30 amp connections explained

My breaker keeps kicking off!

Well here is why as simple as I can explain it. A 30 amp connection on a 120 volt line allows you 3600 watts of power. So if your RV was designed to operate on 30 amps, that was why it was built with a propane furnace and water heater, because electric heaters and furnaces just use too many watts!

I fully understand the urge that if your site fees includes electricity you would like to cheap out and use the parks power and not have to buy propane as often, that being the case you are going to need to figure out where your breaker is because you will need to reset it often.

So let’s look quickly at what uses that 3600 watts of energy, so let’s start by trying to be as thrifty as possible so turn the water heater on electric, keep in mind this is a tricky one kicking on and off to maintain the water temperature that it will most likely be the cause of kicking the breaker off at midnight when you think your safe to run that space heater. My research has found that most have a 1500 watt element so when it is heating now you only have 2100 watts left to play with, so now you need to play the Russian roulette game. Because most RV fridges automatically switch to electric power when plugged in there goes another 600 watts to operate the fridge, and that electric space heater your using to save propane another 1500 watts and already you have just maxed out you circuit. So let’s hope that extra bar fridge doesn’t start the same time the water heater does or off goes the breaker … so are you starting to understand? These are trailers not cottages, energy conservation must be practised and were designed to run on propane no just an electric connection period.

  • Microwave 800 watts
  • Toaster 2 slice 750 watts 4 slice 1500 watts
  • Space heater 1500 watts
  • Keurig coffee 1500 watts to heat, 200 – 400 to maintain, or 60 watts just sitting off
  • RV refrigerator on electric 500 – 600 watts
  • RV water heater on electric 1500 watts
  • RV air conditioner 2750 watts to start 1250 watts to run
  • 30” LED television 120 watts
  • Small bar fridge 100 – 250 watts
  • RV 12 volt converter 20 – 800 watts

These are just examples of draws, I haven’t listed all the small power draws that no one accounts for like your laptop, phone, iPad, recharging, satellite receivers, clock radios, stereo, DVD players. They don’t use much power individually but they still add up to be part of the total energy usage.

Just stop and think for a moment … why would the manufacturer of big park model trailers put in an $800 RV style water heaters as opposed to small $250 electric heaters? It’s not as if you are going to be out camping with no hookups in your park model trailer, no it is to allow them to operate on a 30 amp circuit. And some even have had to design limiting switches so that if it comes with an electric fireplace it won’t operate at the same time as the water heater on electric … because electric heaters draw large wattages … plain and simple.

So to answer the original question why does my breaker keep tripping? Because you are using more energy than you realize, stop being so darn cheap, use the unit as it was designed, and remember the reason the breaker keeps tripping off is because of YOU.

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