Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-23-2016, 06:46 PM   #1
Tao
3 Rivet Member
 
Tao's Avatar
 
2013 19' International
Currently Looking...
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 113
"Open Ground"

I searched - did not find answer that seemed to fit.

Given:
2013 Airstream Intl. 19. As new condition just purchased.

I upgraded the two Interstates to AGM's and upgraded the charger/converter.

Now, today was the first time I decided to check the outlets inside the trailer with my little yellow, 3 diode tester (red, yellow, yellow lights).

Have 4 outlets in the trailer. ALL 4 test as Open Ground!! (center yellow light glows).

The power pole which is only 110 15 amp at U-Haul storage checks perfect. So power coming in is OK. But all of the interior outlets are showing Open Ground.

Everything seems to work and GFI does not trip and cut the power.

Question:
What in the world is going on?

Is this normal for a GFI circuit in an RV?

If not, how to resolve without spending a fortune at the dealership?

Thanks.
__________________

__________________
Tao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:03 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,997
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
You could have a bad shore power cable adaptor. Since you are plugged into a 15 amp outlet you must be using an adaptor of some sort.
If you know how to use a multimeter. You can check for continuity in the adaptor as well as the shore power cable to the panel inside the coach.
__________________

__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:18 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,383
Images: 3
I hope it's only showing open ground!!!

If it's showing open neutral disconnect power you've got a serious problem.

The open ground is normal in an RV. The tester is designed for home circuits where the neutral and ground are connected in the breaker panel. In an RV the neutral and ground are NOT connected in the breaker panel, so the tester is trying to read a ground connection between neutral and ground but it's not there and thinks there is a problem.
You can check your voltages and resistances between outlet plugs. Hot to neutral, and hot to ground should show 120v, OL resistance. Neutral to ground should show 0 volts, OL resistance.
Ground to metal shell should be 0 volts and 0 resistance.

If the shore power outlet showed open ground then there would be a problem. On that end.
__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:44 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Al and Missy's Avatar

 
2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,985
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
I hope it's only showing open ground!!!

If it's showing open neutral disconnect power you've got a serious problem.

The open ground is normal in an RV. The tester is designed for home circuits where the neutral and ground are connected in the breaker panel. In an RV the neutral and ground are NOT connected in the breaker panel, so the tester is trying to read a ground connection between neutral and ground but it's not there and thinks there is a problem.
You can check your voltages and resistances between outlet plugs. Hot to neutral, and hot to ground should show 120v, OL resistance. Neutral to ground should show 0 volts, OL resistance.
Ground to metal shell should be 0 volts and 0 resistance.

If the shore power outlet showed open ground then there would be a problem. On that end.
If he is plugged into a service which checks OK, the tester should be able to see back to the bond at the power panel at U-haul.

Ground is probably open in the trailer.

Al
__________________

"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

Al and Missy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:51 PM   #5
Tao
3 Rivet Member
 
Tao's Avatar
 
2013 19' International
Currently Looking...
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 113
I'll see if I can find a 30 amp outlet locally to plug into. IF that clears the Open Ground (it is just the ground that is open, not the neutral), then I know the adapter cable or the extension cord is screwed up.

Make sense?
__________________
Tao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:52 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,997
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
An open ground is NOT normal in an RV. The panel in the coach is considered a sub panel where the neutral and ground are NOT bonded (connected together). This sub panel is connected to a main panel in which the neutral and ground are bonded.
Therefor if all is wired correctly your tester should not indicate an open ground.
You need to locate the problem and have it corrected.
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:53 PM   #7
Tao
3 Rivet Member
 
Tao's Avatar
 
2013 19' International
Currently Looking...
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
I hope it's only showing open ground!!!

If it's showing open neutral disconnect power you've got a serious problem.

The open ground is normal in an RV. The tester is designed for home circuits where the neutral and ground are connected in the breaker panel. In an RV the neutral and ground are NOT connected in the breaker panel, so the tester is trying to read a ground connection between neutral and ground but it's not there and thinks there is a problem.
You can check your voltages and resistances between outlet plugs. Hot to neutral, and hot to ground should show 120v, OL resistance. Neutral to ground should show 0 volts, OL resistance.
Ground to metal shell should be 0 volts and 0 resistance.

If the shore power outlet showed open ground then there would be a problem. On that end.
I wondered if it was normal. Makes sense when you explain it.
Guess the true test will be if plugged into a 35 amp outlet with no adapter do I have the same open ground result on the little tester.

Jack
__________________
Tao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 07:56 PM   #8
Tao
3 Rivet Member
 
Tao's Avatar
 
2013 19' International
Currently Looking...
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
An open ground is NOT normal in an RV. The panel in the coach is considered a sub panel where the neutral and ground are NOT bonded (connected together). This sub panel is connected to a main panel in which the neutral and ground are bonded.
Therefor if all is wired correctly your tester should not indicate an open ground.
You need to locate the problem and have it corrected.
Oh, OK, that is 180 degrees different.

I'm thinking it's the adapter as I tightened all of the connections at the AC side the breaker box.

Gotta find a 35 amp electrical outlet. We have a few parks here in the area at Jordan Lake I can try.
__________________
Tao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 08:03 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,383
Images: 3
Sorry misread the symptoms. Plugged in to shore power you should show a good ground.
__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 08:07 PM   #10
Tao
3 Rivet Member
 
Tao's Avatar
 
2013 19' International
Currently Looking...
Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
Sorry misread the symptoms. Plugged in to shore power you should show a good ground.
No problem, appreciate the good intention.

Jack
__________________
Tao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 08:08 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
A W Warn's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,403
I suggest you should use a multi-meter to test continuity of the ground wire in your adapter (to eliminate that as an issue)

If the adapter is not the issue and if you used an extension cord: check continuity of the ground wire within the extension cord.

If the extension cord is not the problem and if there has been a recent upgrade/change to your 120v system: remove the breaker box cover (disconnect 120v first) and look at the ground bar where all of the bare copper wires are connected to see if one bare copper wire has been left loose.

If no wire has been left loose at the ground bar inside the breaker box: remove the individual receptacles that show the open ground (disconnect 120v first), starting at the receptacle closest to the breaker box, to see if the ground wire is loose.
__________________
Alan
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 08:17 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,383
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao View Post
No problem, appreciate the good intention.

Jack
Nope I need to be more careful, pay more attention to what I'm typing, especially when helping diagnose electrical issues.
Don't need others to hop on yes you should, I feel bad as it is.
__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 09:19 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,383
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I suggest you should use a multi-meter to test continuity of the ground wire in your adapter (to eliminate that as an issue)

If the adapter is not the issue and if you used an extension cord: check continuity of the ground wire within the extension cord.

If the extension cord is not the problem and if there has been a recent upgrade/change to your 120v system: remove the breaker box cover (disconnect 120v first) and look at the ground bar where all of the bare copper wires are connected to see if one bare copper wire has been left loose.

If no wire has been left loose at the ground bar inside the breaker box: remove the individual receptacles that show the open ground (disconnect 120v first), starting at the receptacle closest to the breaker box, to see if the ground wire is loose.
Spot on.
There are lots of potential problem points. Chasing electrical gremlins is a pain. Bad connection on ground from post to adapter to 30 amp plug, to 30 amp receptacle on side of trailer to the back side of that same receptacle to the ground bar in the breaker panel.



Before checking other things check the ground continuity in the adapter with a multi meter. Plug one multimeter prong into ground inlet and other to ground prong it should read zero resistance. If your multi meter probes only have tiny metal tips showing pull the rubber around them there are probably rubber boots that come off to expose longer probes.

Next I would take a quick look at the breaker panel. Check all the ground wires are connected and tight.

If that looks good I would state some progressive troubleshooting from source to ground bar in breaker panel.

Connecting the adapter to your power cord then check continuity from the adapter ground prong to the ground prong on the 30a connector, the ground is the one with the little ear. This will test the connection between the adapter through the power cord. You may not be getting a good connection there.

If that connection tests good then next step. Connect the power cord to the trailer inlet.
In a 19' trailer you will probably be able to pull the power cord end all the way into your trailer getting the end you normally plug into shore power close to the breaker panel. With the power cord connected to your trailer inlet. Check the resistance from the ground prong on the adapter to the ground bar in the breaker panel. Should be zero.

If all previous tests were good and this is not good then the connection on the back of the power inlet to the trailer is probably bad. I know AS had an issue a few years ago with those connections not being tight. You'll have to unscrew the trailer power inlet from the trailer side pull it out gently and check continuity and connections from exterior and interior side of the power inlet.
If you follow the progression you're trying to find the broken link in the chain. Good trouble shooting usually checks the ends Then starts at one and continues down the line.

Of note, the receptacles are different than house receptacles. When you remove them you'll have to remove the back of it, normally a tab on each side to pop it off. The wires are pushed down into slots in the back of them pinching them between copper prongs. Normally the wire is continuous from beginning to end. Meaning as it goes through outlet to outlet, the wire is never really cut. So even if the ground was loose in one it should be a continuous run to the next.

Long and verbose but hope it helps.
__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 10:06 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,383
Images: 3
Ok on second thought, check the wires on the back of the gfci first. Chances are that is the one spot AS uses a normal house type outlet fixture. A loose connection there will affect the other 3 downstream outlets.
Do you have outlets that aren't on that gfci circuit, probably not in a 19' trailer. But if you do check those with circuit tester.

Electrical has to many darn possibilities.
__________________

__________________
HiJoeSilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rebuilding Electrical from the "ground" up. ericpeltier Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 21 09-03-2016 10:00 AM
Open or not open, that is the question RoadHungry On The Road... 58 06-22-2015 03:47 PM
Airstream "curtis wright" **1947 beautiful**rare** **no reserve**open to offers eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 11-11-2013 05:20 PM
19' Bambi ground clearance/"lifting" Glenn Hansen General Repair Forum 13 09-16-2007 07:11 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.