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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 07-10-2011, 06:33 PM   #1
bbqbrad
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Default I'm ignorant.... electrical service question

I'm filling out a form for a comp. I don't have an RV, and the only electric I do is my guru, my ipod and my worklights.

Do I need 20 or 30 amp electrical?
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Unread 07-10-2011, 06:43 PM   #2
"Sparky"
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You'll need a 20 amp hook-up
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Unread 07-10-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbrad View Post
I'm filling out a form for a comp. I don't have an RV, and the only electric I do is my guru, my ipod and my worklights.

Do I need 20 or 30 amp electrical?
20 amp should be fine...30 amp is a different style of outlet and heavier wire... You can Google them to see the difference..

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Unread 07-10-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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20 amp will be plenty for what you are going to use, based on what you told us, as long as your work lights aren't over the top.

Look at the things you are going to plug in, and you should be able to find a sticker or tag that says how much they draw. Add them all up, and you will know for sure what your peak draw is, which is what you will need if everything you plug in is on at the same time.

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Unread 07-10-2011, 09:42 PM   #5
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Add up your watts, then divide by 120 volts, that will give you amperage. A 20 amp circuit shouldn't be loaded to more than 80% which is 16 amps or 1920 watts. Using longer cords or small gauge cords will further limit the amount of amperage available. 12 gauge cords are a pretty good rule if you want to run alot of things. Using CFL's instead of halogen lighting is a good idea.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 11:28 AM   #6
CBQ
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20 amps? 30 amps?

Must be a contest in the south. In the northeast, if we use more than a few hundred watts we pop the breakers. We get 2-4 teams sharing a 15 amp circuit (1650 watts @ 110v) at most events. (Hudson Valley, Cape Cod, and Troy being the exceptions - thank you organizers!)

Your guru and your ipod are going to use under 2 amps. 20 amps is more than enough for what you are doing.

By comparison, home circuits are generally 15 amps. A refrigerator, microwave, or small air conditioner will draw 10-13 amps, which is why those kinds of appliances are best used on a circuit by themselves. It's also why most comps in the northeast tell you that you can't use a refrigerator.

30 amps is generally for motorhomes, which tend to require either 30 or 50 amp feeds if they are using an electric refrigerator or AC.

Gerrit_Boys is also right about the cords. The longer the extension cord, the more power you lose over the length of the run. If you have a 100 foot cord, get at least a twelve gauge cord. (The smaller the number, the LARGER the cord is. Smaller numbers are better for long runs. If you are using over 12 amps, get a 10 gauge cord. An fridge or AC unit running on a 12 gauge 100 foot cord will cause the cord to overheat.)
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Unread 07-12-2011, 06:10 AM   #7
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Pick an outlet in your house, unplug everything from it, then plug everything that you will use at the comp into it. If the breaker doesn't blow then you can more than likely get away with a 20 amp breaker.

Sounds like 20 amps will do it. I routinely run my travel trailer (with A/C) from a 20 amp breaker.

Russ
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Unread 07-12-2011, 08:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBQ View Post
20 amps? 30 amps?

Must be a contest in the south. In the northeast, if we use more than a few hundred watts we pop the breakers. We get 2-4 teams sharing a 15 amp circuit (1650 watts @ 110v) at most events. (Hudson Valley, Cape Cod, and Troy being the exceptions - thank you organizers!)
I remember an organizer telling me electric is included, but I need to get it from one of my neighbors that paid extra for it. When I asked why they would give me something for free they had to pay for, I was told "I must be new".

I don't go back to that contest anymore but I do miss the pumpkin cannon!
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Unread 07-12-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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Here in Tx we dont hardly ever get electricity supplied by promoters....and when you do its hit or miss...if its gonna work and carry the load.....so I just carry a generator everywhere I go....
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Unread 07-12-2011, 09:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rksylves View Post
Pick an outlet in your house, unplug everything from it, then plug everything that you will use at the comp into it. If the breaker doesn't blow then you can more than likely get away with a 20 amp breaker.

Sounds like 20 amps will do it. I routinely run my travel trailer (with A/C) from a 20 amp breaker.

Russ
How about that!!!!!!!!!!

A common sense answer from an electrical engineer

Thanks Russ.

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