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Old 11-07-2014, 07:20 AM   #1
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Skin electrified. Help?

I've been reading through a lot of the threads in the airstream forms and have seen the threads about electrified skin and reversed polarity.

BUT I don't think reversed polarity is the issue. When we first got the trailer, we got a shock plugging in the 7 pin adapter to the truck. We knew that the electric did not work. The AC DID work.

Here are the before photos of the old 110v panel.



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I took out the old panel and replaced it with an intelli-power 4045.

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In this photo the power into the trailer has the hot line into 30a breaker. Neutral to the neutral busbar and ground to the ground BuS bar. There is the old ground - a larger gauge copper wire - From the ground busbar to the interior trailer skin.

Then, there were three 110 wires going into the old panel. I put the hot from each into a 15a breaker and the Neutrals into the neutral busbar and the ground into the ground bus bar.

The one fit I am confused about is that there is a hot wire from the inverter charger going to a hot BuSpar. There is no power to the hot busbar
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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So when we put electric to it all, the first thing I did was took a voltmeter and put it to the skin of the trailer. It showed it was electrified.

The house power we are plugged into is a 30 amp and have used it w other trailers fine. It's a gcfi. The power cord to the trailer was also used in the past without issue.

I did install a furrion inlet and confirmed green to green white to white and black to black.

Why would I get a shock plugging in the 7-pin adapter to TV and have it cross over to 110? Or are they both separately messed up?

All I can think is that a screw somewhere is touching a hot line.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Skin electrified. Help?

It sounds like the hot wire and neutral are reversed somewhere in the system.
If you get shocked when touching any metal on the TV it is because the TV and coach share the same common/ground. Which is also the same as earth ground for the AC power.
You also have a problem with the earth ground since there is voltage standing on the skin of the coach. If properly grounded, this should not happen.
IMHO you should check all of the 120 volt wiring from the house power panel as well as the shore power cord and wiring in your new converter.
You mentioned 30 amp power. The first place I would check is the receptacle. It is clearly marked as to what is the hot and neutral. That is if it is a RV RECEPTACLE.

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Old 11-07-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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Electrified skin

Adam, The first thing I would check is if the shock is being felt from 12 volts DC or 120 volts AC. All your exterior lights are 12 VDC so if one is shorted to ground (the skin) then you should be reading some sort of DC voltage up to 13 volts on the skin. If, however, you are reading any AC voltage then you are going to need to check the AC wiring for a possible wire pinch or rivet/screw penetration of the wire insulation. The very first thing I would check would be all the 120 volt outlets. All of these should be checked with a polarity tester. The most likely suspect for electrified skin would be a exterior 120 volt outlet if your trailer has one. This one outlet has been notorious for causing shocks when touching the skin. The next most likely culprits are your 12 volt DC running lights and scare light/porch light and stop/brake lights. Any of these that could be shorted to the skin can cause arcing when trying to plug into your tow vehicles connector. Hope this helps, Ed Carver
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:10 AM   #5
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Sounds like an AC Problem

It is odd that there is some kind of ground fault (electrified skin) and your GFCI isn't tripping.

Regardless, unplug your power cord from the GFCI and take it to the trailer. Using the ohms scale on your meter, verify that you have 0 ohms from green to skin and infinite ohms from black and white to skin. If your readings for white and black are other than infinite, then start throwing breakers (for a black wire fault) or disconnecting white wires from the neutral buss (for a white wire fault). When the faulty connection is found you can follow the wire to determine what might be wrong. You may see a momentary reading on the meter when testing black or white to ground. This is probably normal, the result of reading a start capacitor or noise filter between hot or neutral and ground. Non-knowledgeable electricians have wired trailer power panels like home panels and have connected the green wire ground to the neutral. This is wrong and could be the cause of your problem.

Regarding the extra hot wire and hot buss for the inverter, it should have 12 volt plus and minus and AC hot, neutral, and ground. If it truly is AC hot, then it may be that there are separate AC inputs and outputs and the AC output is/was wired to a transfer switch or perhaps has an internal transfer switch so that the inverter side would only run certain AC circuits, like television, coffee pot, etc, but not the air conditioning. IF internal then the additional hot buss would be for things to run off the inverter.

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Old 11-07-2014, 02:32 PM   #6
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I would REMOVE the ground from the 'skin' to your electrical box then test again.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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Skin electrified. Help?

How many volts does the skin show?

And what did you check it against? (Which wire or other object)

It is GOING to show 120 volts if it is checked with the line wire (black) on one side of a voltmeter and the shell on the other side of a voltmeter.

While the white and the copper/green are not tied together in your trailer, they are tied together at your residence service entrance.

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Old 11-07-2014, 06:01 PM   #8
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You won't get shocked by 12 volts DC.
IMHO your problem is with the 120 volt AC power system.


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Old 11-07-2014, 06:04 PM   #9
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Could be the stink bugs you removed from your first electrical box?
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:40 PM   #10
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Inside the Furrion inlet is it possible that you have the green and white in the wrong positions? If the green and white locations are switched and normally the inlet would be grounded through the body of the inlet to the skin, that would electrify the skin through the neutral when any 120v circuit inside the trailer is on.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:48 PM   #11
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Hahaha. Didn't realize there were stink bugs in the pics. Today we tested a few things.

I removed the outlet cover from the exterior outlet. Pretty dirty in there! I capped the wires and re-tested. The volt tester 'pen' now doesn't go off.

We put a volt meter on the skin and it still showed it was electrified. I can't recall what it said. But still showed electrified.

Tested the extension cords and it showed proper 120. (119.7).

I think a screw is through a hot line somewhere.

Tomorrow ill continue the search.

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:00 PM   #12
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Check all the 110v receptacles for proper wire setup with a tester. Someone may have gotten one wired improperly.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #13
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When you say you put a volt meter on the skin. One lead of the meter on the skin. Where are you placing the second lead from the meter?
Do you have a receptacle tester? One that plugs in to a receptacle and gives you indications of the status.
Do you have a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter cord?
If so, plug the adapter cord into the 30 amp receptacle. Then plug the receptacle tester in to the adapter cord.
This will tell you if the 30 amp receptacle is wired correctly.
If all is OK. Then check the wiring of the male end of the shore power cord.
If you suspect a problem with a screw. Shut one circuit breaker in the coach off at a time and check the skin.
I am confused about the last paragraph in the original post. Not sure what you mean by the Hot Buss Bar.
I see two buss bars on the bottom. One neutral and one ground. What is the one on the right side of the new panel?



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Old 11-08-2014, 01:04 AM   #14
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A screw through a wire isn't going to electrify the skin if everything else is right.

It will

A. Instantly trip the GFI
And/or

B. Instantly trip a breaker

To get good help, you need to post more details.

Just how are you testing the voltage of the trailer skin?




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