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Old 12-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
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Microwave plug

Can the microwave plug be used for anything else? It says for microwave only.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:52 PM   #2
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I believe it is 20 amp circuit and yes it can be used like a regular outlet. I belive what the sign means that the microwave may pull 20 amps and if you have something else plugged in the extra outlet it may blow the circuit. But if the microwave is not in use you should be ok. Some trailers only have single microwave outlets for that reason, Escape gives you that extra outlet, which we all know are needed in our little homes.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:59 AM   #3
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We picked up our 15B last week. During our thorough walkthrough with Dave, he opened the cabinet where folks keep their microwave and pointed out the "Microwave Only" label and mentioned that the label was required by code but that the outlet could be used for anything.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:30 AM   #4
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By code, outlets are not allowed in cabinetry at all. The basic reason is that people could plug anything in, including things with shoddy cords, and when other stuff is stored their too, on and around these cords, it creates a fire hazard. It is okay to use a plug in a cabinet for microwave though, as it is assumed that this will be the only thing plugged in to it, and the cord supplied with the microwave is adequate in size as it has to meet CSA approval.

This said, if you are careful, there really is no reason to not use it. This space is our pantry, and would actually be an awkward place to have something plugged in anyway.

We often have customers wanting us to install an appliance garage when we build them a new kitchen, and want us to put a plug inside the garage. We are not allowed by code to do this, and when the inspector comes around and sees one, immediately checks for a plug inside.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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X2 what Jim said. I'll also add that it is a 20 amp breaker, so that if your appliance (or whatever you are plugging in) is rated at 15 Amps, then you also run the (slight) risk of a meltdown in the event of a short.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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Because we went with the larger fridge, the cabinet is too small to fit a microwave. The outlet would have been eliminated in order to meet ministry of transport regulations but I told Reace I had to have the outlet as I was using the cabinet for my blu-Ray player. After some discussion and checking into other RV appliances, he went ahead and installed the outlet. We decided that the outlet was required for my RV pizza oven - if anyone asked.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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Where there is a will, there is a way, I doubt that you would or will find that type of cooperation with anyone else who manufactures a product today. Everyone is concerned with compliance and too busy to find a work around it. Glad it worked out.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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I was wondering if the 20 amp breaker can be swapped out for a 15 amp.
My trailer is in storage so I'm not able to check at this time.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:49 AM   #9
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why would you want that? The wiring and outlet has been upgraded to handle the heavier circuit, why put a smaller breaker? It can always be used as a 15 amp circuit with 20 amp capacity, similar to you home with 200 amp capacity broken down into smaller 15/20/40 amp circuits.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
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Jim is right, though there is no issue with swapping out a 20A breaker for a 15, there is no safety reason to do it. If an entire circuit is designed for 20A (12 gauge wire, and a 20A rated plug), you can safely use whatever appliance you would like rated up the that amperage, which translates to just over 2,000 Watts.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:40 AM   #11
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Yes you can switch it out for a 15A breaker. The reason would be so that if you are going to be using regular small appliances that are rated for 15A, then they shouldn't fry if you get a surge through the line, the breaker will pop (that's the theory anyway).
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #12
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Another reason to have a surge protection EMS installed to protect your entire trailer not just one circuit breaker, if you get a surge there then your other circuits will have certainly be damaged also. Here is a good one Progressive EMS HW 30C 120v 30 Amp Surge Protector Hardwired
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #13
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Putting in a 15A breaker would have no effect or protection from voltage surges on the line. The appliance draws what it needs, regardless of the amperage rating of the circuit. In fact, the majority of appliances draw way less than 15A anyway. Any surge in voltage will have whatever effect it will, regardless of breaker size.

A surge protector is about the only way to protect from voltage surges. It does have to be rated for the size of the service, which in the case of an Escape trailer is 30A, so the one Jim listed will work just fine.

Voltage regulation on the grid is actually very good, with the biggest surge problems happening in remote areas, well away from a substation. This is why you will see Potential (voltage) Transformers on a distribution line far away from a substation, that aid in keeping the voltage at an acceptable level. Damage can happen just as much from a large drop in voltage, as with an increase. It used to be that most systems delivered to a service at 110V, but now use 120V.

All kitchen counter plugs are all 20A plugs by code, in any new work done. They do have to be GFI protected.

BTW, I worked for many years as a Power Systems Electrician, building and maintaining Electrical Substations. That was a ways back now, but I sitll remember a couple things.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I believe it is 20 amp circuit and yes it can be used like a regular outlet. I belive what the sign means that the microwave may pull 20 amps and if you have something else plugged in the extra outlet it may blow the circuit. But if the microwave is not in use you should be ok. Some trailers only have single microwave outlets for that reason, Escape gives you that extra outlet, which we all know are needed in our little homes.
Jim,

I think that you will find that the microwave in the Escape is powered by a 15 amp circuit and is not on it's own circuit like a home would be. My 5.0 microwave circuit also powers the fridge, outside plug and dinette plug.

Also, I believe you will find that the microwave plug will have the "tabs" broken on the receptacle itself therefore the unused part of the duplex receptacle would have no power going to it. I know this was the case in my 2005 17B; I haven't checked my 5.0 as the microwave is permanently installed above the fridge and the plug is not accessible.

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Old 12-23-2012, 06:47 PM   #15
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Not to argue, but I have already removed the permanently installed microwave and plugged another item into the other outlet and it is alive. I used it to power a weather station and my microwave is plugged in the other outlet. I then reinstalled the microwave, there are 8 screws that hold it in the cabinet. There is also a lot of "wasted space" behind the microwave, maybe 9 deep and 24x12 in size. I have thought of pushing the microwave back and utilizing the space via another cabinet door in the front, allowing the unit to vent in the rear to the refer compartment. That is another mod later on, but the outlet is a true duplex. The microwave is a separate line on a 20 amp circuit breaker in my unit also.
Perhaps the 5.0 is wired differently?
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #16
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Jim

Interesting!

I'm not looking for an argument either!! Obviously the micro plug is now a duplex receptacle but the one I had in the 2005 17B was not, as I had to change it to use it and that's when I noticed that the tabs had been removed.

My 5.0 was built in April this year and the microwave is definitely on a 15 amp circuit. My fuse box has a 30 amp main breaker and four 15 amp circuits. One circuit runs the convertor, one runs the microwave, dinette plug and outside plug, one the runs the other four plugs in the trailer and the fourth I installed myself to run the built in electric heater (1250 watt draw). I'm wondering if Escape has to wire the trailers differently for the US market to comply with your codes.

What did surprise me was that there was other plugs on the microwave circuit and from what you are saying yours is not. I really wonder why yours is different as I would much prefer the microwave on a separate circuit as yours is. If one was using the microwave at the same time as a toaster on the dinette then the circuit would overload for sure.

Maybe someone with a Canadian trailer could chime in just to reassure me that mine has been wired the same as other Canadian trailers?

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Old 12-23-2012, 08:24 PM   #17
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I apologize Barry, I just went out and checked, It is a 15amp circuit, I was confusing it with the 20 amp a/c circuit of which I have one and the rest are all 15 amp circuits. But it is a live duplex, marked microwave use only. I was wrong when I said it was a 20 amp circuit. Perhaps on the units without a/c it is but on mine it is 15 amps.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:01 PM   #18
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Jim

No problem!!! A 20 amp dedicated circuit to the microwave seemed like a bit of overkill to me.

I traced what was on all my circuits so I knew what was on each, then when I plugged in the kettle and toaster I made sure that I used different circuits so I wouldn't blow a fuse. I still think it seems odd to lump the microwave with other circuits though as they probably draw around 1200 watts even though the output is around 700.

Hope you have a Happy Christmas and thanks for clearing that up for me!

Barry
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:48 PM   #19
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That's just it. I don't think the entire circuit is rated for 20A. But I will check when I get the trailer out of storage. I just thought a 15 is safer than a 20.
Nothing to over heat or melt down.
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