Expensive mistake when installing 30-amp RV outlet at home

Expensive mistake when installing 30-amp RV outlet at home

 

RV Electricity
with Mike Sokol

Dear Mike,
Thank you for bringing the miswiring issue to light. I have been a licensed journeyman electrician for over ten years, but when a customer asked me to install an outside 30-amp outlet for his RV in the driveway, I accidentally wired it up for 240 volts, NOT 120 volts. That was a costly mistake on my part since it destroyed a lot of the RV appliances and electrical system. Yes, I paid for the RV repairs, but I hated to write that check. More folks need to understand that RV electricity does not follow the norm for house wiring. —Adam

Dear Adam,
I get emails like this every week from an electrician or homeowner who’s made this same costly miswiring mistake. An RV 30-amp plug is NOT wired for 240-volts like the home dryer plug it resembles. The first time I saw one of these TT-30 plugs on an RV I also assumed it was 240 volts, until I looked at the plug closely and saw it was listed for 125 volts. That was the hint I needed to avoid making an expensive mistake as well.

Below is what a 30-amp/120-volt RV outlet looks like compared to a 30-amp/240-volt dryer outlet. See why electricians can be easily confused.

noshockzone-1-rvt772

And this is how a 30-amp RV outlet is supposed to be wired.

noshockzone-2-rvt-772

If you’re going to have a 30-amp RV outlet wired up for your RV when it’s parked at home, be sure to show this to your electrician before he makes a costly mistake. Plus, it’s really a good idea for you to measure every new or unknown RV outlet for correct voltage BEFORE you plug in your expensive RV. And that’s also a great reason to install something like a Progressive Industries EMS on your RV. It’s cheap insurance since it won’t let a 240-volt wiring mistake reach your RV electrical system.

Let’s play safe out there…

rv-safety-764Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. Visit NoShockZone.org for more electrical safety tips. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com.

##RVT772

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3 thoughts on “Expensive mistake when installing 30-amp RV outlet at home

  1. pierre

    Most stupid set-up ever seen and to make matters worst, Canada’s dryer plug is different

  2. Mike Sokol

    I’ve had a few emails about how to hook up a 50 amp service, so I’ll answer that in next week’s Q&A.

  3. Tommy Molnar

    Thanks for the diagram. I just printed it out and will put it in our trailer.

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