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Old 11-15-2021, 06:22 PM   #1
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Reverse Polarity.

From home receptacle, extension cord, to surge protector, serge protector shows normal. When I plug in cord from trailer to surge protector, home ckt trips and surge protector shows reversed polarity. When I remove the surge protector and just go straight from house to trailer, same thing house ckt trips. This is a new issue that never happened before at the house. I even tried different house ckts , with same outcome. Where would I start with this issue? Thanks
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Old 11-15-2021, 06:39 PM   #2
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What circuit breaker trips?
Troubleshooting tip: Turn off all AC breakers in the trailer at the control panel. Plug the trailer in again. If no ckt trip then turn on the main control panel AC breaker. Continue turning on breakers until ckt trips.
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Old 11-15-2021, 07:06 PM   #3
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I updated my question. The house ckt bkr trips.
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Old 11-16-2021, 08:38 AM   #4
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Is the house circuit breaker large enough to carry the load of the current rig? following advice in post 2 is a good way to start if something trips maybe it is wired wrong in the rig. good luck let the forum know what you find and correct.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:08 AM   #5
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I have not had this issue before when using these same house ckts. First I tried a 20A then a 15A house ckt. What I am attempting to explain is that from the house receptacle to the end of the ckt protector there does not seem to be an issue since the surge protector shows 2 green lights indicating everything is ok. It is when I plug the 120V cable trom my trailer to the surge protector, that I get the reversed polarity lights on the surge protector and then the house ckt trips. There are no ck bkrs in the trailer that trip. It is only the house ckt bkrs that are tripping. Again, this is not the first time I have plugged into my homes electricity , but is the first time I'm having this issue. I did see that my extension cord was shorting out, animal chewed on the rubber and there were some exposed wires so I used a brand new electrical extension cord large enough for the 20A home ckt, and still the same issue. Also, removing the surge protector from this, did not help, home ckt still tripping.
So it appears my problem, that was never a problem before, is happening as the 120v power goes into the trailer. Thanks for the replies so far.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:49 AM   #6
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Turning off all breakers in the camper may help identify the issue. Then turn on breakers one at a time starting with the main. When it trips that is the circuit to look at.

Is the house breaker that trips a regular breaker? Or a CFCI breaker? If it is a GFCI breaker try another inside outlet that is not on a GFCI. This will separate a load issue from a ground fault issue.
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:08 AM   #7
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A long shot but a possibility. You do/did not have the WH on electric while empty. This can short the element to gnd and cause a problem.
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adevildog74 View Post
I have not had this issue before when using these same house ckts. First I tried a 20A then a 15A house ckt. What I am attempting to explain is that from the house receptacle to the end of the ckt protector there does not seem to be an issue since the surge protector shows 2 green lights indicating everything is ok. It is when I plug the 120V cable trom my trailer to the surge protector, that I get the reversed polarity lights on the surge protector and then the house ckt trips. There are no ck bkrs in the trailer that trip. It is only the house ckt bkrs that are tripping. Again, this is not the first time I have plugged into my homes electricity , but is the first time I'm having this issue. I did see that my extension cord was shorting out, animal chewed on the rubber and there were some exposed wires so I used a brand new electrical extension cord large enough for the 20A home ckt, and still the same issue. Also, removing the surge protector from this, did not help, home ckt still tripping.
So it appears my problem, that was never a problem before, is happening as the 120v power goes into the trailer. Thanks for the replies so far.
So you then must start eliminating anything that could be an issue with the R/V.

As mentioned, start by turning off all 120v breakers (including the main) in the power distribution box of your R/V and then plugging in your R/V shore power cord to the surge protector.

1. If the house breaker doesn't trip, then go inside the R/V and start turning on the breakers ONE AT A TIME (beginning with the main and then on to each individual breaker) until you find the circuit that trips the house breaker.

2. If you have all the breakers off in the R/Vs power distribution box (including the main) and the HOUSE BREAKER TRIPS when you plug in the shore power cord to the surge protector, you'll need to start inspecting your shore power cable and the sidewall connection to the R/V for issues. If all is OK there, you'll need to check the wiring (inside the R/V) from the back side of the connection on the sidewall of the R/V to the power distribution box inside the R/V.

You mentioned it worked OK prior... did you make any modifications to the R/V where you might have run a screw into some interior wiring?

Did you notice or have any damage to the shore power cord? (like mowed over it)

Were you using any high draw appliances in the R/V (A/C or heater) that might have melted the shore power cord or sidewall connector?
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llr View Post
Turning off all breakers in the camper may help identify the issue. Then turn on breakers one at a time starting with the main. When it trips that is the circuit to look at.

Is the house breaker that trips a regular breaker? Or a CFCI breaker? If it is a GFCI breaker try another inside outlet that is not on a GFCI. This will separate a load issue from a ground fault issue.
One GFCI circuit doesn't like to be plugged into another GFCI circuit. Sometimes it will work, most times not.


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A long shot but a possibility. You do/did not have the WH on electric while empty. This can short the element to gnd and cause a problem.
X2


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Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
So you then must start eliminating anything that could be an issue with the R/V.

As mentioned, start by turning off all 120v breakers (including the main) in the power distribution box of your R/V and then plugging in your R/V shore power cord to the surge protector.

1. If the house breaker doesn't trip, then go inside the R/V and start turning on the breakers ONE AT A TIME (beginning with the main and then on to each individual breaker) until you find the circuit that trips the house breaker.

2. If you have all the breakers off in the R/Vs power distribution box (including the main) and the HOUSE BREAKER TRIPS when you plug in the shore power cord to the surge protector, you'll need to start inspecting your shore power cable and the sidewall connection to the R/V for issues. If all is OK there, you'll need to check the wiring (inside the R/V) from the back side of the connection on the sidewall of the R/V to the power distribution box inside the R/V.

You mentioned it worked OK prior... did you make any modifications to the R/V where you might have run a screw into some interior wiring?

Did you notice or have any damage to the shore power cord? (like mowed over it)

Were you using any high draw appliances in the R/V (A/C or heater) that might have melted the shore power cord or sidewall connector?
Again, I agree along with other post to check the connections behind the wall connector and all the way to the back of the power distribution center. Check for loose/burnt connections of rodent chewed wires.
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Old 11-16-2021, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adevildog74 View Post
I have not had this issue before when using these same house ckts. First I tried a 20A then a 15A house ckt. What I am attempting to explain is that from the house receptacle to the end of the ckt protector there does not seem to be an issue since the surge protector shows 2 green lights indicating everything is ok. It is when I plug the 120V cable trom my trailer to the surge protector, that I get the reversed polarity lights on the surge protector and then the house ckt trips. There are no ck bkrs in the trailer that trip. It is only the house ckt bkrs that are tripping. Again, this is not the first time I have plugged into my homes electricity , but is the first time I'm having this issue. I did see that my extension cord was shorting out, animal chewed on the rubber and there were some exposed wires so I used a brand new electrical extension cord large enough for the 20A home ckt, and still the same issue. Also, removing the surge protector from this, did not help, home ckt still tripping.
So it appears my problem, that was never a problem before, is happening as the 120v power goes into the trailer. Thanks for the replies so far.

Forget about the term "Reversed Polarity". It's a misnomer here. What you have is a short circuit in your cabling or connectors. The fact that none of the trailer breakers trip tells me the fault is before the load reaches your trailer's service panel. You must check the integrity of your cabling and connectors to find the fault.
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Old 11-16-2021, 12:28 PM   #11
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The fact that none of the trailer breakers trip tells me the fault is before the load reaches your trailer's service panel. You must check the integrity of your cabling and connectors to find the fault.
If they were plugging into 30 or 50amp outlets this would probably be the case. With 2 breakers the same size in series either could easily trip 1st.
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Old 11-16-2021, 01:34 PM   #12
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If they were plugging into 30 or 50amp outlets this would probably be the case. With 2 breakers the same size in series either could easily trip 1st.
A circuit breaker only controls what is on its load side.
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Old 11-16-2021, 02:27 PM   #13
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A circuit breaker only controls what is on its load side.
Yes, but I don't see your point. The house breakers load is the entire camper, the campers breaker load is the individual circuits. If there is an overload on any camper circuit both breakers could trip. If there was a moderate load on several camper breakers then only the house breaker would trip.
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Old 11-16-2021, 03:48 PM   #14
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All breakers have a tolerance and it it very unlikely that two breakers in series will ever both trip even if both are the same size.
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:58 PM   #15
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Yes, but I don't see your point. The house breakers load is the entire camper, the campers breaker load is the individual circuits. If there is an overload on any camper circuit both breakers could trip. If there was a moderate load on several camper breakers then only the house breaker would trip.
In the OP's case, the circuit is shorted before the power reaches the trailer service panel. In Post#5 the OP states that none of the trailer circuit breakers are tripping. That tells me those breakers are not seeing the overload or short.
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Old 11-17-2021, 09:34 AM   #16
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What else is plugged in to a receptacle on the same breaker as the one you are plugging your TT into,? Did you recently change where a larger load, like a deep freeze, is plugged in to?
Is your surge protector new? Is your house outlet properly wired?
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:25 AM   #17
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So I did the breaker check in the control panel. It is the W/H brkr that when turned on trips the house ckt. So I turned OFF the on/off switch located on the outside of trailer at the water heater itself, and turned on the W/H ckt at the control panel, and the house ckt DID NOT trip this time.
So, maybe a bad on/off switch on water heater itself.
Thanks for all the help on this one. Appreciated everyones input.

FLYBOB previously wrote "A long shot but a possibility. You do/did not have the WH on electric while empty. This can short the element to gnd and cause a problem."

I DID RECENTLY DRAIN THE WATER FOR WINTER. Didn't see this on/off switch when I was emptying tank, it was kind of hidden in there. Next week I will be heading to Arkansas from Chicago, and will be hooking up to water while there.
I will let everyone know if my problem goes away after filling tank with water again. Thanks to all.
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Old 11-17-2021, 03:29 PM   #18
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FLYBOB previously wrote "A long shot but a possibility. You do/did not have the WH on electric while empty. This can short the element to gnd and cause a problem."

I DID RECENTLY DRAIN THE WATER FOR WINTER. Didn't see this on/off switch when I was emptying tank, it was kind of hidden in there. Next week I will be heading to Arkansas from Chicago, and will be hooking up to water while there.
I will let everyone know if my problem goes away after filling tank with water again. Thanks to all.
If you energized the water heater with no water in the tank, you burned up the heating element which is why it is tripping the circuit breaker. Same as with your home electric water heater, which is why it is so important to turn off the electricity before draining the tank. It only takes a few seconds (when energized) to destroy the element when it is exposed to air. Simply filling the tank back up with water will not resolve the problem.

You will need to replace the element. They are not expensive, maybe $10-15. You'll need an element wrench to remove the element, also not expensive. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to walk you thru the procedure.

Good call, FLYBOB!
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Old 11-17-2021, 03:45 PM   #19
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If you energized the water heater with no water in the tank, you burned up the heating element which is why it is tripping the circuit breaker. Same as with your home electric water heater, which is why it is so important to turn off the electricity before draining the tank. It only takes a few seconds (when energized) to destroy the element when it is exposed to air.

Good call, FLYBOB!

At a rally seminar given by Brian Moran of FR a few years back we were told current heating elements take up to 20 minutes before they burn out. If you catch the issue quickly, he said to just turn off the power and let the element completely cool off. DO NOT immediately add water, the thermal shock will crack the element.
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Old 11-17-2021, 04:35 PM   #20
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Sounds good. I guess wee learn the hard way. Good thing it isn’t an expensive lesson. Thanks again.
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