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Old 03-17-2018, 06:40 PM   #1
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Vexing power issue

The GFI and Microwave are not working when plugged into shore power. All other 110v things are working fine. I took everything apart and noted these two breakers are to the left of the 50 amp mains. I looked behind the breakers and low and behold the bus is split with the mains bridging. I measure the power at the bus and it's 12v on the left side. The converter appears to be fine, no blown fuses, but the 12v is acting funky. When I removed fuses to check them, only a couple lit up. I hear legend of a 12v breaker or push fuse that can cause this behavior. Any ideas, oh mighty forum ?
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:45 PM   #2
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Sounds like a couple of different things going on here.
1. Were you plugged into 50 amp service or was it 30 amp service with an adapter. Sounds like one leg of the incoming power was off.

2. The blown fuse indicators only light when the fuse is blown or out IF there's a load on the circuit. (i.e. if a light circuit has all the lights switched off and you pull the fuse, the blown fuse indicator won't light up because there's no load on the circuit.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:42 PM   #3
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The GFI and Microwave are not working when plugged into shore power. All other 110v things are working fine. I took everything apart and noted these two breakers are to the left of the 50 amp mains. I looked behind the breakers and low and behold the bus is split with the mains bridging. I measure the power at the bus and it's 12v on the left side. The converter appears to be fine, no blown fuses, but the 12v is acting funky. When I removed fuses to check them, only a couple lit up. I hear legend of a 12v breaker or push fuse that can cause this behavior. Any ideas, oh mighty forum ?
So you're saying you have 120 volts AC on the right bus and 12 volts on the left? Is this 12 volt AC or DC? Now you say your removing fuses? I'm cornfused The split phase panel is AC only. 50 amp available on both sides. Since you don't have proper voltage at the panel go out to the pedestal and check the voltage at the source. Electric 101. Start at the source and work your way back. If using adaptors measure there also. Since your talking 50 amp did you twistlok your shore power into the trailer?. Did you screw on the retaining collar? Don't understand "acting funky". Your GFI won't reset? Are you plugged into a 20 amp shore power GFI? @ GFI's in series don't play nice. You have at least 2 things going on here per your discription.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:47 PM   #4
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Dude, shut the front door. That's probably it. I am running a 110v cord into an adapter, as basically it's all I have available and it's probably a 15 amp circuit. I was just thinking one of the 50 amp breakers might be bad. So basically not enough amperage to energize the entire bus then.

I can test this by firing up my generator, its 30 amp but I bet it will work. Have to wait to tomorrow as I am having vodka therapy after a frustrating day.

Thank you !
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:13 PM   #5
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your comment about not enough amperage to energize the entire bus bothers me. you should have 115vac on both side of the panels even with everything off. in this case you would have 115vac and no amps flowing. you should only get a max of 15 amps from the 15 amp circuit you are plugged into, but they should be available to any circuit and the circuit should have 115 vac. you should have 115vac on both sides of the panel. the fact that you say two 50 amp breakers implies you have a unit wired for 50 amp service. there should be voltage of 115 vac on both sides. the fact that you say you only have 12 volts on one side is a problem. is that 12 vac on the side that is not working? the 12 volt dc fuses are a completely different issue. the gfci and microwave operate in 115 vac. your problem appears to be that you only have 12vac on one side of the distribution panel. i would disconnect the power cord from the trailer and measure the voltage on each leg at the end of the power cord. you should have 115 vac on leg 1 and leg 2. if not, go to the next connection in line towards the power supply you are plugged into. keep measuring to verify that you have 115vac on both legs. at some point you must have an adapter that goes from the three prong connector used for 30 amp or 15 amp to the four connections used for 50 amp. measure the output of this adapter as this is where the 115vac on the 3 connector cabling is jumpered to provide the 115 vac on both legs of the 4 conductor 50 amp cabling. if it is not this adapter there may be a loose / corroded / damaged terminal in the 50 amp cable, trailer receptacle, or trailer cabling.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by iceclimber View Post
Dude, shut the front door. That's probably it. I am running a 110v cord into an adapter, as basically it's all I have available and it's probably a 15 amp circuit. I was just thinking one of the 50 amp breakers might be bad. So basically not enough amperage to energize the entire bus then.

I can test this by firing up my generator, its 30 amp but I bet it will work. Have to wait to tomorrow as I am having vodka therapy after a frustrating day.

Thank you !
Amperage does not energize a circuit. Voltage does. Amperage is what is drawn by a particular piece of equipment. Forget about amperage with this issue. As I asked before, Are you plugging into a GFI 120 volt circuit?? If you are that is why your trailer GFI and the microwave don't work. Move you shore power to a non-GFI circuit. Try your garage or your washing machine. Reset your GFI after you plug in. But that is only 1/2 of the problem. See if you have 120 volts at the end of the cord where you plug into the trailer. Electric 101 always start st the source and work your way back. Measure thru the adpter. Measure at the main 50 amp breakers they both must work.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:17 PM   #7
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Thanks guys I'll check it out tomorrow.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:20 PM   #8
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Amperage does not energize a circuit. Voltage does. Amperage is what is drawn by a particular piece of equipment. Forget about amperage with this issue. As I asked before, Are you plugging into a GFI 120 volt circuit?? If you are that is why your trailer GFI and the microwave don't work. Move you shore power to a non-GFI circuit. Try your garage or your washing machine. Reset your GFI after you plug in. But that is only 1/2 of the problem. See if you have 120 volts at the end of the cord where you plug into the trailer. Electric 101 always start st the source and work your way back. Measure thru the adpter. Measure at the main 50 amp breakers they both must work.
No, the power source is not a GFI.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:28 AM   #9
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No, the power source is not a GFI.
thank you.
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:04 AM   #10
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The GFI and Microwave are not working when plugged into shore power. All other 110v things are working fine. I took everything apart and noted these two breakers are to the left of the 50 amp mains. I looked behind the breakers and low and behold the bus is split with the mains bridging. I measure the power at the bus and it's 12v on the left side. The converter appears to be fine, no blown fuses, but the 12v is acting funky. When I removed fuses to check them, only a couple lit up. I hear legend of a 12v breaker or push fuse that can cause this behavior. Any ideas, oh mighty forum ?
OK, from reading above it appears we need to first gain an understanding of your RV's electrical systems, which consists of a 120 volt AC one, and also a 12 volt DC one.

Please read these two links before proceeding:

Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

Converter or Inverter (they are different)

Now, you state that certain things to the left side of your RV's main 50 amp circuit breakers are not currently working. Let's also delve into how 50 amps are distributed to and inside your RV. These diagrams/links will help you understand that.......and also the adapter you are using to connect to a 30 or 20/15 amp outlet at your house ....which we will discuss later too, as it could possibly be your problem.

Please read this link below before proceeding.

https://www.rvtechmag.com/electrical/chapter3.php




Now here is where your adapter comes into play. As explained in the link above, when you plug into a 30 amp or 15/20 amp outlet at your house which only have one leg/line (L1) as opposed to a 50 amp that has two leg/lines (L1 and L2), the adapter is going have to "share/jump" this one leg over to both busses of your 50 amp RV...so everything can be powered.

Here are some schematics of how the adapter does such:





Now, we have had some instances just recently of where some store bought adapters are not properly jumping/sharing the one leg over to both busses of your RV's 50 amp distribution panels....so in actuality only one side of your RV is getting powered. This could possibly be what your problem is, and it's just a faulty adapter.

Here is a recent thread on a faulty/miswired adapter:

Aqua Hot Electric Heating Element
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