110 volt and 12 volt on the same switch? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
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110 volt and 12 volt on the same switch?

So I'm sure some of you are thinking WOW HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET?


Well I have the solution to needing two switches and don't have much room for them. So I enlarged the hole where the 110 plug was and put this set up in there. The switches are not connected in any way. The 12 volt water pump is on the top one and the 110 to the converter is on the other. This way I can power the fridge, A/C, and the plug in without running the converter. The reason for not running the converter all the time is that there is no need to keep charging the house batterie once it has a full charge.


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Old 04-02-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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Probably you are violating some electrical codes, but I think this is a creative solution. One possible addition that you might consider is to insulate the screws for the 12 V systems so that there is no possibility that they would get hit with 110V. That would be likely to let the magic smoke out of your converter.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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Two voltages in the same box is a no-no. I would label the different voltages on both switches and somehow isolate the 12 v switch connnections. Any short could destroy anything hooked to the 12 v line-before and after the switch.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:29 PM   #4
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moving target?

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Originally Posted by StrangeQuark88 View Post
Probably you are violating some electrical codes, but I think this is a creative solution. One possible addition that you might consider is to insulate the screws for the 12 V systems so that there is no possibility that they would get hit with 110V. That would be likely to let the magic smoke out of your converter.
Interesting legal question. As the NEC can be amended by locality, state, etc, based on a fixed physical location methinks, what if your dwelling moves and there is no locality unless you are passing through one?
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:44 PM   #5
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Interesting legal question. As the NEC can be amended by locality, state, etc, based on a fixed physical location methinks, what if your dwelling moves and there is no locality unless you are passing through one?
Charlie Y
The specific codes are likely a traffic department type thing. There is some merit to separating voltages though, (stuff happens). If everything is fused,....well.... what could possibly go wrong?.......?......
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #6
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Not stupid. You knew what you were doing and the pix indicate you're right proud of yourself. Lack of respect for the conventional solution is good some times, harmless others, but not always.

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:44 AM   #7
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...Not as...stupid as others might think but a creative, smart way instead. IMO, as long as you know what to do, what is good and safe for you and it is not for sale with profit then it is OK to go ahead. Who cares ab codes, regulations,...lablah because there are some skill trademen out there are...over-charge, irresponsible and the only thing they care is their...paychecks. The only difference is they have chance into their trade thru formal trainings/connections....but please don't tell me all of them are good with exception of highly skill levels...The following photos of mine are my works in processing, you could see them all. Please put on some labels in case of your wanderring memory down the road and for your friends/relatives easy access. In my photos you could see my labels, ready to be printed it out and be put on at every outlet/switch/indicator. This is only one piece within the whole panel with combination fuses/circuit breaker of my DIY process. I will put on photos after all. IMO, when one works with his/her...PASSION then he/she will be ...good at it, hopefully. Cheer!
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:17 AM   #8
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Perhaps a "smart" converter with stepped charging would have solved the problem, without having to remember when to switch on and off.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:09 AM   #9
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Presumeably both outlets and the bottom switch are AC and the top switch (only) is the DC water pump. No chance of plugging a 12v item into 120v. I can follow what you're doing but it still gives me the "willies".

I switch off my converter on occaison but I do it at the circuit breaker panel. You must not have one hence your solution.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:43 AM   #10
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If you are concerned you could gang two single boxes together. Put a single switch in one for the water pump and a switch/ duplex outlet combination in the other. You would loose one outlet but gain isolation.


I am not sure why the need to switch the converter off. Converters both old and new stop charging when the battery voltage reaches a certain threshold. Newer ones switch to a trickle charge while some older designs simply shut down. Raz
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:06 AM   #11
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I had a similar concern with my old UHaul converter. I installed a small toggle switch on the converter itself in the 12 volt circuit. I put it just below the where you see the word "GROUND" in the photo below.

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Perhaps a "smart" converter with stepped charging would have solved the problem, without having to remember when to switch on and off.
I later replaced the original converter and made it into a sort of smart battery charger using an inexpensive 20 amp Chinese solar controller as the output. I use if for my tractors. This might work on older converters left in campers. http://www.ebay.com/itm/20A-12V-24V-...item41651b2bff
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:30 AM   #12
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Someone's concerned? Who knew! I thought we were celebrating random acts of electrification.

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Old 04-03-2013, 06:38 AM   #13
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Someone's concerned? Who knew! I thought we were celebrating random acts of electrification.

jack
My old converter never seemed to go below about a 2 amp charge rate. It would seem that over time it would deplete the electrolyte. Maybe not, but it gave me something to worry about.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:01 AM   #14
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Here is a url with comments about using 120V AC switches in a 12V DC circuit. A few paragraphs into the article it addresses switches. They don't recommend doing it and are especially concerned about "silent" switches. I know any number of people do this so I expect dissenting opinions. I've never had problems finding space for a 12v toggle or rocker switch so I haven't faced your problem.

Using AC and DC together in electrical system? | EEP
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:28 AM   #15
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If you turn off the converter then you have a better chance of discharging your battery. I leave mine plugged 24/7 unless there is a problem with your converter.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #16
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Someone's concerned? Who knew! I thought we were celebrating random acts of electrification.

jack
Yessir!!!

Hey y'all, watch this!!
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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Mixing 120 VAC and !2 VDC on the same device is a NO NO The switch in your picture is rated for AC only . You can not even mix low voltage and line voltage in the same enclosure or box without a divider to separate the systems . This is why power, ,antenna, phone and sound are kept isolated from each other . I worked on a job once where some idiot combined 5 VDC with 380 VAC in the same raceway . The conductors shorted together and destroyed over a quarter of a million dollars of programmable controllers . Codes only make sense when you understand why the rule is there or have seen the damage or injury that was a result of not following the code..
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:33 AM   #18
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I agree that what I have done is NOT up to CODE. The circuts are not connected and are labled inside the box so as to keep someone from getting confused. But Romex 12-2 with a ground is a totaly different type of wire than the automotive 12 gusge that is used for the water pump. I also understand that "they" say that you cant switch 12v on a switch designed for 110v. "They" will also explane how an internal combustion engine can not work. It simpley will melt the metal it is made of because of the temps generated in the process are way mpre than the metal will handel.

I dont intend to subject anyone to a harmfull situation or to be disrespectifull in any way. Thank you all for your insite into the Code and for the information you have on using switches for the intended use.

Looks like once i get a second Square D breaker I will put it on its own braker and use two boxxes in the same hole like Steve was talking about. Can even get a lighted 12v switch for it and that will get it all up to code. But for now all is well and the Magic Smoke is still in there.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #19
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AC/DC toggle switches

...There are some toggle sws which are made to handle both AC and DC. In my following photo, that is a toggle sw which was taken out from a...toy jeep for running it's motor. It is rated at 250vac-6A and DC at 8A. The toy jeep is powered by battery both of scales of 6VDC and 12VDC. For whoever who wants to use AC sw in both cases, IMO, just adding parallel capacitor (at picrofara) to shunt the arc and that would be suitable for the job. About codes, of course it is ignored at home-made in some aspect. Without it, one would have no clues totally ab gauge, amperage, current of the needed wire. To me, when I don't use the car for a long period, I unhook car battery completely to prevent internal current. This current, IMO will drain out your battery below the cranking voltage needed when you come back and start the car...and it works everytime I am far away. I will use that experience into my DIY project of camper...Also in my DIY project, DC toggle sw will be used to switch b/t DC supply from converter and battery. AC toggle sw will disconnect 120VAC supply to smart converter. IMO, even though when a battery is full charged, if converter is still connected to 120VAC supply, the current(small amount) is still running thru primary coil of adapter which causes un-necessay heat and could be humming noise in high power converter. Just my personal opinion, though.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:36 PM   #20
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Interesting idea!

Would you mind posting a closeup pic with the coverplate off? I'm curious about how it looks on the inside...

Thanks!

Francesca
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