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Old 04-25-2004, 04:59 PM   #1
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2- Questions -Switches? & Furnace Wires?

Hi all;

As we get deeper and deeper the more questions we have???

First - we have issues that our Batteries are running down - and we have nothing on and no shore power hooked up. These are our heavy duty marine batteries from our boat (we know they are good and they hold their charge all summer long!!!) So something is on somewhere.....so we thought we would start with the question we don't know the answer to first.

In the picture below there are two switches to the left of our door - the far left is for the porch light. What would be the other switch for? It does not say in our manual. We also have one more switch like this that is for the water pump over the sink counter - so we presume it is a 12V switch to something or another. And if it is on (up or down?) then there will either be an open circuit or something is running that we don't know is.

The second picture is a picture of where our LP furnace has been removed - to repair the gas line and service the furnace. It is not a ducted furnace (trailer too small!) However there are these wires at the back caped off. Would these be for a furnace blower option? or for an upgrade furnace maybe offered in those days '69. Or should they be hooked up to our furnace?? Duo Therm Model #G16046A-9)

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-25-2004, 06:29 PM   #2
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To the left is your porch light. To the right on mine is for the outside light just above the door. Dick
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Old 04-25-2004, 06:34 PM   #3
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Hi Dick;

We don't have a light just above the door inside or outside and no evidence of one ever being there either.
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:51 AM   #4
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on my trailer, that is a quasi-3 way switch that operates the light over the kitchen sink. but it isn't a "real" 3 way; if the switch at the galley sink is off, this switch by the door doesn't seem to do anything. however, if you turn on the galley light, this switch by the door will then turn it on and off. (took me a while to figure this out)the other switch in that location is for the outside light over the door.
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Old 04-26-2004, 12:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
quasi-3 way switch that operates the light over the kitchen sink
That sounds like a very logical scenario - will have to check it out - the next time the battery is in. Peter has moved to the plumbing for today.

However - after spending hours reading all about the electrical systems this forum has managed to totally confuse a new comer!!

Our Manual says you have to have the battery hooked up in order to run and 12V - which physically is true. when the battery is hooked up to UV everything works - but when it is not nothing works - whether we are hooked up to city power or not. When we hook up to city power we then have the AC outlets.

...yet I have seen some say a battery is not needed to when hooked up to City power/shore power in order to use the 12V service. We have checked the fuses (40 amp - UV) and it is fine.

...so would we be looking at some kind of pouched UV????

Our battery is hooked up to the UV and it drains to O - but the UV should not be working unless it is hooked up to shore power right??? So any suggestions as to what might be draining our battery when nothing is on.

Chuck this quasi 3-way - could it actual create an open circuit if the switchis in the 'on'.

Are there any steps that are simple to follow for testing open circuits - written in laymans terms and not for an electrician??? Bought Pete a brand new tester with all the toys on it - and the first thing he asked me was there anywhere that lists all the load tests/bench tests on amps and volts for the systems on this baby (you see I read the manuals and point him in the direction - you know sort of like that secretary deal ) My response was - give me a minute and I'll check the forum - 10 hours later and this is where I am no where....and that is why he has moved to the plumbing

so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2004, 01:30 PM   #6
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Just a guess on my part, but I bet your univolt has a short in it.

I Would charge the battery, and after disconnection the univolt form the system re-install the battery. If it all works and does not go dead overnight you have your culprit.

The only other way to test is to run the main connection form the battery to the + side of the power through an Amp meter. This will allow you to see what the actual draw is while you go around flipping switches.
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Old 04-26-2004, 01:33 PM   #7
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I didn't see your pics when I originally read this thread thismorning...browser was acting funky.

on my trailer, there are 2 switches in the "???" position of the photo; one for the outside, and one for the galley. I don't see how its operation would affect the battery drain, in any case. of course, a loose wire anywhere that is making contact when it shouldn't will cause a drain.

I'm almost certain that I've used 12 fixtures while plugged into shore power, with no battery connected. I wonder if something drastic changed, or if there is something wrong w/ your univolt.
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Are there any steps that are simple to follow for testing open circuits - written in laymans terms and not for an electrician???
Here is one test for your Univolt: Disconnect from shore power. Disconnect 12 volt leads from Univolt. Set your tester to "Ohms" and "RX1". Hold the leads (red - +12 volts out, black -12 volts) to the terminals. You should read infinite ohms resistance. But, there may be capacitors [-snip- dry technical details] necessitating that you hold the leads against the terminals for 10 to 15 seconds. By that time, the resistance should go to infinity. If it does not, your Univolt probably needs repair in the form of a new diode bridge, or smoothing capacitors.

You do not need the battery to run the overhead lights while hooked up to shore power with the Univolt on. You do need the battery if you want to run a television or radio, as the battery smooths the output of the Univolt into cleaner power. Light bulbs do not care about power quality.

Another test to see what is draining your battery is to disconnect the positive lead from the battery, connect one lead of a test light to the battery post, and the other lead to the disconnected wire. Pete's brand new tester probably has an ammeter, but you can cook it if you are not careful. A test light is a good "GO, NO-GO" indicator.

With all lights and appliances off, and disconnected from shore power, the test light should be off. If it is not disconnect wires one at a time until the light goes off. I would start with the Univolt, and work my way over to the other wires.

Please reply if you need clarification, or none of the above helped.

Tom
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:23 PM   #9
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Hi Tom- Thanks for taking the time to give us a few hints.
Pete has a Digital Multimeter 10MegOhm 7 function 20 ranges - meter.

We did not get to checking amps yet - just the voltage and what is drawing. But first we did follow your example of testing the Univolt there is a four range 200/2k/200K/20M when switched to this section the reading goes to 1 - when connected to the terminals as per your instruction we get no reading - stays on 1 on all ranges.??? is the result what you expected.

We do not have a test light and I will pick up one for him tomorrow (on my errand run for all the plumbing parts needed)

We decided the next best thing we could check is all the 12V systems and which circuit they are running through on the fuse panel at the Univolt.

These are the results:
1. Fully charged battery reading 12.64V
2. Connected to UV No shorepower connected reading on battery terminals is 12.55V (Note when first connected it was 12.38 but then we found a light left on.) But there is still a draw of.09V - but we solved this down the road...
3. We then checked each light, and operable fans, and water pump to find out what fused circuit they were on and what voltage they are drawing. This test was done with the battery connected to the Univolt and shorepower connected.
Fuse #1 had the following on it, with draw as indicated.
Porch light .05
Main Salon Light .04/.07/.11 (last setting .o2 higher than all the rest)
Water Pump .08
Left & Right forward Spots .04 each

Fuse #2 had the following on it, with draw as indicated.
Left & Right Aft Scone .04/.07/.09
Aft overhead light .03/.07/.09
Bathroom Light .03
Ceiling fan aft .06 (note forward ceiling fan toggle missing wires loose and now capped off)
Kitchen Sink light .03/.07/.09
Dinette Scone .01/.03 (a little strange?)
Stove Extractor Fan (.04 - .16) not working - this was the other draw. It was working when we first tested all the switches two weeks ago - but now it is not and obviously it was left in the on position. So this is an issue to tend with.

There was no other draw on fuses 3, 4, & 5 all showed 0-Volts.
All the DC outlets work but only when hooked up to shore power.
The fridge electrical is hooked through the circuit breaker panel.

...and the mystery - when we disconnect the battery but she is still hooked into shore power - WE GET NOTHING - no lights not a one?

This is as far as we got before it got to dark and too cold. We have left the battery in but disconnected the Shore Power - to see if the battery holds up overnight - first (now that we knew there were two possible internal culprits thenewkid64 we will try disconnected the UV terminal as per your suggestion in the morning- if we find her dead again)

So as the UV is suppose to take 120 service and convert it to 12.V then where are our lights? We checked the fuse in the Univolt and it is fine and when we hook up shore power our red light at the circuit breaker box comes on indicating power.

So does this sound like we have an issue with the Univolt /Tom???
Going to step two in the morning - so any further suggestions would be great thanks.
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:56 AM   #10
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Line in or Primary

Have you checked to see if the Univolt is getting 110 volts from the shore power connection?

I suspect your older unit was hardwired (Direct) to the shorepower line.

But it is possible that your UV is wired to a breaker panel, if so, check breaker position and connection.

I did not see anywhere that you mentioned the 110 volts present at Univolt. It is possible to have 110 at outlets but not at UV.

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Old 04-27-2004, 07:42 AM   #11
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The Univolt does appear suspect...

Ken raises an excellent point. In addition, you should be able to hear a hum from the Univolt as it does its job.

A little about the Univolt: It is a very simple, non-regulating power supply. Unless the heaviest part, the transformer, goes out, it is repairable although most people tend to go with the newer style units as they are better at properly maintaining the battery.

I should have included in my original post a voltage check on the Univolt: Pull the wiring cover off, and make sure you have 120 VAC where it hooks up, and around 13.5 VDC on the 12 volt side.

The more I think about the test light idea, the more I am certain it will help identify what is draining your battery. But start with verifying the Univolt. Please keep the forum posted between all of us, well get you on the road.

Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 08:13 AM   #12
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Polarity indicator

Does your unit have a polarity indicator? It is a small light on the streetside typically. It is located at the rear end of the Unit. I have also seen them located inside the rear compartment of units that have rear baths.
If it is in the rear compartment, it will be in a electrical box that has a light or a small jewel lens.

The reason I ask, is that the polarity indicator is wired in parrallel to the univolt. It is typically connected with at a splice. This splice could be loose and causing an open circuit to the Univolt.

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Old 04-27-2004, 11:33 AM   #13
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Hi and so it goes....we have fully charged battery this morning (well okay so we got going at around 11:00am - a bit lazy today!) So the little culprit draining her must have been one of the three items we found - loose wire in cieling fan may have been making contact with the lid, loose wire in one of the lights, or more than likely the goings on with the extractor fan being left on but no fan going.

Regarding the Univolt getting 120 Service - she humms (will put us to sleep nicely at night time ) When hooked to shore power our Red light at the circuit breaker box is on and we have power to all DC Plugs - with this said we presume that the Univolt is getting the correct shorepower - however we still do not get any overhead lights when the battery is disconnected and shore power is still connected to UV and the UV is on.

Peter will work on a few things in the next couple of hours - as we just moved her away from the road and closer to the house. I will touch base when I get back from picking up (Yes I got my way - a brand new Toilet yehhhhhh! just can not imagine how many fuzzy bums have been on this one!! )
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
...When hooked to shore power our Red light at the circuit breaker box is on...
Please verify that this is good thing. Do you have an owner's manual?

Red, in general, is usually used to indicate an off-nominal situation. On my Overlander, I have a red light located near my circuit breakers that is a polarity indicator. If the light is ON, there is a problem with the shore power polarity.

Shore power consists of three wires: hot, neutral, and ground. Occaisionally, an outlet will be wired wrong. I think this has happened in your case, and the Univolt may be shorting out.

Disconnect the 12 volt wires from the Univolt, and check the voltage. Then reattach them, disconnect the battery, and check the voltage again. Please post your results.

Tom
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:05 PM   #15
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Polarity

I believe that the Univolt is polarity sensitive.

And I also believe the red indicator is the Polarity light. It should not be illuminated.

It is wired to the neutral side and ground conductor of the shore power.
This way it will not normally illuminate because the voltage should be between the Black or "Hot" conductor and the ground/neutral.

If the polarity is reversed, the voltage will be between the neutral and the ground conductor, 110 volts nominal.

To fix this, you need to transpose the neutral and hot conductors in the shore power plug (if reversed there) and/ or the electrical panel or univolt.

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Old 04-27-2004, 09:34 PM   #16
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Hi -Fellas sorry to keep you in suspense but we have a few more questions - not sure on the instructions Tom - so have provided some pictures for you to walk us through visually too. Also can not confirm a good thing???? on the red light.

Peter was hell bent on getting a few things back into the trailer today so he has skipped off the electrical - gees worse than a woman I would say!!!! at least we can stay focused on our projects!!!

Anyway - I did check a few things out in the manual - it says nothing about the red light on the breaker box. It does tell us there is a white polarity light at the back of the trailer - but we are not sure what they are talking about.

The little white light that is by the fuse board (in the picture below) is a switched light - and when we are hooked to a battery we can turn it on, it is not an automatic sensor type light which I think the polarity light is??. We just thought this light was a boot/trunk curtesy light to see what you are doing????

Smily the shore power cord we have only goes one way and the adapter only fits one way as well. Unless our house is wired backwards???

Also in the well of the service door by the battery an (R +) is etched into the aluminum - so we have maintained that R+ and (W) wires are negative.

You can not see at the univolt (tough to get the camera in there) but there is a second fuse holder above the one pictured - it is empty - is there to be two fuses running??

Sorry Tom..... Pete did not get around to checking the voltage - he has been playing around with the LP today (as well as putting all the cabinents, water heater and furnace back in) and did not want any juice at the trailer.

He promised he will get back to the wiring when he gets home from work tomorrow - 7:30 or so - I will post back with his results on the voltage test. If you have any other tests he can do please let me know and I can print then off for him.

In the mean time - these are the pics of our system - sorry they are a bit blurry - camera battery running a bit low (go figure )

You guys have been great and we really appreciate all the wordly wisdom and smarts you have on this - it is a lot of fun learning all these things - can't wait for our first Rally to learn even more - forget the camping part - just crack open the barley and point and play with all our systems!!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 04:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
...Anyway - I did check a few things out in the manual - it says nothing about the red light on the breaker box. It does tell us there is a white polarity light at the back of the trailer - but we are not sure what they are talking about.

The little white light that is by the fuse board (in the picture below) is a switched light - and when we are hooked to a battery we can turn it on, it is not an automatic sensor type light which I think the polarity light is??. We just thought this light was a boot/trunk curtesy light to see what you are doing????

Smily the shore power cord we have only goes one way and the adapter only fits one way as well. Unless our house is wired backwards???...
I am 99% sure that light on the breaker box is the polarity light. It should not be on during normal operation. I agree the white light on the fuse panel is a courtesy light.

The shore power leads color coding is as follows: Black-hot; White-neutral; Green-Ground. Have Pete verify the following measurements at the breaker box on the shore power connections:
Black to White : 120 VAC
Black to Green : 120 VAC
White to Green : 0 VAC

I have a feeling he is going to find the White wire is hot instead of the black wire. If that is the case, perform the same checks where you plug your Airstream into the house - the problem is probably there.

Tom
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
You can not see at the univolt (tough to get the camera in there) but there is a second fuse holder above the one pictured - it is empty - is there to be two fuses running??
The univolt you have is not the kind I have seen in you vintage, so I would assume it was replaced at some point. The newer trailers used the built in panel on the univolt. You have a chassis mounted panel. The only fuse to be concerned with is the big 40 AMP one.

I agree with TC to check the polarity of the incoming shore power. BTW what happened with the battery installed, but not plugged into shore power. Did the battery survive the night?
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT6921
Hi and so it goes....we have fully charged battery this morning (well okay so we got going at around 11:00am - a bit lazy today!) So the little culprit draining her must have been one of the three items we found - loose wire in cieling fan may have been making contact with the lid, loose wire in one of the lights, or more than likely the goings on with the extractor fan being left on but no fan going.

)
Battery prob seems to be squared away as per above.

The red light is definitely polarity indicator, see how it is wired to the ground bus and the neutral bus in the picture above. It should not be illuminated.

Your manual refers to a typical polarity indicator as I described previously.

I understand that your shore power plug seems to be "one way" but does the plug end have screws in it for disassembly?
If so, open it up and check that conductors are properly located(unplugged of course). I have seen them reversed before, just ask "SNADI" and "Grogan".

The Univolt should have all fuse slots filled. The main fuses or larger ones are for two sources, converted power and battery power.

I think the missing fuse is your problem as for lack of 12 volts with no battery but connected to shore power.

If your house is less than twenty five years old, the receptacle should be wired for correct polarity (three slots in receptacle, one big slot on one side of receptacle) . The polarity light problem is in the shore power cord. The shore power cable going into the box looks fairly new,(markings are still visible on the cable). It may have been replaced along with the shore power plug.


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Old 04-28-2004, 07:57 AM   #20
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Thanks again - will pass on this info to Peter when he gets home -I'll have dinner on the table (so he does not have to cook ) and he can get right to it - getting about an hour or so of evening light now.

thenewkid64
Quote:
Did the battery survive the night?
Yes we survived - we are pretty sure it was the kitchen extractor fan over the stove - Peter has to yank it and have a look to see what's up. It did work and then it obviously stopped and in our efforts to check things when the battery was dipping we turned it on and left the circuit open that would have drained the battery.
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