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Old 02-17-2015, 07:15 PM   #29
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Yes power flows through the transfer switch even when not "picked", and indeed you can have problems on that side of the switch, however lack of shore power does not "pick" the transfer switch. Power from the running generator "picks" the transfer switch contactor. Even if you have shore power, when the generator output is good, the transfer switch will "pick" and you'll be using generator power.

If you're hearing a contactor clunking, it should not be coming from the transfer switch if the generator is off.....

Sounds like the consensus is the EMS unit. Please let us know how it gets resolved.
Ah, got it regarding the transfer switch - and yeah, I noticed that if I exercise the generator the power switches to generator power.

I'm not actually hearing a contactor clunking - what I noticed is that when power tries to come back on I get a clicking sound from under the fridge area. That's the opposite side of the RV from the transfer switch and EMS - but it's where the main circuit board is although the sound doesn't seem to be coming from there.

What it sounds like is clicking coming from the GFCI outlet that's there, and it clicks repeatedly - sometimes a couple times, then after a minute a couple more times like the power is trying to come back, then suddenly the power does come back. Sometimes it takes 4 to 5 minutes though.

Also, the GFCIs don't get tripped. There are actually two GFCI's there, so it had occurred to me that one may be bad, but I don't think they're what's tripping the power.

That said, the GFCIs are on the same circuit as the Microwave and Water Heater (electric), and the water heater and Microwave are what most commonly cause the power to fail.

The Heat Pump also makes it fail though, so that's why I don't think it's that circuit or GFCI.

After I call Progressive Industries in the morning and depending on what they say, I'm going to get male and female 30amp plug ends and wire my cord to them so I can reconnect the cord and bypass the EMS and see if I can make the power cut out. I figure I'll need to do that temporarily anyway if I have to send the EMS back.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:29 PM   #30
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YC1 beat me to it...

STOP FUTZING WITH IT AND GET A VOLTMETER!!!

Do not do anything until you can get a volt meter and start checking voltages.

It is stupid simple to do and you will know why something is doing what it is doing.

DO NOT DO ANYMORE ADJUSTMENTS OR FIXES... as you are just wasting your time.

Check voltage at pedistal then at ATS and continue along the path to the outlets.

Sorry for the yelling but you are working in the dark and can get hurt.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:00 AM   #31
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YC1 beat me to it...

STOP FUTZING WITH IT AND GET A VOLTMETER!!!
Do not do anything until you can get a volt meter and start checking voltages.
It is stupid simple to do and you will know why something is doing what it is doing.
DO NOT DO ANYMORE ADJUSTMENTS OR FIXES... as you are just wasting your time.
Check voltage at pedistal then at ATS and continue along the path to the outlets.
Sorry for the yelling but you are working in the dark and can get hurt.
TQ60, would either you or YC1 care to explain why all the voltage measurements, throughout the system, are necessary when the OP has stated multiple times that the unit only fails on SHORE POWER and NOT on GENERATOR. That, alone, says the problem is not likely past the transfer switch. (AND the transfer switch is in the inactive condition at the time.)

That pretty much leaves the power cord and the EMS (Electrical Management System, NOT to be confused with an Energy Management System).

There is absolutely NO need to go near the Breaker Panel.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:10 AM   #32
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Simple.

Op is stating many things done with minimal results.

Checking for voltage first would indicate if voltage was present indicating good at that point or lack of voltage indicating a problem that needs to be found.

With no voltage condition one carefully works their way towards the source to determine where the loss of voltage occurs then repairs that.

Just tightening screws may help but if problem is intermittent then you do not know if you fixed the real issue or something that needed to be done.

Knowing condition before and after via voltage measurements makes for faster troubleshooting and better outcome.

It also warns you if you think it is off when it is really hot.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:12 AM   #33
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Transfer switch inactive is false statement as it is in circuit at all times.

A pitted contact on the C to NC side can cause this exact issue and confirming voltage is how you check to see.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:38 AM   #34
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TQ60 is on the right track. If there is a bad set of contacts in either the transfer switch or the PI box you will get low voltage when the current draw is high (like an A/C starting).
A voltmeter with a memory function, one that records both high and low voltages, would be of significant help. There are many on the market but they are not inexpensive.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:26 AM   #35
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You just need before and after voltage measurements. Take readings with it working, take the same readings with it not working.


As a certified ET with 40 yrs troubleshooting electronic systems in vehicles logic says it must be done with sequence and not just throwing parts at it or guessing. Intermittents are miserable but this one is not intermittent. The OP can duplicate the problem so it should be easy enough to find out where the voltage is and where it is not. Something is failing under load and that issue could also be a serious fire hazard. Resistance will cause heat build up that can lead to fires. Transfer switches have caused fires. I'm not suggesting it is the transfer switch. Just using that as an example.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:50 AM   #36
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You just need before and after voltage measurements. Take readings with it working, take the same readings with it not working.


As a certified ET with 40 yrs troubleshooting electronic systems in vehicles logic says it must be done with sequence and not just throwing parts at it or guessing. Intermittents are miserable but this one is not intermittent. The OP can duplicate the problem so it should be easy enough to find out where the voltage is and where it is not. Something is failing under load and that issue could also be a serious fire hazard. Resistance will cause heat build up that can lead to fires. Transfer switches have caused fires. I'm not suggesting it is the transfer switch. Just using that as an example.
Here's the thing - I can't duplicate the problem reliably. I'm going to go buy a multimeter in just a few so I can test everything (any recommendations? I have a Lowes nearby), but to be clear, I can't make it fail. I can tell you that it only fails under high load - when using a high amperage appliance - but I have put the system under load and had it not fail. That's why this is driving me nuts. At my last park it didn't fail once for two weeks while using the heatpump, microwave and electric water heater. Now it's failed several times in the past 3 days.

Note that my EMS has a readout, so I know I'm getting 124V from the post, and I know how many amps I'm pulling at any given time. I'm in a pretty nice park right now - all new looking posts and lots of high-end rigs here (in Arizona) so I think the park power is fine.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:58 AM   #37
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Based on what I know and what I have read throughout this thread, it is pointing directly to the PI EMS-HW-30C unit as the problem.

It has been my experience that when I first hookup shore power and wait the 15-20 seconds I will hear my PI EMS-HW-50C unit clunk which is the large relay connecting. I will NOT hear my ESCO Transfer Switch because it is a NC relay for shore power. Actually the times that I have started up the Generator I have never heard my transfer switch activate between shore power and generator power.

Bottom-line, I think once he takes some voltage readings before and after the PI EMS-HW-30C he will then know where his problem lies.

The fact that his relay was not set properly and the unit would not work RIGHT out of the box concerns me.

My EMS unit worked from day one without any modifications and has been faithful for the past 5 years.

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Old 02-18-2015, 12:57 PM   #38
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Bottom-line, I think once he takes some voltage readings before and after the PI EMS-HW-30C he will then know where his problem lies.

The fact that his relay was not set properly and the unit would not work RIGHT out of the box concerns me.

My EMS unit worked from day one without any modifications and has been faithful for the past 5 years.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Just FYI - while the relay was off the spring, once I set it back on everything seemed to work fine for the past 2 years. I guess it's in my nature to try to fix things vs. send them back, and in this case that may be a bad thing - although everything else looked fine.

And yes, after 15 - 20 seconds of plugging in I get a 'THUNK' from the EMS and then power turns on. I'm going to get a multimeter right now. Should have done this sooner, but I've been simply limiting my power usage to get around the issue. Not smart I know. I'll remedy that today, take readings, take pictures, etc.. and report back. I figure PI will want this information anyway when I call.

Thanks for all of your help and feedback!
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:55 PM   #39
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EMS

Any chance this applies?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 3 hour averaging.pdf (65.1 KB, 25 views)
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:29 PM   #40
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It could well be the EMS if the park power is spiking and the EMS is reacting to it. I would call the manufacturer. Among other things there should be a delay in reacting to short duration spikes that may be bad.

FWIW the simple way to do a transfer switch is to have the line cord go through the normally closed contacts of a relay with a 120 VAC coil. Connect the coil to the generator and the generator side of the transfer switch. That way when the generator is started and it's control board turns on the AC that 120 V pulls in the coil on the relay changing the power source to the MH. No electronics involved.

FWIW2 if the problem is how it reacts to transients then you will be very lucky to see it with a voltmeter. You would need to be watching at the time it happened and it would need to happen at the time the meter was taking a sample. The other side of that is any differences you see are significant.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:17 PM   #41
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Any chance this applies?
Great find and I did not realize this - but I highly doubt this is my issue. If pwer is being cutoff by the EMS, for any reason (including this one), then when power comes back on it shows an error code.

When my power comes back on, there's no error code - just E0 which is normal.

Thanks for finding this either way.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:23 PM   #42
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Simple.

Op is stating many things done with minimal results.

Checking for voltage first would indicate if voltage was present indicating good at that point or lack of voltage indicating a problem that needs to be found.

With no voltage condition one carefully works their way towards the source to determine where the loss of voltage occurs then repairs that.

Just tightening screws may help but if problem is intermittent then you do not know if you fixed the real issue or something that needed to be done.

Knowing condition before and after via voltage measurements makes for faster troubleshooting and better outcome.

It also warns you if you think it is off when it is really hot.
Ok - I didn't want to hurt myself of course, so I got a good multimeter (been meaning to anyway) and tested everything.

I'm getting 121.8 volts from the post, 121.7 - 121.8 at the circuit breakers (I checked all of them), and 121.7 from every outlet in the RV.

I also checked my batteries, my converter, etc.. 13.7v across the board.

Finally, I tried to make the system fail today and couldn't do it. Frustrating. I put it up to 26amps (microwave + tv/stereo, and other stuff) for a while and it didn't even flicker.

Any other thoughts from there? Anything else I need to test? I wanted to check all of this before I call Progressive, so I'll call them tomorrow.

As others have surmised, it's got to be the EMS. Right?
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