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Old 07-19-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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Electrical current felt through bellywrap skin

Hey guys

I was underneath my '74 International riveting my belly skin, when I noticed a slight electrical current when I touched the skin. The trailer was plugged into 110v at the time. Just wondering if this is just because the fuse box is grounded to the frame, or if I have to search for a wire touching somewhere? I haven't tried unplugging it from the 110v and seeing if I can feel it, but I doubt only 12v would make me feel anything.
TIA
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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This could be dangerous. There are several forum entries on the subject and what to do to chase the short down.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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Look for a thread by purman. He had the same problem and we helped solve it. If you can't find it look for my handle and check the posts I have made in the last day or two. It will just save me time in re typing the whole thing.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie
Look for a thread by purman. He had the same problem and we helped solve it. If you can't find it look for my handle and check the posts I have made in the last day or two. It will just save me time in re typing the whole thing.
Thanks found the thread. Now to find the light.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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The light is probably not your problem. Read what I wrote about the wiring not being correct. The light simply indicates there is a problem.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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The first thing I would check is the source ground at the house and then at the trailer.If those are good I would open the110 panel and make sure the ground connection to the panel is good.

Sound like you have a high resistance in the ground circuit and you are becoming the ground while lying on the ground.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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I'll bet the source is reversed wires at source (where/what you plug trailer in to).
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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I'll bet the source is reversed wires at source (where/what you plug trailer in to).
That could be a possibility if he is plugged in with just a 2 wire connection and the ground was floating.

If he has a 3 wire connection it would blow the source fuse as soon as he plugged in because the ground and neutral are connected in the trailer electrical panel thus a direct path to ground.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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Plug tester in and they will know ASAP.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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The ground and neutral should NOT be (bonded) or connected together in the trailer. The ground path for your trailer should only be thru the panel in your house or shop. This is the point where the neutral is bonded to the ground.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie
The ground and neutral should NOT be (bonded) or connected together in the trailer. The ground path for your trailer should only be thru the panel in your house or shop. This is the point where the neutral is bonded to the ground.
Thanks. That shore breaker has tripped on me a couple times. Thought it was just the new water heater overloading it. I have a tester. I'll try that and a try plugging into a different outlet, and if it persists on to the trailer. Thanks again for the help. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #12
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I am on the road and it didn't do it at the camp ground. It's either my garage plugs or the plug adaptor I was using. I will try the plug adaptor at the next camp ground. It looks a little melted in one of the sockets.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
The first thing I would check is the source ground at the house and then at the trailer.If those are good I would open the110 panel and make sure the ground connection to the panel is good.

Sound like you have a high resistance in the ground circuit and you are becoming the ground while lying on the ground.
Checked the outlet on my garage with a tester and it was fine so it must be the trailer. It has the factory end on the cord, so that should be fine. And I just bought a new adaptor. I'll check out the trailer tomorrow. I'll check the panel first and then? Then Ill kill one circuit and a time and Feel for the current. And ill open up the junction box in the rear storage area and see if everything looks ok. is that a good place to start?
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:03 AM   #14
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WAIT!! Do not "feel" for a current... or you might never get up from under the trailer! Use a electrical gauge to test for continuity between the trailer and the ground... never use yourself!!!
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #15
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Get a long enough piece of #12 wire to reach from the house to the inside of the trailer. SCREW the house end to a known good grounding point, grounded electrical box. Secure the neutral end of your voltmeter to the ohter end of the wire, wire nut or solder it. and use that as your tester.

Open the electrical panel and turn off all circuits. Now test the trailer skin for voltage. There should not be any. If there is the problem is in the wire supplying the panel or in the panel its self. If this tests OK turn one breaker on at a time and test the skin as you do. This should locate the circuit that is the problem. If you find a circuit that is leaking to the trailer skin them you will have to work your way along that circuit to find the problem by open each wall box and opening the circuit by lifting the wires off the receptacle and testing.

Turn off all circuit in the panel. Turn on the one you suspect and test to be sure it is in fact the problem. While the circuit is on plug in a test light fixture in all the wall boxes to map out the circuit in the trailer. Once you know how that circuit goes through the trailer turn it off and locate the wall box on that circuit closest to the panel. Turn it off and pen the wall box disconnect the wires leaving them float in open space. Turn the circuit on and test. If voltage is on the skin the problem is in the wire feeding that box. If not move to the next wall box and repeat.

As you open each box do an inspection for any wire that could be touching other than the electrical connection.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #16
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[QUOTE="HowieE"]Get a long enough piece of #12 wire to reach from the house to the inside of the trailer. SCREW the house end to a known good grounding point, grounded electrical box. Secure the neutral end of your voltmeter to the ohter end of the wire, wire nut or solder it. and use that as your tester.

Thanks again guys. I have a tester that beeps when it's near a live current. I think that should work fine. If not I will follow the steps listed above. I'll also use my plugin tester on the outlets in the trailer. That should cover everything but the wiring to the air conditioner. Fridge, water heater, and power invertor should be the only other things on 110 and they are all plugged into outlets.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #17
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Thanks again guys. I have a tester that beeps when it's near a live current. I think that should work fine. If not I will follow the steps listed above. I'll also use my plugin tester on the outlets in the trailer. That should cover everything but the wiring to the air conditioner. Fridge, water heater, and power invertor should be the only other things on 110 and they are all plugged into outlets
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #18
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Neither of those will give you the information you are looking for. Yes the field meter will beep because we all ready know there is voltage present and yes you will see voltage at ever place you plug in the receptacle tester because the breakers have not popped.

You are looking for a LEAKAGE not an open and not a short.

Now another thing I did not mention. Make sure everything in the trailer is unplugged before you start testing. Often times a miss wired appliance, radio, or other electrical item can cause this.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #19
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The tester is a device (usually yellow, about $5, and is available at just about every hardware store) that plugs into the outlet. It has a series of 3 lights. Depending on what lights come on it will tell you if everything is wired correctly in that outlet or if something is backwards. It will also tell you if it is a grounded outlet. There is an explanation of the lights and what they mean on the device. I plug that tester into every outlet I plug my trailer into before I plug the trailer in.
Tom
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:19 PM   #20
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Ok. Making some progress. The inside of the breaker box looks good. I have narrowed it down to the circuit with the power inverter on it. Its a new inverter that plugs into an outlet and had has a place for large white and blue wires to plug into the back, along with a ground wire. This will be the output to the fusebox and battery. I found the thick white wire coming from the back of the inverter was loose and I could pull It out without loosening the screw. I've also noticed the ground wire from the power inverter is grounded to the frame, and the wire doesn't look that thick. Sound like either of these could be my problem?
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