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Old 01-16-2020, 11:24 AM   #1
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Generator breaker is tripping unexpectedly

We have tripped the breaker on our 8K generator (Allegro Red Coach) and I know we are way below the 8K overall power draw. I have been doing some reading, and now realize there are 2 separate circuits coming from the Generator. On my unit the breaker says it’s 35 Amps, and has 2 circuits. My question is how do you tell what electrical circuits in the coach are connected to what breakers in the generator? It seems the entire coach (except for maybe the air conditioner) is attached to one circuit making it so I effectively only have a 4K generator instead of the 8K total. Is there a way to tell what appliance is on what circuit? Is there a schematic anywhere, I checked our manual and there is nothing there (of course). Any leads would be great, thanks.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:27 PM   #2
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The easiest way to tell is to look at your breaker panel. Alternating full size (not twins) will be on different legs. Consider the twins to be one full size breaker.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:45 PM   #3
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Yes, two power legs. As was commented each full space are alternates legs. Notice your two air conditioners are on differing legs.

Here is a block diagram of 120vac power flow.

Click image for larger version

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Old 01-16-2020, 01:54 PM   #4
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ernieh is correct IF The main breaker is on one end or the other. Start with the main breaker. One leg is the A phase and next one leg is the B phase and so on.

If the main is in the middle of the panel then one leg is to the left of the main and one leg is to the right of the main.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:59 AM   #5
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start the generator and turn off one of its breakers. then go see what works and what doesn't. then turn off that breaker and turn the other one back on. then go see if what used to work now doesn't and what didn't work now does.

the comments about the breaker positions in the panel are correct. our panel has the main breakers in the middle so all of the branch circuits on one side of the mains are all on the same leg and the ones on the other side are on the other leg.

if you have an EMS system in your incoming shore power line that displays amperage used per leg you should also know which shore power leg powers which sidtribution breakers
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
Yes, two power legs. As was commented each full space are alternates legs. Notice your two air conditioners are on differing legs.

Here is a block diagram of 120vac power flow.

Attachment 272464
Thanks Vince, I understand, but based on my attached picture of the breakers I don’t know how to account for the space for a breaker slot that’s empty. Do I have the purple lines for one of the generator lines marked correctly, or do I need to account for the empty space as (a line) even though there is not a breaker in there?

As a side note we were running just the fireplace and the microwave today, and the generator breaker flipped off. Almost nothing at all was running, we are dry camping and everything was off, no water heater or other devices running except for the fridge was on, and we were charging a Yeti battery pulling 3 amps, according to our Kill-a-Watt, and it’s plugged into the entertainment or TV breaker. I shut off that breaker to see what circuit it really was plugged into.

Just running the microwave and the fireplace which SHOULD be on separate lines of the generator shouldn’t be tripping the breaker even if they were on the same line should they?
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:10 AM   #7
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Thanks Vince, I understand, but based on my attached picture of the breakers I don’t know how to account for the space for a breaker slot that’s empty. Do I have the purple lines for one of the generator lines marked correctly, or do I need to account for the empty space as (a line) even though there is not a breaker in there?

As a side note we were running just the fireplace and the microwave today, and the generator breaker flipped off. Almost nothing at all was running, we are dry camping and everything was off, no water heater or other devices running except for the fridge was on, and we were charging a Yeti battery pulling 3 amps, according to our Kill-a-Watt, and it’s plugged into the entertainment or TV breaker. I shut off that breaker to see what circuit it really was plugged into.

Just running the microwave and the fireplace which SHOULD be on separate lines of the generator shouldn’t be tripping the breaker even if they were on the same line should they?
Oh, and of course we were charging the batteries of the coach, which were low from being used overnight. I was assuming those would take a back seat to other stuff pulling loads, but is that wrong? (How much amperage might those batteries charging pull?)
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:22 AM   #8
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start the generator and turn off one of its breakers. then go see what works and what doesn't. then turn off that breaker and turn the other one back on. then go see if what used to work now doesn't and what didn't work now does.

the comments about the breaker positions in the panel are correct. our panel has the main breakers in the middle so all of the branch circuits on one side of the mains are all on the same leg and the ones on the other side are on the other leg.

if you have an EMS system in your incoming shore power line that displays amperage used per leg you should also know which shore power leg powers which sidtribution breakers
Thanks bigchick, but I don’t seem to have that option unless I’m missing something on my generator. See the attached pick. I seem to just have a single switch that is for both lines. am is seeing that correct?
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:32 AM   #9
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I would say its more like this.

Do you have the engine preheat off at its control switch or unplugged ? That's a 9 amp draw.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-17-2020, 10:48 AM   #10
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I would say its more like this.

Do you have the engine preheat off at its control switch or unplugged ? That's a 9 amp draw.Attachment 272536
Nope, it WAS plugged in, so that’s certainly part of the equation. (I unplugged it)
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:55 AM   #11
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I would say its more like this.

Do you have the engine preheat off at its control switch or unplugged ? That's a 9 amp draw.Attachment 272536
Using the lines set up as you’ve done, counting the gap like a circuit breaker, seems to be the most plausible . So running the numbers, AND accounting for the block heater being plugged in now, we get 31 amps accounted for first time it tripped (close to 35) and then 39 amps the second time it tripped. the way I drew the lines skipping the empty breaker we just can’t get the numbers to add up to enough draw.

So what’s weird this setup for the lines makes the fireplace and the microwave on the same generator line. (Which is opposite of what vince thinks it might be)

Anyway, I think the big ah ha moment is the block heater, so hopefully that helps a lot.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:06 PM   #12
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I think if the batteries are being charged, they will not drop out if other loads are put on the system, this could also be part of your problem as well. Or....it could be just a bad breaker on the genset.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:02 AM   #13
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i didn't realize that your generator has a two pole breaker. ours has two independent one pole breakers so you can do it with ours. sorry the suggestion won't work. it looks like in your case an overload or issue on one leg will cause the generator to disconnect all power to both legs.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:20 AM   #14
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That looks like a Progressive Dynamics PD5500 split 50/30 panel. 120/240V 50A input on the left side with up to 10 branch circuits, and a 120V 30A single-pole main breaker from the inverter on the right side, next to the filler plates (which can take another duplex breaker for two more branch circuits). The “Main” label on the far right is in the wrong place, since the 30A single-pole breaker next to the filler plate is marked “inverter in”. Or someone used the wrong location for the inverter input, as the panel was probably already marked at the factory.

With the inverter output on the same pole as the fireplace (call it L1), it’s possible to put 30A load on the inverter (pass-through and/or charging), PLUS whatever other loads are on the same L1 pole, which all have that purple stripe in the photo. L2 would be the non-stripe pole.

The purple stripes on the right side are not correct, as all those breaker are on the same pole, powered by the inverter which is powered by L1. If I’m reading this correctly, of course. But “Inverter Out” is a 30A single-pole breaker, as is “Inverter In”, so the whole right side is just 120V 30A from the inverter.

You can potentially power Entertainment, Microwave, Reefer, and some GFCI receptacles, as well as every load on the left side with a purple stripe, all from one pole of that 50A breaker, which in turn is powered by one pole of the 35A breaker on the generator.

That may be OK on shore power, but with 15A less from the generator, I think you’d have to be a bit more careful about what you run. Maybe look into rearranging a couple of loads to reduce what’s on L1.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/ac...0-amp-240-vac/
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