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Old 01-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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Shorepower Problem

I have a 1988 Excella that will not stay on shore power, but generator power works fine. I've tried it both at home and at an RV park, but it will not stay connected. GFI trips anywhere between 3 seconds and 15 minutes after connecting. Generator power is no problem. I've replaced the circuit breakers and the power cord already. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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I'm betting your generator isn't grounded / bonded to the trailer, or it'd trip the GFI also. Sounds as if you've got some sort of short to ground, but since the generator isn't grounded, the GFI isn't tripping. Then you plug into shore power and get a good ground and the GFI does its job. I'd get a competent electirician to check this out at once.
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirsDream
I'm betting your generator isn't grounded / bonded to the trailer, or it'd trip the GFI also. Sounds as if you've got some sort of short to ground, but since the generator isn't grounded, the GFI isn't tripping. Then you plug into shore power and get a good ground and the GFI does its job. I'd get a competent electirician to check this out at once.
Thanks. Right now I'm only running generator to charge batteries. Going home tomorrow, any ideas where I might check for loose ground connections?
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:35 PM   #4
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Two common areas to check when a GFI trips out in or powering an RV.

1. Water heater. If you have an electric element in the water heater and it has broken down power can be going to ground via the element and water in the tank. This will trip a GFI out. You may need to totally disconnect both the hot and the neutral wires from the HWH to check this out.

2. Heating element in the refrigerator. These, like the HWH elements can leak enough current to trip a GFI out. Unplug the refrigerator to see if it stops the problem.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:57 PM   #5
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SteveandSam,

Welcome to the forums.

The problem with GFCI trips is relatively common. Unfortunately, it's difficult to diagnose.

Usually the problem is caused by a short between the neutral (white) wire and ground, somewhere. It can also be caused by moisture accumulating behind the outlet covers.

Sometimes the problem can be found through inspection.

Otherwise, the problem circuit can be identified by disconnecting both the white and black wire of each circuit from the breaker panel, and reconnecting them one pair at a time until the problem shows up. If you are unfamiliar with electrical work you should have an rv tech of electrician do this for you.

Good luck with your repair.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Thanks to all. I'll try the no brainer items when I get home. If I can't figure it out, I'll take it to the pros.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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I disconntected both batteries and checked them over. Added a little water to one of them, cleaned the terminals, and put them back in. Presto, shore power works again. Does anyone have any ideas? Could this have "reset" somthing?
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Probably unrelated. If it's a moisture problem it will come and go with the weather.
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