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Old 03-24-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Electric Lights Problem. Need Help.

We are going to leave for Florida in a few days so I was loading the rv and checking things out. Turned the fridge on and filled water tank.
Then I turned on all the lights and some are not working. The ceiling light in bedroom and the one over the pillow end under the cab is not working, the bath is not working, the farthest in front center ceiling is not working and the one of the dinette is not working.
The one over the sink is working and the one right where you enter on the ceiling is working and the one over the chair across from dinette is working and the one just past the stove towards the bath door is working.
I have found the wires that go to the ones in the bedroom and there is 12volts going into the lights. I put the positive lead from the tester on the black wire and put the other lead to the ground on the converter and there is 12 volts, also if I put the positive lead from the tester on the white wire and cvonnect the other lead to ground there is 12 volts.
Don't understand how both can have 12 volts, one has to be positive and one negative. Anyway I tried that on all lights and I get the same result. Positive lead from 12 volt tester to black or white wire and there is 12 volts.
I am assuming the circuit is open somewhere. Or is there something else I am not considering?
Any help will be appreciated. Electric is not my strong suit.
Thanks,
Doug

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28 Ft 454 Chev
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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I don't understand why you would connect to the ground lug on your converter when testing 12vdc. I am not familiar with your specific coach but I think the converter lug is a ground for the 120vac The wiring to your 12vdc lights should be black + and white -. When testing for 12vdc at the light fixture by connecting your tester positive lead to black wire and tester negative lead to white what is the result? Are the switches to turn the problem lights on remote or on the fixtures? Have you check all the dc fuses?
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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I was just looking for a ground to see if there was 12 volt power on the black wire.
Yes first thing I did was check the fuses. All good
When I check black wire and white wire the is no voltage, which I take means there is a short somewhere. That is why I wanted to check the black wire to see if it was carring the 12 volts and there was a short in the white wire or what.
Switches and light fixture work when connected to different 12 volt source.
Done for the night. Will look at it tomorrow with bright eyes.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I was just looking for a ground to see if there was 12 volt power on the black wire. maybe I'm confused....is the ground a 12vdc ground.....that's connected to the house battery?
Yes first thing I did was check the fuses. All good
When I check black wire and white wire the is no voltage, which I take means there is a short somewhere. That is why I wanted to check the black wire to see if it was carring the 12 volts and there was a short in the white wire or what. Not necessarily a short. It simply means that there is EITHER not positive 12v or there is no 12v ground. It could mean the fuse is blown or a loose connection in either the positive or negative wires. Could be corrosion too.
Switches and light fixture work when connected to different 12 volt source. That tells you that either the 12v positive is not present OR 12 12v neg. is not present. Now to find where that "break in service is happening.
Do you have 12 vdc at BOTH sides of the fuse for the lights that aren't working? If power to BOTH sides of fuse I would then suspect the switch based on your work determining the fixture is good when connected to another source directly.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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There is power to the wire that supplies the light fixture. The black wire. It seems to be an open circuit. If I connect the tester to the balck wire on all 4 light fixtures there is power in the black wire when I connect the tester lead to 12 volt ground anywhere in the rv. All fuses are good and the lug where the 12 volt supply wire comes off of has 12 volts. Take the fuse out and there is not 12 volts at the lug where the wire is connected for the lights on the converter. I guess I have to try and trace all wires to see if there is a short somewhere so the juice does not get back to the ground.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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OK so there is 12v positive on the black wire at the fixture.......that's great. That means the problem is in the ground (white) wire. To prove this take a length of wire connected to your house battery neg. and the lug on the fixture where the white wire connects........that light should work.

That white wire most likely joins other white wires somewhere and ultimately ties into the frame somewhere.....just got to find that "somewhere". Wherever you find several wires bolted to the frame disassemble it, clean it, reassemble it and then coat it with something to prevent corrosion.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:39 PM   #7
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Rhanks for all your help.
That sounds like a plan. I will do that tomorrow.
After crawling on my hands and knnes and streching up in the back luggage compartment and walking back and forth to get tools and wires and tester it is a little hard to get off the coach for the rest of the night so I will check that out first thing in the morning and post a result. If it works I will try and find the break.
Thanks
Doug
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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let's both hope the "jumper" I described will work. It' should based on what you've told me so far. When looking for the problem with the ground it's most likely NOT going to be a break in the line............probably corrosion on a ground lug somewhere outside the living quarters. good luck in finding it.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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Other than this warning post, I am going to stay off this thread. Based on what I have read so far, someone is likely to be hurt or killed.



Suggestion, take the RV to a competent Auto electrician or RV service shop!
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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Thanks KIX,
I used your ground wire thing and I tested each light from white to battery ground and on the third one when I connected it all the lights that were out came on. So I knew then which white wire toi follow to see where the break was. I found it and re-connected and soldered and taped and all is good.
Thanks A Lot.
Doug

Will be leaving Wednesday or thursday for Starke FL. Camp Blanding while we look for a lake home in Keystone Heights, FL. A winter home. Way too cold up here in Chicago during winter. We will stay there for a week or so and then maybe to Army camp at Destin, Fl for a rest and then to Harpers Ferry, WV for birth of Grandson that is being born supposedly around April 15th. There at the son in laws for a month and then back home, maybe.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #11
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HAMGUY,
Pretty hard for 12 volts to KILL YA!
And as far as competent, I am way more competent then most rv techs and or mechanics!
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks KIX,
I used your ground wire thing and I tested each light from white to battery ground and on the third one when I connected it all the lights that were out came on. So I knew then which white wire toi follow to see where the break was. That's what I was hoping you'd find. I found it and re-connected and soldered and taped and all is good.
Thanks A Lot. You're welcome...glad you got it fixed.
Doug

Will be leaving Wednesday or thursday for Starke FL. Camp Blanding while we look for a lake home in Keystone Heights, FL. A winter home. Way too cold up here in Chicago during winter. We will stay there for a week or so and then maybe to Army camp at Destin, Fl for a rest and then to Harpers Ferry, WV for birth of Grandson that is being born supposedly around April 15th. There at the son in laws for a month and then back home, maybe.
If you're camping at Blanding the Kingsley Lake campground(s) are really nice. The lake may be a little cold this time of year but, then again, maybe not for you since you're coming from Chicago. Visit St. Augustine while you're as close as Starke is.......we need the money down here.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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Other than this warning post, I am going to stay off this thread. Based on what I have read so far, someone is likely to be hurt or killed.



Suggestion, take the RV to a competent Auto electrician or RV service shop!
Probably a good thing for you to stay out of it since you obviously didn't understand what the posts were about.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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HAMGUY,
Pretty hard for 12 volts to KILL YA!
And as far as competent, I am way more competent then most rv techs and or mechanics!
In your OP you state, "Any help will be appreciated. Electric is not my strong suit."

And it isn't necessarily the 12V that kills. Some years ago, we had a knock at the door from a competent auto tech who was working on his car and the battery blew up, nearly blinding him and causing severe acid burns and cuts where the hood caught him in the back of the head trying to escape.

JMHO
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