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To twistlock, or not to twistlock?

 
pollinator
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I have some 240V wiring to do. Clean slate, and trying to decide if everything gets 14-30 or L14-30(twistlock).

Anyone use these frequently and have strong opinions or info on longevity between the connector types?

TLDR:
This is split phase that will be fed from paired inverters located in my tinyhouse, and likely a generator as backup later. Maybe the property gets a grid connect someday, maybe not.

The loads will be a variety of things, at pretty solid distances from each other. Pumps in at least 3 locations, powertools in another, minisplit and ?? at the tinyhouse.

I'm intending to use sockets and plugs near these loads rather than hardwiring all the way, so that in the future it will be easy to, say, run a welder over by the pond instead of the pump. But, most will not be unplugged on any sort of regular basis. Maybe a couple in the shop will, but I'd rather provide dedicated outlets.

I don't have most of the gear yet, and what I do have has no plugs, so it is the perfect time make a choice and standardize.
 
master gardener
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Around here, every electrician has their own approach.   I can pretty well tell who wired the house but looking at the connecting approach.
 
pollinator
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On the farm, we greatly preferred twist lock on things that moved or were plugged/unplugged frequently.  On semi permanent stuff, regular plugs were cheaper.  

Buy the best quality you can afford, plugs and outlets are not a good place to scrimp.
 
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pick your connectors according to what is in the circuit as far as load by amps , l14-30 are good, very common connector for 30 amp load,
 
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D Nikolls wrote:
I'm intending to use sockets and plugs near these loads rather than hardwiring all the way, so that in the future it will be easy to, say, run a welder over by the pond instead of the pump.


I've got a question for you?  What inverter setup do you have, and have you already used it to power your welder?

I have a Schneider XW6848, which produces split-phase 120/240VAC.  The one thing I have never run on it though is my welder.  I've seen warnings on other sites that welders are extremely hard on off-grid welders, so I've only run mine off the generator.  What's your experience been?  What kind of current does your weld draw when its operating.

BTW, the only spots I've placed twistlocks are for the generator to inverter charger, and my wellpump, which are both 240V.  The rest of my cabin, and workshop are wired with standard grounded duplex outlets (sinks get GFCI).
 
gardener
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High D,

If it were me I would go twist lock the whole way.  A twist lock does not come accidentally unplugged, nor does it get a bad, partial connection, by becoming almost unplugged, something that has happened to me.

I have my house wired to be fed by my generator that feeds 30 amps into the home.  It is attached via twist lock which I love as I always run the generator outside which is almost the length of my cord.  While running on the generator, thanks to the twist lock, everything stays nice and solidly connected.

My 2 cents,

Eric
 
pollinator
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If running different voltages on the same property, it will be safer to use different connectors for each voltage. More troublesome and a bit more expensive but the safety option that works is the one that's in place and functions even when there is not a brain or awareness attached to either end... (!)

I got safety on my  mind today. Yesterday the plug on the end of a USB cable hooked to my PC contacted my old desk lamp and PRESTO!!! Flash/SIZZLE/BANG! Everybody survived, even the PC (but not the cable - melted...). The desk lamp dated from the '60's and had an unpolarized power plug and, apparently, the "neutral" side of the circuit was one way or another contacting the metal lamp body. Plug that lamp in one way and it's fine (well, sorta, because properly wired neutrals are at or close to ground) - flip the plug in the wall socket and plug it in the other way and the lamp body is "hot" with 120v line voltage. Luck of the draw and fine until somebody is grounded when they touch the "hot" lamp. I had live 120v sitting exposed on my disk waiting... The USB cable shorted the "hot" lamp to ground through the PC ground plane and tripped the 20amp house breaker. Might have been _me_ that tripped that breaker.

So those safety measures embedded in good wiring practice and any additional upgrades you think of might be worth the trouble. And mediocre wiring practice can really get you. That lamp may even have been legal when it was first sold. I dodged a bullet there.


Cheers,
Rufus
 
D Nikolls
pollinator
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Michael Qulek wrote:

D Nikolls wrote:
I'm intending to use sockets and plugs near these loads rather than hardwiring all the way, so that in the future it will be easy to, say, run a welder over by the pond instead of the pump.


I've got a question for you?  What inverter setup do you have, and have you already used it to power your welder?

I have a Schneider XW6848, which produces split-phase 120/240VAC.  The one thing I have never run on it though is my welder.  I've seen warnings on other sites that welders are extremely hard on off-grid welders, so I've only run mine off the generator.  What's your experience been?  What kind of current does your weld draw when its operating.

BTW, the only spots I've placed twistlocks are for the generator to inverter charger, and my wellpump, which are both 240V.  The rest of my cabin, and workshop are wired with standard grounded duplex outlets (sinks get GFCI).



I haven't even acquired a plug-in welder yet, so... time will tell!

I have a pair of Victron 24/3000 units that will sync up to output split phase 240V.

I ended up with non-twistlock dryer style plug/sockets, liking the 90-degree design. I intend to strap the cord to the wall or post supporting the outlet box so there should be no risk of anything coming loose.
 
D Nikolls
pollinator
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Rufus Laggren wrote:If running different voltages on the same property, it will be safer to use different connectors for each voltage. More troublesome and a bit more expensive but the safety option that works is the one that's in place and functions even when there is not a brain or awareness attached to either end... (!)

I got safety on my  mind today. Yesterday the plug on the end of a USB cable hooked to my PC contacted my old desk lamp and PRESTO!!! Flash/SIZZLE/BANG! Everybody survived, even the PC (but not the cable - melted...). The desk lamp dated from the '60's and had an unpolarized power plug and, apparently, the "neutral" side of the circuit was one way or another contacting the metal lamp body. Plug that lamp in one way and it's fine (well, sorta, because properly wired neutrals are at or close to ground) - flip the plug in the wall socket and plug it in the other way and the lamp body is "hot" with 120v line voltage. Luck of the draw and fine until somebody is grounded when they touch the "hot" lamp. I had live 120v sitting exposed on my disk waiting... The USB cable shorted the "hot" lamp to ground through the PC ground plane and tripped the 20amp house breaker. Might have been _me_ that tripped that breaker.

So those safety measures embedded in good wiring practice and any additional upgrades you think of might be worth the trouble. And mediocre wiring practice can really get you. That lamp may even have been legal when it was first sold. I dodged a bullet there.


Cheers,
Rufus




Yiiikes! Glad you're alright!

I will definitely have safety on my mind.. I can't spare the time of money to replace a building or a body!

Long ago the old outbuildings on my farm were wired for power, which was fed via a pole and a long run of wire from the back porch of the old farmhouse. That house was subdivided off decades before my time, and the power feed is gone... but have the old wiring in the 3 out of 4 sheds/barns that were wired.

And wow. Sketchy as hell. Romex, some older stuff with paper insulation?, and extension cords, all stapled on top of studs and along unfinished ceilings where it has accumulated the sort of wear and tear and rat-nibbles that one would expect..  All has to go, if I ever run power as far as those buildings..



I am pretty set on using a single 240V plug style for simplicity, and because I am going with a 4-pin in all cases, I can get 120V from the same sockets if needed.



If I ever move on to 3-phase I will definitely keep things distinct!
 
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