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Old 04-24-2021, 09:11 AM   #1
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50 amp power cord issue.

OK, any of you who have been following I have been having tons of electrical problems in my 2006 Winnebago journey. Last night was the final straw. I went to use the washer and the outlet was dead. First I assumed it was because last week using the electric basement heat pump you could hear it try and cycle on and off. So I shut it down took the cover off and both of the capacitors were burnt.

This morning trying to figure out why the washer outlet was dead I pulled the cover off the main service panel in the coach. From ground to line one I had 120 V. From ground to line 2 I had 47 V. From line 1 to 2 I got no reading.
So I went out and started at the pedestal. On the 50 amp between line one in ground 120 V. From line 2 to ground 120 V. Between lines 1 and two 240 V. Also did the same check to the neutral. All appears to be well at the pedestal.
So now I open up the transfer switch and a check line one to both ground and neutral 120 V. I checked line 2 to neutral and I get 47 V. Again I get no reading between lines 1 and two. Then I put the 30 amp to 50 amp adapter in plugged into the 30 amp outlet on the pedestal and now I have 120 V everywhere. Which is what it should be when youíre plugged into 30 A. Iíve inspected the cord from one into the other and can find no damage. The plug is molded onto the cord and I donít see any burn marks or damage. I checked resistance from each pin on the plug to where it enters the transfer switch. It seems on line 2 I have a higher than normal resistance.

I also disconnected from the pedestal and started the generator. I get 240 V across line 1 and two, 120 V from both line 1 and line 2 to either the ground or the neutral. The washer outlet now works. I turned the hot water heater on electric and it appears to be drawing do usual 10 A. Only thing I havenít done is actually pulled the wire out of the transfer switch to check from the plug to the end of the cord, but I am already doing my resistance check to the little bare portion showing where it goís into the transfer switch.

Is it possible that the low voltage on line two is what took the starter capacitors on the heat pump out.

Can this be anything but the power cord.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:07 AM   #2
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Do you have a cord reel ?

The contacts in them can fail.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:28 AM   #3
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Could be cord reel as mentioned but that could be difficult to repair. It can be bypassed of course but personally I would cut the end off about 8 inches and install a new plug. It is a cheap test and I rarely recommend throwing parts at things.

Yes you could use an ohmmeter but probably would not give you an honest report. One strand could give you a good reading.

Feel the cord and plug to see if there is any heat built up. Inspect the plug connectors for any signs of burning at the base where they are buried in the housing.

It takes about 30 minutes to change the end and you can get one with a good pull handle attached.

If that does not solve it the reel is highly suspect.

Try moving the cable reel a 1/4 turn to see if the voltage goes up. Of course if things go up you have some contact issues in it.
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Do you have a cord reel ?

The contacts in them can fail.
No cord reel. I know that sometimes contacts in the transfer switch fail. But I am getting these strange voltage readings somewhere between the plug and the transfer switch. There always is 1/8 to 1/4 inch of bare stranded wire right above the lug, just enough to get the probe in, and that's where I'm testing. I gambling on the plug. I really like the molded plugs but when they fail they fail.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:07 PM   #5
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I literally just went through this last week

I have a Progressive Industries EMS and it was reading 120V on LA and 4V on L2...HUH???

The same thing...opened the panel and checked outlet...all good so I tried the extension cord with a 50A pigtail I had and good voltage on both sides

So it was the cord right??? Pulled the cord apart and low and behold the round Marinco connector had a loose/broken wire that was arcing and fortunately found it before there was a problem
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:26 PM   #6
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Oddly, I just had a very similar problem. The Camco replacement 50A plug was the issue. Some combination of installer error (not that it's my first rodeo but nobody's perfect so maybe things weren't tight enough?), heat/cold cycles, and vibration made the screws that hold the wires loosen up. I had 120V on one leg and 87V on the other. I retightened everything as far as I dared to and ordered a new connector from another company of a different design. If it happens again, I'll change it out. If *that* one has the same problem I'll get a new power cord with a molded plug.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:03 PM   #7
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All your testing seems to point that it's either the cord or the plug.....it's time to cut the plug off and install a new one.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:15 PM   #8
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Testing resistance in each wire in the cable should be on your to-do list. Wire resistance calculator and table.
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:37 AM   #9
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I’m like some of the others and feel it is a bad plug or a failing cord most likely near the plug. If you replace the plug check for discolored wire in the cord. If you find this cut the cord back until you get past the discoloration. Typically when you have a wire that is discolored it is from heat.
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:16 AM   #10
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What gauge wire is typically used in a 50amp power cord?
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:30 AM   #11
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6 gauge wire is what is used on a quality 50A cord.
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.tommy View Post
What gauge wire is typically used in a 50amp power cord?
6GA on White, Red and Black and 8GA for ground (Green) with SOOW wire.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:04 AM   #13
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Loose/ blown connection on RV end of shoreline possible; often a J-Box using wire Nuts?
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:15 AM   #14
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Update. I have ordered a new plug. May be the problem. I have checked the resistance in the cord ( mounded plug) and yes one leg shows high. Only thing I have not done is actually disconnected the cord from the transfer switch. Before I cut the cord I think I’ll take the wires out of the ATS. Check the resistance with no other factories involved.
Added information. The basement a/c heat pump started acting up (this was before I found the low voltage issue) so I shut it down. I opened the electric panel on the ac and one of the motor start capacitors was burnt bad. I ordered and installed yesterday. Now in on 30 amp with the pigtail. 120 volts on both legs so I only turn the breaker on for one compressor. The interior blower fan come on instantly. Thermostat off. Only way to turn the fan off is to trip the breaker. I did turn the thermostat up and compressor #1 came on. Shut it down to avoid any damage.

Other note. Before I found the low voltage on line 1 it appeared the water heater electric quit working. Now on 30 amp it heats fine.

First order of business is to go out and reorganize all the tools and parts scattered from the last 3 weeks.

There. Frustration vented.
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