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Wiring an older ice castle


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My dad is looking to get rid of his ice castle and I will probably buy it.  It's only a 4-hole and the lights and furnace just connect to a car battery kept inside the house.  I'm wondering if anyone knows if it would be a lot of work to get it wired up so I could run everything off my generator?  I'd like to have one standard electrical plug-in inside to charge cell phones or run a TV or whatever.  I'm assuming this wouldn't be major task for a professional, but maybe I'm underestimating how much work is involved? (I know I could always run an extension cord out the window or under the door, but I'd rather not).

 

 

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On 4/26/2021 at 1:46 PM, Getanet said:

My dad is looking to get rid of his ice castle and I will probably buy it.  It's only a 4-hole and the lights and furnace just connect to a car battery kept inside the house.  I'm wondering if anyone knows if it would be a lot of work to get it wired up so I could run everything off my generator?  I'd like to have one standard electrical plug-in inside to charge cell phones or run a TV or whatever.  I'm assuming this wouldn't be major task for a professional, but maybe I'm underestimating how much work is involved? (I know I could always run an extension cord out the window or under the door, but I'd rather not).

 

 

May be post this over on the FM Ice fishing side.  Seems like more folks banging around over there still.  Good luck!  👍

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I assume that the  battery currently sits under a bench or something now? If so, then this is a piece of cake. Buy a WFCO 35 amp converter. Then all you need to do is connect you existing 12VDC lights and furnace to the fused circuit, connect you battery, and mount a shoreline plug on the outside of the shack and connect it to the converter. From there you can hook up an additional 120VAC plug that will be operational while you are running your generator. When hooked up to a shoreline power source, the converter provides separate DC power while also charging your battery (built in 3-stage charger)

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Thanks RL_SD.  I didn't understand much of that, but it certainly gives me something to look into.  In terms of the battery, you are correct that the battery sits exposed under a shelf and we take it home to recharge each time we go fishing.  

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Here is what you will need....

 

https://www.amazon.com/WFCO-WF8712PB-WF-8712PB-Converter-Charger-12/dp/B004LF4R40/ref=asc_df_B004LF4R40/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312142020868&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17499474878855094264&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9020351&hvtargid=pla-569191245025&psc=1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-5278-CWP-Straight-Flanged-Receptacle/dp/B003ATXIBG/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&keywords=Shoreline+plug&qid=1619695446&sr=8-19

 

https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/electrical-tools-accessories/wiring-fasteners/gardner-bender-reg-1-2-plastic-staples/ps-1550t/p-1444431014891-c-6448.htm?tid=1534163351265321256&ipos=26

 

https://www.menards.com/main/paint/caulks-sealants/silicone-caulk/imperial-reg-flexible-waterproof-silicone-sealant-10-3-oz/kk0207ab/p-11060051207813798-c-7935.htm?tid=-5730658078985038425&ipos=9

 

https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-HM327BKS-Snap-Top-Automotive-Batteries/dp/B004W5SG6Y/ref=sr_1_3?crid=35BNGPBJP58RN&dchild=1&keywords=battery+box&qid=1619696199&s=automotive&sprefix=battery+box%2Cautomotive%2C216&sr=1-3

 

https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/electrical-boxes-covers/electrical-boxes/carlon-reg-2-gang-1-hole-weatherproof-electrical-outlet-box/e9802f-ctn/p-1444444971828-c-6425.htm?tid=-54616489257902991&ipos=20

 

Short run (~20 ft) of 14/2 household wire

 

For you application, I think that you can get by with the 12 amp charger vs. the 30 or 35 amp charger. The 12 amp is lower profile and will work better for you application. Since these are meant to be "cut in" you may need to make a simple framing box out of 2x4's.

 

I am not sure how long the wires are for you 12vdc circuits (lights/furnace/etc.) but that is going to dictate where your charger box is located unless you wanted to extend them. The instructions w/ the converter are pretty decent and walk you through the steps of hooking it up.

 

Once you know where your converter is going to be, the next step is going to be to provide it with 120vac from the outside... or "shoreline" power. This is accomplished by mounting a sealed outlet containing a male plug that lets you hook up an extension cord. I would start with drilling a small hole from the inside to the outside. Make sure that you are between two stud spaces and that there are no wires in the wall.  You will need to use a hole saw to cut through the outside siding, but can use the pilot hole as reference. This should only go through the siding. Take a 3/4" bit and drill out the inside ( I am assuming that you have paneling?) This should give you the access needed to mount the shoreline plug. String a piece of  14/2 household wire from the in side to the outside. Connect wire to the plug (white wire to silver screw, black wire to gold screw, ground wire to ground prong). Once you have the wire connected, you can mount the outside box. Make sure to silicon the backside of the shoreline plate before installing and then run a bead around the outside once mounted.

 

For you application, I would suggest bringing the wire into a 120vac two gang (4 plug ins) receptacle that is mounted on the floor and then going from there to the converter. This will remove the need to add any breakers.  If you have any buddies that have done some electrical work, it may be a good idea to call in a favor when hooking everything up. There will be a lot of wires going in and coming out with pigtails and wire nuts. It isn't hard, but can be intimidating. I can give you some pointers if you wish.

 

From that point on you should be able to follow the instructions on the converter. Depending on how many DC battery connections you have, you might want to consider using a terminal bar for you negative connections. If you only have a few though, it probably isn't necessary.

 

It really isn't that bad of a job once you get into it. I have included a battery box if you don't already have one. I would also suggest moving up to a deep cycle battery if you don't have one. It will last a lot longer with the constant discharge/recharge cycles. Once you get everything up and running you will be glad that you did!

 

 

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