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Old 07-20-2015, 07:16 AM   #15
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Not to muddy the waters here but a question.
If he is connected to a 4 wire / 50 amp receptacle could a loose or broken neutral allow the symptoms the OP has?
I am not sure.. I suspect it would depend on other factors but on a 50 amp system since the "Center" voltage is always zero relative to ground (Neutral is bonded at the service entrance and often at the pole and voltages on the two legs are or should be equal and opposite so they cancel) it should not.

But.. Voltages are rarely that equal on a 120/240 volt system due to uneven loading of the legs.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:17 AM   #16
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OP needs to get a 3-light outlet tester and possibly a 15-30 amp adapter, Then test both the "Shore" outlet and an outlet inside the RV (with the ground rod disconnected)

If he gets the results I suspect (open ground) I won't be surprised.
Only question is is it a shore problem or an RV problem.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #17
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This really smells like an open ground. As stated, adding the ground rod is a temporary safety fix, but not the final solution. It should not be there long term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Hentges View Post
Once upon a time the outlet was a gfi. I got tired of it tripping when powering things with electric motors so I replaced it with non gfi. It is on porch, under soffet so it doesn't get wet. I know that the outlet inside my house in the same vicinity is on the same breaker. Maybe someone didn't hook a ground wire to that one, which would make the outside outlet effectively ungrounded.
Being effectively ungrounded: That could be the case. There are certain rules when it's allowed, but one of the solutions for not having a proper ground present is to use a GFCI. If that is the case here, you caused it by changing the outlet.

Even if there is a proper ground present, if the old GFCI was tripping, the correct solution would've been to figure out why it's happening, or replace the GFCI with another GFCI, not a regular outlet. Where the outlet is might not be getting wet, but being on the porch there is a good chance that whatever is plugged into that outlet could get wet. Having the GFCI is a really good idea.

If it was plugging in the RV that would trip the GFCI, and do it consistently, then the real problem is in the RV, and you haven't fixed anything by removing the GFCI protection. In other words, if there really is a ground fault that is making the CFCI trip, removing the GFCI is not the solution!

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No, I don't think so. I broken neutral would mean that the 120v "legs" are unusable. It'd mean you have 240v or nothing.
No, not quite. It would mean that the 120V loads on one leg, and the 120V loads on the other leg, are effective in a 240V series circuit with no neutral line to balance them out. If the two sets of loads are EXACTLY equal, everything will work properly. But if the loads are different (and in reality they always are) then one leg will read high, while the other reads low by exactly the same amount (for example, 100 volts on one leg (20 volts low) and 140 volts on the other (20 volts high.) How many volts high or low will depend on the relative difference between the loads.

This does not at all sound like an open neutral situation, that has very different symptoms. Also, it would only apply to 120/240 split phase power sources, like a 50 amp socket, and does not apply to the OP's porch outlet.

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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
OP needs to get a 3-light outlet tester and possibly a 15-30 amp adapter, Then test both the "Shore" outlet and an outlet inside the RV (with the ground rod disconnected)

If he gets the results I suspect (open ground) I won't be surprised.
Only question is is it a shore problem or an RV problem.
Agreed.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
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OP needs to get a 3-light outlet tester and possibly a 15-30 amp adapter, Then test both the "Shore" outlet and an outlet inside the RV (with the ground rod disconnected)

If he gets the results I suspect (open ground) I won't be surprised.
Only question is is it a shore problem or an RV problem.

Just got home after purchasing an outlet check instrument for $10. Guess what: the outlet that the RV is plugged into has a bad ground. Now I got to start to investigate why. Another outlet on the same breaker tests as being good. So somewhere, some wire is either broken or not connected.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:33 PM   #19
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UPDATE: problem solved. The inside the outlet box in the entranceway there were two ground wires. The one that fed the outside outlet was not connected to the feed ground wire. I connected it, now the tester says all outlets are good. Thanks to those on here that insisted I fix this properly. Now, I wonder if I can extract that 8ft grounding rod I sunk into the ground....
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:46 PM   #20
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................
No, not quite. It would mean that the 120V loads on one leg, and the 120V loads on the other leg, are effective in a 240V series circuit with no neutral line to balance them out. If the two sets of loads are EXACTLY equal, everything will work properly. But if the loads are different (and in reality they always are) then one leg will read high, while the other reads low by exactly the same amount (for example, 100 volts on one leg (20 volts low) and 140 volts on the other (20 volts high.) How many volts high or low will depend on the relative difference between the loads. ...........................
THANKS
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:51 PM   #21
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What size was that ground wire?

Same size as hot wires or just a bare #12?
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:01 AM   #22
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What size was that ground wire?

Same size as hot wires or just a bare #12?

It was just the non insulated central wire in the household wiring. I think it's a #12, but I didn't check it.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:44 AM   #23
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A 12 is only good for a 20 amp ckt.

However in some cases smaller is allowed but that is a call to the inspector.

If it is a standard outlet then fine.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:54 AM   #24
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If you know any Hams that do field day check with them. Pulling ground rods is part of the fun. Some folks have gotten quite creative. Otherwise post pullers and automobile jacks go a long way. ;-)
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:09 AM   #25
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Otherwise post pullers and automobile jacks go a long way. ;-)
Or if all else fails: dig a little hole around the rod, drive it down to the bottom of the hole, then fill in the hole. Rod? What rod? I don't see any rods here!
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #26
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If you know any Hams that do field day check with them. Pulling ground rods is part of the fun. Some folks have gotten quite creative. Otherwise post pullers and automobile jacks go a long way. ;-)
Drill hole in a 2X6 a little bigger that the rod. Put a small hydraulic jack under the other end of the 2X6 (dig a little hole for the jack if needed)

Jack it right out of the ground.

Easy peasy
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:20 AM   #27
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"Stray Voltage", (aka: a "Hot Skin condition"), is often caused by a faulty shore power cord or a faulty electrical adapter and can be deadly.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:28 AM   #28
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I use one of these Fluke 1AC-A II

Fluke 1AC-II VoltAlert


EVERY TIME I plug into an unfamiliar source.

Just saying.
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