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Old 03-01-2016, 06:29 PM   #1
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120 volt ac transfer switch

I have a 1998 Executive and have a re-occurring problem. On the road right now and trying to run a Honda EU 2000 to keep batteries up at night. It also runs a house type refer and a freezer in the pick up.

I had a problem with an older EU 2000 a time or two when the voltage was a bit high, I just added a long extension cord and everything worked fine. I now have a new EU 2000 and it has worked fine for several months. Last night we lost power at about 4 am. I figured we had run out of gas but found the gen set running this morning when I got up. It will no longer power the motor home. The ac voltage coming out of it is 128 volts. I may have lost my transfer switch but don't have any pole power to plug into until we get to a campground in two days to see if it's working.

My electrical book does not show the transfer switch but calls it a ESCO ES50. I know it is located in the water bay close to the invertor.

Is this device smart not allowing voltage to the unit if it's too high or too low? Once in a campground the ac was below 100 volts and I couldn't get power there either. Do I also possibly have another smart device located somewhere protecting me from low or high incoming ac voltage?


Everything works fine using the onboard Onan.

Honda thinks 128 volts is ok from what I can find on the net.

Thanks for any help here.
Larry
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:18 PM   #2
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Standard 120V AC is +/- 10% (108V to 132V)

EMS/Voltage protection devices are typically set to trip at:
102V LO and 132V HI

ESCO ES50 is just a 'transfer switch' ---power IN power out

I take it you are using the Honda via an extension cord/adapter to the shore power cord........cause you state Onan Gen provides power OK.
Then either bad extension cord/plugs, bad adapter or 'shore power side' (contacts/relays) of transfer switch are bad.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:09 PM   #3
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The ESCO ES 50 was/is available with optional surge/voltage protection. Its a small box on one side of the ATS and depending on how it's mounted you may not be able to see it, mine wasn't visible without looking thru some adjacent access doors or checking for additional wiring inside the ATS.
If you have it there should be some status lights on the outside of the box. I would go to the ESCO website for the trouble shooting guide.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:57 PM   #4
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We got into a park just before dark today. I plugged into pole power and I can't get it into the motor home, so the switch is out.

I'll go into it in the morning.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:01 AM   #5
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Have you tried tapping (ok, 'whacking') the transfer switch exterior? Sometimes the contacts inside stick and some 'persuasion' can get them to work. That should be a good indicator if the problem is the switch itself.

Then it's either time to get a newer/upgraded switch, or take it all apart and clean the contacts to get a little more life out of it. However, if it's the original, a new one is the better path.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:05 PM   #6
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It's the switch, the switch is in a very difficult place for a small person to service, impossible for a big guy like me. I'm able to see the switch, and got in there with meter leads to check input voltage and no output. The switch box also contains two circuit boards above the two switches. And below the switch box is a surge suppressor with a line one and line two light and a fault light. Line one and fault were lit. I had DW turn the pole breaker off and on while I watched it. Turning back on causes a big switch sound in about 15 seconds followed by a fault indication.

One very light tap with a hammer on the line one switch assembly caused the fault light to go out and we have power everywhere.

Now I gotta find that ESCO and it's not the ES50 that I've found with pictures. And I have to find a little guy to change it if I can get the parts.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:21 PM   #7
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That switch might be repairable by servicing or replacing the contact assemblies. That would require an almost complete disassembly including those two circuit boards that sit above the contacts and best accomplished with the entire unit removed. I would recommend just replacing the unit. If you call ESCO they may make you a decent deal on a suitable replacement, they did me. I switched over to the LPT version which has DC relays. Be advised that most replacement units will not have any surge or voltage protection built in, but there are more capable units you can add on.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:39 PM   #8
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It may be as simple as a loose connection on the output side of the transfer switch. Over time it can loosen if it was not tightened properly in the first place.
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