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Old 07-14-2015, 12:24 PM   #43
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If you checked voltage at generator while no wires connected it will be fine in most cases.

Go find an electric heater and heavy cord to use as a load to unbalance the system.

Plug it in and fire up the generator and repeat your measurements.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:27 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
If you checked voltage at generator while no wires connected it will be fine in most cases.

Go find an electric heater and heavy cord to use as a load to unbalance the system.

Plug it in and fire up the generator and repeat your measurements.
Ohhhhhh. Didn't know that.

I just cut and did the wires at the generator after cleaning everything with a wire brush, still no luck. Had to get back to work, but the junction box wiring is my next spot to open up, clean and re-do...
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:34 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
Based on the picture of your transfer switch, it appears that the bonding between neutral (white) and safety ground (copper) is accomplished by the light gauge Brown wire going from the ground buss (left side) to the White wire on the right contractor.

It looks like there is a small gauge lug under that White wire.

I'd say, remove all power and remove those to verify. There may be a bad crimp there.


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I'm sorry, I'm not seeing what you're seeing. I don't see a light gauge brown wire...
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:35 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
If you checked voltage at generator while no wires connected it will be fine in most cases.

Go find an electric heater and heavy cord to use as a load to unbalance the system.

Plug it in and fire up the generator and repeat your measurements.
Actually, there is zero load on the generator, because the power stops at the ATS. No load whatsoever.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:43 PM   #47
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Just a guess here. But could it be that the neutral/ground bond would be made at the generator?
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:05 PM   #48
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If you checked voltage at generator while no wires connected it will be fine in most cases.
Good point. I missed where it was said that no wires were connected to the generator. I assumed that the voltages were good at the generator, while at the same time they were bad at the loads. That would indicate an open neutral between the generator and the loads.

If there is no load on the generator, there is no imbalance of loads, so there would be no imbalance of voltages. The only thing that test showed conclusively is that the voltage regulation is not the problem, it doesn't prove that the neutral is properly connected inside the generator. However, if it were broken between the generator windings and where the voltages are measured with no load at all, it's quite likely that the measurements would've shown no voltage.

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Ohhhhhh. Didn't know that.
An open neutral causes complementary voltage swings when there is an imbalance of loads between the two hot lines. So, by definition, there needs to be a load for the open neutral problem to show up. I did a bit of a discussion about how that happens in THIS POST but I'll admit it's not the easiest to follow.

Quote:
I just cut and did the wires at the generator after cleaning everything with a wire brush, still no luck.
Of course, it couldn't be that easy, could it?

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Originally Posted by jdwky View Post
I'm sorry, I'm not seeing what you're seeing. I don't see a light gauge brown wire...
I see what looks like a dull copper bare wire coming from the grounding block on the left, then looping up and dropping behind the wires coming from the top of the right side contactor (I assume they are the generator wires?) I can't see where that wire ends up, but perhaps that's the wire he's referencing?

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Originally Posted by jdwky View Post
Actually, there is zero load on the generator, because the power stops at the ATS. No load whatsoever.
Wait a minute. Are you saying there was no load whatsoever when you were taking the measurements in the first post? That just doesn't sound right.

Let's take a step back. You reported these readings:
Quote:
L1 & gnd 120 volts
L1 & neutral 104
L2 & gnd 120
L2 & neut 145
What were the exact conditions? Obviously, the generator was running. was anything at all getting power in the coach?

What brand/model transfer switch did you have before the replacement? Is it one that energizes the relays for shore power or generator power? (If it energizes the relays for generator power, that might be enough of a load to cause an unbalanced condition, even if nothing else is on.)

I'm thinking we're missing some important details and clues...
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:33 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post

I see what looks like a dull copper bare wire coming from the grounding block on the left, then looping up and dropping behind the wires coming from the top of the right side contactor (I assume they are the generator wires?) I can't see where that wire ends up, but perhaps that's the wire he's referencing?
It is the ground wire in the generator strand, it goes up and out where the generator wires come from.

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Wait a minute. Are you saying there was no load whatsoever when you were taking the measurements in the first post? That just doesn't sound right.
Correct. The transfer switch is not activating on the generator side due to the bad voltages, so the "road" is stopping at the top of the transfer switch, so there should be no load;


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Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post
Let's take a step back. You reported these readings:

What were the exact conditions? Obviously, the generator was running. was anything at all getting power in the coach?
There was no power getting through to the coach from generator due to the automatic transfer switch not activating. It will not switch to generator power at all. It is "smart" and can sense the bad voltages.

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Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post
What brand/model transfer switch did you have before the replacement? Is it one that energizes the relays for shore power or generator power? (If it energizes the relays for generator power, that might be enough of a load to cause an unbalanced condition, even if nothing else is on.)

I'm thinking we're missing some important details and clues...
I'm guessing that's it. I have the TRC Surge Guard 41260. It has surge protection and volt protection. It does indeed energize contacts for shorepower and genset power and protects on both sides.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:13 PM   #50
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I'm sorry, I'm not seeing what you're seeing. I don't see a light gauge brown wire...

Oh, you are correct. Where does the bare copper wire go? I can see it connected to the ground buss on the left but can't see where it goes.


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Old 07-14-2015, 08:39 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
Oh, you are correct. Where does the bare copper wire go? I can see it connected to the ground buss on the left but can't see where it goes.


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It is with the generator wire bundle, it runs up to generator.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:21 AM   #52
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Maybe you should not worry about neutral/ground bonding at this time....
The connection of these two wires is for safety only....it will not make any difference on voltage measurements in a good working symptom.
Some codes don't' want these bonded...that is why it is easily changed.

YES...the shock you received "IS" related to the bonding, but it might help to just ignore this for now and focus on the incorrect voltage reading between L1 - L2 - Neutral
YOUR FIRST POST SAID:
Here are my readings on the generator power output lines, right off the top of the genny:
L1 & gnd 120 volts
L1 & neutral 104
L2 & gnd 120
L2 & neut 145


Then later you said with nothing connected, the readings were normal at the genny.

Are you saying that the measurements at the terminal block on top of the genny actually change just by connecting the wires?

This does not make sense if the measurements are always taken from the terminal block on the genny. Your RR and charger are probably the only AC loads.

Can you confirm this for us??

Dan
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:52 AM   #53
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Maybe you should not worry about neutral/ground bonding at this time....
The connection of these two wires is for safety only....it will not make any difference on voltage measurements in a good working symptom.
Some codes don't' want these bonded...that is why it is easily changed.

YES...the shock you received "IS" related to the bonding, but it might help to just ignore this for now and focus on the incorrect voltage reading between L1 - L2 - Neutral
YOUR FIRST POST SAID:
Here are my readings on the generator power output lines, right off the top of the genny:
L1 & gnd 120 volts
L1 & neutral 104
L2 & gnd 120
L2 & neut 145


Then later you said with nothing connected, the readings were normal at the genny.

Are you saying that the measurements at the terminal block on top of the genny actually change just by connecting the wires?

This does not make sense if the measurements are always taken from the terminal block on the genny. Your RR and charger are probably the only AC loads.

Can you confirm this for us??

Dan
I still don't know where the "bonding" even takes place for the generator. Inside the genset? Or at transfer switch?

That is correct, just by connecting the wires, I get the bad volt readings. Disconnecting the wires at the AC terminal block on top of the generator then gives normal readings. There could be no load unless the transfer switch is pulling a tiny load just to juice it's relays, etc. It's passing no juice through to the coach.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:15 PM   #54
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I have the TRC Surge Guard 41260.
Unfortunately, I'm finding precious little information on that unit: just glossy sales information and some superficial instructions on data to collect before calling for help. I can't find any details of how it operates, how it should be hooked up, or an internal wiring diagram.

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Originally Posted by jdwky View Post
That is correct, just by connecting the wires, I get the bad volt readings. Disconnecting the wires at the AC terminal block on top of the generator then gives normal readings. There could be no load unless the transfer switch is pulling a tiny load just to juice it's relays, etc. It's passing no juice through to the coach.
I suppose that the transfer switch has to place some minimal load on the line to be able to be able to detect that the generator is running, and to measure the voltages on the two hot lines to make sure it is valid. Even a small unbalanced load would be enough to throw off the voltages: it isn't the actual load that's important, but the relative difference between loads. The +/- 20 volts you are reporting could be caused by a load of 20 amps on one hot and 30 amps on the other, or just as easily by 20 milliamps on one and 30 milliamps on the other.

I was concerned there for a while that we are looking in the wrong direction, but it could still be explained by an open neutral. The test I outlined above is still reasonable, but if you have a spool of wire (any gauge, even small speaker wire) we can simplify it a bit:
  • Turn off ALL power sources!
  • At the transfer switch, hook up a long length of wire to the neutral conductor coming from the generator.
  • Hook the other end of that length of wire to one lead of your test meter.
  • Set your test meter to measure resistance (continuity)
  • Touch the other meter lead to the neutral wire at the terminal block in the generator
If the meter shows continuity (very low resistance) at that point, you probably have an issue in the generator.

If the meter shows an open circuit (high resistance) at that point, keep the wire connected to the one meter lead, and start working your way back along the wire to the transfer switch, checking each junction point. Once you found a point with continuity, you know the wire is good at that point, and the problem is between that point and the previous point you tested.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #55
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I'm starting to follow this thread just to see how long it will take for the OP to finally put a jumper between ground and neutral at the transfer switch as the wiring code calls for. If that was in place the voltages would be correct.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:07 PM   #56
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Shapeshifter....I don't understand why your are concerned with an unbalanced load. Any single 110V load on the system will create an imbalance. Consider plugging in a coffee maker or microwave.

The system should be able to run a full load on either leg.
It is correct that if the loads are balanced, no current flows through the neutral.

I don't see this as an issue...

Regards,

Dan
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