iRV2 Forums

iRV2 Forums (https://www.irv2.com/forums/)
-   RV Systems & Appliances (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/)
-   -   Burned generator wires in transfer switch. (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/burned-generator-wires-in-transfer-switch-172092.html)

Magumba 08-10-2013 07:43 AM

Burned generator wires in transfer switch.
 
2 Attachment(s)
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.

bdpreece 08-10-2013 12:53 PM

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.

Magumba 08-10-2013 04:37 PM

No I never checked that but I should have.

wa8yxm 08-10-2013 04:59 PM

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.

bdpreece 08-10-2013 05:23 PM

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.

Magumba 08-11-2013 07:44 PM

After finding this problem I checked the other connections and found a few that would turn 1/4 turn.

TXiceman 08-11-2013 07:47 PM

Loose connections will cause the overheating and burning. You should check the tightness of the wiring on a yearly basis.

Ken

Ramblin 08-11-2013 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wa8yxm (Post 1680211)
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!

billyb 08-11-2013 07:59 PM

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.

bdpreece 08-11-2013 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billyb (Post 1681764)
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.

billyb 08-12-2013 05:23 AM

Yes that's what it is

bdpreece 08-12-2013 12:17 PM

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.

billyb 08-13-2013 07:36 PM

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.

mahon1993 08-13-2013 08:22 PM

Besides the xfer switch don't forget to check the 120 volt breaker box connections.

Magumba 08-16-2013 04:30 PM

Update, the buss bar was damaged due to the heat of the wires getting hot. We will have to replace the box.

billyb 08-16-2013 04:49 PM

You might want to check Amazon theY had one for a hundred twentY two and change

billyb 08-17-2013 06:58 AM

I just have a couple questions I'd like to ask about your transfer box. Was the main one Wire that melted White neutral Wire. Also have you been running you're both air conditioners on 30 amp service. Have you a way of monitoring your voltage whether you had low voltage or not coming into the motorhome. I'm just trying to pinpoint what made the transfer box get so hot. It would seem that there has to be some reason why those wIres melted as all my lugs were tight.

Magumba 08-17-2013 08:21 AM

Billy, We have a basement air conditioner and an EMS that controls what can be powered if we are using 30 amp power.
I don't monitor shore line voltage but I probably should.

Fossilhog 08-22-2013 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magumba (Post 1679550)
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.

Had the same thing happen to me and when checking found all the screws loose.

Jimooo 08-22-2013 08:37 AM

Usually when screws are loose on a loaded conductor wire it will arc until it usually welds together causing some heat between wire and screw end right at the screw tie in , and not 2 inches back from screw connection , when wire coating and copper are melted so far back from connection you could have an overloaded circuit coming off that leg, you might want to amp load that circuit with everything on including both air conditioners on and see what it is pulling for your wire size.

Your automatic transfer switch has a step transformer inside of it that also could be the cause of the burnt/melted wire.

Safe Travels,


James

billyb 08-22-2013 08:56 AM

One thing I did see was the set screw that hOld the wire fOr the neutral line was actually galled on the threads to the aluminum block where the wires are tied together. I had to chase the threads to clean them up.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.