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Old 06-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by BombDoc View Post
Jeepman,
When I had my incident, it was totally my fault. Nothing wrong with the plug or the plug being wired wrong. I was visiting family and hadn't seen my Dad in several years. I simply plugged the 50Amp cord into the 30Amp adapter and right into the outlet it went. POP! Tripped the main breaker in the camper. My TV wasn't on, neither was the fireplace. Both were destroyed. Microwave went instantly too. I didn't notice the converter until later. You are right, he won't soon forget and neither will I!
I won't let u !
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by BombDoc View Post
Jeepman,
When I had my incident, it was totally my fault. Nothing wrong with the plug or the plug being wired wrong. I was visiting family and hadn't seen my Dad in several years. I simply plugged the 50Amp cord into the 30Amp adapter and right into the outlet it went. POP! Tripped the main breaker in the camper. My TV wasn't on, neither was the fireplace. Both were destroyed. Microwave went instantly too. I didn't notice the converter until later. You are right, he won't soon forget and neither will I!
BombDoc, just to clarify for those who may have missed your original thread, and may read this later on in life............you plugged into a 30 amp 240 volt service (but it needed to be a 30 amp 120 volt service).

Since you used the adapter, it shot 240 volts across Line 1 and Line 2 in your 50 amp trailer.........which would normally have 120 volts on line 1 and 120 volts on Line 2 from a 50 amp 240 volt service..

I am wondering if this is what happened to the OP's friend.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #23
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I won't let u !
Just like one day, you won't forget the bean bag beat down.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:00 AM   #24
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BombDoc, just to clarify for those who may have missed your original thread, and may read this later on in life............you plugged into a 30 amp 240 volt service (but it needed to be 120 volt).

Since you used the adapter, it shot 240 volts across Line 1 and Line 2 in your 50 amp trailer.........which would normally have 120 volts on line 1 and 120 volts on Line 2.
You are correct, Sir.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BombDoc View Post
Jeepman,
When I had my incident, it was totally my fault. Nothing wrong with the plug or the plug being wired wrong. I was visiting family and hadn't seen my Dad in several years. I simply plugged the 50Amp cord into the 30Amp adapter and right into the outlet it went. POP! Tripped the main breaker in the camper. My TV wasn't on, neither was the fireplace. Both were destroyed. Microwave went instantly too. I didn't notice the converter until later. You are right, he won't soon forget and neither will I!

The adapter would have combined the 2 hots into one therefore tripping the breaker but not before delivering 240 volts to things that should only get 120 (because 240 needed to flow to ground to make the breaker trip). A trailer also is not a "bonded Neutral" like a home because it is fed as a branch circuit.

A 4 wire outlet (wired correctly) would deliver proper voltage to a 4 wire plug. This is assuming that the plug has been wired for it's intended purpose and not wired as the end user sees fit for their unintended use.

You match plugs for the intended voltage and current use and follow the ratings and all will be good in the electrical world.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:17 AM   #26
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A 4 wire outlet (wired correctly) would deliver proper voltage to a 4 wire plug. This is assuming that the plug has been wired for it's intended purpose and not wired as the end user sees fit for their unintended use.
Exactly why I am curious to know what was wrong with JeepMan's friend situation. We know he fried his stuff, but don't know the exact cause yet.

It has been stated that he plugged his 50 amp trailer into a 50 amp 240 volt outlet as it should be.........but something went wrong here. If this statement is precise, then we have to assume the outlet was wired incorrectly as Herk pointed out.

If he however, did use an adaptor like BombDoc did, and plugged into a 240 volt 30 amp outlet, then he also would have shot 240 volts across things not made for it.

It would be good to know which scenario may have happened, for others to learn from it.

I am adding this for future readers and trying to put it simply, as it may be confusing from all the jargon above.

In normal use, a 50 amp trailer plugs into a 50 amp 240 volt outlet. This 240 volt service has two 120 volt hot lines, which make a combined 240 volts. The RV itself, separates the two 120 volt hot lines, and everything inside the trailer works off of 120 volts either on the Line 1 side or the Line 2 side.

A 30 amp trailer plugs into 30 amp 120 volt service. It only has one hot line and everything in the trailer works off of 120 volts.

You always want to make sure you are plugging into a 30 amp 120 volt outlet.....and not a 30 amp 240 volt outlet........for either a 30 amp or 50 amp (using adaptors) trailer above. It's obvious why you don't want 240 volts for a 30 amp trailer..... but when you use a 50 to 30 amp adapter, it will feed 240 volts to both the Line 1 and Line 2 sides if plugged into a 30 amp 240 volt outlet, which are normally separated to only get 120 volts each.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:29 AM   #27
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Here is the rule of thumb 220 applied incorrectly. If given device was off, A/C, home tools etc probably are ok. If microwave with 24/7 display, radio, tv with instant on circuits they will fail. Some can be repaired, mosT not. If water heater on most likely toast. Hope he beat the system!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #28
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I have recently talked to my friend. He took the rig into the dealer. They found that all is ok except the microwave and the converter. They are even going to try to turn it in under warranty. He is feeling much better about life now even if warranty doesn't cover.

On to the great questions. I manage a warehouse that supplies all the needed supplies for the facilities division of a university in Colorado. I have been doing this for a little better than 25 years so I have a wide exposure to some of these things. In other words I have some working knowledge but always try to prove my thoughts before moving forward. With the question of using his 3 prong adapter to plug into a 3 prong 220 I don't know the answer and that indeed would explain the problem if that is what he had done. Another tought is that when he had his welder wired in they used a 4 prong as in Herk's diagram and dropped the nuetral, possible due to an old panel or maybe a little back yard wiring or possibly a broken wire. I did talk with one of our electricians and he confirmed this could and probably would cause a problem due to an imbalanced load. The electrician stated he felt it would take out the electronic items.

When I find out about the adapter/plug I will report back.

I am beginning to see why the problem happened and how he could avoid it in the future. First if he used the 3 prong 120v adapter...... Don't do that. If he plugs into a 4 prong make sure he has continuity between the ground and the nuetral. I suppose it would still work if the ground was dropped just not safe.

Thanks for all the great replys.

So many things to learn and so little memory to keep it learned.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #29
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I have recently talked to my friend. He took the rig into the dealer. They found that all is ok except the microwave and the converter. They are even going to try to turn it in under warranty. He is feeling much better about life now even if warranty doesn't cover.

.
Good deal Jeepman. If you do find out from your friend what went wrong and where.....please let us know. This way we can reference this forum to help out other members who may encounter similar problems in the future.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:21 PM   #30
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First and foremost, if an Energy Management System was being used with his RV, this problem would have been protected against. Progressive Industries units are highly recommended, either hard-wired or plug-in.

Secondly, this demonstrates what can go wrong when someone knows just enough about what they're trying to do to "be dangerous". It sounds like we don't know who wired up that 50-amp outlet, but I really don't think a licensed electrician would have wired a 4-terminal outlet this way, and this outlet NEEDS TO BE FIXED so no one else falls prey to it.

Finally, in case there is confusion on this point, it's perfectly OK to use a 30->50 adapter to plug his 50-amp RV into a properly-wired 30-amp RV outlet.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:09 PM   #31
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I believe the issue was that it was a 240 welding outlet wired without a neutral or the neutral was corroded or bad. Since a 240 welder does not use a neutral, the circuit would not show as bad when the welder was used.

240 is NOT 240 when you actually need 2 phases of 110.

The camper is not wired for 240; it uses two 120 volt circuits. Those two 120 volt circuits require a solid neutral to complete the 2 120 volt circuits. Without a neutral, the converter panel will make a 240 circuit through the neutral buss inside the converter (where all the camper's white wires are connected). This will put 240 volts through any 120 volt items connected and (sometimes) on when power is applied.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #32
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Final update on the 50A 240V sauga. My friend did use the 3 prong adapter to plug into the welding outlet. And on further inspection it does appear that the frigde is not working on 110V. Originally they had a fuse they replaced, he took it home and plugged it in (correctly) and this morning the frige is not working on 110.

All in all a tough lesson but one he won't soon forget as BombDoc says.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #33
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Final update on the 50A 240V sauga. My friend did use the 3 prong adapter to plug into the welding outlet.
Thanks for letting everyone know what happened. I hate it for him, but the sting will fade, and he'll enjoy his trailer.
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