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Old 06-21-2016, 06:40 PM   #1
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Tripped a circuit now it smells electrical

We had ac on ,tv on,and crockpot on and trippef the 30 amp breaker in the little box that u reset it smelled electrical. So turned everything off except crockpot anybody got any ideas where we go from here? We have a Winnebago aspect 2015 .turned breaker back on and mirco and things came back on just afraid to turn on the ac! Please help out there
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:40 PM   #2
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If it smells like electrical, sounds like wires in the breaker box got a little hot and started melting the plastic wire covering; or, maybe a loose connection in there.

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Old 06-21-2016, 09:47 PM   #3
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Better safe than sorry, leave the a/c off until you figure out why it tripped!! Unless you have one big-@$$ed crock pot, it shouldn't trip with what you had running.

Was the a/c running okay (cooling, blowing) before the breaker tripped?

If you disconnect the power completely, you might want to remove the front panel and check that the wire clamps on the breakers are tight. A loose screw could explain the trip and the smell as that wire will heat up under load.

If you do try the a/c again, grab one of those temperature probe gun things and check if the breaker(s) and/or wires are heating up.

Work safe!


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Old 06-21-2016, 09:59 PM   #4
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Are you using 50 Amp service or 30 Amp? If it's 50A, you might try to identify a circuit that is on a different leg than the AC and use that for the crockpot. Is the TV an old school tube type or a newer flat screen, which uses considerably less current? When you reset the breakers and turn things back on, carefully check for warm breakers in the panel if you don't have a way of measuring temps. I made a map of all my breakers and what circuits they feed after chasing around in circles trying to identify what was tripping a GFCI breaker in the panel. It's a very worthwhile thing to do.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:44 PM   #5
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Fairly new unit and the bugs haven't been worked out of it yet. Unplug the shore power, turn off the generator, disconnect the house batteries, get a proper screwdriver and remove the cover over the circuit breakers, and check the tightness of all screws where wires attach to the breakers. Also check all other electrical screw terminals you find. In the shore power compartment, open up any electrical boxes in there and tighten any screws and check wirenuts for tightness. Take the power cord plug apart (if you can) and check the tightness of screws in it also.

Add the electrical torque check to your spring checklist of things to do, every year.

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Old 06-23-2016, 01:29 PM   #6
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Took it to dealer thought we had it working get back to cg and 2hrs later tripped 15&30amp turn 30 back on is working but all outlets on side by kitchen and the one outside are apparently connected none working now,have ac off because when we turn it back on they both trip.under warranty so we will be here till its fixed!
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:28 PM   #7
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Turn everything off and unplug from shorline. Make sure your inverter is off if you have one. Take the cover off the panel where you smelled it. Use a flashlight.

Even if you are uncomfortable trying to make a fix it is important to make an inspection., It could be loose screws holding wires down and heat can build up.

If you have any concerns be sure to post some pictures.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:35 PM   #8
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So thank s to everyone for there ideas turns out we had a bad power board that was put in from the start! 2 of the circuits started to melt and thats why it kept tripping ,it was not the ac or my crockpot! It was poor workmanship ! The worst part is nothing was covered on our extended warranty! People beware of the extended warranties, we are 15mos old ,this stuff should not have gone bad! Furious with Winnebago!!
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:51 PM   #9
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That was a huge safety issue. If it was a car, it would be a recall. There may be others from the same assembly line with the same issue. I suggest persistence to see if they will make it right. Free to ask.

Would you buy a brand new car with a 12 month warranty? And yet we all do, except for a couple of brands that have a longer warranty (jayco for example). I think that 3 years and transferable should be the standard.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:39 AM   #10
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More than likely the wires were put in tight when the installer did his job. Over time and the wire bundle in the joint relaxes and the joint gets loose. That increases joint resistance. The heat generated in the joint is the current squared times the current flow. That heat cooks the board or breaker or whatever else is connected to the terminal. The phenomenon was old news 60 years ago when I learned about it. There is no fix other than welding or soldering the connections. (They have their problems.) That is why there are many references to going back and tightening all the wire connections once a year or so. One should do the same in their house or any other electrical installation. That said it is seldom done more than at the inspection. Too dangerous for most folks. The electrical inspectors I dealt with all checked the main feeds and usually got a half turn or turn unless the electrician was there checking a few minutes ahead of them.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:32 AM   #11
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It's also a good idea to clean the contact prongs on your power cords and adapters with some fine emery cloth or Scotch Brite every so often to make sure you have a good solid connection to your RV.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:34 AM   #12
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It's also a good idea to clean the contact prongs on your power cords and adapters with some fine emery cloth or Scotch Brite every so often to make sure you have a good solid connection to your RV.
I'm going to say maybe on that. Here is why. There are some known switching conditions where a bit of contamination can cause a problem. OTOH the layer is very thin so it does not take much to clean it off. Usually a dollar bill or some copier paper is all that is needed. Anything heavier wastes more metal than dirt. That adds up over time.

Low voltage, low current will not have enough voltage to punch through so chemical cleaning is a good answer. Remember the tuner cleaner can in the 1960's and 70's? Most connectors for that kind of power are self cleaning in that the wiping action of disconnecting and reconnecting a couple of times does the job.

Once the voltage gets high enough to punch through the signal will follow. A couple thousand volts finds a path if there is one. ;-) We seldom go there these day. If you still have spark plug wires you can see it.

120 VAC is 180 Volts peak and will punch though most surface film. For power cords one is also carrying enough current to burn off the film in the contact area. That takes so little energy you will not notice it. The problem there is loose contacts. If the plug slips right in there may be too little contact pressure leading to continuous small arcing and heat buildup.

12 VDC is more likely to punch through than something like the TV antenna but more sensitive to small resistances with high current. For the same power the current at 12 V is 10 times the current at 120 V but the power loss through a dirty contact is 100 times at 12 V. That is why we advocate checking connections so much in 12 V troubleshooting. The other problem with 12 V low current like maybe LED bulbs is not a lot of power to clean off the contamination and not enough voltage to punch through. That is when wiggling the bulb may fix the problem.
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:33 PM   #13
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loose wiring getting hot - behind the breakers

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Originally Posted by Btswrkn6 View Post
We had ac on ,tv on,and crockpot on and trippef the 30 amp breaker in the little box that u reset it smelled electrical. So turned everything off except crockpot anybody got any ideas where we go from here? We have a Winnebago aspect 2015 .turned breaker back on and mirco and things came back on just afraid to turn on the ac! Please help out there
sounds like loose wiring getting hot- behind the breakers
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