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Old 10-09-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
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Ground fault knocks when engine block heater is switched on - Providence

I noticed a couple of days ago that I had a couple of outlets not working at the rear of my coach which is a 09 fleet wood Providence. I found that the ground fault receptacle was knocked. When I would try to reset it, it would just knock again. So I ASSUMED that my gfi was bad. I changed it out but I still had the same results. THEN I noticed that the switch to the engine block heater was NOT illuminated. Hmmmm, when I turned off the switch then the gfi would reset correctly. Turn the engine block heater on, then BAM!! The breaker would knock.

Now my question, is where do I find where the engine block heater connects to the switch. Would there be an outlet somewhere it may plug in or will it be wired direct somewhere? Looks like a 12/2 wire coming from the switch n the coach.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyMedic513 View Post
I noticed a couple of days ago that I had a couple of outlets not working at the rear of my coach which is a 09 fleet wood Providence. I found that the ground fault receptacle was knocked. When I would try to reset it, it would just knock again. So I ASSUMED that my gfi was bad. I changed it out but I still had the same results. THEN I noticed that the switch to the engine block heater was NOT illuminated. Hmmmm, when I turned off the switch then the gfi would reset correctly. Turn the engine block heater on, then BAM!! The breaker would knock.

Now my question, is where do I find where the engine block heater connects to the switch. Would there be an outlet somewhere it may plug in or will it be wired direct somewhere? Looks like a 12/2 wire coming from the switch n the coach.
Block heaters have a standard power cord running from the side of the engine to an outlet in the engine compartment.

I have seen many cords, at the heater end, melted. That may be your problem.

The cords are replaceable.
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Old 10-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #3
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Now my question, is where do I find where the engine block heater connects to the switch. Would there be an outlet somewhere it may plug in or will it be wired direct somewhere? Looks like a 12/2 wire coming from the switch n the coach.

Not sure where yours would plug-in, but on my older American Coach/Fleetwood the cord plugs into a receptacle in the electrical bay where your shore power cord is stored.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:01 AM   #4
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Ditto for my '04 Tradition - the outlet was in the power cord bay, which is adjacent to the engine.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:38 PM   #5
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Sounds like a bad block heater.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:21 PM   #6
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I have the same/similar problem on my 2005 Excursion. However, sometimes the block heater will work for a while before popping the GFI. Then another time it will pop the GFI as soon as the block heater is turned on, which is the current situation. I replaced the GFI but the problem still exists. I have not found the outlet where the block heater plugs in, but will check the electrical bay. Any further ideas are welcome!
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:36 PM   #7
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block heaters go bad just like the elements in your 120vac water heater.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:39 PM   #8
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The GFCI is doing it's job to protect you. If it failed to do so your entire coach would be electrified at 120v potential, including the exterior parts you can touch while standing on the ground. It's called a "hot skin condition". You or anyone entering or exiting the coach could be shocked, up to the point of cardiac defib or electrocution.


I can't tell you where to find the cord, outlet or block heater on your coach but those are the items that, if failed or failing, are what is tripping the GFCI.


Also - never heard the term "knock" refer to tripping a protection device. Can you share where this term comes from?
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:38 PM   #9
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"Also - never heard the term "knock" refer to tripping a protection device. Can you share where this term comes from? "

When my bedroom GFI trips, it makes a "knock" sound, like a knock on a door.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:51 AM   #10
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Knock/Trip

Ok, “Knock” may not be the technical term but in our neck of the woods when a person uses the term Knock in reference to a breaker it means that the breaker has tripped in which it has to be reset A GFI receptacle is a form of a breaker and it does trip/Knock and It has to be reset. This is done by pushing the little “Reset” button on the front of the receptacle. Knock and Trip are sometimes used interchangeably in this instance
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