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I need a 30a 120 circuit for new tools in my garage, or to reconfigure the tool motor for 220 and install that circuit. The feed from the meter comes directly into a 100a disconnect then via conduit into the garage floor and into the basement 30 feet away to the main box.

An electrician surveyed and said no prob but why not install the 50a 220 and the 30a 120 at the same time.

I found a complete already wired box with 50a breaker and 30 and 120, also w breakers, on Amazon. UL approved,etc.

But… the disconnect is just that, only has 2 lugs and a neutral buss. And since it dates to 1968 it is wired with #4 aluminum. I believe it is against code to simply wire my new box by doubling up my subpanel feed (copper) to the load side lugs, which have the aluminum leads into the house. Do I have to replace the whole disconnect with a new box and switch with extra lugs? Or what?

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  • Can you post photos of your existing disconnect and panels? Nov 25, 2023 at 18:39
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    Are you …sure… that thing is UL Listed? I don't mean in the product description on the sales page, I mean on the physical device itself. No one in America would build an RV panel that way with DIN rail breakers, but that's exactly how the Chinese would do it, and use these breakers too. Also if this is for EV charging, you need a top quality socket like Hubbell or you will get melting. Nov 26, 2023 at 1:19
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    If it's not UL listed, simply do not use it period. It's illegal, NEC 110.2, and the insurer will use that as a basis to reject a claim. And as a rule, never, ever, ever buy electrical gear mail order. Through cataclysmically stupid business decisions, Amazon has contaminated even their own in-house inventory. We're also seeing Home Depot shovel garbage via items listed as "Ship to Store" only, where they're acting like Amazon Marketplace. Nov 26, 2023 at 22:16
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    Note the wording: “Both receptacles and circuit breakers have UL certifications.” It doesn’t say that the unit is UL rated. Nov 26, 2023 at 22:16
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    @Pete Exactly. This is the standard ploy, tout the certifications it does have on a picayune level, instead of just saying "the product is UL Listed". But they will say that too and simply lie: it means nothing in a sales listing, only a UL stamp or sticker on the device itself counts. Nov 26, 2023 at 22:18

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RETURN THIS! DO NOT INSTALL IT!

Aside from a whole bunch of other issues (how should you connect a device like this; it is really a subpanel so it needs lots of space, unlike individual receptacles; do you have enough power available (Load Calculation) to power this properly; etc.) THIS IS JUNK.

Really. They very cleverly highlight individual components - the circuit breakers (which are not the usual type for this type of US usage, though possibly OK) and 2 out of 3 of the receptacles (why not the third?) as being UL listed. Presumably those components actually are UL listed, though I wouldn't even guarantee that. However, with a subpanel (which is what this actually is) the entire assembly must be UL or ETL listed. There are numerous things that could be wrong and you would have no idea:

  • Neutral and ground must be kept separate
  • Wires must be appropriate sizes (varies depending on receptacle, but for example they could throw in 12 AWG for everything and it would work for a while but not be safe and not pass UL or ETL listing)
  • Connections must be done in an approved manner

Lots of things that can be done wrong, and you would have no way to tell unless you tore the whole thing apart and examined it carefully and knew what to look for.

If you truly want to do this (again, it may or may not be the right solution for your particular needs, but hypothetically if you actually need a 50A 240V, a 30A 120V and a 20A 120V receptacle in one place), they are readily available from reputable sources with UL or ETL listing. The industry term is "RV Panel" because that is the common use, allowing connection of large RVs (50A 240V), small RVs (30A 120V) and everything else (20A 120V). For example, Home Depot has a GE for $249:

GE RV Panel

which has the same functionality as the box in the original post but:

  • Is from an established electrical equipment manufacturer (GE) with a one year warranty
  • Is UL Listed as an entire unit
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    I've seen them cheaper than that even. But no, not as low as the $100 you see on Amazon. But again if you're charging an EV, you do not want "cheap" in the socket department. The proper RV stands are at least capable (have the right diameter hole) for a quality Hubbell/Bryant socket. Nov 26, 2023 at 22:19
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    Well…I thought I’d get ahead of my electrician, who has been on vacation for the week. It’s what happens when you’re in a hurry without expertise. Thanks for the comments and the advice. Let’s see whether Amazon will take it back. As I’ve said to other people, an education costs…
    – RickD
    Nov 26, 2023 at 22:59

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