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Old 03-30-2009, 03:14 AM   #1
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Outlets not working - 74 tradewind

Most of the electrical outlets in my '74 Tradewind quit working... I leave a heater running in the winter and just discovered that all but one of the outlets in the trailer are not working. What might cause this? I am reluctant to elaborate for fear of divulging my ignorance about how the electrical works!

Thanks, Pam
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:46 AM   #2
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Pam,
First place to look is for blown fuses and / or tripped breakers. I am not sure where the breaker box is on a '74, but I am sure somebody will chime in.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:51 AM   #3
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Small space heaters use a lot of power and I'm guessing you tripped a circuit breaker. Unplug the heater and then find the electrical panel. Look for the breaker with the switch in the center position. Turn the breaker off and then back on and it should reset.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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The breaker panel in my 75 is in the closet in the bathroom on the rear wall of the trailer.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
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We had a similar problem in our '74. It turned out the outlets were daisy-chained, and the connector on one of them had burned off. Outlets up to that one worked, outlets beyond that one did not.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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Thanks

I have replaced what I think are the correct fuses (maybe I should replace them all to be sure). I wasn't sure if fuses could be the culprit. I did trip the breakers... which leads me to wonder if the problem isn't because one of the outlets have a problem and they are 'daisy chained'. If this is the problem is is something I can fix myself? I will go and take a look at the the first outlet in the group that are not working....
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:24 PM   #7
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Fixed it!

Not sure exactly what worked... I tripped the breakers a few times and wiggled and looked at fuses and voila! Thanks to everyone for the quick and helpful replies! Pam
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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Pam,

The fuses are for the 12V circuits.

The 110V outlets are on the breakers. Sometimes it's not obvious that a breaker is tripped, which is why you push them off, then back on. I'm betting that's what you did--found one that was really off, so when you cycled it you fixed the problem.

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Old 03-31-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification... the fuses are for the 12 volt only... I will get this all figured out soon. (and the next time I have a problem I will forget again!) Thank goodness for the forum! and patient AS owners...

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Pam,

The fuses are for the 12V circuits.

The 110V outlets are on the breakers. Sometimes it's not obvious that a breaker is tripped, which is why you push them off, then back on. I'm betting that's what you did--found one that was really off, so when you cycled it you fixed the problem.

Zep
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:28 AM   #10
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On topic, but different case.

Hi, we one time, overloaded a circuit with too many appliances running at once. And the power went out. All circuits inside of the trailer were good; The campground circuit breakers kicked.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:30 AM   #11
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Question Question:

Do breakers decline in performance or safety with age?

In other words, when a trailer reaches the ripe old age of 35 (like mine), is it a good idea to replace them, as a preventative maintenance step?
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #12
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Do breakers decline in performance or safety with age?

In other words, when a trailer reaches the ripe old age of 35 (like mine), is it a good idea to replace them, as a preventative maintenance step?

Generally AC (household type) circuit breakers last a long time. The GFCI breakers are not as dependable. These have a higher failure rate that the standard breakers.

Brian
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:18 PM   #13
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uh oh...

Thought I had it fixed... but this morning the outlets aren't working again! So, I tripped the breaker and plugged a heater into an outlet (street side, over the drawers) and it started smoking! OK, get this... I happened to have a real electrician in the house replacing an outlet for my new dryer. He came out and looked at the smoking outlet and it had a loose burned out wire. He just capped it off and said he could not work on the 'short box' and he couldn't make it code, blah, blah, blah. He also said that little box heaters like I was using are way too much for the electric system in an old trailer like mine. (since when is 35 old!?)

So, I am back to thinking I have a bad outlet on the other side of the trailer. When the problem started (and again this morning) one outlet on the curbside by the bed was working and nothing beyond it. Could that outlet be good and a wire loose or something from that outlet to the next? So, I guess I am off to the repair shop. This is obviously beyond my skill level.

Thanks for all your thoughts... anyone know of someone in the Portland area who would come to me for the work?

Pam
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:01 PM   #14
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This is fairly straightforward. Most of the "guys next door" can do the work, even if they're blond. As a matter of fact, maybe the blond next door would do it!

1. Unplug the trailer to make sure there is no 110V in it.

2. Take the cover plates off, remove the two screws that hold the socket in the fixture and gently pull them out a little and check the security of the wire under the screw, both black and white.

3. If any connection is loose, tighten it. If you don't like the look of the receptical, get a replacement at home depot--the wires go back on with the black wire(s) on the brass colored screws and the white wire(s) on the silver colored screws.

4. If you have two ciruits in the box, eg, two white and two black, plus ground wires, and if the ground wires aren't already joined in some way, you'll need a short length of ground wire so you can wire nut both grounds and short piece together. Then connect the short piece to the ground screw on the receptical.

5. Put it back in the box and put the cover on.

6. Perform smoke test (plug in the trailer).

Zep
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