RESOLVED. What's it called: 240V wall mounted plug (male)

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
8,002
I have a shed that I sometimes want power to it. I can get an extension cord with the 3 prong twist lock female receptacle. 20 amps (12 gauge) 55 feet run from the breaker box to the shed.

I'm trying to find the male end that gets mounted inside a box. The part that mates to the 3 prong female receptacle. In order to search it - I need to know what it's called so I can find it. Can find bunches of female 3 prong twist locks but haven't found any male yet. I know some are left twist some are right twist. I need the extension cable before I can finally select the right mate.

Inside the shed is going to be a pony box with a couple 15 amp breakers; one for lighting and maybe two for electrical outlets. Nothing power hungry. 15 amp circuits will work.

So what's it called so I can google it.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,580
I believe you want something like this. I just call them a box mount 240 VAC male connector in this case. Since you mention 240 VAC I would be looking at 4 pole only to stay in code. Lowes, Home Depot and any electrical supply house should have them. The link is only for illustrating what I believe you want, I know you only want 20 amp service. Anyway check your local home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot.

Ron
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,303
I have a shed that I sometimes want power to it. I can get an extension cord with the 3 prong twist lock female receptacle. 20 amps (12 gauge) 55 feet run from the breaker box to the shed.

I'm trying to find the male end that gets mounted inside a box. The part that mates to the 3 prong female receptacle. In order to search it - I need to know what it's called so I can find it. Can find bunches of female 3 prong twist locks but haven't found any male yet. I know some are left twist some are right twist. I need the extension cable before I can finally select the right mate.

Inside the shed is going to be a pony box with a couple 15 amp breakers; one for lighting and maybe two for electrical outlets. Nothing power hungry. 15 amp circuits will work.

So what's it called so I can google it.
Not sure what it's called (possibly something like a power-input receptacle??) but what you are looking for is commonly used with a portable generator to supply power to trailers or small outbuildings (pretty much exactly what you are doing), so check anyplace that deals with such generators (at least beyond the little standalone units with built-in receptacles). A call to an RV dealer might get you a name and a source. Your local hardware store might also know (and have them).
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
8,002
thank you. That's just about it. And yes, four pin for ground would be advisable. But at the point where the plug will be mounted will be a ground rod. There will also be a ground rod (there IS a ground rod) by the electrical box, so running the extra ground wire seems a bit redundant. But yes, good advice. Again, thank you.
Not sure what it's called (possibly something like a power-input receptacle??) but what you are looking for is commonly used with a portable generator to supply power to trailers or small outbuildings.
Good advice. Thank you too. There's a Grainger not far from here. They're likely to have what I want and need.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,580
That will do just fine. :) I should have thought of Grainger as during my career Grainger and McMaster Carr Supply were my main go to guys. :)

Ron
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,466
I believe you want something like this. I just call them a box mount 240 VAC male connector in this case. Since you mention 240 VAC I would be looking at 4 pole only to stay in code. Lowes, Home Depot and any electrical supply house should have them. The link is only for illustrating what I believe you want, I know you only want 20 amp service. Anyway check your local home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot.

Ron
The selection of 240 volt connectors at my local Home Depot, when I tried to purchase a 20 amp set, was VERY disappointing. In fact, it was LOUSY. They may have been suffering a bad month, though. 30 amp and 50 amp were available, and expensive, but not 20 amp.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
8,002
The selection of 240 volt connectors at my local Home Depot, when I tried to purchase a 20 amp set, was VERY disappointing. In fact, it was LOUSY. They may have been suffering a bad month, though. 30 amp and 50 amp were available, and expensive, but not 20 amp.
20 amps is going to be the service. Even useing a higher capacity plug and receptacle wouldn't be a problem. MY big problem is convincing my neighbor how to go about his project. I've helped him from the time he built the shed till now. When we put up the first wall I explained how we were going to do it. But he's the kind of guy who wants to eat an elephant all in one bite. After setting up marks and measurements he still stopped and recalculated everything several times before blindly taking it in faith that I knew what I was doing. His project is straight forward. 20 amp service to the shop. 30 would be better but he's too cheap to spring for a cord that can carry 30 amps 65 feet. So I'm limited to 20 amps. And the plug outside the shop needs to be weather proof. Only when he's running the shop does he need to plug the shop into the service. Inside the shop he wants to build everything with 15 amp plugs and wires. Even though I've recommended to him several times that he wants 20 amps for his work bench at a minimum he still thinks he can get away with 15. I've assured him we can build it the way he wants but I think in the future if he wants to run just two machines at the same time, say - a table saw AND a shop vac' he's going to find 15 amps to be insufficient. I KNOW! I tried to run a DeWalt surface planer and a DeWalt shop vac' at the same time on a 15 amp breaker. It was more load than the breaker could handle. I used 15 amp because I had one laying around even though I already had 12 gauge wiring in place. I bit the bullet and bought a 20 amp double breaker AND split the plug into two phases (both on the same leg, no 240 capability, just isolated circuits. Could have done it with a double 15 but the wiring was already there for 20). Since setting up the outlet for the shop vac' and the planer I've not had a breaker pop on me. I'm trying to keep him from the same mistake.

He can run 15 amp (14 gauge) for regular outlets and shop lighting and 20 amp for four outlets on his work bench. But again, he wants to move an entire mountain with just one shovel full. That's the way he thinks. It took us two weeks to build his shed where it should have been done in just two or three days. It was a kit. But in his mind he was building the next next generation space shuttle. Precision down to the micro-milimeter. In a few weeks I'll have time for him. By then hopefully he hasn't run ahead of me and bought a bunch of stuff he can't use.

The purpose of this thread was to learn what that outlet was called so I could search for one. I've found the one I think he should use. Maybe I can use his brain freeze to my advantage and keep him from running out and buying a bunch of stuff. The main three things are a weather protected plug, the right wiring for the job and understanding the reason for a safety grounding at the shed (ground rod). Code may require two rods six feet apart but I don't think more than one will be necessary as the main panel is properly (professionally) grounded. The ground at the shed would just be a redundancy. One I hope he doesn't tear apart with his weed whacker.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,466
NowI am wondering about a power plug for a shed power inlet. That does not seem reasonable, unless the shed is portable. Otherwise wires protected in conduit, either run underground or attached to yhe outside of building walls, and entering via proper fittings, to an inside junction box, possibly with a main disconnect, will be in order. Power entering by means of a connector is generally limited to travel trailers and some military packages defined as portable because they have lifting handles.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
8,002
There's right, then there's his way. Yes, the shed does not move. Running a cable underground is work. He doesn't like work. He'd rather run the cable through the branches of the tree. I won't allow him to do that. One branch falls and there could be some trouble. It's better if he has a cable coiled up on the side of the house that he can plug in when he wants power out there. Otherwise it's running 14 gauge extension cords from the carport to the apple tree to the pavilion to the shed. Then from there it's octopus' plugs for lighting and to power equipment. When it comes to this guy - he's extremely mechanically inclined. There isn't a darn thing he can't screw up. My suggesting running 12 awg with 20A outlets for the work bench and 14 awg for regular 15A plugs, lights and a porch light is almost like pulling his teeth. MY motto is "Good, Fast, Cheap! Which two do you want?" His motto is "Cheap, Cheap, Cheap (and inadvertently dangerous). At least if I can get him to plug the shed into a cable he doesn't have to run underground cables or through the trees. I have to pick my battles with him.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
8,002
And a pony box in the shed so he can turn a couple lines off. 20A for the bench and 15A for his wife's fan when she's under the pavilion.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,303
NowI am wondering about a power plug for a shed power inlet. That does not seem reasonable, unless the shed is portable. Otherwise wires protected in conduit, either run underground or attached to yhe outside of building walls, and entering via proper fittings, to an inside junction box, possibly with a main disconnect, will be in order. Power entering by means of a connector is generally limited to travel trailers and some military packages defined as portable because they have lifting handles.
I've seen a few sheds that were set up with exterior power inlets. In most (all?) cases it was simply a matter of convenience. They needed to be able to power things in the shed occasionally, the shed was too distant from mains power to justify running power too it, so they would bring a portable generator and plug it into the power entry point. In one case it was a small hunting cabin that they had built and they had a truck-mounted generator that they used in their business, so they would just park the truck in a car port next to the cabin, plug in the genny, and fire it up. The guy got the idea from someone he used to work with up in Alaska that did contract work over a large area. Over time, he built several small shops in remote areas with equipment that was hard to move and then, over the course of the year, would spend a month or two in each place. He lived in a nice RV and towed a trailer-mounted generator and air compressor that he would connect to the shop to provide power and air.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
8,002
NowI am wondering about a power plug for a shed power inlet.
It's definitely not a permanent arrangement. This way he's not running electrical power through trees. When he wants to cut the grass all he has to do is unplug and coil the cable. When he wants to work in the shed he can run the cord out and plug it in.

HOWEVER, knowing him the way I do - he's likely going to see if he can cut the grass with the mower without picking up the cable. Doing that can be a powerful and fast teacher not to be lazy. Saw him try to cut the grass without picking up the hose. GEEZ that was funny. Ripped the hose right off the bib and coiled the hose inside the mower. Imagine if it had electrical power.

Some people go through life with tunnel vision and never stop to think if their endeavor might be a bad idea. At least if I get involved he's less likely to hurt himself. But give him enough rope and time and we'll be having a memorial for him. I gotta protect him from himself.

So I started this thread asking what that connector is called so I could search it and find one that will be easy for him to use and understand. Debating the merits of feasibility or practicality is kind of a moot point. If I leave him alone it WILL end in disaster. He certainly won't hire someone, so - - - .

If it were me I'd bury the cable at code depth and I'd document very well where the cable runs so that in the future someone else won't get an unpleasant surprise. I, myself, have had plenty of surprises because of something someone else had done.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,466
Thanks for giving me a chuckle about the hose. Years ago I bought an electric more at a cheap rice at a yard sale. The price was so good I asked about the extension cord availability. The response was "You don't want it." It had been cut and repaired quite a few times, and then cut once more. I had to agree that I did not want it. I have worn out four electric mowers and never cut a cord even once. The secret is to always pay attention to what one is doing.
 
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