I spend way too much time on RV forums, particularly RV.net and have begun to notice a subject which brings out opinions in a lot of folks on the forum is electricity, and I am wondering why that is! Electricity has been around for longer than most if not all of us have been alive. We use it every day, in so many ways, we can’t begin to describe them. There are large sections of libraries devoted to books on electricity. Many schools teach courses on electricity and if you do a search on the internet you can find a huge selection of websites that will tell you just about anything you want or need to know about electricity. Ok, so why are there so many varying opinions and so much misguided information circulating about how electricity works, and how we should properly use electricity?
I suspect part of the problem may be that we all, or at least most of us, believe we know “something” about electricity, and want to share that knowledge with others. The danger of this is that a lot of misinformation, some of it dangerous is passed around, oft times presented as true and correct. A rookie, or newbie may read this information and accept it as accurate, and use this information with potentially dangerous consequences.
What got me started on this rant was a recent thread on RV.net about running an RV air conditioner on a 20 amp residential outlet, a very doable procedure. In the content of this thread one poster referenced a website as “gospel”, and quoted from that website, in part, as follows:
“Let’s say for example you plug into a 15 Amp outlet and you are using a small appliance that is drawing 5 Amps, that leaves you with 10 Amps.”
Unfortunately this is a gross simplification, and in fact it is technically inaccurate. However, unless a reader of the post, or viewer of the referenced website understands how 20 amp circuit breakers work, they may act on this information to their detriment.
In the next few posts, we will discuss some of the things we should consider when we look at safely loading an electrical circuit. By being aware of these points we can all be safer when using electricity in our homes, rolling or stationary