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Old 05-22-2015, 08:28 PM   #1
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Question 50 amp down to 15 amp for use in shed

Greeting all, I have my 1986 HR Imperial hooked into a 50 amp outlet dropped down to 30 on a regular residential lot. There is a second 50 amp outlet that is not in use. I want to use that outlet to run extension cord/cords to a portable shed I have on this lot. I do not want to hardwire the electric due to that would require permits, ect.. I just want to run lights,radio and basic shop tools in the shed. Would it be feasable to drop all the way down from the 50 to the 15 without hurting anything in the shed,and how many cords could I run off the 30 amp end? Would this setup cause to much heat in the cords? Inquiring minds want to know
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:38 PM   #2
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Yep, no problem. But I'd limit the draw to 20 amps at the most and then only with good extension cords of no more than 50'
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:40 PM   #3
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Ok , assuming this an RV 50amp, plug , not a 220v 50 amp welder plug.
If you adapt the 50amp down to a 30 amp , down to a 15amp cord, you will have 100amps, ( or 50 depending on the adaptor) available on a 15 amp cord. Very easy to overheat the cord , and create a fire, or shock, hazard.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:47 PM   #4
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Yes it is a regular 50 amp RV outlet. They were going to put 2 RV's on this lot but the city would not allow them to do it. Could I wire the 50 straight into a wall mounted panel and then wire the shed like a regular garage? If the power is plugged into the pole I can argue that it is still not hardwired (technicality, but I want to play with my stuff)
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:51 PM   #5
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Could I wire the 50 straight into a wall mounted panel and then wire the shed like a regular garage?)

That would be the safe way , 50 amp plug into a sub panel with a pair ( or more ) of 15amp breakers, and outlets, then run your cords from there.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:34 PM   #6
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Inspectors are wonderful folks...

If it plugs in it is a consumer device or appliances...thus off limits.

In a previous home had garage wiring with plugs as the inspector was measuring the distance between staples...

Put plugs on and he was not happy but powerless....

Go to the store and get a premade range cord with the correct style end, see what the number on the face of your outlet is and match it.

While there look through the selection of subpanels as they have many and most come with a handfull of breakers.

Have someone help you to open the package and make sure 2 ground busses...one tied to neutral and one tied to the case...many of these only have one.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:23 PM   #7
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I saw on a video about a green screw that has to be removed from a sub panel. gonna have to go back and watch them again to make sure.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:24 PM   #8
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What is a 50 amp outlet dropped down to 30A? How many tools do you need to run at once in the shed? How far is the shed from the post? What you could do is go to your local electrical contractor, give them the length of the run, what plug you need at the post and they'll build you an extension cord with either a single or twin duplex outlets. These outlets will have their own circuit breaker. It's just like running a sub panel in the shed but in this case it's temporary. Very common in the construction industry.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:58 PM   #9
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What is a 50 amp outlet dropped down to 30A? How many tools do you need to run at once in the shed? How far is the shed from the post? What you could do is go to your local electrical contractor, give them the length of the run, what plug you need at the post and they'll build you an extension cord with either a single or twin duplex outlets. These outlets will have their own circuit breaker. It's just like running a sub panel in the shed but in this case it's temporary. Very common in the construction industry.
Yep, that's the solution. Please note that the 50Amp RV plug at the house is still a 220 volt plug, it is at the RV end that it becomes two 110v legs. So if you don't use pre-wired adapter to your shed that will only run off one leg, then make sure you keep this in mind when wiring up your sub-panel or your duplex outlet(s).
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Old 05-23-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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Technically, all households have a 3 wire single phase 120V service You could not use 120V appliances if you had 240V service from the utility. Because your neighbourhood transformer is center tapped (neutral conductor) , you get half of the output on each leg, but each leg is still 120V from neutral. By using both hot legs together (no neutral), you are tied in to the outside taps of the transformer thus have 240V available.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:01 AM   #11
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thanks all. in the shed i plan on using LED's for lighting. and then shop wise just basic stuff like a bench grinder and small drill press. the compressor is just a small 100 gal. model that just plugs into a normal outlet. I will not have anything that needs a larger outlet. nothing like a dryer or welder. The shed will actually be closer to the pole than the RV. about 10 ft away.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:26 AM   #12
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Ok , assuming this an RV 50amp, plug , not a 220v 50 amp welder plug.
If you adapt the 50amp down to a 30 amp , down to a 15amp cord, you will have 100amps, ( or 50 depending on the adaptor) available on a 15 amp cord. Very easy to overheat the cord , and create a fire, or shock, hazard.
Should I be worried??? My MH is plugged in at the covered storage unit this way. I took the 50 amp cord down to a 30 amp adapter and then took that down to a 15 amp adapter from which I run a heavy gauge extension cord that is plugged into the wall at the storage unit. We keep the 8 cubic ft residential frig running this way. Is this a safe setup? We've been doing it for 8 mos with no problem so far.

Thanks,

Mel
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:40 AM   #13
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Your case is different because you are fed from a breaker protecting the outlet you are plugged into. Probably 15 or 20 amp. If your fridge is the ONLY thing using the juice then no problem. If you are connected to a 20 amp breakered outlet AND using a small extension cord rated at 15 amps AND using more than 15 amps then there could be a problem.

The earlier post would be protected by a 50 amp breaker only and could push 50 amps thru a 15 amp necked cord which could cause problems and not be to code.


The difference is he would be plugged into a 50/100 amp line and you would be plugged into a 15/20 amp line.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:42 PM   #14
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Build a small 50 amp to 20 amp power distribution box. You can buy one at home despot. Spendy but very handy. It has a marine twist type connector. I have seen a regular rv plug adaptor for this.

I had one built. I use it for parties to power outdoor lights, electric cookers/crockpots/roasters. I also use it for powering our bands sound system and amps.


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