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Old 08-03-2016, 09:48 PM   #1
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Voltage too high...

I took my motorhome out this past weekend and I noticed that the voltage reading on my coach was about 40 amps when I had the generator on and the air conditioner was running. Now, the only other things that should have been drawing power were the refrigerator and the water pump. This is unusual as normal power draw is about 20-24 amps. I went outside and beat on the cover of the automatic power switch, but it only helped for a short while. Any suggestions...?
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:25 PM   #2
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I took my motorhome out this past weekend and I noticed that the voltage reading on my coach was about 40 amps when I had the generator on and the air conditioner was running. Now, the only other things that should have been drawing power were the refrigerator and the water pump. This is unusual as normal power draw is about 20-24 amps. I went outside and beat on the cover of the automatic power switch, but it only helped for a short while. Any suggestions...?
I'm a bit confused by your post. It's titled, "Voltage too high..." But then you said, "the voltage reading on my coach was about 40 amps when I had the generator on and the air conditioner was running." Then you mention the refrigerator and the water pump. Is the refrigerator a residential or RV refrigerator? The water pump is 12 v DC and has nothing to do with the generator and A/C. The dash A/C works off the engine and is 12 v, the larger cabin A/C (roof or basement) is 120 v.

Voltage is the potential for energy to move, equivalent to water pressure. (pounds per square inch) Amperage is the rate of flow, equivalent to rate of flow. (gallons per minute)

I don't know the size or amp draw of your A/C, but if the amperage is higher than normal you could see what the voltage was at that time. When voltage goes down, amperage draw goes up. This condition isn't all that unusual in a campground on a hot day with lots of A/C units drawing power.

You also mentioned, "I went outside and beat on the cover of the automatic power switch." Are you talking about the automatic transfer switch? If so, that has nothing to do with amperage or voltage draw, it just switches from generator to shore cord.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:12 PM   #3
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OK let's just take a step back and calm down.
No I understand that you are actually talking about the Amperage draw being at 40 amps.
So things to actually think about, was the water heater on AC? Was the microwave on? was someone blow drying their hair? Is your fridge a home type or RV and if RV type did you just plug in and switch it to AC or had you just filled it up with warm stuff or had the door open for awhile?
Now about beating on the Transfer Switch, you say it made a difference for awhile. What you need to do is shut everything down and open up the Transfer Switch box and tighten up all of the connections coming from the Shore Power cable and the Generator. These connections work their way loose over time especially the one from the Shore Power Cable, because we are always moving it.
How many AC's does your unit have? 2 roof or Basement Air. If Basement air, it is possible that both compressors were running at the time you looked, IF Roof then maybe both AC's were actually on at the time.

Hopefully this will help in figuring things out.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:55 AM   #4
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Another large current draw device is the converter or converter/inverter. If the batteries are low it will draw a lot of current while charging the batteries.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:31 AM   #5
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Another large current draw device is the converter or converter/inverter. If the batteries are low it will draw a lot of current while charging the batteries.
Did you have the water heater in the electric mode? An electric water heater may draw as much as 12 Amps. If you have a residential refrigerator it can draw between 6 amps and 20 amps depending on size

With 2 air conditioners running (21 - 24 amps), a residential refrigerator (6 - 20 amps), and an electric water heater (10 - 12 amps) a 40 amp draw isn't out of the question.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:21 PM   #6
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Gentlemen...I was running the coach on my Generator only. The only items that I had powered up was the Air Conditioner (Basement) and the refrigerator. When I shut down the refrig, the load dropped by about 3 amps. I did not have the electric water heater on or the inverter. Beating on the auto transfer switch cover helped for a short while, which leads me to believe that I may have some loose connections inside.
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:34 AM   #7
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Stop beating on the transfer switch, unless you want to ultimately pay someone to replace it. Even if you had loose connections, it is not going to cause an increase in current draw.

First, I don't know where you are reading 40 amps, but I am assuming that your reference to 40 amps, is 40 amps of 120VAC.....and not 40 amps of 12VDC.

If it is 120VAC current, here's a couple reference points:
- My A/Cs draw 12 amp running, 15 amps starting, each.
- My refrig draws 1 amp when the compressor is running, 8 amps if it is in the process of automatic defrosting. I didn't separately measure the additional current when icemaker is cycling (warming tray and dumping).
- My H2O heater draws 11 amps
- My inverter/converter, which has a 100amp DC converter, can draw almost 15 amps of 120VAC when charging the batteries (cooling fans and inefficiencies). This load is probably transparent to you, and if you had a 125 a DC or larger converter....could be drawing even more. Additionally, I have clocks, laptop wall warts, entertainment hdmi amplifiers, and other miscellaneous current draws which typically can be about 3 amps.
- If you have a separate chassis battery charger (mine does), mine draws up to 2 amps. Alternatively if you have an Amp-L-Start which strips power from the house batteries to charge the chassis batteries, then the converter would be working even harder recharging the house.
- If you mistakenly had your engine preheat plugged in or turned on, mine draws 5 amps.

You could easily have 40 amps of draw.
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:20 AM   #8
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Gentlemen...I was running the coach on my Generator only. The only items that I had powered up was the Air Conditioner (Basement) and the refrigerator. When I shut down the refrig, the load dropped by about 3 amps. I did not have the electric water heater on or the inverter. Beating on the auto transfer switch cover helped for a short while, which leads me to believe that I may have some loose connections inside.
If you feel you have a bad or loose connection in either the transfer switch or circuit breaker panel try implementing this procedure I outlined for another person with a similar situation:

"It sounds like you may have a loose wire in the circuit breaker panel or the shore power transfer switch.

The first thing to do is disconnect the RV from all power sources.

Then open the door to the circuit breaker panel and remove the cover over the breakers. Inspect all wires thoroughly using a flashlight. If any wire has been loose for some period the insulation will generally become discolored or burned from the excess heat generated by the high resistance of a loose connection.

One at a time check the wires and the screws on the neutral strip (white wires). Make sure each wire is in one of the holes and the screw is holding it firmly in place. In some cases there may be more than one wire in a hole so tighten the screw firmly then try to wiggle each wire with a needle nose pliers. If any of them move they should all be removed from the hole and firmly twisted together. Then reinsert the bundle and retighten the screw firmly.

Once you're sure all the wires on the neutral strip are tight move to each individual breaker and check each black wire. Make sure all the wires are firmly held in place by the screw. Again there may be more than one wire per breaker. If this is the case be sure all wires are firmly held in place by the screw.

The final step in this panel is to repeat the same process with the ground strip. It's usually on the opposite side of the panel from the neutral strip. All the wires in the ground strip will be bare copper. Make sure they're all in a hole and secured firmly in place by a screw.

When you're sure all the wires in the panel are secure replace the cover.

I would then find the transfer switch and repeat the inspection and tightening process in this panel. to find the transfer switch just follow the shore power cord to where it's permanently attached to the box. Again before opening the box be sure the shore power cord is disconnected and the generator is not running.

Remove the cover from the transfer switch box and follow the same procedure used to tighten all the wires in the circuit breaker box.

Once you are sure all the wires in this panel are secure reinstall the transfer switch cover.

Once you're sure all wires are tight and all covers are properly reinstalled reconnect the shore power cord to a proper outlet and power up the motorhome."

Here's a link to that discussion:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/elec...ml#post2947717
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:49 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Kiawah;3194555]Stop beating on the transfer switch, unless you want to ultimately pay someone to replace it. Even if you had loose connections, it is not going to cause an increase in current draw.

First, I don't know where you are reading 40 amps, but I am assuming that your reference to 40 amps, is 40 amps of 120VAC.....and not 40 amps of 12VDC.

Kiawah, If, as I stated, I am running the coach off of my generator, I think it is obvious that I am talking about 40 amps of 120VAC. Secondly, I stated all that was running when I noticed this problem. Thirdly, I am not beating on the Transfer switch, just on the metal cover where it is located.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:01 AM   #10
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Thirdly, I am not beating on the Transfer switch, just on the metal cover where it is located.
Why not take off the cover and check for loose wires, instead of beating on the cover ?
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Ramzfan;3196274]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiawah View Post
Stop beating on the transfer switch, unless you want to ultimately pay someone to replace it. Even if you had loose connections, it is not going to cause an increase in current draw.

First, I don't know where you are reading 40 amps, but I am assuming that your reference to 40 amps, is 40 amps of 120VAC.....and not 40 amps of 12VDC.

Kiawah, If, as I stated, I am running the coach off of my generator, I think it is obvious that I am talking about 40 amps of 120VAC. Secondly, I stated all that was running when I noticed this problem. Thirdly, I am not beating on the Transfer switch, just on the metal cover where it is located.
I think beating on the metal cover of the transfer switch is generally interpreted as beating on the transfer switch. I, as perhaps Kiawah did, wonder if you understand amps, volts, and what the function of the "automatic power switch," actually is. (which is actually the Automatic Transfer Switch.) (ATS) A malfunction in the ATS would result in power not being passed through. A loose connection would not be repaired by beating on it.

You still haven't identified where you were reading a 40 amp draw, which you said was "voltage too high."

Please don't get upset with those of us asking you to clarify your question. As I mentioned in my first reply to your initial post, I'm confused by your statements of fact. You said, "I took my motorhome out this past weekend and I noticed that the voltage reading on my coach was about 40 amps when I had the generator on and the air conditioner was running." From that sentence I assumed you where driving, because you "took my MH out" when you saw the 40 amp reading. My first thought was, "is this reading on a dashboard gauge?" Is this the amp draw on the engine alternator?

Then you added, "Now, the only other things that should have been drawing power were the refrigerator and the water pump." An RV refrigerator is 12v DC powered with a 120v AC heating element, which switches on when 120 v AC is present, as with the generator running. The fridge heating element can draw 5-8 amps AC running. You didn't mention that your converter/charger comes on when 120v is present, according to it's rating, state of charge of batteries, and 12v usage, could draw up to 30~45 amps or more, if house batteries were near dead and a bunch of 12v things were on.
By the way, the water pump draws little or no power just 'on' (perhaps the LED indicator light) but when actually pumping it draws it's rated amount of energy.

So, one A/C on ~12-14 amps, RV refrigerator cooling on 120v element, 5-8 amps, Converter/charger ~20 amps, there's the 40 amps you read.

I think if you read this article about RV energy use, you might be able to total up near to the 40 amp draw yourself. Mark's other articles, listed on the right side of the linked page can also answer lots of questions.
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:59 PM   #12
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OP have you figured out exactly what is going on yet?
You did state you were running the Basement air, that system has 2 compressors so that is a huuuuuuuuuuge current draw. Your fridge will also draw a lot of current.
As stated by others, open the transfer switch case and tighten down all of the screws to the wires. While you are in there take a close look at the screws and wires to see if the look as if they have been burnt or the covering is slightly melted. Look close at the terminals for black marks also. You can get a can of tuner cleaner or electrical contact cleaner and spray the contacts to clean them if you need to.
What ever you do, Please make sure you do these checks with ALL electricity turned off and disconnected. Remember Safety first.
Remember this is a 50AMP circuit so as long as you don't hit that you should be alright. Besides the Winnebago EMS should keep you with in range.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:43 AM   #13
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For the OP You said you had the basement A/C on. Could it have been that you had both compressors on the A/C unit on? This would account for about 30 of your amperage draw.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:36 PM   #14
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For the OP You said you had the basement A/C on. Could it have been that you had both compressors on the A/C unit on? This would account for about 30 of your amperage draw.
I had the basement air on, which accounts for about 23-24 amps, the fridge, which accounts for 3 amps, and the water pump, which when not running, accounts for zero. I am at a loss as to what caused the additional 13 amp draw.
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