Friday, July 22, 2016

Don't Blow Your Breaker

Take a minute and see how many AMPS you could be using in your RV's 30 or 50 amp electrical systems. It's surprising how fast the amps add up which causes your breaker or the resort's breaker to trip. Knowing the amperage of all the electrical appliances in your RV can help you manage electrical use and prevent the inconvenience of:

The following is a list of the typical appliances used and the average amps required to operate them:
Air conditioner-15,000 BTU 12.5 amps
Refrigerator 2.7 amps
Electric Frying Pan 10 amps
Electric Water Heater-8 gallons 12.5 amps
Iron 10 amps
Microwave Oven 12.8 amps
Food Processor 6 amps
Electric Coffee Pot 9 amps
Crock Pot 1.5 amps
Toaster 10 amps
Heating Pad .5 amps
Hair Dryer 10 amps
110 Watt Heater 10 amps
TV 2 amps
In the morning if you start your air conditioner and the hot water heater is on, and then you start your coffee pot, make some toast and watch TV-you're pulling 55 amps with all of these appliances operating at maximum. If you also cook some bacon in the microwave at the same time, LOOK OUT! Many RV's have a switch so you can only run the microwave OR the water heater at one time, but some RV's do not have this feature.
Most electrical products show how many watts or amps it takes to operate the appliance printed on the product itself or in the instruction manual. If it shows the watts, divide the watts by 120 (volts) and that gives you the amps. To get the watts, multiply the amps by the 120 (volts).
I have found that if we are parked in a 30 amp site I can run two major electrical appliances at one time without setting off the circuit breaker, such as my electric water heater and the microwave. Using the toaster is possible also. But to run the central vacuum cleaner while cooking breakfast? Not going to happen. If it's hot outside and I want to run the air conditioner while on 30 amps, then I'll switch the electric water heater over to propane or simply turn it off until right before I need hot water and make sure I'm not using another appliance that pulls a lot of amps. It's a balancing act but it's easy to deal with once you get into the habit. Because if you set off those circuit breakers too many times, chances are you're going to be damaging the circuit boards of your appliances at the same time which is not a good thing. Even with a 50 amp site you have to be careful, although 50 amps normally allows you to add the use of one more large amperage appliance to the things you can run at one time. It's a matter of taking a moment to think about what you have running and what you want to operate before you start turning things on.
Be safe!