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Old 07-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #1
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click click click is all I hear!

I just replaced my 87 290 MO HO univolt because I thought it was bad! (It was old but not necessarily bad). When the batteries were turned on I got a loud click, click click, with a noticeable draw down on power. I took all loads off the 12v distro board and one by one hooked up the colored wires. I finally found out it was only one circuit causing the cycling of the breaker. The purple wire goes to the doorbell, the bathroom exhaust fans (2), the 12 v power plug in the bath, the main light in the center of the passageway and the reading lights forward and in the bed room. I unhooked every circuit that the purple wire goes too and the breaker still cycles on and off constantly! Nerve racking to say the least! Does it sound like a dead short in the wire somewhere up in the skin? If so how hard is it to pull the wire with a new wire attached to it and redo the whole circuit? Or, could I just have a bad breaker? Is this best left to a professional or is it fairly straight forward? Thanks for the help......
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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It does sound like you have a dead short in that circuit, causing the breaker to open then automatically reset. Just why it should suddenly happen when you changed out the converter/charger is something that is hard to understand and it should be unrelated to the converter change out.

I would not try to operate it with that circuit connected, the breaker will fail and then you may have a short with no protection.

As to how to fix it, if you are not real familiar with electrical things, it may be a professional job. That is a judgement call only you can make.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I changed the convertor because it was clicking the circuit breaker, thinking it was the fault of the old univolt! Three hundred dollars later the clicking continues. If I cut every load off the curcuit and I still have the click, it has to be a deadf short in the wire.....probably pulled on too many times and the bare wire is touching the aluminum skin somewhere in the circuit. I tried hooking the purple wire to another breaker thinking the breaker may be bad, but it just started tripping that breaker, so it's not that. Next step is to pull the purple wire out of the skin and fish new wire through. The original schematic of the circuits is very general, so little help there. Is there anyone who knows how hard it is to pull new wire through the channels?
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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OK, I'll start off by saying I know TTs but not mohos, however, electrical stuff is sometimes just simple logic. I can also say that if it's anything like the TTs, that purple wire is buried in the ceiling, and IMHO will NOT allow itself to be pulled through easily.

Good trouble-finding in the first place, finding that it is that single circuit!

Now, before hauling it out, why not go to each and every one of those lights and receptacles that it supplies and inspect them all for shorts, either internally, or in their connection to the purple wire?

Look at it this way: if you replaced the purple wire and STILL found it to be shorting out, well, that would send me through the roof...
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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Click

Good Points Casey! I'm thinking I'll do just that. It seems AS factory took this purple wire (10 gauge maybe) and attached a crimp lead to a lesser gauge wire (maybe a 12 or 14?) for the branch circuit. Anyway, if I take a light fixture and pull it down, it has a black and white lead. If I pull the black wire it goes to the larger gauge purple 'mother' wire. If I cut off the wire leads to the light and the problem was in the light, it seems the breaker would stop clicking? A question??? If that doesn't stop the cycling breaker, the next light cutoff, if it's the culprit, would stop the click??? Etc., etc, until all loading lights and plugs on the circuit have been taken off? Then if it is still clicking when all loads have been taken off I could assume that the insulation has been compromised somewhere along the line and it's time to replace the wire??? Do you think that the AS factory would still have detailed diagrams around from 87? Also, is it possible that the problem could be on the white wire side, or would it be limited to the purple side? Sorry about all the questions but an electrician I am not.....Only a logical person using deduction on this journey of discovery!
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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I do not think you will be able to "pull" the purple wire. But you are out of options it seems.

Is it possible to disconnect the wire from breaker then connect a battery powered lamp or meter between the wire and "ground"? If you can, see what the "ohms" read or if it lights test lamp. If the lamp lights or you have little ohms, there is likely a short.

You can then tug on wires to see if you can locate what area of the wire is shorted. You may even "fix" it for a little while but you need to finish a complete repair, just don't ignore.

Before you replace the wire or try the "pull", you can try connecting another wire to it so as you pull the old you mule in the new.

Either way good luck!
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjan2 View Post
Good Points Casey! I'm thinking I'll do just that. It seems AS factory took this purple wire (10 gauge maybe) and attached a crimp lead to a lesser gauge wire (maybe a 12 or 14?) for the branch circuit. Anyway, if I take a light fixture and pull it down, it has a black and white lead. If I pull the black wire it goes to the larger gauge purple 'mother' wire. If I cut off the wire leads to the light and the problem was in the light, it seems the breaker would stop clicking? A question??? If that doesn't stop the cycling breaker, the next light cutoff, if it's the culprit, would stop the click??? Etc., etc, until all loading lights and plugs on the circuit have been taken off? Then if it is still clicking when all loads have been taken off I could assume that the insulation has been compromised somewhere along the line and it's time to replace the wire??? Do you think that the AS factory would still have detailed diagrams around from 87? Also, is it possible that the problem could be on the white wire side, or would it be limited to the purple side? Sorry about all the questions but an electrician I am not.....Only a logical person using deduction on this journey of discovery!
Eric,

First, take your time, and try to think it through more clearly BEFORE you go cutting any wires. Furthermore, leave the purple circuit disconnected from the fuse panel.

I liked your idea that there was a dead short somewhere. The trick now is to find it. Before considering any cutting, I would first inspect each and every item by eye to see if any strands of wire are touching the body. The body of the trailer carries the negative (-) charge for all 12V DC circuits. If even just one or two strands should come loose and touch any part of the body, or anything fastened to the body, that could cause your problem.

So, start by looking each item over, then take a simple VTVM meter (five bucks at an auto parts store, and see if you have continuity between the positive (+) wire from the purple circuit. In other words, with the meter set to measure resistance (X1), just touch one lead from your meter to the + connection in the lamp or switch, and touch the body of the trailer with the other lead from the meter.

Doing that is safe, because the purple circuit has no current since you left it disconnected, right? You are not looking for a voltage, you are loking for the spot that has continuity between the 12V + and the ground (trailer body).

If you get any reading approaching zero, that's your problem item. Carefully take it apart and see where the short is.

In my view, it's unlikely that a buried part of the purple wire is shorted; there are so many other opportunities for it to short. Watch for where the lamp or switch wires go through the body. The hole should have a rubber grommet on the metal hole to protect the wire.

Take it slow and carefully,and let us know how you make out, OK?
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:20 PM   #8
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Eric,



So, start by looking each item over, then take a simple VTVM meter (five bucks at an auto parts store, and see if you have continuity between the positive (+) wire from the purple circuit. In other words, with the meter set to measure resistance (X1), just touch one lead from your meter to the + connection in the lamp or switch, and touch the body of the trailer with the other lead from the meter.

Doing that is safe, because the purple circuit has no current since you left it disconnected, right? You are not looking for a voltage, you are loking for the spot that has continuity between the 12V + and the ground (trailer body).

If you get any reading approaching zero, that's your problem item. Carefully take it apart and see where the short is.

This is the approach that I would take, safe, easy and will tell the story about any individual wire that may be the culprit. I also believe that it wouldn't likely be in a location other than near the fixture or component, therefore not buried up under the skin somewhere. But I also have been known to be wrong in the past
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #9
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Ok Guys......With the purple wire unhooked from the circuit I went to the first light and I clipped the alligator clamp from the continuity tester to the white wire. Then I touched the pin on the continuity tester to the purple wire. The bulb lit up. Went to the next load and did the same and the light came on. Went to the last load on the circuit and the light came on. Went across the breaker and the light came on. Touched the purple wire to the breaker and it started cycling on and off again! Any ideas before I torch it!
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:57 AM   #10
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Here's what I'd try...go to the first appliance in the run,and sever the purple wire after the appliance. Make certain you have enough slack to strip the ends to reconnect them. Follow this procedure until the clicking starts. That will tell you which run is grounding. Try to replace that run only.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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well, after much searching and a trip up top I have found the culprit! I had installed two new vent fans. One in the shower and one in the bathroom (split units). The vent fan in the shower is not shown on the wiring diagram as being the purple wire, but it was! There was the slightest scrape along the feed wire which was grounding out on the body. I pulled the fan unit out, clipped the bad wire section and I'm back in business. I thank you all for not encouraging me to pull new wire. In hind sight that would have been an impossible chore.
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