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Old 10-29-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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AC Electrical ground wire

I am installing a low profile Penguin heat pump on my 1961 Tradewind. The trailer previously had an A/C unit installed, though that was removed some years ago and replaced with a vent. The original 120 two wire wiring is in place. Here is the question - run new circuit for the A/C or use the existing, and if so, what about the ground? I upgraded the basic electrical in the trailer with a converter and have run a couple new dedicated circuits, such as for the electrical element on the lp/electric water heater and microwave.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #2
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I ran new Romex to the a/c on my 65 overlander . I ran it thru the overhead cabinet, then thru the ceiling.


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Old 10-29-2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by beatrix1 View Post
I am installing a low profile Penguin heat pump on my 1961 Tradewind. The trailer previously had an A/C unit installed, though that was removed some years ago and replaced with a vent. The original 120 two wire wiring is in place. Here is the question - run new circuit for the A/C or use the existing, and if so, what about the ground? I upgraded the basic electrical in the trailer with a converter and have run a couple new dedicated circuits, such as for the electrical element on the lp/electric water heater and microwave.
Do it right the first time! Add a new circuit for your new A/C. I would use 12/3 marine cable and nothing else!! You can't use Romex in a marine application and you shouldn't be able to use it in an RV. I really don't care what the manufacturers use, IMHO the RV standards need to upgraded to what the marine industry uses as they operate in very similar environments. YMMV!!!
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:30 PM   #4
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After I posted, I went out to the trailer and just thought why even wonder! I only need to fish about 30 inches of new wire and then I can run it through the cabinets to the new converter and put it on its own 20 amp breaker. Have to run the drain tube the other way to the kitchen vent, so won't be any more work than that and be a lot safer! You all just affirmed what I was thinking! Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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The original 120 two wire wiring is in place.

Here is the question - run new circuit for the A/C or use the existing, and if so, what about the ground?
Ground wires are really a common bonding - providing a solid metal-to-metal connection path between all AC electrical devices. It prevents one appliance from accumulating a charge different from another appliance. Such differences in potential can arc or pass through a human like static electricity - but higher potential.

In an RV the incoming ground wire is connected to the chassis and the ground bus. (frame) so the frame is part of the ground circuit. If convenient, you could run a new 3 conductor wire to the air conditioner. The new ground wire will connect directly to the ground bus bar which should be, in turn, connected to the frame.

You could also could connect the air conditioner ground to the frame, which is what the original installer may have done. I believe this requires a dedicated screw and crimped on lug but maybe someone here who knows the NEC could verify.

When doing AC work on an older trailer it is always good to visually inspect for a couple conditions and verify with your VOM meter:

- Soild, non corroded connection between the ground bus bar and the chassis
- That there is no connection (via continuity reading) between the neutral and ground. The male end of the 30amp power cable can be used to do this.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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Lewster, I couldn't agree more on the marine rated wiring. I was shocked to find non-marine grade wiring installed in RV's, there must not be a standard code for RV's yet. You can bet I will be replacing all my wiring with marine grade during my full monte.
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:02 PM   #7
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Lewster, I couldn't agree more on the marine rated wiring. I was shocked to find non-marine grade wiring installed in RV's, there must not be a standard code for RV's yet. You can bet I will be replacing all my wiring with marine grade during my full monte.
For sure! I wouldn't use Romex in an RV if they gave it to me for free!!!!!
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