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Old 08-02-2016, 01:52 PM   #1
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Electrical problem...maybe

Greetings,
For the past year my main battery would go dead if my MH lost shore power (usually heavy rains tripping the GFCI). After getting charged back up, everything seemed fine. I also noticed that I'd get a slight tingle from the key if I was standing on the concrete drive barefooted while unlocking the door.

This past week the battery went bad (tested at O'reiley's and NAPA) during a short trip and has been replaced.

So, I've been trying to figure out this current I'm getting from the coach while grounding to earth. Here are my findings so far:

Main battery disconnected (POS & NEG), main batt & aux batt disconnect switchs activated, and plugged into shore power - I get 1.2v DC and 8-9v if i set my meter to AC.

Unplugged from shore power I get about .25v DC and .1 AC. I don't know how you tell if it's a AC or DC current.

Also, the readings don't change when I remove all the fuses and turn off the main AC breaker. The also dont change when I connect the three positive cables together (one is 13.5v from charger I think).

Is this related to my battery death? Obviously it draining all the way several times didn't help. Or, is this something I even need to worry about?

Thanks!
-Ellis
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Old 08-02-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
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Often a tingle like that is due to an AC issue. Check that all prongs on your shore cord are connected through to the breaker panel.

Do you get the tingle when the RV is on it's tires or do you have jacks down? With just the tires, you shouldn't be making a current with 12 DC. You could with AC since the grid uses the actual ground for current flow. This could be a dangerous condition, you do want to track it down.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:50 PM   #3
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thanks Bob!

it's just on the tires now and am getting about 13.8v AC from LP ground wire to wet soil.
I tested the receps with a plug-in tester, and all showed the groung and hot reversed. i pulled RV AC big yellow plug apart and found the hot a neutral were reversed. fixed that and all receps show correct. But I still get up to 14v to the ground with all breakers on.
Funny thing is that it goes up about 2v for each one I turn on.

So, maybe since the plug was wrong, some of the hardwired appliances were wired ass-backwards to compensate.

Any words of wisdom?
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:56 PM   #4
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You might isolate which circuit is the mis-wired one by hooking up your meter then turning off one circuit breaker at a time. No change - good circuit.
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:41 PM   #5
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Interesting thing, I turned off all the breakers even the main, and the refrigerator still turns on! I think it's the one. AC, recepts are off.

If the hot and neutral were switched at the fridge to allow for the incorrect plug, then it's the neutral that's turned off at the breaker but the ground is still connected so the fridge stays powered. Is my thinking correct on this? it's been a long day of detective work and it's not my strong area.
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:51 PM   #6
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No telling what a previous owner might have done. From your comments, you have a residential refrigerator? Is it powered through an inverter?

I'd pick up one of these outlet testers to check your outlets, especially the one the refrigerator is using.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:28 PM   #7
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May be far fetched but check your shore power receptacle. Years ago we had a pool with about 10volts ac on the railing. Just a little tingle as you came out of the pool. Even the power company could not find. The voltage was between the neutral and ground wire and also earth ground. They added another ground rod at the pool pump and that solved the problem.

(maybe you did that in post#3?)
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:28 PM   #8
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IDK, it runs in LP or AC shore power and maybe when generator is running (not sure about that).
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:31 PM   #9
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yes, i checked the receps with one of those, that's how I found the switched wire in the plug. All receps are good now.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
May be far fetched but check your shore power receptacle. Years ago we had a pool with about 10volts ac on the railing. Just a little tingle as you came out of the pool. Even the power company could not find. The voltage was between the neutral and ground wire and also earth ground. They added another ground rod at the pool pump and that solved the problem.

(maybe you did that in post#3?)
Thanks I did that as soon as I saw the MH recepts were wrong.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:08 PM   #11
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It was a bad extension cord! Contractor grade and looks like new.
I wont got in to all the ritual this am that led me to this. But in short, I read the same current (13vac) between the neutral and ground busses in the MH panel. When i turned off breakers one at a time it dropped about 2v for each breaker.
I also read same voltage between the ground and neutral in a MH recep. So I checked the extension cord, same thing. I checked the residence GFCI recep and 0.vac!

I feel kinda of silly and happy at the same time. And I fixed the Yellow 30amp MH plug, so it's all good.

Thanks for all your support!
-Ellis
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:24 PM   #12
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Glad you tracked down the problem. You never mentioned that your shore cord was plugged into an extension cord.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:51 PM   #13
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Glad you tracked down the problem. You never mentioned that your shore cord was plugged into an extension cord.
Yes, my bad. It's a cord that I never move that runs under the deck steps.
It was purchased just for the MH 2 years ago, and I just couldn't imagine it being bad. Also, I was taking readings from the MH to the earth, but when I got the same reading from neutral to ground busses, I started to think it wasn't the MH after all. I didn't even know if it was an AC or DC issue - electrical noob, that's me!
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