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120 VAC GFCI Receptacle Trips when using it as SHORE Power


RVaholic
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Good afternoon everyone.

I have a 2007 Beaver Marquis that trips our GFI electrical in storage but has no issues plugging into 30amp at home.  Needing a direction to go to.  The short is on the neutral side.

Here is what I have checked and all passed. Electrical umbilical cable, cord real, surge protector (Model 40250), breaker box 1 and 2, Inverter (Model MS2812), Onan generator 12000, Microwave (Advantiom 120), Fridge (Maytag model JCD2292KTB, Washer and dryer (Maytag), kitchen outlets, bedroom outlets, sitting area outlets, main tv outlet, and outlets in the baggage compartments.

Any suggestions would be great.

Mitch.

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If it only trips at your storage location I would think that would be the direction to look. It doesn't experience this issue when plugged in at your horse, what about other locations? If it's only happening at your storage location it may be a neutral or bonding issue at the storage facility. I can't count the number of problems I've seen at rv parks. I only know enough on the subject to be dangerous but I can troubleshoot, hope this helps.

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12 hours ago, RVaholic said:

Good afternoon everyone.

I have a 2007 Beaver Marquis that trips our GFI electrical in storage but has no issues plugging into 30amp at home.  Needing a direction to go to.  The short is on the neutral side.

Here is what I have checked and all passed. Electrical umbilical cable, cord real, surge protector (Model 40250), breaker box 1 and 2, Inverter (Model MS2812), Onan generator 12000, Microwave (Advantiom 120), Fridge (Maytag model JCD2292KTB, Washer and dryer (Maytag), kitchen outlets, bedroom outlets, sitting area outlets, main tv outlet, and outlets in the baggage compartments.

Any suggestions would be great.

Mitch.

SOME possible issues…and there are some threads that you ought to search for.

FIRST THING.  Go into your Magnum Setup and turn OFF or Disable SEARCH WATTS.  In the SHORE setup, turn down the amp setting to 15.  That is what Magnum says….and if that doesn’t work….try 10 or even 5.  This is a nuance issue and common and Magnum does NOT recommend a 15 of 20 Amp GFCI connection and says that all could be good, but a ghost will be there.  You can run an experiment.  Go to the shop.  Make the two changes above to your inverter.  Then try it.  No joy?  Have a good heavy duty extension….and plug it into an inside, NON GFCI.  BINGO…if it works….then there is a ghost in your system….read the entire post below….

IF you leave on the Refrigerator and it has an icemaker, in USE….it can trip out a GFCI.  Your home refrigerator is on a dedicated NON GFCI circuit.  The small heater in any icemaker can develop a MINOR  leak and the GFCI will trip.  The icemaker should always be turned off when on 115 VAC with a GFCI.  BTW…if your onboard Refrigerator is plugged into a circuit, as MANY ARE, on the MH that has a GFCI, then you should replace that 20 A GFCI with a new one as they get old and crotchety and will trip for no good reason.  Eaton Wiring Devices and Leviton are the brands recommended by Magnum for compatibility with their Inverters.

Next up.  There is a line or appliance in use that has an unbalanced load in that the “parameters” are outside the circuitry limits…it will trip.  Read this….

https://www.fluke.com/en-us/learn/blog/grounding/chasing-ghost-trips-in-gfci-protected-circuits

OK…there may be a pop quiz?  LOL….translation….you have to start unplugging every 110 device or appliance…..ONE BY ONE….to isolate it.  There is NO, to the best of my knowledge and background, anyway to run a circuit test.  The trouble shooting technique used by electricians is either TOTALLY pull every item loose….or start to disconnect.  
If it were mine….start with it the easy way.  Turn OFF the 50 amp main breaker in the electrical panel.  Then see.  IF it still does it  then you have a loose connection somewhere in between the 15 amp to 30 amp to 50 amp connectors….running all the way to the ATS.  With the main panel OFF….I THINK that a loose connection in the panel, would not trip it.  But…..look at the name of the ARTICLE.  GHOSTS.

OK….the GFCI holds….NO TRIP.  THEN disconnect the 115 plug.  TURN OFF ALL the breakers…. Now turn on the Inverter 30 amp.  Turn on the 50 Main breaker.  Then plug it in.  If it trips….then you have to really start digging….and it could be tedious.  Then if it is OK, turn OFF the Main and turn on another breaker…..then plug in.  You have to isolate it.

OK….IF the first test, the MAIN OFF Tripped it.  Then do a complete PM of the ATS.  As in….with POWER OFF and the GENNY Breaker (on the Genny) OFF, tighten every connection on the ATS.  Then repeat.  NO JOY….then you may have a loose connection from the shore power cord to the Junction Box that goes to the Romex that is feeding the ATS.  If not there, then it may be in the cord or the plug or the adapters.  In other words, there is NO HARD TEST or measurement.  A tiny leak will be tough for an electronics tech to find.  

If it happens when the Inverter is brought on or the 30 Amp breaker….same issue.  You would need to unplug every 115 VAC ITEM.  Refrigerator, TV, phone charger, microwave, HE device, etc.  if no JOY…then pull the cover off the Inverter and tighten the incoming and outgoing lines and the ground.  You ALSO would be WISE to do a PM on your main panel….and tighten every screw in it. If it STILL a exists, odds are there is a problem with an outlet….and finding that is tough….very tough….as you need some really experienced RV Tech….

NOW….this sounds daunting….and it is.  I know that my electrical system is OK.  30 amp works in storage.  A buddy let me park at his business, where he often plugs in his 2007 Navigator.  I have an HW50C and it blows his 50 amp breaker…..  no IDEA and I have been to over 250 campgrounds and have 50 amp at home.  Never tripped a breaker….repeatedly….like at his shop.

Since it is doing this at the shop as well as storage, then the odds of an old and crotchety breaker is bad…

That’s it, Good Luck….

 

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Posted (edited)

Tom,

 

Will check out the guidance given.

Thank you for the info.

Mitch

Edited by RVaholic
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Assumptions and questions:

The 30 amp at home does not have a GFCI.  

Is this a new problem (worked in the past at this storage outlet) or is the storage new to you?  

Has any work been done on the generator/transfer switch recently? 

Can you expand on "the short is in the neutral".

What did you do to say all the items passed?

I would check the resistance between your neutral and ground. I MUST be zero ohms, open circuit, not connected on the coach for the supply GFCI to work. Neutral and ground are connected in the breaker box suppling shore power, upstream of the GFCI.  I found that the either the neutral or ground (fading memory) on my engine block outlet had come loose and was sometimes touching the other. Sometimes I could plug into shore power and work, other times it would blow the shore power GFCI immediately. 

some will tell you that you can not have a GFCI feeding another GFCI. I have 3 or 4 on the motor home and they have no trouble being supplied from the storage unit GFCI. I did replace it as part of my trouble shooting almost a year ago. I have a post with more details of what I went thru.

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to 120 VAC GFCI Receptacle Trips when using it as SHORE Powershort
11 minutes ago, ok-rver said:

Assumptions and questions:

The 30 amp at home does not have a GFCI.  

Is this a new problem (worked in the past at this storage outlet) or is the storage new to you?  

Has any work been done on the generator/transfer switch recently? 

Can you expand on "the short is in the neutral".

What did you do to say all the items passed?

I would check the resistance between your neutral and ground. I MUST be zero ohms, open circuit, not connected on the coach for the supply GFCI to work. Neutral and ground are connected in the breaker box suppling shore power, upstream of the GFCI.  I found that the either the neutral or ground (fading memory) on my engine block outlet had come loose and was sometimes touching the other. Sometimes I could plug into shore power and work, other times it would blow the shore power GFCI immediately. 

some will tell you that you can not have a GFCI feeding another GFCI. I have 3 or 4 on the motor home and they have no trouble being supplied from the storage unit GFCI. I did replace it as part of my trouble shooting almost a year ago. I have a post with more details of what I went thru.

I have also tried to analyze this..as you did. I doubt that there is a 30 Amp GFCI....unless it is in the main panel...so we are talking a 15 or 20 Amp "receptacle" style GFCI or one in the main panel.

I agree with most of the above.  But, there is one item that I wanted to discuss.  The GROUND coming in from the Pedestal IS connected DIRECTLY to the MH Chassis.  That is done on the Inverter and also elsewhere.  However, the Main Panel's Neutral and Ground are NOT bonded or connected.  Therefore in your comment about the Neutral and Ground.....that connection, if you are plugged into SHORE, you WILL show continuity....as the Neutral and Ground are bonded at the Pedestal. That is the way that I understand it and the way that the Code (NEC) is written, I think, for a Motor Home panel. NOW....if the shore line is NOT plugged in, then there will be NO CONTINUITY between them....as they are NOT, like a Home Panel, BONDED inside.  LIKEWISE, if you EVER need a Ground (as in the Negative to a 12 VDC circuit, you can use the 120 VAC GROUND buss or if there is a J-Box ....The Ground wire inside it for the Negative and you only need the Positive 12 VDC lead for the device.  I added a "12 VDC" receptacle to the area near my Main Breaker.  I had a 12 VDC source....and just used the Panel Buss.  I COULD go back and poke around and find the Ground to an Intellitec Module....but it was easier just to run a wire.

If you read my post, Magnum, whom I have spent a lot of time with on the phone in helping folks....says that trying to run a GFCI receptacle for 15 Amp power to a motor home (RV with inverter as well) is as best, a crap shoot.  It depends on HOW the house is wired.  It also will probably NOT work with a long, even #12 or #14 Gauge extension cord or a suitable "Heavy Duty" one.  The length of the cord impacts the "success rate".  

I guess we wait and see what the OP comes up with when he does his experiments....

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30 amp at home doesn't have GFI.

This is a new problem as we have been at this storage site for 2 years.

No work done on the transfer switch. No work on the generator since lase service.

I check for ohms resistance between the feed, neutral and ground. Feed to ground shows no connectivity (short). Neutral to ground shows dead short (zero resistance).

The appliances, I unplugged  one at a time, then plugged the rv in to a GFI and it still tripped the circuit. The outlets I checked that they were not damaged or had anything plugged in.

The breaker box, I disconnected each circuit individually and repeated the rv plug in and GFI trip.

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3 minutes ago, RVaholic said:

30 amp at home doesn't have GFI.

This is a new problem as we have been at this storage site for 2 years.

No work done on the transfer switch. No work on the generator since lase service.

I check for ohms resistance between the feed, neutral and ground. Feed to ground shows no connectivity (short). Neutral to ground shows dead short (zero resistance).

The appliances, I unplugged  one at a time, then plugged the rv in to a GFI and it still tripped the circuit. The outlets I checked that they were not damaged or had anything plugged in.

The breaker box, I disconnected each circuit individually and repeated the rv plug in and GFI trip.

cleardot.gif

I am trying to understand your comments....so forgive my fuzzy brain.  I ASSUME that you checked the Magnum's Shore and Set Up 1 - Search watts....and turned down the SHORE to the lower amps???

When you said you checked for Ohms resistance between Feed, Neutral and Ground....exactly where and what did you check. I assume you mean that Feed is HOT or Line and I understand the neutral, but what cable or end or wherever you did this was unclear to me....others maybe....but I lost something there.

Did you try the trip test with the MAIN BREAKER OFF?  If it tripped then, the issue is in the circuitry between the LINE cord adapter (120 VAC adapter to 30 Amp to 50 Amp).  The "Adapters" or the Dog Bones have failed before.  Take the 115 - 15 Amp adapter and then circuit test it to the 30 Amp side....assuming you are going 15 Amp to 30 Amp to 50 Amp.  

Each of the conductors or "pins" on each end should have 100% continuity Pin - Pin. of on each end...but then test the other two Leads....and do it on both ends.  SO, if the GROUND has 100% Continuity end to end....then test the adapter from GROUND to HOT and GROUND to NEUTRAL.  Repeat for HOT and Repeat for Neutral. You have to make sure that the TWO adapters have not shorted....which HAS happened.  

THEN....if they are OK....and the Main Switch is OFF....there can only be a few other points.  The 50Amp Plug....and YES, they will open up....I had one fail and others have too.....more than you think.  Take the 115 15 A male plug....the one for the GFCI.  Pull out the cord and go to the ATS.  Take off the cover.  Test the GROUND (alligator clip to meter) to Line 1, Line 2, Neutral and Ground. You should ONLY have continuity to it's MATE.  Line 1 and Line 2 are merged or tied together in the 30 A adapter....so you will get continuity from the HOT (small blade) to Line 1 and Line 2.   Neutral is the larger one....so it will match up with Neutral. 

 

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to 120 VAC GFCI Receptacle Trips when using it as SHORE Power

FIRST THING.  Go into your Magnum Setup and turn OFF or Disable SEARCH WATTS.  In the SHORE setup, turn down the amp setting to 15.  That is what Magnum says….and if that doesn’t work….try 10 or even 5.  This is a nuance issue and common and Magnum does NOT recommend a 15 of 20 Amp GFCI connection and says that all could be good, but a ghost will be there.  You can run an experiment.  Go to the shop.  Make the two changes above to your inverter.  Then try it.  No joy?  Have a good heavy duty extension….and plug it into an inside, NON GFCI.  BINGO…if it works….then there is a ghost in your system….read the entire post below….

Search Watts disabled. Shore amp set to 5. Everything works when not plugged in to a GFCI. No change

IF you leave on the Refrigerator and it has an icemaker, in USE….it can trip out a GFCI.  Your home refrigerator is on a dedicated NON GFCI circuit.  The small heater in any icemaker can develop a MINOR  leak and the GFCI will trip.  The icemaker should always be turned off when on 115 VAC with a GFCI.  BTW…if your onboard Refrigerator is plugged into a circuit, as MANY ARE, on the MH that has a GFCI, then you should replace that 20 A GFCI with a new one as they get old and crotchety and will trip for no good reason.  Eaton Wiring Devices and Leviton are the brands recommended by Magnum for compatibility with their Inverters.

Unplugged fridge. No change.

Next up.  There is a line or appliance in use that has an unbalanced load in that the “parameters” are outside the circuitry limits…it will trip.  Read this….

https://www.fluke.com/en-us/learn/blog/grounding/chasing-ghost-trips-in-gfci-protected-circuits

OK…there may be a pop quiz?  LOL….translation….you have to start unplugging every 110 device or appliance…..ONE BY ONE….to isolate it.  There is NO, to the best of my knowledge and background, anyway to run a circuit test.  The trouble shooting technique used by electricians is either TOTALLY pull every item loose….or start to disconnect.  
If it were mine….start with it the easy way.  Turn OFF the 50 amp main breaker in the electrical panel.  Then see.  IF it still does it  then you have a loose connection somewhere in between the 15 amp to 30 amp to 50 amp connectors….running all the way to the ATS.  With the main panel OFF….I THINK that a loose connection in the panel, would not trip it.  But…..look at the name of the ARTICLE.  GHOSTS.

Turned off 50a breaker, no change. Unplugged all appliances and chargers, no change. Tightened all connections in the breaker panel. No change

OK….the GFCI holds….NO TRIP.  THEN disconnect the 115 plug.  TURN OFF ALL the breakers…. Now turn on the Inverter 30 amp.  Turn on the 50 Main breaker.  Then plug it in.  If it trips….then you have to really start digging….and it could be tedious.  Then if it is OK, turn OFF the Main and turn on another breaker…..then plug in.  You have to isolate it.

Turned off all breakers, no change.

OK….IF the first test, the MAIN OFF Tripped it.  Then do a complete PM of the ATS.  As in….with POWER OFF and the GENNY Breaker (on the Genny) OFF, tighten every connection on the ATS.  Then repeat.  NO JOY….then you may have a loose connection from the shore power cord to the Junction Box that goes to the Romex that is feeding the ATS.  If not there, then it may be in the cord or the plug or the adapters.  In other words, there is NO HARD TEST or measurement.  A tiny leak will be tough for an electronics tech to find.  

Tightened ATS, no change. Generator breaker off, no change. Checked connections at junction box, no issues. Changed 50a plug (old one was molded. Could not take apart). No change. Checked adapters. No issues. Disconnected main cord at surge protector. Checked cord for continuity leaks between terminals. No issues found

 

If it happens when the Inverter is brought on or the 30 Amp breaker….same issue.  You would need to unplug every 115 VAC ITEM.  Refrigerator, TV, phone charger, microwave, HE device, etc.  if no JOY…then pull the cover off the Inverter and tighten the incoming and outgoing lines and the ground.  You ALSO would be WISE to do a PM on your main panel….and tighten every screw in it. If it STILL a exists, odds are there is a problem with an outlet….and finding that is tough….very tough….as you need some really experienced RV Tech….

Tightened connections at inverter. No change. Tightened screws in main panel. No change.

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