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Author Topic: Adapting 50A California plug to something household  (Read 5365 times)

Tracy Garner

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2018, 01:41:38 pm »

Can you adapt the 50amp California plug to something that is usually available in a regular household service?

The recording truck that I am about to buy includes 50amp service for the studio area with 2 isolated 20 amp circuits for audio and a 20 amp circuit for HVAC and lighting.

I'm going to get new service and a new meter installed at my house from the electric coop, and an electrician friend will wire in a disconnect and 50amp plug for me. But I'm looking for a way to power it when I take it somewhere else to record that isn't a production venue.

Is there any easy way to make it happen?

It comes with cabling with both the California plug and Camlocks.

Go to your local RV dealer and they will have what you are looking for. One company even has a kit combination of 50, 30, 20AMP plugs to convert from the CA 50.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2018, 03:17:58 pm »

I've got 300' of the 6/4 50 amp cable with the california plugs, there's 3 different 100' runs. I just need a 1 foot adapter cable.


...or maybe I should just buy one of the NEMA 14-50 connectors and put it on one end of my California cable.... Then again, I'd hate to lose a whole length of it just for one adapter...
The cable end female is marinco 6364crn. I would get one of those and put it on the end of a standard 50 amp molded nema plug + cable.

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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2018, 03:58:55 pm »

The cable end female is marinco 6364crn. I would get one of those and put it on the end of a standard 50 amp molded nema plug + cable.

Keep in mind that the molded cordsets sold for use on kitchen ranges typically aren't designed with flexibility or heavy use in mind. The manufacturers expect them to be plugged in once then left alone for the next 30 years behind the range.

Using SOOW and a Hubbell plug would likely yield better long-term results for your application.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2018, 04:13:36 pm »

Keep in mind that the molded cordsets sold for use on kitchen ranges typically aren't designed with flexibility or heavy use in mind. The manufacturers expect them to be plugged in once then left alone for the next 30 years behind the range.

Using SOOW and a Hubbell plug would likely yield better long-term results for your application.
For 5ft to an adapter, I don't see that as a problem. The major run is still SOOW, including any that is on the ground. The molded range plug is easily available locally, and reasonably cheap. Any damage and it is replaced.

If I really thought is was a problem, I would remove the extra connection from the system and put the nema plug on one end of the longer runs.

Most venues I seem to just drop straight from the plug to the spider box. Even with a Honda generator, I have generally been close enough that the extra distance wasn't needed. (A eu7500 directly behind a sl150 cannot be heard at all). Any larger generator and I am thinking tails to cams.

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Jay Barracato

Jay Barracato

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2018, 04:53:30 pm »

For 5ft to an adapter, I don't see that as a problem. The major run is still SOOW, including any that is on the ground. The molded range plug is easily available locally, and reasonably cheap. Any damage and it is replaced.

If I really thought is was a problem, I would remove the extra connection from the system and put the nema plug on one end of the longer runs.

Most venues I seem to just drop straight from the plug to the spider box. Even with a Honda generator, I have generally been close enough that the extra distance wasn't needed. (A eu7500 directly behind a sl150 cannot be heard at all). Any larger generator and I am thinking tails to cams.

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I believe to be totally nec compliant, you should add the 7715 and 7717 waterproof covers if the connection is on the ground (or exposed wet location).

What I can't remember or find online ( I am not where my paper copy of the nec is) is that there is a limit to the number of connectors a feeder can have. I think I remember it being 2 but I am not sure. Using one of them for a short adapter would limit your overall length.

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2018, 05:01:54 pm »

Jay, I think Jonathan is hinting that the molded 14-50 cordset isn't Listed for the use you propose.

I'd be inclined to build my own.

I believe to be totally nec compliant, you should add the 7715 and 7717 waterproof covers if the connection is on the ground (or exposed wet location).

What I can't remember or find online ( I am not where my paper copy of the nec is) is that there is a limit to the number of connectors a feeder can have. I think I remember it being 2 but I am not sure. Using one of them for a short adapter would limit your overall length.

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You're allowed 2 "interconnections" IIRC.  In a "tails and Cams" situation the lug-to-female CamLok is usually treated as 1 interconnection (at the Cams), so a 100' run that terminates at your distro would have 1 interconnection; add a 50' because you're on a half-house show and that's 2.  Obviously it's up to the local AHJ regarding treating the adapter as a "tail" or an interconnect but my guess is they'd not have an issue with it.  If this is being used at a private facility or residence I doubt there would be any inspection since it's plug and play.
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2018, 05:17:23 pm »

Jay, I think Jonathan is hinting that the molded 14-50 cordset isn't Listed for the use you propose.

I'd be inclined to build my own.

You're allowed 2 "interconnections" IIRC.  In a "tails and Cams" situation the lug-to-female CamLok is usually treated as 1 interconnection (at the Cams), so a 100' run that terminates at your distro would have 1 interconnection; add a 50' because you're on a half-house show and that's 2.  Obviously it's up to the local AHJ regarding treating the adapter as a "tail" or an interconnect but my guess is they'd not have an issue with it.  If this is being used at a private facility or residence I doubt there would be any inspection since it's plug and play.
I think you could argue that the 14-50 receptacle is not listed for that service either.

I think we are in that same ill defined region as using sj in non traffic areas. At some point it becomes easier to make everything SOOW so there is no doubt.

As I said, I would be more inclined for a longer run to swap a California for the nema on a long cable as I switch back and forth between generator and provided range plug (shore power).

But for a short run, I trust the typical range plug that is easy to inspect and replace more than I trust many of the Marine/rv kludge cables I see for sale.

A five foot length of sj that is not over current has to be safer than a 100 ft coil of so in a pile. At least that's what I go with until an ahj tells me different. (How many shows limited to a 50 amp range plug ever see an ahj? )

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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2018, 06:55:04 pm »

I bought a NEMA 14-50 plug to put on the end of one of my runs. I should be good to go. Just have to meter the power before I connect it.


All of my cable is 6/4 SOOW.
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Jeremy Young

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2018, 07:33:45 pm »

Not to derail this thread, but since Justice seems to have the answer he was seeking, can I ask a clarifying question? 

Firstly I've never needed more than my NEMA14-50 distro and I've never seen an AHJ at one of my gigs.

I have an adapter that's 1' long with a 50A cali connector on one end and a 14-50R on the other for one particular venue I find myself in frequently that just has a cali connector in the ballroom.  My main feeder is a 50' long 6/4 SOOW Carol cable with NEMA14-50R/14-50P at the ends.  Sometimes I need longer than 50' and borrow from another local guy when needed, but I had been considering picking up another 50' length with the same connections so I could simply connect the two when needed.  I don't love the idea of a connection somewhere halfway between the stage and the shore-power, but perhaps the 50a twistlock connectors would at least be low-profile enough that they would be less of a tripping hazard to deal with than a right-angle 14-50 plug and receptacle.

The comments above regarding two interconnections maximum makes me thing that I'd be treading in deep water if I went ahead with that plan.  Even without using the short cali adapter cable, I'd have two 50' 6/4 cables in series then my Peavey Distro plugged into the second one, giving me three connection points (receptacle, feeder coupler, peavey plug).  Feeder and coupler may not be the right terminology here but hopefully you guys are picking up what I'm putting down.

I suppose the better answer is a dedicated 100' cable for when I need something longer?  Has anything I've said thus far made anyone cringe?  Always looking for the safest most compliant way to get things done, but I also appreciate utilizing existing inventory as much as possible.  Thanks in advance.
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Tim Hite

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Re: Adapting 50A California plug to something household
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2018, 07:55:08 pm »

I didn't even realize there was such a thing as a 14-50 distro. I would be nervous about using non-locking connectors on any portable feeder cable, whether or not it was code compliant.

If it were me, I would have CS50 distro and feeder and an adapter from 14-50 to CS50. There are a several advantages to this

1) Difficult to have your feeder become unplugged due to locking connectors

2) Ability to pull power off a generator with CS50

3) Less trip and break hazard than with 14-50 right angle plugs

4) You can rent more feeder if you need to because this is what everyone carries

5) You can pull power from spider boxes if necessary

As for length, you can get 300' on CS50s using your two connections and 100' pieces of cable. You'll end up with about 12% voltage drop using 6/4.

I don't believe the starting and ending receptacles count as connection points.

Not to derail this thread, but since Justice seems to have the answer he was seeking, can I ask a clarifying question? 

Firstly I've never needed more than my NEMA14-50 distro and I've never seen an AHJ at one of my gigs.

I have an adapter that's 1' long with a 50A cali connector on one end and a 14-50R on the other for one particular venue I find myself in frequently that just has a cali connector in the ballroom.  My main feeder is a 50' long 6/4 SOOW Carol cable with NEMA14-50R/14-50P at the ends.  Sometimes I need longer than 50' and borrow from another local guy when needed, but I had been considering picking up another 50' length with the same connections so I could simply connect the two when needed.  I don't love the idea of a connection somewhere halfway between the stage and the shore-power, but perhaps the 50a twistlock connectors would at least be low-profile enough that they would be less of a tripping hazard to deal with than a right-angle 14-50 plug and receptacle.

The comments above regarding two interconnections maximum makes me thing that I'd be treading in deep water if I went ahead with that plan.  Even without using the short cali adapter cable, I'd have two 50' 6/4 cables in series then my Peavey Distro plugged into the second one, giving me three connection points (receptacle, feeder coupler, peavey plug).  Feeder and coupler may not be the right terminology here but hopefully you guys are picking up what I'm putting down.

I suppose the better answer is a dedicated 100' cable for when I need something longer?  Has anything I've said thus far made anyone cringe?  Always looking for the safest most compliant way to get things done, but I also appreciate utilizing existing inventory as much as possible.  Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 10:45:16 pm by Tim Hite »
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