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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2014
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Mikenjackie Mikenjackie is offline
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Unhappy Shore power woes!

Came back from a weekend trip, plugged into shore power through an extension cord, as I have for about a year now...and the plug began to smoke! Now, I know that I'm not supposed to use an extension cord, but all I was using was the inverter to keep the batteries charged, in the past ammeters showed about 8amps on one leg while inverter was charging the batteries, 1 or 2 amps on the other. Anyway, figured it was time to do things properly, so went out & ran a new circuit & installed a 30A receptacle outside, like I've been meaning to do for months. I use my 50amp shore power cord & a dog bone, so I wouldn't have to run a 50 amp circuit. But when I flip the selector switch to 50Amps, it blows the breaker. If I switch the main Leg 1/Leg2 breaker in the bus off, it's OK, so I figure it's not the extension cord or selector switch. Measuring resistance on the 50A outlet, between either ground connector & the 2 "live" terminals I get about 10 ohms on one leg, but 1 ohm on the other.
I don't have a 30Amp extension cord to see if either of those work OK, & I don't have AC schematics for my coach, so I'm a bit stuck as to where to go from here. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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"Retirement Bird" 1997 43WB
"Silver Shadow"1988 PT-40 Concept Coach - Sold!
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2014
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Originally Posted by Mikenjackie View Post
Came back from a weekend trip, plugged into shore power through an extension cord, as I have for about a year now...and the plug began to smoke! Now, I know that I'm not supposed to use an extension cord, but all I was using was the inverter to keep the batteries charged, in the past ammeters showed about 8amps on one leg while inverter was charging the batteries, 1 or 2 amps on the other. Anyway, figured it was time to do things properly, so went out & ran a new circuit & installed a 30A receptacle outside, like I've been meaning to do for months. I use my 50amp shore power cord & a dog bone, so I wouldn't have to run a 50 amp circuit. But when I flip the selector switch to 50Amps, it blows the breaker. If I switch the main Leg 1/Leg2 breaker in the bus off, it's OK, so I figure it's not the extension cord or selector switch. Measuring resistance on the 50A outlet, between either ground connector & the 2 "live" terminals I get about 10 ohms on one leg, but 1 ohm on the other.
I don't have a 30Amp extension cord to see if either of those work OK, & I don't have AC schematics for my coach, so I'm a bit stuck as to where to go from here. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
[SIZE="4"]I'm guessing your new 30A is wired incorrectly[/SIZE
Neutral and hot are easy to mixup on 30A.
I am assuming you are wiring for 115 Volts - - - - - NOT 230 !!!!!!
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Last edited by KCSS; 09-29-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2014
Clueless Clueless is offline
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Maybe an air conditioner or heater or hot water heater is still turned on from when you last unplugged. You could turn off all the breakers in the coach and then turn them on one at a time to find a culprit.

Make sure your new 30 is wired correctly like KC said.
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2014
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Thanks for the replies. I'm concerned that when I measure between neutral or ground & Leg 1 on the 50A connector on the coach, I'm getting about 1ohm, while on Leg 2 it measures 10 ohms. This is while the coach is not connected to shore power, so my new 30A wiring isn't in the picture. And if the selector switch is set to anything other than 50Amps, I have open circuit between either leg and neutral. I haven't tried selecting generator & running it in case I blow something up!! Does anyone have AC schematics for the PT-40?
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385-477-9780, ibmfixer@msn.com
"Retirement Bird" 1997 43WB
"Silver Shadow"1988 PT-40 Concept Coach - Sold!
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCSS View Post
[SIZE="4"]I'm guessing your new 30A is wired incorrectly[/SIZE
Neutral and hot are easy to mixup on 30A.
I am assuming you are wiring for 115 Volts - - - - - NOT 230 !!!!!!
X2 A 30 Amp RV outlet is 120 V and unique to the RV industry. Black wire goes to the brass terminal, white to the silver and green to the green. Don't use a 240 V dryer outlet even if you feed it with 120 V.
.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2014
jwood jwood is offline
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You might try turning off a.c. units/heaters etc. that have big draws on system and use a 30 amp to 20 amp adapter and plug into house receptacle. If it trips house breaker you can look deeper into coach. If not look at 30 amp receptacle wiring as K.C. stated.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2014
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[QUOTE=G_man;271519]X2 A 30 Amp RV outlet is 120 V and unique to the RV industry. Black wire goes to the brass terminal, white to the silver and green to the green. Don't use a 240 V dryer outlet even if you feed it with 120 V.

Not unique to the RV industry We used lots of them in the sound reinforcement industry. For some time these plugs came as standard equipment on Crown power amplifiers. We had to supply and wire the female receptacles. I have seen plugs with matched blades (no brass & silver to differentiate between hot & neutral).
To make your life easy most anyplace that sells these connectors will have the wiring printed on the packaging. NOTE: WHEN LOOKING AT THE WIRING DIAGRAMS, CONFIRM IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE FRONT OR BACK SIDE OF THE CONNECTOR - AGAIN, VERY VERY EASY TO MIX UP

I do have a wiring drawing for these connectors but I cannot seem to attach it at this time. I will post it as soon as I can figure out how

I think I figured it out
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 30 AMP 115 VAC CONNECTOR WIRING.pdf (155.0 KB, 174 views)
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2014
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Maybe my 30A IS wired incorrectly (it certainly was before I started thinking about it!) First I wired it like a normal household plug...black & white to the 2 blade pins, ground to the round one; that blew the circuit breaker. Then I started thinking; I need hot on both the blades, because they go to the 2 blades on the 50A connector, & I'll need 115v on each, one for each leg, am I right? So I connected hot to both blades, neutral & green to ground (round connector). Still blows the breaker, but I noticed where I plug into the coach there are indicator LED's, & before I turned the selector switch to '50A' it shows one leg with correct polarity & the other leg reversed....puzzling. Should I be able to connect regular 2-wire-plus-ground household 115V to a 30A RV receptacle, then via a dog-bone to the 50A shore power cable? Thanks for the pdf file KC. I confirmed my hot wire from household supply went to the left blade connector (looking at the "prong" side of the male plug).
Guess I'll get a 30-20 & try plugging into household current, or a 30A shore power cable, and continue trying.
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Mike & Jackie Williams
Fruit Heights, UT
385-477-9780, ibmfixer@msn.com
"Retirement Bird" 1997 43WB
"Silver Shadow"1988 PT-40 Concept Coach - Sold!
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikenjackie View Post
Maybe my 30A IS wired incorrectly (it certainly was before I started thinking about it!) First I wired it like a normal household plug...black & white to the 2 blade pins, ground to the round one; that blew the circuit breaker. Then I started thinking; I need hot on both the blades, because they go to the 2 blades on the 50A connector, & I'll need 115v on each, one for each leg, am I right? So I connected hot to both blades, neutral & green to ground (round connector). Still blows the breaker, but I noticed where I plug into the coach there are indicator LED's, & before I turned the selector switch to '50A' it shows one leg with correct polarity & the other leg reversed....puzzling. Should I be able to connect regular 2-wire-plus-ground household 115V to a 30A RV receptacle, then via a dog-bone to the 50A shore power cable? Thanks for the pdf file KC. I confirmed my hot wire from household supply went to the left blade connector (looking at the "prong" side of the male plug).
Guess I'll get a 30-20 & try plugging into household current, or a 30A shore power cable, and continue trying.
STOP!!! Get professional help or a someone who knows the right way. If you continue guessing you will let some very expensive smoke out of the bird or worse, hurt yourself or someone else. There is no shame in not knowing, it is not as easy as it seems. I have damaged things on my coach as well due to not knowing the right way. We care about our WOG members and don't want to see anyone get hurt.
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2014
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Well, I tried a 30/20 plug & hooked up to household power (so none of my attempts involved!), which has been fine in the past. Leg 2 came online fine, but leg 1 didn't (at least leg 2 powers the inverter so I can keep the batteries charged). Then I ran the genset, everything works fine, both legs came online as normal. As the inverter runs off leg 2, & continually charges the batteries when they're low, & you need to be a contortionist to get to the breaker that isolates it, my thinking now is that maybe there's nothing wrong with the coach at all, & because the inverter's pulling almost 10A charging the battery bank, there's just not enough current left to activate the relay that kicks leg one on from the household supply. So I'm letting the inverter charge the batteries from the genset, then I'll try the 30/20 plug again later, and hold off from trying to mess with the power receptacle till I find out how it SHOULD be wired!
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"Retirement Bird" 1997 43WB
"Silver Shadow"1988 PT-40 Concept Coach - Sold!
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