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Old 12-26-2015, 07:04 PM   #1
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Low voltage

Is this normal? My volt meter reads good voltage (in the green) at the source outlet and inside the RV until I turn on a space heater. With the heater on, the meter drops to the low range.


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Old 12-26-2015, 08:31 PM   #2
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What is your good voltage and your low range voltage numbers?
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:38 PM   #3
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A voltage drop typically indicates that the circuit cannot supply the power being drawn from that circuit. Depending on degree operating in this manner can trip circuit breakers (at best) and overheat wiring potentially leading to a fire (at worst). Some devices can be damaged from operating at low voltage for too long, but a heater is not likely a problem here.

Most small heaters are 1500 watts, which is a significant amount for a single device but not overly taxing for a normal 15A household circuit/wiring. Normally the circuit breakers are specified to protect the circuit from overloads. If you are not tripping the breaker then you probably have either a bad connection in the electrical system or a bad supply. Check plugs and connection points for heat indicating a poor connection.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:46 PM   #4
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You can also try another outlet and see if there is less of a drop. If so, the one that reads low has a poor connection or undersized/damaged wiring.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:56 PM   #5
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Not sure if your rig is a 30 or 50 2 phase unit. Either way one 15 amp load should not cause a voltage drop. Start withe the shore power connection, plug and recep. If possible measure the voltage at the plug while under load. Check the the main breaker in the RV power panel. If at home measure the power bus bars voltage and breaker rating. Somewhere along the line a poor connection or bad breaker is causing the drop


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Old 12-26-2015, 10:32 PM   #6
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What else is running. With the heater on (probably 15A ) the total load could be just under 30A. If the contacts in the pedestal are dirty or damaged from previous overloads or being plugged in and unplugged under heavy load, you will see voltage drop. Also sounds like you need to get a good digital meter and check again, depending on who made and calibrated the one you have, low could be bad or just less than optimal.
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Old 12-27-2015, 08:09 AM   #7
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As Flybob said, this could be a campground issue.

Low campground voltage is not just a "peak of summer" issue, but with everyone running space heaters (in some cases multiple ones) aluminum supply wires can be over tasked reducing delivered voltage.
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Old 12-27-2015, 08:59 AM   #8
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:47 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for the replies. I'll do some more checking today (after church and football) and see what I can find. Again, thanks for all the input.


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Old 12-27-2015, 10:03 AM   #10
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Hope you didn't leave the heater plugged in while you went to church and football!
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