Campground electrical connections??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-26-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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Campground electrical connections???

A poser for all you Alec Trical genei(??) in here...

Over the many years of r/ving the Trailer Goddess and I have done, I FINALLY realized that there IS a little difference in some campground reciptical boxes. SOME seem to have the ground wire(part of the male plug) at the 12 o'clock position and OTHERS have the ground wire (of the same plug) located at the 6 o'clock position. Does this mean that the other two wires are attached to the other (than normal) connections the on plug?

What my problem seems to be is that the plug on our trailer has the ground wire located at the 6 o'clock position and when I plug that plug into a reciptical with the ground wire at the 12 o'clock position THAT causes stress on the trailers plug. This has meant that now the plug is pulling away from its housing (hopefully NOT harming the wires located inside?). What I am/was thinking of doing is making a short (adaptor) cord which would have the ground wire located at the 12 o'clock position. What this might do is cause a reversal of the wires. This in turn (so the directions say that came with the plug) MIGHT cause some harm to appliances using this cord (with reversed wires).

Heres hoping one/some of you 'lektrical wizards MIGHT be able to grasp the issue I'm having and help me 'correctly' make up a short adaptor cord which will work without causing campground blackouts OR damage to electrical appliances in the trailer.

TIA: The Old Fart, LOL!!!
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:47 PM   #2
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Are you saying that you have a right angle plug, and some of the campgrounds have the 30A outlet installed upside down, causing your cable to stick up in the air instead of lying flat?



If this is the case then you can't correct the problem with a rewired plug, and probably shouldn't try. Maybe you could get a short extension, or I completely misunderstand the problem?

Regards,

Matt
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
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I've encountered this problem a couple of times with my 30amp having the ground at 12 o'clock and the campgrounds jack is at 6 o'clock. The reverse of what you are saying. I simply use a piece of double sided velcro to hold the plug in place.

I just added a plug to a leftover piece of 30 amp cord making a new extension cord. All the plugs I've seen have the ground wire at 12 o'clock with the cord coming in opposite to it. This adapter isn't going to help as the cord would still be on the up end rather than hanging down. I purchased a "dog bone" for just that purpose and it doesn't help, the cord still goes up.

Hey, if you truly do have the ground at 6 o'clock unlike the picture above then maybe this is another US/Canadian thing like the water hose quick connects being different.

If so then you could get an adapter like I used with ground at 12 o'clock and one from Canada with the ground at 6 o'clock and carefully criss-cross the black and white wires. Problem solved, there's your adapter.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:40 PM   #4
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I neglected to add in my post that I'm dealing with a 15A service here, not 30A's, but the issue remains the same. The 'ground' wire is sometimes located at the 12:00 position and my plug (15A) has the 'ground' wire located at the 6:00 position. I can make a 'patch' cord and wire it so the (male plug end) complete cable is at the 6:00 position. If I wire the plug as directed, the remaining two wires (one white, one black) will be on the other sides of the old plug.

Another omission on my part was the fact that this reversal of ground wire location in R/V recepticals SEEMS to be mainly in American parks (read KOA's). Canada sorrily seems to lack KOA facilities especially in the western provinces.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:34 PM   #5
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electrician's option or ignorance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Mager View Post
I neglected to add in my post that I'm dealing with a 15A service here, not 30A's, but the issue remains the same. The 'ground' wire is sometimes located at the 12:00 position and my plug (15A) has the 'ground' wire located at the 6:00 position. I can make a 'patch' cord and wire it so the (male plug end) complete cable is at the 6:00 position. If I wire the plug as directed, the remaining two wires (one white, one black) will be on the other sides of the old plug.

Another omission on my part was the fact that this reversal of ground wire location in R/V recepticals SEEMS to be mainly in American parks (read KOA's). Canada sorrily seems to lack KOA facilities especially in the western provinces.
The only reason that the ground ( in both cases ) is sometimes in the UP position is that the person who installed the outlet did it upside down. This is because he didn't care or didn't know how it is done. When the plug in a straight in setup, it dosn't matter how the ground is located but in the case of a 90 degree plug, the ground is ALWAYS facing down. Therefore the receptacle should be installed that way.

If it bothers you take a screwdriver along and re-position the receptacle. Unscrew the cover, remove two screws, rotate the receptacle and re-install. I reccomend you turn the breaker off first.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for that quick reply, here's a little more of my 'concern'. If I open this replacement plug up to change the thing, the plug is marked as to where the three different colors go. If one takes that same plug and rotates it 180 degrees, such that the ground wire is now opposite, thta also reverses the position of the two remaining wires ....in our case black n white or vice versa. Does this NOT affect the polarity of the plug potentially causing electrical issues either for appliances plugged in (on line) OR possible damage to the wireing in the campground itself? The reason why I ask/say this is in the past my wife an I have been at a KOA @ The Delles and plugged in and promptly proceeded to blow out half the campgrounds power.... our unit was also affected but closer examination revealed our unit was wired correctly...
I'm soooo confused with this issue...
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #7
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The only reason that the ground ( in both cases ) is sometimes in the UP position is that the person who installed the outlet did it upside down.
This is incorrect!

Electrical codes require that:
1) 115 VAC 15 AMP electrical sockets be installed with the EARTH (green wire round pin) at the 6 o'clock position.
2) 115 VAC 30 AMP single phase electrical sockets be installed with the EARTH (green wire - round pin) at the 12 o'clock position.
3) 115 VAC 30 AMP two phase electrical sockets be installed with the EARTH ) green wire - vertical blade) in the 12 o'clock position.

And YES, there are frequently installed incorectly!
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:17 PM   #8
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This brings up a good point - the difference between the outlet orientation and its wiring. For about $5 you can pick one of these testers at your local hardware store. They're called circuit or Edison testers and will tell you if you have an open ground or reversed polarity at the plug. This can be really important in a trailer with water and wiring around. To use it, all you do is plug it in and read the lights Correct is usually two yellow lights on the right, and anything else represents some kind of fault.

It's a good idea to check the outlets in your home and trailer periodically, because they can go bad. And the ground fault circuits in our trailers rely on having good ground connections!
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for that heads up, looks like another trip over to our local hardware store is in order for tomorrow!!!
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CD Smith View Post
This is incorrect!

Electrical codes require that:
1) 115 VAC 15 AMP electrical sockets be installed with the EARTH (green wire round pin) at the 6 o'clock position.
2) 115 VAC 30 AMP single phase electrical sockets be installed with the EARTH (green wire - round pin) at the 12 o'clock position.
3) 115 VAC 30 AMP two phase electrical sockets be installed with the EARTH ) green wire - vertical blade) in the 12 o'clock position.

And YES, there are frequently installed incorectly!
If you are quoting the US NEC, could you give the article? I have not found any orientation requirements.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:02 PM   #11
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Doug, get a short extension cord, plug your rig into it, then plug that into the receptacle at the campground, if you have to; use something to secure it to the receptacle.
the little tester shown is the same one most hydro inspectors use around here, being an electrician I also use one frequently. One thing you might find is that if you find a problem at the site, they may not have anyone to deal with it.

Joe
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:13 PM   #12
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If you are quoting the US NEC, could you give the article? I have not found any orientation requirements.
About 10 years BR (Before Retirement) I was tasked to monitor the construction of an addition to our avionics building. I complained to the super and the electrical contractor that the duplexes were all installed upside down with the grounds up. I was told it was a union local policy (IBEW 666) to install the grounds up to signify it was a union job and they refused to flip the duplexes with the grounds on the lower side. I checked the US NEC and could not find a specific way the duplexes should be installed. The day after the building was accepted my technicians went in and we flipped over all the duplexes with the grounds down prior to moving in our equipment.
Eddie
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:02 PM   #13
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Rotating an AC outlet 180 degrees does not disturb the polarity of the electricity. AC is alternating current. Also, for many years now 115V plugs have been polarized by having one over sized lug that won't go in but one slot.

I recently read about the ground up or down issue. I'll look for it, because they included some quotes. One of the arguments for having the ground a 12 o'clock position was that any metal items falling on a partially removed plug would be grounded thus reducing the chance of electrocution. Safety for the kids was mentioned. You know, do anything even if it only saves one kid's life. I'll try to find the other material and get back to you.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:42 PM   #14
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Couldn't find what I know I read. But, the essense was that at one time ground up or down was in the NEC code and union electricians of course followed NEC. There was not agreement on what was in the old NEC. As of 2008, we know for sure NEC does not mention ground orientation. When plug orientation was taken out of NEC, union electricians just continue in the way they and their predecessors have always done it. It was also mentioned that many hospitals required ground up. Don't even ask on a horizontal outlet if the ground goes on the left or right.

It also appears that some Provinces in Canada have established conflicting ground up or down rules.

So, current NEC doesn't specify orientation. Any Province, State, County, City, or corporation can specify orientation.
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