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Old 11-30-2016, 07:29 PM   #1
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Electrical power problem

Im new to class a. I was hooked to shore line. Started gen set for 15 min. Cut it off. Later i came out and all lites were dim. Must have been on house batt. 6.5v showing. No breakers tripoed. Unplugged ac. Using gen set now. Alls working. What hapoened??
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rigger16 View Post
Im new to class a. I am on shore power. Ran gen set for 15 min shut it off. Came out later and ac power was off. Lites were dim. Must have been on house batt. They only had 6.5 v. Anyone know what happened??
Sounds like changeover box did not reset to cord power. Could be points or relay did not close in changeover box..
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:57 AM   #3
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You don't provide info on your rig. Make, model year etc. In my '97 Itasca if I am on shore power and start the generator, the shore power still supercedes the genset. I would have to turn off the AC power to have the genset charge the house batteries. Two questions? Why did you start the genset? Why didn't the shore power provide a full charge to the house batteries prior to starting the genset? The other writer mentioned the switchover box as possibly not working which is a good comment. Suggestion: In this and any other problem you may encounter please first find and thoroughly read the section in your manual on the issue you are having. In this case, probably something like the "charging" section. I did this for the first two years after I got my rig. Saved me a lot of worry, time and $$. And I now understand pretty much my entire rig. Though a surprise or two still surfaces. Good Luck!!
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:17 AM   #4
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Read somewhere that before starting the gen set one should disconnect from shore power. The generator will cause the power to switch over and the transfer switch points will arc. IMO the arcing will ultimately fry something.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:19 AM   #5
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Im new to class a. I am on shore power. Ran gen set for 15 min shut it off. Came out later and ac power was off. Lites were dim. Must have been on house batt. They only had 6.5 v. Anyone know what happened??
You may get more responses if you start a new post.

Name it "Possable Transfer Switch problem" and include what kind of MH you have.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:41 PM   #6
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Ok, this is the PROPER procedure for transfering from Shore to Generator and back:

First, Shut off either current power source (If shore) or main breaker (You really should kill the main breaker when stopping the genny) or all switchable loads (A/C. Water or space heaters and the like,, You may leave the furnace on as it is a 12 volt device, same for lights and fans).

Then shut off current power source (IF for example preparing to move, Turn off park breakers and unplug

Wait 3 minutes before activating the other source (Starting the Generator)
When generator transfer switch CLUNKS.. Restore breakers and operation to devices.

From Genrator to shore

Again shut down as much as possible, trip main breaker to off, Kill generator.. wait 3 minutes,, Plug in, turn ON shore breaker, turn on main breakers and restart

Now. personally I generally do NOT shut off the main breaker, but I cut off all major loads (A/C, Microwave, Water and space heaters) before transfer


WHY: I fried my first transfer switch too.
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Old 12-01-2016, 07:25 PM   #7
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So why do they call it an AUTOMATIC transfer switch.

Google the brand of switch you have and they will state that it is built and designed to automatically transfer full rated power.

If your going to go thru a bunch of steps and delays, just put in a manual switch.

MHs with AGS (automatic generator start) devices do the transfer hands free, with everything on.

You may have a connection problem in the ATS enclosure. There have been many reports of burnt conductors from poorly tightened connections.

You did nothing wrong.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:38 AM   #8
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So why do they call it an AUTOMATIC transfer switch.

Google the brand of switch you have and they will state that it is built and designed to automatically transfer full rated power.

If your going to go thru a bunch of steps and delays, just put in a manual switch.

MHs with AGS (automatic generator start) devices do the transfer hands free, with everything on.

You may have a connection problem in the ATS enclosure. There have been many reports of burnt conductors from poorly tightened connections.

You did nothing wrong.
Our coach with AGS does not transfer with full load. It is triggered by the status of the house batteries. So - if the power at the pedestal goes off the A/C, stove, fireplace and 120 to aqua hot go off. The inverter powers the remainder. When the preprogrammed voltage is reached the generator auto starts. When it powers up the previously disconnected items have power.

When I exercise the generator I turn the power off at the pedestal. May not have to but it is really easy to do and removes any potential issue with arcing in the transfer switch.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:55 AM   #9
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I only ensure high current loads (air conditioning, microwave, hair dryer, etc) are inactive when the transfer switch is activated. This to avoid arcing and a cumulating transfer switch failure. Small loads are ok.
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:09 AM   #10
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I always start the generator before disconnecting from shore power. Do turn off high load items like the a/c. The generator does not like a big load on when it first fires up. The auto transfer switch is designed to default to generator so nothing "burps" in the coach and the fridge and all the clocks stay on.

To the OP. Find your transfer switch. It is probably in the power bay and the cord from shore power and generator will go to it. With no power on, either from the shore power or generator, first see if you can smell any electrical burning. If so then a new one might be needed. Open it up and look for relays. They will be small cubes on the board. Give them a light tap with the handle of a screwdriver. Before putting any power back on check to see if all of the connections are tight.

Only try this if you are comfortable with working with electricity.
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:18 AM   #11
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Our coach with AGS does not transfer with full load. It is triggered by the status of the house batteries. So - if the power at the pedestal goes off the A/C, stove, fireplace and 120 to aqua hot go off. The inverter powers the remainder. When the preprogrammed voltage is reached the generator auto starts. When it powers up the previously disconnected items have power.

When I exercise the generator I turn the power off at the pedestal. May not have to but it is really easy to do and removes any potential issue with arcing in the transfer switch.
So your not switching a load OFF, in the ATS, but once the AGS kicks in, the ATS is switching a load ON to the previously disconnected items.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:59 PM   #12
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It is my guess that your inverter/charger is turned off or has a blown breaker. Your lights were on battery the whole time and turning the generator on/off had no effect. Check the inverter control panel to see if there is power to the inverter and the battery charger is turned on. If not check check the inverter itself. There is a circuit breaker on the inverter that will sometime trip, but I am betting the delivery people failed to turn on the charger.

I agree a new thread will get more responses.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:04 AM   #13
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I will say again, with amplification.. DO NOT SWITCH the power source at full load or even half load.. Turn off all big ticket (1,000 watt plus) loads before transfer.. The Inductive Kick from a motor (Like the A/C) can hit thousands of volts. this can cause arcing on the relay contacts.. There is a HUGE difference between 2,000 watts of Air Conditioner and 2,000 watts of space heater. (They teach that in electronics class by the way, not so much in electrical).

Also, These days if corporate profits they do not design things like I do.. I once designed a 12 volt power supply to deliver 3 amps.. Well for testing I needed to go a but above 3 amps.. So I bypassed the breaker and drew 10 amps off it,, desoldered the regulator board due to a resistor overheating during the test but it survived and delivered the power.. I then restored the breaker, re-soldered the board and still have that power supply for use with the radio it was designed for here. I design with "Overkill" in mind.

Today however that kind of design would never be used by a company... You see designing so the device can survive an overload costs money, Better to design for like 90% and pray they never try full load or to replace it under warranty when full load is required and it fails.

Thus, DO NOT hot switch.. At least not the heavy loads.. Converter is OK, and the TV wont' bother you much (Of course the TV hot switches on a different ATS, one better designed, here in this RV)

But what happens is the inductive kick I mentioned can hit well over a thousand volts, the arc that results welds the contacts on the relays, and the switch no longer switches.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:13 AM   #14
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X2 Turn off all high current devices before allowing a switch from gen to shore or back.. Arcing of the transfer points will ruin your switch.
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