Generator electrical question

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Dino soar, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    I am finishing up the set up with my predator 3500 and now it is time to run the electric lines into the truck.

    1st of all what I want to power is a 1500 W space heater inside the truck and I want to buy a timer so that before I go to work my block heater can run for 2 or 3 hours. I'll also use the coffee maker but not at the same time as the block heater or the space heater.

    I was going to use 2 separate lines each plugged into the 3 prong outlet one for the space heater and 1 that would switch off between the block heater and the coffee maker.

    But now I see that Harbor freight sells a cord that goes into the twist lock that I think is 30 amps, and it is a 10 gauge wire.

    Could I use just that 1 line running into the truck from the twistlock and use a multi strip outlet with a circuit breaker? How many amps should the circuit breaker be if so?

    The other question that I had is that there is a positive and negative connection on the inverter but apparently there is also a ground.

    Can I run a wire from the negative connection at the inverter over to that ground connection since that runs back to the batteries and to the frame, , or do I actually have to run a separate wire to the chassis ground?

    If I need to run a separate wire what gauge wire do you use?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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  3. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    Good question. I didn’t hook up the extra ground to frame. My 1000w didn’t even have one. The 2000w does. I’m wondering if it’s needed. Originally thought it was a backup safety thing. Now wondering if it grounds the inverters chassis. The extra ground cable is smaller than the others. # 6 maybe.
     
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  4. RedForeman

    RedForeman Momentum Conservationist

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    The 30A cord will be a 240V 4 conductor line. Ground, neutral, and two 120V hot leads. Functionally the same as plugging in two 120V regular cords. If you do it that way, my advice is balance the load between the two legs best you can. It's 30A total, so 15A on each 120V leg. Don't cross them up, and use separate circuits/outlets.

    The separate ground is a chassis ground for safety. Ideally a separate lead, like the ground strap connecting an engine block to the truck frame somewhere.
     
  5. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    1500w Kit has two 2ga. for battery, and one. 10ga. extra ground. 2000w Kit has two 0 ga. and one 4ga. extra ground I don’t understand why the extra frame ground is needed. Unless there’s a purpose for it as a separate ground inside the inverter. Since the battery grounds are the frame. All grounds could be put on either the battery or the ground.
     
  6. RedForeman

    RedForeman Momentum Conservationist

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    Maybe so when something breaks inside and energizes the frame, it will shunt to ground and trip a breaker instead of lighting up the user when they touch it.
     
  7. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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  8. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

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    Side note - but ensure your wires are decent gauge to the block heater, and in good condition. That puppy draws a few watts from memory.
     
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  9. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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  10. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    I thought it was about 1000 watts?
     
  11. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    They’re basically electric hot heater tank elements. In a shorty version. They’re usually 1500w, water tanks use 2. And they’re 240v. They’re also available in 1100 for water tanks if I remember correctly.
     
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