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Old 07-12-2015, 07:05 PM   #1
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Another "Hot skin" thread

Ok, first off let me say I have searched and found many threads on this subject. However I still can't seem to solve my problem.
1) Got a little jolt today in the driveway with the coach plugged into an outside outlet. (50 A plugged into a dog bone into a 120 adapter). Outlet showed some voltage to ground.
2) Connected to new outlet outlet with no current to ground. Replaced extension cord, 120 to 30A adapter and 30A to 50A adapter.
3) Measured voltage from basement door hinge to yard and got about 12 volts.
Anybody know what I should do next?
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
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Start at the main circuit breaker box. Turn all the breakers off including the main and check for voltage. Hopefully it should be zero at this point. Then start turning them on one at a time. Start with the main and check for volts after each one it turned on. This should at least help point you in the right direction looking for your problem. You might also have a problem in the 120 volt wiring before it gets to the circuit breaker box. If that's the case you will read volts when everything is turned off.
I had a similar problem on an older coach and found a screw driven through a 120 volt wire. You might have a wire nut that fell off inside a splice box somewhere. Maybe an outside 120 outlet full of water??
Good luck.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:10 AM   #3
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More testing today. When I test from the frame to the asphalt driveway no voltage. When I touch from the frame to grass/dirt voltage???? Also when plugged in and nothing on I have 14 volts showing on the display in the MH. When I switch the breaker for either AC the display light goes out.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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Ck all house battery grounds clean and hooked up
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Also when plugged in and nothing on I have 14 volts showing on the display in the MH.
On what display? If you have a monitor for shore power line voltage, it should read 120 (give or take) all the time, independent of anything being turned on. If it's a battery voltage monitor, it should read about 13.6v when plugged in. Also independent of whatever is turned on.

If you have voltage from the frame to earth ground, you have a short inside the RV somewhere. Some wire, either hot or a neutral, is touching the frame or a ground wire somewhere. However, you should not be getting shocks if the coach is plugged in because the ground wire in the shore cord should be handling it safely, transferring the stray voltage to the source ground system. So two separate problems seem likely.

Are you sure the ground pin in that outlet you are using is actually connected to system ground? You should be able to read about 120v between the hot and ground on that outlet if it is. If not, the outlet is not grounded and that's one part of the problem.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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More testing today. When I test from the frame to the asphalt driveway no voltage. When I touch from the frame to grass/dirt voltage???? Also when plugged in and nothing on I have 14 volts showing on the display in the MH. When I switch the breaker for either AC the display light goes out.
HoleInOne
That's because an asphalt driveway is not a good conductor of electricity.... (unless it's wet).
Grass/dirt IS.
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:01 PM   #7
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Ck all house battery grounds clean and hooked up
Yes. New batteries however they were very low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
On what display? If you have a monitor for shore power line voltage, it should read 120 (give or take) all the time, independent of anything being turned on. If it's a battery voltage monitor, it should read about 13.6v when plugged in. Also independent of whatever is turned on.

If you have voltage from the frame to earth ground, you have a short inside the RV somewhere. Some wire, either hot or a neutral, is touching the frame or a ground wire somewhere. However, you should not be getting shocks if the coach is plugged in because the ground wire in the shore cord should be handling it safely, transferring the stray voltage to the source ground system. So two separate problems seem likely.

Are you sure the ground pin in that outlet you are using is actually connected to system ground? You should be able to read about 120v between the hot and ground on that outlet if it is. If not, the outlet is not grounded and that's one part of the problem.
My mistake, 14 AMPS on the display. Ground on outlet checks good.

Went back out and checked. Still have a little (12-15VAC) going to ground (grass/dirt). When I flipped the breaker for rear ac back on it had no effect on the Amp draw display which it should not have since the ac was not turned on. Fridge is on AC and pulling 9-10A and is getting cold.

Going to get a helper tomorrow and shut off circuit by circuit to see if I can isolate where the voltage from frame to earth is. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:38 PM   #8
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Get one of these simple devices to identify the problem.

http://www.amazon.com/GE-3-Wire-Rece.../dp/B002LZTKIA

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Old 07-14-2015, 05:57 PM   #9
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Fixed.
Turned off each coach breaker and only when the main or inverter was off did the problem go away. That sent me back to the house plug. Plugged in the yellow tester and outlet showed good. Hmmm. Got to thinking about a different plug in my garage that was only two pronged. I thought what the heck I need to change that out anyway so I bought a new receptacle took off the old and it was not grounded. Ran a new ground to that receptacle hooked up all the wires. Plugged the MH into that new plug and bingo. No voltage to ground. I am so happy Thanks for all the suggestions.
By the way, kudos to the old Country Coach electricians. The wiring in the coach is very well done. All wire nuts are crimped and wires are clearly marked.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:35 PM   #10
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You are almost on the right track.

Others indicated dirt and driveway not best conductors so forget about that...for now.

First thing to check is your safety ground at the meter panel.

You will need a good extension cord.

Get a portable heater as it is a good load for testing.

Locate an outlet near your home meter and plug in the heater.

Measure voltage on the unused outlet and confirm 120 volts on small side to tall side and small side to round safety ground.

Now plug extension cord and locate a water pipe outside or ground rod and measure voltages to that point.

If any voltage between round safety ground on the cord and the ground rod get it fixed.

Now take the cord to your mh and measure voltage between ground from cord and mh ground.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoleInOne View Post
More testing today. When I test from the frame to the asphalt driveway no voltage. When I touch from the frame to grass/dirt voltage???? .
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
HoleInOne
That's because an asphalt driveway is not a good conductor of electricity.... (unless it's wet).
Grass/dirt IS.
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Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Others indicated dirt and driveway not best conductors so forget about that...for now.
TQ60
"Forgetting about" voltage from the RV to ANY GROUND.... including an asphalt driveway and/or grass/dirt..... can be a fatal mistake if you are the conductor.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:16 AM   #12
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TQ60
"Forgetting about" voltage from the RV to ANY GROUND.... including an asphalt driveway and/or grass/dirt..... can be a fatal mistake if you are the conductor.
The point is that standing on an asphalt driveway is like standing on a rubber mat. Once the OP fixes the problem to a dirt ground he won't need to worry about the driveway.

If you noticed the fix was he was using an ungrounded receptacle in his garage. The adapter broke the safety ground circuit. That is worth noting for anyone with an older home with 2 prong instead of 3 prong sockets. Also happens with the folks who pull out/cut off ground pins on extension cords.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:57 AM   #13
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Mel S,
The forget about it for now comment was regarding trying to measure to that stuff.

The rest of that post was targeted at focus the attention to confirming the safety ground was good at the source first to be sure it was indeed good.

The OP posted discovery of no ground connection at source that confirmed the intent of the thread.

One always needs to be concerned with the possibilities but the troubleshooting always needs to confirm sources are good before making checks that depend on the source.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:48 PM   #14
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Mel S,
The forget about it for now comment was regarding trying to measure to that stuff.

The rest of that post was targeted at focus the attention to confirming the safety ground was good at the source first to be sure it was indeed good.

The OP posted discovery of no ground connection at source that confirmed the intent of the thread.

One always needs to be concerned with the possibilities but the troubleshooting always needs to confirm sources are good before making checks that depend on the source.
TQ60
I understand
IMO the problem with telling someone to "forget about it for now" when you mean "do not test there" ....is that they may think you actually mean that they should "forget about it"... (and actually "forget about it").
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