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Old 04-25-2021, 05:28 PM   #1
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Microwave died - now bigger problem

A couple of months ago we had a small power outage at the park - at least that's what it appeared to be. No big deal. I have a Progressive EMS-PT50X, so after a couple of minutes the power came back on. Everything came back - except the microwave. It did not. I reset breakers, powered the rig down and back up, but still no microwave. I called Riverstone support (Austin) and he said it most likely lost the power supply, (and yes, it was out of warranty) so we both figured that it would cost as much to try and repair it as it would to replace it. He explained to my how to take it down (separate issue: you have to remove all the crown molding around it to get to it!). I did, plugged it into another outlet that I knew was working, but the microwave was still dead.

Fast forward to today. We finally got a new microwave and I began the installation. Before I went any further with the install, I tested the new microwave to make sure it was working. Plugged it into the dedicated microwave outlet and..... nothing. No power at the outlet.

So I broke out the outlet tester and it's giving me an OPEN NEUTRAL error. I then pull out my volt meter and I am getting nothing when I put red test lead on BLACK, and black test lead on WHITE. However, when I put red test lead on BLACK and black test lead on GROUND I get 120v power.

I replaced the 20a circuit breaker (Siemens 2020u) with a brand new one, but still have the same problem.

There have been no adds, changes, or deletes to the wiring of the RV. It has not moved an inch since last November, so I don't know what could possibly be the issue.

I unplugged the rig, let it sit completely powered down for 30 minutes (not even connected to pole power, battery disconnected) powered back up (thinking that might reset things somehow). As I'm powering back up I'm seeing on my surge protector that it is reading random values on Line 1 (anywhere from 87 - 257). So I immediately disconnect the RV from the surge protector and wait while I put my volt meter on the park's outlet. It's reading a very stable 117v on Line 1 and 118v on Line 2. I watched it for 10 minutes - all this time I took the surge protector and plugged it into an empty site next to me to see what it was doing. Same thing: numbers all over the place on Line 1. I finally said screw it, and plugged the RV directly into the park, not using the surge protector. Everything is fine - except for the microwave problem, that didn't change.

So to make a long story short, I have an OPEN NEUTRAL problem inside the rig on my dedicated microwave circuit, and a faulty surge protector as well.

I've got a call into Progressive Industries customer support but it's Sunday so I probably wont hear back from anyone until tomorrow.

Regarding the OPEN NEUTRAL problem - anybody have any suggestions? The problem is NOT the outlet - I removed it and replaced it with a conventional outlet (BTW, Riverstone used an "RV Outlet" for this - there is no electrical outlet box in the wall, so I had to install one for the new outlet. They did leave about 2' of yellow ROMEX 12-2 inside the wall). I am able to test the actual wiring separate from the outlet.

Appreciate any ideas.
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:14 PM   #2
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OK should be an easy fix. You say this is a dedicated outlet and you have already replaced the receptacle at the microwave. The other end of the romex terminates at the breaker panel. Check all of the white wires that are landed on the neutral bar. You should find one loose. If not determine the romex in the panel feeding the outlet and do a continuity check on the white wire. Hope this helps solve your problem.
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1521 View Post
Regarding the OPEN NEUTRAL problem - anybody have any suggestions? The problem is NOT the outlet - I removed it and replaced it with a conventional outlet (BTW, Riverstone used an "RV Outlet" for this - there is no electrical outlet box in the wall, so I had to install one for the new outlet. They did leave about 2' of yellow ROMEX 12-2 inside the wall). I am able to test the actual wiring separate from the outlet.

Appreciate any ideas.
As mentioned, continuity check between the outlet and the neutral bar on the panel. Might need to extra wire. If you don't get it at the bar, try all the white wires individually.

Also with your circuit tester, are any other outlets showing an open neutral? Could be the main neutral that ties back from the panel to the pedestal.
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:10 PM   #4
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As mentioned, continuity check between the outlet and the neutral bar on the panel. Might need to extra wire. If you don't get it at the bar, try all the white wires individually.

Also with your circuit tester, are any other outlets showing an open neutral? Could be the main neutral that ties back from the panel to the pedestal.
No, I went around and tested all the other outlets and they're fine.

Could the inverter/transfer switch possibly be causing the problem? I can't believe it would as this circuit isn't on the transfer switch.
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:27 PM   #5
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Are you referring to a large transfer switch that switches between shore / generator power or a small one that switches the inverter output between inverter / shore power? Is the microwave able to be powered by the inverter?

Sure sounds like an issue in the neutral wire running from the panel to that outlet. As mentioned Id check the neutral bar in the panel. You should be able to trace the hot wire for that circuit from the breaker to where it goes into the Romeo and at that point identify the neutral cable also going into that romex. That is the neutral cable to trace back to where it goes to the neutral buss.

Hope you find the problem.
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:51 AM   #6
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Have you tried replacing the outlet that the microwave is plugged into? These "speed outlets" aren't the best/most secure.
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Old 04-26-2021, 10:00 AM   #7
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many microwaves have an internal fuse. Yours may have one that 'blew' and needs to be replaced and the microwave may be just fine.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:56 PM   #8
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He said that...

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Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Have you tried replacing the outlet that the microwave is plugged into? These "speed outlets" aren't the best/most secure.
He said that he did that in the first post.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:21 PM   #9
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He said that he did that in the first post.
(not sarcasm) Holy crap, he had a whole paragraph on it and I missed it. Thanks for pointing it.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:37 PM   #10
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I shut down the rig, ran a long lead of wire from the white line at the outlet down to a location near the breaker box. Tested to the neutral bar for continuity and have no continuity. I then disconnected the lead from the neutral bar and tested directly to it, and no continuity.

I then repeated the test by connecting the long lead of wire to the black wire at the outlet and tested it down to the black wire at the circuit breaker and I have connectivity over the black (I knew this was the case as I had power to it when I tested it with the meter on the bare ground wire and the hot black lead).

I just got off the phone with the manufacturer. He confirmed that that is a direct 12/2 run from the outlet to the breaker box; there is nothing in between.

So somewhere it appears that I've got a break in the white line (somehow). To my knowledge there are no other outlets on that circuit.

This is something stupid, I know it. There has GOT to be an outlet, or something else connected somewhere inline.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:48 PM   #11
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It is possible that during installation a romex staple peirced the white wire. I have seen this occur in residential wiring.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:49 PM   #12
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So if you took some 12/2 wire and ran it from the box to the outlet does that work? Maybe there is a staple or screw in the wire somewhere between the box and the outlet.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:03 PM   #13
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Just some additional information. We've been full-timing in our rig since November of 2019, and we haven't moved it since November of 2020. It's been working fine right up to that power outage.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:15 PM   #14
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I realize you said what the factory told you about a direct run... but... some rigs with a microwave AND a fireplace have a switch or a relay allowing you to use one or the other but not both. Does your R/V have anything like that? Just wanting to cover all the bases.

Also... many R/Vs have electrical wiring runs made up in advance to facilitate speed in building them. They will often connect Romex or SO wire with connectors like shown below. You may start looking for one of these...

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Old 04-26-2021, 03:36 PM   #15
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May have found the problem. Under the cabinet on the floor beneath the microwave I found this:



It is a Molex 19045-30 MOLEX SELF CONTAINED POWER CONNECTOR 19045-30. The yellow lead heads into the wall and I'm guessing up to the microwave. Sorry for the large picture. Is anyone familiar with these? Can I take it apart to test it - and put it back together again, or are these one-time-only-use connectors?
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I realize you said what the factory told you about a direct run... but... some rigs with a microwave AND a fireplace have a switch or a relay allowing you to use one or the other but not both. Does your R/V have anything like that? Just wanting to cover all the bases.

Also... many R/Vs have electrical wiring runs made up in advance to facilitate speed in building them. They will often connect Romex wire with connectors like shown below. You may start looking for one of these...

Wow! While you were posting this, I was crawling around taking the cabinets apart underneath the microwave and found it. See my previous post. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:47 PM   #17
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May have found the problem. Under the cabinet on the floor beneath the microwave I found this:



It is a Molex 19045-30 MOLEX SELF CONTAINED POWER CONNECTOR 19045-30. The yellow lead heads into the wall and I'm guessing up to the microwave. Sorry for the large picture. Is anyone familiar with these? Can I take it apart to test it - and put it back together again, or are these one-time-only-use connectors?
Jim, here's the web page on that connector. There are several links from that page for specifications and drawings, and one for the special ratchet tool they spec for applying the connector.

Guess what? It's another one of those Insulation Displacement connectors that forks over the conductor, making contact at two narrow points.

I didn't see anything about removing the connectors, but I didn't try all the links.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:51 PM   #18
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Wow! While you were posting this, I was crawling around taking the cabinets apart underneath the microwave and found it. See my previous post. Thanks!
I took one apart once (wasn't a Molex) and put it back together.
Even opened the hinged cover to test the wire connections.

The wires do clip in like the inexpensive outlets we see in R/Vs but the connector is made to mate (one connector to the other) more than once I'm sure.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:56 PM   #19
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Good start

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I took one apart once (wasn't a Molex) and put it back together.
Even opened the hinged cover to test the wire connections.

The wires do clip in like the inexpensive outlets we see in R/Vs but the connector is made to mate (one connector to the other) more than once I'm sure.
They disconnect from each other? That's a good start. Jim can figure out which of the two segments has failed and only has to replace one of the two connectors.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:58 PM   #20
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Thanks guys. I'm going to give it a try shortly. I want to see if I can take it apart, test it and snap it bck together again.
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