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Old 02-07-2017, 10:36 AM   #1
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Find Generator Transfer Switch

I have a very specific question about a 2007 Itasca Meridian 36G.

A couple of times recently when I am off shore power and start the generator, it runs fine but the AC power does not show up on the power panel. I suspect the transfer switch, which is supposed to switch it on after 10 seconds, is not working.

Can anyone help me find this switch? What does it look like and where is it located?
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:38 AM   #2
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Usually in or near the power bay. Where the Shore power cord enters the RV. Follow the Shore power cord and you will find it. Usually a box about 8-10" in size.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thanks, I found what looks like what you described. A 50 amp shore lead going in and two 50 amp leads going out and up into the coach. It makes sense.

Are there any repairable parts inside?
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:26 PM   #4
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Could also be the breaker on the generator.
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Old 02-07-2017, 05:44 PM   #5
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YUP--check the genset breakers first......
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:49 PM   #6
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Next time it happens, bang on the transfer switch box. If it helps, you know where to look.

Second thought, since many transfer switches burn up due to loose wires, power down everthing, open the cover and check for loose screws, holding the wires in to the contactors.

Look for burnt connections while in there.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:27 PM   #7
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I checked and the gen breaker is on.

Funny you mention banging on the box. Last time this happened, I opened the electronics bay while the gen was still running but not feeding the coach, and there was a loud chattering or buzzing sound coming from the ATS. I hit the box and the buzzing stopped, but that didn't fix the problem.

Today I opened the box and everything looks normal. The shore power line has a yellowish cast to the insulation of the neutral wire, but the wire looks shinny and new where it enters the lug. Next, I will try tightening the screws and ensuring the ground is solid.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I checked and the gen breaker is on.

Funny you mention banging on the box. Last time this happened, I opened the electronics bay while the gen was still running but not feeding the coach, and there was a loud chattering or buzzing sound coming from the ATS. I hit the box and the buzzing stopped, but that didn't fix the problem.

Today I opened the box and everything looks normal. The shore power line has a yellowish cast to the insulation of the neutral wire, but the wire looks shinny and new where it enters the lug. Next, I will try tightening the screws and ensuring the ground is solid.

Don't trust the position of the Genset Breakers. Flip them to OFF and back to ON, sometimes they don't actually go the OFF position when tripped.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:19 PM   #9
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That is an interesting point. I'll switch them on and off a couple of times including those on the gen and those in the coach before testing again in the AM.

Thanks
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:37 PM   #10
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The chattering/buzzing sound from the ATS is a huge red flag that that is indeed your issue. Hitting the box stopped the buzzing but didn't fix the issue; the contacts could still not be closing.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:37 PM   #11
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I had a chance to test the gen after absorbing and learning from all your suggestions. First I flipped the breaker on the gen several times and checked the ATS connections for tightness. All were so tight I could not move them except for the neutral on the shore power input which turned just imperceptibly. As you might guess, the gen set and ATS it worked exactly as designed.

Until and unless it fails again, I'm not sure there is anything I can do. The buzzing is troublesome and suggests I should change the ATS box. Hiring someone to trouble shoot only makes sense if the failure can be duplicated for analysis.

Any other ideas?
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:59 AM   #12
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I had a chance to test the gen after absorbing and learning from all your suggestions. First I flipped the breaker on the gen several times and checked the ATS connections for tightness. All were so tight I could not move them except for the neutral on the shore power input which turned just imperceptibly. As you might guess, the gen set and ATS it worked exactly as designed.

Until and unless it fails again, I'm not sure there is anything I can do. The buzzing is troublesome and suggests I should change the ATS box. Hiring someone to trouble shoot only makes sense if the failure can be duplicated for analysis.

Any other ideas?
A few years ago I was having the same type of problem. I bought a replacement transfer switch so I could change it on the road if I had to. The new switch is still in the box. I have not had the problem again. Maybe I scared the old switch.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:19 PM   #13
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Did you buy an exact replacement or an equivalent replacement? I may have to do what you did and keep a spare, but I want it to bolt in on the same mounting holes if possible.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:04 PM   #14
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Depending on your setup you may want to buy an upgrade. If your ATS does not have a built in Surge suppressor and or you don't already have one installed. Then I would recommend that you spend the extra funds and protect your MH.

This one works : Surge Guard Automatic Transfer Switch with RV Power Protection - TRC 40350RVC1 - Surge Protectors - Camping World

Or if you want a to separate the units then:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/50-amp-surge-protector-with-voltage-protection/56420

These are well worth investment, considering how much you invested in your MH.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:49 AM   #15
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Wouldn't buy anything like Surge Guard--usually a 1- year warranty. Suggest getting separate ATS and Surge protector units-- recommend Lyght ATS products or Progressive Industry products for either or both....
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADA View Post
I have a very specific question about a 2007 Itasca Meridian 36G.

A couple of times recently when I am off shore power and start the generator, it runs fine but the AC power does not show up on the power panel. I suspect the transfer switch, which is supposed to switch it on after 10 seconds, is not working.

Can anyone help me find this switch? What does it look like and where is it located?
I have worked on dozens and dozens of these switches. most of the time, the problem was loose wires in the relay. Next was the timer mechanism. The timer is about 90 seconds to let the Air conditioner compressor bleed down and to allow the generator to stabilize. Last was the points on the relay. (The points can be saved by shutting of all loads before starting the generator.) The correct way to troubleshoot the problem is to open the cover of the transfer switch. Start the generator. Check for voltage coming from the generator. If no incoming voltage, it is the generator. (99.9%) or incoming line. (.01%) If voltage, check for the relay closing. If the relay is not switching, It is the relay or delay timer. To find out if it is the timer, check for voltage coming from the timer to the coil. If the relay is switching, check for voltage on the outgoing wires. If no voltage. It is the relay points.
you can buy just the timer, if that is the problem.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:02 PM   #17
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I have learned that the problem unit is an Parallax ATS 5070 which is no longer produced. The current equivalent replacement recommended by Winnebago is a Parallax ATS503. Neither unit has a surge protector. I was told by Parallax that 10 years ago Winnebago took the strange position that a surge protector actually attracted surges so they didn't install them. I don't know what they install today. It makes sense to me to keep them separate if both are installed.

In the 5070, the attachment position of the Gen leads at the top, the Shore leads in the middle and the Panel leads at the bottom. Unfortunately in the 503, the leads are grouped by type - the first hot leads, the second hot leads, and then the neutrals. This spreads them out such that the current wires in my coach will probably not reach and will have to be extended. That raises the installation cost considerably.
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