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Old 10-13-2019, 06:34 AM   #1
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Electrical help

Looking for some help from our resident electricians.

I am hosting an evening soiree (French for hoe-down) in our backyard. Need some electricity for lights and such, and thinking about the 50 amp outlet I have on side of utility shed. Will this work?

Purchase a 30 ft replacement 50 amp cord (male plug on one end, bare wires on other). Place junction box on bare end. Attach a short length of 10 or 12 gauge wire to the black, white, and green wires. Connect a 20 amp outlet to other end of this pigtail. Connect another pigtail to the red, white, and green wires in the junction box, to another outlet. So two 120v/20 amp outlets powered by the 50 amp cord.

Isn't this essentially what the CB panel inside the MH does? Leg 1 and Leg 2?

Since the neutral and ground wires are common to both outlets, will this result in a dangerous situation?
Should the pigtails be of heavier gauge?
Regular outlets or GFI's?

When the party is over, I can put a replacement female 50 amp plug on the cord, and have a 50 amp extension cord.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:44 AM   #2
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It will work as you described. BUT you must attach the #6 wire to a 20 amp breaker. Use GFI's
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for reminding me to protect the branch circuits with appropriate CB's, Cavie. Just thinking (that usually gets me in trouble), to minimize the number of connections, can I temporarily swap the 50 A double pole breaker that is now in the panel, for a 20 A double pole breaker?
Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:13 PM   #4
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That sounds like a great way to cure the big breaker/light gauge wire issue.

Pop a double 20 amp breaker and place of the 50 amp and your safe from short circuits overloading the wires.
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Old 10-13-2019, 09:21 PM   #5
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Couldn't you just use one of these?

Conntek Y1450520S NEMA 14-50 50-Amp 125/250-volt RV/Generator Y-Adapter Plug to U.S. 15/20-Amp Female Connectors https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BHGXYRC..._YS9ODb13ZNA5D
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcg View Post
Couldn't you just use one of these?

Conntek Y1450520S NEMA 14-50 50-Amp 125/250-volt RV/Generator Y-Adapter Plug to U.S. 15/20-Amp Female Connectors https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BHGXYRC..._YS9ODb13ZNA5D
This is the reason as an electrician I think dog bones need to be outlawed. If he uses that and plugs in a 20 amp appliance it will be fused at 50 amps. Not very smart!
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavie View Post
This is the reason as an electrician I think dog bones need to be outlawed. If he uses that and plugs in a 20 amp appliance it will be fused at 50 amps. Not very smart!

He could still change the 50amp breaker for a 20amp. JMHO
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavie View Post
This is the reason as an electrician I think dog bones need to be outlawed. If he uses that and plugs in a 20 amp appliance it will be fused at 50 amps. Not very smart!
Then get a gfci power strip with a 15a or 20a breaker. The whole thing would come in under a hundred bucks

I would think, unless the OP is an electrician, using a solution that doesn't require building an electrical box would be safer.

I know I wouldn't want to fool with building a 50amp box.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:59 AM   #9
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Maybe you can rent a " Spider Box " from a local rental place.

It does exactly what you want to do.Click image for larger version

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Old 10-16-2019, 09:12 PM   #10
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I haven't checked, but #6 into a 20 amp breaker might not fit.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:30 PM   #11
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I haven't checked, but #6 into a 20 amp breaker might not fit.

It won't. Most 20 amp breakers accept wire sizes up to #10.


For those not familiar: the AWG (American Wire Gauge) numbers get bigger as the wire gets smaller, i.e. #10 is smaller than #4. When you get to Really Big Wires, things change but that's beyond this discussion.


I like the spider box idea - it ticks all the boxes for overcurrent protection (circuit breakers) and ground fault protection. The rental yard probably has cables made up to plug into your 14-50 outlet.


Of all these ideas I most dislike the homeowner changing out his 50 amp, 2 pole breaker for a 20 amp 2 pole breaker. I'd rather have an electrician build a break out box with the appropriate fuses or breakers than have a home owner swapping breakers in his home's hot (energized) panel.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:45 AM   #12
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So many great ideas. Thanks, all, for the inputs.
I had not run across the y-cord in my internet search. That will suffice, and Amazon promises it will be here by Friday.
The spider box would be better, but all the ones I found online and at Sun Rental, use a twist lock input connection. No one had a clue how to adapt to a 4 blade connection.
I have a couple power strips with 15 or 20 amp fuses, so I think I'm good to go. As it turns out, food heating is by Sterno, lighting is a few strings of Christmas tree lights, and the DJ claims he's never started a fire. Oh, and the bouncy house.
My electrician was happy to build a breakout box, but time was an issue. He relayed to me the general idea I posted above. You filled in the details.
When you live in a 110 year old house, you have to become a junior electrician, plumber, plasterer, window glazer, and finish carpenter. All of which I have been in just the past month. Butcha got to know your limitations, thus I have Pro's on my speed dial. And of course, this website, from which I have learned so much.

Thanks again, folks.
BTW, if I'm lucky, I get to spend 60 days a year in my MH. And that's up from what I could before I "retired".
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