RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
'create' a common wire.?

hey guys, have an 'inlaw' camper about 50 yards from house, there apprx 15 yrs or so, there when i bought the place. they ran 10-2 uf, underground. one leg of 110 with common, 15 amp. Common and ground have been on and off, and are now non-existant. fence post maybe. they had a 1/2 inch galv pipe drove in ground as a bond or ground, dont know how deep. i hooked up a 220v 5' baseboard heater at 110v to help with the cold. ran the common from that pipe. it only drew .34 amp. i poured a couple gallons of water at pipe and drove it an inch or so, but still only .41 amp. used an extension cord, common only, and was ok at 3.2a+-. the biggest thing in there is a 3' foot bar frig. but i know what the low voltage will do to that.

im gonna *#*@, if i have to dig up my yard just for that.
ive got 108k miles on my current bike. they gave me the road nic mcguiver. also a building contractor since the 70s, so ive been around the block. no stupid moves here. ANYMORE.! lol
isnt there ANY way to 'mcguiver' a common wire.?
a lot of brilliant ideas have come from discussing stupid ones, come on mcguivers, before it gets too cold. i need ya..!
Rod428 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
Mcgivering electricity causes fires, injury, and death, so you probably wont find that here.

If what I'm undetstanding is correct, you only have a + wire to your base. If your other wires are gone then you are just going to have to -----.

You have to have a neutral wire (-) going to your panel, this is ac not dc.
Also properly installed ground rods according to code - you must have 2 ground rods drove down the full depth(I believe they are 8') and they are to be no closer than 8-10' apart (can't remember which, I will have to find my book). And that should be attached to your main breaker box. Underground wire also needs to be ran through conduit.
- simple answer looks like you need a generator or its time to dig up the yard.
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
thanks for the straight forward. it is 8' for ground rod. i dont know if 2 here or not. i wish i understood more about that neutral. i deer hunt in west virginia, and have a cabin there. im pretty sure there was a time when they had no neutral from the utility, not sure now. (they are known to do some off-the-wall stuff..!) i thought all they did was get the best ground they could for the common side.? i hadnt heard of needing conduit here in maryland, but ill check on that too.

yes it can be a killer. as a contractor here in the 70s, legally, i could do anything i was qualified to do, not certified, but had to pass more hands-on qualified inspectors. i personally put up several temp poles, while replacing a house. then reinstall when done. ALL WHILE HOT. and usually alone. i said around the block. respect, not fear.

DAGNABIT...! i wish there was a simpler solution. thank you
Rod428 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
Mod free 5er
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 24,705
If you don't want to dig up the yard, set 2 poles and run the proper wires overhead. McGyvering will get someone hurt.
__________________
OldCoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod428 View Post
hey guys, have an 'inlaw' camper about 50 yards from house, there apprx 15 yrs or so, there when i bought the place. they ran 10-2 uf, underground. one leg of 110 with common, 15 amp. Common and ground have been on and off, and are now non-existant. fence post maybe. they had a 1/2 inch galv pipe drove in ground as a bond or ground, dont know how deep. i hooked up a 220v 5' baseboard heater at 110v to help with the cold. ran the common from that pipe. it only drew .34 amp. i poured a couple gallons of water at pipe and drove it an inch or so, but still only .41 amp. used an extension cord, common only, and was ok at 3.2a+-. the biggest thing in there is a 3' foot bar frig. but i know what the low voltage will do to that.

im gonna *#*@, if i have to dig up my yard just for that.
ive got 108k miles on my current bike. they gave me the road nic mcguiver. also a building contractor since the 70s, so ive been around the block. no stupid moves here. ANYMORE.! lol
isnt there ANY way to 'mcguiver' a common wire.?
a lot of brilliant ideas have come from discussing stupid ones, come on mcguivers, before it gets too cold. i need ya..!

Are you running the 10/2 from the house main panel? If so, the hot, Neutral, and ground should all start from the mail panel. UF is for underground and does not need to be run in pipe unless it is exposed, usually coming out of the house and going up to the RV post to the RV panel. There is no need for any other ground rod since the main panel has ground rod(s).
Top B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 09:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
fast murray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SD
Posts: 440
Don't try to rig anything with the ground rod. Even the best ones are marginal at best at providing any path to ground. They're job is to ground fault current and that's it. You've got a couple of good options for replacing that wire and it sounds like it needs to be replaced. We sometimes use our vibratory plow to put wire in the ground. This is cost effective and doesn't disturb the yard much. Otherwise you can directional bore which costs more but it won't disturb the lawn. If it was me I'd think about putting in some 8-3wg UF cable to give yourself the option of 240 volt/50 amp for a bigger camper. You can still run it at 120 volt/30 amp and leave one conductor unused. If you don't know what you're doing it is probably time to call a professional before something gets damaged.
__________________
2004 Wildcat 28BH
2012 Ram 2500 CCSB 6.7CTD
fast murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 105
I agree with Fast Murray. I'm an electrician and that is the way I would do it. If you have any doubts, call a professional!
Top B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 12:27 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
abjb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 548
Thank You for calling this large group of professionals.

Lets make this as painless ($’s) and as safe as we can.

There’s a phone # in the front of your phone book for locating your underground utilities.
They’ll send someone out for free to locate your electric, gas, water, phone and TV cable.
Ask the person they send if they know someone who could fix your broken wire or bury you a new one, he should know all the local sub-contractors.

There should be other professionals on here with other ideas on $'s and safety.


Now for the painful part
Here’s a short list of what could happen if you don’t call and do the digging yourself.

We’ll cover the little ones first.
1. DW will get mad if you cut your phone wire while she's talking to her sister.
2. She’ll get a little madder if you cut the TV cable during her favorite program!
3. She’s going to be really mad if you cut your waterline while she’s taking a shower.

Now for the big stuff.
4. She’ll get pretty mad if you cut that power wire, forgetting to trip the breaker and that’s the circuit the TV is on (see 2 above).
5. She won’t get mad if you cut the gas line NOPE she'll be running while wondering if she’s kept your life insurance paid up.
6. If you cut the buried power going TO the house see 5 above (except for the running part).

ab&jb
__________________
2012 Georgetown 360
SHE wanted "a new motorhome"
abjb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 01:08 AM   #9
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod428
thanks for the straight forward. it is 8' for ground rod. i dont know if 2 here or not. i wish i understood more about that neutral. i deer hunt in west virginia, and have a cabin there. im pretty sure there was a time when they had no neutral from the utility, not sure now. (they are known to do some off-the-wall stuff..!) i thought all they did was get the best ground they could for the common side.? i hadnt heard of needing conduit here in maryland, but ill check on that too.

yes it can be a killer. as a contractor here in the 70s, legally, i could do anything i was qualified to do, not certified, but had to pass more hands-on qualified inspectors. i personally put up several temp poles, while replacing a house. then reinstall when done. ALL WHILE HOT. and usually alone. i said around the block. respect, not fear.

DAGNABIT...! i wish there was a simpler solution. thank you
Think of the neutral wire as a "overflow" pipe. What ever electrical amperage (resistance)is not used by a fixture, apliance or what ever, it is then carried thru the neutral wire.
IE. -you have 15 amps traveling thru a wire to an outlet, with a heater pluged in that is using 13.6amps, you will have a remaining 1.4 amps (in a perfect world) that is traveling thru the neutral.
- more people are killed from touching neutral wires than positive wires, they don't understand what I'm explaining here.

Ps. Here in OK it is 811 that you call before excavation(state law), but they wont mark anthing that is not serviced by by the utility company's, like water well electric and pipes, septic systems, sprinklers and such.
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,873
I remember reading that there is a problem using two different ground rods.

Something like "There should only be one ground connection in any panel system. Always run a ground wire and neutral wire from any sub-panel back to the main panel for power return."

Since the camper's power center acts like a sub panel in this instance, installing a ground rod at the camper seems "wrong" by my recollection; but I don't remember why "this is bad."

Any help here from our electricians?
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 09:17 AM   #11
Member
 
oldprof1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sebright Ontario, Canada
Posts: 91
Top B and fast Murray are right. Wiring is NOT a hobby! Life can be lost with a bad ground. Replace the wire, don't use a ground rod at the trailer, this can cause more problems then it's worth. by the way, you put a 220 volt heater on 120 volts. Do you realize that you get 1/4 the power not half, then there is the voltage drop along the conductors (100 yards, 50 out and 50 back). You will be lucky if the heater even gets warm.
Be smart get a qualified electrician, it may cost more in the short term but cheaper in the long haul.
oldprof1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
fast murray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SD
Posts: 440
Herk, two ground rods are required at the building service if there are no other means of grounding. If there is only one mean of grounding (say rebar in the footing), 1 ground rod must be driven. If two means of grounding are available (rebar and metal water line) then no rods need to be present. It is acceptable to feed a service in an unattached garage, shed, etc. from the main panel in the house using separate grounded (neutral) and grounding conductors but a ground rod should also be driven for the additional building as well.
__________________
2004 Wildcat 28BH
2012 Ram 2500 CCSB 6.7CTD
fast murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 02:19 PM   #13
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
Here is the code reference from nec-

"Where two or more buildings or structures are supplied from a common ac service by a feeder(s) or branch circuit(s), the grounding electrode(s) required in Part III of this article at each building or structure shall be connected in the manner specified in 250.32(B) or (C). Where there are no existing grounding electrodes, the grounding electrode(s) required in Part III of this article shall be installed."

Short answer is yes each building needs its own ground rods, unless the equipment or machine is grounded itself.
Nec also stated that they are to be 8' rods and a min. off 6' apart, but the further the better
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 02:22 PM   #14
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
Sorry here is the exception for the nec quote above

"Exception: A grounding electrode at a separate building or structure shall not be required where only one branch circuit supplies the building or structure and the branch circuit includes an equipment grounding conductor for grounding the conductive non-current-carrying parts of all equipment."
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 04:07 PM   #15
Site Team - Lou
 
Herk7769's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 22,873
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
Sorry here is the exception for the nec quote above

"Exception: A grounding electrode at a separate building or structure shall not be required where only one branch circuit supplies the building or structure and the branch circuit includes an equipment grounding conductor for grounding the conductive non-current-carrying parts of all equipment."
So as long as there is a bare wire ground along with the service, a separate ground rod is not required as I read this. I think that means 110 and 220 as long as there is a bare copper ground wire back to the originating panel included in the run?
__________________
Lou, Laura, & Freya the wonder dog
2008 GMC Sierra 3000HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2019 Flagstaff 8529FLS - Pullrite 3300
HAM CALLSIGN - KC3FFW
Herk7769 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #16
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
I think you are correct according to nec. Local code may be more stringent as well as each inspectors interpretation of the codes.
The electricians that installed my 2 main breaker panels on myhouse wanted 2 rods per panel( the panels are about 40' apart).
The inspector on my detached garage would not allow service installed untill we had 2 ground rods installed to that panel, he came a day early otherwise they would have been installed, but this has its own meter base so its required regardless.
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
So as long as there is a bare wire ground along with the service, a separate ground rod is not required as I read this. I think that means 110 and 220 as long as there is a bare copper ground wire back to the originating panel included in the run?

Herk, that is correct. Only the main service has the ground rod(s) or re-bar in cement (newer homes). The main panel is the one that the meter box is connected to. The number of ground rods depends on the soil. Some areas only require 1, while others need 2. Your local electrical inspector would know what is needed. All other panels that connect to the main panel are sub-panels and do not need ground rods because they use the main panels ground rods. You also do NOT install the green bond screw in a sub-panel because it screws with the neutral/ground.
Top B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #18
Oklahoma Proud
 
MillerTime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: central OK
Posts: 2,784
Here is NEC ground rod specs.

2008 NEC—250.52 Grounding Electrodes.
(A) Electrodes Permitted for Grounding.
(5) Rod and Pipe Electrodes.*Rod and pipe electrodes shall not be less than*2.44 m*(8 ft.) in length and shall consist of the following materials.
(a)*Grounding*electrodes of pipe or conduit shall not be smaller than metric designator 21 (trade size ¾) and, where of iron or steel, shall have the outer surface galvanized or otherwise metal-coated for corrosion protection.
(b)*Grounding*electrodes of*stainless steel, copper or zinc coated*steel shall be at least 15.87 mm (? in.) in diameter, unless listed and not less than 12.70 mm (½ in.) in diameter.
Copper and zinc-coated rods are both produced from the same “ferrous” steel core and coated with the appropriate “non-ferrous” coating (copper or zinc). The new text recognizes listed stainless steel-, copper- and zinc-coated ground rods that are not smaller than ½ inch in diameter.
MillerTime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
fast murray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SD
Posts: 440
The ground rod per structure thing may be regional as I don't remember always doing it. It is redundancy but so is almost everything else in the NEC, especially on the topic of grounding.
__________________
2004 Wildcat 28BH
2012 Ram 2500 CCSB 6.7CTD
fast murray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2012, 06:08 PM   #20
Mod free 5er
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 24,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
Here is NEC ground rod specs.

2008 NEC—250.52 Grounding Electrodes.
(A) Electrodes Permitted for Grounding.
(5) Rod and Pipe Electrodes.*Rod and pipe electrodes shall not be less than*2.44 m*(8 ft.) in length and shall consist of the following materials.
(a)*Grounding*electrodes of pipe or conduit shall not be smaller than metric designator 21 (trade size ¾) and, where of iron or steel, shall have the outer surface galvanized or otherwise metal-coated for corrosion protection.
(b)*Grounding*electrodes of*stainless steel, copper or zinc coated*steel shall be at least 15.87 mm (? in.) in diameter, unless listed and not less than 12.70 mm (½ in.) in diameter.
Copper and zinc-coated rods are both produced from the same “ferrous” steel core and coated with the appropriate “non-ferrous” coating (copper or zinc). The new text recognizes listed stainless steel-, copper- and zinc-coated ground rods that are not smaller than ½ inch in diameter.
Your ? is 5/8". Metric measurements i.e. mm/25.4= inches
__________________
OldCoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:43 AM.