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Old 12-01-2010, 08:50 PM   #43
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Continuity test

When you do the continuity test the meter should be set to the 2K position. That's about 5 o'clock on the dial. Select that mode then touch the red and black probes together. You need to have a good battery in the meter for this to work. You should see the reading go down to zero or close. Then get your jumper with the "A" clips; connect it to one of the blue wires coming out of the wall then connect the other clip to the screw in the skin. Go up to the light fixture and touch the black probe of the meter to the skin, then touch the red probe to the blue wire. If it goes to "0" it's the same wire. Test both wires coming out of the wall. If you identify one of the wires going to the light fixture then chances are the other wire goes back toward the power panel. Let me know what happens.
OH! By the way you have the leads on the meter reversed. Black should always go to common. It really doesn't effect the meter reading it's just that when you read 12 volts it will show a minus sign. You should get in the habit of using the black probe to touch the skin of the trailer and the red probe to the wire or device you are testing in the DC volt mode..
Is that a shelf below the point where the 2 blue wires come out of the wall?
Can you find a blue wire in the fuse panel? It's possible that both blue wires are power wires to different devices; one wire comes from the fuse panel to provide power to the old water pump; the other wire provides power to the light fixture. If so they need to be connected together for the light to work.
But you still need to find the other end of the opposite blue wire. Where is the old pump switch located? Maybe near the sink? I find it odd that there is no sign of a box or any thing around the 2 blue wires.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:28 PM   #44
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Danger!!!!!

NEVER CONNECT ANYTHING DIRECTLY TO A BATTERY!!! ALL DEVICES CONNECTED TO A BATTERY SHOULD BE PROTECTED WITH A FUSE. IF THINGS GO WRONG YOU COULD BLOW UP THE BATTERY. IF YOU ARE ANYWHERE CLOSE IT COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY. YOU COULD ALSO MELT THE WIRES INSIDE THE WALL OF THE TRAILER. RENDERING THEM USELESS.
This is the reason I recommend using a battery charger as a power source for testing DC circuits. Most if not all have a current limit function and will shut down "crowbar" if overloaded. When using the charger the BLACK clip goes to the skin.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:37 PM   #45
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so far...

Well, it made sense until I looked at the pictures of your umbilical connector. It's so tidy! The white wires are the ground/neutral bus? Does that come with the fuse box or do I need to be sure to order it separately. Not at all what mine looks like as you could tell from the picture I posted. And there is nothing on the inside of my trailer where the cord comes out. I'm assuming the wires run between the floor and the bellypan? But when we took the rotted floor out in the front I didn't see any wires.

So. Do I just drill holes for the battery wires to come inside the trailer and go to the fuse box? The patch I took off looking for the connector was a hole about 2" around so I guess I could use that if I pad it well so it won't cut the wires? Or would it be best to just cut some smaller holes and run the battery wires through those? One hole, one wire or not? And what do I do with the blue mystery wires? Cut them off and pretend they're not there?

In your photo it looks like the colorful wires of the umbilical come into the fuse box and then go back on the other side into the inside of the skin. I'm not sure how I can access the umbilical wires from the interior. I can run the new wires along where the 110VAC new wiring is which will be hidden by the dinette, etc. but how do I get to the umbilical wires? My wires look much fatter than yours and some are just barely sticking out of the trailer. In fact, one or two aren't even connected to the cord because there's not much to connect to. Is there any rhyme or reason to the colors? Do the colors mean anything or are they just colored to be able to distinguish them and where they go?

I'll get started researching and ordering stuff. I'm going to the "big city" on Friday and will check into getting a battery and battery box that will fit on the tongue then we'll take it from there.

This seems a LOT more complicated than the 110VAC!

Needless to say, I'm glad you like a challenge. And you're a heck of a distance-learning instructor.

Lindy
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:53 PM   #46
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testing, testing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
When you do the continuity test the meter should be set to the 2K position. That's about 5 o'clock on the dial. Select that mode then touch the red and black probes together. You need to have a good battery in the meter for this to work. You should see the reading go down to zero or close. Then get your jumper with the "A" clips; connect it to one of the blue wires coming out of the wall then connect the other clip to the screw in the skin. Go up to the light fixture and touch the black probe of the meter to the skin, then touch the red probe to the blue wire. If it goes to "0" it's the same wire. Test both wires coming out of the wall. If you identify one of the wires going to the light fixture then chances are the other wire goes back toward the power panel. Let me know what happens.
OH! By the way you have the leads on the meter reversed. Black should always go to common. It really doesn't effect the meter reading it's just that when you read 12 volts it will show a minus sign. You should get in the habit of using the black probe to touch the skin of the trailer and the red probe to the wire or device you are testing in the DC volt mode..
Is that a shelf below the point where the 2 blue wires come out of the wall?
Can you find a blue wire in the fuse panel? It's possible that both blue wires are power wires to different devices; one wire comes from the fuse panel to provide power to the old water pump; the other wire provides power to the light fixture. If so they need to be connected together for the light to work.
But you still need to find the other end of the opposite blue wire. Where is the old pump switch located? Maybe near the sink? I find it odd that there is no sign of a box or any thing around the 2 blue wires.

After it warms up enough tomorrow, I'll go try the test again with the meter set up right. I'll let you know what happens.

I don't have a fuse panel. I've posted a picture what was there and it was screwed into the wall just above the two blue wires. The little fuse panel had a couple of broken fuses in it but it wasn't connected to anything except the water pump to the left of the old water tank. Yellow wires connected the pump to the fuse box. There was also something else that looked somewhat like a water pump but somebody said it was a pressure pump. It had thin blue wires coming out of it but wasn't connected to anything.

The two blue wires come out of the wall just above the floor, not a shelf. The pump switch (and a little light) were on the panel in front of the sink but they, too, were not connected to anything. They're just sitting there. There were some thin yellow and white wires curled up under the sink but they, too, were not connected to anything. Seems that the PO decided to just unhook everything and leave me in the lurch.

Thank goodness for the forum!
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:00 PM   #47
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I TOLD him!

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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
NEVER CONNECT ANYTHING DIRECTLY TO A BATTERY!!! ALL DEVICES CONNECTED TO A BATTERY SHOULD BE PROTECTED WITH A FUSE. IF THINGS GO WRONG YOU COULD BLOW UP THE BATTERY. IF YOU ARE ANYWHERE CLOSE IT COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY. YOU COULD ALSO MELT THE WIRES INSIDE THE WALL OF THE TRAILER. RENDERING THEM USELESS.
This is the reason I recommend using a battery charger as a power source for testing DC circuits. Most if not all have a current limit function and will shut down "crowbar" if overloaded. When using the charger the BLACK clip goes to the skin.
It was my HUSBAND who wanted to hook up the battery directly to the blue wires. Fortunately, I was able to hold him off until I could get some more info from you! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Not to worry - I will NOT hook a battery up to the wires!

We do have a battery charger that I can use. Can I use it to see if the ceiling light works? Hook the red up to the blue wire (should I connect the two blue wires?) and the black to the trailer?

I will wait to hear from you before I do anything!

Thanks for saving my trailer, my life, and my marriage (in that order!)
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:30 AM   #48
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Hi Lindy - just something real quick this morning. The fuse block I suggesed yesterday won't work very well for you. You need one of the ganged fuse blocks listed on that web page. They provide a single power input to supply all the fused circuits. The Ganged Fuse Panel with Ground Bus is probably a good choice since it comes with a built in ground bus. Otherwise, you'll need a separate one. I'll catch up on the rest of your posts later today.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:51 AM   #49
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This one?

Ganged Fuse Panel With Ground Bus

Bussman brand fuse panel has an additional ground bus that is a good choice for use on boats or to eliminate ground noise in your circuits. Available in 6, 8, 10, and 12 positions. The panel can be used with ATO or ATC automotive fuses or ATC style DC circuit breakers. One stud provides common power to the fuses, and separate stud provides for a common ground.


What size wire should I get for the various applications?

From battery to panel - 10 gauge?
From panel to fridge
From panel to water pump
From pump to switch & light
From panel to lights/furnace
From panel to propane dectector


15 amp fuses? or larger?



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Old 12-02-2010, 12:56 PM   #50
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meter info

[QUOTE=TG Twinkie;922692]
Let me know what happens.

OK - this is what happened when I hooked up everything like you said and then set the meter on the 2K position:

Touching probe to probe: 0
Left blue wire: .001
Right blue wire: 1.
Blue wires together: .000

I searched again for more blue wires in the trailer and couldn't find any. Since the trailer has been gutted except for the fridge/furnace cabinet, it wasn't hard to look. But there is no wiring in the fridge/furnace cabinet - the furnace doesn't have a blower and the fridge is the original Norcold propane only.

Now what? Do the numbers tell you anything? How do I hook up the battery charger to check out the light? Black to skin and the other to one blue wire or the two blue wires together?
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:56 PM   #51
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Testing the light

I would first check the light fixture itself. It looks like it is a metal fixture. So put an 1141 bulb in it. Disconnect the blue wire from the single black wire in the fixture. Connect the black lead (clamp) on the charger to the metal part of the fixture; then connect the charger red lead to the black wire. Don't forget to push or rotate the switch if it doesn't come on. Make sure the socket you plug the bulb into is not corroded. Oh be sure to plug the charger in. Let me know what happens.
About the switch for the pump near the sink. What color are the wires if any?
Sounds like the left blue wire goes to the fixture. Do the test I mentioned above and if the light works, leave the switch in the "on" postion. Mount the light back on the ceiling and hook it up to the blue wire. Then take the charger connect the black lead to a screw and the red lead to the left blue wire on the wall and see if it works. Let me know.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #52
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Oop!

I meant to say reconnect the black and blue wires in the fixture then mount it back on the ceiling.
When you have the meter set to 2K and you don't have the red and black probes touching does it read "OL"?
When you read 000 on the blue wires were you reading between the blue wires or did you have them connected together and read them?
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
I have finished rewiring the trailer with 20 amp service. I've attached pictures of what I've done to see if I pass inspection.
Inspector Jammer here with a stack of red tags.

There are a number of minor items for you to consider.

1) Other posters brought the need for a 20a main breaker to your attention.

2) Every metal junction box should be grounded. They sell ground screws with a 12 gauge pigtail on them already, that you can use.

3) The cable clamps must always face outwards away from the box. Also, be sure the clamps are tight and the lockrings secure. It is usually necessary to tighten the lockrings with a screwdriver and hammer for them to get tight enough.

4) Be sure you're complying with the minimum wire size for the large terminals in the breaker box. It should be listed on a somewhere on the breaker box. You may need to use larger wire for the jumper between the two hot buses. If you're using the large lug for the neutral, and it requires a larger wire size, you can just move the wire to one of the smaller holes - they're equivalent except for the wire sizes they accept.

5) I believe the bathroom junction box is overfilled (too many wires). I wouldn't necessarily change it now unless the wires rub on the cover when it's closed, but in general you need an extra-deep 1-gang box or a 4x4" box to join three pieces of 12 gauge romex. (If you add the ground wire that may push it over the edge. You can add an extension ring to the top of the box if that happens if you want to avoid having to redo the cable clamps)

Jammer
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:09 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
Well, it made sense until I looked at the pictures of your umbilical connector. It's so tidy! The white wires are the ground/neutral bus? Does that come with the fuse box or do I need to be sure to order it separately. Not at all what mine looks like as you could tell from the picture I posted. And there is nothing on the inside of my trailer where the cord comes out. I'm assuming the wires run between the floor and the bellypan? But when we took the rotted floor out in the front I didn't see any wires.


Yes, the white wires are the ground/neutral bus. Eventually, I will connect that to the frame and skin, once I decide where the ground bus and fuse panel will be mounted. I was going to avoid talking too much about your umbilical cord right now, and just let you focus on the rest of the 12 volt system. But since youíre askingÖ

The umbilical cord goes into the void between the inner and outer skins. On our trailer, there was an access panel, which covered the round hole you could see in my post pictures. Thatís what I was hoping you would find. Itís directly on the inner wall where the umbilical cord comes in through the outer skin. You may need to create your own access by cutting the inner skin away so you can see where the wires all go. In Little Girl, they all run inside the walls. What you can see in my picture is the umbilical cord connects to one side of the fuse block, and then the wires go inside the wall to the left in the picture. They feed up the front, and along the middle of the ceiling to reach all the running lights. The exception to that is the brake wire, which goes out a hole in the c-channel and floor, and will run inside the belly pan to the axels There is a blue wire for 12 volts and a white wire for the neutral that goes to the brakes. You can see them in the same post 143. I have them feeding through a piece of pex pipe through the frame. The red and white wires that come back out through the front of the trailer alongside the umbilical cord will eventually connect to my batteries on the tongue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
So. Do I just drill holes for the battery wires to come inside the trailer and go to the fuse box? The patch I took off looking for the connector was a hole about 2" around so I guess I could use that if I pad it well so it won't cut the wires? Or would it be best to just cut some smaller holes and run the battery wires through those? One hole, one wire or not? And what do I do with the blue mystery wires? Cut them off and pretend they're not there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post

In your photo it looks like the colorful wires of the umbilical come into the fuse box and then go back on the other side into the inside of the skin. I'm not sure how I can access the umbilical wires from the interior. I can run the new wires along where the 110VAC new wiring is which will be hidden by the dinette, etc. but how do I get to the umbilical wires? My wires look much fatter than yours and some are just barely sticking out of the trailer. In fact, one or two aren't even connected to the cord because there's not much to connect to. Is there any rhyme or reason to the colors? Do the colors mean anything or are they just colored to be able to distinguish them and where they go?
If you work on replacing the umbilical cord at the same time youíre doing the rest of the 12 volt wiring, you can use the same hole to run wires to the battery that the umbilical cord will run through. I bought a watertight connector at Home Depot for my cords to run through.

Regarding the blue mystery wires, Iím thinking that once you have access to the umbilical cord inside the wall, youíll find the other ends of those wires. They look heavy duty enough to be for a battery connection, but blue is typically used for the brakes in the umbilical wiring, so maybe they are connected to the brake wires. If thatís the case, and the brake wires are still connected to the brake magnets inside the hubs, that would explain why you see ď0Ē readings when you check both of them. Crawl under the trailer, and see if the brake wires are connected to the brakes. If they are, try disconnecting all of them, and do the test on the blue wires and lamp again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
This one?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
Ganged Fuse Panel With Ground Bus

Bussman brand fuse panel has an additional ground bus that is a good choice for use on boats or to eliminate ground noise in your circuits. Available in 6, 8, 10, and 12 positions. The panel can be used with ATO or ATC automotive fuses or ATC style DC circuit breakers. One stud provides common power to the fuses, and separate stud provides for a common ground.
Yes, this is the one. You can pick the size you want. 6 circuits would do you fine.

Youíll need a separate fuse block, like I installed, for the umbilical cord.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
What size wire should I get for the various applications?



From battery to panel - 10 gauge is good, yes. This can fused for 20 or 30 amps.

I used 14 gauge for all the other circuits, except the propane detector, which is 16 gauge, and the water pump which is 12 gauge. 20 amps for the water pump, 15 amps for the lights and fridge, and 5 amps for the propane detector will be ducky.

Tomorrow, Iíll go over the umbilical cord wiring in more detail. Kayís home, and weíre heading out to dinner and shopping.

Chris
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Inspector Jammer here with a stack of red tags.

There are a number of minor items for you to consider.

1) Other posters brought the need for a 20a main breaker to your attention. Done!

2) Every metal junction box should be grounded. They sell ground screws with a 12 gauge pigtail on them already, that you can use. Done!

3) The cable clamps must always face outwards away from the box. Also, be sure the clamps are tight and the lockrings secure. It is usually necessary to tighten the lockrings with a screwdriver and hammer for them to get tight enough. Done!

4) Be sure you're complying with the minimum wire size for the large terminals in the breaker box. It should be listed on a somewhere on the breaker box. You may need to use larger wire for the jumper between the two hot buses. If you're using the large lug for the neutral, and it requires a larger wire size, you can just move the wire to one of the smaller holes - they're equivalent except for the wire sizes they accept. Done!

5) I believe the bathroom junction box is overfilled (too many wires). I wouldn't necessarily change it now unless the wires rub on the cover when it's closed, but in general you need an extra-deep 1-gang box or a 4x4" box to join three pieces of 12 gauge romex. (If you add the ground wire that may push it over the edge. You can add an extension ring to the top of the box if that happens if you want to avoid having to redo the cable clamps) I'll switch it out to a 4x4 box tomorrow!

Jammer
Do I pass now, Inspector Jammer?
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:10 AM   #56
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Bingo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I would first check the light fixture itself. It looks like it is a metal fixture. So put an 1141 bulb in it. Disconnect the blue wire from the single black wire in the fixture. Connect the black lead (clamp) on the charger to the metal part of the fixture; then connect the charger red lead to the black wire. Don't forget to push or rotate the switch if it doesn't come on. Make sure the socket you plug the bulb into is not corroded. Oh be sure to plug the charger in. Let me know what happens.
About the switch for the pump near the sink. What color are the wires if any?
Sounds like the left blue wire goes to the fixture. Do the test I mentioned above and if the light works, leave the switch in the "on" postion. Mount the light back on the ceiling and hook it up to the blue wire. Then take the charger connect the black lead to a screw and the red lead to the left blue wire on the wall and see if it works. Let me know.
The light works AND, when I hooked up the charger like you said, it works in the trailer with the left blue wire. It does nothing with the right blue wire.

That's good news, right?

When I have the meter set to 2K and don't have the probes touching it reads "1", not "OL"

When I read 000 on the blue wires I got the reading with the wires connected together.

I haven't crawled under the trailer yet to disconnect the brake wires - or to see if the wires are even there. I'll try to get to that this weekend. With a dirt floor it is a dirty job. Perhaps the right blue wire is for the brakes?
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