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Old 09-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #1
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120 Volt Problem

I noticed my plug in type polarity checker shows HOT/Neutral Reversed when plugged into shore power at the campground and again when I plugged in at my house. That scared me.

I disconnected and turned on the genny. The meter shows O.K. No problem. Both lights are yellow. Then I plugged into shore power again, the meter showed the same Hot/Neutral Reversed lights. That is, one amber and one RED.

I checked all receptacles for opens, loose wires, and nothing wrong. I do notice my male 30 Amp connector is showing age (2002) because the blades feel loose. I opened the connection from the other end of the cord to the entrance of the MH junction box. All looks correct and tight.

Should I start by replacing the end male connector or replace the entire cord? Or, am I having some other gremlin to look for? Thank you.

Steve
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:48 PM   #2
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A reversed hot/neutral is definitely not good.

Since more than one shore power is reversed and the generator is OK, I would check the power cord connections at the transfer switch for proper polarity.

Here is the correct wiring and color code for 30 amp service.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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I don't know of any way that loose blades would cause a reversed polarty reading, but from what you describe there could be a possibilty that somewhere along the line in the past, someone could have replaced your 30 amp power cord, and possibly got the wires reversed.

If you have a voltage meter that can read 120V AC (or can borrow one) there is a way that you can tell for sure whether your wiring is reversed or not. If you look closely at a 120V AC recepticle, you will see that one of the "slots" (for lack of a better term) that the blades plug into is bigger than the other. When you put one probe on ground (the one on the bottom that is shaped like an upside down "U") you should read incoming line voltage at the smaller slot, and nothing (or a very low, nominal reading) on the larger one.

If you find these readings reversed, you have a potentially dangerous situation that you should have looked at by an electrician that is familiar with RV wiring.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Assuming your shore cord is the original (no replacement plug on the end), my guess is that the hot and neutral leads of your shore power cord have been reversed where they connect to the transfer switch. It would be all but impossible for the cord itself to fail in a way that swapped the hot and the neutral and did not cause a short.

But if the male plug on the shore cord has been replaced once, then somebody miswired it at that end. Just replace it and do it right.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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I will second the suggestion you check your shore power cord

IN this case. I would use a multimeter

This site links to all the diagrams you could possible need

nema plugs and socket wiring diagrams - Google Images

This is the 30 amp RV outlet

http://www.dasplace.net/RVWiring/DSC...0AmpSocket.jpg

And here is a standard wall outlet

http://www.leadsdirect.co.uk/images/...ng%20300px.gif

So the WIDE slot on the outlet is NEUTRAL

And as you look at the RV's plug with the round pin at the top the one on the LEFT is also neutral.. An ohmmeter between the two should show "Short" You will (of course) be UNPLUGGED when you do this (Since you are holding the plug in your hand)
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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easy way to further isolate ..

Here is an easy way to further isolate your problem ... buy a 30 amp male to 15 amp female adapter ... (Walmart or your local RV store)

Then plug your same polarity checker into the adaptor ... and then plug that adaptor into the pedestal ...

That will tell you whether the polarity is correct on the pedestal ...

I carry one of these and use it frequently .... particularly if there are any signs of recent activity around the pedestal ... or if I see an electricians truck on the premises ...
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Old 09-25-2009, 03:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
Here is an easy way to further isolate your problem ... buy a 30 amp male to 15 amp female adapter ... (Walmart or your local RV store)

Then plug your same polarity checker into the adaptor ... and then plug that adaptor into the pedestal ...

That will tell you whether the polarity is correct on the pedestal ...

I carry one of these and use it frequently .... particularly if there are any signs of recent activity around the pedestal ... or if I see an electricians truck on the premises ...
I would recommend the use of a Surge Guard or similar service entrance protection device. This will automatically check the pedestal before letting power into the coach as well as other benifits.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:30 AM   #8
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120 Volt Problem

Thank you all for your response. The thing that's odd about my Hot/Neutral Reversed condition is that nothing was changed or replaced. I went from a normal condition, to a Hot/Neutral situation for no reason. I always keep a plug in polarity checker in a receptacle that I can visually observe at all times. So I went from normal to the abnormal for no obvious reason. Nothing (as far as 120 volt electrical) was replaced or changed for the past two years of my ownership of this RV. Could this condition be tied to the Switch Box? If so, can anyone tell me how to go about trouble shooting the switch box. I have two of them in the trunk area. Thank you.
Steve
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:39 AM   #9
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Although I personally haven't run into this so I don't know if your particular circuit analyzer would give such an indication for this problem, but I wonder if you might not have developed a loose or floating neutral.

I would think that the circuit analyzer, upon detecting any voltage between neutral and ground (as would happen with a loose or floating neutral), might think that the neutral lead is "hot" and, thus, the hot and neutral leads are reversed.

(For clarification, I understand that the neutral and ground leads are bonded at/before the shore power pedestal.)

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:45 PM   #10
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This may have nothing to do with your problem but after Catrina I had to stay in someones back yard with a home wired 50 amp receptacle. They had forgotten to connect the neutral at the pole disconnect so I had two hots with no neutral for power and everything still worked.....for awhile. After 2 weeks my converter blew. The neutral return had been my trailer frame and the earth. Your neutral may not be good.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:21 PM   #11
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make sure your inverter isn't on.
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Old 09-26-2009, 04:06 AM   #12
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Steve, have you verified that you receptacle tester is good?
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rek View Post
This may have nothing to do with your problem but after Catrina I had to stay in someones back yard with a home wired 50 amp receptacle. They had forgotten to connect the neutral at the pole disconnect so I had two hots with no neutral for power and everything still worked.....for awhile. After 2 weeks my converter blew. The neutral return had been my trailer frame and the earth. Your neutral may not be good.

I had the same thign in my HOUSE of all places (Before I got the MH) the neutral on the drop from the pole went bad and as a result it was floating, the Ground return was via the safety ground (Water pipe back then... New ground rod and water pipe now) and what's worse the bypass cable on the plastic water pump.. the idiots at water & sewer left the screws loose so it was not a good ground

Thankfully a nice man from Detroit Edison with an insulate screwdriver tightened those down.. Then a few more nice men came out and replaced the drop
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