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Old 12-24-2003, 03:59 PM   #1
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Electrical shock from skin

When I touch my airstream without shoes on I feel a slit electrical shock. Does anyone know what maybe the problem?

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Old 12-24-2003, 04:27 PM   #2
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Very dangerous!

There is continuity somewhere between the hot wire in the AC campground connector and the frame of the trailer. Don't plug the trailer into AC until you find and fix this situation.

Unplug the trailer and turn off all AC breakers. Remove the cover from the AC breaker box and use an ohmmeter to check continuity between the hot wire and the shell of the trailer. Set the ohmmeter on a faiely high range. If there is no continuity with all breakers off, then your connector and cable are OK.

Now, turn on the breakers individually, one by one. When the meter shows continuity, you have found the circuit with the problem. The problem could be in the Univolt, or it could be a wire that is pinched or has chafed somewhere behind the walls.

John W. Irwin
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Old 12-24-2003, 04:30 PM   #3
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Check your ground connection to the AS. Use a volt meter from the ground pin on the plug to the AS chassie, you should have only a couple of ohms of resistance. If you don't you may have a bad AC plug, coach wire or the internal ground is loose in the AS. Check your netural for a good connection in the AS. It is important that you fix this problem or you could be electrically fried.
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:54 PM   #4
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Electric Shock

Thanks guys for your input. After reading your responces I checked the outlet my AS is plugged into and it appears to be not grounded. Could that be the issue?
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Old 12-24-2003, 06:04 PM   #5
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is the outlet you are plugging into polarized properly?

if you have adaptor plugs and/or extention cords are they polarized properly as well?

you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 12-24-2003, 06:45 PM   #6
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Look inside the 120v panel box.

The white wire (Neutral) must NOT be grounded!!

House wiring however does have the neutral grounded, but that is a big no no for trailers.
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Old 12-25-2003, 04:14 PM   #7
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Keep your shoes on.
"would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?"

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Old 12-26-2003, 11:34 AM   #8
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Many years ago Airstream had installed a "polarity indicator".

The easiest way to check your rig is to plug into any outlet in the coach, a polarity indicator.

They are cheap and can be obtained at most hardware stores or Home Depot.

For those that travel and stay at a campground or park, or whatever, it is wise to leave that polarity monitor plugged in at all times. You never know when a hookup could be bad.

Airstreamimg is supposed to be an "experience" but not a shocking one.

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Old 12-26-2003, 06:52 PM   #9
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Like it was stated you should have a polarity tester and use it every time you hook up, another test which you should do is test the outside receptical to see if the ground fault is working, this test should be done with a set of electricians 600volt coil testers. The ground fault should trip between 10 to15 milly amps, (30milly amps (0.030ma) at 35volts will stop your heart). Also if there is an incorrect polarity the ground fault interrupt wont trip.

good luck
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Old 12-27-2003, 01:56 PM   #10
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This happened to me this summer. When I went to open the door I got a slight buzz. My feet were on a wooden step I had built so it wasn't that bad but had I been barefoot on the ground it would have been a different matter. Mine was easy to figure out, I had just changed the plug end on my power cord. The skin of the trailer was hot, I assume because the power was passing over the nuetral buss in the fuse box. My cord end that I had just replaced had the hot (black) and nuetral (white) wires reversed. I wasn't paying attention when I put the cord together. A meter with one probe on the skin and the other poked in the dirt read 118 volts. I would be interested to see what a meter would read on your unit like this. I would check proper polarity from the source. A inexpensive meter like is being talked aout here is essential. You can even buy them with the GFCI tester built in.

Good luck
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:17 AM   #11
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I'm feeling a bit of a zap when I touch my trailer (actually only feel it when a couple of cuts on my fingers touch it - not when my intact skin touches it). The only thing I re-wired was a pigtail to my tail light --- it works, but my question is - if its wired incorrectly would it be working? and also would the tail light wiring even cause this issue?
Finally found a great deal on an Airstream. Trailer is in good shape, just a few things we need to fix up & want to modify. We plan to make our 'vintage' look like the newer Airstreams.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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If all repairs are done carefully by an electrician and all parks were wired by an electrician this would not be a problem. According to the national electrical code the breaker box within the trailer is considered a sub-panel. The box that you plug into at the park is usually a sub-panel also, with the main panel being elsewhere feeding several trailer hookups. All sub-panels must have the neutral (white) and the ground (green) kept isolated all of the way back to the main panel. This will help eliminate this problem. Life is precious, don't be shocked out of it.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:59 PM   #13
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Residential 120/240v systems bond the neutral alongside of the ground buss at the panel. Most older homes are only 2-wire, without the ground.
However, when the 120v circuit is being used, the current flows from the hot, through the appliance, and back on the neutral, therefore, the neutral is potentially "hot", as well. So, you will have a small current on the white wire, which will go directly to ground if you let it (ie: through YOU.)
ALL neutrals are "hot" at one point, even at RV parks.
Connect a ground conductor from the trailer frame to a good ground-rod when parked. If you can't use a ground-rod, then attach a piece of chain to the frame (or your safety chanin), and let it dangle on the ground to dissipate the charge.
Cheap extension cords don't have a ground conductor in them, either.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:22 PM   #14
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That's a pretty strange theory.

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