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Old 04-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
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Strange 50 amp service

This 50 amp connection at the KOA park in Washington, PA was a first for us. Normally the breaker is marked as 50 amp, this one was two individual 30 amp breakers. Iíve never seen that before. The surge protector didnít report any issues so I guess this type of connection is OK. We've never encountered this before.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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I am guessing it's not a "true" 50 amp service ?
Maybe it was wired for 50 amp and they just used two 30 amp breakers?
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #3
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I've read of similar in other forums. Like Turbs stated it's not a true 50 amp.

A TRUE 50 amp service will consist of TWO 120 volt hot legs, each providing 50 amps a piece.........or in actuality 100 total amps. I always refer to this kind of service as a 50 (x2) amp service to avoid confusion.

It appears that this service is providing TWO 120 volt hot legs, but at 30 amps a piece, or 60 total amps.


You will sometimes run across where a campground will cheat, and wire both hot legs from the same 50 amp side...........in which case you only have 50 total amps.

Since 50 amp RV's run off of 120 volt..... from either side, it all works correct. It just limits your total amps that can be used.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
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Actually we don't know if this is 240 or not. It could still be and they just didn't use linked breakers. For sure it's no more than 60 amps (instead of the normal 100). If our suspicions are right however, and this is single-phase, it's still a very bad situation. See my thread on this topic: http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...40v-35003.html
The neutral wire on our 50-amp RVs is intended to carry no more than 50 amps. What we see in this picture could have it carrying 60 amps, which could cause overheating and fire. Note that Progressive Industries is upgrading their protectors to give an error for this situation. I hope you will ask the campground to fix this bad situation. If they won't, we should send an email to KOA headquarters.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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If they won't, we should send an email to KOA headquarters.
VERY good idea !
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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Oakman, if you have a multi-meter with you....you can check across the two hot legs(Y and X) in the outlet to see if you get 220/240 volts or 110/120 volts.



The voltage between Y and X should be 240-Volt, X and W 120-Volt, Y and W 120-Volt, X and G 120-volt, Y and G 120-volt, W and G 0-Volt
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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My money is on a bad 50 amp dual pole breaker and the campground tech only had 30 amp breakers in his tool box. They are brand new and the others are ratty.

Did you happen to look at the other pedestals on that circuit?
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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I am curious as to why there is a "20" amp breaker in the box.
surely the household receptacle that you do not have pictured is only a 15 amp receptacle?
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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My money is on a bad 50 amp dual pole breaker and the campground tech only had 30 amp breakers in his tool box. They are brand new and the others are ratty.

Did you happen to look at the other pedestals on that circuit?
The thought of looking at other pedestals didn't even strike me Herk, I wish it had. That KOA is in rather rough shape so seeing that setup didn't really surprise me.

I guess I'll be buying a multi-meter now, and I will send KOA a photo to see what they say.

That particular KOA was one of the worst I've stayed at in recent years.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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I am curious as to why there is a "20" amp breaker in the box.
surely the household receptacle that you do not have pictured is only a 15 amp receptacle?
I haven't paid too much attention, but I think most of the pedestals I've seen have a 20 amp breaker and not a 15. I could be wrong though, lately I've discovered that I can't place any trust in my memory.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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I guess I'll be buying a multi-meter now, and I will send KOA a photo to see what they say.


correct me if I am wrong ....... But were you not the one that said " I have never had a multimeter in my camper and never had a need for it" ?
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:15 AM   #12
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I guess I'll be buying a multi-meter now, and I will send KOA a photo to see what they say.


correct me if I am wrong ....... But were you not the one that said " I have never had a multimeter in my camper and never had a need for it" ?
Dang, I've been called out again.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:18 AM   #13
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Dang, I've been called out again.
sorry but For some reason that stuck in my pea brain!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
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Now wait. He still doesn't need a multimeter. Just a neon test light would be good enough. You can tell 120 or 240 just by how high the light goes up
the electrodes. ;-))
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #15
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I am curious as to why there is a "20" amp breaker in the box.
surely the household receptacle that you do not have pictured is only a 15 amp receptacle?

Campgrounds are considered "Commercial" and should therfore be a 20 amp GFCI outlet for outdoor use.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:44 AM   #16
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BarryD0706 The neutral wire on 50amp 220 volt service carries 100 amps. 50amp X 2 = 100amp. With that set up it is 30amp per side total of 60amps. To set up breakers to trip together all you have to do is add a jump bar in the two holes on the breakers it will then make it a double breaker. On a double breaker you just remove the jump on the breaker and it makes it two singles for 110 volts. It is not set up correctly and should be checked.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:01 AM   #17
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BarryD0706 The neutral wire on 50amp 220 volt service carries 100 amps. 50amp X 2 = 100amp.
No, it doesn't. Current on opposite phases subtracts. Please go read my referenced thread.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #18
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Campgrounds are considered "Commercial" and should therfore be a 20 amp GFCI outlet for outdoor use.
Thank you for the explanation!
I in fact learned something new today .....


p.s I am going to start looking at all the pedestals this summer camping !
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:30 AM   #19
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DRC, Barry has it right.

Peak to Peak will be 100 amps but never at the same time on and off 60 time a second and an electrical AC wave always travels forward at 60hz or 60 times a second.

There is of course much more to it than, but take some time to look at a picture of an AC wave and you can see it moves forward from itself.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:00 PM   #20
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I stand corrected
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