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Old 01-04-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
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Question Electrical probelm

I have a '85 minnie winnie and the electrical outlet in the bathroom and the two outside ones by the side door are on the same circuit and all them trip the braker when anything is plugged into them including when I plug in a circuit tester.
I am assuming there is a short somewhere and was wondering if someone could give some ideas on how to track the problem down.

I'm not sure if it is an inverter or converter the previous owner had installed just prior to me purchasing it from him. It is the panel where the breakers are.

I'm new two RV'ing and find this forum very helpful.

Thanks in advnace

Byron
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
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Not sure about your set up but if GFCI, the receptacle might be bad. And if a breaker is tripping, it could be a bad breaker. Sometimes these guys trip a few times and will not re-set properly. Hope this helps.

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Old 01-04-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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The bathroom and outside will for sure be gfi protected outlets.

Start with one of those plugin testers. Assuming the tester doesn't blow the breaker, it will tell you if the wiring to the outlets is complete and present.

Is it the GFI that is blowing?
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:36 AM   #4
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i would think a breaker was bad if it didn't trip.as in short! breaker trips! i don't remember ever having a bad breaker. i guess you could have one that was too sensitive,but i bet that breaker is trying to warn you. only way to find out is replace the breaker and see
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
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i would think a breaker was bad if it didn't trip.as in short! breaker trips! i don't remember ever having a bad breaker. i guess you could have one that was too sensitive,but i bet that breaker is trying to warn you. only way to find out is replace the breaker and see
Not true, I recently had to replace a GFI Circuit Breaker due to being weak or worn out and it would not reset at all. The breaker would trip constantly.

This CB supplied power to the duplex in the engine compartment for the Block Heater only, and was not being used at all. I replaced it with an identical one purchased from eBay. It works fine now.

To the OP, if you haven't got one already, I would suggest purchasing a DVOM to help you troubleshoot electrical problems, both 120 VAC and 12 VDC circuits. I have used mine thousands of times and I would not leave home without it.

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Old 01-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #6
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Question Electrical Problem-GFI is blowing

The GFI is blowing. It trips as soon as I plug in a circuit tester into any one of the three outlets. The inverter/converter panel is brand new so I'm assumng the breaker is fine.

I was thinking of disconnecting one outlet at a time to find out if one of the outlets is faulty. They all look original and I'm thinking it may be one of the outside
outlets causing the problem.

Byron
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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You say the inverter/converter panel is brand new. Was this GFCI flipping before the change of inverter/converter panel? Just asking to see if one is related to the other? Otherwise, like others are saying, a good multi-meter will always help in the diagnosis.

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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If your tester is one of those plug in types with the 3 lights on it it could trip the gfci even if there is nothing wrong with it. Is it one of the same types with the gfci test button on it?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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I think your idea of disconnecting the outlets is a good one, however I would disconnect all of them and test the wires to the first one in line with a DVOM. Walmart sells a pretty decent one for around $20. If the GFI doesn't blow when testing the wires hook that outlet back up and continue on down the line.
Many of the original outlets on these old coaches are pretty cheesy. You may want to install some better outlets as a preventive measure. They are not much money.

Since the coach has a new panel and you don't know who did it you may want to follow the wires and make sure the grounds are viable and hooked up to where they should be.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:58 AM   #10
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One other thing to check is to make sure that all of the grounds are SEPARATE from the NEUTRAL. When the new panel/inverter/converter was installed, possibly someone had bonded a ground to the neutral. Not too sure exactly what you were trying to describe about that particular step.

That could also be suspect.

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Old 01-06-2012, 08:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byronap View Post
The GFI is blowing. It trips as soon as I plug in a circuit tester into any one of the three outlets. The inverter/converter panel is brand new so I'm assuming the breaker is fine.

I was thinking of disconnecting one outlet at a time to find out if one of the outlets is faulty. They all look original and I'm thinking it may be one of the outside
outlets causing the problem.

Byron
Your on the right track with this statement.
Outside outlets will collect moisture and the foam seal will hold water over time and cause a short in the outlet. REMOVE and replace with new outlets and use a sealant around the outlet should take care of problem.
Age of coach is a factor also if original outlets.

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Old 01-06-2012, 09:44 AM   #12
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if plugging in ANYTHING trips it, even an outlet tester,,,,(I assume you mean a 3 light tester) there is a chance a couple of wires were "Swapped" somewhere along the way.

Removing the outlets, and inspecting them and making sure the bare wire goes to the GREEN screw or connection (And the black and white are also properly located) is how you find this one out.. Starting with the GFCI itself.

Quesiton. if you plug yoru outlet tester into the GFCI outlet itself,, Does it click, or hold?

If that trips it... add the breaker box to the list of places to check out.

Also. check the incoming power (use the 3 light tester on a NON GFCI outlet) the problem could be external to the rig... If the TLT shows red (Neutral ground swap) then use adapters to check the park outlet with the same tester.. If it shows the same swap.. Problem solved. Notify manager of dangerous situtation. Move to site that checks good.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Thanks for all your replys

Thank you all for replys. This forum is great. I bought the '85 winie in August and this is my first experience with any RV. I have learned quite alot from reading all the questions and replies.

Electrical problem: I am using a three light circui tester. It does not have a GFI test on it.
I just noticed that the outside outlet has a new foam seal on it which makes me believe the previous owner may have had this problem before.
I have tested the non-gfi outlets and according to my tester they are wired correcty.

I have the unit plugged into my home, when I unplugged the ac connection I have no power to the any of the outlets. Is this normal?

Before I start removing the GFI outlets I will makes sure I do not have the AC plugged in. Should I also disconnect the 12 volt house battery so I do not damage the panel?

Thanks again
Byron
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #14
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No power when you unplug is..... NORMAL (With exception)

Should you worry about the 12 volt while working on the 120 volt system? NO, different wires, should not share any junction boxes or outlet boxes save, possible two different sections of the main power box (Think of this, in SOME rigs, as two boxes with a common door.. On mine even the doors are different.)

The exception: Some rigs have a device called an Inverter, this is opitonal and may be either factory or after market installed, IT IS OPTIONAL however, not all motor homes have it. If you had one then SOME outlets (likely the TV) woudl remain live but you dont' have one (or so it appears) .
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