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Old 04-07-2013, 06:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 21
Current draw for appliances, for generators and when connected to shore power

I am retired now from the local City Electric Utility the deals with Street Lighting, Traffic Signals and traffic Signs.

I know there are several Electrical Engineers that are on here and there have been several threads current draws when talking about electrical issues, one thing that I have not seen is an explanation as to why.

When you have several high amp appliances like a toaster or a coffee pot are being used and then the a/c kicks on the breaker in the trailer trips or the power pedestal trips, why, it takes more amps to get the compressor started than when when it's running. Say the a/c is 15 amps when running but when they start it can be up to say 16 to 18 amps and with the combined amps of the other two say 20 amps, pop the breaker blows as you have overloaded the trailers power capacity.

To find out what the amp ratings of an electric motor look at the name plate and it should have two ratings on it, one for the running amps and one for starting amps.

When trying to determine the correct size of an generator, it's best to use the starting amps and not the running amps. If the name plate does not have a starting amp rating on it, we used to add about half of the running amps to be safe. For all other appliances and lighting we used the actual amp ratings. We all ways went to the next higher kw generator if the total was between two sizes.

I hope this explains a little bit as to what's happening.
Chuck Kennedy
TV = 2003 1500HD 4x4 Chevy
Silverado Crew Cab 6.0L V8 W/3:73
2011 Rockwood HW296 16" Box
Tent Camper
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
Phat Phrog Stunt Team
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34,498
This helps tremendously for the situation you describe.


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