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Old 11-16-2018, 03:59 PM   #41
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Iím sorry Larry -NC if I confused anyone. When I said intermittent,I meant that the short doesnít occur all the time, not how bad it is when it happens. The next step for sure is to get the light bulb fuse tester made. Jay
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:10 PM   #42
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Say what?

Hey Jay;

Not sure what you mean by this: " Do you have a way to disconnect the slide 12 volt power from the circuit like you did with the other slide?" If by "slide 12V power" you mean the slide motors, they are on a different circuit altogether. When I separated the slides originally the circuit only feed 12 Volts to lights and appliances "within" the slides. Maybe you can clarify? I don't see any way to narrow it down any further from the fuse panel. Am I missing something?
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:34 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidceder View Post
Earlier this year I had a lengthy post about my 12 Volt, 15 AMP DC fuse blowing whenever I applied DC or AC power to the rig. The interesting thing is it only happened when it was cold. I know, strange! The 15 AMP fuse fed both my living room slide (with the fridge) and my dining room slide so when it blew I lost everything in both slides. Trying to trouble shoot I separated the wiring so each slide was on it own fuse. Well today is was mid 40's and the fuse for the now separated dining room blew. I replaced it a few times but no go. Good news is it isn't the slide with the fridge. As far as I can tell I only loose the three lights in the dining room. If it acts as it has in the past I can replace the fuse when it gets warmer but it will blow when it gets cold overnight. No problems being out a few months this summer. I wanted opinions if I could wire in a resettable circuit breaker so I can troubleshoot this without spending my Social Security on 15 AMP fuses? This is not going to be easy to find. I was thinking of something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CB41220-Sie...QTM:rk:26:pf:0


If there is something else I might do I would appreciate any input.

Instead of thinking of a half baked work around, I suggest you get a multi meter and learn how to use it.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:43 PM   #44
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I would suggest using a higher amp fuse and seeing if they blow also. If they do, then you know it is a direct short. If not, then it is likely a component somewhere.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:49 PM   #45
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Davidceder, Iím sorry if I confused you in any way. I didnít mean the slide motors. What I meant was if you separated the 12 volt items on the 2 different slides could you just as easily separate the 12volt items (lights ect) from those lamps that are over the recliners. That would eliminate one of them. Any luck getting the light tester made? Jay
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:15 PM   #46
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Okay, Mr. Wicked

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked Ace View Post
Instead of thinking of a half baked work around, I suggest you get a multi meter and learn how to use it.
Okay, Mr. Wicked. I've got a couple of Electrical Engineering degrees and I've spent my years working in garages, too. I would not attempt to troubleshoot this problem with a multi-meter. It would either tell me:
  • There are 0 ohms if the intermittent happens to be shorted, or
  • There are infinity ohms if the intermittent happen to be open.
Furthermore, if it happened to change, I might miss the flickering of digits (maybe a little less so with an analog meter, if you can still get one).

So perhaps you could tell us exactly how you would shoot this problem with a multimeter. Detailed steps, please.

Larry
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:17 PM   #47
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He already said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOODMAN View Post
I would suggest using a higher amp fuse and seeing if they blow also. If they do, then you know it is a direct short. If not, then it is likely a component somewhere.
He already said they blow instantly. A fuse will take a 50% overload for several minutes. It seems unlikely to be anything other than a dead short (small fraction of an ohm).

Larry
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:51 PM   #48
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Insert an auto resetting circuit breaker available at autozone
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:55 PM   #49
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Just received the lamp holder

I will try to get it built up this week. I want to make the leads longer so it can hang outside the fuse panel. Should have time before turkey day. That said, I will plug it in and leave it there for a while. Try to make some early morning trips to the storage yard to see what's up. As far as separating the slide lights from the reading lights there is no way to do that at the fuse panel. Not sure how else to do it. I think we agreed the wiring from the switch to the lights are good. The switch for the reading lights are right on the lights themselves so that leaves all the wire to those lights. The lights in the slide could be the wires going from the source to the switches themselves.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:05 AM   #50
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Bulb Tester

So, can I leave the bulb tester in position for a length of time, say during a normal camping trip of 1-2 weeks? Will it matter if the 5 lights on the circuit draw through this tester on a constant basis or do I just need to plug it when the problem arises? What happens if something really goes kaput, will the bulb ever blow and act as the fuse?
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:20 PM   #51
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When the circuit is acting up again, Use a multimeter, set in diode mode. Most meters will have a piezo speaker when the two leads of the meter are touched together, it emits sound.

Attach one lead to the circuit in question and the other lead to a good ground. If the circuit has a short it will make noise (sort of like the light mentioned in earlier posts)

Now just follow the wiring through the coach, tugging and wiggling till it either stops making noise. (or if not blown now, wiggle the wires and when you hear the sound, you are getting close)

I would look wherever the wires pass through the coach, walls or floors. As most items in the circuit are working, they are low on my list of probabilities. But look at where they are attached to the circuit, a chaffed wire or missing wire nut in one of the lamps seem like possibilities. Goose neck lamps wiggle all around.

Sure wish manufacturers would provide basic schematics for all coaches and trailers
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:26 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidceder View Post
What happens if something really goes kaput, will the bulb ever blow and act as the fuse?
No. the light bulb is a resistive element so when the circuit is shorted, it will just glow at full intensity.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:01 PM   #53
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Since the camper lights are LED they should work just fine through the light, any higher draw items wouldn't.

you may see a very slight glow in the test bulb when the LEDs are on, when it shorts it will be full brightness. The test light will be a current limiter and the max the circuit can draw is what the bulb draws at 12v, probably in the 1-5 amp range but you could look up the specs to be sure.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:58 PM   #54
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Soon, when it is going to be cold all day (midwest/north?) blow a fuse or or pop that new plug-in breaker-fuse then pull every light/module/receptacle that is on this popping line. For each one except the end there should be 3 wires wire-nutted for the neutral and hot wires; one wire coming in, one wire going out and the wire to the load (light, etc). Disconnect them all. Now re-engage the fuse. You are testing the wire from the fuse to the first load. If it pops you probably have a construction screw in the 3 wire bundle or a frayed wire to the chassis. If it doesn't pop connect only the load. If it doesn't pop hook in the going out wires, which will test the wiring to the next load. Continue until the fuse pops and you will have localized the problem to a load or length of wire. Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:30 PM   #55
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How about this?

I live in Arizona but at 5000 ft so get fairly chilly at certain times of the year.

I was assuming and it was confirmed on this thread that the wiring between the light switch and the lights themselves could be eliminated as the fuse blows when the two switches are off. This line of thought is contingent on the switch controlling the hot wire which I imagine it does. Therefor the problem would be from the light switch back to the source or to the two pancake lights. As for the 2 pancake lights, those on/off switches are mounted on the light so your theory holds.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:18 PM   #56
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Shore Power, Sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidceder View Post
So, can I leave the bulb tester in position for a length of time, say during a normal camping trip of 1-2 weeks? Will it matter if the 5 lights on the circuit draw through this tester on a constant basis or do I just need to plug it when the problem arises? What happens if something really goes kaput, will the bulb ever blow and act as the fuse?
As long as you're on shore power, plugged in, you can leave the lamp in place as long as you like. It will never draw more than the current for the lamp, 1.8 amps.

The bulb itself can get pretty hot. Make sure it's not touching anything that could be damaged.

Larry
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:20 PM   #57
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12v, not 120

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Originally Posted by pkonanz View Post
Soon, when it is going to be cold all day (midwest/north?) blow a fuse or or pop that new plug-in breaker-fuse then pull every light/module/receptacle that is on this popping line. For each one except the end there should be 3 wires wire-nutted for the neutral and hot wires; one wire coming in, one wire going out and the wire to the load (light, etc). Disconnect them all. Now re-engage the fuse. You are testing the wire from the fuse to the first load. If it pops you probably have a construction screw in the 3 wire bundle or a frayed wire to the chassis. If it doesn't pop connect only the load. If it doesn't pop hook in the going out wires, which will test the wiring to the next load. Continue until the fuse pops and you will have localized the problem to a load or length of wire. Good luck.
PK, you're writing as if this were a 120 vac problem. It's not. It's on the 12vdc side.

The thoughts are good, but the procedure doesn't fit.

Larry
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:44 AM   #58
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Caution when using resetting circuit breakers

Automatically resetting circuit breakers are a great convenience but they do have a potential hazard in the situation of a "dead short" as opposed to a moderate overload. I know this by experiencing a melted fuse block. In the case of a short to ground the brief burst of high current causes some heat in the breaker. This heat may not be completely dissipated by the time that it resets and pops off again. Repeating this sequence allows for steady heat buildup eventually destroying the breaker and melting part or all of the fuse block.
So using the breaker short term while you are there testing and observing should be safe, but allowing it to potentially operate overnight would not be advised based on my experiencing a melt down requiring fuse block replacement.
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:49 PM   #59
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breaker

using a circuit breaker as a temporary sub will help. if it is associated with the slides, I would also suspect a damaged wire.
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:30 AM   #60
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Hopefully it doesn't come to this but the last resort solution is to disconnect the wiring at the two switches and the pancake lights and run new wires from the fuse to the switches and pancake lights. Be sure to disconnect the current wire from the fuse.
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