Why does the converter/refrigerator have a plug? - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-29-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
Wisconsin
Posts: 159
Why does the converter/refrigerator have a plug?

I am trying to figure out why the refrigerator in my Bigfoot 17 has a receptacle behind it for a plug, instead of just being wired directly. Since I fried the wire to the receptacle, I was thinking of just cutting the plug off and running the fridge cord directly to its breaker. I did this with my converter. Each device has its own dedicated breaker on the AC panel.

The electrical guy at Home Depot I just talked to insisted this was wrong, and that I needed to install a receptacle and plug it in there. I can't see why. The only thing I can see that is safer for a receptacle is that you can unplug it. But, if the receptacle is outside, behind an access panel, or screwed in somewhere in an inside compartment, you can't unplug it. It's much easier just to flip the breaker. If anything, it seems to me like the added connections and complications of the plug would increase fire hazard. If the appliance wire is inadequate and likely to melt or catch fire, why would a couple feet of 12/2 an outlet and a plug in between make any difference?

If anyone believes Home Depot electrical guy is right, can they explain why?
__________________

__________________
pindraak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
Member
 
sparky1's Avatar
 
Name: richie
Trailer: Casita patriot deluxe (sold)
Virginia
Posts: 98
The 3 Prong male Plug on the (Portable appliance) is Polarity sensitive & has a Ground for your safety, wiring it directly Bypasses Safety Regulations In National Electrical Code-Jury rigging something is NOT safe for you or in a fire, it would also NOT be covered by a Insurance Claim.
sparky1 in S.va.
__________________

__________________
sparky1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,063
A big advantage to using a standard receptacle is ease of fridge removal for servicing. Also trying to connect stranded line cord to connections looking for solid wire is not a good idea. Raz
__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Thomas G.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
Posts: 5,103
I'd put in a receptacle and plug it in there, but if you wire it correctly I don't see anything wrong with direct wiring it.
__________________
UHaul and Burro owners, join the UHaul Campers on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/529276933859491/
Thomas G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Byron Kinnaman's Avatar
 
Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
Posts: 6,308
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by pindraak View Post
I am trying to figure out why the refrigerator in my Bigfoot 17 has a receptacle behind it for a plug, instead of just being wired directly. Since I fried the wire to the receptacle, I was thinking of just cutting the plug off and running the fridge cord directly to its breaker. I did this with my converter. Each device has its own dedicated breaker on the AC panel.

The electrical guy at Home Depot I just talked to insisted this was wrong, and that I needed to install a receptacle and plug it in there. I can't see why. The only thing I can see that is safer for a receptacle is that you can unplug it. But, if the receptacle is outside, behind an access panel, or screwed in somewhere in an inside compartment, you can't unplug it. It's much easier just to flip the breaker. If anything, it seems to me like the added connections and complications of the plug would increase fire hazard. If the appliance wire is inadequate and likely to melt or catch fire, why would a couple feet of 12/2 an outlet and a plug in between make any difference?

If anyone believes Home Depot electrical guy is right, can they explain why?

You have to always, always make sure the "safety ground" is connected to the fridge and the 120 Volt shore power system. 12/2 needs to be 12/2 plus ground, making it 3 wires.

You also need to understand that neutral and hot wires are connected to the respective wires of the shore power.
__________________
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
Byron Kinnaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Dan Meyer's Avatar
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
Posts: 559
I don't know, but a wild guess is that an appliance designed to be wired in must meet different specifications than an appliance designed to be plugged in.

If it were me, I'd probably install a new cord end and be done with it. If I was out camping and didn't have a replacement cord end handy, I'd have no qualms about temporarily wiring it directly.

-- Dan Meyer
__________________
Dan Meyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 09:53 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
Wisconsin
Posts: 159
Thanks for the replies.

I understand that it might be technically against codes, but aren't those codes for houses? What would a code say about wiring up a receptacle, plugging a plug into it, then sealing that up in a wall where it couldn't be accessed? This is what we are talking about. My understanding is that this would violate the same home wiring principle that requires all wire connections to be in accessible junction boxes.
Also, I'm still not hearing anything to indicate why it would be unsafe, except for possibly the stranded wire connection. I am not talking about hooking it up wrong, I am talking about running the cut cord into the breaker box, hooking the black up to its own breaker, the white to the neutral bar, and the ground to the ground bar. The stranded wire issue could be a safety issue, but if I followed that, it would be impossible to hook up the shore power to the main breaker, and impossible to hook up any of the ground wires to the ground bar... unless I am supposed to attach plugs to all these too, and install yet more receptacles, soon filling up my whole trailer with junction boxes. Bigfoot didn't seem to think there was any problem hooking the shore line to the main breaker...

Also, in my recent miswiring experience, the 14/2 ground wire from the junction box to the receptacle that the refrigerator was plugged into melted and caught fire. Whatever juice was fed through that wire presumable also went through the fridge's flexible plug wire... which was completely unharmed. This seems to indicate to me that the plug wire is far stronger and safer than the 14/2.
__________________
pindraak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 10:20 AM   #8
Raz
Senior Member
 
Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 4,063
Quote:
Originally Posted by pindraak View Post
Also, in my recent miswiring experience, the 14/2 ground wire from the junction box to the receptacle that the refrigerator was plugged into melted and caught fire. Whatever juice was fed through that wire presumable also went through the fridge's flexible plug wire... which was completely unharmed. This seems to indicate to me that the plug wire is far stronger and safer than the 14/2.
It sounds to me like the fault was in the receptacle box thus bypassing the appliance cord. In any event the circuit breaker should have tripped long before the wire got hot enough to catch fire. Might be time to consult a pro. Raz
__________________
Raz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Thomas G.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
Posts: 5,103
The issue with direct wiring is that extension cords are allowed to have a lower capacity than hard wires on the same fuse. For instance, a 15 amp circuit requires a 14 gauge hard wire, but you can plug a lamp cord into it with 16 gauge (or lighter) wire.

If your refrigerator cord is at least 14 gauge, I don't see an issue with hard wiring it to a 15 amp fuse.
__________________
UHaul and Burro owners, join the UHaul Campers on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/529276933859491/
Thomas G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 10:43 AM   #10
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
It's all about you

Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
A big advantage to using a standard receptacle is ease of fridge removal for servicing. Also trying to connect stranded line cord to connections looking for solid wire is not a good idea. Raz
  • Do you trust your Fridge to never need replacement by someone other than you?
  • Do you expect to own this trailer "Until death do you part"?
  • Are you confident that no one else will be responsible for it?

If you can answer to all 3 then go for it. I would replace the stranded cord with solid Romex all the way to the Fridge in this case.
I would also fully document what you do and keep it with the trailer's papers.

If any one answer is then it is a bad idea. We all know what we ourselves are capable of.
It's those "other people" in our lives (known, but especially unknown) that standards like receptacles and plugs are made for.
__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Thomas G.'s Avatar
 
Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
Posts: 5,103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
........ I would replace the stranded cord with solid Romex all the way to the Fridge in this case...........
My understanding is that you should only use stranded wires in a mobile application like a trailer, as opposed to solid wire like Romex, due to breaking from vibration. Wrong?
__________________
UHaul and Burro owners, join the UHaul Campers on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/529276933859491/
Thomas G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 09:23 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Dan Meyer's Avatar
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
Posts: 559
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
My understanding is that you should only use stranded wires in a mobile application like a trailer, as opposed to solid wire like Romex, due to breaking from vibration. Wrong?
Good theory, but maybe wrong. In my 2000 Scamp, almost all AC power cables are solid conductor romex wiring.

-- Dan Meyer
__________________
Dan Meyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
841K9's Avatar
 
Name: Logan
Trailer: 1976 Scamp 13'
Wisconsin
Posts: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Also trying to connect stranded line cord to connections looking for solid wire is not a good idea. Raz
That is how 99% of household light fixtures are connected.
The soft, stranded wire of the fixture is wound around the house's solid copper wire and then the wire nut...

But yes, you're correct about the fridge.
__________________
841K9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 09:42 PM   #14
Moderator
 
Frederick L. Simson's Avatar
 
Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
California
Posts: 8,151
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Frederick L. Simson
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Meyer View Post
In my 2000 Scamp, almost all AC power cables are solid conductor romex wiring./
All of the 110 volt AC lines in the Fiber Stream, from the circuit breaker panel to the 15 amp outlets are solid conductor romex.
__________________

__________________
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
Frederick L. Simson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Marine plug Jim Hovind Plumbing | Systems and Fixtures 14 02-18-2013 03:30 PM
A Better RV Plug DavidSo Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 17 11-25-2011 07:17 PM
Can't get at my frost plug ROIDON L Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 10-06-2009 02:20 PM
Plug Identification Christi W Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 7 11-16-2006 07:06 PM
Bargman Plug Norm Roy Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 04-12-2006 09:33 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.