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Old 12-09-2018, 03:52 PM   #1
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Electrical - genny tripped 30A breaker

After being properly warned here about not running my genny under load to exercise it, I did it today. A nice balmy 29 degrees.

When I first started the gen, it fired up okay, but I had no power to outlets other than those powered by the inverter. The GFI by the door wouldn't reset and so I started looking around and found one of the 30 amp breakers tripped on the genset itself. I've never seen that happen (in 3 years) and I don't know what caused it to trip. I reset it and the GFIC by the door and everything worked. . . .for awhile.


I was using a 1500w oil filled radiator (at 1500 watts), a small 200? amp heater, the rear heat pump and the fire place. I was monitoring the loads and the last load I saw on the panel was 38 amps. This went on for about 10 minutes and then the same breaker tripped again.
I tried looking at Winnies diagrams but can't figure out the circuits. My assumption is that I overloaded one of the circuits but shouldn't one of the smaller interior breakers trip before the genset 30 amp does?



We're leaving on a trip in two weeks so if I need to get it repaired, it's going to have to be quick.

Also, one last clue, about a month or two ago my repair shop installed a new sine wave inverter and it appears to be working correctly but don't know if they could have done something to trip the breaker as I haven't used anyhting on the RV for awhile.

Any thoughts on the subject? Thank you.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upinsmoke View Post
After being properly warned here about not running my genny under load to exercise it, I did it today. A nice balmy 29 degrees.

When I first started the gen, it fired up okay, but I had no power to outlets other than those powered by the inverter. The GFI by the door wouldn't reset and so I started looking around and found one of the 30 amp breakers tripped on the genset itself. I've never seen that happen (in 3 years) and I don't know what caused it to trip. I reset it and the GFIC by the door and everything worked. . . .for awhile.


I was using a 1500w oil filled radiator (at 1500 watts), a small 200? amp heater, the rear heat pump and the fire place. I was monitoring the loads and the last load I saw on the panel was 38 amps. This went on for about 10 minutes and then the same breaker tripped again.
I tried looking at Winnies diagrams but can't figure out the circuits. My assumption is that I overloaded one of the circuits but shouldn't one of the smaller interior breakers trip before the genset 30 amp does?



We're leaving on a trip in two weeks so if I need to get it repaired, it's going to have to be quick.

Also, one last clue, about a month or two ago my repair shop installed a new sine wave inverter and it appears to be working correctly but don't know if they could have done something to trip the breaker as I haven't used anyhting on the RV for awhile.

Any thoughts on the subject? Thank you.
You definatly overloaded the 30 amp breaker. In my 45 years as an electrician I have seen this happen aboutn 4 times. I tripped a 200 amp once when the 15 stayed in palace. Dead short. The 200 just reacted faster. Reset the breakers and move on. They are not precise instraments.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:10 PM   #3
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It is possible that one leg of the generator is overloaded. I'm assuming that your coach has a 50 amp plug . The generator will have 2 - 30 amp breakers that will feed your 50 amp panel , so you will have only 30 amps available on each leg as opposed to 50 amps when you're on shore power. it is quite possible that all the loads are on the same side of the panel . Try different outlets with the heater to see if that works. The outlets could be on different 15 amp breakers , so they will not trip.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
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Total amps used exceeded the gen 30A CB


Individual circuits were still within the individual CBs ratings
(Fireplace on own CB, A/C-heat pump on own CB, receptacles on own CB)???
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:31 PM   #5
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You loaded the gen with 38 amps. It's breaker is a 30. Seems clear to me.

The generator doesn't care if your load goes through a bunch of smaller breakers which remained within their individual current limits and did not have to trip.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:00 PM   #6
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Just don't burn out your generator running it under excessive load, not all advice you read online is accurate or complete.
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Old 12-09-2018, 06:05 PM   #7
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38 amps is just a bit over the 60 amps the generator is rated for ( 2, 30 amp breakers ), so the OP wasn't overloading it.

He just needs to balance the load better between the 2 breakers.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
38 amps is just a bit over the 60 amps the generator is rated for ( 2, 30 amp breakers ), so the OP wasn't overloading it.

He just needs to balance the load better between the 2 breakers.
Yup.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:18 PM   #9
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The Onan 5500 that comes standard on this coach is capable of outputting 45.8 amps at 120V total, it comes equipped with either a pair of 30 amp single pole breakers, or a 30 and a 20 amp HACR breaker, though both are on the same electrical leg as it is a 120V only generator. So if the load was spread correctly it may be possible to overload the generator without tripping either of the protective breakers.


see http://westgenerator.com/index.cfm/l...D8B0C1F/showM/ for the specs
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:48 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone! To be clear, when something goes wrong, I always suspect the loose nut on the keyboard, Genset, RV first.
So I'm going to go with I overloaded the circuit the tripped breaker was for, but how best to test to see what receptacles are covered by that breaker? If I turn off the breaker and test them, some are covered by the inverter (4) and it seems to come on automatically as it powered the receptacles, and I didn't turn it on. Sorry for the ignorance on the subject.

For example, when the breaker tripped, the rear heat pump was running, the large heater was plugged into the recpt at the stove top, and the small one was plugged to the one by the front door.

Since my intention is to not repeat this scenario, my questions are more educational for me than anything else.


Are there "as built" drawings for the electrical circuits, if so I couldn't find them. I found the ones on the Winnie site but it didn't show the circuits specifically or it it did, I didn't understand them.

Thanks again for the helpful info.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
38 amps is just a bit over the 60 amps the generator is rated for ( 2, 30 amp breakers ), so the OP wasn't overloading it.

He just needs to balance the load better between the 2 breakers.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upinsmoke View Post
Thanks everyone! To be clear, when something goes wrong, I always suspect the loose nut on the keyboard, Genset, RV first.
So I'm going to go with I overloaded the circuit the tripped breaker was for, but how best to test to see what receptacles are covered by that breaker? If I turn off the breaker and test them, some are covered by the inverter (4) and it seems to come on automatically as it powered the receptacles, and I didn't turn it on. Sorry for the ignorance on the subject.

For example, when the breaker tripped, the rear heat pump was running, the large heater was plugged into the recpt at the stove top, and the small one was plugged to the one by the front door.

Since my intention is to not repeat this scenario, my questions are more educational for me than anything else.


Are there "as built" drawings for the electrical circuits, if so I couldn't find them. I found the ones on the Winnie site but it didn't show the circuits specifically or it it did, I didn't understand them.

Thanks again for the helpful info.
you don't have "as built" drawings for your house. What makes you think there are any for your RV?

Labeling your panel is just as you stated. Turn of a breaker and go look for what doesn't work. write it down. Turn off another breaker and go see what it does. Write it down. It's a process of elimination.

You didn't turn on your inverter because it is usually always on. If it feeds your refrigerator you wouldn't want it off, would you?

Balancing your panel or knowing what to use is not as easy unless you have electric how it works background. Turn off all the power. Better yet unplug then shore power and leave the gen off. remove the electric panel cover. now, look for the incoming 120volt main wires. The will be the largest wires. The will be in a 50 amp two pole breaker. This is known as L1 and L2 (L=Leg).

Depending on where this main breaker is located in your panel, L1 will be left of the main and L2 will be tight of the main. That is if the main is close to the middle of your panel. If you have a panel laid out like your house panel, The main will be on one end or the other. In this case, L1 and L2 will be every other slot. With this information, you will be able to do your own
"as-built" and know what things are on L1 and what things are on L2.

You will never have a perfectly balanced panel You may be only using things that are on L1.

To confuse things more, your inverter may be feeding one of the legs in your panel. If it is a split bus panel.

There are pictures around showing all this stuff but I don't have any.




Hope this helps.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:01 AM   #13
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cavie, thanks for your reply. My assumption on an as built drawing came from the plumbing diagrams sent to me by Winnie, they were spot on, and the drawing they sent re: location of the converter - which I would have never found without it. Not a biggie, I don't mind doing the testing as you suggested.

My 50 amp breaker is second from the top on the left side of the panel. Included a pic.
I'm mechanically inclined, just sometimes a little lacking in the technical knowledge but never afraid to ask for assistance.

Thanks for any info you can offer.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upinsmoke View Post
cavie, thanks for your reply. My assumption on an as built drawing came from the plumbing diagrams sent to me by Winnie, they were spot on, and the drawing they sent re: location of the converter - which I would have never found without it. Not a biggie, I don't mind doing the testing as you suggested.

My 50 amp breaker is second from the top on the left side of the panel. Included a pic.
I'm mechanically inclined, just sometimes a little lacking in the technical knowledge but never afraid to ask for assistance.

Thanks for any info you can offer.
Well, can't tell the panel layout from that picture as the main is in a strange place. The left and right explanation go right out the window with that one BUT I can only Assume that the layout is L1 and L2 on every other slot. That keeps one A/C on L1 and one A/C on L2 so you can run both at the same time provided you know what NOT to use of the other equipment. (WH, blow dryer, toaster, microwave etc.) You can tell by removing the cover and looking at the busbars. There should be a printed diagram on the inside of the cover.

If you remove the shore power and remove one leg from the main breaker then reconnect the shore power you will know for sure what goes out.
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