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Old 06-14-2021, 08:52 AM   #1
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Question Electrical Short Causing Generator(s) to Trip? TT Issues...

My buddy got a new-to-him 2020 Wolf Pup 16BHS, but has some odd electrical issues going on.

When hooked up to a generator, it seems to power outlets and charge batteries fine, until a load is placed on it and then it will cause the generator to die or go into overload mode/cut power. We tried paralleling and other generators.

At first, it was noticed when the electric water heater element was switched on, but recently he noticed it even when simply trying to brew coffee from an outlet.

When this was happening, I couldn't find any tripped breakers or blown fuses. If we shut down the generator and turned it back on all was normal (until trying to put a load on it...)

Any troubleshooting tips?
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:46 AM   #2
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What happens if it is plugged into shore power? Does it matter what outlet he is using?
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When this was happening, I couldn't find any tripped breakers or blown fuses.
That sounds like a 120V power problem so that probably eliminates the fuses and related circuits since that would be 12V power. I would try opening all of the 120V circuit breakers and with it on the generator, test things by closing one breaker at a time. Most likely there is 1 breaker that supplies all of the 120V outlets and another for each larger 120V load like the microwave, the converter(for 12V), probably the electric water heater element, air conditioner, and perhaps one or two others. If there is a main breaker, it would supply all of the others so turn it back on first.
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:52 AM   #3
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Interesting - I could have him test it at home.
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:56 AM   #4
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As a career electrical service tech, I suspect that the problem will be the same plugged into shore power but it is a good check. You may even want to use an adapter and connect to a 15a or 20a outlet, just to limit the current while you troubleshoot at home.
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKP Kirk View Post
I would try opening all of the 120V circuit breakers and with it on the generator, test things by closing one breaker at a time. Most likely there is 1 breaker that supplies all of the 120V outlets and another for each larger 120V load like the microwave, the converter(for 12V), probably the electric water heater element, air conditioner, and perhaps one or two others. If there is a main breaker, it would supply all of the others so turn it back on first.
What he said.

Probably a load you don't think about much, like a battery charger or water heater. It would help to slap an ammeter on the incoming power to see what the current draw is before adding in a coffee maker or other load. My battery charger will draw 16A or more from shore power, though most won't pull that much I don't believe (big LiFePO4 battery). And a coffee machine would typically be 10-12A, or 1500W or thereabouts, which won't work well with a 1000W generator.

You didn't say what size the generator is.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:21 AM   #6
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We actually tried paralleling the two generators as well. Both 2000W peak.

I tried opening all breakers and flipping them on one by one. As soon as I flipped the circuit with the water heater the generator(s) would stumble and go into overload.

Didn't trouble shoot much but at 1600W running load rating the generator should have no issue with a coffee maker...
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:30 AM   #7
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A 1600 watt load would require about 13a. If closing that breaker causes the problem when nothing else is connected, then you have found the problem and most likely the electric heating element has shorted or is touching the metal and shorting to ground.

Since it has been several days now, I am going to guess that you have it figured out and repaired? Did you replace that element?
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