Generator electrical question

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

  1. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    Red, I'm thinking the big plug on his generator is 30a 110v, not 240. 240v plugs (dryer plugs) are the 4 wire bad boys and are 50 amp.

    Bigger portable generators like his are made for running RV air conditioners, not for a 240v appliance. This may have been what you meant by two wires above at 240v (120 each), just trying to clarify.

    Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 10.10.37 PM.png
     
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  3. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    C9A45E8F-9603-4A1F-B192-C6B156A10C29.png
    Sure enough, it’s a 30 amp 120v. Like the one on the left. It says it will double the output. How’s that work?
     
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  4. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    I'm no expert but my understanding is it basically just lets you run bigger/more 120v appliances, not run a 240v one. RV air conditioners are just heavy 120v appliances, which is the only thing I can think of that these big 30 amp plugs are put on portable generators for.
     
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  5. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    So if I run one wire in from from the 30 amp RV outlet, can I split that and run the space heater on one side and run the block heater for a few hours on the other side simultaneously?

    Or is it better to run a line from each one of the 120 plugs?
     
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  6. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    No, I don't think you can, but I'm not qualified to answer that for sure. However, any home remodeler, handy man, electrician, even the guy in the electric aisle at the Home Depot can probably help you. That's where I get all of my best advice, no lie.
     
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  7. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    @Rideandrepair Is correct. The block heater is 1500 Watts.

    I almost wonder if I should have gotten a bigger generator the maximum is 3500 that would be putting out about 3000.
     
  8. RedForeman

    RedForeman Momentum Conservationist

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    Good catch. I did not look up the exact model and was going off what my own Chinesium 6500W genset at home is equipped with. It uses a patch cord like this one. I have a manual transfer switch in my garage that breaks out each 120V leg and has a watt meter on each one to make it easier to see the load and balance the legs.

    generator-cords.jpeg

    The twist lock is made for a patch cord application, but there's dozens of multi purpose "converter" cords of all types that will plug into one. For example, if you wanted to plug in a big window ac unit that would likely have a 240V 20A cord on it, you'd use one like this (on a 240V outlet like my genset has, not the one in this thread).

    Screen Shot 2021-12-07 at 7.33.50 AM Small.jpeg
    Whatever is easiest. It's a single 120V feed. Splitting it inside the cab gives you the benefit of a single patch cord instead of two. The twist-lock connector also being more secure. It won't matter how you split it, only that the load is supported by an adequate gauge wire and outlets. The 30A patch cord sold at HF is 10 AWG and you could do two 15A circuits and outlets with 14-2 w/gnd romex. The balance on them wouldn't make any difference as long as the individual load is <1800W and total load stays under the 3000W genset max.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
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  9. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    Whoa there dino, read this …


    You have a generator which is a 3000 watt generator, your load can’t be more than that.

    You have two 115 volt outlets that are regular outlets, like in a house.

    you have one L5-30 twist lock … 3 prong 115 volts at 30 amps max.

    you don’t have 220 volts, so …

    yes you can but the outlet boxes for 30 amps isn’t cheap, do not use the ubiquitous power strip or timers. Get heavy duty stuff, and an induction rated timer. Use heavy cables to keep the heat down.

    30 amps.

    this isn’t complicated, just remember to watch for high heat.
     
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  10. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    I doubt you would want to lug around a generator bigger than 3500 watts on a truck just for weight and space considerations. The 3500s are too big IMO unless you have one on a frame box but everyone's set up is different. Also, bigger than 3500 is gonna have a bigger motor and eat more fuel, it adds up.
     
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