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Old 12-06-2022, 06:28 AM   #1
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Converter circuit breaker

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One thing people are mistakenly saying here is that the converter can be turned off by turning off all the electrical breakers. That is incorrect. The converter is plugged into the rear of the load center with a 3 prong plug and runs whenever there is a 12 volt load, like charging the battery. If an electrical supply is plugged into the camper the converter is powered up. The greater the 12 volt draw the more amps the converter needs.

The only way to stop the converter using 120 volts is to disconnect the battery by use of the Battery Disconnect switch or, in the alternative removing the Negative Battery Cable from the battery.

This does not sound like the OPs problem I just wanted to clarify this.
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:16 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DouglasReid View Post
One thing people are mistakenly saying here is that the converter can be turned off by turning off all the electrical breakers. That is incorrect. The converter is plugged into the rear of the load center with a 3 prong plug and runs whenever there is a 12 volt load, like charging the battery. If an electrical supply is plugged into the camper the converter is powered up. The greater the 12 volt draw the more amps the converter needs.

The only way to stop the converter using 120 volts is to disconnect the battery by use of the Battery Disconnect switch or, in the alternative removing the Negative Battery Cable from the battery.

This does not sound like the OPs problem I just wanted to clarify this.

Uhhh DouglasReid, I'm not sure you are fully understanding how a converter works. It takes 120 volts AC and converts it to 12 volts DC to provide 12 volt DC power to the RV items requiring such INSTEAD of the battery. It is also a battery recharger. You will find out that many converters will function without a battery even being installed and say so in their literature.


Also if you will look at the RV's electrical panel, you will usually find a specific circuit breaker just for the converter. Turning off this circuit breaker cuts off 120 volt AC power to the converter....as well as disconnecting/flipping the MAIN circuit breaker. If the 120 volt AC circuit breaker(s) are OFF, there is no way for the converter to get AC in order to convert to DC




https://wfcoelectronics.com/wp-conte...-ManualCat.pdf



3
REVERSE BATTERY PROTECTION
The WF-8700-AD Series Power Centers will charge the 12-volt House battery if installed. A battery DOES NOT have to be installed for WF-8700-AD Series Power Center converter operation. When a battery is installed, a reverse polarity fuse protects the converter circuitry.
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:20 AM   #3
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Uhhh DouglasReid, I'm not sure you are fully understanding how a converter works. It takes 120 volts AC and converts it to 12 volts DC to provide 12 volt DC power to the RV items requiring such INSTEAD of the battery. It is also a battery recharger. You will find out that many converters will function without a battery even being installed and say so in their literature.


Also if you will look at the RV's electrical panel, you will usually find a specific circuit breaker just for the converter. Turning off this circuit breaker cuts off 120 volt AC power to the converter....as well as disconnecting/flipping the MAIN circuit breaker.

I know how it works and I have no breaker for the converter. Its protection is a fuse, a 120 volt glass tube fuse like automobiles used to use. Whenever the camper is plugged in the converter is actively charging the battery, even with both main breakers turned off


and Uhhh, there is NO reason to be condescending on this forum, is there?
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:23 AM   #4
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maybe he's thinking it can also work in reverse .... if left connected to battery
taking 12v and producing 120v AC ??



That won't happen

they designed them to work only one way

even though it is attached to battery ... diodes and internal circuitry handle and back-feed issues
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:39 AM   #5
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I know how it works and I have no breaker for the converter. Its protection is a fuse, a 120 volt glass tube fuse like automobiles used to use. Whenever the camper is plugged in the converter is actively charging the battery, even with both main breakers turned off


and Uhhh, there is NO reason to be condescending on this forum, is there?

No condescension meant, and sorry if you took it that way. Can you please post your make/model of converter? Also do you have solar panels installed?
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DouglasReid View Post
I know how it works and I have no breaker for the converter. Its protection is a fuse, a 120 volt glass tube fuse like automobiles used to use. Whenever the camper is plugged in the converter is actively charging the battery, even with both main breakers turned off


and Uhhh, there is NO reason to be condescending on this forum, is there?
I'd like to know what power distribution box you have that allows 120v AC to be fed to a converter with the main breakers off. I know of no R/V that would be wired this way nor any code that would allow a branch circuit to the converter being live without going through the main breakers.

My converter is a stand alone unit in my new Cedar Creek and it is located behind the the power distribution box. (not in the bottom of the distribution center like many) It plugs into an outlet (behind the power distribution box) that is fed by a breaker in the distribution box.
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Old 12-06-2022, 09:12 AM   #7
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I'd like to know what power distribution box you have that allows 120v AC to be fed to a converter with the main breakers off. I know of no R/V that would be wired this way nor any code that would allow a branch circuit to the converter being live without going through the main breakers.

My converter is a stand alone unit in my new Cedar Creek and it is located behind the the power distribution box. (not in the bottom of the distribution center like many) It plugs into an outlet (behind the power distribution box) that is fed by a breaker in the distribution box.
Yes, the possible part about some 120 volt AC item being live separate from the distribution panel/circuit breaker is very very concerning and would not be something the factory should/would have done on a 2012 model (according to DouglasReid's sigline). I am wondering if this was some modification or possibly something done by a previous owner if Douglas did not purchase it new.

Hopefully he will provide us more info and pics on his electric panel, circuit breakers, converter, etc.....so we can see if he has a unicorn....or is that an unicorn? I am very curious now especially about a 120 volt glass fuse.
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:29 AM   #8
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I will second the notion that in many units, including mine, the converter is "always on" as soon as you plug in. We also have no breaker for the converter.
You may find out that your converter (if a standalone deck type) is actually plugged into an outlet that does indeed have a circuit breaker, even if it doesn't have a dedicated circuit labeled "converter". It could be on your general circuit. They are often on a 15 amp circuit.

On some power centers with the converter a part of the center, the MAIN (not usually though and would be jakeleg) or a separate circuit breaker (normally) could be supplying the converter. Some Progressive Dynamic power centers have an outlet on the back of the center to plug a converter into, but it is still on a 15 amp circuit breaker (see pic below).

Click image for larger version

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Easy way to test, is to turn off your MAIN circuit breaker...and then see if the converter ceases working.

Converters will be on when connected to shore power as long as the RV's MAIN circuit breaker and branch circuit breaker to whatever circuit the converter is connected to is also ON if applicable. Unless you turn these breakers OFF during your setup/takedown routine, then the converter is going to be ON when you connect to shore power.....same as your microwave or regular outlets.
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Old 12-06-2022, 03:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
\

Converters will be on when connected to shore power as long as the RV's MAIN circuit breaker and/or circuit breaker to whatever circuit the converter is connected to is also ON if applicable. Unless you turn these breakers OFF during your setup/takedown routine, then the converter is going to be ON when you connect to shore power.....same as your microwave or regular outlets.
Agreed - if I turn off the main 30A breaker, that is equivalent to unplugging the RV from shore power. The EMS will show 0A draw at the pedestal.
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Old 12-06-2022, 06:18 PM   #10
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I know how it works and I have no breaker for the converter. Its protection is a fuse, a 120 volt glass tube fuse like automobiles used to use. Whenever the camper is plugged in the converter is actively charging the battery, even with both main breakers turned off
Quote:
I will second the notion that in many units, including mine, the converter is "always on" as soon as you plug in. We also have no breaker for the converter.
I'm going to view this as a learning experience. I've never heard of a setup where the convertor, or any electrical device by passes the main panel and is in an always live state. As others said this has to be against code, and even the RV manufacturers follow the code for the most part. I too would love to see some pictures and get more details on brands, etc....

Thanks
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:23 PM   #11
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No condescension meant, and sorry if you took it that way. Can you please post your make/model of converter? Also do you have solar panels installed?

Sure it is a Progressive Dynamics PD9280AV. And I was wrong the fuses are the new spade type not glass tube type.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/pd9200-converter/

Note the connection where the leads connect, going in and out in the same connection. It acts as a junction box.
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:50 PM   #12
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Sure it is a Progressive Dynamics PD9280AV. And I was wrong the fuses are the new spade type not glass tube type.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/pd9200-converter/

Note the connection where the leads connect, going in and out in the same connection. It acts as a junction box.
Yes, those leads are the 12 volt DC wires to the battery and to the DC distribution panel. See here:

https://www.progressivedyn.com/wp-co...al-english.pdf

The fuses are the reverse polarity fuses to protect the converter in case you connect the battery cables backwards.

Now for the 120 volt AC input side----You still have to plug/connect the converter into an outlet. If you will look at the link you posted for your model at the bottom left with the asterisk, it says your model should be plugged into a 20 amp outlet. If you will also read under standard features in your link, it states the converter is equipped with a power cord.

Also see this troubleshooting guide for your model, talking about the 120 volt AC circuit breaker

https://www.progressivedyn.com/servi...er-converters/

See if you can find where your converter is plugged into an outlet. If you post pics we may can help. Once you find this outlet the converter is plugged into, I feel confident you are going to find out it is indeed connected to a circuit breaker and this outlet will not have power when you flip off the MAIN circuit breakers in your RV electric panel. There is a way it could be getting power with the MAIN off, but not going to get into that right now. It would have required a screw up, after the factory.


Here is you a video showing the 120 volt AC power cord:

https://videos.etrailer.com/static/i...s-PD9280A.webm
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Old 12-07-2022, 02:35 PM   #13
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DouglasReid, do you have any solar panels and/or an inverter?
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Old 12-07-2022, 02:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DouglasReid View Post
Sure it is a Progressive Dynamics PD9280AV. And I was wrong the fuses are the new spade type not glass tube type.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/pd9200-converter/

Note the connection where the leads connect, going in and out in the same connection. It acts as a junction box.
Just to further what wmtire said in the post #33...
The connections and the spade fuses mentioned by DouglasReid are OUTPUT connections and protection for the converter.

They DO NOT provide power TO the converter. They provide the 12v OUTPUT power from the converter to the battery/12v load center when the converter is powered by 120v. (the cord/plug mentioned)
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:41 PM   #15
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I'm going to view this as a learning experience. I've never heard of a setup where the convertor, or any electrical device by passes the main panel and is in an always live state. As others said this has to be against code, and even the RV manufacturers follow the code for the most part. I too would love to see some pictures and get more details on brands, etc....

Thanks
Jim M.
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I believe the converter in our unit is off when the main 30A breaker in the RV is off. I believe this turns off all power. Otherwise the converter is on whenever the unit is plugged into shore power. There is no breaker for the converter itself that I'm aware of, certainly none is labeled. Our unit is in storage for the winter now, so I'm unable to test either the main breaker or any of the smaller breakers to see which might turn off the converter.
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Old 12-07-2022, 06:52 PM   #16
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My converter is on a branch circuit. I can turn it off with either the main 30-amp breaker or with its own dedicated 20-amp branch circuit breaker. That's the way the vast majority of modern RVs come from the factory.
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Old 12-07-2022, 06:54 PM   #17
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I know how it works and I have no breaker for the converter. Its protection is a fuse, a 120 volt glass tube fuse like automobiles used to use. Whenever the camper is plugged in the converter is actively charging the battery, even with both main breakers turned off


and Uhhh, there is NO reason to be condescending on this forum, is there?
Most converters are wired into a breaker . some units have a plug in on the back of distribution panel . most all have breakers
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Old 12-07-2022, 08:05 PM   #18
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if the breaker panel and converter are one component
no need for a breaker for the converter... the main would do it


IF there is no wire runs from converter to panel nothing to protect with a breaker

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Old 12-07-2022, 08:33 PM   #19
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if the breaker panel and converter are one component
no need for a breaker for the converter... the main would do it


IF there is no wire runs from converter to panel nothing to protect with a breaker

my2c
I would think even in a case were the convertor is literally built into the AC power panel they would use a breaker. Otherwise all the wiring and circuitry into the convertor would need to support the full 30 or 50 amps. Then there would be no way to shut it off. if if failed, or you were on invertor, ....

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Old 12-07-2022, 11:07 PM   #20
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if the breaker panel and converter are one component
no need for a breaker for the converter... the main would do it


IF there is no wire runs from converter to panel nothing to protect with a breaker

my2c
What would the input (AC) wires to the converter attach to if it doesn't attach to a branch circuit breaker? I've had two trailers with the converter built-into (the lower half) of the power center. In both trailers the hot wire to the converter was routed to a 20 amp branch circuit breaker which is the only proper way to do it. The neutral wire was attached to the neutral buss and the ground wire was attached to ground buss - just like any other electrical load circuit.

What would you attach the hot leg to on the AC side of the converter to if not a branch circuit breaker? Bolt it onto the buss bar from the main circuit breaker supplying all the branch circuit breakers? I think that people who claim there is no branch circuit breaker for the converter and that it is powered from the main circuit breaker do not understand how an AC breaker panel is configured.
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