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Exterior electrical receptacle

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NLK

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Exterior electrical receptacle
« on: March 27, 2012, 07:41:10 am »
I was reading an article online earlier this week from a fella that said he plugged an electric grill into the receptacle on the exterior of his motorhome.  The cord got exceptionally hot and the plastic receptacle started to melt and smoke.  He stated further that he had a 2004 Winnebago.  Not knowing what the problem turned out to be and only being able to read the article and not ask any questions it got me thinking.  Would an electric grill or skillet that draws approx. 1500 to 1800 watts be safe to plug into my exterior receptacle? I've regularly used it for the radio or DVD player and TV with no problem.

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bigbadjc

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 09:53:54 am »
I have never plugged a grill or electric skillet into my exterior receptacle, but I can't believe that there was not some defect involved in the situation you described.   1500 watts in a 120 volt circuit would involve a current of 12.5 amps.  My guess is that the external socket is probably a 15 amp socket, so it should handle it.  If you're plugged into a 30 amp service and are running your air conditioner and your convection oven inside, there's a good chance you might throw the system breaker on total load.  The situation of overheating and smoking a socket implies that there was more than 15 amps flowing and that the overprotection devices weren't working.  Since most of us has had the experience in one RV or another of resetting breakers or replacing fuses, we know overloads can happen.  That's why they put overload protection in the circuitry.

Jerry

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 11:46:10 am »
PC-USA uses 12 gauge wire throughout instead of the usual 14 gauge, to help in preventing over-loading.

I cannot speak for other PC model years, but my 2007 2350 outside receptable to the left of the entry door, opperates off the inverter until the generator is running or the motor home is plugged into shore power.  I don't know what would happen if I plugged an electric grill into that outlet if running off the Tripp-Lite 2000 watt inverter.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 11:47:57 am by ron.dittmer »
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bigbadjc

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 01:17:11 pm »
Once again, Ron, you should have overload protection devices to prevent overloading the wiring or the inverter.  If they didn't work in the example you cited, I suspect the rather small inverter would be smoked long before the plugs started to melt.  Copper wire is a low resistance conductor and would take very high load or very poor connections to generate that kind of heat.  There was an electrical malfunction in the coach in the original example.

Jerry

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 02:26:46 pm »
 Jerry, 2o2
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NLK

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 06:59:02 am »
Thank you for the info.  The kids wanted to cook pancakes outdoors on the griddle.  They'll enjoy cooking breakfast and best of all ... their mess will be outdoors  :)

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Barry-Sue

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 04:36:30 pm »
We have used the exterior electric receptacle for an electric skillet on many occasions.  Never had an issue.
Barry and Sue 
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Bob Mahon

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 05:21:31 pm »
Here in the hills of Pennsyltucky, we lose electric a lot.
In a couple instances, when the electric's been out for 8 or 10 hours, I started the generator and ran a heavy extension cord from the PC's outside receptacle to the Refrigerator, Freezer, a few lights and the microwave. I did this on 4 hour cycles alternating our points of usage.
I Looked for but did not detect any alarming heat at the internal wiring, plug, cord or sockets.

It's a bit Rube Goldberg but we didn't lose any frozen item and had hot food in an outage of over 26 hours.

Carry on, regardless..................
"In God we trust" to save our country and bring our troops safely home.

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GoPhoenix

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Re: Exterior electrical receptacle
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 08:23:08 pm »
Here in southwestern Ohio, we had a wind storm about three years ago, 70 mph winds, which had power out for five days over a wide region.  We were the only ones on our block with lights, TV and a working refrigerator.  Just ran an extension cord from the PC and ran the generator a few hours each day, alternating what was plugged into it.

Incidentally, the storm also caused the magnetic corners of the vinyl windshield cover to flap, damaging the paint.  Have never have used that type of cover again.

I remember very few of the things that Iíve spent money to buy, but I remember all of the places that Iíve spent money to see.