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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Another electrical problem

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Whidbeydavid

Whidbey Island, Washington State

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Posted: 04/02/12 02:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2005 Itasca Spirit 24F Class C. Recently, the 110 outlet in the kitchen and the bathroom both stopped working - not sure if they both quit at once, since I almost never use the one in the bath, but the coffeepot not working became a pretty high priority issue. (before you all jump on me - yes, I did read through the recent similar thread but it didn't solve my problem) I've checked the circuit breakers on the charger unit and all are still on. I'm plugged into shore power and all other outlets and appliances work properly. According to online wiring diagrams, each of these bad outlets is at the end of a wire run, and are not wired in sequence with each other. I've also checked the GFCI outlet under the fridge and that isn't the issue. Being a self-help kinda guy, I pulled both outlets (after shutting off shore power) and checked the connections, which seem OK - although I'm not impressed with the quality of the outlets - knife-type connections rather than good solid screw connectors. I couldn't tell if I actually had power in the cable or not - didn't appear to be but I can't find my probe light. I'm not an electrician but I do understand most of the basics of wiring and I can't figure out what the problem is. Also, in spite of the wiring diagram, the kitchen outlet seems to be an in-line connection rather than the expected end of the line run. Any ideas? Do these type of outlets go bad? Thanks for your help

Whidbeydavid

Whidbey Island, Washington State

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Posted: 04/02/12 02:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow - that was quick, and I think I figured it out myself. After re-reading all the posts on other threads, I went back out and checked the GFCI AGAIN, and found it had indeed tripped. Although I KNOW that wasn't the original problem since I had checked it multiple times, here's what I think happened. Both outlets had inadequate connections - thanks to those silly knife-press-to-fit kinda outlets - and my dismantling them and checking the connections apparently "fixed"the original problem, but also I somehow tripped the GFCI outlet. SO they didn't appear to be fixed when I checked them after I tightened the connecitons. After resetting the GFCI, all outlets check out fine with my tester light, so problem solved...... for now!
Thanks anyway.

SteveAE

Bend, Oregon

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Posted: 04/02/12 03:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

- I wouldn't be very inclined to trust a RV manufactures wiring diagram....
- Sometimes circuit breakers look on, but have actually tripped. So you may want to turn them off, then on, just to verify they are indeed on.
- I would think the kitchen and bath outlets would both be GFIC protected (required by code). And being they are both out would make me suspect they are on the same circuit. You may want to check out outside outlet (if you have one) as this too should be GFIC protected.
- You said you checked your GFI outlet under the refrigerator. Does this mean you checked the button or did you measure the voltage out of it (just plug in a lamp as a tester)?
- If you have power at your GFIC outlet, and it is the only GFIC outlet in your rig, then I would suspect the wiring between that GFIC outlet and the suspected outlets. You are correct; the outlets with the push in contacts are prone to failure. So maybe one of the outlets has failed (fortunately, they are easy enough to replace with good outlets).

The solution is there, it will just take some sleuthing to figure it out.

Good luck,
Steve

tatest

Oklahoma Green Country

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Posted: 04/03/12 05:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Outlets can wear out, but usually one socket in a duplex, not two or three duplex outlets at once. You have problems with connections somewhere. The outlets involved are probably on the same circuit, and it is probably protected by the GFCI under the fridge.

When I had problems in this particular circuit, similarly wired in the Itasca 29B, it turned out to be shorting of the connections on the back of the GFCI outlet, because of the way the outlet was stuffed into the shallow box. In my case, the breaker would trip spectacularly, so I knew I was dealing with a short. I found the location by checking continuity and resistances outlet by outlet, finding my way to the short. It was a short to the bare ground, rather than to neutral, so it didn't flip a breaker if my ground was not bonded by being plugged in.

Don't rule out the breaker tripping until you have flipped it and plugged in. The breakers in mine don't trip to an off position, movement is slight.

You may not have a short, but you could have an open. It is most likely at a connection, they can vibrate loose. Knife connections are used because they are less likely than screw terminals to fail in vibration environments, but they can still fail. For this reason, I would start with the screw terminal connections in the breaker box, ground and neutral busses as well as the hot, then work outlet to outlet looking for grounds and opens.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B
2001 Ranger Edge


Dusty R

Charlotte Michigan 48813

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Posted: 04/03/12 05:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One way to check for a tripped breaker is to push the lever/handle towareds the on position. The breakers that are on and not tripped will not move, a tripped one will move a little towards the on position. To reset move the handle to the full off position then to on.

Dusty

EMD360

Tempe, AZ

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Posted: 04/09/12 09:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GFCI's are tricky too. We had a circuit off problem in our S&B. The garage and outdoor outlets would just go off for no reason that we could tell. Figured out that the guest bathroom GFCI was connected to the circuit and somehow it was occasionally off--maybe a ghost was resetting it--maybe we were and didn't connect that with the other outlet issues. We replaced the GFCI and the problem went away. We had an electrician wire them separately when he was here for another job to avoid the same problem in the future.


We're hooked!
2003 Itasca Spirit 22e


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