Generators and Air Conditioners

Submitted: Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:10
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Hi The discussion about the 10 amp outputs and the BT's 15 amp input caused me to call Mr. BT - heeeeeeeeeeeeeers Steve. Interesting discussion. He made it very clear that as far as the aircon mfg is concerned, if you are starting the aircon with a 2kva and you burn up the compressor - no warranty. The minimum kva requirement is 2.7 kva. That is not to say that the 2kva will not start the aircon - it will - just barely - however, if the aircon is running and you accidentally start some other item that will draw on the 2kva and while that other item is running the aircon cycles, you may overdraw and there may be problems. Steve indicated that to be safe you would have to turn off all 240V items including the automatic battery charger when running the aircon off the 2kva. The alternative is the Honda 3 kva which is much heavier and larger, or two 2kva gennys in parallel. You can buy two 2 kva for $3740 or one 3 kva for $3,700. The 2kva weighs 21kg; the 3kva weighs 59kg. Regarding the initial inquiry, 10A to 15A, Steve suggested that you use a 15A cord and also make a very short adaptor with a 10A plug on one end and the 15A plug on the other end. Whomever of you wonderful and knowledgeable Boggers that have been using a generator with your aircon and other pieces of equipment, please advise re experience. What is the general reaction to the voidance of the warranty if it burns up when using a 2kva? Any other thoughts along this line would be appreciated. Thanks, tgintl/jay
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Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:38

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:38
G'day Andy et al, Our households have 20A circuit breakers because it protects more than one outlet (GPO) but the outlet themselves are only rated to 10A. The wiring will take 20A that runs between these 2 or 3 GPO's, so from the circuit breaker 20A can be drawn from as many outlets are connected to that circuit. All 240v appliances only draw a 2200w max BECAUSE ALL HOUSEHOLD AND BT 240v OUTLETS (GPO's) ARE 10AMP NOT 15A. There are exceptions but not usually in the house more like the shed or garage for a welder ....or to plug BT into !!! Basically the BT and a house are wired the same ...... power comes in via street or via 15A inlet on outside of BT then goes to a main switch then circuit breaker and/or earth leakage breaker ... from here it goes to first GPO ... then across to second or third GPO and back. Some BT's would have two circuits like this just because of the number of outlets specified would exceed the limit allowed for each 20A circuit. Just as a house has 3 or 4 of these 20A breakers because of the sheer number of outlets in a house. This is why you can plug several things in at once on several outlets. The outlets are 10A but you can load the circuit up to 20A. The BT is the same, you can run, say, the aircon and still plug in an appliance to the limit of the circuit breaker. This thread has also amazed me !!!! It is very simple folks ...... carry a lead that will plug into genny at one end and BT at other of say 10 metres ..... and carry a 10 and 20 metre lead of 15A at both ends for the parks. Dont join leads .... if you are more than 20 metres from power I'd suggest moving ..... The more joins you have back to the park box the more resistance and therefore the earth connection/earth leakage protection/safety switch is less likely to function in the event of an electrical accident. I'm no sparky .... and any are welcome to comment on the above .... Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560541

Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:39

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:39
"It is very simple folks ...... carry a lead that will plug into genny at one end and BT at other of say 10 metres ..... and carry a 10 and 20 metre lead of 15A at both ends for the parks. Dont join leads .... if you are more than 20 metres from power I'd suggest moving ....." Anthony, what happens when you re in a park that has 10A outlets AND they will not let you use the lead that is prepared for the genny AND they will not let you use the genny? That seems to be the case as reported by Glynhouse. Cheers, tgintl/jay
AnswerID: 560542

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:40

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:40
Jay, To be honest I've never seen a 10amp power post at a van park .... they are all 15amp outlets. The more experienced van park Boggers might like to comment if they have seen a 10amp anywhere ? I have seen some 10 amp but that is usually shonky places running power leads from amenities and the like not from a circuit protected power post. As an example Cania Gorge rally site, Bribie Island van park and Copeton Dam rally site are all 15 amp outlets. Glyhouse's post was a little ambiguous ...I took it to mean that 15amp leads with 10amp plugs were banned or .....and the dangerous 10amp leads with 15amp plugs ? Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560543

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:41

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:41
<LABEL id=HbSession SessionId="2985130645"></LABEL> Hi all, while on the subject of inlets and circuit breakers etc., I have a question re: dual power inlets. Our B.T. is about 4 1/2 years old, and is generally (I guess), wired like most other B.T's. with the exception of the dual power inlets. One inlet exclusively for the aircon. which, according to the manual requires a minimum 3.5kva, and the other is for all other power requirements, ------ why is this so -----???. They each feed through their own circuit breakers so is it possible to re wire them at the inlet point of the B.T., to feed from one inlet ???. Regards, Judy & Tony. P.S. Have a very MERRY XMAS, HAPPY NEW YEAR. & STAY SAFE
AnswerID: 560544

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:42

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:42
G'day Judy and Tony, Anything is possible ....... [smile] I can see what a pain that could be ...two leads to run air and tv .... !!!! I can only guess why it was done that way ...maybe the air of that vintage draws too much current for one inlet to handle it and other appliances at the same time. Maybe the regulations have changed since that time ....? If both power inlets are side by side I can see no reason why a plate made to cover this area could be put on and only have a 1 x IP34 Power Inlet mounted depending on draw. This is definitely time for Mr. QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN. He will have to see circuits from the inlets to breakers and beyond ( what is to be run off the inlet) ..... to confirm. Worth an hours time of a sparky to find out ? Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560545

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:43

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:43
I find it very hard to believe that van parks have 10A outlets as Standards Aust. does not allow it. Nothing in your BT will melt a 10A plug, It comes from the bigger earth pin and cable size (mm2) thus making it safer in a 'worst possible situation' . And thats how they make the standard. BT's and houses are wired exactly the same except all 240V must be double switched (active + neutral). ELCB earth leakage circit breakers, ars now banned and must be replaced, they worked by measuring current to earth and were proving to be ineffective. RCDs work by measuring the current in the active (out) and neutral (back). If there is a problem, say leak to earth through you, there will be a difference in the current in and back and the RCD will trip. This is a simple way to explain how they work, i hope......
AnswerID: 560546

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:44

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:44
G'day Air Con Users, We have used our 2kva Honda with the Air Con, only once, for a six hour stint at the Coorong S.A. in Nov. We didn't turn off the Charger but will in future. Thanks for the tip. We didn't run any other 240v stuff and there was no problem with the Honda or Air Con. That'll do us. Has anyone coupled a 2kva and 1kva Honda together to produce 3 kva ? This would meet Steve's advice and be cheaper to run. Also, the 1kva is lighter and more suitable to take tenting when you can't get the BT in. eg. Mitchell Plateau. Cheers.......Rob.
AnswerID: 560547

Reply By: Turist - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:45

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:45
To Rob
Refer to message #8 in this thread.
We have done it by way of experimentation. (1Kva + 2Kva)
All seemed ok, we couldn't measure the load but both gennys rev'd up when heavy load applied.

Regards
Turist
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AnswerID: 560548

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:46

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:46
Judy & Tony, My van has 2 inlets the same as you described, that is the way BT were doing it back then. While at BT last year I spoke to the electrician who disconnected the wires at both ends of the Air Conditioner plug in, and then at the 240 V circuit breaker panel inside the van he joined the air conditioner circuit into the main circuit, in the same manner as all their new vans are wired. This way I was able to get rid of my illegal set-up of having lead go to junction box and then come out in 2 leads with 15amp plugs. We stayed at this park while attending Tamworth Country Music Festival this year and they put in more vans on powered sites than they had power for so the new park owners put 10 Amp double adaptors, into their power outlets that looked as though they had been filed out to take the 15 amp earth plug of our leads. I don't know why anyone is worried about being checked for having the wrong leads when park owners do this. I believe in NSW since the power system went private that there aren't any power inspectors (in country areas anyway) to go around and check if a report is made. We tried to make a complaint to Country Energy, they said that have no juristiction to inspect for this, they put us onto another number and we couldn't get an answer there. Went to Work Cover and he tried his contacts also without success and eventally was told by electrical inspector that was in another town hundreds of Km from Tamworth, to ring caravan park with his Work Cover hat on and bluff them into getting things to comply with the Aust Standard code that he quoted to them. He rang them but a week later nothing had changed. So much for privatising our utilities, everyone passes the buck. This is a picture of double adaptor used. Brian.
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AnswerID: 560549

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:47

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:47
Brian,
I think we really need a regulatory body with
teeth. I am sure Collyn would agree.
Macka
AnswerID: 560550

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:48

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:48
That's one of the hairiest things I seen for a long time (beats my neighbour's seven end-to-ended extension cords (over 100 metres) of which four had incorrect polarity - fortunately working out right at the far end! Am looking into this one - but there are problems since the recent self-regulation of this side of the electrical supply industry. Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 560551

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:49

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:49
Brian, OH MY GOD! I have seen and heard of some stupid thing when it comes to electricity, and that van park owner is up there with the best. The problem with playing with power is it all looks simple, red wire here, plug that in there and BANG, away you go........ to the coroner! One of my tech teachers was is also an inspector by day, and I assure you they do have teeth and are not afraid to use them! After stories he told, you are motivated to do things right. But most problems come from handy-men, like your van park friends, and inspectors are there to inspect new or altered installations. So I suggest reporting them to whoever regulates caravan parks, im sure they will be interested.
AnswerID: 560552

Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:50

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:50
whew at last I have managed to trick MSN into letting me on again ( Have not been able to get on since my last post ). Clear things up a bit - have since run into 2 other folk that have had their leads checked before being allowed into the park, same one at Yambah NSW. they needed an approved legal lengh with 15 amp at each end. Told me they caught a lot of people with a 10 amp male fitting- no go. I have had a van since 1970 it had a 15 amp input and have never seen anything else ( a few doubles but all 15 ) The only park I have run into that was dubious ( thats putting it mildly) was at Emerald last year where the propietor had a series of short (300mm) leads made up with 15 amp male & a 10 amp female end to which he plugged a normal 10 amp double as pictured in the post above from Brian but unmodified ( still 10 anp) he did tell us when we arrived we would need a 10 amp plug on our lead ! ? Thats right he had double the number of vans he had posts for. Cheers DD
AnswerID: 560553

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:51

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:51
Adam, could you send me an email with your current address on as the one in your profile is apparently no longer in use. bmfox@tpg.com.au As for plug outlets at Caravan Parks, I have received the following; "The latest regs (AS/ANZ 3001:2001 as amended) have been and they now allow for lengths from 10 metres to 40 metres and cable size accordingly. It's got complex because 10 amp plugs may also be used - but if so then the inlet to the 'van must be restricted to 10 amps (by means such as a 10 amp circuit breaker etc) " How is a caravan park owner supposed to know if the van has the correct wiring, and as there doesn't appear to be any electrical inspectors to make field inspections it all seems to be a toothless tiger. Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:52

Friday, Dec 12, 2003 at 01:52
Re supply leads etc. The requirements have substantially changed. They are covered by new regulations: the jount Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 3001:2001). These regulations enable a wider range of supply cables to be used - from 10 metres to 40 metres in length (but with conductor size increasing with length). The previous restriction regarding 15 amp plugs now longer applies, but if a 10 amp plug, lead and inlet socket is used (maximum length there is 25 metres), then some automatic restriction must be used to prevent more than 10 amps being drawn via that cable (by for example replacing the existing 15 circuit breaker within the 'van, by a 10 amp circuit breaker). It is now also permitted to have a fixed cable (ie. retracting in top a waterproof enclosure within the vehicle. It is essential to discuss any proposed change with a licensed electrician who is aware of the extent and import of the new regulations. Unfortunately however, the new rules are both numerous and complex. To my certain knowledge by no means all electricians are aware of their full extent and import. This is already causing problems with caravan parks well meaningly (but legally wrongly) refusing to accept leads that meet the new requirements. For clarity I should add that the older 15 amp, 30 metre leads are still acceptable. I will publish a more complete explanation as soon as possible on my own website. Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 560555

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