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Old 08-10-2013, 06:43 AM   #1
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Burned generator wires in transfer switch.

Our Onan 5500 stopped powering the camper yesterday but still ran ok. I opened the transfer switch today and found the neutral and aux wires from the generator badly burned and broken off at the buss bar.
Yikes, thank God we didn't have a fire. The wires look pretty light compared to the shore line wires.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Had you ever checked the tightness of the wire connectors on the transfer switch? This is something we all need to be doing as part of our maintenance checks. Loose connections will cause high current draw and enough heat start a fire.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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No I never checked that but I should have.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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If the wires are too small, that can cause overheat.. But I too suspect a loose screw. That is the #1 cause in these cases.

I am fond of saying that many RVers have a few screws loose.. and those are some of the very screws I'm talking about. (The ones in the breaker box also fit this statement just so you know) Suggestion.

With generator off (Which it will be till you replace the transfer switch) and shore power off (UNPLUGED and plug where you can see it) Tighten all electrical screws.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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We purchased our coach new but, it had set at the dealer for awhile. I checked all the connections before our first trip and I was able to tighten some of them as much as half a turn.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
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After finding this problem I checked the other connections and found a few that would turn 1/4 turn.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Loose connections will cause the overheating and burning. You should check the tightness of the wiring on a yearly basis.

Ken
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
If the wires are too small, that can cause overheat.. But I too suspect a loose screw. That is the #1 cause in these cases.

I am fond of saying that many RVers have a few screws loose.. and those are some of the very screws I'm talking about. (The ones in the breaker box also fit this statement just so you know) Suggestion.

With generator off (Which it will be till you replace the transfer switch) and shore power off (UNPLUGED and plug where you can see it) Tighten all electrical screws.
Don't forget to turn off the inverter too!
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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My wife started smelling something like a chemical smell this morning and I traced it down to the transfer box. After taking the cover off found the input wires burnt and melted. The bus bar mounting plastic bar was melted and distorted. I checked the bus bar wires and all the screws were very tight. I will have to replace the box. This is the second major problem this week.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:18 PM   #10
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My wife started smelling something like a chemical smell this morning and I traced it down to the transfer box. After taking the cover off found the input wires burnt and melted. The bus bar mounting plastic bar was melted and distorted. I checked the bus bar wires and all the screws were very tight. I will have to replace the box. This is the second major problem this week.

Bummer! Any chance you have the IOTA 50R transfer switch? They have been recalled.
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:23 AM   #11
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Yes that's what it is
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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Do a search on IOTA 50R transfer switch there is tons of information on these things burning up. Not sure if your coach manufacturer was one of the companies who voluntarily recalled the IOTA 50R transfer switch or not. You may want to contact your dealer to see. IOTA filed for bankruptcy and from what I understand whoever is running the company now will not cover the recall. There are several other transfer switches that are recommended as replacements somewhere in the $200 range if you are comfortable changing it out yourself.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:36 PM   #13
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Got my wfco box today, and it has 8 gauge wires in it rather then the 10 gauge that was in the old box. The 10th gauge is why the old wires were melting.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #14
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Besides the xfer switch don't forget to check the 120 volt breaker box connections.
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