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Old 09-24-2015, 01:59 AM   #1
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Campground Electrical Surprise

We often go to a serene County Park, nice pond, nice bathrooms, etc. All the outlets are standard 20 Amp outlets, except for two big 50 Amp outlets, which cost $15/night, versus $10 for the lower amp ones. Today, we went out there to scope the area prior to a picnic our group is having this weekend. By chance, I was near one of the two big circuit breaker panels. Surprise, some of the pedestals are wired for, and have 30 Amp breakers, and some have 20's. ALL pedestals have regular 20 Amp outlets. Now I know why, even when using the adapter plug, we don't trip a breaker when using the AC! None of the pedestals have the TT-30 outlet. Why? I can only guess. So "one size fits all?" or "20 amp outlets and boxes are cheaper than 30 amp ones?" Yes, I know the outlet, rated for 20 amp, will deteriorate under a constant load of 30 amps, but as long as the outlet is in good shape, and connections are clean and bright, I won't worry. Other than this oddity, the breaker panels are clean, well laid out, and one breaker per pedestal. Now I don't have to avoid this place in the hot summer! Surprising what you'll find when you explore, eh?
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Old 09-24-2015, 02:35 PM   #2
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The breaker may be a 30 amp but is the wire to the pedestal rated for 30 amps?
That's where you're flirting with danger.
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Old 09-24-2015, 03:36 PM   #3
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Hard to tell, since all the wiring is buried, or in conduit. Each outlet is BTW, a GFCI. Might have been the contractor's interpretation of local wiring codes. This is no amateur construction. The panels, the mounting, grounds, everything is heavy and sturdy. The weak link is the 20 Amp GFCI outlet. The only part of mine that would be underrated is the $6 30/20 plug adapter. If anything were to "smoke" it would happen at the pedestal, or underground.
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