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Old 12-06-2014, 07:27 PM   #1
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I've lost my 12 volt side .... again

I have a 2006 KZ Jag, 29 foot bumper pull RV. Recently I lost all of my 12 volt power. Being fairly handy, I replaced the converter, one of the breakers and the short stop fuse. Once completed, all of my 12 volt applications returned. Everything worked fine for 24 hours, then they abruptly stopped. I could hear the short stop fuse clicking, then nothing. I have tested the battery and the tech said it was fine. None of the fuses have blown in the converter (WFCO WF9855PEC). Do I have a short or other issue with either my Norcold or water heater that is killing my 12 volt? Anyone ever experience this problem? I'm at my Witt's end and could really use some pointers.

PS..the unit is set up on a permanent site. Recently replaced the control panel on the fridge.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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I'd pull all the fuses in the fuse panel, then make sure power is coming through to the panel without the auto reset circuit breaker (never heard them called a 'short stop fuse') tripping. Then plug in one fuse at a time, waiting after each to see if it's causing the issue. You should then be able to narrow down which component is causing the problem and correct it.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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I've no idea what a short stop fuse is, but if you have circuit breaker clicking then you have a short. Pull the fuses or open the circuit breakers and energize one circuit at a time until you find the one that's shorted somewhere. Be careful. The FAA now recommends NOT resetting circuit breakers in flight because of the fire danger. Same reasoning applies here. It's possible for the short to eventually create an easy place for a fire to start.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for both of your incites. I will definitely follow those instructions. FYI -The "short stop" fuse I referred to is the circuit breaker that is in line between the battery and the unit and mounts to the tongue frame. No idea why it's faulted. There were no "events" to trigger it. One second it was working...next it wasn't.

Thanks again
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
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that didnt work!!:(

Did as instructed. Turned off all power, pulled fuses, turned power back on and replaced fuses one at a time. No response from anything 12 volt.

When I did the initial repair, I replaced the circuit breaker at the battery with a 30 amp. My question now is, was 30 amp big enough? How much amperage is the fridge and water heater pulling if they are both needing full draw to function simultaneously? Could they have overloaded the circuited breaker? When the problem re-occured I could here the breaker clicking, as if trying to reset. When I reattached the battery, I had a slight sparking but nothing else. I also inspected the ground connection on the frame and it appeared to be good. No corrosion or rust at all.

Again, any further advice or direction is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #6
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Do you remember the rating of the CB you replaced? 30 amps is small if all the power from the battery to the house has to flow through it. What's the gauge of the wires going to and from the CB? Check with manufacturer or a wiring diagram if you don't remember the size of the original fuse. In addition to fridge and WH, your water pump, all interior lights, furnace, etc. are also probably on that circuit.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:52 AM   #7
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I believe I'm figuring that out! The wire Gage is #8. Found a bad lug connection to the CB. Fixed that, but the unit keeps kicking out and resetting. Going out today and replacing the 30 amp with a 50. Doing a voltage test again as well. Wish me luck.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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This is a case of do as I say, not as I do.

My batteries are safty'd by an 80 amp circuit breaker because I have 100A wiring there and a 60A PD charger.

When you energize one circuit at a time did you do whatever it is you do to make the problem show up? At the very least you need to go around an move bundles of wire to try and determine if there is a short somewhere.

Just out of curiosity, how many amperes of circuit breakers and fuses to you have after that 30/50A breaker?
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
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I'd check with what was originally installed. Putting in too large a CB will create a fire hazard. Adding up the in the fuse panel will give you a ballpark idea, but is no means the proper way to size the CB. 8 gauge wire is able to handle a lot of amps, but there is a length factor to consider also. Usual method to calculate length is to double the actual length since the amps have to travel there and back. For example, 7.5' x 2 = 15' and 8 gauge wire can handle up to 30 amps. At 30' the load reduces to 15 amps.

Amps and Wire Gauge - 12V Circuit
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:26 AM   #10
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Well, that WFCO can put out up to 55 amps and will direct it all to the batteries if they are low, so I would guess at least a 50A breaker is needed on the battery plus wiring. 60A would be better. It may also be that all the converter output goes through the battery plus wiring, but that is not usually the case in an integrated AC/DC power center like the 8955. Usually the converter 12v goes direct to the fuse bus bar without going to the batteries first.

Your fridge and water heater use very little 12v, probably no more than a couple amps for the control boards and fridge interior light. The exception to that is a 3-way fridge, which uses a 12v heating element if in DC operating mode. That is probably more like 20A. The main 12v power consumers in the RV is the lighting, the water pump (when it runs), and the furnace fan (when it is on).
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:11 PM   #11
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Here's the skinny on what seems to be going on. After replacing the CB to a 50 amp unit I started doing a voltage test on my DC converter. Could not get it to register the 13.6 volts it is supposed to be giving to the battery. Now I call the tech support people for the converter. After several tests with his direction it seems I have developed a short on the hot wire going to the CB outside (somewhere between the converter to there). As long as I disconnected the converter hot wire everything is working fine. Only issue now is if I have a power failure on the grid. Since I am on a permanent site there is no real need for the battery anyway (except to use the tongue Jack which is mute at this point). Any suggestions on how to track down this short would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:23 AM   #12
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The first time the failure occurred we had just turned off what cabin lights were on (maybe 2) and had just retired forvthe night when I heard the alarm sound. The 2nd time was after I had replaced the power unit. Nothing was going on. I was napping and the wife watching TV. The 12v just shut down.

I have noticed now that the water heater isn't working on gas now. No big deal, but could this be the source of my short? I usually have it set to run on both for faster recovery when we're there. Otherwise it's turned off completely.

There is a utility box under the nose of the unit that the hot wire from the converter runs into prior to the CB. I assume it is a straight shot from the converter to there. Haven't open it yet to see what's inside.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:25 AM   #13
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You do need battery12V power, it is required for operation of the frig PC board-even on 120VAC, and LP detector.
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