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Old 04-19-2015, 08:05 PM   #1
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96 Popup bad breaker? Bad inverter?

i have a 1996 Rockwood Popup with a Magnetek 6600 series inverter.

When plugged into AC, the outlets are dead. Hwever, the pump and interior lights work.

The 15 amp breaker, when switched on, cause the inverter to hum gently. The 30 amp breaker seems dead as flicking it in either position does not produce a hum or 'on' vibrating sound.

The breakers are encased in a steel box and don't seem to be replaceable. It appears spot welded closed.

Are my suspicions of a dead inverter correct?

Let me know. Thanks in advance.

Gordon
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:34 PM   #2
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I think you've confused your converter with an inverter.

Inverters convert 12v to 110v
Converters convert 110v to 12v

A magnatek 6600 in a converter.

Last I knew these were obsolete.

Your outlets probably don't work because you have a resetable circuit breaker tripped or the pop safety switch is stuck.

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Old 04-19-2015, 10:49 PM   #3
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You are correct, it is a converter.

My version is no longer manufactured. I'm hoping this is a workable replacement, if needed.
6400/6600 Series (Obsolete)

I am not able to reset the 30 amp breaker, it doesn't reset when clicked back and forth.

I did not see a 'pop safety switch' anywhere. Where are those typically located?

I appreciate your response.

Gordon
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:50 PM   #4
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I did not see a 'pop safety switch' anywhere. Where are those typically located?
He may be referring to a GFCI, the same kind as you find in your bathroom at home. In a travel trailer it's in the bathroom or in the vicinity of the kitchen. Where you'd find it in a camper, assuming it has one, I don't know.

Assuming you find one, cycle through test and reset a couple of times, ending with reset, to be sure it gets reset fully.

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Old 04-20-2015, 10:44 AM   #5
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He may be referring to a GFCI, the same kind as you find in your bathroom at home. In a travel trailer it's in the bathroom or in the vicinity of the kitchen. Where you'd find it in a camper, assuming it has one, I don't know.
I do not have a GFCI outlet in my popup. There are only two outlets and both are plain, grounded outlets.

Can anyone comment on the fact that the 30 AMP breaker does not appear to be 'powered' - meaning that when flipped on, my converter does not seem to turn on?

Gordon
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lake15 View Post
I do not have a GFCI outlet in my popup. There are only two outlets and both are plain, grounded outlets.

Can anyone comment on the fact that the 30 AMP breaker does not appear to be 'powered' - meaning that when flipped on, my converter does not seem to turn on?

Gordon
I'm not real familiar with poo ups but there is a switch "I believe " near the sink area that opens and closes when the too goes up and down to cut power.
Hopefully someone with more knowledge can help.

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Old 04-20-2015, 11:50 AM   #7
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You are correct. When I flip my sink up, it triggers a switch to turn on the DC power.

Again, my DC is working. Just chatted with the folks at Parallax Power. They suspect a bad breaker. Even if I cut into the metal power supply box, the tech did not figure I could find a replacement breaker. It looks like this 20 year old Magnetek will have to be replaced.

I'm hoping that during replacement, that the various wires will logically 'line up' and be obvious. Hopefully I can channel my 'weekend warrior' skills.

If there are only online resources, YouTube videos or PDFs related to swapping out a Power Converter, I would welcome those references.

Gordon
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lake15 View Post
i have a 1996 Rockwood Popup with a Magnetek 6600 series inverter.

When plugged into AC, the outlets are dead. Hwever, the pump and interior lights work.

The 15 amp breaker, when switched on, cause the inverter to hum gently. The 30 amp breaker seems dead as flicking it in either position does not produce a hum or 'on' vibrating sound.

Are my suspicions of a dead inverter correct?

Gordon
12V items are powered by the battery, which is charged by the converter when the PUP is plugged into 120V AC. The 12V circuits will have fuses, not circuit breakers for protection.

The AC for the outlets goes through the converter directly to the circuit breakers. The "pass-through" AC side of a converter seldom fails (but the circuit breakers themselves might).

The 30 amp breaker is for one of the two things:

1) the input breaker for the AC coming into the camper. Think of it as the "main" breakers at the top of your house electrical panel. Or much more likely (since the breaker doesn't work but you can get a hum by throwing the 15 amp breaker)

2) the circuit breaker for the air conditioner - whether you have the air conditioner or not. The 30 amp breaker will NOT power your outlets separate from the converter.

Assuming that you are correct that there are only the 2 breakers, the 15 amp breaker supplies the converter and your outlets as well, which is why it hums when you turn it "on". In an ideal world the converter and outlets would be on separate breakers, but who knows in an older PUP.

In a PUP as old as yours, GFCI may or may not be present. If present, it is often on the outlet inside the refridgerator compartment (so your fridge can run on AC).

For testing, get the "hum" going. Check the voltage at the battery. If it reads 13 volts or better, the converter is working properly and charging the battery. And it also means you are getting AC into the camper to the converter. If the battery is at 12.6 volts or less, it is not being charged.

Next check the outlet in the external fridge compartment for 120 volts (you can use a known good night light). If it has GFCI, test then reset. Then check EVERY other outlet the same way. Failure at the outlets, but a good converter means you have an AC wiring issue.

Replacing the converter is not necessarily a bad thing even if it checks OK. The newer, better quality converters will do a better job of charging/maintaining your battery. But replacing the converter will not fix an AC wiring problem.

just my experiences
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:46 PM   #9
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Fred,

Thank you for your thorough reply and good diagnostic path!! I will let you know what I discover.

There is no GFCI at the fridge plug in.

During this testing/fixing time before Minnesota camping season, I do not have a battery as part of my configuration. I only have this plugged into AC for all conversation related to this post.

My initial information was a bit off. I have a 15 amp and a 20 amp circuit breakers.

I NEVER have AC power at my two outlets.

I am starting to think this may be a wiring issue.

The attached images show WHEN the 12 VOLT interior lights work and when they don't. It is getting odd... why isn't the 20 AMP working as my 'main' breaker?

Fred, seeing what you see now, what do you think it up?

I do appreciate any and all responses.

Gordon






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Old 04-20-2015, 09:04 PM   #10
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The 15 amp breaker is supplying power to the converter and the 20 amp breaker controls the outlets. If you can get the front panel off you will probably find the breaker in a common size that can be purchased at your local hardware store.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:19 PM   #11
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Those two breakers are actually "one" i think.

Siemens 15/20 Amp Type QT Single-Pole Tandem Circuit Breaker-Q1520 - The Home Depot
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #12
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Gordon

I would first pull the blank that sits in the #1 circuit breaker spot and make sure nothing is behind it. It looks like the bottom of the blank is not correctly up against the CB slot.

Your converter itself is working fine, and is powered by the 15 amp breaker. Not having a battery as a buffer for the converter is not good for the lower end converters. i would recommend installing a battery and making sure the converter charges it (13+ volts across the battery; a battery not under charge will be 12.6 volts or less).

The 20 amp breaker may or may not be working. Somehow, you are going to have to get the front off to access the circuit breakers. It looks like the bottom screw for the panel front is missing (hole below the placard). There should be at least one more screw near the top or upper sides of the panel. As Terry stated, those are very likely standard breakers that can be replaced at a hardware store. Not all that expensive to replace (less than $15) - if it really is a bad breaker. The circuit breakers usually snap into place.

The other check you are going to have to make is the wiring to the outlet(s). Again, this requires inside the box to check that the 20 amp breaker is indeed wired to the outlets. You also need to pull the outlets and make sure the wiring to them is good. I would check the wiring before replacing the circuit breaker.

When you are doing this, I would recommend replacing the 1st outlet in the chain (closest wiring-wise to the converter) with a 20 amp GFCI outlet (about $18 at Home Depot). This will protect you and any downstream outlets. Instructions come with the GFCI outlets.

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Old 04-22-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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Hello Terry and Janet - caper,

This box is completely spot welded shut! Grrrr.

The Paralax tech (company that bought out Magnetek RV division) wished me luck trying to find a replacement breaker even if I did tear into the box.

I dropped $150 for a new power converter. Now I just need to learn how to use my new Multi-Meter. Time for an electricity lesson.

Gordon
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:27 PM   #14
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Wow, that could be the part I need. Perhaps I WILL try to crack into this spot-welded metal box.

Dremel action anyone?

Gordon
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:36 PM   #15
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Fred,

Thank you! I will check the wiring over the next few days.

I have pulled the blank off. There is nothing active/logical behind it. The reason it looks loose is because I just set it in there for the photo session.

I'm more optimistic about finding the replacement breaker now thanks to TimNJTA.

I will also definitely consider the 20 amp GFCI outlet.

More to come,

Gordon
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:23 AM   #16
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Full disclosure and I need to cash in some of my 'man credits.' Ouch.

Bought the new converter, bought a multi-meter, was finally able to crack into the converter to get the bad breaker out, purchased the new breaker from a non-retail vendor, secured a repair date with my smart retired Dad and we started to troubleshoot to find the cause of no power to my 110V outlets.

Ended up tracking down two wires that we thought were headed left to the fridge, however, the both headed right. A bit of flashlight work showed that the wires went to a junction box under our table. In the junction box was an outlet with a GFCI.

Yes, it was tripped.

Yes, this fixed the problem.

We fixed the goal of returning 110V power to the outlets. We did not take the shortest route.

We will not tell our man-friends.

Thank you ALL for your valuable responses.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #17
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Glad you got it fixed, Happy camping. I won't tell a soul.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:33 AM   #18
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Saaaaweeet !
Glad you got it!

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Old 05-12-2015, 09:44 AM   #19
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Btw did you replace that old obsolete converter anyway ?

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Old 05-12-2015, 10:13 AM   #20
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I did not replace it. It is being shipped back to Amazon.
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