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Old 01-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #1
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Transfer switch cutting out

As I'm plugged in to 50 amp shore power, my transfer switch is opening sporadically. I have a TRC Surge Guard. I've sat with my volt meter on the cable into the surge protector when power was interrupted, and there was no variance from the power post. So the problem doesn't seem to be from outside.

Won't happen for two days, then it does it 4 times in an hour. Doesn't seem related to heavy electrical use, nor to any particular equipment (e.g., microwave or hair dryer). Basement isn't hot.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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Sounds like you could be right on.
A transfer switch is basicly a contactor, when the contacts arc and deteriorate, they fail to make a positive connection accross the points/contacts. Sometimes more load is better than little load as they arc together.
In any event, have you tried using without the surge protector? The TRC's have a built-in delay when power is lost. Many times park boxes get a bit overloaded, especially if someone runs 3 airs, micro/oven, etc. Just the other night, neighbor was having problem very similar. Trip off breaker back on all ok. Turn on a/c do the same...snap, krackle, pop...the back of the breaker was fried in the parks box. Having owned parks in the past, I have also seen the plugs in the boxes become fried too. If you can detect a pinkish tinge to the contacts in the park plug in or the breaker, then either could be suspect. May not be your transfer switch or in your coach.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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....have you tried using without the surge protector?
Leery of trying it, in case it really is intercepting something from the post!
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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It could be voltage spikes. A typical volt meter will not see a spike which will measure time wise, in milliseconds which the TRC will see.

Might want to try another power source in another campground before condemning the transfer switch.

It could also be a problem with the surge guard. You might try using the by pass switch on the TRC and see what happens.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:05 PM   #5
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Why not take the transfer switch out of the circuit for starters?
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:52 AM   #6
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Leery of trying it, in case it really is intercepting something from the post!
If you are currently in a park, then I would assume you have neighbors and some are not using a surge protector, right? A surge protector only protects from voltage surge, not drop, so you could remove it for a test unless your neighbors are experiencing similar problems. If you fear a surge in power, then everyone on the same transformer will have it too, a power surge will not single out one pedistal in a park. Parks are more likely to experience voltage drops than surges. Today, lightning is the biggest cause of surges or spikes. I would take the TRC out of the loop and see if that makes any difference.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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Why not take the transfer switch out of the circuit for starters?
How to do that?
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:24 AM   #8
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Does it do it when running off the generator only?
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:00 AM   #9
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I would check all your wiring connections in transfer switch and to your Surge Guard for loose screws.
Stranded wire will loosen due to vibrations while on the road and cause high resistance connections and possible melting of wire insulation.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #10
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Does it do it when running off the generator only?
Don't know...started doing this after a few days at cg, and we're here for another week. Thought of running genny for a while today to see, but the problem is so sporadic it might not happen right then anyway!
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Why not take the transfer switch out of the circuit for starters?
And how would he do that and make anything work?
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #12
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To disconnect the transfer switch, just loosen the strain relief at the bottom where the supply power comes in, loosen the screws on the associated contactor (Not where the generator line comes in, of course) and pull the cable out of the box. Re-attach it to the terminals at the top where the power exits the box and it's bypassed! I believe I also used a zip tie to give some strain relief, but you can run indefinitely that way as long as you don't need to generate.

And yes, you can also bypass the surge protector in the same manner...just take it apart and it'll become obvious. When I took both out of the circuit I also took the feed cable into the surge protector and hard-wired it to the top of the transfer switch in the same manner as above. Be sure the power is off, of course, and guard against any bare wires shorting against something.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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Slabman, I'm going to bypass both the surge guard & transfer switch tomorrow. I'll report back here....
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #14
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Hopefully you do 007's suggestion first and verify all your connections are tight.

Good luck.
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