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Old 03-31-2013, 09:43 AM   #1
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


Hello, I'm new to this forum and I searched but didn't get an exact answer to my question so here goes.

I have a 6800/8000 watt generator that has 1 L14-30 plug and 2 20amp duplex receptacles. I know that the 4 prongs on the L14-30 are 120/neutral/120/ground and that gives me 240v @ 3400watts. I want to use this generator for my RV which I need 120v/30amps(3600watts) for. The adapters that I have found (L14-30 to 30amp RV) only come off of one of the 120v legs, another words 120/neutral/ground which only gives me 120v @ 3400 watts. If I make up my own adapter and tie the 2 120v legs together will that give me the full 6800watts @ 120v? Will it cause any "shorting" issues? I had an older Champion 3500/4000 generator that had a 120v/240v switch on it and I'm assuming that all the switch did internally was connect the 2 120v legs together in the 120v mode. to give full generator power, Basically that's what I would be doing with the adapter I want to make. Sorry for being long winded hope I didn't confuse ya.

Thanks.

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


Connecting the two 120 volt legs together will cause a direct short. This will wreck the generator.

The only way you could get 120 at full wattage would be to reconnect the stator inside the gen. Unless you know quite a bit about how generators are connected, I wouldn't recommend it.

I seriously doubt if the RV needs the full 3600 watts. More like 2000 if it has A/C. I would have no problem simply using the adapter you mentioned, you'll have plenty of power for an RV.

Be careful using the adapter and one of the 20 amp outlets. They are most likely on two different legs of the stator, and if you use the one that's on the same leg as the RV, you'll overload the stator. If you use the other one, it'll be ok.

Rob

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Old 03-31-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


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Originally Posted by Trainwreck68 View Post

I have a 6800/8000 watt generator that has 1 L14-30 plug and 2 20amp duplex receptacles. I know that the 4 prongs on the L14-30 are 120/neutral/120/ground and that gives me 240v @ 3400watts.
There is no such thing as "240v @ 3400watts".
Your 14-30 is giving your 12/240V with 6800 watts capacity. Or 28A@240V.
One leg of your genny is giving your 3400 watts.

An L14-30 to 120v travel trailer adapter will work just as you need.
Looking around I don't find one, but you can certainly make one.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


Micromind, Speedy,

Thanks for the reply. That's kinda what I thought but wasn't sure 100%. I've has several people tell me I should be able to combine the 2 legs but it didn't sound correct to me. I am a commercial HVAC tech by trade (27yrs) and don't I know an extensive amount electrical but I know enough from my own industry that it didn't sound quite right. Thanks again.

P.S. Speedy you can get an L5-30 to 120v RV plug at any RV supply store, but I'll probably make my own.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


Basically, your gen is two 3400 watt 120 volt units in one case. The two units are connected in series, so you have 6800 watts at 240 volts. But if the two hot legs of the L14-30 are connected together, it'd short out the 240.

If the gen had a full power switch, it simple changes the connection from series to parallel. In this case, you'd then have 120 volts at 6800 watts. That would be nearly 60 amps though, way too much for just about any receptacle.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


I'm just trying to say catch 1 leg of the 240 to 1 QO Square D breaker box and the other leg to another Square breaker box that gives you 120 volts to each one . Each breaker box would have 2 20 amp breakers in them that way you could get full output from the gen.

Last edited by Kpack; 04-01-2013 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Full wattage from L14-30/portable generator


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I hope I'm making sense
Nope. Not even a little.

Try some punctuation and capitalization.

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