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Random Tripping of Breakers


johnfr
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Our 2007 Monaco Cayman is equipped with Intellitec load controller and model 750 50 amp distribution panel. Recently we have experienced several occurrences of having some or all of the breakers trip. We have always been on a 50 amp source at various RV parks. We have a surge protector and it has always shown that the power is correctly wired. Each time it has happened we were running minimal load of TV, Dish, Battery charger and maybe hot water heater. Air Conditioners were OFF. Yesterday I was running the Splendee washer and rear AC and heard the breakers trip. When I checked the box every single breaker was tripped. They are both on the same leg of the power along with the Inverter. In this case it is conceivable that the load exceeded 50 Amps. If that was the case I would expect only the main 50 Amp breaker to trip. Not all of them.

Just wondering if anyone has experienced this and if so what was the cause?

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MIGHT want to see if it happens with the Genny. IF it works OK, then something MIGHT be wrong with the Shore that the Surge Protector is not picking up.

Second is that you have a LOOSE connection on that leg....so here is what I would recommend.....

You need, if you are qualified, to tighten the connections and also be aware that if you have the ORIGINAL IOTA 50R transfer switch that it is a fire hazard....

SO....this would my trouble shooting and also doing Preventative Maintenance...

First "TRICK". Disconnect all the power (Shore) and also open (Trip) the Genny circuit breaker. That prevents 120 AC from being on the panel. Disconnect the Positive on the House and Chassis Battery. That prevents AC from coming through the inverter. SOME suggest putting a blanket over a solar panel.

Let that "cook" for a few minutes. Pull off the brown cover on the AC Breaker panel .... the one in you photo. There is a Printed Circuit Board or a "module" on the RIGHT (Memory) side. There is a 3 or maybe 5 Amp fuse (automotive type) that powers the board. Pull it and also the two (maybe 3) removable pigtails. 

This disconnecting of the power to the Intellitec EMS is like a reset or a hard boot or cold boot on a computer. MIGHT or MIGHT NOT work....but it is simple....and if you have never tightened the electrical connections, this is the opportune time to do so and eliminate other other issues...

During this time, do the Preventative maintenance on your electrical system. 
Tighten every terminal or screw inside the main panel that has a wire attached. This includes the GROUNDS and the Blacks (Reds also) and the White (Neutral). They vibrate and come loose and you will have a "hot spot" or a high resistance connection.

Take off the cover of the Transfer Switch. IF you have the IOTA 50R, then it is recommended that you take immediate steps to REPLACE IT. The ESCO LPT50BRD is the recommended unit, per ESCO. Be aware that the terminal strips or the order of the wiring is NOT the same. The person (a residential electrician can do it easily) needs to MARK the LOAD (going to the Main Panel) the Line (Shore) and Genny leads. They are CLEARLY marked inside the old transfer switch. Just make SURE that they are put on the correct terminals on the new switch. MARK EACH INDIVIDUAL conductor. The installation manual with the LPT50BRD is pretty simple....just take pictures and use tape to MARK and LABEL each of the #6 conductors...

one FINAL note.....there have been, and I had one as have had others, a BAD line cord connection....  Mine worked perfectly until it got barely bumped by a bay door opening. That bump would NOT have caused a bruise on even the most sensitive person. BUT, it killed a terminal. SOLUTION.  Simple.  Order a new one from Amazon (Camco 55255 and a tube of Dow Corning #4 Electrical Insulating compound). You install the new plug or end and then fill the entire cavity or the inside of the plug with the Dow compound and then put the cover on and wipe off the excess. This makes it as close to sealed or waterproof as the original molded one. 

OK....if you have tightened up everything and you do NOT have an IOTA switch and you did NOT see an evidence of overheating or arcing, then you might have some issues inside the panel or the unit (the Brown Intellitec panel).

Back on POINT>.>>>

Let the panel power down and sit for a while...maybe 30 minutes....probably longer than needed, but that lets all the capacitors and such discharge. Put the disconnected plugs or pigtails back on. Reinstall the fuse. Then reconnect the Positives on the battery and let the systems come up.....go slowly.

Then try shore power and see if that corrects it. 

This totally shuts off the Intellitec EMS. Sometimes they EMS gets into a funk.

If this does NOT fix it, then call M M Electronics in Ohio City, OH. They are a distributor for Intellitec. They are also the "Paid" Customer Tech Support" for Intellitec. Mark is one of them (Father and Son)....can't recall the other. They will assist you and help you. They are the best source for trouble shooting.

They can also provide parts as well as custom wiring harnesses to install them. Intellitec changed the technology along the year. Sometimes the original panels have issues and you must install an upgraded panel. They can do this or they can ship one with instructions and tech support for a MH Tech.

Good Luck...

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Question from curious bystander:

I am not familiar with the intellitech system. What exactly is it supposed to do? From the symptoms it would appear that it operates auxiliary trips on the breakers; is this correct?

 

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Harvey, if I understand your question correctly, the Intellitec EMS system simply monitors  your electrical distribution and supplies electricity to your devices based on a pre-programmed 'need', shutting off devices as usage exceeds supply. In other words, if you're running three A/C units and turn on the microwave, the EMS system may shut off one of the A/Cs as you would be exceeding the electrical supply. I know this is simplified but I hope you get the gist of what it does....Dennis

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Dennis, maybe I'm asking the wrong question.

The OP's statement that "all the breakers were tripped" is what got my attention. With normal breakers there is no way in hell they could ALL trip. My assumption then was that they were "auxiliary trip" breakers and that the aux input was controlled by some smart monitoring system.

Am I close or am I totally off in the weeds somewhere?

 

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12 minutes ago, Dennis H said:

Harvey, if I understand your question correctly, the Intellitec EMS system simply monitors  your electrical distribution and supplies electricity to your devices based on a pre-programmed 'need', shutting off devices as usage exceeds supply. In other words, if you're running three A/C units and turn on the microwave, the EMS system may shut off one of the A/Cs as you would be exceeding the electrical supply. I know this is simplified but I hope you get the gist of what it does....Dennis

https://www.monacocoach.com/resources/media/manuals/2009_camelot_OM.pdf

Use this link. Go to Page 175. That gives you the "Monaco" Explanation. Based on the age of the OP (2007) and my 2009 Camelot, the system is the same as is the functions. It prevents you from overloading your system. There is a "Check Voltage" input to the Intellitec EMS. IF the system reads 220 VAC between Line 1 and Line 2, then the EMS assumes you have a full 50 amp service. If it reads ZERO Volts, then it assumes you have 30 amp service and that is "interconnected" or tied together and you only can use a total of 30 amp. There is a selector switch to allow you to "Tell" the EMS that you are running adapters and only have 20 Amps of service.

It prevents overloads in that each breaker has a "electronic" trip circuit that shuts down the power. This is NOT a "MANUAL trip like an overload....but merely cycling the power ON and OFF to shed or reduce the load.

EMS stands for Energy Management System...

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5 minutes ago, Harvey Babb said:

Dennis, maybe I'm asking the wrong question.

The OP's statement that "all the breakers were tripped" is what got my attention. With normal breakers there is no way in hell they could ALL trip. My assumption then was that they were "auxiliary trip" breakers and that the aux input was controlled by some smart monitoring system.

Am I close or am I totally off in the weeds somewhere?

 

I don't know what happened but if all his breakers tripped it's because of a major 'short' in his system which should be diagnosed as soon as possible. My guess is a loose wire INSIDE his electrical panel. Remember, breakers 'trip' by getting HOT. After they cool they can be reset. Somewhere he experienced a short. We had a lightning strike about 100' from our coach in Billings Montana. It fried my middle A/C, the microwave, the transfer switch and several other smaller items but it did not trip all the breakers. I bonded around the transfer switch to re establish power until we could get it repaired, (coach was under warranty). Electricity can do strange things sometimes, but it's usually easily traceable and corrected. Hope this answers your question. The simple answer is no, the Intellitec system does not trip breakers in the electrical panel. It simply monitor's and shuts down the electrical supply to whatever device it's programmed to do so to....Dennis

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9 minutes ago, Harvey Babb said:

Dennis, maybe I'm asking the wrong question.

The OP's statement that "all the breakers were tripped" is what got my attention. With normal breakers there is no way in hell they could ALL trip. My assumption then was that they were "auxiliary trip" breakers and that the aux input was controlled by some smart monitoring system.

Am I close or am I totally off in the weeds somewhere?

 

I replied but, you raise an interesting QUESTION. The EMS controls the "Innards" of the Circuit Breaker. It does NOT "Trip or lever actuate" the breaker....otherwise, one would hear the constant snapping or clicking.

IT MIGHT BE GOOD if the OP provided more info. I TOO, assumed  that all the breakers were Physically Tripped and he had to reset or turn them back on.

In over 13 years and almost two years of overnight usage and 65K miles, I don't think that I have ever had to "reset" or turn back on a circuit breaker and his panel is almost identical to mine.  It IS strange as to WHY the breakers are tripping, if that means that he has to TURN OFF and THEN BACK ON to reset.

That is why I suggested the PM.  

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Thanks Tom, I think I'm back on planet Earth now. 

In my career in industrial controls I've encountered auxiliary trip breakers many times, but have never seen one in residential or mobile application. (One could reasonably include GFCI breakers in that class, but...)

 

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15 minutes ago, Harvey Babb said:

Thanks Tom, I think I'm back on planet Earth now. 

In my career in industrial controls I've encountered auxiliary trip breakers many times, but have never seen one in residential or mobile application. (One could reasonably include GFCI breakers in that class, but...)

 

These breakers are actually standard breakers, the more I dig and also think (MH is in storage). Read the first couple of pages of the PDF. The power is actually switched from two relays, so there is not an "Auxillary" trip, but just a load shedding relay. Memory also tells me that folks have had issues with the PCB and tried to find replacement relays (SMD not plug ins).

So, basically, the Breakers are just THAT....plain old garden variety CB....there MAY be some special testing or design or designation that went into them. Magnum specifies a certain brand & model of GFCI outlets

https://janeandjohn.org/docs/EMSmanual.pdf

Some of the Intellitec panels had GFCI Breakers installed, so they are probably just a "Plug and insert" style breaker.

I DID read that if you pulled the power fuse for the unit, that it just "engaged" or let the relays go to NORMALLY closed and you could go merrily along and overload your circuits until the breakers (main or branch) got hot and tripped.

I'm in you camp....I have rarely seen, and I was responsible for maintenance at some pretty large facilities and also designed and was the project manager for several renovations and also two new plants....ALL the breakers TRIP in a panel. I suspect there is, potentially, an ugly culprit in the panel and a competent residential electrician needs to resolve...  BUT, if there is an obvious high resistance connection....then MAYBE. suffice it to say that if they are (memory) snap in breakers then something is wrong when a light load causes all of them to TRIP. I would be concerned about the integrity of the two L1 and L2 busses or perhaps the Neutral Buss...

Again....not for the faint hearted or uninformed.....

I hope the OP reads this and takes apropriate action with a qualified individual (residential or commercial) electrrician.....this is NOT a typical "MH House" electrical issue that stems around 12 VDC circuits.

Thanks for your comments....we all learn... 

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