PM   #8
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Wait - so I DON'T need a GFCI breaker for this, despite the outdoor location?
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Have you got the document for a 50 amp outlet?
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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Be sure it's wired for 120 volt not wired 220 volt. It's very very common if you call a electrician to wire a 30 amp receptacle for you they will wire it as a 220 volt receptacle, since the most needed wired item for the electrician is 220 volt for 30 amp service, but not your RV. If you plan to at a later date go with a 50 amp box you will need to have 4 wires and the 30 amp will only need wires. Go ahead an pull 4 wires through for future needed service.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:30 PM   #11
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This NEC wire size calculator removes those mistakes from installing wiring.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Route 66 View Post
I agree that GFCI is not used for RV service.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino View Post
Wait - so I DON'T need a GFCI breaker for this, despite the outdoor location?
No GFCI needed for a RV 50 amp. or 30 amp. outdoor outlet, It must be in a enclosed covered box w/a lid that opens.
Stop and think of what a power pedestal looks like inside when you lift the lid to plug in....... only the 15-20 amp. plug is a GFCI.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:41 PM   #13
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Just one thing you need to remember.

This is a 120 volt outlet.. Just like a common 15 amp duplex outlet in the wall of your house.. Other than bigger wire, and bigger breakers it wires up exactly the same way.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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It is called temporary, as it is a receptacle for a plug. If it were permanent, it would be hard wired.
In all my years as an electrical engineer, I've never heard of that definition before. I could maybe see saying it's for temporary use of your RV when parked at home, but even then it'd be a stretch. Wouldn't that be like saying every receptacle in your house is temporary?
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