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Old 07-18-2007, 07:57 AM   #1
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InteliPower and service panel

I am about to upgrade my electrical system from two 20amp breakers to a new service panel that will have one 30amp, one 20amp, and two 15amp breakers. I have a couple questions before the job is started and would appreciate the "electrical gurus" input.

1. Is it common for one of the existing 20amp lines to feed the air conditioner only, with the rest of the trailer being wired to the other one? And, would it be the best idea to run the new 30 amp line directly to the A/C with nothing else on it? (Still have more skins to remove so can't see line runs yet)

2. I have an Inteli-Power 9200 series that is rated at 45 amps. Since the capacity of the new service panel will exceed this, will it have any affect on it? (i.e., will I need to change to one with a larger amp rating)

3. I also plan to install a convection microwave. Is it best for it to have it's own line? Haven't bought it yet but shopping around and checking on models and amp draws for them later this week.

Thanks in advance, TB
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
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1. Is it common for one of the existing 20amp lines to feed the air conditioner only, with the rest of the trailer being wired to the other one?
yes
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And, would it be the best idea to run the new 30 amp line directly to the A/C with nothing else on it?
yes, but leave it 20 amp. its there to protect you and your a/c from an excessive amp draw. if its a dedicated line, then nothing else will be limited by it, and if the a/c needs no more than that, and is allowed to draw more than that, bad things could happen.
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2. I have an Inteli-Power 9200 series that is rated at 45 amps. Since the capacity of the new service panel will exceed this, will it have any affect on it? (i.e., will I need to change to one with a larger amp rating)
I believe that rating is for the 12amp side, so its irrelevant.

Don't know about convection microwaves, or how much they draw, but I'd guess that it could be enough to justify a dedicated circuit.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:24 AM   #3
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I've seen a couple of units that the incoming feed was hooked to the OUTPUT of a 30 breaker that inturn back fed all of the other breakers. My gut says this is uncool but I have not been able to find anything to back up my instinct. My pals in the electrical field say it's bad but so far it's all hearsay.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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You've got more than enough breakers.

Run the 30 amp to the AC, but I agree that I'd change it out to 20 amps.

The Intellipower will never draw more than 10 amps off the 110V, more like 3-6. Your big power consumers on the 110 side are microwave and hair dryer. If your wiring supports it, I'd put one breaker on the bath and other rear recepticals, one on the kitchen (for hand-held appliances) and the front sitting area, and then a separate line to the microwave (it could be on a double socket--the microwave is probably less than 1000 Watts, so under 10 amps. You could have something else on that and not blow the breaker).

If you have an outside 110 receptical, you'll find yourself plugging lots of power eaters in there--drills, lights, etc. I'd probably put that on the same breaker as the bath--better to have the hair dryer die than the microwave. But sometimes I misjudge the users of hair dryers!

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Old 07-18-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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If you have an outside 110 receptical, you'll find yourself plugging lots of power eaters in there--drills, lights, etc. Zep[/quote]

Thanks to all for the great info!!
Zep -- I do plan to add an outside outlet curbside, so thanks for mentioning that.

So, if I understand it correctly, I don't really need the 30 amp breaker
and if the A/C is currently on a dedicated 20 amp line then I could just leave it like it is and add other lines for the new stuff and split up some of the other. Gotta get a DSI water heater in there too. I kinda got my ideas from some upgrades that had the 30 amp incorporated and have done bunches of reading here that suggested doing the same. The ones I've seen were, 30-20-15-15. As you can guess I am a bit electrically challenged and want to use the best plan I can while I have the chance. I'm fine with going with all 20's or a combination of 20's and 15's, whatever works and is safest.

I have about a week to narrow it all down before the electrician gets the supplies and is here to make it happen. Had a couple bail on me so I have had to start over more than once in finding one who will follow through with the job.

Any more suggestions or input welcomed. I really appreciate your help. I am signing up for a wiring course next week, it is apparent that it is "must have" knowledge if I'm gonna own this tin can.

TB
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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It's common to set it up so that one 20a breaker feeds the A/C, a 15a breaker feeds the water heater electric element, a 20a feeds the microwave, and all the other appliances and receptacles are split between two additional 20a breakers.

So you have a total of about 60 amps if everything is running all at once. A 30 amp Main breaker is used on the main incoming line from the shorepower pedestal.

. . . and yes, the 30a breaker is usually installed "backwards", so the shorepower cord runs into the output of the breaker, then feeds the other breakers through the bus. This looks strange to many electricians, but it is an acceptable method, and one Airstream and other RV mfgs have used for years.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:38 PM   #7
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Markdoane -- will pass the "backwards" 30 amp breaker info to electrician. He may not be aware since RV's are not his primary work load. Thanks..

Almost forgot -- am going to reroute my shore power cord away from the bumper box and install an inlet plug on the outside. It doesn't seem that this would make any difference in the breakers or setup but anything special that I should be aware of?

Also, will this 30amp be considered my "main" breaker?
O.K. -- I promise to stop soon -- Why don't I have a 30 amp breaker now?? I warned you that I was challenged.

Many Thanks TB
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:02 PM   #8
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Ya learn something every day! The backwards breaker trick!

Yes, in that case the 30 backwards breaker would be your MAIN. No, moving the cord to a shore power receptical on the side won't change a thing, just make sure you get your hot, neutral, and ground connections correct or you'll constantly trip any GFI at hookup sites and you might even tingle yourself a little bit!

The most likely reason that you don't have a 30 amp breaker now is the same reason all the vintage trailers have some "expected" things missing, like gray tanks, etc.

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Old 07-18-2007, 02:11 PM   #9
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I think Zep is right about the two 20a breakers. It may have been permitted in 1972, but the code now requires a 30a main breaker if you have two to five circuits.

I would put in a couple more breakers to fill out the panel. Easier to add more if you want one for the microwave or hair dryer.

Your new power inlet needs to be "listed" with a cap. I just saw one on sale at Camping World. I think it was $35. Don't try to use a hardware store twist lock outlet, that's one of the things the campground police like to doink you for.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:18 PM   #10
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Talking The noggin still works.

Big thanks to you all for the help.

The water is a good bit less muddy now and I think progress will be made in the not too distant future. I feel a lot better about all this than I did earlier. I am doing my research on the watertight inlet plugs and receptacle covers. Not to worry, no hardware store outlets for these items, too important. Checking out Camping World, thanks for the heads up.

TB
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