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Old 04-27-2004, 12:05 PM   #15
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Polarity

I believe that the Univolt is polarity sensitive.

And I also believe the red indicator is the Polarity light. It should not be illuminated.

It is wired to the neutral side and ground conductor of the shore power.
This way it will not normally illuminate because the voltage should be between the Black or "Hot" conductor and the ground/neutral.

If the polarity is reversed, the voltage will be between the neutral and the ground conductor, 110 volts nominal.

To fix this, you need to transpose the neutral and hot conductors in the shore power plug (if reversed there) and/ or the electrical panel or univolt.

Smily
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Old 04-27-2004, 09:34 PM   #16
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Hi -Fellas sorry to keep you in suspense but we have a few more questions - not sure on the instructions Tom - so have provided some pictures for you to walk us through visually too. Also can not confirm a good thing???? on the red light.

Peter was hell bent on getting a few things back into the trailer today so he has skipped off the electrical - gees worse than a woman I would say!!!! at least we can stay focused on our projects!!!

Anyway - I did check a few things out in the manual - it says nothing about the red light on the breaker box. It does tell us there is a white polarity light at the back of the trailer - but we are not sure what they are talking about.

The little white light that is by the fuse board (in the picture below) is a switched light - and when we are hooked to a battery we can turn it on, it is not an automatic sensor type light which I think the polarity light is??. We just thought this light was a boot/trunk curtesy light to see what you are doing????

Smily the shore power cord we have only goes one way and the adapter only fits one way as well. Unless our house is wired backwards???

Also in the well of the service door by the battery an (R +) is etched into the aluminum - so we have maintained that R+ and (W) wires are negative.

You can not see at the univolt (tough to get the camera in there) but there is a second fuse holder above the one pictured - it is empty - is there to be two fuses running??

Sorry Tom..... Pete did not get around to checking the voltage - he has been playing around with the LP today (as well as putting all the cabinents, water heater and furnace back in) and did not want any juice at the trailer.

He promised he will get back to the wiring when he gets home from work tomorrow - 7:30 or so - I will post back with his results on the voltage test. If you have any other tests he can do please let me know and I can print then off for him.

In the mean time - these are the pics of our system - sorry they are a bit blurry - camera battery running a bit low (go figure )

You guys have been great and we really appreciate all the wordly wisdom and smarts you have on this - it is a lot of fun learning all these things - can't wait for our first Rally to learn even more - forget the camping part - just crack open the barley and point and play with all our systems!!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
...Anyway - I did check a few things out in the manual - it says nothing about the red light on the breaker box. It does tell us there is a white polarity light at the back of the trailer - but we are not sure what they are talking about.

The little white light that is by the fuse board (in the picture below) is a switched light - and when we are hooked to a battery we can turn it on, it is not an automatic sensor type light which I think the polarity light is??. We just thought this light was a boot/trunk curtesy light to see what you are doing????

Smily the shore power cord we have only goes one way and the adapter only fits one way as well. Unless our house is wired backwards???...
I am 99% sure that light on the breaker box is the polarity light. It should not be on during normal operation. I agree the white light on the fuse panel is a courtesy light.

The shore power leads color coding is as follows: Black-hot; White-neutral; Green-Ground. Have Pete verify the following measurements at the breaker box on the shore power connections:
Black to White : 120 VAC
Black to Green : 120 VAC
White to Green : 0 VAC

I have a feeling he is going to find the White wire is hot instead of the black wire. If that is the case, perform the same checks where you plug your Airstream into the house - the problem is probably there.

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Old 04-28-2004, 07:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
You can not see at the univolt (tough to get the camera in there) but there is a second fuse holder above the one pictured - it is empty - is there to be two fuses running??
The univolt you have is not the kind I have seen in you vintage, so I would assume it was replaced at some point. The newer trailers used the built in panel on the univolt. You have a chassis mounted panel. The only fuse to be concerned with is the big 40 AMP one.

I agree with TC to check the polarity of the incoming shore power. BTW what happened with the battery installed, but not plugged into shore power. Did the battery survive the night?
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Hi and so it goes....we have fully charged battery this morning (well okay so we got going at around 11:00am - a bit lazy today!) So the little culprit draining her must have been one of the three items we found - loose wire in cieling fan may have been making contact with the lid, loose wire in one of the lights, or more than likely the goings on with the extractor fan being left on but no fan going.

)
Battery prob seems to be squared away as per above.

The red light is definitely polarity indicator, see how it is wired to the ground bus and the neutral bus in the picture above. It should not be illuminated.

Your manual refers to a typical polarity indicator as I described previously.

I understand that your shore power plug seems to be "one way" but does the plug end have screws in it for disassembly?
If so, open it up and check that conductors are properly located(unplugged of course). I have seen them reversed before, just ask "SNADI" and "Grogan".

The Univolt should have all fuse slots filled. The main fuses or larger ones are for two sources, converted power and battery power.

I think the missing fuse is your problem as for lack of 12 volts with no battery but connected to shore power.

If your house is less than twenty five years old, the receptacle should be wired for correct polarity (three slots in receptacle, one big slot on one side of receptacle) . The polarity light problem is in the shore power cord. The shore power cable going into the box looks fairly new,(markings are still visible on the cable). It may have been replaced along with the shore power plug.


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Old 04-28-2004, 07:57 AM   #20
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Thanks again - will pass on this info to Peter when he gets home -I'll have dinner on the table (so he does not have to cook ) and he can get right to it - getting about an hour or so of evening light now.

thenewkid64
Quote:
Did the battery survive the night?
Yes we survived - we are pretty sure it was the kitchen extractor fan over the stove - Peter has to yank it and have a look to see what's up. It did work and then it obviously stopped and in our efforts to check things when the battery was dipping we turned it on and left the circuit open that would have drained the battery.
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:17 PM   #21
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Gees he let me down! But as you are all guys I'm sure you will understand.

It is playoff time and the Leafs have made it to the second round!!!

He is off tomorrow and we will get to those tests in the morning and post the results sometime tomorrow.

Stay tuned Tom, Smily and Brett have not forgot about you and all your help!!!
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:31 PM   #22
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Well the playoffs are over for the Leaf's

And to get a bit of a kick start (or interest in the electrical system again) I thought I would buy a new extension cord - something on the technical side I can handle - and after the trouncing I got on the Towing Thread I think I will steer clear of there too!

So Smily and Tom you are right on the Polarity - turns out that the cord we were using was the culprit and not the cords with the trailer.

Still have the issue of no 12V when Battery not hooked up but shorepower is.

Smily - what you said makes some sense to me - so I will get into the back and check out what size fuses should be in the empty slots - pick them up and let Peter check out the rest of the system when he get's home - that is of course if it is not pouring with RAIN - cause that is the only thing that stops him now (although I did see the ball game on tonight.)

Quote:
The Univolt should have all fuse slots filled. The main fuses or larger ones are for two sources, converted power and battery power.

I think the missing fuse is your problem as for lack of 12 volts with no battery but connected to shore power.
Tom - Peter will go back to doing all the meter tests this weekend - so hopefully I can have some kind of report back and close up this thread. Just have to sort out the above issue now and we are set - well at least on the electrical side.

Still have some plumbing and LP issues to take care of but they are much easier than the electrical

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Old 05-11-2004, 04:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
on my trailer, that is a quasi-3 way switch that operates the light over the kitchen sink. but it isn't a "real" 3 way; if the switch at the galley sink is off, this switch by the door doesn't seem to do anything. however, if you turn on the galley light, this switch by the door will then turn it on and off. (took me a while to figure this out)the other switch in that location is for the outside light over the door.
Chuck you don't know how close you were boyoh . Marvin our main A/S main (okay so he is the only guy up here we know that has tinkered with them )

He also said the kitchen sink light - but then we went one step further and tried it with the "salon" light it is in the isle way just before the dinette but not over the kitchen sink....yes one more mystery solved - thanks Chuck for getting us on the right track.

Back to the Univolt problems. We have solved most issues - thanks to the tests ideas from you guys.

However we have loaded up the Univolt empty slots with all the correct fuses, she hums like a baby and puts out the perfect AC through all the outlets, fridge works on AC (A/C still not tried yet). But when we come to all the 12V systems they are not running through the univolt - no readings dead as a piece of wood.

So I guess it could be one of two things - a) as another thread mentioned we may have a ground short on the Univolt between the battery or b) looks like a few of you fellows might be right - may need to do some work on the capacitors??? or replace it. A project for another day... and probably a new thread when it comes time.

In the mean time we will be sure and pack our battery charger and if boondocking may have to drive around a few blocks - as our charging line works like a charm.

I know there are some great threads on repairing the univolt so we will read up and post any questions when ready.

Peter will replace the ground wire on the off chance that is the culprit if so we will let you know if not stay tuned or keep your eyes out for the lost Univolt souls

Thanks again all your help has been invaluable!!!
(PS gee who does not say thankyou on this forum )
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Old 05-11-2004, 05:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Chuck you don't know how close you were boyoh . Marvin our main A/S main (okay so he is the only guy up here we know that has tinkered with them )

He also said the kitchen sink light - but then we went one step further and tried it with the "salon" light it is in the isle way just before the dinette but not over the kitchen sink....yes one more mystery solved - thanks Chuck for getting us on the right track.
you're welcome. glad to be of help! and speaking of "help"...


Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
...puts out the perfect AC through all the outlets, fridge works on AC (A/C still not tried yet). But when we come to all the 12V systems they are not running through the univolt - no readings dead as a piece of wood.
not that it really matters, but the univolt doesn't put out "ac". just "dc". The ac comes in through the umbilical cord to a ciruit breaker box, just like in the house. from there, wires run directly to the a/c outlets...and to the univolt as well..but it then takes that a/c and converts it to dc to power the 12v lights/outlets/appliances. and if there's anything left, it sends it to the battery for re-charging.

My trailer has 2 a/c circuits; one is dedicated to the Air Conditioner (I almost typed "ac"...doh! too confusing), the other is for "everything else".
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Old 05-11-2004, 05:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
(I almost typed "ac"...doh! too confusing), .

that's what I meant - have the "a" on my mind 24/7.

However Chuck - our plugs are DC only not 12 volt - as the 12 volt items all work but run off the battery. As mentioned somewhere way up in the thread our original problem other than running the battery down was that when we unhook the battery and are still pluged into shore power the UV still hums and works the plugs and fride but no over head lights/fans or any 12V items.

That is where we think we might have a short - but have to check it out this week sometime - few other little projects. And if not a short then UV is Toast and if we can not repair it will go on the pile with the Hot Water Tank, On demand pump and filter, Toilet - and eventually the awning We new we would not come out of this unscaved...
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Old 05-12-2004, 08:44 AM   #26
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However Chuck - our plugs are DC only not 12 volt -
Ok, this is not making sense to me, but your trailer is different than mine, although it shouldn't be tooooo much different...only 4 years older...but anyway, there are 2 kinds of electrical outlets in my trailer. 5 of them are 110v/AC. These are the ones that look and work just like the outlets in my house. There are also 3 12v DC outlets. these look like the cigarette lighter in my car. I think you might be confusing "AC" and "DC". 110v house systems (on this continent, anyway) are 110v AC; automotive electrical systems are typically 12v DC. So how can you have DC plugs that aren't "12v"?

The 110vAC outlets do not get their power from the univolt. the electricity bypasses the univolt completely, going from the source (shore plug) through the circuit breaker box, and from there, directly to the outlets. I believe you said that the "dc outlets work when plugged in to shore power"...since there probably are DC outlets in your trailer, and we're probably all assuming that there are, this is confusing people. What you're saying is that "some 12v stuff works, and some doesn't, when plugged into shore power". I'm thinking that this is not the message that you are trying to convey. am I correct?

so I'm still thinking that your univolt is not putting out any 12v, and this should be really easy to test. disconnect the battery, plug the trailer into shore power, and put a voltmeter on the 12v side, and see what you've got.
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Old 05-12-2004, 04:26 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
Ok, this is not making sense to me
Me neither ,


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
...but your trailer is different than mine, although it shouldn't be tooooo much different...only 4 years older...but anyway,
Nope not much different - just you and I got our wires crossed


Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
there are 2 kinds of electrical outlets in my trailer. 5 of them are 110v/AC. These are the ones that look and work just like the outlets in my house. There are also 3 12v DC outlets. these look like the cigarette lighter in my car.
Okay I have 4 AC and 1DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
I think you might be confusing
not hard to do
However I think I was right in my first post indicating that when plugged into shore power with battery disconnected my AC plugs all work and so does the AC operation of the Fridge. But on the otherside the univolt does not seem to be converting the AC to DC in order to run the lights, fans, water pump (and the one DC outlet I did not mention above). But when we hook up the battery all our DC systems work fine.

We have done the test and we get nothing from the Univolt 12V side - so as previously indicated we either have a short in that wire or terminal or we have a pooched UV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
However Chuck - our plugs are DC only not 12 volt
I said DC in this sentence cause you just finished telling me that they were not AC but in fact DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
The 110vAC outlets do not get their power from the univolt. the electricity bypasses the univolt completely, going from the source (shore plug) through the circuit breaker box, and from there, directly to the outlets.
Well that is great I just learned something new again. But we have been told and I have read by many here that you don't need a battery for the UV to convert the 110AC to 12V DC so that you can operate your 12V systems - it also says this in the Owners manual - but ours does not work -even though she humms quite a nice tune....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
What you're saying is that "some 12v stuff works, and some doesn't, when plugged into shore power". I'm thinking that this is not the message that you are trying to convey. am I correct?
Nope don't think so all our 12V Stuff works off the battery but none of it works when the battery is unhooked but the shore power is pluged in and the univolt is running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
so I'm still thinking that your univolt is not putting out any 12v, and this should be really easy to test. disconnect the battery, plug the trailer into shore power, and put a voltmeter on the 12v side, and see what you've got.
Yep did that and like I said dead as a piece of wood.

So are we on the same page???? This was fun - was there not a group called ACDC or something like that
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Old 05-12-2004, 04:48 PM   #28
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yep. ok. your univolt is broken.

the electrical guru's here all recommend the intellipower w/ the charge-wizzard, if you're going to replace.

one of the members sells them, I think...try "www.bestconverter.com"


Interesting thing about your custom electrical panel. you've got 4 ac circuits...mine only has 2. wonder if that's "factory", or some sort of upgrade. (and if so, why?).
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