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Old 07-27-2020, 12:28 PM   #1
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GFCI Tripping

2017 Forest River Wildcat Travel Trailer 50 amp with a hard wired Progressive Industries Surge Protector

Iím not an electrician, but my inside GFCI has tripped as described below.

My RV is at set on a permanent site in a private campground in Ohio.

* The original pedestal just had 30 amp service. Before the beginning of the season, the maintenance manager installed a new 50 amp breaker and plug in the pedestal.
* I have asked the maintenance manager to recheck the breaker and plug, twice. He wonít and told me the problem is in the RV.
* Both issues occurred on a Sunday overnight to Monday morning , if that matters.

The main GFCI in my RV is tripped. Surge protection monitor reads no errors.

Hereís the story:

* 1 month ago GFCI tripped. The water heater worked, but it wasnít heating the water very well.
* Checked fuses
* Checked water heater: connections and fuse
* Redid water heater connections that surge protector was tied into.
* Results = water was running hot again and GFCI was not tripping.
* Rechecked all outlets for proper ground = all were good.
* All appliances and both AC units were running properly.

* 1 week ago GFCI tripped. The water heater works, as it should.
* The frost free freezer was running too cold, but the fan was running as it should. I manually defrosted the freezer, as a precaution.
* Checked fuses
* Checked water heater: connections and fuse
* Redid water heater connections AGAIN that the surge protector was tied into. Just in case, this was the problem.
* Results = water was running hot and GFCI still tripping.
* Checked shoreline cord
* Even plugged the RV into the 30 amp service. Gfci still tripped.
* All appliances and both AC units are working like they should.
* On Saturday, July 25th, I replaced the original GFCI, yet it still is tripped.
* Then, I reinstalled the original GFCI. It tripped.
* Today on Sunday at 2pm (July 26th), I reset the original GFCI and it held. Itís working!!
* Something is not right...

Iím out of ideas. I need an RV technician/electrician to fix this issue.

I really think the problem is at the pedestal.

If a repairman comes out, heís going to start at the pedestal.

And/Or: If I canít get someone to come out here, I will have to tear down my RV and bring it to a repair facility.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:53 PM   #2
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Well... we first need some questions answered as many of the things you typed do not make sense.

1. What is this 'main GFCI' you refer to?
Is it something aftermarket added on in the pedestal box or inline of your shore cord?
Most R/Vs have a couple of GFCI outlets inside the R/V that are connected to other outlets for protection.
They DO NOT connect to water heaters and/or frost free freezers.

They 'may' protect something plugged into an outlet that is protected by the upstream GFCI but they do not protect the water heater. The water heater is on its own separate circuit and breaker.

What is the surge protector that you say was tied to the water heater?
Is this something aftermarket? Factory water heaters do not have surge protectors tied into the water heater connections.

Progressive industries does make surge protectors but they are not typically tied to the water heater directly.
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:47 PM   #3
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Answer 5Picker's questions and we'll do our best to help you figure this out.

Do you have a multimeter and know how to use it to check voltage?
Have you checked the voltage at the pedestal on both legs and to neutral?

It's possible that the water heater element is going bad and leaking current between hot an ground. That can cause a GFCI to trip. But check everything else before replacing the element.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:14 PM   #4
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Gfci

EMS-HW50C from Progressive Industries

This unit was installed into the main power cord by an electrician. The box and monitor are located in the same area as the water heater. They are not wired into each other. Sorry, Iím dumb.


Obviously, I donít know much about any of this stuff. The things I listed may or may not have anything to do with the other. Iím just a guy trying to figure it out.

Main Gfci is in the bathroom. It has a reset button. The others donít have a reset button. There are a total of 8 Gfci outlets in the RV.

I do have a multimeter and have watched a YouTube video or two on how to check the pedestal. But, thereís a difference when working on the electrical stuff with the power at the pedestal and the main breaker inside the RV turned off vs checking a LIVE pedestal
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:46 PM   #5
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Wow! Lots of information there. You say the inside GFCI keeps tripping? You also state there are 8 outlets connected to the Load side of that GFCI? What I'd concern myself with is what is all plugged into those 8 outlets? The GFCI is only going to see ground faults at the GFCI and beyond in the circuit after the GFCI. It is not going to see ground faults on other circuits controlled by their own separate circuit breaker.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:02 PM   #6
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Gfci

Yes, 8 gfci outlets off the same breaker. The only gfci outlet we use constantly is the outside refrigerator. The others are conveniently located to recharge a cell phone or two.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:21 AM   #7
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It would appear to me that you have a ground problem in that circuit. It could be in the outside fridge and/or outlet. Also it could be in any one of the outlets on that circuit. Those RV receptacles are cheap china crap that have push down contacts for the wiring connections that often come loose when a plug is inserted. I would check all the outlets. You may want to invest in a circuit tester as pictured below. Everyone with an RV should have one in their tool box.
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:55 AM   #8
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I agree with D W. ! Start There ! I'm in the wholesale electrical business, and I sell thousands of replacement GFCI outlets every year. It could be as simple as the GFCI outlet going bad.
When they do go bad , it's either they trip and never reset or they start nuisance tripping.
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:17 AM   #9
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Gfci

Thank you for responding!! I have 2 outlet testers here with me. I have checked all Gfci outlets at least 3 times. All read normal or correct.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:03 PM   #10
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You seem to have a "possible" intermittent ground fault. I would disconnect from shore power and check the connections on the ground bus at the service panel. Then I would check all the ground connections on all of the outlets on that GFCI circuit. With shore power disconnected you can use an extension cord that is equipped with a ground to check continuity between all of the receptacles grounds by probing the ground on one receptacle and probing the ground on the extension cord with it plugged into another receptacle on that GFCI circuit. Lastly, I would also check the actual ground connection on the outside fridge. May sound tedious, but you have to verify and rule out all possibilities.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:16 PM   #11
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Gfci

Unrelated to Gfci: I hurt my back...This is going to have to wait a couple of weeks...Thanks for the direction!!!
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Old 08-09-2020, 06:36 PM   #12
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Gfci

* On Friday, July 31st, Gfci tripped in the Pm...I have nothing connected to any of the gfci outlets.
* On Friday, August 7th, reset Gfci, it held. Nothing plugged into any Gfci outlets.
* On Saturday, August 8th, Gfci tripped.

My back is still not right. Canít do anything about this problem yet...
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