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Old 01-27-2010, 09:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Spacepod Ps View Post
I failed to mention in the previous posts that all the AC power went off, so laptop shut down, TV went off, and Heater went off. What perplexed me a bit was the fact that none of the breakers inside or at the shore power tripped.
The breakers didn't trip because there wasn't a short or overload. You lost power because a wire came loose.

Loose connections usually work fine until a heavy load (heat, AC) is turned on, which may convince the uninitiated that there is something wrong with whatever was turned on last. This happens because the additional heat produced at the point of the loose connection, with the heavier load, causes the parts to expand and move.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #16
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Get a meter and check the cord

It's easy to check out the cord with an ohmmeter (one of the settings on most inexpensive volt/ohmmeters). Set the meter to read ohms and adjust it to read zero when the probes touch each other. If the meter won't zero, it needs a new battery inside it.

Unplug both ends of the cord so nothing is powered! Get both ends of the cord where you can reach them easily.

Stick a probe in one of the female socket's openings and then use the other probe to find which part of the male end it's connected to. There should be one, but only one path through the cord for each of the three openings in the connector. Wiggle the cord to make sure this is true in whatever position the cord is in.

Crackling noises happen when the 'trons are able to swap wires where they shouldn't (short circuit) or when they have to jump a gap to get where they're going (fried or disconnected inside the connector).

In something simple like a cord, the ohmmeter should read infinity where there is no path for the electricity and zero where there is a proper path. It might read something in between if there's a short making a partial path, consider that bad.

Hope this helps. Good luck. Hope it's the cord and not in the trailer.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:36 AM   #17
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Jammer,

Any trick to getting the boot off? Took out the screws and its being kind of a pain in the a... Will continue to try and get it off to send pics. The burn smell definitely comes from the marinco head.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:48 AM   #18
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remember as i learned here, "All electric devices contain smoke. They will quit working if you let the smoke out."

there are plenty of threads explaining how to replace the cord ends.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #19
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Jammer,

Any trick to getting the boot off? Took out the screws and its being kind of a pain in the a... Will continue to try and get it off to send pics. The burn smell definitely comes from the marinco head.
If there's a cable clamp on the boot, loosen it all the way.

Then, hold the cable in one hand, just an inch or two away from the boot, and push it into the boot with a kind of twisting motion while you hold the boot in the other hand. Usually that will pop out the front of the connector. You might have to alternate between doing that, and pulling on the front of the connector while holding the boot, until you free it up.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:03 AM   #20
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remember as i learned here, "All electric devices contain smoke. They will quit working if you let the smoke out."

there are plenty of threads explaining how to replace the cord ends.
The important thing when this happens is to collect up all the smoke particles and put them back exactly where they were. This is why it's important to have electronics in a well-sealed enclosure, because it keeps the smoke particles from blowing away making a repair more difficult.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:51 PM   #21
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I just really want to say thank you to everyone's insight on this thread! It's helped me learn quite a bit and as they say, "knowledge is power".

Well the good news is that definitely without a doubt I know the cable is fried. I used my neighbor's cable and the power came back without any problem for the most part(for the most part).

Now, here's where we enter phase two of this problem.

In my coach the galley has three outlets, one of them has a test/reset button on it. These three outlets are on the same circuit as the fridge and an outlet located in the bedroom.

When I plugged in my neighbor's cable all power went on except for the outlets in the galley and the bedroom. I pressed the reset button on the outlet that had one in the galley and now it works. However, the rest of them don't.

I reset all of the breakers and still remains the same. There is only the one outlet in the galley that has the test/ reset buttons on it.

Any ideas or is it time to contact an electrician? And, if it is that time does anyone know of a good one in this area?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:44 PM   #22
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I have a lady friend who had the same problem. I can see that your trailer connection is a "twist lock" receptacle.....meaning you have to not only plug it in, you have to twist it to get a good lock and connection. Did you know that? If you don't do that you get what you got!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:00 PM   #23
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Most likely scenario:

The outlet with the reset button on it is wired backwards (this is a common mistake a PO might have made) and actually did have power before you pushed the reset button but you figured it didn't because you saw the reset button was popped out and didn't actually check. Now, even though you've pushed in the reset button, you haven't pushed it in quite all the way, or it popped back out again, possibly for good reason, possibly not; or maybe the contacts are a little flakey. Short term solution: 1) push the test and see if the reset pops out, then push the reset. Try this several times until you're convinced that the reset is staying in and not popping out by itself. (If the reset won't stay in unplug the fridge and anything else you have plugged in and try again. If that doesn't help the GFCI is probably shot and should be replaced). Now that it's staying in and you're sure of it, check the power in the other outlets, I'll bet they work. Long term solution: Have someone show you how to switch the wires between the line and load terminals, they're backwards.

Less likely scenarios:

1) Loose wiring inside one of the galley outlets. Shut off all 120v power in the trailer by disconnecting shore power and shutting off any generator or inverter you may have, remove each affected outlet from the wall, tighten the screws that hold the wires, reinstall; if any outlets are "back wired" and not held in by the screws, then undo the back wiring and use the screws instead; back wiring with the little spring clamps works unreliably in stick houses and is a really bad idea in a trailer

2) Galley and bedroom circuits aren't on the same circuit despite what you think. Turn all the breakers off and on again and see if that helps

3) There's another GFCI outlet hidden somewhere, either an exterior outlet, or maybe one in the lavatory, and that's the one that you have to reset

Good luck.

Let us know how the repairs to the shore power cord are going and don't be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #24
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I have a lady friend who had the same problem. I can see that your trailer connection is a "twist lock" receptacle.....meaning you have to not only plug it in, you have to twist it to get a good lock and connection. Did you know that? If you don't do that you get what you got!!
He has 30 amp service. Look at the photo of the Marinco connector he posted.

With 30 amp service, the trailer either has shore power, or doesn't. There is no possibility of getting shore power to some of the outlets but not the rest of them.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:20 PM   #25
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First, I'm an amateur, not a professional. I've done a fair amount of wiring renovating homes, but I'm more than willing to wave the white flag. My suggestion is to work within your comfort zone. Internet advice--not matter how well intended--is not an adequate substitute for competent professional work... at the scene of the crime.

The outlet with the "button" is quite likely a GFCI outlet. If the outlets "downstream" are not hot, the problem may be as simple as a bad connection. The problem could be at the GFCI outlet or at the next outlet in the circuit. You can learn something (occasionally) by simply removing the outlet and performing a "visual inspection." It is pretty easy to see whether or not wires are properly connected to the outlet. This is also a chance to see if there is evidence of arcing (which is what electricians call in very technical terms... "not good.")

I'll also give you the same advice I gave my daughters. If you feel the need to check an outlet, make sure the circuit is not live. Before you touch anything, test the outlet... and in a duplex outlet, this means both. It's like the old saw about all of the folks who get shot by "unloaded guns." Go slow, be safe.... and good luck.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #26
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I was referring to the "smoking" "sizzleing" power plug......nothing else. That's a classic symptom of a loose faulty overheating connection at the plug. That's why the breakers didn't trip.
Sounds like there may be other electrical problems inside the trailer, as well.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #27
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If you haven't done so would suggest you remove the Marinco connector from the trailer and check it out. My 2007 20' Safari lost power at a CG. It was discovered that when the connector was installed on mine not one of the three wires was tightened - they were all loose - and over time enough corrosion built up to cause the failure. Why it worked for over a year before failing I haven't a clue. When examined the back of the connector showed sign of arcing and it was partially melted. Mine did not cause any problems in the wiring inside the trailer. Just a thought.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:08 PM   #28
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Hey all,

Ok, so the outisde power cable is taken care of(I ended up just buying a used one as I didn't have the time or the patience to repair the one I had and I think it had already seen better days).

So this goes onto the bigger issue at hand; why one outlet has power and the others and fridge don't. Jammer, I did what you said several times, pushing the test button and the reset button pops out. Push the reset button in and it stays perfect like a dream. Repeated this process and checked the remaining outlets I'd say between 5-10 times with the same result. The outlet with the test and reset works fine and others are still dead.

So, this brings me to a question. Do you think it might be the main breaker? I've taken pics of the breaker in question and posted them in my Picasa album.

After taking a look at the pics I've got some other questions for you. One is, I'd like to see if I could test the breaker, but as richinny and I both tried to see, there seems to be no way to open it up to test it. Do you know of a way to do that? Looks like to me there's only two screws to loosen to get the wires out. Any ideas?

Also, I'd like to mention that the test button on the breaker in question sticks where it seems like I can't push it in to trip the breaker.

So, I'm pretty much at a loss at the moment so any feedback would be appreciated(as always )
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