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Old 05-29-2019, 08:59 PM   #1
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

I typically plug into a 30 amp plug at our garage. When I do that all is well. Everything works in the AS (2016 22' Bambi Sport) . Today my son and daughter-in-law came and since I was not using the AS I decided to let them have the 30 amp outlet and I would just use the 20 amp outlet with a dog bone on my regular 30 amp cord. As soon as I plugged in the AS to the 20 amp outlet/circuit it popped the GFI in the garage. I tried different extension cords and different outlets, even tried plugging the dog bone directly into the outlet without an extension cord, still popped.

Plugged my sons RV into the 20 amp circuit and all is fine. I'm nervous that this will happen once I get out this summer on my 8 week trip.

When I plug my EMS into the 20 amp it reads it as OK and normal.

It's got to be something in my trailer. Any suggestions?

Gonna trouble shoot some more tomorrow but thought I would throw this out the the forum.

Thanks,

Aaron
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:39 AM   #2
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A bit more information. I did check the 110 30 amp circuit with my EMS-PT30x and it was giving a normal reading prior to plugging in the Air Stream. When I plug it in the refrigerator & microwave donít appear to turn on (numbers not lit up on microwave ). 20 seconds or so later it pops the GFI in the garage.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:26 AM   #3
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The EMS will delay 136 seconds before energizing your trailer. It sounds like as soon as the trailer is connected your GFI trips. You would not normally see any numbers inside, like the microwave, until after the initial delay is over.
There are a lot of threads here to search about GFI outlets tripping when feeding the trailer, some of which are due to defective GFI breakers. You have a number of other possibilities, but this subject has been covered a lot.
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Old 06-01-2019, 03:06 PM   #4
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

Did some research on the forum here and started doing some testing today.

Turned off all the breakers in the AS. Turned off the disconnect. Disconnected the battery. Plugged into 110/20 amp GFI outlet and popped the GFI.

So it seems like it is a grounding issue in the AS. (It doesnít pop the GFI when my sons RV is plugged in and running their AC on the 110/20 amp GFI.)

So the question is, is there a way for me to track down the grounding issue without paying a fortune to an RV place (there is no Air Stream dealer within 200 miles of me)? And knowing Iím not an electrician! Simple, obvious tests I can run?

Again, this is a 2016 22í Bambi Sport.

Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:34 PM   #5
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

Pull the 30A plug on your trailer and see if itís melted / shorting on the backside. I believe itís just 2 screws.

Next Iíd check the breaker box in the trailer - pull the front cover off and make sure your 30A hot / neutral / ground are attached well to the bus bars and main breaker and there are no sighs of heat damage.

If youíve been running the AC, electric hot water heater and other stuff for extended periods of time, all at the same time tapping our 30A on the supply side heat can definitely build up.

Iíd start there.

Itís also possible you have a bad GFI outlet in your home. They do go bad....
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:14 PM   #6
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It sounds like you likely have continuity between the ground and neutral inside your trailer, i.e. a ground fault. Your breakers only switch the hot side, so they would have no effect on a neutral to ground short.

I suggest unplugging your shore power, then opening your breaker box. Use a multimeter to check for continuity between the neutral bus bar and the ground. If I'm right, you'll have to continuity there. Then start removing neutral wires from the bus bar, one by one, checking continuity to ground in between to see which one is at fault. When you find which wire's removal fixes the ground fault, you'll know which circuit the problem is on.
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
Pull the 30A plug on your trailer and see if itís melted / shorting on the backside. I believe itís just 2 screws.

Next Iíd check the breaker box in the trailer - pull the front cover off and make sure your 30A hot / neutral / ground are attached well to the bus bars and main breaker and there are no sighs of heat damage.

If youíve been running the AC, electric hot water heater and other stuff for extended periods of time, all at the same time tapping our 30A on the supply side heat can definitely build up.

Iíd start there.

Itís also possible you have a bad GFI outlet in your home. They do go bad....


Thanks! Iíll look at those things.
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Old 06-02-2019, 07:30 AM   #8
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

A novice question... if there is a continuity problem would it also be there when Iím plugged into 30 amp? When Iím plugged into 30 amp there is no problem.

I think the GFI is good because using the same 20 amp GFI it doesnít pop when my sons RV is plugged in AND they are running their AC.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:50 AM   #9
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If your 30 amp outlet is not GFCI, then it would not trip for a ground/neutral fault condition. A normal breaker trips under overload condition (to much current draw or short circuit in the wiring)

ps
Do you have a plug in tester? This would show were the fault is occurring, at any outlet. But not at the air conditioner since (and maybe the converter if) it is hardwired.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008E07HM2...il_aax_0?psc=1
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:21 AM   #10
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Do you have a plug in tester? This would show were the fault is occurring, at any outlet. But not at the air conditioner since (and maybe the converter if) it is hardwired.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008E07HM2...il_aax_0?psc=1
Since all the outlets are tied to the same neutral bus bar and the same ground, a ground fault inside the trailer should show up on every outlet, regardless of where the fault is.

Still a helpful piece of equipment to have in your tool bag.
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:49 AM   #11
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Not necessary say the fault is on the TV circuit all the items connected to that circuit breaker will show the fault, say the microwave is on a different breaker it will be OK. If you have an electric hot water heater and the electric element shorts it will only show up on that circuit. Post #6 Greatlys outline on how to isolate is a valid way to test however, once isolated to a circuit breaker and neutral wire for that breaker you have to isolate everything associated with that breaker.
Do you have an inverter? Some models tie neutral and ground together and that would be a ground fault. NOT all but some inverters.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:03 AM   #12
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Not necessary say the fault is on the TV circuit all the items connected to that circuit breaker will show the fault, say the microwave is on a different breaker it will be OK. If you have an electric hot water heater and the electric element shorts it will only show up on that circuit. Post #6 Greatlys outline on how to isolate is a valid way to test however, once isolated to a circuit breaker and neutral wire for that breaker you have to isolate everything associated with that breaker.
I disagree. The breakers only switch the hot side. A neutral-ground short does not involve the hot side at all, so the breakers are irrelevant. All neutral wires are tied to the same bus bar inside the breaker box, so you should have continuity among all the neutral wires in the entire trailer, regardless of which circuit they are on. If one neutral has a short to ground, they all will see the same short through the neutral bus.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:24 PM   #13
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

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Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Since all the outlets are tied to the same neutral bus bar and the same ground, a ground fault inside the trailer should show up on every outlet, regardless of where the fault is.

Still a helpful piece of equipment to have in your tool bag.


Yes. I have one. Iíll try this too. As you say if there is a ground fault it should show up in the first plug!

...not ground fault indicated by tester.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:28 PM   #14
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Yes. I have one. Iíll try this too. As you say if there is a ground fault it should show up in the first plug!

...not ground fault indicated by tester.
In that case, I would check for a neutral to ground short from the plug end of your extension cord with a multimeter. Tripping the GFCI immediately suggests a ground fault, so if it's not in the trailer, the cord/adapter would be the next thing to check.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:29 PM   #15
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Let me back up, in post 6 you suggested to disconnect the neutral wire from the buss bar one at a time looking for the short between the ground buss bar and neutral buss bar to no longer show a short. this will pin point what neutral wire and ground wire has the problem.
I just take it one step further the faulty neutral wire is associated with one hot wire leave the neutral wire disconnected flip that breaker connect power and find out what doesn't work. I just did not assume all outlets are on the same circuit.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:51 PM   #16
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

Well I am on the road now. Did get a chance to look inside the fuse box. No bad spots, burned or melted wires. I did try to check continuity but the is a green wire that connects the two bus bars so there would obviously be continuity. Tired taking individual wires out and check but none of the showed continuity. Iím sure I was doing it wrong not being an electrician. For now Iím just hoping I donít need a 110 outlet in this 8 week tour!

Thanks for everyoneís help. I just didnít have time to finish the process. Maybe Iíll find a 110 in one of these state parks and Iíll try it there. Maybe it was my outlets! Thanks again.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:03 PM   #17
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There should be no continuity between the ground buss and neutral buss when disconnected from shore power.


If the green wire is a ground wire (and green wires are almost always ground) that needs to go to the ground buss and not the neutral buss.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:10 PM   #18
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20 amp shore power GFI tripping

Amen to that. There shouldnít be a jumper between the ground and neutral busbar for any reason inside a trailer breaker panel.

If thatís the only place it goes, remove it, or at least only have it on the ground bus bar.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:55 AM   #19
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Thank you, thank you. Here is a pic of the fuse box. I think the green wire is pretty obvious. Should I remove it?

Click image for larger version

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Old 06-04-2019, 09:01 AM   #20
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Thank you, thank you. Here is a pic of the fuse box. I think the green wire is pretty obvious. Should I remove it?

Attachment 342470
Bingo. There is your problem. Someone didn't know what they were doing.

It's code to connect the neutral and ground in a residential breaket box, but it's code NOT to do so in an RV. There is supposed to be only one neutral to ground bond in your electrical system, and that should be inside the house or the trailer pedestal you're plugged into, not inside the trailer.

Remove the jumper, that should correct the ground fault.

Edit: also make sure those bare copper wires behind the neutral bus aren't touching any of the neutral wires or the bus itself.
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