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Old 09-13-2009, 06:31 PM   #15
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No this will not happen. A 240 volt supply in a RV has 2 hot legs. If a 240 volt appliance, a heavy motor, is used there is no current in the neutral. All the 120 volt appliances are supplied voltage via one leg and the neutral. Under ideal conditions the loads in the RV would be balanced and again there is no current in the neutral. If the neutral fails everything would just shut down.

There is current in the neutral when the loads are unbalanced and is limited to the current supplied by either leg if there is nothing on the other leg.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
No this will not happen. A 240 volt supply in a RV has 2 hot legs. If a 240 volt appliance, a heavy motor, is used there is no current in the neutral. All the 120 volt appliances are supplied voltage via one leg and the neutral. Under ideal conditions the loads in the RV would be balanced and again there is no current in the neutral. If the neutral fails everything would just shut down.

There is current in the neutral when the loads are unbalanced and is limited to the current supplied by either leg if there is nothing on the other leg.
OK - so if the neutral fails, does the 240 volt unit continue operating? Further, is there any increased risk of shock with a failed neutral (---at the unit) if the ground remains intact?

I have one of those plug-in circuit testers with the two amber and one red light and I've often wondered what the different light combinations meant. Although I've yet to have a faulty connection, I'll bet that a lot of others often wonder the same thing.

Thanks again for your patience!
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:28 PM   #17
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In a 240V application;

If the neutral opens the two 120V lines now become a series circuit and depending on what's on will be subject up to the full 240 V.

If you have say a TV that has power applied even when turned off (most TVs have a warm start circuit) and it plugged in the TV could be subject to high voltage and be damaged.

The amount of damage to the appliances depends on what is plugged in and turned on.

It is a dangerous situation since the ground wire is now a hot wire and tries to act like a neutral and in an Airstream that means the skin will be hot.

On a 120V RV you may not notice an open neutral since the ground will carry the load
the tester you have should have a label explaining what the different light configuration means and once again you could get a shock from the skin on the RV.

Garry
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