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30A Twistlock

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So I was in Lowes early today looking for some Klein diags (no luck!) when I walked by the generators and thought "cool!". For a mere 200 dollars there was some pretty good power-output. I noticed many of the models featured 2 or 4 edison connectors, and a single 30A 4 contact twistlock connector.

    I figure that style of connector must be the "standard" connector for RVs, trailers, or something, and these generators are intended for camping use. Otherwise, I can't recall seeing many 30A anythings, especially with this connector. what are the 4 contacts for? Ground, Neutral, Hot, Hot? That seems weird. Two ground perhaps? One unused? I have no idea.

    So, what would one do with that 30A socket? Do you have to use it? I mean, I guess you could survive on the edison sockets alone, or is the power somehow "divided" over the multiple sockets? What about having a 30A run that terminates in two separate 15 A sockets. What about a 20A 2P&G, and a 10A edison?

    Thoughts, anyone, on the consumer generator world?
     
  2. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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  3. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    No Klein diags in a Lowe's? Charc where did you look, they're in electrical, NOT with all the other Cobalt/Crescent/Etc tools. They keep them separated, I guess they don't play nice with the other kids.
     
  4. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    !#@$.

    They keep them in electrical?

    I asked the guy if they had diagonal side cutting pliers, he just pointed me to hand tools... he didn't mention "electrical". I saw some channel lock pliers there and assumed it was all in one place.
     
  5. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Yup. In mine they're the next isle or two over from all the plugs and fittings.
     
  6. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    Um, no. The 4 wire is 2 phases (hot), neutral and a ground. Usually each single (two outlet) or pair (4 outlets) are on a separate phase. The two phases are 180 degrees apart in phase.

    It is possible on some generators to wire the phases together and get 120V at almost double the current but you have to be very careful and look at how the coils are wired.
     
  7. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So what would one do with this? Is there an adaptor to go from this 4 blade configuration to another two pairs of 15A outlets? It seems a lot cheaper to run that than 4 conductor 30A rated cable.
     
  8. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Charc--The L14-30 is a 30A 125/250VAC (XYGW). This is most likely what the generator you saw had, used for powering RVs. If protected by a 30A breaker on the generator, you could not use less than 10g wire with the plug. The L15-30 is a 30A 3ø250VAC (XYZG). Also available are L16-30 and L17-30, but as those are 480V and 600V, I'm sure that's not what you saw.

    SHARYNF-"your" connector is a 3 contact, and Charc specifically said it was a 4 pin.

    Charc--Is this the generator at which you were looking? You were only one aisle away from the electrical hand tools. Could have gotten your Klein diags if you hadn't been obsessing over generators; expecting a lot of power grid failures this winter?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  9. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Right, but you couldn't split that into two 15A edison receptacles?

    P.S.
    Derek always makes minor tweaks to his sig. Anyone notice the new "(Better than being an Athletic Supporter!)"?
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Not without a 15A circuit breaker ahead of each 15A Edison Receptacle (single or duplex).

    Thanks for noticing the sig.:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  11. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    So 30A > 15A breaker > 15A receptacle. It makes sense. It's still probably the cheapest solution.
     
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The Crecent tools would see the Klein tools and just shatter in their packages. I'm sure that Lowes realizes this problem, and this is why they're kept seperate. However, once you take them out of the packages, they play just fine together, as long as you tell them not to fight. I still have to go back to my toolbox every now and then and establish order.

    Now about these 30A receptacles - has anyone ever seen them used for lighting? What would be the equivalent in the lighting world if not? I could see myself using one if it were available at the church that I'll be doing the benefit gig at in two weeks.
     
  13. kovacika

    kovacika Active Member

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    At the sound company I work for we use that connector to come out of a distro and carry two separate 15 amp runs. Since each connector uses 2 15 amp breakers at the distro, we can use a "breakout" to two Edison receptacles. We also install mini distros in each amp rack, so all we have to do is run the 30amps to it, and it ensures all but our biggest amp racks have the power they need. (We run off D&B gear so power consumption isn't very high)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2007
  14. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it might have been this model at Lowes at a discount price
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=47345-348-30343&lpage=none

    At the 200 dollar price, most of the ones I have seen do NOT offer 240 volts, have a 125 volt connector
    Sharyn
     
  15. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    There are all sorts of 2,3,4 and 5 conductor twist lock connectors out there. I have a nice NEMA chart with most of them on it. They are all a bit different so that you can't plug say a connector designed to use with 120VAC (Hot-Neutral-Ground) into a 208 (Hot-Hot-Ground).

    I worked in a community theater that used 15A 125V twist lock instead of stage pins.

    I have also seen a lot of MotionLabs distros out there that use the 30A 4 conductor (hot-hot-neutral-ground). These do make it nice when you are running power out to the racks or projectors and need 208 or a split 120.

    The thing to remember though whatever kind of cable you are running is to remember what that poor neutral is doing. A properly sized neutral can handle (in theory) double it's rating provided that the hots are on separate phases. It's when both of those hot legs wind up on the same phase that suddenly the neutral is melting. Watched a DC rig smoke some negative cables because the operator hooked them up as if they were a three phase system.

    Also, if you are using 30A breakers and 30 amp connectors, make sure that the cable used can also handle the 30A. I work with a company that has 12/3 on their 30A system so you have to remember to derate it to 20A.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    kw
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Although my Lowes does have the good electrical tools separated as has been discussed, they seem really inconsistent and random about which tools they stock. They may have a Klein Screwdriver, but not the diags... Maybe it's just a local stocking issue. My Home Depot is much more consistent about this... but again, look for them near receptacles and switches, not near the other tools.
     
  17. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I work at Lowe's and most of what is stocked depends on what the demand is. If something is not bought consistently it is "non-stocked". I can't speak for your area but my electrical department carries a full line up of Klein tools. The generator may have been the Coleman camping generator? I haven't looked at it in a while because we sold all of our generators to Oklahoma during the ice storms. And shame on the employee who "pointed" you in the right direction Charc. We are trained to walk customers to the item to make sure they find what they're looking for.

    Coleman Powermate
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=72328-71025-PM0401856&lpage=none

    Klein Hand Tools
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&N=0&Ntk=i_products&Ntt=klein
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2007
  18. tgates

    tgates Member

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    If it's a four wire 30amp connector, you can get four 15 amp 110v outlets out of it with breakers. Two off of each hot leg.
    Or you could not use the neutral and have one 30amp 220 outlet.
     
  19. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    This because of the aforementioned 180º phase difference?
     
  20. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    What you would do is run 10/4 to a breaker box, which would give you four 15 amp breakers. It is actually single phase with a center tap, much like a standard home feed. (120-0-120 with 240 between hots.) In most cases, the breaker box I've seen carpenters use contains four 20 amp breakers. You won't get the full benefit as the total draw can not exceed 30 amps per leg, but most nail-gun compressors and such like to have 20 amps available. Don't know about the mobile home aspect, but they work nicely for power outages in homes because you can run your well pumps and other things that require 240.

    We won't talk about some other contractors I've seen who just pigtail the things out ;)

    For lighting, they usually don't cut it in any practical way because of the time lag between loading and recovery. (As well as over-voltage problems when the load is released.)
     

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