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Old 09-07-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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Replacing the transfer switch

My transfer switch looks like it needs to be replaced. It drops off line when too cold and just yesterday it would not connect unless I toggled the post circuit breakers a few times. After a few attempts, it would chatter and then connect.

The current transfer switch is an AST 5070. Looking for recommendations for a good replacement and if you know a good source for it.

Thanks
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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Progressive Dynamics makes good products.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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Progessive Dynamics makes good Made in USA products

http://www.progressivedyn.com/pd52.html

I'm sure yours is a Parallax, so that might make for an easier install as it would be a direct replacement.


http://beamalarm.com/Documents/paral...ts-50_amp.html
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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Progessive Dynamics makes good Made in USA products

PD52 240 VAC 50-Amp Automatic Transfer Switch

I'm sure yours is a Parallax, so that might make for an easier install as it would be a direct replacement.


Parallax Automatic Transfer Switch ATS 50 Amp
Any comments on the quality of the Parallax vs. Progressive Dynamics?
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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No sorry. I just know PD makes high quality RV electrical stuff, their converter/chargers are number 1. I wouldn't have a problem with the Parallax at all, unless yours only lasted a few years.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:58 AM   #6
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Parallax is decent too. I wouldn't use WFCO though.
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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How often have you had this problem? Are you certain that the xfer sw is faulty? If you have a bad connection at the pillar that would cause the same symptom. Here is your switch: http://www.parallaxpower.com/ATS/ATS..._op_Manual.pdf

Check ALL of your connections in the switch. Anything loose is a bad thing looking to happen. Clean your power cord plug, lubricate with a dielectric grease (sparingly) and try another power source.

In all of this please use care. Shut all of your power down, including inverter. I hope I don't come across in a demeaning manner. I don't know your skill level so caution is all I am advising.

I have replaced that xfer sw in my last coach after a power surge failure. It is a pain but can be done. I was able to fix the original and I put it back in service because I liked it better.

Hope all goes well for you,

Rick
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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Agree with a second check with a known plug-in--could be the campground. Several x-fer switches manufactures are available to choose from. The industry may have evolved since I replaced mine a few years ago but if available--go with DC current for the contacts [dont ask me how they produce DC current inside an AC box but they do]. DC contacts dont buzz as much as AC ones. In addition to validating the incoming current, also check the lugs [power off] on the x-fer switch--they are prone to getting loose.....
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Old 09-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #9
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I too will say Progressive Dynamics makes good stuff. And they stand behind it.. US company.

Parallex..... Well, I do not know their product line as well but the most common products are not on my recommended list.. Nothing wrong with them, They work as designed.. Just do not do what I wish of them.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Agree with a second check with a known plug-in--could be the campground. Several x-fer switches manufactures are available to choose from. The industry may have evolved since I replaced mine a few years ago but if available--go with DC current for the contacts [dont ask me how they produce DC current inside an AC box but they do]. DC contacts dont buzz as much as AC ones. In addition to validating the incoming current, also check the lugs [power off] on the x-fer switch--they are prone to getting loose.....
I think you mean DC coils, which don't hum as much. I assume they have a diode in series with the coil. Here is a transfer switch with DC coils.

LPT50MRD
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
How often have you had this problem? Are you certain that the xfer sw is faulty? If you have a bad connection at the pillar that would cause the same symptom. Here is your switch: http://www.parallaxpower.com/ATS/ATS..._op_Manual.pdf

Check ALL of your connections in the switch. Anything loose is a bad thing looking to happen. Clean your power cord plug, lubricate with a dielectric grease (sparingly) and try another power source.

In all of this please use care. Shut all of your power down, including inverter. I hope I don't come across in a demeaning manner. I don't know your skill level so caution is all I am advising.

I have replaced that xfer sw in my last coach after a power surge failure. It is a pain but can be done. I was able to fix the original and I put it back in service because I liked it better.

Hope all goes well for you,

Rick
Thanks for the feedback. I never take offense to respectful advise. I am an IT guy and am comfortable in measuring AC/DC until we get to the bigger voltages. I have a very strong respect for electricity for sure.

comments:
1) This is the third campground it has happened at. It has happened both when the weather was cold (35 degrees) and hot (89 degrees).

2) I have a Progressive surge protector and it indicates the power is good at all 3 posts.

3) I have opened the transfer switch box and checked/tighten all the connections and feel they are in good shape.

I will try cleaning the connectors on the plug end as suggested. Unfortunately, we will not be able to do any more work on this for the next 5 weeks due to travel requirements.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:38 AM   #12
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Your welcome osgoor. Have you tried eliminating the surge protector? I read something about problems in that area.

In any case, safe and productive travels.

Rick
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:23 AM   #13
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My Parallax switch was passive when connected to shore power. That is, there was not power to the coils. It was bad, but it only displayed symptoms when running on the generator. It never had a problem with shore power. In fact, the way I diagnosed the problem was by reversing the generator and shore power leads in the switch.

When you have connected to shore power and there is nothing to the house, have you used a meter to measure where the voltage stopped? If your setup is similar to mine, the coils are not energized on shore power. If you had shore power at one location, traveled to a second location without running the generator, would you have shore power at the second location or would you need to do the breaker jiggle routine?

I agree with Jerichorick that it may not be the transfer switch.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:50 AM   #14
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Our Parallax ATS 5070 failed due only to a bad connection. Please do yourself a favor and unplug from power then see if yours has the terminal strip inside that connects the genset, shore power to the switch and electric out to the coach. See if all of the screws are tight and the wires secure. The neutral went open in ours from being loose or corroded and made for a major disaster with electronics inside our coach. Our insurance did cover everything though and no one was hurt.

I temporarily repaired ours by bypassing the terminal strip and using some #8 wire from the hardware store, wire nuts, tape and wire ties. You may be able to just clean up the wire and tighten the screws down. Either way this is the best deal I could find a the replacement model if you need one. I spoke to Parallax and they confirmed the 501 is the direct replacement. PARALLAX ATS501 50 AMP 120/240 VAC AUTOMATIC LINE / GENERATOR TRANSFER SWITCH/www.boatandrvaccessories.com
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:01 AM   #15
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As mentioned before, I replaced mine with a Lyght 50 amp DC-coil model. No hum from AC coil chatter!!!! been going strong for 4-5 years now....saw it on Ebay for $165 .....
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:08 PM   #16
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I was thinking about this problem with ATS premature failures today and I remembered something I learned a long time ago. Before calling for your ATS to switch shut off all nonessential loads especially the AC units, microwave, coffee pot... I think you understand. Here is the why of it all.

Most of the ATS units I know of are a set of relays controlled by predetermined conditions. Relays, being contacts operated by a magnet of some sort, have the problem of bouncing when they make and arcing when they break. Of course this depends on what the circuit is doing at the time of the relay operation. The manufactures of these devices try their best to reduce the bouncing and arcing but some is still inherent, along with other factors that are too involved for this discussion.

Here is the bottom line. If your AC pump is running and the ATS is operated the contacts of those little relays get hammered. Eventually the relay contacts become burned and fail to connect the load properly. Thus, failed ATS.

Even with this understanding I sometimes forget that the AC is on Automatic and when I switch the ATS the AC kicks in, and I shudder!

I hope this info is not too boring and give a bit of clarity to this topic.

Rick
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:32 PM   #17
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Is it possible to wire a inverter into the 5070 transfer switch? I realize you would not be able to run a/c using the inverter
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:30 AM   #18
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Is it possible to wire a inverter into the 5070 transfer switch? I realize you would not be able to run a/c using the inverter
Why? The inverter is, by design, supplying all of your essential power now. Your microwave, many outlets and whatever else the design engineers thought you needed are already powered through the inverter.

The inverter is two devices in one. It is like a UPS for your computer. The house batteries supply DC to the inverter. The circuitry in it converts the DC to AC. Now, when you are on shore power or generator, the AC feed to the inverter is converted to DC with the battery charger components within the inverter. It has a built in transfer switch.

If you want longer life from your inverter AC output for dry camping you can accomplish this by increasing your house battery size. Many are converting to AGM batteries, and increasing the number of batteries in the bank will even increase your available AC time drydocking. Most things we use are DC - lights and refrigeration - and that means the battery size is the key factor when dry docking. But, I think I am getting off track in this discussion.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jerichorick View Post
I was thinking about this problem with ATS premature failures today and I remembered something I learned a long time ago. Before calling for your ATS to switch shut off all nonessential loads especially the AC units, microwave, coffee pot... I think you understand. Here is the why of it all.

Most of the ATS units I know of are a set of relays controlled by predetermined conditions. Relays, being contacts operated by a magnet of some sort, have the problem of bouncing when they make and arcing when they break. Of course this depends on what the circuit is doing at the time of the relay operation. The manufactures of these devices try their best to reduce the bouncing and arcing but some is still inherent, along with other factors that are too involved for this discussion.

Here is the bottom line. If your AC pump is running and the ATS is operated the contacts of those little relays get hammered. Eventually the relay contacts become burned and fail to connect the load properly. Thus, failed ATS.

Even with this understanding I sometimes forget that the AC is on Automatic and when I switch the ATS the AC kicks in, and I shudder!

I hope this info is not too boring and give a bit of clarity to this topic.

Rick
Since I purchased this MH as used and have no idea how the previous owner handled the AC scenario combined with chattering relays, drop outs, etc... would my best bet be to replace the switch anyway?

This is one of two problems I am facing. I am still working on why my house batteries do not charge on shore power but do on generator/engine alternator. Oh the joys of RV'ing
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:29 PM   #20
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Have you downloaded the wiring diagrams for your coach yet? What info can you provide so we can all have a look see at them.

What inverter do you have? It sounds like the charger portion of the inverter is either not working or a fuse is blown. If you can post some pictures we might be able to provide better suggestions for testing.

Hang in there buddy. Your not alone.

Rick
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