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Old 08-31-2013, 10:15 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver

Which is not what the electrician installed. He installed 30amp/240V two-pole (1 hots and a ground).
Yep - and the follow up call

Quote: "He called the electrician back. The guy told me he'd never heard of such a thing and that he even looked at the side of the motorhome to make sure it required 220. I told him that it did require 220 on the 50amp plug, but the dogbone (not sure how this works) changes that and it should be wired for 120v, 30amp."

Would not have helped one bit. The "dogbone changes that".... Really. Just sayin.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:16 AM   #30
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Actually, my opinion is the blame lies on the RV owner and as a result he is now taking it in the shorts BIG TIME. If he had previously invested in a Progressive Industries HW-50C EMS unit, that would have saved his bacon AND lots of money.

He could have spent a mere $300 or so to have his coach protected from errant power no matter where he is or travels to, home or on the road. But now is is going to spend a few thousand dollars to fix what could have easily been prevented.

This is just another example of poor judgement and lack of common sense.

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Old 08-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #31
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Yeah, which means the OP was just as confused as the electrician. I still don't understand why the OP wanted a 30amp/120V plug instead of the 50amp/240V service the RV is wired for. Maybe he thought it would be cheaper to get the 30 amp service, but if you're pulling a whole new circuit the difference isn't that much.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:02 AM   #32
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Sad story! 'nuff said!
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:27 AM   #33
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Folks read this and it will help
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:41 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Why in the world did he specify a 30amp circuit if he has a 50amp RV?
FlyingDiver
I store my 50A coach with only 20A service via a 50' 12ga. extension cord, have for 12 years.
I would need 150' of wire buried under 2 asphalt driveways to reach my RV storage location.

A "properly wired" 120VAC 30A receptacle is fine for storage and light usage....(that's all that many campgrounds provide in the pedestal)!

The 3 wires necessary for 30A is considerably less expensive than the 4 wires required for a 50A receptacle.
If/when the distance is great many owners opt for a 30A receptacle.

Mel
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:49 PM   #35
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I'm not so sure we have a clear, full or accurate outline of just what transpired that lead to the error but after re-reading the original post and comments, I'm positive the electrician was negligent. It's clearly not a case of the owner telling the electrician to "install a 30 amp 240 volt receptacle on the wall right there" without any reference whatsoever to his RV.

The original post stated "The guy told me he'd never heard of such a thing and that he even looked at the side of the motorhome to make sure it required 220. I told him that it did require 220 on the 50amp plug, but the dogbone (not sure how this works) changes that and it should be wired for 120v, 30amp." The electrician clearly knew what it was for and the voltages involved.

If the MH said 50 amps on it, it would also have said 120/240 volts (or maybe 110/220). Immediately, an electrician would be alerted to the fact that a neutral connection is involved/required. It's extremely unlikely it said "50 amps 240 volts" and if it did, the MH manufacturer would be liable, at least partially. I can't think of any appliance, piece of equipment, remote building or anything where you can simply remove the neutral and run it on 240 volts, regardless of the amperage. That should have raised one flag.

30 amp receptacles come in a number of different configurations depending on what's plugged into it and what the voltage is. I find it hard to believe that an electrician would not question exactly what was being plugged into it. If you look at a 30 amp RV plug, it either says the amps and volts on it or the NEC designation, TT-30P. The electrician only needed to look in his code book or other table of configurations for details on the plug & receptacle. This should have raised another flag.

The kicker to me is that in order for the 30 amp plug on the dogbone adapter to be able to be plugged into the new receptacle, the electrician would have gone and purchased a TT-30R receptacle. He must have looked at the dogbone to figure this out. Then he took a receptacle that is intended by code to operate on 120 volts and he connected it to 240 volts? That is REALLY bad and potentially very dangerous. I say the electrician is 100% at fault.

I can't see anything about wiring up an RV that is particularly complicated for an electrician to wire up to. There's no special certification required for this. An RV is just another piece of electrical equipment or structure to an electrician. I think electricians make mistakes with RVs mostly from not paying attention or being incompetent to start with. Just because they obtained a licence doesn't mean they will automatically be good at it. Sometimes you even get trades persons with substance abuse problems. It's quite prevalent in some trades or locations.

Electricians have a requirement and obligation for a much higher duty of care to the public for safety reasons (fire and shock) compared to all other trades. It may even be the highest. They should never blindly follow what an owner tells them to do, but he didn't here. He had a 120 volt wiring device in his hand and wired it to 240 volts. The correct thing to do was staring him in the face. For an electrician to make a blunder like this is inexcusable to me.

If it were me, I'd be talking to the local electrical inspector. I'd also be telling the guy to pay up or else. Did anyone even check to see if the electrician's licence was current or valid? That sort of thing can happen too.

My 2 cents as an electrical engineer.....
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:16 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Yeah, which means the OP was just as confused as the electrician. I still don't understand why the OP wanted a 30amp/120V plug instead of the 50amp/240V service the RV is wired for. Maybe he thought it would be cheaper to get the 30 amp service, but if you're pulling a whole new circuit the difference isn't that much.

Length is definitely a consideration. I installed a 30amp circuit instead of a 50amp one for two reasons:

1. Where I had to put the outlet in my barn was going to make it difficult to every reach it with my normal 50amp cord. That meant that I was going to have to buy a 50amp extension cord. I elected not to spend that money

2. The only time that I need 50amps is to run both rooftop A/Cs. The RV is inside, out of the sun and even in the hottest Texas afternoon, one roof top A/C will cool the interior.


Considering some of the other posts, I'm still having problems reconciling calling the RV owner incompetent because he was confused about electrical wiring standards and letting the electrician off because he doesn't understand RV electrical wiring. I'm all for being an informed consumer but where does one draw the line?
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:26 PM   #37
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Personally, I'm not letting either one of them off from their own responsibilities. The electrician and the RV owner have an equal responsibility in making sure the project was done correctly.

The electrician should have communicated better with the owner and the same for the owner communicating better with the electrician.

However, as I stated before, all of this thread would have been a moot point had the RV owner spent a few hundred dollars on the PI - HW-50C EMS unit when they first got the RV.

The device would have alerted the owner to the fact that what the electrician had wired at the house was WRONG.

That same device would have also continued to protect them from errant power wherever they happen travel. Sure, one of those 50 amp testers used with a 30-50 amp dog-bone would have done the same but the HW-50C is ALWAYS there to monitor the power 24/7/365.

This whole fiasco/scenario happens way too often on this forum and it's ALWAYS after the fact that the RV owner cries foul.

It really ALL comes down to someone being a penny wise and a pound FOOLISH.

Maybe he can submit an insurance claim to help with the expenses but HE will pay in the end. There is no Free Lunch.

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Old 08-31-2013, 06:32 PM   #38
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Here is one result of "unprofessional electrical work" done by a "professional" (as posted today on another iRV2 thread):

[QUOTE]
So....this is what we found. Microwave, blown. Rear TV, blown. Starting capacitor on the rear AC, blown. On the plus side, the front air, front TV and all outlets work as does the converter/inverter, fridge and water heater. He's going to try and get the TV fixed, is replacing the microwave today and also replacing the start capacitor (hopefully that will fix the rear AC). The rear AC "tries" to come on, but when the compressor kicks, it will kill the generator. When we checked the start capacitor, it had a hole blown in the end of it.

This situation is so dangerous, yet I know it happens all the time, especially to people unfamiliar with the way RVs are wired.
[QUOTE]

BTW, I can't see how a coach owner can be held responsible when a licensed electrician wires an electrical receptical WRONG.

If a RV owner hires a professional, pays the price of professional workmanship, he should be able to rely on that professional to provide nothing short of professional results.

Unfortunately RV owners are expected to be electricians, mechanics and RV techs.... (even by some know-it-all RV owners).
We are required to know more than the experts to protect ourselves, our property.. (and our wallets).

IMO opinion that is both disgraceful to those professions, and a dirty shame.

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Old 08-31-2013, 07:10 PM   #39
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I can name a half a dozen members of this forum that I would trust to install a proper 30A power pedestal. I can not name a single 'licensed' electrician that I would trust.

This was the result of an RV owner that didn't know what needed to be done, hiring an electrician that didn't know either. They both took the information available and made some bad assumptions, which resulted in a bad day for the owner.

I place some blame on the electrician, just because the TT30 outlet specifically says 120V 30A on the box it comes in, AND on the outlet itself. So, it violates code wired the way it was wired.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:39 PM   #40
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Rather than reading the entire post. If the op or electrician had went to Home Depot or Lowes they both sell a 30 amp and 50 amp RV box with instructions on how to wire them. This would have solved all the problems..
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:40 PM   #41
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I place some blame on the electrician, just because the TT30 outlet specifically says 120V 30A on the box it comes in, AND on the outlet itself. So, it violates code wired the way it was wired.
SOME blame???
A "doctor" HAS to know about MEDICINE.. an "attorney" HAS to know about the LAW.. an "appliance repairman" HAS to know about appliances.. why on earth should an RV owner HAVE to teach a "licensed electrician" anything about ELECTRICITY?
Think about it!
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:50 PM   #42
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Let's face it: RVs are unique machines.

I take my MH to a Freightliner shop and they are supposed know about Freightliner products, right? They don't. Most of the "professionals" there are truck techs and many of them may never have seen a MH. There are some common areas between a truck chassis and a MH chassis but there are also many differences. A Freightliner shop worked on my intermittent speedometer problem several times, getting paid each time and not fixing it. I ended up fixing it myself. I'm not supposed to know anything about A CAN bus. Obviously, they didn't either.

Regular appliance guys cannot work on RV appliances without special training because they are different, too. Even many of the specially trained ones don't seem to understand the basic operations. So I end up working on my own appliances, too.

It is a rare tech in any of the RV specialty fields who could make a good living off of RVs. The volume just isn't there. So what we end up with are a lot of people with little to moderate experience in key areas. I'm guessing that is why our repeat and disastrous problem rates are so high. I'm sure that a lot of RV electrical outlets get installed just fine by qualified electricians but there also seems to be a fair number of situations like the OP. With greater volume, there would be electricians who specialize in the RV world and that would likely eliminate a lot of the problems. Trying going to the Yellow Pages and looking up "RV electrician" and seeing what results you get now.

That still doesn't excuse the electricians who mis-wire the TT30R. But it does warn all of us that about the situation that we are dealing with and that simply turning an RV pedestal job over to a regular electrician might not be in our best interests. I have always felt that if I hired someone to do something for me and they didn't do the job right or, worse yet, created a bunch of secondary problems, it was at least my fault for hiring the wrong person. It happens.

I hired an HVAC company to install a new "A coil" . They did but the didn't clean up properly and I ended up with blocked primary and secondary condensation pan drains - and a collapsed bedroom ceiling. I stupidly called them back to unclog the primary condensation line (I fixed the secondary one myself.) They charged me $100 and ended up driving the blockage down into the main drain line for one of my bathrooms where I had to hire a plumber to come out and remove that clog. Needless to say, I've never hired that HVAC firm again but they certainly cost me a lot money and time because of their poor workmanship. HVAC companies are licensed in Texas. And there is no volume problems with A/C units in Texas, especially in the hot summer months.

So it isn't only with RVs where you can get burned.
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