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I'm not an electrician but I am even more confused then normal. Please help!


Texomaman73
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First off this is a new to me coach and I can only vouch for what I know about it currently.  Just installed a televator in place of couch in the slide out and used the electrical outlet under the kitchen sink that had an instahot plugged in that no longer worked.  I have the motorhome plugged into a 50 amp service and when I turn on the power for the "old instahot" now the power to the televator everything seemed to work fine.  After a while I noticed that the lift for the televator would start to drive up and then go back down randomly.  I thought it was interference from other electronics but when I was attempting to adjust an outside compartment storage door, I got a pretty healthy shock.  Got my DVM out and found that I had 120 volts on the chassis.  If I toggle the switch that sends power to the outlet there is 120 volts present on the chassis even if I unplug the cord to the televator and tv so It isn't the new tv of lift.  With the switch off no 120 present on chassis, so I thought the cord that runs from the toggle switch to the duplex had a short but ohming it out shows it is ok.  What I did find was the other cable that comes into the electrical box behind the toggle switch (which I presumed was the power in) does appear to be shorted to ground, in fact I checked multiple outlets in the coach and they all appear to be shorted across all legs, hot, neutral and ground all are connected, what is going on?  

 

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Jeff, sounds like an open ground.  Start at your pedestal then your umbilical cord and then inside the coach.  Ensure all connections are secure, clean and in good shape. I would pay close attention to the instahot receptacle. Maybe there's a reason why it "no longer worked".....Dennis

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I suspect that the Instahot circuit is at the root of you troubles. As Dennis H said check that the grounds are all good. Next I would disconnect all power, make sure the inverter is shut down and battery power to it is off. I would then look at the switch for the instahot. I assume from what you have written that it is a regular wall switch? Or is it a circuit breaker? Either way, is the wiring from the switch shorted to ground? I suspect that when the instahot was removed that the wiring for it was not properly taken care of.

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Could this instant hot issue is revealing a separate problem with the 50a service coming to the coach?
I’m not an electrician either... but I believe there should be one point in the 50a distribution panel where the neutral bus, grounding conductors and ground rod are all connected together. 
But maybe the chassis is disconnected from ground while transfer switch is on external 50a service?

Cheers

Walter

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Thanks for all the suggestions gentlemen!  I over thought it but found a simple fix, I disconnected the duplex that the instahot was plugged into and now it appears everything is working again and I have no voltage on the chassis.  I am not sure but I am assuming that the duplex under the sink was wired incorrectly with the hot to the neutral or the ground.  After disconnecting the duplex I have checked all the outlets throughout the coach with a circuit tester and they all show to be wired correctly.  What was confusing me was I believe that I was getting feedback through the automatic switching circuit that tells the coach if it is supposed to be running on generator, shore power or inverter when I was ohming between legs in the outlets.  

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Did you have a regular duplex receptacle or one of those push in spread the ears kind? If it was the push in kind, I'd cut the wires, test them and replace the receptacle with a 'normal' household type. You'll have to get a "old work" blue box to replace the push in one, but it'll be worth it. I've replaced many in my rig including adding ones with two USB ports....Dennis

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It could be that the outlet was wired incorrectly or the wire at/from the switch is incorrect, if you do have a switch that is.  Reversal of the hot& neutral wires at the switch would have the same effect as reversing them at the outlet.  

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