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Old 08-28-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
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Warning Loose connections

Just thought I should pass this on. We had a problem with getting 50 amp shore power this weekend. Just spent the better part of the day checking connections on our rig and found that one leg of the 50 amp service had over heated in the transfer switch and caused the terminal block to melt at that point causing a bad connection. If I had not taken the time to check, this could of lead to bigger and more serious problems including a fire. After a friend who is an electrician helped me to repair that I checked all of the other connections in there and found three other loose wires. I then checked the breaker box inside of the coach and found loose connections there. Just a word to the wise after all of the vibration these units get going down the road some thing is bound to work loose including wire connections. If you do decide to check yours make sure the unit is unplugged and the generator is off.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Thanks Railrider1 I also have to retighten elect. every yr, or two.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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Good advice Railrider. I would only add that the inverter (if you have one) needs to be off too.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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One might ask why would a loose connection get hot??? A loose connection presents a high resistance and high resistance trying to pass current gets hot. It's just like the wire in your toaster. It is made to be a high resistance conductor and it gets hot as designed.

I have also frequently checked all connections in the fuse box and other areas as well.

GREAT IDEA AND A GOOD REMINDER FOR ALL

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Old 08-29-2013, 09:09 AM   #5
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I keep tellilng people that many RVers have a few screws loose... Those are the ones I"m talking about, also the screws in your breaker box.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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While I know that we all have our own way of doing things, isn't tightness of all major electrical connections supposed to be a part of the annual inspection?
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeWat View Post
While I know that we all have our own way of doing things, isn't tightness of all major electrical connections supposed to be a part of the annual inspection?
Why wait a year? The loose connections can develop after one bouncy trip. The large conductors are made up of a bundle of smaller wires that can shift and move due to vibration and pressure of the clamping force. When they loosen and resistance increases, heat happens.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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In addition to electrical boxes, check each receptacle wiring, it too vibrates loose sometimes. Screws/connections must be tight enough to keep the smoke contained. It takes me nearly all day to remove each receptacle, check connections, and replace the receptacle, but it's time well-spent for peace-of-mind. I have found a few loose wires, but overall nearly all were tight.
BTW, smoke alarms have an annoying sound.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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I ran into a similar problem this past winter down south. We found a loose neutral wire in the transfer switch. First we had no electric at all then it came on and seemed ok but I checked the voltage meter that we keep plugged into an oulet in the kitchen area the voltage needle flew off the end of the graph way high. I shut everything down, if it wasn't for that volt meter bad things would have happened.
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:16 PM   #10
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I had a loose connection problem on a trip that was diagnosed as a bad transfer switch. Not the problem, they used wire nuts on the main connections in the charger/inverter that got hot and lost contact. Cost me a transfer switch, labor all for failure of $1.00 worth of parts. If I get into it again I will change to lugs and bolts.
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