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Old 05-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #1
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AC, Microwave, Elec Hot Water Heater, TV = Blown Fuse

My main panel fuse trips whenever I have the electric water heater on with the AC running, microwave and TV on. It's the 30 amp fuse is tripping. We just discovered this tonight on Shakedown Trip 2. Is the AS system designed for this? Installed a new Progressive Dynamics5 4600 replacement last week. Did I do anything wrong in wiring the AC side up ?
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong, you just can't use everything like you are at once.

AC will take in the range of 15 to 16 amps.

Microwave will take about 12 to 14 amps.

Water heater will take about 8 to 12 amps.

TV will take less than 1 amp.

The PD converter/charger will take in the range of 1 to 8 amps, depending on the load on it.

Add it up, much more than 30 amps.

You will need to learn how to "shed" some of the load and not use everything at the same time. Many older Airstreams had a switch labeled AC on one side, Microwave on the other, so only one could be used at a time. You can run your water heater on propane to reduce that load, and so on.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:44 AM   #3
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We had just pulled in to the campsite, tired and hungry. It was a warm and very humid day so the AC was turned on first. I turned on the water heater. Then Cindy started to warm up the prepared dinner in the MW. Turned on the TV. Just like home. The fuse didn't blow right away, it took several minutes each time for the fuse to trip. Cindy was heating up dinner and had the MW timer set for several minutes. She may have had the MW power at 50-60% to warm up the food.

For some reason my water heater will not start on gas. I had accidentally pulled the pressure relief valve and water came out and got the wiring wet I think because the gas part worked the last time we went out. The red light in the bathroom is not coming on. I'll drain the tank of hot water this morning and pull each connector off and dry it out to see if it will fire up.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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Nothing wrong, you just can't use everything like you are at once. ... You will need to learn how to "shed" some of the load and not use everything at the same time. ...
Don't forget, the fridge draws a few amps also. Consider this power management the "roughing it" aspect of camping.

We typically do the same things you did and have found that the microwave is the thing that pushes the limit if the WH is on electric. Switching off the WH while using the microwave usually allows the others to operate while keeping the total load below 30a. I installed an electronic switch that automatically sheds the WH when the microwave turns on then switches it back on about 30 seconds after it senses the microwave has stopped. The wife is much happier since I did that.

If the connections on the water heater got wet, it is not unusual for it not to fire up in gas mode until things dry out. No need to drain the water heater, either give it some time to dry out, or clean and replug each connection one at a time then try switching it on again. Chances are good that simply running it on 110v will have warmed it up enough to drive out the moisture.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:35 AM   #5
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... The red light in the bathroom is not coming on. ...
As I recall, the red light only comes on if the electronics detects a misfire after it has opened the gas valve and doesn't detect a flame. This has happened to me when there was air in the gas line. Once it was purged, the WH switched on normally. If the red light comes on, often retrying a few times resolves the issue. When I've opened the TPM valve and got things wet, the red light never came on, I assume the electronics never tried to open the gas valve.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
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Yes, you are in overload mode; prioritize your electrical needs 30amps is maxed out regardless of where the draw comes from ... generally you will need a reset at the pedestal as well.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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If you want to run 'all the comforts of home' while using your Airstream, consider upgrading to 50 amp service. It's not as difficult as you might think.......
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #8
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Out this weekend and its 100F. Can't run the AC and the water heater on electricity without blowing the 30 amp fuse. it takes about half and hour but it pops the 30 amp breaker. This is ridiculous, I'm not running the microwave or TV this time. Is the fuse too sensitive or am I really pulling more than 30 amps? This fuse gets very warm to touch. Why isn't the water heater on a different circuit? Can I put the water heater on a separate circuit?

Getting fed up with my Airstream.

Kelvin
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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It's entirely possible that you have a weak circuit breaker, or that you are getting significantly less voltage into your trailer from the power post. I have seen voltages drop into the 105-108VAC range in RV parks during summer with peak loading from extensive A/C use.

A voltage drop like that will increase your amperage draw and probably is tripping your 30 amp breaker, unless it is weak. In any event, I would have the breaker replaced as a first step.

Next, have your voltage tested at the power post. After that, with your A/C running, have the 20 amp line feeding your A/C tested for amp draw. ANy of these tests can pinpoint a problem.

Keep the faith! It's probably not as bad as you think!
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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Out this weekend and its 100F. Can't run the AC and the water heater on electricity without blowing the 30 amp fuse. it takes about half and hour but it pops the 30 amp breaker. ...
In addition to Lewster's suggestions, with the shore power disconnected, check that all of the wires to the circuit breakers are screwed down tight. Less than tight connections will add resistance and heat.

There is another variable. As temperatures rise, the demand on the electric service in the neighborhood goes up and the voltage drops. When the voltage drops, devices such as the A/C draw more current. Less than ample wiring in the campground compounds the felony as increased current demand heats the wire causing more resistance and even lower voltage. In the worst cases, this can spiral down and the voltage at the pedestal can drop low enough to cause damage to the compressor.

I'm currently in an RV park just up the road from you in Sherman. Early today my voltage monitor was reading 117V. This evening as the campground filled up and many of the permanents came home and turned on their TVs and other things and the temperature hovered at 100, the voltage dropped to 114V. With only the A/C and converter running, my current demand went from 19A to 22A. If I switch on the electric water heater at this voltage, it drops to 110V and the current goes up to 32A. If left that way, the 30A breaker should eventually trip. I believe the wiring in the park is insufficient to maintain a 30A load at adequate voltage and possibly the electric company is having difficulty maintaining optimum voltage at the meter.

In comparison, I have a properly gauged 30A outlet in my trailer port at the house. It maintains 118-120V and the A/C + converter draws ~ 16A at 100. At that level I could expect to add the water heater and still be below 30A, but add the microwave on top of that, and things will get dark in short order. 50A service generally resolves the issue of not being able to run everything we want simultaneously, but even then, if the campground's service is not up to spec, their voltage could drop below an acceptable level.

An inexpensive plugin volt meter is a good way to keep an eye on what your landlord is providing to you. If it gets too low and they can't remedy the problem, it's time to roll up the hose and go down the road to a place that can offer adequate power.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Out this weekend and its 100F. Can't run the AC and the water heater on electricity without blowing the 30 amp fuse. it takes about half and hour but it pops the 30 amp breaker. This is ridiculous, I'm not running the microwave or TV this time. Is the fuse too sensitive or am I really pulling more than 30 amps? This fuse gets very warm to touch. Why isn't the water heater on a different circuit? Can I put the water heater on a separate circuit?

Getting fed up with my Airstream.

Kelvin
i've read here that there have been issues with high demand breakers giving off a combined heat that is high enough to cause a breaker to trip. if this is the case see if you can move a low load line next to the main breaker.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:02 PM   #12
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Blown Fuse

My Recommendation is to goto Camping World and buy the external Surge Guard 30amp Surge Protector. It tells you how many amps you are drawing, and gives you a peace of mind on shore power.

I had the same issue when plugged in until I realized what was using all my electric. The darn water heater on electric was killing me. Then having the radio / subwoofer, fridge and AC- not good.

Now if I need to run the AC and a 2nd device (microwave / coffee maker), I use the water heater on GAS!!! Same goes for Fridge- GAS!! Or I don't take the chance.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:04 PM   #13
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I am with Silver Goose explanation.

I check power at the park post. The voltage needs to be adequate....

After check then plug in, I go inside AS. All breakers (not fuses) turned OFF! I power up the MAIN then the bedroom then check voltage. There should be ZERO drop because in my AS there is only a small battery charger plugged in.

IF there is voltage drop, info park and try another site or move to another park.

I then turn on the converter circuit breaker (CB) Heck voltage.. No drop!!!!

Keep adding CBs,,, with your 30 amp service, there is ONLY one supply so any added load affects the whole system availability. Imagine having a garden hose with lots of Y's feeding other hoses. Every connected hose will see a pressure drop as you turn on other sprinklers!

On our 1999, we had EXACTLY the same issue you describe.

I fixed by upgrading to 50 AMP. Nuthin flickers now!!!! But I still check the power // voltage. I learned that lesson!

I run water heater on leg A / circuit with rear AC. MW is on power circuit / leg B with front AC.
Converter and bedroom on B
Bath , kitchen, dinette and outside AC outlets on A (GFCI)

With all "turning and burning" , my wife running hair dryer, curling iron and clothes iron, I am not seeing a drop below acceptable voltage in either leg.

For your situation I would fix WH to run in propane. If not lighting check 12v breakers to see if they protected you when water sprayed. You really need a portable VOM meter and knowledge to use.

Another "option"...get portable MW and run off short extension cord attached to the power pylon.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:47 AM   #14
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions. The park I'm in is Waxahachie COE park on Lake Bardwell just outside of Ennis, TX. The park isn't full and we are the only ones in the loop. I have a Progressive Dynamics SSP30 surge protector on the post. Do you think it's contributing to a voltage drop?

What does it take to convert to 50 amp?

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