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Electrical Question - 30 amp / single pole for RV

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by noknock1, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    Need some advice as I made a foolish mistake. I paid a licensed electrician to install a 110v - 30 amp receptable on it's own circuit for my RV when parked at the house. The electrician installed late last fall.

    I made the mistake of not actually having the electricain test the circuit right then and there. I paid him, he left, winter goes by and now I realize that the electrican wired the wrong plug. The plug he wired does not fit the typical RV pig tail wire.

    I think no big deal, my fault for not testing the work when it was completed last fall. I buy an RV- 30 amp plug. Then I see that he used a 10/3 wire. I talk to the local electrical guy at Lowes and he tells me that:

    Red wire is neutral.
    Black is hot.
    White and copper are both ground and can be run together.


    Well that is what the electrican did with the wrong receptable. So I wire in the correct receptable and test with a multi-meter and get nothing for voltage. I use the voltage detector and get a beep on the black and red wire, the white wire and bare copper do not sound a tone.

    I put the red wire in the "white" labled slot and black in the opposite with the "ground" or white and copper on the round prong slot.

    I put in the volt tester light and get nothing.

    I swap red and black wires... nothing.

    However from the voltage detector it says I am getting current to the red and black wire.

    From reading on the internet, it seems the electrician should have just run a 10/2 wire.

    I am thinking he has something swapped at the circuit panel?

    Regardless, I have spoken with him twice and he says that he will not come out unless I pay him a $75.00 service call. I know this is bad business and he won't get anymore of mine, however, he knows that I will either pay him or someone else and that I won't take the time and money to drag his butt into small claims.

    So is this an easy fix, or do I pay a different electrician to come out? So much for freaking "licensed."

    I took a picture that I posted of the way he had the wrong respectable wired and I can not get a reading of it either, so I believe that it is safe to assume that a "bad respectable" is not the problem.

    Thoughts????? For all I know he has the thing wired for 220 which as we all know will completely destroy all circuitry in an RV!



    [​IMG]
     
  2. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Your circuit should begin with a 1 pole 30 amp breaker. Black on the circuit breaker. If your circuit breaker is where your meter is, the green and white wires go on the same grounding buss, assuming it has spare screws to tie them in. Now to the receptacle. Green to the hex shaped and/or green screw. Black to the dark colored screw, white to the light colored screw. The red does not belong in this circuit. DON'T cut it off. put a wire nut on each end and just fold it back out of the way on both ends.
    At this point you should have 120 volts between the two slots, 120 between 1 slot and the ground hole, and nothing from the other slot to the ground hole. The receptacle with the right angle is a dryer receptacle.
     
  3. GoldEx

    GoldEx Active Member

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    If he wired your plug with 10/3 and your voltage tester shows you are hot on both the black and the red, I am going to go out on a limb and assume you are wired for 220. 10/3 is the new code for 220. Red Hot, Black Hot, White Common. Bare Ground. Wire your plug back up like he put it. Put one prong of your voltmeter in the left slot and one in the round. See if you get 120V. Now do the same on the right slot and the round. See if you get 120V. Now put one in the left slot and one in the right. If it reads 240V. If so, ya got 240V and yes, you will smoke your power center or any fuse that protects it. The plug on the left is a standard RV 30A plug. The one on the right is one normally one I use for 240V circuits. I'm guessing that's what he gave you.

    Jeff
     
  4. Biggray

    Biggray TS Member

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    Make sure you have a single pole breaker. From what I am understanding you may have 220 instead of 110 to your plug.
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Good lord.

    Pull the cover off your panel and look at how the cable is wired.

    White and copper should be to the ground buss under the little screws.

    110 volt is 2 wire only, so either the red or black is your hot.

    It's the one hooked to the breaker. Duh.

    If both are hooked to breakers (or a 2 screw breaker) on one side of the panel he may have hooked up 220.

    Your meter will read that from red to black. if 220 it will read 110 from either red or black to whit(or bare).

    If no voltage the breaker is turned off or not hooked up.

    HM
     
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I must add, the red and black throughout the rev are 12V + and -.

    This pic should help

    http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4747103839062142&pid=1.7&w=230&h=172&c=7&rs=1

    HM

    PS, it looks like he gave you a dryer plug (on the right in your picture.) That would be 220.
     
  7. YOTESLAYER

    YOTESLAYER Member

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    Reading some of the "professional" help you are getting on this site will cost you a ton of money. Call an electrician Its well worth the service call!!! Good luck and be careful which of the above people you trust if you decide to do it yourself!!! Some great advice above and some not so clear!!! Wireguy is usually spot in but in this case he is a bit confused at to what type of outlet you are using. The receptacle will have the correct wiring molded into the black plastic. There is no ground hex screw on this type of receptacle. Be very careful hooking this up, you will likely only get one shot at it!!! A license is a funny thing, I know guys who have master electrician licenses who have never wired an outlet circuit in there life!! Again good luck!!!
     
  8. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    Thanks guys. Info is still info... I didn't expect that many varied responses. I will have to digest this info and figure it out.
     
  9. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Electrocution 101

    The power entering your house is 240 volts - this is measured across two 'hot' legs in AC current.

    Typical US lights, etc use 120 v - this uses one of those hot legs and a neutral return leg.

    For your issue.

    First, using your volt meter measure across the red and black wires with the meter set to record at least 240 volts. He either wired the plug as 240 and you have two 'hot' legs, or he wired both wires into the same point of a single breaker (??) - this should return a voltage reading of '0' in that there is no differential voltage between the two wires (they share the same source). I'll be shocked if you get 120 across the red and black.

    Now to the pannel - wireguy has given you the correct answer here. You need to find the breaker that controls this circuit. Does it cover one or two breaker slots in the pannel?? - if one then it is set for 120, if two then it is set for 240.

    The wiring for a single pole (120v) breaker will have the feed from the breaker going to the black wire, the white will go to neutral, and the bare copper to ground (depending on how the pannel is set up and code the white and coper may go to the same point too). The red wire is superfluous - just cap it at both ends.

    If the breaker is a double pole (240v) it will need to be replaced with a single pole, 30 Amp one.

    Scary, but not really.

    First, be sure it is off. Next remove the two wires feeding into it (should be the red and the black). If you look at the pannel there should be two 'sets' of breakers- a left set and a right set, which meet at the midline of the pannel. With the wires removed gently press the breaker from the midline towards the outside of the pannel - the end closest to the midline will rise away from the pannel - at some point it will just pop free.

    Take breaker to Home Depot/Lowes/electrical supply and pick up TWO single pole breakers (you will need to fill the hole left in the pannel where the 240v breaker was - takes two single poles to do this). One you will use, one will be a 'spare' - might make this one a 20 Amp in that this is what is typical for home circuits - the 30 Amp is overkill.

    Install both breakers into pannel. Insert black wire into 30 Amp single pole, then follow wireguys directions for the plug.

    You're good to go.
     
  10. j2jake

    j2jake Well-Known Member

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    noknock1, if your not comfortable with the info above, it would be best to have another electrican come out and properly wire it for you. The $75.00 is much less than the potential damage from doing it wrong. Too bad the guy you paid for the install won't help you out. Jake
     
  11. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    If you do not already possess the knowledge to wire that receptacle properly, you probably don't need to be messing with it. I wire almost all my own stuff. When I get in over my head or second guess myself, I call someone(a pro) and have it done right.


    Just Say'n............
     
  12. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    Thanks again to everyone. It is a single 30 amp breaker in the fuse box. I will take a look this evening.
     
  13. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    You have a lot of good advice and I'll be up front and say that I'm definitely not an electrician. But the first thing I would do is go to the power panel and see what kind of breaker was installed. This will tell you right off what voltage would be. Wireguy and HSLDS both know what they are talking about. Check the breaker and let us know what you find out. I've seen several people get burnt that were working on 220 and thought it was 110 so be careful. Jackie B.
     
  14. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    noknock,

    OK - so it is a single pole (switch?) breaker. BUT is it one wire or two wire?? See photos. I think they are self explanatory.
    hslds_2008_030372.jpg

    hslds_2008_030373.jpg

    hslds_2008_030374.jpg


    -

    top is 120, middle and bottom are 240...

    You can have a single switch breaker that controls a 240 circuit. From your description I suspect this is what the electrician did for you - a 30 Amp circuit is rather unusual for 120 v and I think he may have decided to give you 240 - whether you wanted it or not.

    Take a photo of the breaker in the panel - with the cover removed showing the wire(s) to it as well and we can give you a better idea.
     
  15. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    Top breaker in picture. I will take a photo later on.
     
  16. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Wow, if it truly is a single pole breaker then I do not see how he got both the red and black lines to be hot (or why he did this...).
     
  17. scooterbum

    scooterbum Active Member

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    You should have smelled a skunk when you saw the wrong receptacle, and 10/3 fully in play.

    You didn't test voltages on the bare wires.

    STOP! Switch off the breaker.

    Call the electrician, tell him he made a mistake, and that you request he return and correct the set up.
     
  18. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Notice the picture with the pencil. The pencil is pointed to the 30 AMP fuse for the RV circuit. Now notice the wire nut tying or pig tailing the black wire and red wire together with the red wire actually being screwed into the breaker!!! I am so lucky that the electrician really screwed this up or I would have fried the camper when I plugged it in, had the white neutral wire been connected to a wire slot on the back of the plug vs. the ground slot with the bare copper wire!!!!

    Or maybe I am still screwed and don't know the extent of damage?

    My air conditioner, microwave, lights, etc. are working. I have the camper plugged into a dedicated 20 amp circuit at the moment. The AC doesn't run continuously, I just tested it to see if it would turn on since I plugged the camper into this wiring mess without first testing myself.


    I stuck the black wire directly into the breaker and capped the red wire, did the same at the receptacle with the red wire.

    I moved the white wire from the ground screw to the neutral screw which obviously leaves the black wire for the hot side and bare copper wire for the grounding screw. I am getting around 119 V give or take a couple.

    So am I good now?
     
  19. Sharp1

    Sharp1 Member

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    Hey NOknock,

    Barehands and rings are not a good mix for 120/240. Dang spend the money and get it done right. You may not give -a-#### yet im guessing there are other people that may want to see you around a bit longer...

    GL
     
  20. scooterbum

    scooterbum Active Member

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    ck URL above.
     
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