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Old 04-17-2012, 03:10 PM   #15
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Chandler , Arizona
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Based on the discussion from HowieE and Protagonist I think, I mean I HOPE the problem is the power outlet at my storage place.

I though I had it solved with your mention of a faulty ground connection within the AC controls , realizing that the ground was only attached to the metal frame support bracket....hanging inside the AS....which itself was grounded to nothing.

So I buttoned it all back up, cleaned up the mess and tried it again. IT STILL TRIPPED THE GFCI.

I'm home and will hopefully get it working tommorrow at home. We need the little getaway planned so wish my well.

Based on the informative discussion we've had I think its just the "inherent" troubles outlined with a GFCI outlet.

I'll advised later in the day tommorrow. You've been a great help. Thnx!!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:05 PM   #16
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rd

OK

We call these phantom GFCI trips. Well you can either take the advice of the posters upthread, to wit, that it's a philosophical problem rather than an electrical one, or you can chase the phantom trips.

Phantom trips are caused by one of two things:

1) A short between neutral and ground.

2) High leakage current on the hot side, often caused by moisture or a combination of moisture and dirt.

With an older Airstream the first thing to check is to be sure someone didn't short neutral and ground together on purpose, either in the breaker box, or in the shore power cord. There may be a bonding screw in the breaker box, if so, remove it.

Then you can see whether you still get phantom trips with all the breakers off. If you do, you have a short between neutral and ground somewhere, and to find it, you'll have to remove (with shore power disconnected) all the neutral wires from the bus and add them back in one at a time and see whether the GFCI trips after each addition.

If you don't get GFCI trips with the breakers off you can turn them on one at a time and see which circuit is the perpetrator, you're dealing with excess leakage at this point, and once you isolate the affected circuit, you can go around and clean and dry out the wiring devices with compressed air or a hair dryer or something, again being sure to disconnect shore power while doing the work. If that doesn't do the trick you might have excessive leakage in a component, maybe a heating element, or a MOV, or a circuit board. In those cases the problem part just has to be replaced.

A properly working air conditioner will not trip the GFCI. Usually if they trip it it's because of sloppy taping of the neutral part of the splice where power comes in. Less often, dirt and moisture on the motor terminals, capacitors, or controls. Rarely, a failing compressor may trip the GFCI.

Happy hunting
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
rd

OK

We call these phantom GFCI trips. Well you can either take the advice of the posters upthread, to wit, that it's a philosophical problem rather than an electrical one, or you can chase the phantom trips.

Phantom trips are caused by one of two things:

1) A short between neutral and ground.

2) High leakage current on the hot side, often caused by moisture or a combination of moisture and dirt.

With an older Airstream the first thing to check is to be sure someone didn't short neutral and ground together on purpose, either in the breaker box, or in the shore power cord. There may be a bonding screw in the breaker box, if so, remove it.

Then you can see whether you still get phantom trips with all the breakers off. If you do, you have a short between neutral and ground somewhere, and to find it, you'll have to remove (with shore power disconnected) all the neutral wires from the bus and add them back in one at a time and see whether the GFCI trips after each addition.

If you don't get GFCI trips with the breakers off you can turn them on one at a time and see which circuit is the perpetrator, you're dealing with excess leakage at this point, and once you isolate the affected circuit, you can go around and clean and dry out the wiring devices with compressed air or a hair dryer or something, again being sure to disconnect shore power while doing the work. If that doesn't do the trick you might have excessive leakage in a component, maybe a heating element, or a MOV, or a circuit board. In those cases the problem part just has to be replaced.

A properly working air conditioner will not trip the GFCI. Usually if they trip it it's because of sloppy taping of the neutral part of the splice where power comes in. Less often, dirt and moisture on the motor terminals, capacitors, or controls. Rarely, a failing compressor may trip the GFCI.

Happy hunting

Thnx Jammer,

I have isolated it to the AC circuit. I still have to check for small issues that may occur in the breaker box, then its onto the roof to check out, clean, troubleshoot, and/or replace whats needed inside the AC unit.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:53 PM   #18
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Update as of this weekend

Plans to camp this weekend changed after a recurring back injury has me layed up for awhile. I have the "problem" isolated to the AC. may have been a bad breaker as I changed out the 30 for a spare 20 amp I found in the storage cabinet.

However, prior to that I removed the ground tab on the three prong adapter I was using with the 30 amp power cord to the 15 amp outlet at storage space. It allowed me to plug in without tripping GFCI. But still wouldn't allow the AC breaker inside to be turned on. Changed to backup 20 amp breaker "fixed" it all.

Hopefully I'll mend soon and can get it home for a short getaway and plug it in to the RV 30 amp power box at home and get the AC running without issue.

When I get onto roof to address skylight fixes, I'll check and clean all connections inside the AC unit.
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