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Old 09-12-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Angry 110v & 12v - on same wires HELP

1968, 24' Tradewind
RV Tech removed my Univolt. I'm not sure what he did. Problem now is that my 12v is 110v. Blew bulb on porch light - didn't have time to play with it until now. I'm not using 12 volt now. 110v is working fine and has been for months.

Porch light, overhead 12v lights, exhaust fan are all on switches. When switches are turned on they are 110 -not the 12v as they should be. Blows bulbs and makes fan run like a jet plane engine.

Spent a full day reviewing the 110v breakers and testing lines at rear and on the panel at kitchen.

I was stupid - I did not watch what was going on when the univolt was removed. At $85.00 per hour, I thought that I had a professional working on my power - he told me he was. By the way, I am blonde. I also found a ground wire laying around in the back area - rusted fitting was most likely attached to the frame and wire end was recently cut. That's another issue for the future.

Looking for some conversation here. What are you thinking? Wire crossed somewhere. Where would you start?
Judy
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:43 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Where did you find this so called RV tech? Does he work for an RV dealer or is he a freelancer?

I would get him back out there to make things right. If you don't trust this guy, find someone reputable to come out and take a look at it.

To keep your 12 volt DC components working, you need some type of converter.

Brian
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:54 PM   #3
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It sounds like he took out your Univolt and wired everything together. Not gonna work! Like Moosetags said, you will need some sort of converter to make it all work, or they need to be wired directly to your battery.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:58 PM   #4
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Hi, you need to find a real electrician and get this fixed right before your trailer burns to the ground or you get hurt really bad. You being a blonde has nothing to do with what happened to your trailer by a hairless idiot. [my opinion]
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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I already run new 12v, to where I need 12v for now, with an inline fuse direct to battery on a switch.
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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You Fellas are all right. Being BLONDE is just fun conversation. Interesting - I have checked all wiring - all thin (12v) wires are with thin and the old thick is all with thick (110v). Although I believe some of the 12v wiring for my '68 was also the old thick stiff stuff. I have pulled all 12 volt fuses and using only 110v where I have traced it and know it's 110v at this time (like the AC and a few outlets). Thanks for your quick responses.
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Old 09-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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Sounds like a case for small claims court!

12volt and 110volt systems should be separate. The only connection between them would be through the converter/Univolt.

Sounds like someone didn't know what they were doing or didn't care. I have spent many a day and quite a bit of money cleaning up things behind so called professionals, what is sad is that many of them were licensed professionals.

Aaron
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airstreamjudy View Post
You Fellas are all right. Being BLONDE is just fun conversation. Interesting - I have checked all wiring - all thin (12v) wires are with thin and the old thick is all with thick (110v). Although I believe some of the 12v wiring for my '68 was also the old thick stiff stuff. I have pulled all 12 volt fuses and using only 110v where I have traced it and know it's 110v at this time (like the AC and a few outlets). Thanks for your quick responses.
Hi, basically speaking, 110 volt wires should be a single, solid, relatively stiff wire; and the 12 volt wires should have several strands, quite a bit more flexable, but not necessarily thinner.
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #9
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I would make sure ALL 12vdc is disabled, especially to the battery, 120 and 12vdc dont mix well at the battery.....

definitely get a verified pro out there. Converters arent what standard electricians run across in their day to day job.

Hope nothing is really damaged, like your fan motor.

Good luck,

Al
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:52 PM   #10
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Hey Judy,

Here is some info you might find useful.

The old Univolt system either plugged into a 110vac (Volt Alternating Current) receptical, or was hard-wired to a 110vac circuit. It uses this 110vac to operate. The Univolt basically takes the 110vac and converts it to 12vdc (Volt Direct Current), and sends that DC voltage to your batteries (to charge them), and also to your 12vdc distribution panel (for your lights, and possibly fridge). The 12vdc distribution panel should have fuses (or circuit breakers) protecting the load side from the line side.

Based on what you said, I would suspect that your electrician simply removed the 110v wires from the Univolt, and ran them to your 12v distribution panel. If he did do that, he doesn't know what he is doing. You might want to ask him for his insurance information -- but take pictures of the work. There are a whole lot of electrical standards violations in doing something like that.

To correct this mess, unplug the shore power from your Airstream (if you haven't already). Go to where the Univolt use to be, and disconnet the black and white wires from the 12v fuse panel. NOTE: THESE WIRES WILL BE HOT ONCE YOU RECONNECT SHORE POWER, so cap them off with wire nuts and electrical tape. Your 12vdc distribution panel has a positive side and a ground (common) side. It is likely he connected the black to the positive and the white to the common of the panel.

AT this point, you might check your fuses at your 12V distribution panel, some (or all) of them may be blown (but I am curious about this because you said your fan still worked). IF you don't have fuses on your 12vdc distribution panel, you might want to install a panel with them.

Also, it really would be a good idea to reinstall some sort of 110vac to 12vdc converter/charger for your systems to work properly. You need a 12vdc source for your lights and other things to work, if you don't have a converter, you'll be running directly off your battery, which won't last long, and will eventually need recharging.

Anyway, I hope you can make heads and tails out of this info. But the main thing is to undo the 110vac to 12vdc connection. It shouldn't be too hard to find. (like you mentioned, look for a solid copper wires (110) connected to your 12vdc distribution panel and disconnect them -- the wires on the 12vdc panel should be stranded wire.)

For your referance, my Univolt wires (RED and White stranded wires - not black and while solid wire) ran like this. Red from Univolt ran to battery + and to positive side of 12vdc distribution panel. White wire ran to - side of battery, then to the common side of the 12vdc distribution panel.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:39 PM   #11
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To all of you above . . . thanks for your notes to me. I purchased a new convertor/battery charger - installed (added a ground) and immediately all issues were cured. 12V is 12 V and 110 is 110. Took a look at the connections that were made by my "RV Tech" and redid a few, tied up and secured the extended runs. The purpose of the changes was to put the 110 breaker panel on the back of the little door under the vanity and move the 12v fuse panel(from the interior wall as far away to reach as could be) by the battery area so that I can reach easily and see what's happening in case of troubles. I hate when you can't reach something unless you become a pretzel with a flashlight in your mouth while touching an electrical connection (had this issue on two of my previous boats - I won't even talk about exciting it was to climb over a 65 horsepower diesel engine to check the water in the batteries on the other side). Anyway, all is well and I do thank you for your replys.
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