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Old 08-16-2019, 04:44 PM   #1
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Curious electrical incident

We checked into the Lubbock KOA with all systems working (as of the end of our last trip). When departing the next morning, it was very difficult to remove the 30 amp surge protector plug from the campsite electrical service box. And there was a drop of solder adhering to one of the flat blades of the surger.

The only thing we did unusually the night before was to run the a/c and electric water heater at the same time, consuming up to 27 a/c amps (by the power panel indicator).

At the next campsite, I turned on the macerator pump switch, and ... nothing. After suppressing panic, I checked the fuses and sure enough the 20 amp fuse for the macerator was blown. But we never used the pump at all the previous day at the KOA!

So, if these events are connected, somehow the electrical anomaly at the KOA caused the macerator fuse to blow, even though we didn't use the macerator at all until the next campsite.

As far as I can tell there are no other fall-outs. I hope not, we have 2+ weeks of Colorado ahead of us.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TayaraTravel View Post
So, if these events are connected, somehow the electrical anomaly at the KOA caused the macerator fuse to blow, even though we didn't use the macerator at all until the next campsite.
TAYARATRAVEL - since there was no reason/suspicion to check any fuses at the KOA the night before, how do you know the macerator fuse blew at the previous KOA campsite? Chances are it blew as soon as you turned the macerator switch on at the next campsite. At least, that's typically how they blow, when a load is introduced to the ckt. and the macerator Ckt#9 is a dedicated one, so no other loads should've affected it (theoretically). Of course, the water heater Ckt#8 is adjacent to Ckt#9 physically. Check for arcing inside the fusebox. The melted solder is an electrical forensic piece of data indicating high enough currents to melt solder/alu.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:24 PM   #3
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Hi

The surge protector is on the 120V side of things. The fuse to the pump is on the 12V side. They aren't connected to each other except by the converter / charger. If the converter / charger blew out, that needs to be addressed.

Whatever came out when you unplugged the vehicle from the post, it likely was caused by a worn socket on the post or a damaged plug on your surge protector. Either way, the connection heated up a bit while in use. Check the connector and clean it up if needed.

Bob
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:53 PM   #4
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99.9% totally unrelated.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:26 AM   #5
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On another thread this Penetrox A product was recommended to ensure good contact on all electrical conductor contact points:

https://www.amazon.com/Burndy-P8A-Ox...gateway&sr=8-1

Gonna try some today, to prevent bad/loose connections which may arc. Does anyone have any Yay/Nay thoughts on this product?

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:20 AM   #6
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Bad contacts are the worst...

POI...We don't 'hook-up' much on the road.
What I do whenever there is any doubt...I have spare plug adaptors that I use to plug in the outlet before plugging in the 30a AS cord. If it looks a little ???? I put a little dielectric grease on the prongs, really cruddy, (at home once), a little valve grinding compound added to the dielectric to shine things up a little & then spray with 'letrickleen'.🤓

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Old 08-18-2019, 07:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
On another thread this Penetrox A product was recommended to ensure good contact on all electrical conductor contact points:

https://www.amazon.com/Burndy-P8A-Ox...gateway&sr=8-1

Gonna try some today, to prevent bad/loose connections which may arc. Does anyone have any Yay/Nay thoughts on this product?

Thanks,

Peter
Hi

It's a pretty good bet that melted Penatrox is what came out of the OP's power post when he disconnected.

It's terrific stuff when you are mating up aluminum to something else electrically ( or even for aluminum to aluminum ). It is very common to see it used in that context. For more normal connections there is no reason to use it.

On something like a plugin connector, it will attract dirt and that's not a good thing. The dirt / grit / whatever is likely to act as an abrasive and grind down the connector.

It also tends to get all over the place and is tough to clean up. That's fine for it's intended purpose. It's supposed to stick to the joint. On a connector, getting a conductive film all over the place probably isn't a real good idea ....

Bob
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:13 AM   #8
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Thanks, Bob.

Peter
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:39 AM   #9
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If you want something to clean electrical contacts, it's hard to beat DeoxIT. I've been using it (and its predecessor, Cramolin) for about forty years now, and it has solved many intermittent problems for me.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the link.

Peter
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:38 PM   #11
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I always carry a spare Camco male & female replacement plugs for replacing if ever the need arises and as my sacrificial TEST male plug to check if the utility post will go into meltdown as soon as I turn on the breaker If feels good contact, then I go plug my power cord and let my internal Progressive EMS-PT30X perform it's power-on duties. But if test plug even feels slightly loose on insertion, I take my 50A dogbone and use the 50A ckt instead. All the rv parks I been to (except brand new ones) 30A outlets seem to always be more beat-up than 50A ones.

Not sure if it's either caused by design (3 vs 4 larger prongs which has more holding force) or heavier usage on 30A vs. 50A ? Prob. both.
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:38 PM   #12
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(Off grid until now)

Thanks for the responses. FYI I've had no more problems with either the A/C or D/C side of things. Maybe just gremlins.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:33 PM   #13
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Leigh,

Sounds like you two are having fun Here is something that may help explain the electrical anamoly you experienced. Listen to the Mike Sokol section. https://youtu.be/ghsGMPjI1Gs
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:29 AM   #14
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And with that, I've redoubled my personal commitment to producing YouTube videos that are 60 seconds or less in length. Instagram nailed this one - an overview of any given predicament is fully deliverable in a 60-second sound bite.

Million Mile Sprinter does it brilliantly, but he is one of the only ones. We talked about this at length when I visited him last year, because one of his teenage children was imploring him to quit his Insta snippets (found them too hyperactively nerdy). I gave him the opposite advice, because 95% of the time, I only need the executive summary or abstract, not the body of the paper. Give me the 60 second bottom line. If I need to do a deeper dive of the problem, I'll do that separately after I see the 60 second conclusion.

Anyway, I never got to the answer in that video linked above. I never got past the "Gee, aren't we great people talking to you on YouTube like this" blah blah blah, which took more than 60 seconds.

This is not a criticism of anyone here - this is a paradigm problem that plagues YouTube. Our society went from the extremely compressed TV network news model which omits too much, to YouTube with its incessant unbounded low-value-add rambling.
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