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Old 07-21-2016, 08:38 AM   #1
jsk
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Using a 50a Welder Outlet

No I would not plug our unit in to this outlet but have looked at utilizing the wiring. My goal is to get the unit off of the 110 receptacle which has other items on the circuit. Here is the situation.

In my garage there is a 20a AC and 50a welding receptacle both on double pole breakers. We use the AC unit regularly. Both receptacles are 2 wires plus ground. Starting at house panel I am looking at the 50a breaker and wanting to take out the hot wire on one pole and install on the neutral bar. This should give me (1) hot and (1) neutral and ground going to the receptacle. Does this sound reasonable? Am I ok with 50a breaker or do I need to install a 30a? I would prefer to use the 50a.

At the receptacle I would replace the welding receptacle with a 30a RV receptacle. The reason is I have a 30a cord that is long enough to reach camper. Another option is to put in 50a RV receptacle but have to purchase a power cord or get pigtail.

The camper is a 50a unit. Currently I use a pigtail out of camper to a PI 50a surge protector. Out of PI I use a reducer pigtail to 30a. The 30a cord goes to the new receptacle. Currently the 30a cord has a reducer on it taking it to 110. The weak link should be the power cord.

Again the goal is to get camper on dedicated circuit and get off the 110 non dedicated circuit. We fully understand we can not run everything in camper. What we usually run before a trip is (1)AC, fridge, and we check HWH to make sure it is still working. Currently I do these in steps and not at the same time.

The weak links seem to be the receptacle and power cord. Amps can be seen with PI. A typical 50a service is in the future but is a real challenge to pull the wire.

Thoughts are greatly appreciated.




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Old 07-21-2016, 08:51 AM   #2
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I have used my welder outlet as you discribed. You will need to get a 30 amp breaker though. The 50 will work but you cord to the trailer is only rated for 30 amps. I would also put white tape on both ends of the hot wire you are now using for neutral if it's not white already. With a 30 amp breaker and the neutral wire marked this should meet code.

We are packing for a trip right now and I am glad I did this as my wife will want the ac on in the trailer to pack it. Not sure where you are but we are currently being impacted by this heatwave in the Midwest.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
No I would not plug our unit in to this outlet but have looked at utilizing the wiring. My goal is to get the unit off of the 110 receptacle which has other items on the circuit. Here is the situation.

In my garage there is a 20a AC and 50a welding receptacle both on double pole breakers. We use the AC unit regularly. Both receptacles are 2 wires plus ground. Starting at house panel I am looking at the 50a breaker and wanting to take out the hot wire on one pole and install on the neutral bar. This should give me (1) hot and (1) neutral and ground going to the receptacle. Does this sound reasonable? Am I ok with 50a breaker or do I need to install a 30a? I would prefer to use the 50a.

At the receptacle I would replace the welding receptacle with a 30a RV receptacle. The reason is I have a 30a cord that is long enough to reach camper. Another option is to put in 50a RV receptacle but have to purchase a power cord or get pigtail.

The camper is a 50a unit. Currently I use a pigtail out of camper to a PI 50a surge protector. Out of PI I use a reducer pigtail to 30a. The 30a cord goes to the new receptacle. Currently the 30a cord has a reducer on it taking it to 110. The weak link should be the power cord.

Again the goal is to get camper on dedicated circuit and get off the 110 non dedicated circuit. We fully understand we can not run everything in camper. What we usually run before a trip is (1)AC, fridge, and we check HWH to make sure it is still working. Currently I do these in steps and not at the same time.

The weak links seem to be the receptacle and power cord. Amps can be seen with PI. A typical 50a service is in the future but is a real challenge to pull the wire.

Thoughts are greatly appreciated.
A few comments, which I emboldened on your questions above in red. I am going to use the term 'phase' in strictly layman terms, to help in the understanding.

Everything in your RV is 120 volts, and amps are a different thing. Whether you are connected to a 120/240 split phase 50 amp outlet, a 30 amp single phase outlet, or a 15/20 amp single phase outlet........ EVERYTHING is still wired to only run off of 120 volts.

It's this you have to be sure of, and not ever wire something that will allow 240 volts to your RV. Even a 120/240 split phase outlet that is capable of 240 volts is utilized in such a way that only 120 volts is sent per leg to your RV, which also keeps these legs separate inside the RV so it's all only 120 volts.

You can easily do what you described, utilizing the 3 wires on your double pole 50 amp circuit breaker. However since you have to have 4 wires (2 hots, one neutral, and one ground) to properly utilize a 120/240 volt split phase connection for your RV....then NO you "should" NOT use the 240 volt double pole 50 amp circuit breaker you currently have, even if you are just connecting it to one pole/side of the circuit breaker. You should replace it with a SINGLE pole 30 amp circuit breaker, which keeps the outlet 120 volts with 3 wires. You then will run the one hot wire from this 30 amp breaker, a neutral, and a ground, to a TT-30R outlet.

Now you can plug into the 30 amp 120 volt outlet, using a 50-30 amp adapter, and although you will be limited to a total of 30 amps for your RV, everything will have power going to it in the RV. You can test, use, or leave on whatever is necessary, as long as you stay below your 30 amp total threshold.

go to this link:

RV Electric

Check out the links, and the welding service tab on the left, which explains how to do the conversion you are wanting to do. He has all kind of great printable pdf files that you can print to make sure you wire the outlets correct and such.

Also, I would recommend perusing the 50 amp and 30 amp tabs too, to get an understanding of exactly how a 50 amp 120/240 volt split phase service actually works. This confuses many campers.

This link below is also another good one to bookmark.

http://www.rvtechmag.com/electrical/chapter3.php
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:27 AM   #4
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If it were me...!

If you can replace the wire to the welder receptacle, that' is what I would do. Then sell the 30 amp extension cord and buy a 50 amp cord. You may need it at a campground one day and you will have full 50 amp power instead of 30 amp power. Assuming the welder receptacle is less than 25 feet, get some 4-3 with ground.
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Old 07-21-2016, 09:37 AM   #5
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This schematic may better help you understand the difference in circuit breakers for a 50 amp 120/240 volt split phase outlet and a 30 amp 120 volt outlet.

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Old 07-21-2016, 09:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Canadiancrew View Post
You will need to get a 30 amp breaker though. The 50 will work but you cord to the trailer is only rated for 30 amps.
My desk lamp has a 16 gauge wire that is rated at 10 amps. It is plugged into an outlet that is rated for 20 amps protected by a 20 amp breaker.

The trailer has a 30 amp breaker. It will blow when needed.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:07 AM   #7
jsk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
A few comments, which I emboldened on your questions above in red. I am going to use the term 'phase' in strictly layman terms, to help in the understanding.

Everything in your RV is 120 volts, and amps are a different thing. Whether you are connected to a 120/240 split phase 50 amp outlet, a 30 amp single phase outlet, or a 15/20 amp single phase outlet........ EVERYTHING is still wired to only run off of 120 volts.

It's this you have to be sure of, and not ever wire something that will allow 240 volts to your RV. Even a 120/240 split phase outlet that is capable of 240 volts is utilized in such a way that only 120 volts is sent per leg to your RV, which also keeps these legs separate inside the RV so it's all only 120 volts.

You can easily do what you described, utilizing the 3 wires on your double pole 50 amp circuit breaker. However since you have to have 4 wires (2 hots, one neutral, and one ground) to properly utilize a 120/240 volt split phase connection for your RV....then NO you "should" NOT use the 240 volt double pole 50 amp circuit breaker you currently have, even if you are just connecting it to one pole/side of the circuit breaker. You should replace it with a SINGLE pole 30 amp circuit breaker, which keeps the outlet 120 volts with 3 wires. You then will run the one hot wire from this 30 amp breaker, a neutral, and a ground, to a TT-30R outlet.

Now you can plug into the 30 amp 120 volt outlet, using a 50-30 amp adapter, and although you will be limited to a total of 30 amps for your RV, everything will have power going to it in the RV. You can test, use, or leave on whatever is necessary, as long as you stay below your 30 amp total threshold.

go to this link:

RV Electric

Check out the links, and the welding service tab on the left, which explains how to do the conversion you are wanting to do. He has all kind of great printable pdf files that you can print to make sure you wire the outlets correct and such.

Also, I would recommend perusing the 50 amp and 30 amp tabs too, to get an understanding of exactly how a 50 amp 120/240 volt split phase service actually works. This confuses many campers.

This link below is also another good one to bookmark.

http://www.rvtechmag.com/electrical/chapter3.php

Thanks for the reply. I have a single pole 30a but was hoping to use current 50a. I will replace. Yes I have 50a choked to a 110 plug. I would like to get away from this as well as have a dedicated circuit. I have the RV electric link as a favorite and have read it and other info. I wanted to be sure my thinking was mostly right.


Joe_

A true 50a service would be nice. I have to come up with something creative to get power where I need it due to house design. I could use conduit on the outside of the house for the last leg of the run but the supervisor does not approve. She does not want it to be visible.


Thanks for replies


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Old 07-21-2016, 01:34 PM   #8
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I did what you did with an old electric furnace wiring. I redid the wiring as it had the 2 hots and one neutral wire with a 30 amp double throw breaker service. NO ground wire. I reworked the wiring and ran it as one hot, one neutral and one ground. I had the wire 6-8guage was red, black, and white, I stripped the white back to bare copper within the breaker box as ground, colored with white electric tape the red wire and used it as neutral. kept the black as the 30amp hot wire on both ends and then finished to the run to a 30a outdoor box.
This has worked now for close to 12 years ever since the popup days. I use a Marico 50 to 30amp reducer (at the female Marico type plug on the camper) 25ft cord. works perfect and I keep this with the camper if I run across 30a service instead of the 50a I need. this cord allows me to use what circuit I need at any campsite plus I can use with my 30a genny. Oh yeah, I split the double pole 30a breaker up by popping off the metal tab that throws the breaker double. turned that into a single throw 30a and I have an extra 30a if I ever needed it.
Everything from under the house is run in plastic conduit & under the driveway to the side of my RVport where it terms at eh 30amp weather plug box. I would really like to up this to 50a service but would need new wire, breakers, and bigger plug box. and I never run 2 AC at home so this works fine
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChooChooMan74 View Post
My desk lamp has a 16 gauge wire that is rated at 10 amps. It is plugged into an outlet that is rated for 20 amps protected by a 20 amp breaker.

The trailer has a 30 amp breaker. It will blow when needed.
That is true and the trailer is protected but I was thinking the 30 amp cable could have a potential problem and is protected by a 50 amp breaker not a 30.
Now I am not sure what the authorities would consider correct. Anyway I did replace my breaker with a 30 amp single pole.
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Old 07-21-2016, 03:47 PM   #10
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My 2 cents. Because it is only a 3 wire system for your welder, this would be your best bet for power to your 50 amp trailer without running new wire from your panel to current welding plug. 1.) Install a single pole 50 amp breaker and hook up the current black wire in the panel to it. 2.) Hook the white wire to the neutral bar. 3.) make sure the ground is hooked up to the ground bar (sometimes the neutral and ground bars are the same). 4.) Buy a 50 amp RV receptacle. 5.) Hook the ground to the RV receptacle ground. 6.) Hook the neutral to the RV receptacle. 7.) Hook the hot leg to one of the RV receptacles hot legs. 8.) Hook up a jumper wire from #6 THHN from that RV receptacle to the other hot leg. This method will allow 50 amps to your trailer instead of just 30. It is only half of what you would get with a 220/240 set up from the box, but your trailer main breaker will send the power where it is needed. Your basically tricking your system like the 30 amp to 50 x2 adaptors do but with 20 amps more power. You will be able to run your a/c, microwave, etc at the same time. You're just going to buy another 50 amp extension cord for your trailer to make this work.
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