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Old 05-24-2018, 02:40 PM   #1
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Electrical question...

Could use some expert "been there, done that" answers to a question. I have a dedicated 30A line run from my breaker box in my home to a workshop out in the yard. It powers about 3 outlets,(only when needed such as a small fan)...and a couple of power tools like a band saw and table saw. When we built our RV carport, I tapped onto the line in the workshop and extended the service to a post at our RV so we could plug into shore power and keep the battery charged. We rarely ever use it for one of our a/c units. The workshop equipment is only used rarely. I want to put a cut-off switch in the workshop that I can simply turn the power on/off whenever I need to disconnect from shore power so that I don't get arcing at the receptacle while unplugging the cord from our RV. It is 50A but I have an adapter in my power box at the RV going to 30A. Without paying $30 or more for a metal box with breaker or a toggle switch, could I simply use a heavy duty 20A light switch at the junction in my workshop to switch off power to my RV when needed? As I say, there is never a lot of load on the line so I was thinking the light switch would suffice. Someone told me they wouldn't recommend it, so that's why I'm seeking opinions from the forum. Thanks for all replies. p.s. I only want to do this because it would be kind of inconvenient to have to go to the far end of the house at the breaker box and trip the breaker.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:55 PM   #2
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I wouldn't use the light switch. They're not designed for inductive loads, and your RV has several inductive loads that may be on when you go to turn off the switch. Besides, it's only rated for 20 amps and it's not very heavy duty.

I'd get an Air Conditioner Disconnect and use it to disconnect the RV. A 60 amp is only about $7.00 from the big box stores.
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Old 05-24-2018, 02:59 PM   #3
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No, don't do it. You are putting a weak link in your power line. While you might get away with it, it could also overheat and start a fire. Don't take short cuts with electric.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:49 AM   #4
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I'm a licensed electrical contractor, heed their advice. Don't put the under rated switch in line. It could melt down and cause a fire. That's way more expensive. Look at the big picture. Loose of property and/or life or spend a couple dollars more and have peace of mind.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:55 AM   #5
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the question is: if your RV has no load on it when you are 'plugging in', then why would you have any 'arcing'? I would doubt you would, or have you seen this?
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:02 AM   #6
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One thing that's always on is the converter, and it may be charging the battery(s) when you go to unplug the power cable, so you'll get an arc.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:08 AM   #7
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I wouldn't worry about it, but I would concentrate on plugging in 'straight' each time, trying to have all three prongs meet at the same time....no worries.

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