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12 volt lighting


astgerma
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The 12 Volt lighting above my dinette and sofa are not working.  

I have looked behind the fixture and there are a mess of white wires which I think may be the ground wires.  Hope someone can explain the system and help me diagnose it .

If I move these wires sometime the lights will light but not stay on

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You have a loose connection. Wire nut the wires together. Depending on the number of wires you can use a yellow or a red nut. The nuts should be tight. How many wires are we looking at? If I have a bunch, like 6 or more I'll break them down and use jumpers. Hope this helps.

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Be aware that Monaco used white wire for both power and ground in many cases. Also, if the lights are mounted under a cabinet you will find a false bottom on the inside of the cabinet and if you remove it you will get a better view and access to the wires. 
 

good luck. 

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21 hours ago, Chargerman said:

Be aware that Monaco used white wire for both power and ground in many cases. Also, if the lights are mounted under a cabinet you will find a false bottom on the inside of the cabinet and if you remove it you will get a better view and access to the wires. 
 

good luck. 

If white is ground and also power, how can you tell the different.

 

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Put a digital voltmeter across the two wires. If you get a positive volt reading the red lead is on the voltage feed. If you get a negative reading your black lead is on the voltage feed. 

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Yes I understant but keep in mind the lights are not working , acts like a bad ground.

So if white wire is used for both hot and ground it may be difficult to tell the difference.

I will try testing as you suggested tomorrow.  Thank you for your assistance.

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Depending on the age, Monaco used to dot matrix print on the white wires.  Next up....  You might NOT find "wire nuts".  Again it is may be age and model dependent.  I don't have the experience on pre 2009 or so MH.  

I have had two "failures" of lights.  All my light fixtures are butt spliced using crimped connections.  BUT, Monaco was known to be sloppy and sometimes they barely got some of the strands inside the metal ferelle and when they crimped it....it was not tight.  

My trouble shooting technique is similar to what some have suggested.  

First.... and hopefully....you have at least ONE light working.  Then you have to start there.  Use your VOM and measure the voltage.  The meter will tell you WHICH is the Negative and which is the Positive.  Mark those with a RED and a BLACK Sharpie.  Then you go to the NEXT fixture.  Always TUG or pull on the wires in a Butt Splice or Connector.  You might find that the wires just pull out.  So, anytime I have open or an intermittent....I tug or pull on the wires.  Odds are....you will find that.  You can use the SAME logic if you have wire nuts.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for the many suggestions on my 12 volt problem.   In my trouble shooting,  I took a ground wire from my battery post to the light switch and nothing happened.   Still no power.   Then I put the wire on the positive post and to the light switch and  now i had lights.  Now knowing I was looking for a broken 12 volt positive wire.  Removed the sofa to have access to were the wires are hooked up on the slide.  Removed the plate for 12 volt connection's  only a mess of wires there.  I cut a new  6 by 6 inch access hole in the wall, slightly to the left and above the original access opening.   There I found a 6 pin connector for 12 and 120 volt wires.  The 12 volt pin showed burn marks at the connector.   I  spread the pin open to make a better connection and assembled back with dielectric grease.   All is well now!!!

Including pictures of pin connector. 

20200621_185106.jpg

20200621_185037.jpg

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On 6/22/2020 at 6:36 AM, astgerma said:

Thank you all for the many suggestions on my 12 volt problem.   In my trouble shooting,  I took a ground wire from my battery post to the light switch and nothing happened.   Still no power.   Then I put the wire on the positive post and to the light switch and  now i had lights.  Now knowing I was looking for a broken 12 volt positive wire.  Removed the sofa to have access to were the wires are hooked up on the slide.  Removed the plate for 12 volt connection's  only a mess of wires there.  I cut a new  6 by 6 inch access hole in the wall, slightly to the left and above the original access opening.   There I found a 6 pin connector for 12 and 120 volt wires.  The 12 volt pin showed burn marks at the connector.   I  spread the pin open to make a better connection and assembled back with dielectric grease.   All is well now!!!

Including pictures of pin connector. 

20200621_185106.jpg

20200621_185037.jpg

Good job of troubleshooting.  Agree with Bobby....GO TO LED.

BUT...this is a MH and you need, in my opinion, a belt and suspenders solution.  I appears that you do not intend to replace the connector.  Here is a tried and proven and simple fix..

There is an "anti-corrosion Aluminum paste" that is used for Aluminum connections.  it is like toothpaste with aluminum.  It work for copper.  I have used it when the pigtails on my umbilical were corroded.  Use a TOOTHPICK and put a smidge in the female connectors and on the male connectors.  Plug and unplug maybe twice.  That burnishes and removes the oxidation and burned residue.  The aluminum in the paste improves conductivity.  This is what electricians use for connections that were wet or corroded.  

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Gardner-Bender-1-oz-Ox-Gard-Anti-Oxidant-Compound/4514334

https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-OX-800-Anti-Oxidant-Compound/dp/B000BOCBCA/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=aluminum+electrical+connection+paste&qid=1593010103&sr=8-2

LOWES or HD USED to have this.  Lowes may have dropped it.  it is the SAME....just a different brand.  

https://myshopngo.com.au/product/alminox-jointing-compound-d-alm325g/

Here is one other.  There USED to be a Copper Paste or conductive material....but I can't find it anymore.

https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Carbon-Conductive-Grease/dp/B005T8ROWA/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1E3Y1Y4959LEO&dchild=1&keywords=electrical+conductive+paste&qid=1593010457&sprefix=electrical+conductive+paste%2Caps%2C251&sr=8-3

You do NOT want to use "Di-electric" stuff or bulb grease.  That is to prevent corrosion or moisture penetration.  It is electrically NEUTRAL and does nothing.  That is why is used on bulbs and connectors exposed to water as it prevent moisture penetration.

You want something that has a conductive (metal as in Cu or Al) base to IMPROVE the connection.

Good Luck....use this to improve and clean the burned connections....then convert to LED to prevent a higher current load and a repeat.  you will never have to do anything else...

 

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28 minutes ago, Tom Cherry said:

Good job of troubleshooting.  Agree with Bobby....GO TO LED.

BUT...this is a MH and you need, in my opinion, a belt and suspenders solution.  I appears that you do not intend to replace the connector.  Here is a tried and proven and simple fix..

There is an "anti-corrosion Aluminum paste" that is used for Aluminum connections.  it is like toothpaste with aluminum.  It work for copper.  I have used it when the pigtails on my umbilical were corroded.  Use a TOOTHPICK and put a smidge in the female connectors and on the male connectors.  Plug and unplug maybe twice.  That burnishes and removes the oxidation and burned residue.  The aluminum in the paste improves conductivity.  This is what electricians use for connections that were wet or corroded.  

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Gardner-Bender-1-oz-Ox-Gard-Anti-Oxidant-Compound/4514334

https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-OX-800-Anti-Oxidant-Compound/dp/B000BOCBCA/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=aluminum+electrical+connection+paste&qid=1593010103&sr=8-2

LOWES or HD USED to have this.  Lowes may have dropped it.  it is the SAME....just a different brand.  

https://myshopngo.com.au/product/alminox-jointing-compound-d-alm325g/

Here is one other.  There USED to be a Copper Paste or conductive material....but I can't find it anymore.

https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Carbon-Conductive-Grease/dp/B005T8ROWA/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1E3Y1Y4959LEO&dchild=1&keywords=electrical+conductive+paste&qid=1593010457&sprefix=electrical+conductive+paste%2Caps%2C251&sr=8-3

You do NOT want to use "Di-electric" stuff or bulb grease.  That is to prevent corrosion or moisture penetration.  It is electrically NEUTRAL and does nothing.  That is why is used on bulbs and connectors exposed to water as it prevent moisture penetration.

You want something that has a conductive (metal as in Cu or Al) base to IMPROVE the connection.

Good Luck....use this to improve and clean the burned connections....then convert to LED to prevent a higher current load and a repeat.  you will never have to do anything else...

 

I will look for it when I go to Lowes or Home Depot.  Thanks for the recommendation.

Andy

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