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12 Volt connectors in house - Page 5

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Posted by Ken Finney on July 3, 2003, 3:19 pm

1.  How many alternative energy homes with 12 v circuits ALSO have 240 v
circuits?  In the "old days", there were a lot of 12 v only systems, then
with the improvement in inverters, many of these homes put in 120 v circuits
as well.  Did many of these homes put in 240 v circuits also?  I was under
the impression that most new alternative energy homes were all 120/240 with
no 12v, so this issue is moot.

2.  Does anyone know what the Code says in this situation:  If you have 240v
circuits, but they are all the big "dryer/over/welder" type, is it allowable
to use the standard size 240v receptacles for low voltage DC?

Posted by clare on July 3, 2003, 10:53 pm
On Wed, 2 Jul 2003 21:58:15 -0400, "Steve Spence"

Most houses have 30 and 50 amp 220 connectors - for stove and drier.
The "non-standard" 20 and 15 amp plugs, and twist-locks, would be code
compliant. There is no problem code-wize if a 220 volt device can be
connected to low voltage DC - only if low-voltage appliances can be
connected to 220. Most of the "non-standard" 220 connectors are only
used industrially or commercially.
That said, the UK standard 220 volt (10 amp?) connectors with the
switch on them (to keep the electricity from leaking????) make good DC
connectors in North America, as they are not "standard" for anything
here. Only problem is getting them. A switch helps prevent arcing when
connecting and disconnecting.

Posted by Bob Adkins on July 3, 2003, 11:17 am

I suspect there is, and always will be resistance to 240v style plugs
because they are large and expensive. I think you'll find that alternative
energy enthusiast's like small, neat, and cheap.

Don't shoot the messenger. I think 240v is perfect for low voltage, high
current applications.


Posted by Scott Willing on July 4, 2003, 12:12 am
 On Thu, 3 Jul 2003 15:13:36 GMT, "Ken Finney"

That's the one. Looks exactly like a standard 120V connector except
both current-carrying prongs are the same size (vs. the larger neutral
prong for 120V) and one is at right angles to the other.

There *are* lots of 240V connectors that are of the monster
stove/dryer variety, and there's always a little confusion with those
when this discussion arises.

The smaller 240V ones are nice from the standpoint that they aren't
overly expensive, and they do fit standard outlet boxes and cover
plates. I just installed a weatherproof outdoor outlet for my portable
12V pump, and it was nice not to have to futz around with customized
mounting for some offbeat connector.


Posted by CM on July 4, 2003, 3:37 am
Sounds like the 20 amp 120 volt plug to me. If you see a 20 amp 120
volt socket outlet, it can accept both standard 15 amp (flat prongs
parallel) and the 20 amp (one prong at right angles) plugs.

There are a wide variety of plugs and sockets available in a well
stocked hardware or building supply store. There may be something
there that would be suitable.


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