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Old 07-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #15
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Get a long enough piece of #12 wire to reach from the house to the inside of the trailer. SCREW the house end to a known good grounding point, grounded electrical box. Secure the neutral end of your voltmeter to the ohter end of the wire, wire nut or solder it. and use that as your tester.

Open the electrical panel and turn off all circuits. Now test the trailer skin for voltage. There should not be any. If there is the problem is in the wire supplying the panel or in the panel its self. If this tests OK turn one breaker on at a time and test the skin as you do. This should locate the circuit that is the problem. If you find a circuit that is leaking to the trailer skin them you will have to work your way along that circuit to find the problem by open each wall box and opening the circuit by lifting the wires off the receptacle and testing.

Turn off all circuit in the panel. Turn on the one you suspect and test to be sure it is in fact the problem. While the circuit is on plug in a test light fixture in all the wall boxes to map out the circuit in the trailer. Once you know how that circuit goes through the trailer turn it off and locate the wall box on that circuit closest to the panel. Turn it off and pen the wall box disconnect the wires leaving them float in open space. Turn the circuit on and test. If voltage is on the skin the problem is in the wire feeding that box. If not move to the next wall box and repeat.

As you open each box do an inspection for any wire that could be touching other than the electrical connection.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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[QUOTE="HowieE"]Get a long enough piece of #12 wire to reach from the house to the inside of the trailer. SCREW the house end to a known good grounding point, grounded electrical box. Secure the neutral end of your voltmeter to the ohter end of the wire, wire nut or solder it. and use that as your tester.

Thanks again guys. I have a tester that beeps when it's near a live current. I think that should work fine. If not I will follow the steps listed above. I'll also use my plugin tester on the outlets in the trailer. That should cover everything but the wiring to the air conditioner. Fridge, water heater, and power invertor should be the only other things on 110 and they are all plugged into outlets.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #17
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Thanks again guys. I have a tester that beeps when it's near a live current. I think that should work fine. If not I will follow the steps listed above. I'll also use my plugin tester on the outlets in the trailer. That should cover everything but the wiring to the air conditioner. Fridge, water heater, and power invertor should be the only other things on 110 and they are all plugged into outlets
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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Neither of those will give you the information you are looking for. Yes the field meter will beep because we all ready know there is voltage present and yes you will see voltage at ever place you plug in the receptacle tester because the breakers have not popped.

You are looking for a LEAKAGE not an open and not a short.

Now another thing I did not mention. Make sure everything in the trailer is unplugged before you start testing. Often times a miss wired appliance, radio, or other electrical item can cause this.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #19
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The tester is a device (usually yellow, about $5, and is available at just about every hardware store) that plugs into the outlet. It has a series of 3 lights. Depending on what lights come on it will tell you if everything is wired correctly in that outlet or if something is backwards. It will also tell you if it is a grounded outlet. There is an explanation of the lights and what they mean on the device. I plug that tester into every outlet I plug my trailer into before I plug the trailer in.
Tom
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:19 PM   #20
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Ok. Making some progress. The inside of the breaker box looks good. I have narrowed it down to the circuit with the power inverter on it. Its a new inverter that plugs into an outlet and had has a place for large white and blue wires to plug into the back, along with a ground wire. This will be the output to the fusebox and battery. I found the thick white wire coming from the back of the inverter was loose and I could pull It out without loosening the screw. I've also noticed the ground wire from the power inverter is grounded to the frame, and the wire doesn't look that thick. Sound like either of these could be my problem?
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #21
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I believe you are referring to the converter. The large wires are for the battery positive and negative connections. The smaller wire going to the chassis is the earth ground for the converter.
Lose connections are a problem on the DC side of the converter. But since it is a plug in device on the AC side. The converter won't be the problem.
Does it look like the outlet for the converter was added? If so check it to make sure the black wire is connected to the gold screw and white is connected to the silver screw. If not, make the change. With the trailer unplugged.
All of this still doesn't explain the lack of a chassis ground. Is there a wire going from the ground buss in the power panel to the chassis of the trailer? It may be a bare copper wire, and should be 6 gauge.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #22
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When the power converter is not plugged in everything is perfect. When I plug the converter in my volt tester still goes off. The ground to chassis wire is attached to the stud inside the closet. So now I'm stumped. Maybe it's fine as is?
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #23
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First we have to determine if you are talking about a convertor or an inverter.
Is the unit plugged into a 110 volt AC outlet. If it is that is a convertor that converts 110AC to battery 12 volts DC.

If it an inverter, not a common item back in 74, it sounds like it has been wired backwards on the output side. See if you can go on line and get a wiring diagram for the unit
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #24
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I would check the outlet. I doubt the converter is wired wrong internally.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:54 PM   #25
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I checked the outlet and it as fine. I think all is good. My voltage tester was picking up a bit, but that's prob because the converter is grounded to the frame. I can't feel anything underneath anymore. So I guess it was just a loose wire in the back of the converter? Another thing I forgot to mention was that when I plugged my tester into outlets before I did anything the one yellow light was bright and the other kind of dim. Now both are nice and bright.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #26
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Was the convertor plugged into that receptacle when you tested a dim light?

I ask this because the fact that the output wire on the convertor was loose, and the batteries floating should not cause a problem on the input side at the receptacle. If this was the case there is a real problem with that design. A way to test this would be go back and remove one of the battery cables and see it the problem reappears ay the receptacle.

If it does that is a dangerous condition that warrants noting for others.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #27
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I was referring to the receptacle being wired wrong. The lose wire would certainly be a reason for the lights flickering. The the shock hazard on the skin is a different issue. Some where there is a hot wire touching the skin/frame or the hot wire is wired wrong (to the neutral side) and the earth ground side is not really grounded. More investigation is necessary.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:59 PM   #28
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Yes he has solved one of the problems. The other is the more important one and the reason should be found so it is truly corrected before someone get hurt.
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