PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

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PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Thu May 04, 2017 7:39 am

So I am getting ready to wire up my teardrop using a PD4045KV (seems fairly common here) It is rated for up to a 30A main but can it be wired for a 15A main? I just want the camper to have basic 120v power (2-3 convienance outlets) and 12V power for lighting, accessory charging, and deep cycle battery charging. Since I am not planning air con, microwaves or other heavy load stuff 30A seems like over kill and wont always be available depending on where the camper is at. The shore plug I have is 15A but its no biggie to get one for a 30A connection if needed.

Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby les45 » Thu May 04, 2017 2:47 pm

I used the same PD4045 on my weekender and the same minimal AC/DC system as you are planning. I found the 15 Amp inlet to be plenty adequate. Also makes it easier (and cheaper) to use standard extension cords. I would recommend that you purchase a circuit tester and adapters that will let you plug into the 30 amp camp power just in case the 20 amp receptacles/GFCI are broken (which they often are).
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Thu May 04, 2017 4:53 pm

I hadn't even thought about the fact that there isn't a problem putting a lower draw on a higher rated circuit. It's been a long while since I have been to an actual campground. Which I am sure sounds odd since I am building a teardrop.

Is my thinking correct that you are using a 15 amp breaker with the 15 amp shore inlet. to protect all the wiring between the camper and the outlet and also to prevent the system from drawing more than 15 amps across standard cords and outlets? There's no problem with a lower draw on a higher circuit but big problems putting bigger draws across lower rated circuits, correct?

Still trying to remember some fundamentals from a long time of not thinking about them.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Thu May 04, 2017 5:09 pm

From a post that I just activated that wasn't there when you visited. I am really proud of what the students were able to accomplish with the cabinets and getting the doors to work from the waste of the plywood frames. They learned really quickly how to get accurate measurements and that 1/8th of an inch one direction or another is pretty significant. :shock: We cut all of it from one sheet of plywood using the shop's sawstop table saw.
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edit:
BTW this post was meant for another thread. That's why it might have seemed out of place.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu May 04, 2017 5:31 pm

mcubberley wrote:I hadn't even thought about the fact that there isn't a problem putting a lower draw on a higher rated circuit. It's been a long while since I have been to an actual campground. Which I am sure sounds odd since I am building a teardrop.

Is my thinking correct that you are using a 15 amp breaker with the 15 amp shore inlet. to protect all the wiring between the camper and the outlet and also to prevent the system from drawing more than 15 amps across standard cords and outlets? There's no problem with a lower draw on a higher circuit but big problems putting bigger draws across lower rated circuits, correct?

Still trying to remember some fundamentals from a long time of not thinking about them.


Correct. I use my PD4045 with a 15A input. Sometimes I have to use an adapter to plug my 15A cord into a 30A outlet, but that does not affect the rating of cord or circuit breaker.

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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu May 04, 2017 9:56 pm

Plan on more than you think you need :thinking:

Potentially you strangle your converter which can draw about 9 amps with no other draw.
Add a coffee maker at 5-8 amps and say some time you want to add an air-conditioner at 12 amps (take my word for it, it is nice to have). We use and electric fry pan and heat water with AC rather than propane.
You can always use an adapter to use a 15 or 20A plug but most camp ground pedestals have a 30A.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Fri May 05, 2017 7:16 am

I see where you are going with that. Again I didnt think about the fact that the DC/AC converter would want to run when not connected to AC. I had just read another post before coming back here that was talking about how hungry those converters really are.

So it sounds like just few extra dollars for a 30a main breaker and 30a rated inlet would be a decent value. The 30a breaker to keep the DC/AC converter opened up, and the inlet to keep options open when connecting to posts.

Thanks for your help folks.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby Esteban » Fri May 05, 2017 1:52 pm


So it sounds like just few extra dollars for a 30a main breaker and 30a rated inlet would be a decent value. The 30a breaker to keep the DC/AC converter opened up, and the inlet to keep options open when connecting to posts.

Thanks for your help folks.

Now that you are going to use a 30 amp main breaker and a 30 amp inlet are you also going to use 10/3 wire or cable between the inlet and the breaker?
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Fri May 05, 2017 2:25 pm

That's definitely a good thing to call out. I have a roll of 10/3 and a roll of 12/3 on hand. Not a great idea to build fire hazards into the plans. Once I get most of my ducks in a row I have an electrical instructor that I am going to run the whole thing buy. Just to follow up with and double check my work. With stuff like this, I like to always follow up on what I think I know because often times I don't know what I am thinking. ...

I love being a teacher but these high schoolers have way more energy than me. Time for Friday Chinese buffet.
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PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Wed May 31, 2017 5:41 pm

So it seems as though I may have a short on the D.C. Side that is feeding the current to the ground. It's all I can figure. I finally connected a battery and I am getting current to all the D.C. Circuits but none are working. I need to disconnect all the led lights and the 12 volt power ports and start one at a time.
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I am using these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZR7WLEE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_pU0lzbCTQT93Nand they only have white wires so I am assuming that -/+ wires can be interchanged since you can tell them apart.

And this port panel. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBJYO9M/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdb_LG0lzb6FFR8QW

If I had to guess this would be my short location because it was cramped installing it and the polarity markings are black on black. Yay.

I checked that all the circuits are receiving power from the battery and read current after the panel fuses. So alas it's trouble shooting time.

Here is a video of the front of the panel install for reference. It's trouble shooting time.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AkSWWdI-cpUWg78HTOoANQVaq5caxA


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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby H.A. » Wed May 31, 2017 10:21 pm

[qer.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:19 am

Good Thoughts. I should have double checked the lights before I screwed them in place but of course, it's more fun to install than to test. The barrier strips you mentioned are all wired and soldered together from the factory on the bottom side. I do need to double check to make sure I did not break any of those connections though during install. I ordered what I thought would be traditional bus strips but I had very limited choices and the description was a bit deceptive.

The camper goes up for display at the school art show today so I guess all this has to wait. I have to build some interest so I can get this one in good working order and up for sale. The classes and I have learned a lot for next year. Like the fact that 3/16 underlayment is not as flexible as one might think and sounds like a gunshot when, after installing on a curve that is too tight for it, suddenly snaps under the pressure.

Thanks for your help, its much appreciated.
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Re: PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:39 am

So it turns out there is no true ground. If I take the negative directly to the battery ground I get D.C. Across the circuit. So grounding the D.C. Negative to the ground bus bar on the pd4045 is the issue. I am missing how to get the D.C. Negative back to the panel. More digging.



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PD4045KV - 15A vs 30A Main

Postby mcubberley » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:59 pm

So it turns out that grounding pd4045 to the chassis does not ground the battery to the chassis and therefore my D.C. Circuits were never closed. I had to tie all the branch circuits - back directly to the battery. Everything works fine. So the pd4045 is grounded to the chassis at the ground bus bar where the shore power also grounds when connected. Based on all I have read that is the consensus. I still can't figure out why the the D.C. Side of things doesn't seem to offer a way to close the D.C. branch circuits through the panel. I know the battery connections serve as a way for the panel to charge the battery but one would think there would also be a connection through the panel to couple the circuits.
I am sure there is a good reason but it's obviously beyond my flawed logic. It will be interesting to see what a licensed electrician has to say when I have them give it a
Once over.


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