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Old 07-27-2021, 12:45 PM   #1
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Help identifying this

These wires are in the open cabinet where the VCR was located. They are hot and spark if we get too close. I assume I need to know what they are so I can stop the power to them to avoid getting shocked.



https://www.dropbox.com/s/6wh378zipn...%20PM.jpg?dl=0
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelibexp View Post
These wires are in the open cabinet where the VCR was located. They are hot and spark if we get too close. I assume I need to know what they are so I can stop the power to them to avoid getting shocked.



https://www.dropbox.com/s/6wh378zipn...%20PM.jpg?dl=0
Well that is a 12 volt relay. Pretty common one. Looks like 4 prong 12 volt. Could be a relay that turns the TV/VCR or Switchbox off when the engine is started, could be something someone added so they could bypass the original relay so they could watch TV with the ignition on.

I don't know what you mean the "spark" if you get to close? They should be just 12v pass through. One is probably hot all the time, two would probably be operated by a switch or another relay, like the ignition.

Without more information than "what is this" it's impossible to tell. I can say by looking at it that is something the PO added in to do something. I can't imagine even the worst manufacture just leaving a relay hang like that.

Get the VOM out and see if you can find in lead that is always hot, or comes on or off with the ignition. If more than one, or for that matter all are hot you need to trace the wire back to either a switch or the source. After you have tested for voltage, and I can't imagine this relay is running anything but 12 volts, disconnect the leads one at a time and see if something doesnt work. Yup, time consuming. And yes, you can get a pretty good tickle from 12v but that size wire is not going to be carrying much current. That relay is rated for 30 amps, which isn't a whole lot at 12 v.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:05 PM   #3
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Well don't get to close... seriously.. you cannot have any... none.. wires sparking anywhere.. just a guess.. do you have window fans for front windshield.. it is a 12volt power relay and they can't normally kill you.. but they sometimes carry a lot of amps.. well enough to start a big fire.. problem is that I will be it middle of the night.. or when no one is around to call fire department.. it sounds you have no experience with rv electric.. so call a tech.. out to look at it and address your issue.. if this thing sparks anytime.. THAT IS NOT NORMAL. AND IS EXTREME FIRE HAZARD... so get it fixed.. now there are great automotive 12volt electric books at auto parts store.. pick one up.. ask clerks to help you get some basic tools.. there is a whole new world out there..

If you want to try to repair yourself.. let us know.. we have some wonderful members here that are electric engineers and genius as always good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by donr103 View Post
Well don't get to close... seriously.. you cannot have any... none.. wires sparking anywhere.. just a guess.. do you have window fans for front windshield.. it is a 12volt power relay and they can't normally kill you.. but they sometimes carry a lot of amps.. well enough to start a big fire.. problem is that I will be it middle of the night.. or when no one is around to call fire department.. it sounds you have no experience with rv electric.. so call a tech.. out to look at it and address your issue.. if this thing sparks anytime.. THAT IS NOT NORMAL. AND IS EXTREME FIRE HAZARD... so get it fixed.. now there are great automotive 12volt electric books at auto parts store.. pick one up.. ask clerks to help you get some basic tools.. there is a whole new world out there..

If you want to try to repair yourself.. let us know.. we have some wonderful members here that are electric engineers and genius as always good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you

Well your right, the OP does not appear to have any electrical experience.
Your right, if it is sparking, which makes no sense looking at the picture, all the crimp connectors look fine, although not a very good job of install, this guy is going to have to learn some basics, or he is going to be spending a lot at $145 an hour to have someone poke around. You should be able to grab the housing of the relay and feel if it is warm. If not it either is doing nothing or is very low draw.

To the OP, I would suggest that to own an RV you need some basic tools. Including electrical.

First a 12v test light. A good one.
Second a good VOM with a clamp on amp meter.
A box with a large variety of crimp connectors.
A variety of shrink tube.
A good pair of Wire stripers.
A good wire crimper.
An infrared thermometer

For whatever reason this was put in, the connections are sub par. When I install a new switch or relay for an add on or replacement, I never put more than one wire in a connector, and I always put a piece of shrink tube on that I can slide down over the entire terminal and shrink so that no bare electrical parts are exposed. If I need more than one connection to a terminal I use Vampire connectors, so each wire has its own connection.

In this case, I would start by finding if any of the leads are hot 12v. Then I would put the clamp on amp meter over that to see if any load is passing through. Then I would do the same with all the other leads to see if they are passing through.

About the only way you are going to get more than a tickle out that is if you were standing in a puddle of water in bare feet and grabbed onto the wire with wet hands.

A little trick I do, which I do not recommend someone without experience do when I have a hot wire that I cannot figure out where it goes or what it does is use a jumper with 2 alligator clips and a 40 amp fuse in the middle. I'll short the wire to ground and see if it blows a fuse, or if it blows the 40 amp you know it is direct to hot battery somewhere. Virtually nothing on an RV 12 v wiring system is fused for more than 40 amps, unless it is heavy wire with a direct connection to the battery. Of course then it is time to start searching for the blown fuse to find out what it powers.

That relay is at max 40 amp 12v, and probably 30 amp as it has only 4 prongs.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:57 PM   #5
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That is a 12 volt relay. It takes 12 volts to operate its coil. It's most likely passing 12 volts through its contacts but you never know, there's a slight chance someone installed it to remotely switch a 120 volt circuit. A volt meter is needed to make sure.

Oh, and 12 volts can make a big spark when shorted.

Definitely haphazard looking but it wouldn't surprise me one bit that it came from the manufacturer that way.
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:00 PM   #6
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:08 PM   #7
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It's a 5 terminal relay. The dark terminal in the center has me concerned. It has no load on it but it looks burned. the center terminal should be shinny like the rest. The orange wire should be the 12 volt power feed. The yellow wire should be what the relay feeds power to. These two wires could be turned around. The other two wire is what triggers the relay to turn on. One wire feeds power to the relay and the other side is grounded to turn the relay on.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:14 AM   #8
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It's a 5 terminal relay. The dark terminal in the center has me concerned. It has no load on it but it looks burned. the center terminal should be shinny like the rest. The orange wire should be the 12 volt power feed. The yellow wire should be what the relay feeds power to. These two wires could be turned around. The other two wire is what triggers the relay to turn on. One wire feeds power to the relay and the other side is grounded to turn the relay on.
I didn't even notice that it had a center terminal. That terminal would be on a SPDT relay which acts similarly to a transfer switch. On a normally open relay, a wire on terminal 30 will be connected to 87a (the middle terminal) when not energized. When the relay's coil is energized, the wire on terminal 30 will be connected to terminal 87.



Why 87a is burnt looking is a mystery since it doesn't have a wire connected to it. Maybe someone moved it from a previous location where it encountered a lot of use?
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