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Old 11-17-2008, 10:27 PM   #1
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


I received an electric forklift (big and Heavy!) complete with charger. I have to adjacent rental spaces each with a plane 3 plug 220 volt outlet. Each also with 15 to 20 amps of available power. The forklift will likely draw close to 30 amps and requires a receptacle for its 4 pronged (240/480 volt 30 amp plug like the Marinco 3016R).

It would seem that for this emergency, I can join the two 220 outlets with extensions and tie them to a 3016R receptacle to charge the forklift to make the necessary lift (tomorrow!).

The facility had advised me just a day ago that they would not allow any permanent changes to the facility at all. I'm moving in two weeks but I need the forklift operational or I get stuck with a shipment going back to storage somewhere.

The specific question is this and may be a stupid one. Can the connection of two 220 volt prongs be incorrectly connected, I think yes but am uncertain. It seems that they would be out of phase and perhaps be able to be identified with a voltmeter. It's a pretty simple setup one long (30 feet) and one short (3 feet) extensions to join at the new junction/ receptacle box.

This is the question, please advise if you know. I don't want to damage the forklift or pop the breakers on the rental facility. The management have no reason to cooperate with me at this point since they know I can't get the power there for machinery that is ordered and also near delivery.

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Old 11-17-2008, 10:42 PM   #2
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


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This is the question, please advise if you know. I don't want to damage the forklift or pop the breakers on the rental facility. The management have no reason to cooperate with me at this point since they know I can't get the power there for machinery that is ordered and also near delivery.
If I understand what your asking correctly, you asking if you can use the power from 2 different 120v outlets to power a 240v device. This really should not be done for safety reasons, even on a tempoary basis, if it is even possiable with there setup.

Damage to the forklift, and triping breaks are possibilities, along with the risk of injury or death. This does not sound to me like it is something you can safely deal with. If you had time to learn how to do it, that would be one thing, but trying to do this tommrow without alot more experiance is a very bad idea.

Jamie

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Old 11-17-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


A lot of forklift chargers are 3 phase. Some can be converted to single phase, most cannot. Check this first.

If you connect the two outlets together, you have a 50/50 chance (or maybe worse) of blowing it up. I wouldn't advise this at all.

The best way would be first to determine if the building has the correct power (voltage and phases) at the panel, and if so, wire something temporary into the panel.

Rob
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


The Marinco plug you refer to is for three-phase power, which you apparently don't have in your current facility. You can't combine two 240V circuits the way you want to. Your best bet in this circumstance is to get in touch with your forklift dealer and see if they will let you borrow or rent a smaller charger that can plug into the power you have available. If the dealer's no help, try rental yards that carry construction equipment.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:41 PM   #5
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


Thank you everyone. The two outlets are 220 that I'm referring to so connecting them in parallel can (if they are on the same panel legs) merely double the amperage capacity through the box and parallel circuits.

However I guess you are right that this may not just be a three phase plug. I didn't think of that and actually don't know what happens when a machine expects three phase but gets 1 phase.

Why wouldn't the single phase going through rectifiers just send 30 percent less power per cycle? If this is right, then it works...'ya think'?
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:51 AM   #6
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


rent a machine and deal with it when you arent so pressed for time or risk damage and more repair $ than the rental
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:02 AM   #7
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I didn't think of that and actually don't know what happens when a machine expects three phase but gets 1 phase.
It hums and gets hot. Magic smoke might come out.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:14 AM   #8
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


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Magic smoke might come out.

Oh no! Ive seen magic smoke come out...your never going to put it back though!

Maybe I can....
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:05 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone. The two outlets are 220 that I'm referring to so connecting them in parallel can (if they are on the same panel legs) merely double the amperage capacity through the box and parallel circuits.

However I guess you are right that this may not just be a three phase plug. I didn't think of that and actually don't know what happens when a machine expects three phase but gets 1 phase.

Why wouldn't the single phase going through rectifiers just send 30 percent less power per cycle? If this is right, then it works...'ya think'?
Without the 3rd phase, 3p motors can't get started. Once a 3p motor is up to speed it will run kind of ok without 3 phase.

Jamie
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:25 PM   #10
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


You have another option see if you can rent a gas (propane) powered fork lift.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:23 PM   #11
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


Well, as one very focused individual stated "you have a 50:50 chance". How true. Do you know that while 220 plugs have one bayonet vertical and one horizontal and being a trusting person I would expect that someone would wire one 220V panel leg to the horizontal and the other to the vertical? Not the best expectation. An interesting noise but no Majic Smoke...perhaps it finally backed up into the wires!!!! ...for a peaceful existential existance.

Punchline...I think I fried a leg of the local recepacle...however I think everything would have worked right if I...wired it wrong...since the electrician obviously did.

The sound was like

So all the guys who assumed it would happen ( )

Tomorrow I'm going to team up a set of generators. I'll keep you posted.

still powerless but a REAL TEXAS trucker unloaded a 600 pound package for me today without a forklift...it was awsome and something you don't see on TV. This is perhaps the strongest and most clever trucker in the south west ...they call him 'one hung low'.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:01 AM   #12
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Dead electric forklift emergency kit


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Originally Posted by powerless View Post
Well, as one very focused individual stated "you have a 50:50 chance". How true. Do you know that while 220 plugs have one bayonet vertical and one horizontal and being a trusting person I would expect that someone would wire one 220V panel leg to the horizontal and the other to the vertical? Not the best expectation. An interesting noise but no Majic Smoke...perhaps it finally backed up into the wires!!!! ...for a peaceful existential existance.

Punchline...I think I fried a leg of the local recepacle...however I think everything would have worked right if I...wired it wrong...since the electrician obviously did.

The sound was like

So all the guys who assumed it would happen ( )

Tomorrow I'm going to team up a set of generators. I'll keep you posted.

still powerless but a REAL TEXAS trucker unloaded a 600 pound package for me today without a forklift...it was awsome and something you don't see on TV. This is perhaps the strongest and most clever trucker in the south west ...they call him 'one hung low'.
as a semi driver id say it falls into get that s/h/i/t off my truck so i can get paid catergory

Last edited by kennzz05; 11-19-2008 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:40 AM   #13
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Tomorrow I'm going to team up a set of generators. I'll keep you posted.

.
I'm surprised no one told you how horrible this idea is. If you are going to try to generate 3 phase power from three single phase generators, it's not going to happen without a synchronization controller.

If you just need more amps single phase, when you hook them together you are going to slam them into sync which won't be healthy for them, but will probably work. Will cause a massive spike of amps if they are out of phase when you do this. Watch for welding.

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