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Old 09-02-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
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Circuit Breakers

Own Phaeton 36 QSH, does anyone carry extra breakers in case of emergency. If so what brand do they use?
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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Not sure why you'd want a spare circuit breaker? Not something that typically wears out unless in something like an industrial facility or campground where it get exposure to the elements or a lot of physical abuse.

If you have a standard kind of convertor panel with circuit breakers in it, you may find a brand and model of breaker marked inside the cover. Or take one out and take it to Home Depot or an RV shop or even electrical wholesale shop. Quite of there are several brands of breakers that are interchangeable in an RV panel.

For example, our panel has Square D breakers in it from the factory but I added a Siemens one for a built-in vacuum. I took a Square D one into Home Depot and the matched it up for me.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourleaf1 View Post
Own Phaeton 36 QSH, does anyone carry extra breakers in case of emergency. If so what brand do they use?
If extra breakers are required, you have a problem.

Breakers (both AC and DC) weaken each time they are tripped and after maybe 8-9 times, they have lost enough to no longer be adequate. If you do have a breaker that trips often, you need to research the cause.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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If extra breakers are required, you have a problem.
I agree, And the rest of the post was good too.

As breakers weaken you will get a "clue" that it is happening (more and more frequent tripping) and that's when you buy a replacement.. Not so much a spare as a repalcement.

Also a borderline breaker is often rather warm to the touch (Aroma of hot wiring type warm on the last one I came across.... The parks, thankfully, not mine)
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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I agree with the others, they're not that hard to find anywhere in the U.S. What rating were you planning to stock, 15 amp, 20, 30, 50? I hope you wouldn't put a 30 amp in place of 15! Unless you think one is ready to fail, I don't think stocking one of everything makes much sense, might as well have a second whole RV to use for spares.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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Purchased unit used, live in Louisians where heat/humidity peaks this time of year.
Went camping breakers on a/c kept tripping posted and other Phaeton owner advised same issue changed breakers fm 20 to 25 and took off circut w invertor after confirming with tiffin then generator kept tripping per your call. My call replace breaker on generator due to weakening, bottom line all seems to be working now
Just trying to build my emergency road kit
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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Also know better than going higher than factory recommendations without conferring w mfg or tiffin
Tks
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:07 PM   #8
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I don't think the brand really matters as long as you use good quality ones. On the Tiffin RV Network there was a discussion about changing out the circuit breakers due to the originals being weak.

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Old 09-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
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Breakers (both AC and DC) weaken each time they are tripped and after maybe 8-9 times, they have lost enough to no longer be adequate.
If you are talking about ordinary 120 volt AC circuit breakers, this isn't true. 120 volt residential style breakers are rated in terms of "operation" or "tripping" cycles. For residential breakers this would typically be 10,000 cycles. Not sure about the DC breaker but I highly doubt it's anything even remotely close to 8-9 cycles of operation before it's worn out. Is their any breaker manufacturer's data to support weakening after 8-9 times?

If it's the ordinary 120V breakers in question, space in a panel shouldn't be a problem because you can swap out a breaker for a tandem style that has two breakers combined in the space of one.

If the OP is talking about DC circuit breakers, am just curious as to exactly what they are.

But if a circuit breaker is tripping somewhere in hot weather and you and lots of others around you have A/C units running, then you very likely have a low voltage situation. As the voltage goes down, the AC will draw more current and eventually trip a breaker. Could either be the 20A A/C brkr. or a 30A one. Installing all new circuit breakers won't fix this. Do NOT install a 25A or higher breaker to try and prevent the A/A breaker from tripping. I would get a voltmeter and regularly check your voltage at different campgrounds and at peak power usage times. If voltage is the real problem, the only way to really overcome is by getting a Hughes or Franks autoformer. But these are heavy, somewhat bulky and expensive.

If you are experiencing low voltage in a cg, if it gets down to around 105 volts and less, you can cause serious damage to things, esp. the A/C unit. Sounds like you may really want to at the very least, get a voltmeter, and preferably a plug-in type. A SurgeGuard or EMS would be a good investment so it would automatically shut you down on low voltage. If you get down to 105V you should power down everything.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
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found out that in the "fix" recommended by Tiffin, they recommended upping the dual AC 20 A to 25 A which was ok'd by mfg. They also recommended getting AC off the Invertor circuit as this was too much when both AC and Invertor was working in tandem, when the service people preformed this they replaced original 30 amp invertor breaker with 25 A along with the 25 A AC
I am replacing with original 30 tomorrow and this should cure problem
tks for your responses
Have checked all voltage on shore and generator and all looks OK
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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If you are talking about ordinary 120 volt AC circuit breakers, this isn't true. 120 volt residential style breakers are rated in terms of "operation" or "tripping" cycles. For residential breakers this would typically be 10,000 cycles. Not sure about the DC breaker but I highly doubt it's anything even remotely close to 8-9 cycles of operation before it's worn out. Is their any breaker manufacturer's data to support weakening after 8-9 times?
I based my comment on info from 2 different sources. As for 12v breakers, I've had Lippert and HWH techies both tell me that after tripping 8-9 times, a breaker should be replaced. The problems we were dealing with were electric leveling jacks and electric slide-outs.

As for the 120v breakers, in the classes I took to become RVIA Certified the instructor explained that heat is what trips a breaker and the reason for it may be a challenge to find. He made it clear though that with each "trip" the lose a little bit. He cautioned the class to NEVER intentionally trip a 120v breaker by shorting a wire, etc.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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The bimetallic strips you are referring to are used in a lot of electrical devices like thermostats, stove cooktops, irons, overload protection in motors, flashing lamps and fluorescent lamps. They're made by fusing two dissimilar metals together that have different contraction and expansion rates. When the ambient temperature is too high or there is too much current flowing through it, the strip will bend and make or break a set of contacts. They're very simple and very durable. Sometimes a little coil is next to the bimetal element to heat it up like in a miniature circuit breaker.

Bimetal Strips

What can happen to shorten the life of a circuit breaker is too many open and close operations under high momentary current conditions such as in a motor application, but then you are supposed to use a proper switching device and not a breaker. Also, opening under short circuit conditions can damage a breaker. Contacts can become damaged from arcing and pitting.

I looked all over for something on breakers wearing out after only 8-9 operations but found nothing. In all the circuit breaker literature and articles I've read over the years, have never come across this.

Not entirely related to the original thread but this web page is a quite interesting read on failures with various brands of 120 volt household breakers and one RV breaker.
forensics.com/CircuitBreakers/CircuitBreakers.html"]http://www.electrical-
[URL="http://www.electrical-forensics.com/CircuitBreakers/CircuitBreakers.html[/URL]

Hope this helps and may be some interesting reading for some.
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