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Old 03-13-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
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Unhappy Can't find a short!

Please help! I can't find a short on my 20',2009 Flying cloud . 15 Amp fuse is blowing out every time, when I Turn on ceiling lights. This fuse is also responsible for patio and step lights. Three button switch is located at the entrance of the trailer. Patio/step/ceiling. I checked switch, its fine, no short there. Patio and step also fine, only when I turn on ceiling. I checked all 7 12v lamps, fine. How can I trace a short?
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:38 PM   #2
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Please help! I can't find a short on my 20',2009 Flying cloud . 15 Amp fuse is blowing out every time, when I Turn on ceiling lights. This fuse is also responsible for patio and step lights. Three button switch is located at the entrance of the trailer. Patio/step/ceiling. I checked switch, its fine, no short there. Patio and step also fine, only when I turn on ceiling. I checked all 7 12v lamps, fine. How can I trace a short?
Are you sure the 15 amp fuse is correct, or would it be a 20 amp?

If there indeed is a short, the 20 amp will blow just as fast as the 15 amp.

Andym
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:40 PM   #3
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Well I think you must consider three possibilities and two are easy to check. The last one is harder. It is most probable that the short is at the terminations of the circuit i.e. the switch or the lamp. You have already checked the switch. Next check the lamp fixture. The final possibility is that the short is somewhere in the cable run, this is harder to track down, but not impossible. If the lights are wired in parallel then you may have to isolate each light fixture till you find the short. The key thing is to be methodical and safe. You can do it!!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:41 PM   #4
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Do you have a multimeter Kampota?
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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"Only blows when the 12V ceiling lights are turned on"

I would 1st pull every bulb and see if it blows with no bulbs installed. If yes it blows you have a tougher job use a meter and check across the neg and pos at each bulb socket if you can't get on the wire read from the center of the bulb to the side of the socket.
I guess we need to know if you own and know how to use a multi meter?

If the fuse doesn't blow start installing bulbs and see how far you get.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:01 PM   #6
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Two thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAMPOTA s View Post
Please help! I can't find a short on my 20',2009 Flying cloud . 15 Amp fuse is blowing out every time, when I Turn on ceiling lights. This fuse is also responsible for patio and step lights. Three button switch is located at the entrance of the trailer. Patio/step/ceiling. I checked switch, its fine, no short there. Patio and step also fine, only when I turn on ceiling. I checked all 7 12v lamps, fine. How can I trace a short?
Hi, first let's analize the situation. You bought your trailer new, right? You should have a warranty with it. Tampering, and maybe further damaging the electrical system, could cancel that part of your warranty. Next, with my automotive electrical repair experiences, I have found most [not all] problems to be self induced. [meaning the owner caused the problem] So I ask you this question, that I asked of my customers, before diagnoising the problem. "What was the last thing you did to your trailer?" Even though you may not think it is related, many times it is. Did you do any electrical repairs or modifications? Did you remove and re-install anything? Did you add anything to your trailer, inside or out, that required drilling or the use of sheet metal screws? You may have pinched or punctured a wire loom without realizing what you have done.

Do not, ever, install a larger fuse than called for in any given circuit. And never by-pass a fuse. In many cases the wiring is rated for the size fuse needed for that circuit; By-passes and larger fuses can and will melt wire looms. [if you do this, now you are in real trouble]
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:22 AM   #7
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One good thing about restoring a vintage trailer as opposed to buying new...you learn it inside and out.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:01 AM   #8
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Take out the bulbs and look at the tabs that are suposed to contact the bulb conections. You will most likely find that the tabs are touching when the bulb is installed. Replace the light socket after you confirm that this is the problem.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:37 PM   #9
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if just one fixture blows the fuse when turned on, pull the bulb on that fixture first and start inspecting the fixture socket and wiring.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:43 PM   #10
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There is no reason to remove any of the bulbs. You can not have a short down stream of the bulb because that is the ground side of the bulbs and the bulbs would light if all was good to that point. Ground is what voltage goes to in a short.

If you have removed the switch and do not see any problem there I would take a piece of wire long enough to reach from the switch to the first light fixture in the circuit. At the first fixture disconnect any second or third fixture supply wire leaving that first fixture. Disconnect the wire from the secondary side of the switch. Connect a new wire from the secondary side of the switch, running it in free air, to the first fixture. Turn the switch on. If the fuse blows the problem is the wire in the wall from the switch to the fixture. If the fuse holds connect the second fixture into the circuit and test again. If the fuse blows it is the wire in the ceiling between the 1st fixture and the second fixture or the second fixture itself. Look for a pinched wire where the fixture was mounted to the ceiling. If the fixture checks out OK disconnect the wire from the 1st to 2nd fixture and jumper a new wire as you did from the switch to the 1st fixture. Continue this process of replacing the supply wire and testing each fixture until you can turn the switch on without blowing a fuse. The only way to find a short is to substitute items one by one from the last known good point until you reach the one that is the problem. Don't worry fuses are cheap and you can not cause a problem testing this way.

If it turns out to be a factory installed wire in the wall or ceiling you will have to come back and give us some idea of where and then hopefully we can come up with something. My guess is it will be a pinched wire in the mounting of one of the fixtures but you have to build the system out, with substitute wires, from the switch to locate the problem.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
There is no reason to remove any of the bulbs. You can not have a short down stream of the bulb because that is the ground side of the bulbs and the bulbs would light if all was good to that point. Ground is what voltage goes to in a short.

.

I have seen a bulb develop an internal short in the process of burning out. Apparently the violence of the burnout caused the filament support wires to move enough to touch each other and weld together. Those wires would carry the short circuit current long enough to blow the fuse.
So it is not always the case, that removing the bulb would not help.

regards,
Ken
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:22 PM   #12
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Trouble shooting

I'd take the bulbs out. Turn on the switch and see if the fuse blows. If not. Are you sure you have the correct bulbs? Is there more than one fixture?
If the fuse holds with all of the bulbs out. Install one bulb at a time with the switch on and see what happens.
If the fuse doesn't hold and you have multiple fixtures, disconnect one at a time and see what happens.
Tell us what happens.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:35 PM   #13
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Just a question...

Um, isn't a 2009 still under warrantee?
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