Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
December 18, 2014, 07:08:27 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: It will not get torn up or crushed if you back over it with your bus.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: shore power contection  (Read 6790 times)
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2008, 08:07:11 PM »

I think they had tried to wire it right but used the wrong colors and grounded it at the other end of the cord where is cam into the bus.  I found the other end of the 3 wire #6 and it had a 4th wire wraped around it going to the frame of the bus.


Bob, you need to have, in addition to the frame ground, an individual ground wire that runs along with the hots and neutral the entire distance.  So you will still need four #6 wires all the way from the shore input (and generator) to the ATS, then from the ATS to a ground bus in your panel.

The isolated bus bars in the panel should be reserved for neutral use.  I recommend you install an additional bus bar for grounds.

The issue of incorrect colors downstream also needs to be addressed -- I see many green (and some blue!) wires connected to what ought to be the neutral bus.

Quote
What is THHN wire?


THHN is a type of insulation.  When you go to Home Depot and ask for it, they will know what it is.  THHN is very thin for the amount of protection it provides, which is why it is favored for this type of application.  It is a flame-retardent, heat-resistant thermoplastic.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com


Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Bob Gil
Bob Gilbreath bobgil@sbcglobal.net
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 400





Ignore
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2008, 08:15:09 PM »

some one though that the wire was run inside plastic conduit.

Nope it is hanging every where and tied to every thing there is to tie it to.

The plastic pipe looks like it might have been water pipe at one time.

the way the wires are tied to every ting it would be a night mare to rewire the bus with out taking most of the conversion out and starting all over again.  i amnot where I can do that.  I am going to have to find a way to live with what is already there some how. 

I will see about replaceing the wires from the shore plug and the genset but I am not too sure about some of the rest.  I am not into electracil.
Logged

Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
HighTechRedneck
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2939


BCM Editor


WWW
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2008, 09:15:06 PM »

some one though that the wire was run inside plastic conduit.

Nope it is hanging every where and tied to every thing there is to tie it to.

The plastic pipe looks like it might have been water pipe at one time.

the way the wires are tied to every ting it would be a night mare to rewire the bus with out taking most of the conversion out and starting all over again.  i amnot where I can do that.  I am going to have to find a way to live with what is already there some how. 

I will see about replaceing the wires from the shore plug and the genset but I am not too sure about some of the rest.  I am not into electracil.


That said, in my opinion, your best bet will be, as someone suggested, identify each wire and mark each end of it with the standard color using vinyl tape.  The easiest way to track each wire will be to get a wire tracer.  For example http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?jspStoreDir=hdus&catalogId=10053&productId=100192834

Since one breaker may go several places, my approach would be to attach the signal generator to the distribution panel end of a wire, then find all the places it goes.  At each location pull the wire out and mark it.  Then mark the other end.  Since you are going to all this trouble, take it one step further, on the tape for each wire, use a number to identify the wire (the number being unique to that wire).  You could also then setup a sheet with all the numbered wires listed, identifying where each one goes to.  Using that you could draw up a schematic of the wiring that could prove very useful if you ever have to troubleshoot it in the future.

While doing this, be sure to sanity check it to make sure that neutral always goes to neutral, hot always goes to hot and ground always goes to ground.  Likewise on 240 legs make sure that leg one stays leg one throughout and leg two stays leg two throughout.

Regarding color codes, I'll take Sean's expertise on blue being a valid color in standard premise wiring, I just wasn't aware of its use on anything but 3-phase wiring.  The universal premise wiring colors I have always been familiar with are:

110 volt wiring:
Black = hot
White = neutral
Green = ground

240 volt wiring:
Black = hot 1
Red = hot 2
White = neutral
Green = ground

Logged
Bob Gil
Bob Gilbreath bobgil@sbcglobal.net
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 400





Ignore
« Reply #33 on: April 27, 2008, 09:30:50 PM »

Thanks I will have to try some thing in that line.

The breaker box is well labeled when I put the cover back in.

i think the tape should make a difference and hopefully I can manage to not have to distroy every thing to do it.

Thanks for the tip on Home Depot I have been wondering where to get some ting like that.
Logged

Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4890


Nick & Michelle Badame


WWW
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2008, 03:31:08 AM »


This is wired for 30 amp and is correct. ...
If it were 50 amp, your green wires would be connected to the grounding block in the box and a White nutral would be where your
green ground is now along with a Red on L2.

Nick, I beg to differ with you.

That's what it would seem from the colors.  However, if you go back to the original photos in his earlier posts, you will see that
  • The black wire feeds one side of a 100-amp, 240-volt, two-pole breaker.
  • The white wire feeds the other pole of that same breaker. (!!!)
  • The green wire is feeding the neutral bus.
  • The application is 240-volts.

As I wrote in my earlier post, what has apparently happened here is someone cheated and used xx/3 SO to wire 240-volts, and omitted the ground.  The colors are dangerously wrong.

Bob:  Yes, you should rewire the switch according to the color code indicated on the diagram.  As I wrote earlier, use #6 THHN wire if you intend to carry 50 amps.

-Sean
http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com



Yes, Your right.
This wiring is more then wrong and would fool many.

Bob,
It may be worth it to start over with proper materials.

Nick-
Logged

Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
Master Mason- Cannon Lodge #104
https://www.facebook.com/atlanticcustomcoach
www.atlanticcustomcoach.com
Len Silva
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4086


Angle Parked in a Parallel Universe


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2008, 06:07:01 AM »

Isn't there another Busnut in Fort Worth that can help Bob out?  There is so much wrong here that it is really scary.  If the obvious in your face wiring is so bad, how about what you can't see?  No doubt in my mind that the fire was most likely from bad wiring and will happen again.

Bob, I sympathize with your situation and wish I could help. Electrical work, both low and high voltage has a learning curve like everything else, but you have to get a handle on it.  Except for neutral bonding issues, there is very little in RV wiring that differs from house wiring.  Lots of books out there and not that difficult.

Look for articles by George Meyers, Dave Galey, David Smeed and others.  Study Sean and Gumpy's websites.  You will soon have your BA in Busconversionism (these guys all have PhD.'s)

If you are truly in over your head, either financially or capability, then dump it.  Without a major rewiring that bus will burn again.

Len
Logged


Hand Made Gifts

Ignorance is only bliss to the ignorant.
HighTechRedneck
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2939


BCM Editor


WWW
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2008, 06:46:17 AM »

Isn't there another Busnut in Fort Worth that can help Bob out?  There is so much wrong here that it is really scary.  If the obvious in your face wiring is so bad, how about what you can't see?  No doubt in my mind that the fire was most likely from bad wiring and will happen again.

Bob, I sympathize with your situation and wish I could help. Electrical work, both low and high voltage has a learning curve like everything else, but you have to get a handle on it.  Except for neutral bonding issues, there is very little in RV wiring that differs from house wiring.  Lots of books out there and not that difficult.

Look for articles by George Meyers, Dave Galey, David Smeed and others.  Study Sean and Gumpy's websites.  You will soon have your BA in Busconversionism (these guys all have PhD.'s)

If you are truly in over your head, either financially or capability, then dump it.  Without a major rewiring that bus will burn again.

Len

I tend to agree with your fear of the current wiring.  If he was able to rewire that would be best.  But I also feel that if Bob:

  • traces each wire and identifies with correctly colored tape
  • sanity checks the current connections
  • corrects those that are wrongly connected
  • replaces the incorrect breakers and undersized wire

It will be effectively a rewire without pulling new wires.  The health of the wires themselves seem to be in fairly good condition.  It does bother me that the loose individual wires aren't in conduit and given everything else, probably not grommeted where they pass through holes in metal.

Bob, I really wish I was able to be there to help you out with it.  But read up as recommended, ask any questions here, patiently and diligently work the tracing/marking/correcting process and I think you'll be alright.
Logged
oldmansax
Tom & Phyllis
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1028


'82 Bluebird Wanderlodge PT40




Ignore
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2008, 07:34:21 AM »

Bob,

Let me join the chorus here concerning doing it right. I have not done my own conversion from scratch but I have corrected a lot of things the original converter didn't do correctly. I also built "conversion" type sleepers for trucks before there were any 60" sleepers.

THIS IS YOUR AND YOUR FAMILIES LIVES WE ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!

I can tell you from a fireman's standpoint and from personal experience, a fire in a motor vehicle goes downhill REAL fast. You have almost zero chance of saving the vehicle and a very good chance of losing you life unless you do everything right and in a hurry! Most folks can't do that when just waking up or when under pressure.

You CAN do this. The folks on this board are helping! The idea of tracing all the existing wiring is not that hard and can guarantee your safety in the long run. Make sure to check for chafing where the wiring punches thru walls and floors. If it can chafe, it will; it's just a matter of when.

As, has already been said, you have made unbelievable progress so far, don't give up. A lot of us are cheering you on, (ugly though we may be  Tongue ) from the sidelines.

Make sure to document your work. When you are done, you can pull out the pics & say "Look what I did!"

TOM
Logged

'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
Delaware

DON'T STEAL! The government hates competition!
Bob Gil
Bob Gilbreath bobgil@sbcglobal.net
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 400





Ignore
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2008, 04:16:16 PM »

Weel I got the 50 amp breakers for the breaker box today they are installed.

The wire that comes from the genset and the shore plug is 6-3 and should be 6-4 Or 6-3 (with a #8 for gound) if I understand correctly?

If I go in and run a #8 or #6 single wire from the genset and the shore plug will that work?  Or will it all need to be in the same insluation?  I priced the 6-4 (3 #6 Wires a 1 #8)  wire (at $4.00 a foot) but could not find any today.  I did find the some at home depot that was not fine stranded about 10 strades per wire with a solid ground but I felt what I have (Properly traced out and labeled with the color tape)  with the #8 would be better am I wrong.

I did find a 50 power cord on e-bay and I have it on the way.

Is there such a thing as running a 120 power shore cord?  For running the battery charger and maybe the ref?
Logged

Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2008, 05:28:33 PM »

The wire that comes from the genset and the shore plug is 6-3 and should be 6-4 Or 6-3 (with a #8 for gound) if I understand correctly?

If I go in and run a #8 or #6 single wire from the genset and the shore plug will that work?  Or will it all need to be in the same insluation?


You really should run conduit and use four individual #6 THHN wires in the appropriate colors.  6/4 or 6/3-8/1 SO is not approved for permanent installation like this.  And it's definitely bad practice to use the existing 6/3 SO and run a separate #6 or #8 alongside it.

If other types of conduit are hard to run, you can use what we in the biz call "smurf tube" -- technically known as "flexible electrical nonmetallic tubing", but so named because the popular brands are a vivid blue color reminiscent of the diminutive cartoon characters.  This stuff is flexible, easy to cut, and easy to run.  Once it's in place, run a fish through it and pull all four of your THHN in at once.  "Pull lubricant" will be helpful for this much heavy wire.  All available at HD or Lowe's.

I would remove and discard all the SO in the setup now (that's the stuff in the flexible black outer jacket).  Save it for making shore cords and adapters, or heavy extension cords.

Quote
Is there such a thing as running a 120 power shore cord?  For running the battery charger and maybe the ref?


Yes.  Typically, you use a "dogbone" adapter to connect your 50-amp, four-wire, 240/120-volt shore cord to a 30-amp, three-wire, 120-volt-only service.  This "dogbone" connects both hot legs of the 50-amp cord to the single hot leg of the 30-amp service.  You can get a further adapter to reduce the 30-amp "travel trailer" plug to a standard 15-amp household style.  The key is to remember to switch off all loads in the coach except those that can be run on the single 30- or 15-amp service, otherwise you will trip the shore breaker.

We actually have a 10/3, 50' shore cord with a 15-amp plug on one end, and the Marinco 4-wire 50-amp female connector on the other, so we don't have to haul out the big cord when we are only using a 15-amp outlet.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Bob Gil
Bob Gilbreath bobgil@sbcglobal.net
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 400





Ignore
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2008, 05:40:44 PM »

Is #6 THHN wire the stuff I saw at HD (when getting the breakers) that had about 19 or so strands together? 

Looked a little like romex, big wires that looked like they could flex and break easily?  If so I guess that is why they run it in conduit.

Is bigger stranded wire better than the fine stranded in a bus?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 06:05:22 PM by Bob Gil » Logged

Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5474




Ignore
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2008, 06:25:58 PM »

Fine stranded wire is generally better than big stranded wire in a moving vehicle like a bus.  I'm a bit surprised Sean recommended regular THHN, but he does have more experience than I do.  Someone posted photos of wire testing recently and fine stranded UL1015 wire lasted much longer than solid or THHN wiire.

I used UL1015 stranded marine wire throughout my bus, but that was a choice I made.  Others have used BX cable, Romex and THHN without burning up their buses.  Proper grommeting and securing of the wire is probably more important than anything.  The marine quadruplex cable I used with #6 wires is huge and expensive, but I only used a few feet between my transfer switch and breaker panel for now.  I have about five feet left for my eventual shore power inlet.

Most RVs use Romex wire, but I do read lots of complaints about outlets that quit working.  Some of that is due to the solid wire and some due to the extra thin cheap outlets they use in most RVs.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 06:27:44 PM by belfert » Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
DrivingMissLazy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2634




Ignore
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2008, 06:43:20 PM »



 This "dogbone" connects both hot legs of the 50-amp cord to the single hot leg of the 30-amp service.
-Sean
http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com


Sean, how can you connect both hot legs of the 50 amp cord to the single hot leg of the 30 amp cord, since they are out of phase? Or am I missing something?

Richard
Logged

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
HighTechRedneck
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2939


BCM Editor


WWW
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2008, 06:56:19 PM »



 This "dogbone" connects both hot legs of the 50-amp cord to the single hot leg of the 30-amp service.
-Sean
http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com


Sean, how can you connect both hot legs of the 50 amp cord to the single hot leg of the 30 amp cord, since they are out of phase? Or am I missing something?

Richard

He's talking about hooking up a 50 amp wired coach to a 30 amp service.  One hot leg coming from the post, connected to both hot legs of the coach.
Logged
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2008, 08:48:26 PM »

Fine stranded wire is generally better than big stranded wire in a moving vehicle like a bus.  I'm a bit surprised Sean recommended regular THHN, but he does have more experience than I do.  Someone posted photos of wire testing recently and fine stranded UL1015 wire lasted much longer than solid or THHN wiire.


OK, this is a "religious" debate, and I don't really want to re-hash it.  My full opinion is pretty much well known on the boards, or you can go back and read my article in BCM.

The NEC allows only certain materials to be used for this type of wiring.  My opinion is that, to be safe and within the letter of the law, you should stick to those materials.  THHN is approved for the purpose.

Marine cable, generally, unless it also carries additional ratings, is not approved.  Part of the reason for that is that there are no mating components specified to make a complete, rated system.  Unless you also buy marine outlets, marine junction boxes, marine connectors, etc. etc. etc., you have no direction on how to assemble the components to make a properly secured and rated system, so you are proceeding from "common sense" alone.

UL1015, incidentally, is a specification for "hookup wire" or AWM -- Appliance Wiring Material.  It is not a listing for current-carrying conductors in a 120-volt distribution system, unless accompanied by the additional required ratings.

Notwithstanding Gary's excellent photo essay on the metal-fatigue properties of larger stranding, the fact is that if you are subjecting your wiring to this type of movement, you have ignored the basic principles of proper securement as required by the code.  I have never, ever in decades of working on these systems, seen a THHN wire, or even solid-center NM (e.g. Romex) fail from metal fatigue when it was properly secured.

Exceptions exist in a very few places.  Chassis wiring, which attaches to flexible mounts, vibrating engines, etc., needs to be fine-strand.  This is all low voltage and easy to acquire in proper ratings.  Also, the pigtail connecting the generator to the first J-box on the coach frame needs to be stranded conductor and properly strain-relieved.

So I can not, in good conscience on this board or anywhere else, recommend a wiring material or method that does not conform to code.  And, within code, THHN stranded-conductor wire run in conduit is, IMO, the very best code-compliant material to use in a coach.

My own coach is primarily wired, incidentally, with solid-conductor armored cable for most branch circuits.

Quote
Most RVs use Romex wire, but I do read lots of complaints about outlets that quit working.  Some of that is due to the solid wire and some due to the extra thin cheap outlets they use in most RVs.


Actually, I believe most of it is due to poor workmanship, a problem that different materials would not necessarily solve.  Again, I have never seen personally nor heard anecdotally of an instance of NM cable (of which Romex® is one brand) failing in an RV of any kind.  George Myers once challenged folks on this board to show him even a single example, and no one stepped up.  Failures at connection points, such as the inexpensive self-terminating receptacles designed for use with NM that so many RV manufacturers use, are generally due to improper installation or securement/strain relief of the device and cable.

Bottom line:  Stick to listed and approved materials and install them according to manufacturer's specifications with proper methods and tools, and your electrical installation will outlive the bus.

Buy a copy of the NEC, or copy the relevant pages at your local library, and stick to it.  It's the law in all 50 states for a very, very good reason.

FWIW, and all the usual disclaimers.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!