Question about Malibu Intermatic Inc. ML300RTW 300-Watt Power Pack with Timer and Ground S

20A circuit x 80% service factor =16amps continuous. 16amps x 120V = 1920 wats. Your total would be only 900 watts. I have assumed that since you have a 20A ground fault breaker that you have #12 ga copper conductors. If you had a considerable distance the 16 amps continuous would drop due to voltage drop and so the total wattage would also, but you're way below these levels.

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Hi - I'm an electrican and would like to help.

If the wire you're trying to install on a circuit breaker doesn't fit - then something is wrong. Typically, circuits are designed around the amount of voltage and current a product requires. The voltage determines the combination of material & thickness of the insulation on the wire and the the amount of current (in amps) determines the size of the conductor or wire. The appropriate circuit protection (fuse or circuit breaker) is selected to protect the circuit from trying to deliver more current than the product requires (in the case of a fault, etc.) which would cause the wire to over heat and potentially cause a fire. So, if the product requires (for simplicity) 120 volts and 20 amps, a wire is selected with the proper insulation for 120 volts or more and conductor sized to carry no less than 20 amps. Aluminum and copper is expensive, so providing larger sizes than needed is a waste of resources and money. A #12 copper wire is suitable for this amount of amps. A circuit breaker rated for 20 amps is chosen. A 20 amp circuit breaker must be able to accept a wire capable of 20 amps - other wise it's not really a 20 amp circuit breaker. Most circuit breakers are designed to accept LARGER wires than needed - because often times circuits will need a wire that is one or two sizes larger due to the length of the circuit (how far the product is from the electrical panel).

If you're seeing a circuit breaker that will not accept the wire, the circuit breaker is probably the wrong size (and if you could force the wire in it - it would probably trip instantly when turned on) or someone has made a very expensive blunder when chosing the wire type and size for the circuit.

If the the latter is the case, simply connect a short length of the correct size wire to the oversized wire in an appropriate connector and secure to the circuit breaker terminal screw. otherwise, have a qualified person evaluate the situation. Be smart. Be safe.

If the wire you're trying to install on a circuit breaker doesn't fit - then something is wrong. Typically, circuits are designed around the amount of voltage and current a product requires. The voltage determines the combination of material & thickness of the insulation on the wire and the the amount of current (in amps) determines the size of the conductor or wire. The appropriate circuit protection (fuse or circuit breaker) is selected to protect the circuit from trying to deliver more current than the product requires (in the case of a fault, etc.) which would cause the wire to over heat and potentially cause a fire. So, if the product requires (for simplicity) 120 volts and 20 amps, a wire is selected with the proper insulation for 120 volts or more and conductor sized to carry no less than 20 amps. Aluminum and copper is expensive, so providing larger sizes than needed is a waste of resources and money. A #12 copper wire is suitable for this amount of amps. A circuit breaker rated for 20 amps is chosen. A 20 amp circuit breaker must be able to accept a wire capable of 20 amps - other wise it's not really a 20 amp circuit breaker. Most circuit breakers are designed to accept LARGER wires than needed - because often times circuits will need a wire that is one or two sizes larger due to the length of the circuit (how far the product is from the electrical panel).

If you're seeing a circuit breaker that will not accept the wire, the circuit breaker is probably the wrong size (and if you could force the wire in it - it would probably trip instantly when turned on) or someone has made a very expensive blunder when chosing the wire type and size for the circuit.

If the the latter is the case, simply connect a short length of the correct size wire to the oversized wire in an appropriate connector and secure to the circuit breaker terminal screw. otherwise, have a qualified person evaluate the situation. Be smart. Be safe.

Feb 22, 2013 | Electric Circuit Breaker Kit for Furnace

Jan 2013

1) Yes. With 6 amps.

It is not purely code, but generally not dangerous.

Most household outlets and switches sold at home center are actually rated 15 amp, and should be on a 15 amp breaker. just don't overload.

http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html#heat

2) However if you are running close-to or higher amps than 15 amps, such as space heater (volts x amps = watts), then I would suggest installing 20 amp arc-fault breaker, and protect whole circuit.

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-GFCI.html#arc-fault

3) Add comment and say what you do.

1) Yes. With 6 amps.

It is not purely code, but generally not dangerous.

Most household outlets and switches sold at home center are actually rated 15 amp, and should be on a 15 amp breaker. just don't overload.

http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-household-electricity.html#heat

2) However if you are running close-to or higher amps than 15 amps, such as space heater (volts x amps = watts), then I would suggest installing 20 amp arc-fault breaker, and protect whole circuit.

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-GFCI.html#arc-fault

3) Add comment and say what you do.

Jan 22, 2013 | Malibu ML600TW - Low Voltage Power Pack -...

Hayward has manuals for each type heater, gas and electric.

http://www.hayward-pool.com/prd/In-Ground-Pool-Manuals_10201_10551_14502_-1___I.htm

Hayward also has contact page, and can probably recommend correct change-over product.

You want to switch from propane to heat-pump type.

There are likely 3 areas of difference. Read each manual and generally look for 1) unit size and capability to match spa 2) pipe connections and sizes 3) Electrical requirement

From electrical standpoint, You need GFCI-protected line from circuit breaker box, or GFCI (arc-fault) breaker. This will prevent electrocution risk around spa.

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-GFCI.html

Wire sizes are based on volts and watt-rating of heater.

Each electrical device has rating plate showing volts and watts.

3500 watts divided by 240 volts = 14.5 amps so install double-pole 20 amp breaker and use 12 gauge wire.

1500 watts divided by 120 volts = 12.5 amps so install sinle-pole 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire.

http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

http://www.hayward-pool.com/prd/In-Ground-Pool-Manuals_10201_10551_14502_-1___I.htm

Hayward also has contact page, and can probably recommend correct change-over product.

You want to switch from propane to heat-pump type.

There are likely 3 areas of difference. Read each manual and generally look for 1) unit size and capability to match spa 2) pipe connections and sizes 3) Electrical requirement

From electrical standpoint, You need GFCI-protected line from circuit breaker box, or GFCI (arc-fault) breaker. This will prevent electrocution risk around spa.

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-GFCI.html

Wire sizes are based on volts and watt-rating of heater.

Each electrical device has rating plate showing volts and watts.

3500 watts divided by 240 volts = 14.5 amps so install double-pole 20 amp breaker and use 12 gauge wire.

1500 watts divided by 120 volts = 12.5 amps so install sinle-pole 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire.

http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html

Oct 28, 2012 | Raypak Spapak Electric Spa Heater -...

A 20 Amp breaker will support 2400 Watts with a 120 Volt line.

120 Volts times 20 Amps (Amperes) = 2400 Watts.

Answer? 24 100Watt light bulbs.

HOWEVER, you should always allow 1 cushion of 100 Watts.

That would be 23 100Watt light bulbs.

(Wait until you add electric motors to the equation. Things start getting a little more complicated)

(I always use 20 amp breakers for lighting. 15 amp breakers for lighting is phased out.

Secondly a 20 amp breaker requires using 12-2 or 12-3 wiring. (12/2, 12/3)

SO does the receptacles.

Therefore 12 gauge wiring is used throughout the house, until you come to the heavier loads )

[ 12/2 = 2 insulated conductors, and one bare copper ground wire.

12/3 = 3 insulated conductors, and one bare copper ground wire.

Remember, with 12/2 the Black wire is ALWAYS the Hot wire. White is Common (Neutral). Bare copper is Ground wire.

12/3 has 3 conducting wires.

One Black, one Red, and one White for the Common. (Neutral) Bare copper is Ground.

Used for 3-way switches ]

For additional questions please post in a Comment.

Regards,

joecoolvette

120 Volts times 20 Amps (Amperes) = 2400 Watts.

Answer? 24 100Watt light bulbs.

HOWEVER, you should always allow 1 cushion of 100 Watts.

That would be 23 100Watt light bulbs.

(Wait until you add electric motors to the equation. Things start getting a little more complicated)

(I always use 20 amp breakers for lighting. 15 amp breakers for lighting is phased out.

Secondly a 20 amp breaker requires using 12-2 or 12-3 wiring. (12/2, 12/3)

SO does the receptacles.

Therefore 12 gauge wiring is used throughout the house, until you come to the heavier loads )

[ 12/2 = 2 insulated conductors, and one bare copper ground wire.

12/3 = 3 insulated conductors, and one bare copper ground wire.

Remember, with 12/2 the Black wire is ALWAYS the Hot wire. White is Common (Neutral). Bare copper is Ground wire.

12/3 has 3 conducting wires.

One Black, one Red, and one White for the Common. (Neutral) Bare copper is Ground.

Used for 3-way switches ]

For additional questions please post in a Comment.

Regards,

joecoolvette

Oct 30, 2011 | Hammering

Hello, First figure out what the load per leg is on your generator. Are you
using the 240 Volts because this is two 120 AC volts legs and they are 120
degrees out of phase with each other.

You will need to figure what the power factor is for each phase on this generator. To figure the power/wattage by using ohm's law. Voltage times Current will give you Watts. Example: If the generator is generator 240 volts the maximum current available is about 23 amps. The maximum current for 120 volts will 46 amps. Therefore, the maximum current per 120 volt circuit is 23 amps for one circuit and 23 amps for the second 120 circuit..

I would try replacing the circuit breaker with the same amperage breaker. Also, watch what the generator load is per circuit. You can install current meter for each circuit. This will give a good indication of which circuit is pulling more load than the other circuit. GB...stewbison

You will need to figure what the power factor is for each phase on this generator. To figure the power/wattage by using ohm's law. Voltage times Current will give you Watts. Example: If the generator is generator 240 volts the maximum current available is about 23 amps. The maximum current for 120 volts will 46 amps. Therefore, the maximum current per 120 volt circuit is 23 amps for one circuit and 23 amps for the second 120 circuit..

I would try replacing the circuit breaker with the same amperage breaker. Also, watch what the generator load is per circuit. You can install current meter for each circuit. This will give a good indication of which circuit is pulling more load than the other circuit. GB...stewbison

Sep 06, 2011 | Briggs & Stratton Power Products 5,550...

If I understand correctly, you have a Malibu power pack and can not manually turn lights on-off but timer is humming so the timer has power.

1) That eliminates electric circuit as suspect.

2) Try to spark a wire across terminals and see timer has power on terminals.

3) Check that your bulbs are good, because they can all burn out in a hurry if a couple of them suddenly go bad.

4) I have not found repairs and parts for power packs.

After hours of reading manuals, searching Malibu, Intermatic, ebay etc I found nothing.

There are folks who write fixya how they took apart their power pack, but nobody reported fixing a power pack once it goes bad.

5) Best I found are tips for next power pack that might save money:

The reason I add these tips now, is some fella wrote-in to fixya.

He bought 500 Watt power pack to replace 300 Watt > thinking bigger was better.

Power pack burned out. Here's why:

a) Match wattage of bulbs with wattage of power pack

-15 each X 20 watt bulbs = 300 watts, so install 300Watt power pack

b) Installing a 500W power pack on 300W of bulbs will burn out bulbs and power pack.

c) Replace bulbs as soon as they burn out or other bulbs will burn out and power pack will burn out.

d) When working on bulbs, unplug power pack or it may burn out.

http://www.malibulights.com/guides_support/low_voltage_planning_guide/select_your_power_pack

Add a comment for more free help.

Also take advantage of fixya phone service.

For a price, expert speaks with you over phone while you work on timer or any do-it-yourself project.

Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

1) That eliminates electric circuit as suspect.

2) Try to spark a wire across terminals and see timer has power on terminals.

3) Check that your bulbs are good, because they can all burn out in a hurry if a couple of them suddenly go bad.

4) I have not found repairs and parts for power packs.

After hours of reading manuals, searching Malibu, Intermatic, ebay etc I found nothing.

There are folks who write fixya how they took apart their power pack, but nobody reported fixing a power pack once it goes bad.

5) Best I found are tips for next power pack that might save money:

The reason I add these tips now, is some fella wrote-in to fixya.

He bought 500 Watt power pack to replace 300 Watt > thinking bigger was better.

Power pack burned out. Here's why:

a) Match wattage of bulbs with wattage of power pack

-15 each X 20 watt bulbs = 300 watts, so install 300Watt power pack

b) Installing a 500W power pack on 300W of bulbs will burn out bulbs and power pack.

c) Replace bulbs as soon as they burn out or other bulbs will burn out and power pack will burn out.

d) When working on bulbs, unplug power pack or it may burn out.

http://www.malibulights.com/guides_support/low_voltage_planning_guide/select_your_power_pack

Add a comment for more free help.

Also take advantage of fixya phone service.

For a price, expert speaks with you over phone while you work on timer or any do-it-yourself project.

Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Jan 07, 2011 | Malibu ML600TW - Low Voltage Power Pack -...

There is no fuse

There are no replacement parts for Malibu power packs

Malibulights.com has no troubleshooting steps

Here's what I learned:

Power packs are made to last many years 'in ordinary conditions' >> but they do give out.

Malibu power packs stop working and have to be replaced, they can't be fixed.

Power packs frequently stop working when people disconnect all the lights to work on the system, but they leave the power pack plugged in.

Power packs make a humming sound when ON.

Check electricity to unit to see if power pack has electricity.

Check your GFCIs in bathroom and kitchen.

Plug hair dryer into same receptacle to see if there is power.

Lights have to be replaced as soon as they burn out.

With burned out lights, the power pack will overpower and burn out other lights.

Evidently the power pack with no lights can also burn itself out.

When buying a new power pack, match bulb wattage with power pack wattage.

10 - 20 watt bulbs = 200Watt power pack.

15 - 20 watt bulbs = 300Watt power pack.

There are no replacement parts for Malibu power packs

Malibulights.com has no troubleshooting steps

Here's what I learned:

Power packs are made to last many years 'in ordinary conditions' >> but they do give out.

Malibu power packs stop working and have to be replaced, they can't be fixed.

Power packs frequently stop working when people disconnect all the lights to work on the system, but they leave the power pack plugged in.

Power packs make a humming sound when ON.

Check electricity to unit to see if power pack has electricity.

Check your GFCIs in bathroom and kitchen.

Plug hair dryer into same receptacle to see if there is power.

Lights have to be replaced as soon as they burn out.

With burned out lights, the power pack will overpower and burn out other lights.

Evidently the power pack with no lights can also burn itself out.

When buying a new power pack, match bulb wattage with power pack wattage.

10 - 20 watt bulbs = 200Watt power pack.

15 - 20 watt bulbs = 300Watt power pack.

Oct 22, 2010 | Malibu ML600TW - Low Voltage Power Pack -...

I've done a lot of reading and research on Malibu

No replacement parts for Power pack, or schematic >> Malibulights.com shows replacement lights and replacement power packs

Manual for Malibu 600 Watt power pack

SAVE the pins off old power pack and see if they match pins on new power pack ... because you can't find pins on the internet

When the power pack goes bad or you lose the pins, then you buy another power pack

Things to remember:

Match number of lights to power pack wattage

30 - 20 Watt bulbs => 30 x 20 = 600 Watt power pack

Replace bulbs as soon as they burn out, or other bulbs will burn out quickly, and I think it causes power pack to burn out sooner too.

Up-vote if this helped. Thanks for the feedback.

No replacement parts for Power pack, or schematic >> Malibulights.com shows replacement lights and replacement power packs

Manual for Malibu 600 Watt power pack

SAVE the pins off old power pack and see if they match pins on new power pack ... because you can't find pins on the internet

When the power pack goes bad or you lose the pins, then you buy another power pack

Things to remember:

Match number of lights to power pack wattage

30 - 20 Watt bulbs => 30 x 20 = 600 Watt power pack

Replace bulbs as soon as they burn out, or other bulbs will burn out quickly, and I think it causes power pack to burn out sooner too.

Up-vote if this helped. Thanks for the feedback.

Oct 13, 2010 | Malibu Intermatic Inc. ML121RT Low...

If you want to get more precise, figure out everything in terms of power (watts).

Basic electrical rule 1, 2 and 3:

voltage x current = power

or re-arranged:

current = power divided by voltage

or re-arranged:

voltage = power divided by current

For example, 12V X 2 amps = 24 watts.

or another example, 400 watts divided by 120 Volts = 3.33 amps

A 55W headlight that uses 12V would draw 55 /12 = 4.6 amps @ 12V

A 55 watt light bulb in a lamp at home would draw 55 / 120 = 0.46 amps @ 120V

As the previous post mentioned, inverters are not perfect when convertering 12V into 120V. If the converter consumes 1000W from the 12V battery, then a 90% effecient converter would generate 900W of 120V AC power best case. The other 100W is lost primarily as heat.

The other thing that gets tricky is that these ratings and the formula above are used for resistive loads, like light bulbs or hair dryers. Anything with a motor or transformer is considered an inductive load and can get much more tricky to calculate.

Consequently you need to give your self a safety margin when figuring out how big an inverter you need.

How does work in a practical sense?

Lets say you want an inverter for TV, DVD and Sat. Receiver. Look at the back of TV or in the manual. It should say how many watts it consumes. Lets say it is 400W. The DVD might be 100W and the Sat. receiver 50W - just as an example.

400 + 100 + 50 = 550 Watts. (just as an example)

You might think, well no problem, I'll use a 600 Watt inverter and have 50 watts left over. Depending on your inverter, that 600W might really be 600 x 90% effecient = 540 Watts of AC, less a 20% margin of error for the inductive transformers in the electronic of the TV, DVD and Sat. receiver 540 - 20% = 432 Watts.

Now you can see your 600 Watt inverter isn't big enough to do the job.

If we really need 550 watts of AC, add 10% to make up the effiency loss, then add a safety margin for inductive loads.

550 + 10% = 605 + 20% = 726 Watts.

Sounds more like an 800W inverter fits the job.

What does that mean in terms of wiring the 12V batteries to the inverter?

from the formula above:

current = power divided by voltage

In our example, we have an 800W inverter that runs on 12V

The current would thererfore be:

current = power divided by voltage

current = 800 watts divided by 12V

current = 66 amps.

That is important info because you can not use light gauge wire to carry 66 amps worth of 12V to the inverter nor could you use a 20A fuse to protect your inverter.

Now that's a lot of science for a guy who just wants to run a toaster on an inverter right?

800W / 120V = 6.66 amps

Using garryp's ratio 11:1, 6.66 x 11 = 73 amps.

That is a good ratio with a good safety margin.

This is all just MHO and should not taken as solid technical advise. In other words, don't blame me if you blow yourself up.

Basic electrical rule 1, 2 and 3:

voltage x current = power

or re-arranged:

current = power divided by voltage

or re-arranged:

voltage = power divided by current

For example, 12V X 2 amps = 24 watts.

or another example, 400 watts divided by 120 Volts = 3.33 amps

A 55W headlight that uses 12V would draw 55 /12 = 4.6 amps @ 12V

A 55 watt light bulb in a lamp at home would draw 55 / 120 = 0.46 amps @ 120V

As the previous post mentioned, inverters are not perfect when convertering 12V into 120V. If the converter consumes 1000W from the 12V battery, then a 90% effecient converter would generate 900W of 120V AC power best case. The other 100W is lost primarily as heat.

The other thing that gets tricky is that these ratings and the formula above are used for resistive loads, like light bulbs or hair dryers. Anything with a motor or transformer is considered an inductive load and can get much more tricky to calculate.

Consequently you need to give your self a safety margin when figuring out how big an inverter you need.

How does work in a practical sense?

Lets say you want an inverter for TV, DVD and Sat. Receiver. Look at the back of TV or in the manual. It should say how many watts it consumes. Lets say it is 400W. The DVD might be 100W and the Sat. receiver 50W - just as an example.

400 + 100 + 50 = 550 Watts. (just as an example)

You might think, well no problem, I'll use a 600 Watt inverter and have 50 watts left over. Depending on your inverter, that 600W might really be 600 x 90% effecient = 540 Watts of AC, less a 20% margin of error for the inductive transformers in the electronic of the TV, DVD and Sat. receiver 540 - 20% = 432 Watts.

Now you can see your 600 Watt inverter isn't big enough to do the job.

If we really need 550 watts of AC, add 10% to make up the effiency loss, then add a safety margin for inductive loads.

550 + 10% = 605 + 20% = 726 Watts.

Sounds more like an 800W inverter fits the job.

What does that mean in terms of wiring the 12V batteries to the inverter?

from the formula above:

current = power divided by voltage

In our example, we have an 800W inverter that runs on 12V

The current would thererfore be:

current = power divided by voltage

current = 800 watts divided by 12V

current = 66 amps.

That is important info because you can not use light gauge wire to carry 66 amps worth of 12V to the inverter nor could you use a 20A fuse to protect your inverter.

Now that's a lot of science for a guy who just wants to run a toaster on an inverter right?

800W / 120V = 6.66 amps

Using garryp's ratio 11:1, 6.66 x 11 = 73 amps.

That is a good ratio with a good safety margin.

This is all just MHO and should not taken as solid technical advise. In other words, don't blame me if you blow yourself up.

Nov 26, 2008 | Coleman 5640B807 Compact Refrigerator

yes, you did a good job. Sounds like you paralled them. Which is right buuuut what size are these heaters. Add the wattage of all of the heaters and divide by 120 and that is how much current you will be using. On a 20 amp breaker you can only pull 16 amps safely. I think you will be way over unless the heaters are 600 watts each. You are allowed 1800 watts on a 20 amp circuit.

Nov 06, 2008 | Fahrenheat Electric Convector Baseboard...

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