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Old 07-18-2011, 10:36 PM   #1
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220v water heater wiring question

Hello all, I've got a question regarding a water heater conversion in my Gulfstream FEMA trailer. Since it will only be used in a full-hookup park, I'm doing a full electric conversion on it so I won't have to fool with propane. I'm going to be replacing the propane water heater with a 220v tankless unit that will draw a max of 38 amps.

I'm wondering if I can run a cable direct from the water heater to plug into the 50 amp service, or if I should install a 220v service box and run it through a 40 amp breaker. I'm inclined to go the dedicated cable route if since it will be the only item powered by the 50 amp service, although installing a service box may give me more options.

Thank you for any thoughts/input!
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:34 AM   #2
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hmm not sure if you get 220v out of a 50 amp service. can't remember how it works for sure. might want to ask an electrician.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:28 AM   #3
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50 amp service is NOT 220 volts. It is two 25 amp legs, but they are on the same phase, so no 220 volts. Understand not wanting to use propane, but you can get a 30 gallon water heater for 110 volt use. It will not tankless though. Since it is permanent, could put the water heater under the trailer, with a little plumbing.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windrider View Post
50 amp service is NOT 220 volts. It is two 25 amp legs, but they are on the same phase, so no 220 volts. Understand not wanting to use propane, but you can get a 30 gallon water heater for 110 volt use. It will not tankless though. Since it is permanent, could put the water heater under the trailer, with a little plumbing.
I don't think you are correct here.
I believe 50 amp RV service is TWO 50 amp 120 v legs and they ARE on
different phase so they can be combined into 240 when needed.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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If that were the case, and you used a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, (which would be only one leg of 220), and plugged the camper in to a 30 amp pedestal, then half of your trailer would be dead because one leg of the AC voltage would be missing.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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the 50 amp service is 220. Ur neutral is too small to suport 2 110v circuit. The 50 a main is ganged.
U trailer uses it as two circuits with the neutral there to carry the imbalance.

I would run a seperate panel with a 50 main and put a 40a 220 breaker in there and run #8 between that 40 a nreaker anf ur new water heater.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #7
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Yep, it's certainly 220, but my plan is to not change the 30 amp service it will remain as-is, just utilize the 50 amp service for the water heater only. I don't think I could run the 50 amp service exclusively, as there wouldn't be enough available current when the water heater is in use.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windrider View Post
If that were the case, and you used a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, (which would be only one leg of 220), and plugged the camper in to a 30 amp pedestal, then half of your trailer would be dead because one leg of the AC voltage would be missing.
The adapter supplies both legs of the 50a from a single 30a service so all circuits are live...just on the same phase.
My trailer has no 220 v appliances but it is available in my breaker box.
An easy way to varify that 50 a service is 220v is to check it at the pedistal with a volt meter.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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very true Jim. end the debate with a multi meter lol.


would been nice to have a 240v water heater in my unit. im dead sure its a GSW 110v unit. (lol dad calls them gun shot wounds)
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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Well, after some research, it appears the 50 amp plug is 220 volts. How it splits in the camper and other stuff to be determined. As for a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, it can only supply one leg of service, as there aren't enough connections in the 30 amp service plug. Only three, one for hot, one for neutral, and one for ground. The 50 amp plug has extra connections for the extra leg.
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