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Author Topic: SHO ME YOUR ELECTRICAL DIAGRAM!  (Read 4647 times)
Oregonconversion
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« on: March 26, 2009, 09:48:45 AM »

Show me your schematics for wiring! I would like to know how many outlets, lights, and switches you have.
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Oregonconversion
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 09:52:53 AM »

Also... what is the downside to doing only 110V system and no 12V system? I am going to be full timing and using shore power 95% of the time.
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Len Silva
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 10:01:43 AM »

I don't have any schematics to offer, but just a couple of thoughts to add to your collection.

I see no problem with going all 110 volts in your situation.  I would have some 12 volt night lights and a couple scattered in the bath, kitchen and bedroom area just in case your inverter craps at a bad time. (I don't know what a good time for that might be.)

Be sure to add a some outlets in the driver/copilot area for cell phone and lap top chargers.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 10:20:07 AM »

If you "make" 110 you need to run an inverter and while an inverter may (or may not probably) be super efficient.....you are going to sustain a battery load to run even your lightest load when not hooked up to the pole.  To be equally comfortable in both situations and not sacrifice anything you need a dual lighting system run by 110 and 12 volts.  Outlets for chargers and other 12 volt devices should be plentifull and everywhere for the sake of convenience and not foreseen applications.  After you install the things it isn't like there is any maint cost in terms of man hours or cost.

MHO

John
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 10:33:00 AM »

Sorry guys but I'm confused, why would he need to run an inverter if he is going to be strictly 110 and even if he runs 12 V lighting he still wouldn't need an inverter would he? He just won't be able to run anything except his lights when not plugged in.
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 10:37:39 AM »

Sorry guys but I'm confused, why would he need to run an inverter if he is going to be strictly 110 and even if he runs 12 V lighting he still wouldn't need an inverter would he? He just won't be able to run anything except his lights when not plugged in.

Yabbutt ..........

When you are going down the road its sometimes nice to throw a pork chop or chicken boob in the toaster oven and have dinner ready an hour later.  If you have an inverter you don't have to reset the digital clocks everytime you stop.  It seems like our life runs on wall warts these days - cell phones, iPods, PDAs, whatever - its nice to be able to just plug them in without having to have cigarette lighter adapters all the time.  Not deal breakers but pretty nice to have in the real world.
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 01:03:08 PM »

OK, here's my "plan view" showing all electrical outlets, at least "upstairs."  There's a separate plan for the cockpit and bays, and yet another plan for lights and switches (which, in my case, are all 24-volt).



If you really plan to spend all your time "plugged in," I see nothing wrong with foregoing completely any sort of 12-v house system.  Many commercial-use coach conversions are built this way.

With the money you save on batteries, chargers, separate DC wiring, fuse panels, and the like, you can buy plenty of fuel for a generator.

Unless you have batteries and an inverter, you will need this last item for sure, because you will need some way to power things during that 5% of the time when you are away from the power pole, including, if needed, while you are driving.  Again, you can buy a lot of genny fuel before you pay off the batteries, inverter, and all the parts that go with them.

Remember, though, that eliminating the low-voltage system means you will not be able to have:
-RV-style vent fans (e.g. Fantastic brand)
-RV-type (propane) refrigerators, furnaces, cooktops, or water heaters, all of which need 12v for their controls
-RV-type holding tank monitors or water pumps, which require 12 or 24 volts

None of this is a big deal, it just requires some extra thought.  If you are already planning a household fridge, a household electric water heater, and household 120-volt electric heaters, you are mostly covered.  Roof airs are already 120-volt, and you can get operable vents with no fans in them, or easily convert the inexpensive ones to 120-volt motors.  120-volt demand water pumps are also available, but you will need to go to a pump supplier rather than an RV supplier.  Tanks can be equipped with sight glasses instead of monitors, and some 120-volt monitors are available from industrial suppliers.

Bear in mind that you will not realize the savings in cost, planning, or effort of eliminating the low-voltage system if you have even a single low-voltage appliance on the coach, so think this through carefully before making the decision.  If you end up having to put in batteries, a charger, a bridge solenoid, a fuse panel, and whatever else because you need to run, say, the furnace or the cooktop, you will end up wishing you had run enough wire to also run some low-voltage lights, vents, etc.

-Sean
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 01:05:13 PM by Sean » Logged

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Oregonconversion
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 03:32:13 PM »

I do already have 2 12V marine batteries, inverter, converter, and such. This will be for running my water heater (when not on LP), fans, water pump, and tank monitors.

As for lighting I think I am thinking of using battery powered tap lights for when I do not want to turn on the inverter.


This is what I am thinking for 110V outlets.

2 in the front of the coach (captain and co-pilot)
2 about half way back for guest laptops ect
2 in the bedroom
1 for the kitchen (very small kitchen... 5'counter)
1 for the bathroom

I am using 10-3 wire and a 125 amp house breaker box that will consist of:
three 15 amp breakers (one for bedroom outlets, one for captain/co-pilot, one for half way back circuits)
three 20 amp breakers (one for bathroom, one for outside, one extra)
one 30 amp circuit (for kitchen)

Anything I am forgetting?
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 04:11:43 PM »

Very confusing here.  Why are you using 10-3 wire?, What is the 30 amp kitchen circuit for.  If its 30 amps it must be for a dedicated piece of equipment, not convenience outlets.  They are rated at 20 amps max.

My suggestions:  Do everything in 12 gauge and use 20 amp breakers.  You should have a 20 amp dedicated breaker for the microwave, another for the water heater.  If there is more than 12" of counter space at the sink, there should be an outlet there (so that cords are not dragged across the sink).  Every wall space of more than 24 inches should have an outlet so that there is never a need for a cord to cross a walk path or doorway).

Be sure there is an outlet at the dining table.

Len
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 04:27:09 PM »

You need more than one circuit in the kitchen - there's a lot of power gets used in the kitchen - coffee maker, tea kettle, microwave, toaster/toaster oven plus handheld devices. 
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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Oregonconversion
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 05:56:37 PM »

is 10-3 wire an overkill? The gal at home depot says for my 125 amp breaker box 10-3 is the minimum, but my dad says I should use 12-3.

The 30 amp in the kitchen may be an overkill too. I will put 2 20 amps in the kitchen instead.

Should I use 20 amp breakers everywhere? (instead of 15)
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Len Silva
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 06:09:04 PM »

Unfortunately, Home depot is no longer staffed with knowledgeable folks, at least here.  I have heard some of the worst, misinformed advice given out in the store.

I suggested 20 amps and 12 gauge only for convenience.  You could use 15 amp breakers and 14 ga wire for the miscellaneous circuits in the bed room, but why bother.  Just do them all in 12 gauge.

The wire you need is 12-2, not 12-3.  12-2 will have a black, white and bare ground conductor, Actually called 12-2 with ground, but you can't buy it any other way these days.  12-3 or 10-3 will have a white, black, red, and bare ground. You would typically only use that for 220 volt circuits.

The HD gal may have been talking about the wire size to feed the panel, but then 10-3 is way too small.  For 50 Amp service, it needs to be a minimum of #6.

The only reason to use a 125 amp box rather than a 60 amp box is to get the number of breaker spaces you need.  So even though it's a 125 amp box you are still going to use 50 amp main breakers in it.

Len
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 06:48:27 PM »

In mine I have 4 outlets in the bedroom (2 circuits), 1 in the bathroom, 3 in the kitchen (1 behind fridge, 2 at counter, each are on their own circuit) and 4 in the living room (2 circuits).  I have one circuit in the utility bay and plan to put one in the engine compartment for the block heater.

My standard use lighting is 110V.  But I have a few 12 volt lights here and there for while driving or during power failures.

From the panel to the shorepower connection is #6 (50 amp shorepower).  The breaker/distribution panel is inside and I have a master disconnect in the utility bay. (not required since it is only 3 ft of wire to the distribution panel, but I prefer to have it)

Our usage is pole to pole.  I have no generator and only a very small portable inverter for while driving only that simply taps into the bus systems (no house bank).
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2009, 09:42:27 PM »

This is what I am thinking for 110V outlets.

2 in the front of the coach (captain and co-pilot)
2 about half way back for guest laptops ect
2 in the bedroom
1 for the kitchen (very small kitchen... 5'counter)
1 for the bathroom

You are required to locate outlets as follows:

  • "Receptacle outlets shall be installed at wall spaces 600 mm (2 ft) wide or more so that no point along the floor line is more than 1.8 m (6 ft), measured horizontally, from an outlet in that space." with exceptions for bath and hall areas and walls occupied by built-in cabinets.
  • Adjacent to countertops in the kitchen [at least one on each side of the sink if countertops are on each side and are 300 mm (12 in.) or over in width]
  • Adjacent to the refrigerator and gas range space, except where a gas-fired refrigerator or cooking appliance, requiring no external electrical connection, is [permanently] installed
  • Adjacent to countertop spaces of 300 mm (12 in.) or more in width that cannot be reached from a receptacle required [above] by a cord of 1.8 m (6 ft) without crossing a traffic area, cooking appliance, or sink

Additionally, any receptacle within 6' of any sink, any area serving a toilet, shower, or tub, and any exterior receptacles, must be GFCI.

Quote
I am using 10-3 wire and a 125 amp house breaker box that will consist of:
three 15 amp breakers (one for bedroom outlets, one for captain/co-pilot, one for half way back circuits)
three 20 amp breakers (one for bathroom, one for outside, one extra)
one 30 amp circuit (for kitchen)

and
is 10-3 wire an overkill? The gal at home depot says for my 125 amp breaker box 10-3 is the minimum, but my dad says I should use 12-3.

The 30 amp in the kitchen may be an overkill too. I will put 2 20 amps in the kitchen instead.

Should I use 20 amp breakers everywhere? (instead of 15)


Not only is 10/3 overkill, as has been already noted, most receptacles are not approved to use it, which will force you to "pigtail" to 12-gauge anyway when you get to the receptacle.  12/3 or 14/3 (as appropriate) is perfectly acceptable.

15 amp breakers are fine for convenience circuits.  20 amp breakers must serve either a receptacle rated for 20 amps (such as for a dedicated microwave circuit, for example), or at least two 15-amp receptacles.

You can't use a 30-amp breaker for anything other than a dedicated 30-amp appliance or 30-amp appliance receptacle.  So no "standard" outlets rated 15 or 20 amps can be served by such a breaker.

If you have more than five circuits in the coach, you must use a 50-amp, 240-volt shore power system and panel.

...
The wire you need is 12-2, not 12-3.  12-2 will have a black, white and bare ground conductor, Actually called 12-2 with ground, but you can't buy it any other way these days.  12-3 or 10-3 will have a white, black, red, and bare ground.


With all due respect, 12-gauge NM (often referred to by the trade name "Romex®") with three conductors, Hot (black), Neutral (white) and Ground (bare copper) IS technically called 12/3, and that is how it is often marked on the jacket.  You will, however, ofen see it as 12/2/WG ("with ground"). 120/240-volt, "four wire" NM is technically 12/4, 10/4, or what have you, but, again, often marked 12/3/WG. Plain 12/2, which is still available by special order, is ungrounded cable, which is required to be used in repairing older installations where no ground exists.  (The presence in a cable assembly of an unconnected "ground" wire could lead to a dangerous mistake by a future electrician of installing a three-wire grounded receptacle where it is not appropriate or safe to do so.)

Also note that, while NM often has an uninsulated ground conductor (permitting the nomenclature 12/2/WG), other cable types such as SO or SJ, which you would use for shore cords, generally do not (they have green insulated conductors), and so the ground is always explicit in the naming.  (Often, however, ground wires are one size smaller on such cable assemblies, e.g. 6/3-8/1.)

Quote
The only reason to use a 125 amp box rather than a 60 amp box is to get the number of breaker spaces you need.  So even though it's a 125 amp box you are still going to use 50 amp main breakers in it.


Actually, since 60-amp service is no longer allowed under the code, you'd have a hard time finding a 60-amp panel in a normal hardware store such as HD or Lowes today.  Generally the smallest you will find is 125-amp, and those are available all the way down to two KO's.  60-amp panels are available by special order, but there is really no reason to ever need one, since any panel can be made "smaller" by installing lower-rated main breakers.

-Sean
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 09:53:32 PM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 07:10:11 PM »

Hey thanks guys, looking around the board and came across this thread and thought there was some good information here. Any thoughts on 12V down one side of the coach and 120V down the other?

Or 120V circuits/outlets down both sides and set each side up with a separate breaker? I don't mean the whole side of the bus of course, just the salon circuits would have a Roadside and a Curbside circuit, the bedroom may have a R/S and C/S circuit?
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