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Old 04-16-2021, 08:03 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by PhilFromMaine View Post
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 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.
In my experience, no.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:34 AM   #142
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So in this example we have pedestals with GFCI, we have hot water heaters on GFCIs, Converters on GFCI. etc. and sharing circuits with other appliances? Is this commonplace?
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Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
In my experience, no.
I agree not commonplace either. The only thing on a GCFI circuit inside both of my travel trailers has been a string of electrical outlets. I have never encountered a GFCI circuit breaker on the 30 amp or 50 amp connection at a pedestal. However, both my trailers did get plugged into a GFCI 15 amp outlet in my garage at home and neither trailer tripped it, even when running electric water heater, A/C, Microwave, converter (not all at once, obviously).
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:37 AM   #143
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I wonder the worst....If the GFCI did its job, but I plugged it into a non-GFCI and everything was powered up....Was there a possibility of electrified water? The WH breaker never tripped.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:39 AM   #144
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interesting. i think i learned a bit from this and i think i understand to possible failure.

the gfci trips when there is an imbalance between the current flow in the hot and neutral leads. in this case the original post said the main trailer breaker was off. so that says there was no current flow on the hot lead. but the neutral lead had a small leak to ground and turning the main trailer breaker does not interrupt this flow. so the gfci saw an imbalance (no flow on the hot and a small flow on the neutral) and it tripped.

i'll have to ask the brain cells to file this away somewhere.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:58 AM   #145
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I wonder the worst....If the GFCI did its job, but I plugged it into a non-GFCI and everything was powered up....Was there a possibility of electrified water? The WH breaker never tripped.
Yes, read my post #140.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:27 AM   #146
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Yes, read my post #140.
Yep...I hadn't refreshed my page when I sent that and didn't see your response..Thank you for explaining it. Jeez that could have been bad.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:35 AM   #147
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I wonder the worst....If the GFCI did its job, but I plugged it into a non-GFCI and everything was powered up....Was there a possibility of electrified water? The WH breaker never tripped.
Not unless there was a bad ground then a hot skin condition would be more likely then getting shocked through the water.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:35 AM   #148
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Yep...I hadn't refreshed my page when I sent that and didn't see your response..Thank you for explaining it. Jeez that could have been bad.
Any voltage leakage causing what is often referred to as a "hot skin" condition isn't good.

Keep in mind, if the leakage from a hot leg would become great enough, the actual breaker will trip. You said in an earlier post you experienced this yourself previously.

The industry has put many safety devices into play to protect us as much as possible but in the real world anything can (and often does) happen.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:38 AM   #149
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Can a moderator remove this as he is not addressing the op’s question.



The original poster said that he may change out a breaker on the power post. this is a no no if there is no permission. (and he should never be given permission because of liability issue. So the statement is tied to the op's question and the op's 'work around'.... this changing out a 'breaker' is NOT a 'work around' to his trailer issues.He needs to trace down and fix his trailers grounding/short. If the op is 'really' having issues with the power post, then it is up to the Campground owner/overseer to address the power post. The 'issue is the trailer and not the power post.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:49 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by pat5150 View Post
I wonder the worst....If the GFCI did its job, but I plugged it into a non-GFCI and everything was powered up....Was there a possibility of electrified water? The WH breaker never tripped.
Yes! in fact, I just read a forum post to that effect. It is a must read with many comments by Mike Sokol of the Shock Zone site.
https://heartlandowners.org/showthre...heater-element
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:53 AM   #151
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One issue many seem to ignore is that the breakers only isolate the hot lead. Neutral and ground leads bypass the breaker and are connected at all times. It is possible that while the main breaker is off that the cracked heater element caused a neutral/ground bonding that caused the GFCI trip. It could be as simple as an led in the main panel or power cord passes enough power to trip the breaker or some other parasitic load is sufficient. Not sure how that could happen but then again I’m not an electrical engineer or electrician, just a licensed general contractor for 40 years.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:59 AM   #152
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The cord is nearly full extension...Little bit of play, but not much. This site isn't great, but I really didn't know. First time at these grounds.

And for the wiring.....UGGGHHH...The underbelly is sealed up. When I get it back home, I'm going to take the under protection off. It's supposed to be a "heated underbelly"....I'm not excited to see what's underneath. But...otherwise, the TT is in great shape. So who knows.
There is wiring and other stuff in the underbelly but very little of it is related to the 120V system. What there is of that is probably just a circuit or two of NM-B traversing from a hole under the power center to another hole back up into the trailer.

The only potential there for your problem is torn insulation but that's less likely than other causes. Rule out everything else before dropping the belly and don't try that in the campground.

Those circuits can be ruled out by disconnecting the wire at the breaker, one at a time, and testing the GFI again. My troubleshooting approach would be to take the face off the power center and loosen the hold-down clamps on the breakers. Detach the breakers one at a time and test the GFI. (Leave the circuit wire in place.) Eventually you'll rule out every branch circuit, or find the problem circuit.

Other than trying a different known good shore power cable, I have no suggestions how to test between the GFI in the post and the main breaker in the trailer. Perhaps some kind of electrical testing device can detect a current leak? Apparently, the GFI can.
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:04 AM   #153
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... 6. Turn on the circuit breaker to your own GFCI outlet circuits in your RV last. This may be the point at which the GFCI trips on the pedestal. ...
If his GFCI outlet circuit is the likely problem source and he turns it on first, won't he be done faster?
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:12 AM   #154
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Mike Sokol recommends using a voltage tester such as the Klein Tools NCVT-1 Voltage Tester before you even touch a campground pedestal. After hooking up, he recommends testing the frame of the TT before grounding yourself between ground and the metal parts of a RV. His point being that shocks and electrocution do happen.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:03 PM   #155
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That thread mentioned in post #150 is worth a read.

Also, Mr. Sokol (aka the RV electric guru) also said this when a poster asked why pedestal outlets aren't required to have GFCIs:

Quote:
...GFCIs are only on the 20 amp pedestal outlet, not on the 30 or 50 amp outlets since there's too much stray leakage current that will cause random tripping (and your fridge going off)....
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Old 04-16-2021, 01:31 PM   #156
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That thread mentioned in post #150 is worth a read.

Also, Mr. Sokol (aka the RV electric guru) also said this when a poster asked why pedestal outlets aren't required to have GFCIs:
I thank Pat for posting about his dilemma. I have done a lot of reading about RV electrical systems the last few days and I have purchased Mike Sokol's book on RV electrical systems (nine plus bucks on Amazon).

I understand and appreciate his thoughts on not having GFCIs on pedestals, but I think it is a good idea having all GFCI circuit breakers in the inside electrical panel. I would guess the upgrade at the factory wouldn't be more than 100 dollars.
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Old 04-17-2021, 01:35 PM   #157
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Great discussion.....has me thinking?

1. Can I presume that the 120v wiring ground line is connected in various places through various items to the trailer ground and hence to the frame?
2. If the above is true does that mean that any faulty item - water heater, microwave etc. - which uses 120v could have a fault whereby the hot wire contacts the ground/frame?
3. If that is so then would we be safe from that condition if the main 120v breaker in the trailer panel is a gfci breaker? Or would that be likely to be tripped ‘unnecessarily’ because of multiple leakages?
4. If 3 is not practical would it then be wise to have a ‘normal’ main breaker but a gfci breaker in all other cases?

Thanks for the input.....I am not an electrician; just one of those who might know enough to get himself into trouble!
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Old 04-17-2021, 04:25 PM   #158
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Hmm...

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1. Can I presume that the 120v wiring ground line is connected in various places through various items to the trailer ground and hence to the frame?
No. That's bad practice. The ground line is connected at just one point.
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2. If the above is true does that mean that any faulty item - water heater, microwave etc. - which uses 120v could have a fault whereby the hot wire contacts the ground/frame?
If a hot wire at any point, water heater, microwave, etc. contacts the ground/frame, its breaker (any kind of breaker, regular or GFCI) will trip in milliseconds.
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3. If that is so then would we be safe from that condition if the main 120v breaker in the trailer panel is a gfci breaker? Or would that be likely to be tripped ‘unnecessarily’ because of multiple leakages?
Condition (2) is protected even if there is no GFCI breaker. Condition (3) is moot.
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4. If 3 is not practical would it then be wise to have a ‘normal’ main breaker but a gfci breaker in all other cases?
This is certainly a possibility. The initial motivation for GFCI breakers was bathtub electrocutions. Believe it or not, people were using things like hair dryers in the bathtub. Dropping the appliance into the water was fatal. Lethal currents are 100-200 milliAmps (0.1 to 0.2 Amps). If you contact the hot lead in a dry situation, the current that flows is below that limit. (Ever gotten an electric shock that didn't kill you? There was less than 100-200 mA.)

So the current codes isolated places where you would be near water and good grounds. Prior to plastic plumbing, sink and tub faucets and drains were really good ground--in my former home both were copper, an excellent conductor. In my current one, the feeds are copper; drains are iron. So the code stated that any outlet outdoors or within six feet of a sink or tub must be protected by a GFCI. You could certainly make all breakers GFCIs. Since most of the other outlets and their appliances would be in dry places, there likely would be no nuisance tripping.

A little bit of this is historical. When DW and I built our last house, in 1980, GFCI outlets were $75 in1980's dollars! That's $241 in today's dollars! It's easy to see why the old code was written that way. (Now they are under $12.) I'm not even sure that GFCI breakers were available then--we used plug fuses.

And the code has advanced in some areas. New construction around here requires arc fault detectors on all circuits. These not only detect ground faults, but can also detect arcing--a bad connection, whether it's in plug-receptacle connections or wiring connections. The breakers are $41 each, compared to about $10 for regular breakers.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:22 PM   #159
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We had loose wires, still connected but not good, would pop the breaker all the time until it was tightened
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:24 PM   #160
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Turn the breaker off to the battery charger or unplug it see if that solves your problem.
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