Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-08-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Do I need a new converter, or what?

Brief history of problem:

1. Replaced AS OEM converter in June 2008 with Parallax 4455TC. Have had no problems.
2. 2 weeks ago, the 20A GFI breaker started tripping when AC compressor tried to start. Tech at Camper World in Katy, TX said needed new compressor, and might as well get whole new AC. Did that.
3. New AC runs like a champ, but the same 20A breaker still trips. It trips when I plug unit into shore power. But it does *not* trip if the converter isn't plugged in, or if I manually trip the 20A breaker for the circuit the converter is on. Nothing else (but convenience outlets, and nothing is plugged into them) is on the circuit that the converter is on. I *think* I get some screwy resistance readings at the 110 outlets on the converter circuit when the shore power is disconnected, and the converter is plugged in, but I can't tell - it's a digital meter, and it drives me crazy ...

I can't really tell what's on the breaker that's tripping. The AS schematic (2004 28' Classic) indicates that it handles a number of receptacles (including one for the refrig) but when it trips, I think *all* the convenience outlets (which have their own 20A circuits) become inoperative. (But I'm going to go check that - I could be wrong about that.)

I guess what's really bugging me is, why would having the converter plugged in cause the 20A GFI breaker [if that's what it really is] to trip?

Can anyone shed some light on this for us, or suggest further problem determination steps we can take?

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
some similar information here:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...gfi-43187.html

you might want to try plugging it into a non-gfci circuit.
__________________

__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Here's a slightly reworded statement of the problem

Brief history of problem:

1. Replaced AS OEM converter in June 2008 with Parallax 4455TC. Have had no problems.
2. 2 weeks ago, the 20A GFI breaker started tripping when AC compressor tried to start. Tech at Camper World in Katy, TX said needed new compressor, and might as well get whole new AC. Did that.
3. New AC runs like a champ, but the same 20A breaker still trips. It trips when I plug unit into shore power. But it does *not* trip if the converter isn't plugged in, or if I manually trip the 20A breaker for the circuit the converter is on. If I unplug the converter I can reset the breaker. But if I then plug the converter back in, the breaker trips. Nothing else (but convenience outlets, and nothing is plugged into them) is on the circuit that the converter is on.

I can't tell *exactly* what's on the breaker that's tripping, but the AS schematic (2004 28' Classic) indicates that it handles a number of receptacles (including one for the refrig). Here's the real rub, tho: The breaker that trips doesn't have the converter on it! How can that be?

I guess what's really bugging me is, why would having the converter plugged in cause the 20A GFI breaker [if that's what it really is] to trip? What does the converter have to do with the 120V system (other than as a consumer on one of the 120V circuits)?

Can anyone shed some light on this for us, or suggest further problem determination steps we can take?
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2009, 09:38 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Here's what's got me stumped:

Thanks, Ricky, for the pointer to the other thread.

As I've tried to explain above (it's all very confusing to me ...) the circuit the converter is on isn't the one with the GFI. I'm sure of that, because when the GFI breaker is tripped, I can still run stuff off the outlet into which the converter is plugged.

If I trip the converter's circuit breaker, I can then reset the GFI breaker, and it stays reset.

Not being very electrically-competent, I'd like to know: Is it possible that a fault in the converter could affect the GFI circuitry in some other circuit? If the answer is yes, then it's time to exercise the converter's warranty. If the answer is no, then what the heck could be going on?

Thanks again.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 05:43 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
i don't have that level of knowledge but many on this forum do. i hope they'll join in.

off hand i'd say one circuit should not trip the other but since the converter was replaced, that becomes a suspect. i need clarification that it is the breaker itself that is tripping and not the gfci button that trips. it would be a good time to check the outlets with a plug in circuit tester to verify polarity and grounds.
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 09:16 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Thanks, Ricky.

I wondered myself if it was the GFI tripping that breaker or not. I did test the GFI on that breaker, and it tests ok.

The converter was replaced over a year ago, and has worked flawlessly up until this problem popped up in the recent couple of weeks.

If I plug the converter in, that GFI breaker trips. I need to find out what happens when I plug something else in there besides the converter, I think.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 09:41 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
try plugging the converter into a different circuit. is the ac and the converter on the same breaker?
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
silverleeper's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,499
Images: 8
It's very possible that the GFI has gone bad. Dust, vibration and moisture can be problematic for any electrical circuit. Replace it and see what happens.
__________________
Lee

1973 F-250 4X4 390
1965 Chevy Suburban 454
AIR 6030
WBCCI 4258
TCT

silverleeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Hi Lee - thanks.

I tested the GFI and it tested ok. I'm hesitant about replacing it, because that breaker/GFI costs close to $90 at our local Square D electrical supply.

I did unplug the converter, reset the breaker in question, and then plugged a vacuum cleaner into the receptacle the converter plugs into. The breaker with the GFI did *not* trip. It only seems to trip when the converter gets plugged in.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 10:53 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Ricky:

The AC and converter are on different circuits. AC runs like a champ.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 11:25 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Where to go from here ...

Ricky, Lee:

Now I'm stuck.

If I turn off the battery switch (all 12V circuits now inoperable) and plug the converter in to *any* receptacle -- even one external to the trailer! -- the trailer's 120V breaker with the GFI still trips.

Does that still point the finger of suspicion to the converter? Or does that exonerate it and indicate the cause of the problem is elsewhere?

Thanks for your help and suggestions - both of you.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 01:37 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
" plug the converter in to *any* receptacle -- even one external to the trailer!"

the outlet on the outside of the trailer body is on the gfci breaker, or it should be anyway.
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 01:39 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
can you plug the converter into a gfci outlet in the house?
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 01:45 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Yes, the outlet on the outside of the trailer is on the GFI circuit. It would be dang near impossible for me to plug the trailer into a GFI receptacle anyplace.

BTW, when I said "external" receptacle, the one I plugged into was not on the trailer - it was in the building where I keep the AS. That particular 110V outlet, however, is housed in the same box as the 30A connection used for the AS shore power. So, electrically, things might be the same as when I was plugging converter into circuits internal to the trailer. Being electrically-challenged, I don't know whether that's true or not.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 04:21 PM   #15
Rivet Master
 
silverleeper's Avatar
 
1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,499
Images: 8
To get a good test you will need plug to converter into an independent circuit from the trailer.
__________________
Lee

1973 F-250 4X4 390
1965 Chevy Suburban 454
AIR 6030
WBCCI 4258
TCT

silverleeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 04:54 PM   #16
Master of Universe
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,502
To check the GFI breaker, switch it with a regular breaker and see if that one trips in the GFI slot. If so, then you'll know the GFI one is bad. Go to Lowe's, Home Depot, etc., for a breaker and you'll probably pay less than at the Square D store.

The last thing that was done was install a new A/C—check the wiring from the A/C to the 120 v. breakers and see if something was done wrong. I would think the A/C has a dedicated circuit and nothing else is on it. Why the GFI breaker was flipping when the old A/C tried to start makes no sense to me because the A/C would be on a different breaker. If the GFI breaker is ok, there's most likely a short somewhere.

Gene
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 05:37 PM   #17
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
I was incorrect about the AC breaker tripping - it never did. It's always been the 20A GFI breaker that controls the galley, bath, outside, etc. outlets.

Not sure I completely understand: If I switch the breakers, and the one that's now in the slot that the GFI was previously in, and it trips, that doesn't mean the GFI breaker is bad, does it? If I switch them and the GFI breaker continues to trip now in a different circuit), what conclusion can I draw from that - that the breaker is bad?

I was fooling around with some of the 12VDC outlets with my trusty multimeter, and it shows that I've got 27VAC in those 12VDC receptacles. That doesn't seem right to me.

I also used one of those plugin AC receptacle testers and it shows that all the outlets are OK.

We're about to give up and turn it over to some Camper World tech to diagnose, but I really hate to do that until I've exhausted all the diagnostic procedures I can do myself.

Thanks.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 05:56 PM   #18
Master of Universe
 
Gene's Avatar
 
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Jenkins View Post

Not sure I completely understand: If I switch the breakers, and the one that's now in the slot that the GFI was previously in, and it trips, that doesn't mean the GFI breaker is bad, does it? If I switch them and the GFI breaker continues to trip now in a different circuit), what conclusion can I draw from that - that the breaker is bad?

I was fooling around with some of the 12VDC outlets with my trusty multimeter, and it shows that I've got 27VAC in those 12VDC receptacles. That doesn't seem right to me.
If a different breaker works in the GFI slot, it indicates the GFI breaker is probably bad. To confirm, if the GFI breaker doesn't work in a different slot, it's bad (unless all the 120 v. circuits are screwed up, but you didn't say they were). If the GFI breaker is good, there's something shorting it somewhere—a short is what trips it (if it's good). There could be a short in a receptacle, wire, etc. GFCI breakers (same as GFI) are ultra sensitive to shorts, so a very minor short in a circuit could trip a GFCI breaker, but not a regular one. No one said this was easy, but it is possible.

You shouldn't use the AC setting on your multimeter on DC receptacles. I'm not sure what DC does to an AC voltmeter, but it can't be good. 27 v. is about twice what you'll get on a 12 v. circuit (it's not 12 v., more like 13.5), so maybe alternating vs. direct current aspect does that to the meter. Try the AC multimeter option on your house current to see if it reads close to 120 v. to check if it still works (note—house voltage is often a few volts off 120).

A lot of Airstreamers avoid Camping World, either saying the techs there know nothing about Airstreams, or they know nothing. I have no personal experience, but just reporting what others say.

Gene
Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 08:24 PM   #19
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Hi Gene:

Thanks for heads-up on Camping World.

The multimeter still shows 120VAC on a "normal" circuit. The meter has an AC voltage setting - are you saying not to use/trust it?

As far as that 27VAC goes, I also see it across the battery positive and the trailer ground, measured in the converter cabinet.

I've just spent the last hour switching things off and on, and I'm not sure I've learned anything. I do see this, though: With all the breakers ON, shore power disconnected, if I measure resistance across shore power plug prongs I get 0 ohms. With all off, the meter shows an open circuit. I start turning on the breakers, one by one, and when I get to the microwave breaker, resistance drops back to zero. That's a double breaker - one half is 15A (water heater) the other 20A (microwave).

However, none of that seems to have any effect on the GFI breaker tripping: With all breakers OFF, when I start turning them on, one by one (and converter is plugged in), it's when I get to the one that includes convenience outlets (which includes the one the converter plugs into), when I switch that breaker on, the GFI breaker trips.

I don't understand the zero ohms reading, and I don't know what to try next. Tomorrow, I'll try switching the circuits the breakers control and see if that makes any difference in symptoms.

This is very depressing.
__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2009, 08:32 PM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
2004 28' Classic
Kenney , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Gene:

I reread your warning about the AC reading - I see what you're saying now.

One time, in our house, we had problems with the elec. water heater tripping breakers. Turns out the heating element was shot. That problem only occurred, of course, when the heater was trying to heat water, which we're not doing in this case. But I'm wondering if electrolysis (unit was plugged into shore power for a long time during colder weather) could have boogered something, hot water heater switch is maybe hosed?

Straw-grasping - that's what it is ...
__________________

__________________
Dave Jenkins
K5KX
Dave Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
breaker, compressor, converter, parallax, trip


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
Converter fuse blowing (new converter) wannaroam Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 28 07-06-2015 03:39 PM
What to do with old converter? msmst25 Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 11 06-15-2008 04:32 PM
What is the best converter? jdalrymple Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 2 03-19-2008 02:42 PM
tv converter.. safari05-25 Audio, Video & TV 0 11-27-2006 08:10 PM
Need Some Help - converter jjohnjr Interior Restoration Forum 0 08-23-2006 07:21 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.