How does a Marine / RV Y-Adapter work?

I only have 1 power pedestal available at my boat slip at the marina and it is a 50Amp Locking style, but I have to power 2 boats. I have seen a Y Adapter that splits the single 50Amp connection into 2 30Amp connector, but wondered if it was safe to use. How does a marine / RV Y adapter work? Are they safe?

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Conntek-17220-30A-Marine-Y-Adapter-Plugged-in-to-boat-cord

Here is one of our Y Adapters plugged into a boat. Notice how there is space for two cords: One for the boat in the picture, and one for another.

If you have never seen a Y-adapter before, Here is a great 30A 125V example used for both marine or RV use ( Conntek 17220 ).

Most times people will attach extension cords to the two ends and run them to individual inlet systems like this 30A ( Conntek 80425-SQWT) & 50A Inlet ( Conntek 80855-SQWT).

They are wonderful for solving multiple power issues, because you can use them to power two boats / rv’s etc. off one power source.

We hope to teach you how they work and how much power you can run on a Y Adapter.

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How do they work?

Conntek-17A05-025RE-25ft-30A-Marine-Power-Cord-Pedestal-Marina

A marine shore power pedestal.

Let’s start with a 30A Y Adapter. Imagine that the cables you are using are actually STRAWS, and the shore power pedestal you are plugging into is a LAKE. The limit to what can be pulled from the lake are the circuit breakers protecting both ends.

Normally a 30A shore power pedestal will have a 30A breaker protecting each 30A outlet. This is also true to about your RV or boat. They both should have a main circuit breaker for each individual Inlet.These breakers limit the amount of amps your RV or boat can draw from the shore power pedestal.

A Y-Adapter allows you to pull power from the single outlet, and split it into 2. Because you split the power into TWO now, you have to remember that you cannot exceed the power source you are plugged into (30Amps in this case).

You can have many combinations of amps drawn all adding up to a total of 30 amps or less. 

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When using a Y Adapter from a 30A Power Source…

RV-Marine-y-adapter-amperage-table-for-inlets-when-connecting-cords-to-inlets

If either combination of boat / RV tries to draw more than 30 amps from the power source, the circuit breakers will trip. As shown in the chart.

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Using a Y Adapter when plugged into a 50A Power Source…

Conntek-30A-RV-Marine-y-adapter-amperage-table-for-inlets

If you try to draw more than 30Amps from either inlet, circuit breakers in the RV / boat will trip. If you try to draw more than 50 amps total between the two,  the dock breaker will  trip.

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What if the Y-Adapter has two different ends?

The same thing applies. You should never exceed the combined amps from the power source.

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Conntek LogoMarine Y Adapters & RV Y Adapters are available through us on Amazon or our other retailers. See more at: www.conntek.com – Contact us for a quote!

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Posted in FAQ, Marine, RV

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