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Old 06-22-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
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Heavy rains caused electrical problem?

I suspect very heavy rains caused a short somewhere. Last night I lost power during a heavy downpour, the trailers circuit breakers were not tripped but the main shore panel I'm plugged into tripped. This confused me because I thought if there was a short one of my trailers beakers would trip? The only way I was able to get the main shore breaker to reset was to set one of my trailer breakers to the off position. I then swapped two trailer breakers to determine if the breaker was faulty but the same situation occurred with a different breaker. So I'm getting by with two of my three breakers supplying power but unfortunately the one breaker I need to work is the one that runs my important stuff...most my lights, computer etc.
What is the next step in troubleshooting? Should I check all the outlets for corrosion? I still don't understand why the main shore power is tripping but my trailer breakers aren't.

Thanks for any tips.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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Did you try to unplug everything you can from that circuit?

Is the main breaker ground fault protected?
If it is there could be a short between the neutral and ground causing it to trip.(this would not use any more amps just throw off the balance between hot and neutral)
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about this. Was the shore power a GFI? If you had a dead short inside your trailer one of your breakers would have tripped for sure but it sounds like you have a similar problem to what we experienced a few weeks ago. We had an identical issue come up three weeks ago after really heavy rains one night-went out next day and had no power to our garage. Unplugged our 69 AS and reset the GFI breaker in our house panel that controls the garage, re-plugged in the AS and it happened again. I narrowed it down to one of our 4-circuits.
If the power supply had a GFI, which a lot of newer campgrounds do now, you likely have a leak somewhere causing a voltage change which would set of a GFI. The sure way to know would be to plug into a non-GFI'd breaker and turn the one that gives you problems on again and see if you noticed all your lights dim inside your trailer. We're still waiting for that circuit to dry out and have not been able to do a work around quite yet. My next thing to do will be to look into the wiring diagram of the 120V plugs and try deleting or unplugging each one in the line from the last to the first-that way I can narrow down which one or ones are causing the problem. in our case it's only the 120V outlets in the kitchen and front area living room-bedrooms and AC and bath still work fine. In our case we think the scare light was leaking which is directly above the outlet on that wall and when I opened up the 4 outlets on that faulty circuit two had moisture in them. GFI's are very sensitive to any voltage changes so they trip much easier than a normal breaker. Sorry I don't have the exact solution but hopefully it'll help.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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The main panel doesn't have a GFI breaker that I can see. I have the trailer running to a 20 amp breaker in the main panel. I have 20 amp breakers in my trailer as well. I did try hooking up a 15 amp breaker to the trouble circuit but turning it to the on position resulted in the same thing with the main shore power breaker tripping. I'm thinking of getting one of those outlet testers, maybe that will tell me something.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:23 PM   #5
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so your shore power 20 amp was not a GFI? Update on ours: we have an outside 120v plug that was original to our 69. I started with that one because I figured the gasket and any other material that once made it a weather proofed outlet were long gone. I pulled the outlet apart and sure enough there was a lot of rust and corrosion from years of leaking and the neutral and hot wires were fried-like someone was running something with a serious power draw for a long time that caused the wires to heat to the point where there were bare wires showing. It's a wonder the thing ever worked and didn't cause a fire or electrocute someone. I went to the hardware store and replaced both the gasket and the outlet and it solved my breaker problem luckily. Good lock trouble shooting. Electrical is often a bit tough to troubleshoot IMHO.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
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Turns out it was my trailers external outlet. One of the outlet lids was left open during the heavy downpour and water must have gotten in which caused a short/small explosion which shattered the outlet. I guess it makes sense the external outlet doesn't go through my trailers circuit breaker. I sometimes forget I even have an outside outlet because I rarely use it. Easy fix but I need to be more diligent about making sure water can't get in anywhere. Glad you got your problem sorted out as well. Thanks for the replies.
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