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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 03-24-2009
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sanibel sanibel is offline
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Default GFCI still tripping

Well, I've completely removed both my PowerWatch reverse polarity indicators to re-do them. Have the wires disconnected and capped off. Decided to check the coach with them removed and the GFCI still trips when I plug the 30 amp cord in. It trips when I plug it into either receptacle on the coach. (I do not own a 50.) Trips even though all the breakers are off including individual circuits, main breaker and the separate 30 amp disconnect breakers. If I switch the master shore power switch to off, gen or 50 amp it does not trip. It does trip if this switch is set at 30 amps. If I start with everything at off, then gradually flip switches it seems to barely hold, but if the switches are on and I plug in the cord, the GFCI trips, suggesting I am right at the trip point.

One possible problem area is the genset which has been replaced in the past, but does not ever seem to have been run prior to my getting the coach.

I am looking for advice on the proper troubleshooting technique for this problem.

John Churchill
1980 FC33
LARGE MARGE
Sanibel, FL
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John (and Robin) Churchill
Black Tongue Farm
Sanibel, FL

1979 FC33 Buddy Luce's bus (looking for a name)

LARGE MARGE - She left me for another man

Last edited by sanibel; 03-24-2009 at 09:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2009
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maustin maustin is offline
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Default

When I use an adapter to plug into a GFI outlet, for battery maintenance, the GFI will immediately trip. I have not looked into what the problem could be, but look forward from hearing if others also have this issue.
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M. Austin
Redmond, OR
EZ GOING
1982 FC33
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2009
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sanibel sanibel is offline
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Default Maybe this approach will work?

I did a little homework and read about the "hot skin test". One post there mentioned simply checking continuity between neutral and ground on the coach side of the shore power plug (with the power off of course). I've got only 2 Ohms of resistance, should be infinite. Leads me to think that I can do the same test at the panel, checking continuity between the neutral bus bar and ground. Pull one white at a time, and when I finally get an open circuit, there is the problem. I may leave them all disconnected as I proceed to allow for more than 1 bad circuit, checking again after reconnecting each. Does this procedure make sense?
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John (and Robin) Churchill
Black Tongue Farm
Sanibel, FL

1979 FC33 Buddy Luce's bus (looking for a name)

LARGE MARGE - She left me for another man
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2009
jwasnewski jwasnewski is offline
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I cannot tell you if you have a bus problem. I will tell you that I cannot plug my coach up to a GFCI circuit anywhere. It does not work and have tried it at different locations. I have my coach plugged into a 15a circuit here at home, have had for 2 years and had to change out the wall outlet to get it to work. I have no known electrical issues with my coach.
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Leroy Eckert
Dahlonega, GA

Former "Smoke N Mirrors" caretaker
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2009
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bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is offline
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Ditto to what Leroy said. Both my SOB coach and my BMC would trip the GFIs they were plugged into. If I have a problem they both have it and I was not aware of any electrical issues on either coach. Before I ran my NON GFI 50 amp service I swapped out the GFI and ran them on a straight 20 Amp line, no GFI, no issues. Never tried with a 50 GFI circuit.
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Brad Winter
Madera, California
1997, 37' BMC
1999, Jeep Cherokee, Toad
1970, VW Baja Bug, Alternate Toad
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2009
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innovative1 innovative1 is offline
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I have tried mine on a 50A GFI. Just like any other GFI, Bus gets within 3 feet of it, it trips. I have never seen a 50A GFI in a Campground. There might be a good reason for that. THe event I was at that had the 50A GFIs the electrictian said he had to change most of them out that day that RV's were connected to. He was kind enough to follow the RV comment with the Bird was the coolest thing there but "I guess it isn't really an RV is it?". That observation got him a tip.
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J. and Regina Virden
'90 SP-36
Marietta, GA
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2009
Clueless Clueless is offline
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Default GFCI

Could this tripping especially on 50 amp be because there is only one neutral and 2 hots? Maybe an electrician can help out here but I think each hot needs its own neutral to balance current and prevent tripping. When 2 hots (with different loading) share a neutral, the neutral can't balance the current with either hot wire. That's why you can't daisy chain outlets to one GFCI in your house when you use 3 conductor (red, black, white +ground) cable.
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David Styf
82 FC 33 SB SOLD
89 SP 36 Silver Edition
Valparaiso, In.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2009
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sanibel sanibel is offline
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Default Problem solved, I think

I think I have at least isolated my GFCI tripping problem. I discovered that I had continuity between the neutral and ground at the bus shorepower receptacle. I pulled the AC power panel cover and confirmed continuity there as well. I was lucky to have a couple of extra holes in the buss bars so I clamped my voltmeter leads in. Pulled white wires off the buss bar until I got an open circuit. Replaced the others and the circuit remains open. Button it up, and I've got good shorepower without tripping. Took about 5 minutes all told. Now I just need to hunt down the white/ground short on the affected circuit. That might be more time consuming.
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John (and Robin) Churchill
Black Tongue Farm
Sanibel, FL

1979 FC33 Buddy Luce's bus (looking for a name)

LARGE MARGE - She left me for another man
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2009
hturner 12
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Default finding a short

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel View Post
I think I have at least isolated my GFCI tripping problem. I discovered that I had continuity between the neutral and ground at the bus shorepower receptacle. I pulled the AC power panel cover and confirmed continuity there as well. I was lucky to have a couple of extra holes in the buss bars so I clamped my voltmeter leads in. Pulled white wires off the buss bar until I got an open circuit. Replaced the others and the circuit remains open. Button it up, and I've got good shorepower without tripping. Took about 5 minutes all told. Now I just need to hunt down the white/ground short on the affected circuit. That might be more time consuming.
John
I am not sure if this would work with AC. On DC (car) to find a short.
1. Find the fuse for the affected circuit

2. Replace fuse with a plain old turn signal flasher (works as a self repeating CB)

3 Put some type of signaling device in the system horn (not best choice if others are around) , headlamp, etc

4 Using a compass walk the path of wiring for that circuit the compass need will move back and forth, when it changes direction you found your short

To find a DC open on a car truck etc

1 tune radio to an AM station that has a good white noise static

2. jumper the suspect system to the radio antenna

3. using a TV remote press the get the light hold when the noise change that is you open
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