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Old 12-16-2014, 12:59 PM   #1
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Keep tripping the ground fault plug breaker

every time i plug my AS into a new ground fault plug, recently installed on on a service pedestal, the ground fault breaker trips on the outlet. prior to that, when the AS was plugged into a normal outlet on the same pedestal, my neighbors complained that their am transmission was severely interrupted by a buzzing noise. need some advice- in the inverter hook up? i have not had this problem before that i know of, just recently move the AS to a new location though.

thanks in advance.

Wolf
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
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First thing we need to know what year and model is your trailer , I'm wondering if it's a 2014-2015 model there is a recall for the main power cord conection ,that the wires were not tight and one could have gotten loose and touching somewere causing power to short to ground.

Don
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:40 PM   #3
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i have a 1973 31 footer.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:42 PM   #4
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The first thing I would do in disconnect everything powered by 110 in the trailer.Turn all the breakers off. Don't forget the frig, hot water heater, convertor, microwave.

Plug the trailer into the ground fault. If the GFI trips the problem is in the cord up to the breaker panel. If it holds turn on the breakers one by one. If one cause a trip the problem is in the wiring that breaker supplies. If all breakers hold plug the 110 items in one by one watching for the GFI to trip.

A short cut may be to just disconnect the inverter and plug into the GFI as a first experiment.
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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If you have a GFCI circuit inside the trailer, try plugging your shore power into the exterior GFCI with the interior GFCI circuit turned off.

Here at work, we had problems with "nuissance tripping" where GFCIs would trip got no apparent reason, until we discovered that having two GFCIs in series with each other (one GFCI circuit plugged into another GFCI circuit) didn't work so well. The circuitry inside the GFCI, that allows it to detect a ground fault, registers as a ground fault when plugged into another GFCI. The one "upstream" (closest to the electrical source) would trip shortly after someone started using a tool or appliance plugged into the downstream GFCI.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:49 PM   #6
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If you follow HowieE's advise and find that the curb side breaker is the one tripping the GFCI check the outside receptacle on the trailer. I had a similar issue and on the advise of fellow Airstreamer I checked my outside outlet(I spend a couple of days chasing the problem). It was wet and the outlet was badly corroded. I replaced the receptacle and installed a new cover, GFCI issue solved.
The AM interference may be another issue. Take a portable AM radio and find a dead spot on the band, walk around the trailer with it paying attention to the converter. My bet will be the old converter is emitting RFI. New converters are much better in limiting RFI. Still, sometimes when operating my HF ham radio in the trailer I will hear some "noise" from my converter if there is a big 12Volt load.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
we discovered that having two GFCIs in series with each other (one GFCI circuit plugged into another GFCI circuit) didn't work so well.
Yup. Same thing I've seen.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:23 PM   #8
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Yup. Same thing I've seen.
Have to agree too.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:24 PM   #9
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My GFCI in the trailer breaker box was tripping. I thought it was the outside outlet. After replacing that to no avail, I found a leak above the rear window that was dripping on an 115v AC outlet between the rear twin beds. I resealed the area and have been okay ever since.

My old Trade Wind had a 1990 converter in it. It was generating too much DC ripple to run my new SeeLevel tank monitor. I replaced the converter with a modern one and the problem went away. The old converter may be the source of the RF causing static in your radio.

HowieE describes a good test method to zero in on the problem circuit.

David
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:20 PM   #10
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Wolf...
Solid advice above... please report findings so we can know the result/fix.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:12 AM   #11
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great ideas, thanks

now that i have a little time off, i am off to Rock Creek, to run down the great ideas that have been thrown out here. i will report back later in the week.

thanks again.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:58 AM   #12
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In my CampLite, I had the same frustrating issue new from the factory.

A continuity tester verified a short between the ground and neutral wires.

http://youtu.be/NKj-RW5Zm24

"Bonded" I think was the term.
After initially being told "they all do that" (wrong), and having more than a few warn it was potentially dangerous, the short was traced to the air conditioner and ultimately resolved.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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I posted in a previous thread where the GFI on the post and in the trailer would both trip. The final find was that where the red and white wires came into a junction box, the clamp had been tightened so tight that it caused a split and melting of the insulation on the wires. Part of the clamp and screw had also melted thus allowing the wires to separate enough that it became an intermittent problem. Leading up to this, the battery use/store switch, the front relay, and a GFI were replaced. The shore plugs had also been checked.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:14 PM   #14
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Hello wolf #38, (sounds like the Minnesota DNR tracking timber wolfs up north). More free advice for you. Buy one of those cheap 115v AC circuit testers. They are about $10. I used this device to plug into all my outlets in the Trade Wind after I wired up the new breaker box (load distribution panel?) Anyway, it signals a proper circuit with a clean neutral and ground wire. It may help you find what circuit is a problem child.

I had a worn out extension cord I was using to energize the trailer with 115vAC. My circuit tester found this fault. New cord and the problem went away. I was actually leaking power to neutral a little bit. Not good.

David
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