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Old 02-26-2021, 05:34 AM   #1
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Upgrading to 50 amp service

I am in the middle of upgrading my 30 amp travel trailer to a 50 amp fifth wheel which I have parked on the side of my house and plugged in full time. Since the new fifth wheel requires more amperage Iím getting ready to upgrade the electrical service. At present I am running a 30 amp three wire system. I understand with 50 amp I need four wires and I also understand itís recommended that I use number six wire. My question specifically is since this consist of (2) 120 volt services, each capable of carrying 50 A, isnít it conceivable that the neutral wire at any given point could be carrying close to 100 A? Iím trying to understand how all the wires can be number six with the neutral having to carry that much amperage.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:35 AM   #2
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Correct wiring for a 50 amp pulls from opposite legs of a 240 circuit. And since this is AC, when one leg is at +120, the other is at -120. If you have both legs maxed out at 50 amps, the neutral leg will sum out to 0 amps - all the current is going via the two hot legs.

If your electrician managed to hook up both wires to the same leg, then you would overload the neutral wire. But there "should" be no way to do this with a standard 50 amp breaker. When these snap into the panel, they grab opposite legs.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:04 AM   #3
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This article will explain how 120/240 volt split phase service works, including how the neutral only carries the imbalance between the L1 and L2.


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