Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-15-2021, 03:42 PM   #121
llr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
New revelation.

The only thing I have on the panel right now is the converter and the outlets. I had to connect both of those at the same time. For some reason the converter and the outlets are pigtailed together....Orange wire nut. They all work on a GFCI!

I tested outlets with an outlet tester and it's wired correctly. when I press the GFCI test button on my tester, it trips both GFCIs - one in the bathroom and one on my house....All good.

So....I guess Ill add another circuit and so on.
I thought it was tripping the house / campground GFCI with the TT main breaker off. Is this not the case?

If it is only tripping with the TT outlets on that is not too unusual as GFCIs in series are problematic. You could try a new GFCI outlet in the TT but I don't believe there is any real cure as some have and issue and some don't. This is why I believe it is a mistake for the campground to use GFCI on the 30 & 50 amp outlets.
__________________
TT 2021 Grand Design 2800BH
Prior TT 2017 Flagstaff 831CLBSS Classic Ultra lite - SOLD 5/21
TV 2017 F150 6.5' bed 3.5 Eco-boost
prior TV 2014 Silverado 2500 HD
llr is online now  
Old 04-15-2021, 03:43 PM   #122
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 4,372
Converter doesn't draw much current

Quote:
Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
New revelation.

The only thing I have on the panel right now is the converter and the outlets. I had to connect both of those at the same time. For some reason the converter and the outlets are pigtailed together....Orange wire nut. They all work on a GFCI!

I tested outlets with an outlet tester and it's wired correctly. when I press the GFCI test button on my tester, it trips both GFCIs - one in the bathroom and one on my house....All good.

So....I guess Ill add another circuit and so on.
The converter doesn't draw much current so it doesn't get its own breaker. On each of our trailers, the converter shares a breaker with other items. You could certainly remove the pigtail if you wanted to isolate the converter from the outlets and test one at a time.
__________________
Larry

Sticks and Bricks: Raleigh, NC
2008 Cherokee 38P: at Ivor, VA permanently
Larry-NC is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 03:44 PM   #123
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 51
Before you all roast me too hard, let me just say I'm sorry.

For those of you that had water heater element...You win.

I know, I know..."why didn't you check that first!?" Well because in previous models I've owned, the water heater breaker would trip and I would know right away. I've replaced these in the past and it I didn't have the same symptoms. And since the propane was warming with also the electric switch on...I figured it was intact.

I had everything unhooked in the panel and all it took was touching the neutral from the water heater to the neutral bar, without even having the hot connected. Since the electric element only clicks on sometimes, it makes sense why I would have intermittent GFCI breaks.

Again, I'm sorry. Now roast away. I can handle it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20210415_152457[8517].jpg
Views:	125
Size:	134.7 KB
ID:	252073  
pat5150 is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:24 PM   #124
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Space Coast of Florida
Posts: 3,082
Just glad you found it..
__________________
2016 Siverback 33IK, Towed 40K+ miles
2018 Ford F-350 Lariat 6.7L V8 Diesel 4WD Crew Cab
Andersen Ultimate Hitch
RadMini Stepthru eBikes

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
dalford is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:24 PM   #125
Senior Member
 
llamb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
Before you all roast me too hard, let me just say I'm sorry.

For those of you that had water heater element...You win.
Roast, maybe if you were just an idiot that didn't take objective feedback, etc.

You took the various suggestions and ran with it. This is good documentation of electrical troubleshooting. You ultimately found the culprit, but the learning along the way helps a lot down the road.

Thank you for your diligence to find the leak to ground. Hopefully now you can start to enjoy the camper.

Like everything, there will likely be a new battle to fight with it just around the corner.
llamb is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:25 PM   #126
Senior Member
 
lesptr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 878
Most informative thread Iíve seen in a long time.
__________________
2017 Coachman Chaparral 336TSIK
2015 F350 6.7
lesptr is online now  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:30 PM   #127
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamb View Post

Like everything, there will likely be a new battle to fight with it just around the corner.
Funny you should mention that. First time using our fresh water tank and it basically fell out of the camper, ripping the fill hose and plastic fused to the tank....So...I'm also working on that.

UUUUGGGHHH
pat5150 is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:34 PM   #128
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1,415
AWESOME! But, one cautionary statement here, you might be looking at a cumulation of multiple sources of leaks to ground. The converter may leak a fraction of a milliamp to ground. The fridge may leak a fraction of a milliamp. The water heater. Combine them all and you may still have a problem.

BUT, it sure seams like you found the main culprit! Fantastic job in sticking with it and not just accepting, "Well, it's just because it is an RV...." I'm just not buying that because I have had two trailers that had no issues being plugged into GFCI circuits. And your efforts and findings have, so far, proven it false.
NavyLCDR is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:41 PM   #129
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
AWESOME! But, one cautionary statement here, you might be looking at a cumulation of multiple sources of leaks to ground. The converter may leak a fraction of a milliamp to ground. The fridge may leak a fraction of a milliamp. The water heater. Combine them all and you may still have a problem.

BUT, it sure seams like you found the main culprit! Fantastic job in sticking with it and not just accepting, "Well, it's just because it is an RV...." I'm just not buying that because I have had two trailers that had no issues being plugged into GFCI circuits. And your efforts and findings have, so far, proven it false.

Thanks for your help all along...Now to re-season the Blackstone and Driveway Camp with the kids!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	-532113481_20210415_163733_27047062_resized[8519].jpg
Views:	75
Size:	311.2 KB
ID:	252077  
pat5150 is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:41 PM   #130
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 12,092
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
Funny you should mention that. First time using our fresh water tank and it basically fell out of the camper, ripping the fill hose and plastic fused to the tank....So...I'm also working on that.

UUUUGGGHHH
Were you in the process of filling it when this happened?
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:08 PM   #131
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Were you in the process of filling it when this happened?
Well it was the first time we filled it. Then all of the sudden water is spewing from the underbelly. So water was running all the way from the rear to the front.

I didn't hear anything move around, but when I looked, the tank was halfway out of the holding bracket. So now I have it all removed but can't find a new one. Everything is out of stock
pat5150 is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:10 PM   #132
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
...For those of you that had water heater element...You win....
Didn't a poster upthread declare that it couldn't be the water heater if all breakers were off?

Please someone explain why that assertion was incorrect. Thanks.
PodGeek is online now  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:16 PM   #133
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Zephyrhills FL
Posts: 630
Quote:
Originally Posted by PodGeek View Post
Didn't a poster upthread declare that it couldn't be the water heater if all breakers were off?

Please someone explain why that assertion was incorrect. Thanks.


I believe the reason would be that the heater element was cracked. The crack allowed the neutral side of the element to connect to ground through the water in the tank then through the walls of the tank.
__________________
2020 Coachmen Mirada Select 37RB
2020 Ford Ranger
EZGo Freedom TXT Golf cart
DougW is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:20 PM   #134
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougW View Post
I believe the reason would be that the heater element was cracked. The crack allowed the neutral side of the element to connect to ground through the water in the tank then through the walls of the tank.
So how exactly would that trip the GFCI? I ask because I'm not electrically inclined...
PodGeek is online now  
Old 04-15-2021, 06:03 PM   #135
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Zephyrhills FL
Posts: 630
Quote:
Originally Posted by PodGeek View Post
So how exactly would that trip the GFCI? I ask because I'm not electrically inclined...
If the ground and neutral in the trailer are connected the GFCI will see this as a fault and it will trip. If the heating element is cracked the connection created between the neutral and ground through the water in the tank can be enough to be seen by the GFCI.
__________________
2020 Coachmen Mirada Select 37RB
2020 Ford Ranger
EZGo Freedom TXT Golf cart
DougW is offline  
Old 04-15-2021, 06:15 PM   #136
Senior Member
 
robo44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 743


Good Job Pat5150 and good suggestions from many.. I like it when a solution is suggested and reported back as solved!
__________________
2019 FR3 33DS Motorhome
650 Watts Solar, 400Ah LIFEPO4, 2000 Watt Inverter, 40A DC/DC Charger, SumoSprings, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, BlueOx Trac Bar, Truma AquaGo WH, NVIDIA Shield TV
Days Camping
2019 57:2020 20:2021 20[/B]
robo44 is online now  
Old 04-15-2021, 07:05 PM   #137
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 4,372
Not exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougW View Post
If the ground and neutral in the trailer are connected the GFCI will see this as a fault and it will trip. If the heating element is cracked the connection created between the neutral and ground through the water in the tank can be enough to be seen by the GFCI.
Not exactly. I looked into this about three weeks ago, but only posted the result in a private message to Bobby (WMTire).

Here is the source I used.

The heating element in the water heater uses the same construction as the burners on an electric range--or the oven and broiler elements. Resistance is about 10 ohms normally, easily calculated by dividing the power consumption (1440 or 1500 watts) by the voltage squared.
I = P/(V *V) = 1440/(120*120) = 10.

Inside the core is a nichrome (nickel-chrome) resistive element coil similar to the coils in a toaster. In normal operation, the elements don't short when a metallic pot is placed on them, because the outside is electrically isolated from the internal coil. The outside sheath could be "ferrous (steel, cast iron, stainless steel, Incoloy, Inconel, etc.) or non-ferrous (aluminum, copper, titanium, quartz, etc.)." The coil is separated from the conductive sheath by an insulated material, usually Magnesium Oxide (MgO) which may be cast, granular, or fine powder. Fused (melted) MgO is an indicator of insulator breakdown.

Failure can manifest itself in a couple of ways:
  • The most common way is an open circuit. The coil gets so hot that it "burns through" like an incandescent lamp failure. (What really happens is that there is a thin spot. The current density at this spot is higher than elsewhere, so it gets hotter. That causes the degradation to occur even faster, until that spot is so hot that it opens like a fuse. A related cause of open circuit could be arcing to the sheath until the coil opens at the arc spot from high temperature.)
  • Another common failure mode is a short or low-resistance circuit. In this case, the coil comes in contact with the sheath in two places. Current travels through the sheath for part of the coil length, reducing the total resistance. If only half the coil is bypassed, current doubles, from 12 amps to 24 amps and the breaker trips.
  • In this case the failure mode is a ground fault. I hadn't thought much about this mode before, but it's easy to understand. The internal coil comes in contact with the sheath close to the neutral end. Resistance is high enough that current is limited and the breaker doesn't trip. But the water heater case is grounded and current can bypass the end of the coil and flow through the case and ground. All it takes is a few milliamps through ground to trip the GFCI.
__________________
Larry

Sticks and Bricks: Raleigh, NC
2008 Cherokee 38P: at Ivor, VA permanently
Larry-NC is offline  
Old 04-16-2021, 05:37 AM   #138
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 9
Bravo! Lots of great ideas explored.
RockyGBOT is offline  
Old 04-16-2021, 07:26 AM   #139
Senior Member
 
PhilFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Maine
Posts: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
If the main breaker is Off in the RV the water heater is not connected and not the cause.
Back in college, I remember a section on the "Half Split Method" of trouble shooting. Mikes comment is spot on. If the Main breaker is off and the pedestal trips, then the problem is between the Main and the pedestal. Therefore, isn't there compound issues with the OP's electrical system and, or the pedestal?

So in this example we have pedestals with 30 amp GFCI, we have hot water heaters on GFCIs, Converters on GFCI. etc. and sharing circuits with other appliances? Is this commonplace? On the two TTs that I have owned, all those items were on their own breaker with no GFCI that I can see? My current model is a 2018.
PhilFromMaine is online now  
Old 04-16-2021, 07:54 AM   #140
Pickin', Campin', Mason
 
5picker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: South Western PA
Posts: 14,355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Not exactly. I looked into this about three weeks ago, but only posted the result in a private message to Bobby (WMTire).

Here is the source I used.

The heating element in the water heater uses the same construction as the burners on an electric range--or the oven and broiler elements. Resistance is about 10 ohms normally, easily calculated by dividing the power consumption (1440 or 1500 watts) by the voltage squared.
I = P/(V *V) = 1440/(120*120) = 10.

Inside the core is a nichrome (nickel-chrome) resistive element coil similar to the coils in a toaster. In normal operation, the elements don't short when a metallic pot is placed on them, because the outside is electrically isolated from the internal coil. The outside sheath could be "ferrous (steel, cast iron, stainless steel, Incoloy, Inconel, etc.) or non-ferrous (aluminum, copper, titanium, quartz, etc.)." The coil is separated from the conductive sheath by an insulated material, usually Magnesium Oxide (MgO) which may be cast, granular, or fine powder. Fused (melted) MgO is an indicator of insulator breakdown.

Failure can manifest itself in a couple of ways:
  • The most common way is an open circuit. The coil gets so hot that it "burns through" like an incandescent lamp failure. (What really happens is that there is a thin spot. The current density at this spot is higher than elsewhere, so it gets hotter. That causes the degradation to occur even faster, until that spot is so hot that it opens like a fuse. A related cause of open circuit could be arcing to the sheath until the coil opens at the arc spot from high temperature.)
  • Another common failure mode is a short or low-resistance circuit. In this case, the coil comes in contact with the sheath in two places. Current travels through the sheath for part of the coil length, reducing the total resistance. If only half the coil is bypassed, current doubles, from 12 amps to 24 amps and the breaker trips.
  • In this case the failure mode is a ground fault. I hadn't thought much about this mode before, but it's easy to understand. The internal coil comes in contact with the sheath close to the neutral end. Resistance is high enough that current is limited and the breaker doesn't trip. But the water heater case is grounded and current can bypass the end of the coil and flow through the case and ground. All it takes is a few milliamps through ground to trip the GFCI.
I pretty much think this is what happened too.
I believe the element melted and when it did, it melted so the HOT side of the actual heating wire inside the element didn't touch anything (outer housing) That's why no breaker tripped.

Now as to why the GFCI tripped... it could be two things...
The element, when it melted, could have melted what was left of the neutral side wire inside the element to the outer part of the element and caused the neutral to ground bonding. Remember, the element gets current through one screw on the end of the element and the neutral connects to the other screw.

The 2nd way the GFCI could be have been tripping is when the hot side of the element melted, even though it didn't melt to ground so it tripped the breaker, the energized hot side was submersed in water and ultimately caused a GFCI imbalance. Had the water heater been empty, it may have never tripped the GFCI. As it was the OP is lucky he didn't experience a "Hot Skin" issue if the melted hot wire in the element was actually putting current into the water.

Great thread and kudos to the OP for sticking with it and for all the informing banter throughout.
__________________
_________________________________________
2016 Flagstaff 8529IKBS Diamond Package 5th Wheel-Goodyear Endurance Tires
2017 Ford F-Series SCREW 4x4 - Factory Puck B&W Companion
TST Tire Monitor w/Repeater - Sinemate 3500w Gen.

Days Camped: '18=51 '19=58 '20=110 '21=94
5picker is online now  
Closed Thread

Tags
trailer

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:26 PM.