PDA

View Full Version : Automatic transfers switch confusion!



ChopperBill
04-13-2010, 05:11 PM
I posted this on RV.net but knew there are lots of electric gurus over here.

I am trading fifth wheels and am taking the Xantrex X Power 3000 out of the old trailer that was dealer installed. Removing the wiring I find that the dealer put in a 30 amp ATS. The new and old fiver are 50 amp! Now I cant ever remember using 50 amp service so is it OK to use the 30 amp ATS for my X Power? The 50 amp ATS is EXPENSIVE! If I leave the 30 amp ATS in the old fiver will the new owners have problems or should I remove it anyway?
Finally, is there anyway around a transfer switch? Is it OK just to run a 15 amp extension cord from my 50 amp plug-in to the inverter. I don't plan to run anything other than an entertainment center, no microwave or other high power items.

branson4020
04-13-2010, 05:23 PM
30A service is one 120V hot leg and a neutral. 50A service is two 120V hot legs and a neutral. That 30A switch will only switch one leg so you would have some creative wiring to do. It is possible to do as you suggest and just plug your coach into the inverter, but you must remember to turn off the breaker for the 12V converter.

ChopperBill
04-13-2010, 06:06 PM
I always did have to switch off the converter when I ran the inverter or the ATS would just cycle on and off. I think the original dealer "forced" the 30 amp ATS to work as I only see one hot leg.

RollingHome
04-14-2010, 05:18 AM
Bill, a 30 amp ATS should only be used in a 30 amp or less circuit. Any circuit more then 30 amps is unsafe and could start a fire. I would remove the 30 amp ATS and keep it or sell it. You do not want the buyer of your old rig or his insurance companies lawyer coming back at you after the sale. What you could do is use the ATS safely on the 15 or 20 amp circuit to the entertainment center (ONLY) on the new rig. If you want to know how hit me back. Tom

ChopperBill
04-14-2010, 08:21 AM
Bill, a 30 amp ATS should only be used in a 30 amp or less circuit. Any circuit more then 30 amps is unsafe and could start a fire. I would remove the 30 amp ATS and keep it or sell it. You do not want the buyer of your old rig or his insurance companies lawyer coming back at you after the sale. What you could do is use the ATS safely on the 15 or 20 amp circuit to the entertainment center (ONLY) on the new rig. If you want to know how hit me back. Tom

Tom I would love to get the details on wiring it up as I only really need it on a couple of breakers. Have a drawing? Every schematic I see has has more detail than I need or doesn't cover my application.
On edit: I think the dealer did not wire in one of the 50 amp wires. Sure would be a disappointment to some other owner that plugged in 50 amp and couldn't run all they expected

RollingHome
04-14-2010, 10:35 AM
When I get home tonight I'll put together a drawing you or your electrician can easily follow. You'll need to find what single pole 15 or 20 amp breaker powers the entertainment center in your RV's power panel. Just turn the center on and start cycling the breakers on/off until you find the correct breaker. It may even be identified on the panel index card, if not I'm sure it will be after you identify it. I agree with you, some schematics can get (too) complicated, I'm a big beleiver in "make it as simple as possible to get the job done safely" = the "KISS" principle. Tom

ChopperBill
04-14-2010, 05:09 PM
Went down to the storage lot and did some investigating. Those dirty rotten &^^%$#$#^& connected my 50 amp red/black wires together and hooked them to the AST 30 then ran a 10/3 wire set out of the AST 30 and made a pigtail to hook my two 50 amp breakers to the one black wire! You could hear me cussing a mile away! Removed the AST and wired the 50 amp back the proper way for the next owner.
Waiting patiently for your directions Tom. I will burn in he!! before I let a dealer touch my next rig. Well unless it needs some dirty sewer work. :D

RollingHome
04-14-2010, 08:14 PM
Bill, I will send you a PM. Let me know that you received & opened it OK. Any questions give me a holler and we'll work thru the problems and unknowns.

Don't be too upset with your RV dealer. They try the best they can but sometimes they are not 'very' experienced in all fields, they just do the best they can to satisfy us and earn a living. It is wise for all of us to become more knowledgable about our toys too. I feel much better after learning new things I never knew about my rig and this gives me more confidence. It also pushes me to learn more.

Any of you guys/gals know how to attach a MS Word Doc to this forum ? I converted a CAD drawing to Word and I tried without success to attach it. I thought this info (electrical schematic) is something others could use to answer later questions. In advance Thank You :rolleyes::)

Tom

ChopperBill
04-14-2010, 09:50 PM
Got it Tom! Sent you a reply. Your "put together" Diagram would have taken me a week to "put together". You got some real talent there!

RollingHome
04-14-2010, 10:20 PM
Glad to help Bill... The other talented folks on here can bail us both out when we get jammed up :-) Man. I've learned so much in such a short time... Thanks to all the smart folks who share their knowledge and thanks to the Heartland Corp for having insight and giving us this forum, sometimes at their own expense ! They take a lickin and keep on ticken. Think we found a winner in Heartland, Huh Bill ? They flub it sometimes, but their plusses out weigh their minuses so I guess we should give em a thumbs up, you agree ? I have had some really bad experiences with their competitions products and I lost a lot of mulla... I've had some serious problems with Heartland but so far they hugged me and helped me and so far (Thanks to customer service) they came through... and trust me... I can be not a nice and happy camper... In plain English, I like Heartland and would endorse them.... IMHO

RollingHome
04-14-2010, 10:54 PM
Bill here's the scoop ! Green is GROUND the world round ! Black is hot, White is not... don't touch the HOT !!! ... ya don't want to be be a HVT.... What's that mean (HVT) = Human Voltage Testter = OUCH Dude that hurts :-) as in Crispy Critter ! TEST BEFORE TOUCH ! = Be Safe, Be Smart, Be LIVE !

ChopperBill
04-14-2010, 10:57 PM
Toms diagram. Lost part in the print out. Scanned to .pdf

7807

RollingHome
04-15-2010, 12:04 AM
Bill, I'm impressed... OK so how'd ya get my diagram onto the forum ??? Educate me ?

RollingHome
04-15-2010, 05:51 AM
Bill, As to adding the 15 amp bedroom TV circuit... hum... How many duplex outlets are on the bedroom 15 amp breaker ? If it only has one on the TV (I doubt it) then no big deal, just add it to the same load terminal on the ATS. If there are several then it's a no go. In that case, here's what I would do. Run another 14/2 w/Ground NM cable (Romex) back to the bedroom and install 1 dedicated duplex outlet for the TV & DVD ONLY, put your new circuit and the entertainment circuit on the same terminal on the ATS, in my schematic you will have 2 outlets instead of 1 = done deal. You will have to switch the plug/s when you are on the power grid and vice versa. The fuse I put in is very important, however it can be a breaker too (same amperage as the panel breaker @ 15) the guys at HD will set you up. By the way, if you have a label machine, it's very practical to put which breaker powers said outlet (or light) on the cover plate (In the home, basement, garage and RV). When it trips, just look at the label and go reset the breaker. Panels are like USPS addresses, odd on one side (left) even on other (right), i.e. Circuit #7 is the 4th breaker down on the left. Have fun with your install, yell if you need anything. Tom

jbeletti
04-15-2010, 07:32 AM
Tom,

When you want to add an image to a post, there is an image icon on the posting menu. It's between the hyperlink icon and movie icon. Click it, then click Select, navigate to your image, click OK, click Insert. This is a bit over-simplified but it will get you to the next level where you can ask more specifically. Bill scanned your document, saved as a jpg image and attached. I zoomed the view in Word, took a screen snap shot of the area of interest, saved as a jpg image, then saved that image as a PDF and attached. Sounds like a lot of work but was really less than a minute start to finish. When you have the tools and know how to use them, it's a snap. Same as you doing that drawing - child's play for you - heavy lifting for us :) Thanks Tom.

lwmcguir
04-15-2010, 07:57 AM
Bill here's the scoop ! Green is GROUND the world round ! Black is hot, White is not... don't touch the HOT !!! ... ya don't want to be be a HVT.... What's that mean (HVT) = Human Voltage Testter = OUCH Dude that hurts :-) as in Crispy Critter ! TEST BEFORE TOUCH ! = Be Safe, Be Smart, Be LIVE !


Add a bit here to help a few folks. White may be hot and was wired so in the past for many 220 volt circuits when they didn't have the correct wire. White may also be hot but is supposed to have a black ring of tape on it for some lighting circuits. I know the current code doesn't necessarily allow this but there are many wiring jobs out there where you better test the white wire before using your HVT on it.

RollingHome
04-15-2010, 09:02 AM
lwmcguir makes excellent points.

NEVER EVER ASSUME A CIRCUIT IS DEAD - ALWAYS TEST BEFORE TOUCH.

Here is my standard procedure, I've been using this technique for over 40 years.

01). I test my voltage tester/s on a known live circuit to verify integrity and operation of the tester.
02). Then I test ALL wires on the circuit I will touch with my bare hands with the same tester.
03). Then I do what I call the chicken test, I quickly tap the bare wires or component with my single straight index finger.
(get on a live circuit and your muscles could contract around the live component or wire ya can't let go ! ). I have
been laughed at for this, but I have not been a HVT.

Why do I test ALL the wires even the green ones ? I know of a major pharmaceutical plant (You all know this brand name)
that has one of their building/s on their campus where the contractor used green wire in place of black - Green is the current carrying conductor. Why & how this was allowed is a mystery to me, but it was done, trust me. Electric doesn't care what color the wire is, it still flows.

I have also seen breakers snapped into the off position that were not off. If the breaker has a mechanical flaw it may not
open the circuit. One of my guys opened a breaker and was all ready to remove a wire off the breaker. I stopped him and
made him test first. He gave me a dirty look and thought I was a jerk. He later thanked me, it was 480 Volts and 30 amps
He definitely would have been a HVT, for a little while.

I now use proximity tester/s (non-contact) Green Lee ( HD has them ). I also use a Square D solenoid tester (aka Wiggy HD again) , the Wiggy is good because it takes more power to pull in the solenoid, I use a Fluke brand digital volt meter for finite measurement is the park power 120 VAC or 98 VAC causing my stuff to not work. Then I treat these testers well - as if my life depends on them... ta

RollingHome
04-15-2010, 12:27 PM
Thank you Jim, you've created a Frankenstine and you're my test subject... Here Goes

jbeletti
04-15-2010, 02:52 PM
Looks good Tom. You're a fine student of this online stuff.

ChopperBill
04-15-2010, 03:08 PM
Tom what kind of soft ware do you have to make those fancy pants diagrams?

RollingHome
04-15-2010, 05:01 PM
Bill, It is Microsoft Visio. It's a simple CAD program that is very intuitive, almost anyone can use it through self taught practice. If you can use this forum, you can use Visio. It has built in templates for many disciplines, mechanical, electronic, logic, electrical, architectural and many more. Most folks are up to speed and getting good results in no time. I am not permitted to use it at work because "It's not our officially recognized CAD software", who cares ? Most of us use it and ignore the "official" software rule. Visio is fast to use, it's fun and it works pretty darn well for the price. I use other more professional software ( AutoCAD & Bentley ) when it has to be "professional". These both have a steeper learning curve and have a high price tag. I have to keep relearning one of them. I think Visio would be a fun program to have for you full timers on rainy days. I cut and paste from Visio into MS Word to post on the forum or to send it electronically to anyone who does not have Visio on their puter.


Jim, thanks ! I used the paper clip or Go Advanced, I think ??? I did so many things I'm not sure what one worked... Maybe I should write down the steps and convert from Vulcan to English...

RollingHome
04-15-2010, 06:41 PM
Bill, This is really wierd... I can attach stuff from my work PC into the forum, but not from my home PC ??? I also have to clean the cookies manually(the Forum SW leaves a ton of them). I wonder if my version of IE is newer or my anti-virus SW is conflicting ??? I'll send you the modified print in a PM. I wanted to practice... oh well, tiz life :-)

ChopperBill
04-16-2010, 01:33 AM
Tom, I use Fire Fox as a browser so I am not sure about IE and I dont have the latest version loaded on my computer. Try Fire Fox. Bet you will like it. And its FREE, one of my most favorite things.