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Old 07-01-2014, 12:45 PM   #1
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Fluctuating voltage

Been full timing over a year w/o issue, been at a park on shore power for a month, with excellent ac supply. We suddenly have fluctuating power, 98to 118 volts, bouncing up and down at times, no change in power usage. Even turned off ac to fridge and water heater. Parks breaker a bit warmer than neighbors. Copper wired box. Parks man currently checking it out, but his first though was my inverter may be the cause. I'm no electrician, but have had a breaker go bad on e in another park, it was quite warm. Any advice? Is the invertors possibly the cause?
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:04 PM   #2
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If you are checking voltage on the outlet where the power is supplied by the inverter, it's possible. If you are checking on a circuit that is not associated with the inverter, the inverter should not affect that circuit.

Try unplugging the trailer from shore power and check voltage there. If it's fluctuating there that rules out any issue with the trailer.

I would bet everyone using their AC units, putting a heavy load on the park's system, is the problem.

add edit; voltage that low (98v) can damage your AC unit.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. The maintenance man must have had second thoughts about the breaker being warmer than the adjoining one. He replaced the breaker and the voltage has remained at an acceptable constant level.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:36 PM   #4
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Residential quality breakers are often used in parks, where the constant load and use merits commercial quality breakers. Yes, they are all rated the same and you would think they would act identically, but they just get tired faster and either won't hold the load or arc internally where their contacts are made. Nothing the space user can do about it, other than do as you did, have the park maintenance manager deal with the situation.

Voltage jumping around as you describe is generally a loose connection or a defective breaker. Of course it can be in your trailer too, as well as the park system.

Can you get commercial quality breakers to replace the residential types in your trailer? Probably not, they often have quite different attachment systems. So, just realize that a new main breaker, as well as AC breaker is not a bad idea, especially if you use the AC a lot. How often? I would guess 5 to 10 years. A new trailer plug for the power input cord is also not a bad thing to think about. The pins get sloppy and corroded and also can cause arcing and voltage fluctuations.

I live in the north, boondock mainly, seldom go to a park with electrical service, almost never use the AC in my trailer, so my need to replace these items is much less than typical. However on my 310 motorhome, when I owned it, the wiring to the main 30 amp breaker came loose and fried it, along with the breaker. Of course it happened on the hottest day of the year, when I was plugged in and had AC running. So, it even happens up north.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackcat View Post
Been full timing over a year w/o issue, been at a park on shore power for a month, with excellent ac supply. We suddenly have fluctuating power, 98to 118 volts, bouncing up and down at times, no change in power usage. Even turned off ac to fridge and water heater. Parks breaker a bit warmer than neighbors. Copper wired box. Parks man currently checking it out, but his first though was my inverter may be the cause. I'm no electrician, but have had a breaker go bad on e in another park, it was quite warm. Any advice?
Measure the voltage at the pedestal. If it is bouncing around there, it's the park's problem. If not, try switching the trailer connection to another outlet (e.g. 20a or 50a, use an adapter) and see if that clears up the problem, if it does, well the pedestal has a bad outlet or breaker.

Otherwise the problem is in your trailer (unlikely).

Quote:
Is the invertors possibly the cause?
Nope.
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