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Old 11-07-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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12V ground connection good or bad?

I hope someone with more knowledge than I have can tell me how to determine if a 12 Amp ground connection is good. First of all I am assuming that the quality of a ground connection can be slightly off in its effectiveness. If this is not the case and all grounds are equal then I will proceed on that basis. I have a good tester but I don't know which setting to use and I also have the real simple tester that will tell just positive and negative

Thanks in advance

Dick
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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You would use the OHM's or resistance setting-should read less then 5 OHMS from the negative wire terminal to a clean metal part of the frame or a ground wire in the trailer. If in doubt-remove the ground wire, sand both sides of the ground wire terminal lug and the metal area where the wire is attached and install with a new screw if necessary. Hope this helps.

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Old 11-08-2014, 12:44 PM   #3
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BigD - we could be more helpful if you described the problem you're trying to solve. Does something not work at all, works but operates slowly, works intermittently, etc? Also, if you have a bad ground the connection point will sometimes be warm to the touch due to the resistance of the connection.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:31 PM   #4
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The attached photo shows three breakers and a relay that control hydraulic slides on my 2006 Cedar Creek Silverback LTDTS fifth wheel. The slides are all controlled from a single switch in the trailer and will automatically extend or retract one at a time. Occasionally the second breaker from the right will pop on the third slide.If I go outside and reset the breaker by the time I get back inside the slide works perfectly. I was wondering if the resistance at the ground wire on the top right, due to a bad connection, would be enough to occasionally trip the breaker.


I was hoping that someone who has the same trailer could take a photo of the connections on the breaker buss bar

Thanks
Dick
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:30 PM   #5
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BidD - Why not just remove each wire one at a time and clean/tighten ALL these connections? You could also swap breaker positions (if they're all the same amp rating) as you may just have a breaker starting to go bad. Since this happens on the 3rd slide, the breaker has been seeing high current draw for quite a period of time.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:55 PM   #6
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Couple of things.

The green wire actually has nothing to do with the slides and is just using the breaker stud as an attachment point. The top bar is supplying 12V current across all the breakers.

The two breakers on the right are tied together to make a single larger breaker. In other words, if they're both 15A breakers then they combine to make 30A. Not the most efficient way as one will always carry more load than the other, but it works.

Now, if you're popping one breaker and the slide just quits then I'd suspect that the breaker on the far right is broken. If one breaker pops then the other should pop too. The fact you're saying that only the one pops but you have no power coming from the unpopped one leads me to think that the one far right isn't working at all.

I'd take the power cable off of the bottom right, remove the lower buss bar and check the voltage coming out of the breakers. I'm thinking you'll see a difference between the two. If there's any question, replace them both. They're fairly cheap and easy to replace.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKnight View Post
Couple of things.

The green wire actually has nothing to do with the slides and is just using the breaker stud as an attachment point. The top bar is supplying 12V current across all the breakers.

The two breakers on the right are tied together to make a single larger breaker. In other words, if they're both 15A breakers then they combine to make 30A. Not the most efficient way as one will always carry more load than the other, but it works.

Now, if you're popping one breaker and the slide just quits then I'd suspect that the breaker on the far right is broken. If one breaker pops then the other should pop too. The fact you're saying that only the one pops but you have no power coming from the unpopped one leads me to think that the one far right isn't working at all.

I'd take the power cable off of the bottom right, remove the lower buss bar and check the voltage coming out of the breakers. I'm thinking you'll see a difference between the two. If there's any question, replace them both. They're fairly cheap and easy to replace.
Thanks for the information. I could not figure why what appeared to be a ground that was attached to the positive side of the bar, or why two breakers were tided together. What you say make perfect sense. The trailer is now in storage so it will have to wait until spring. One thing I noticed was that one of the two remaining slides that are supposed to come in individually actually starts to come in before the large slide is completely in. This could cause an overload tripping the breaker.

I am also going to clean all contacts as wbdavey mentioned. Between these two items they should solve my problem

Thanks

Dick
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:05 PM   #8
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I suspect that your slides are hydraulically operated? If so, they are operated by one electric motor driven hydraulic pump. It is possible that the longer the pump runs it's drawing too many amps overloading the breakers before the last slide gets a chance to finish its' travel.

Check all of the connections from the pump to the 12v source.
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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I suspect that your slides are hydraulically operated? If so, they are operated by one electric motor driven hydraulic pump. It is possible that the longer the pump runs it's drawing too many amps overloading the breakers before the last slide gets a chance to finish its' travel.

Check all of the connections from the pump to the 12v source.
Yes you are correct about the slides being controlled hydraulically. I have noticed that if I interrupt the slides and wait a minute or so they close as they should. With all the info I received with this post I am sure that in the spring I will be able to correct the problem.

Thanks for the reply
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