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Old 01-07-2006, 08:05 PM   #41
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1964 24' Tradewind
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New 30amp Service

Hi all, hereís my follow-up to the forum advice that was so kindly provided and warmly received. I ran down all the circuits or feeds by hooking up the battery with jumper cables to the various bare wires and using a test meter, found out what went where and how. I bought GE breakers and box. I finalized the breaker configuration as follows;

Electrical Circuits 64 Tradewind 120v
One: 20amp GFI
Bath duplex, curbside bed duplex, curbside exterior outlet, curbside counter top duplex and refrigerator duplex outlet
Two: 15amp GFI
Kitchen counter duplex, Goucho curbside duplex, 15amp exterior power inlet
Three: 15amp
Intellipower converter, original heater fan motor, original thermostat, street side bed duplex outlet
Four: 20amp
Air Conditioner (Brisk Aire Duo Therm)
Five: Blank Empty Nada


I wasnít able to provide a Main Breaker for two reasons, one is I bought the wrong box and two, once I figured that out, didnít have a breaker that would straddle the two middle lugs to power the entire breaker bar or bus. So the auxiliary power lugs are jumped together from the power source and that left me an extra slot (#5) for a future breaker. The ground wires are all together at the red wire nut and a jumper is run from there to one of the available ground lugs. No issues with the neutral lines. Plugged it in and everything tests properly now that a couple of open grounded plugs were reworked and one that was hot neutral reversed.

I think the last issue with this installation is the front curbside exterior 15amp power inlet. This is the same type power inlet that used to feed the old breaker box at the rear of the trailer. It resides on circuit Two and IF plugged in to shore power, I believe it would be providing power behind the #2 breaker, not threw it and I donít think thatís the way itís supposed to be. The way the breaker box is inherently configured, power in this manner to circuit Two would also provide power to circuit Five. Then again, the shore power is run through a breaker at itsí source so I really donít know about this item. Seems to me that the regular power inlet at the rear of the coach powers all and why this extra one is on the front I ainít got a clue or why it would be installed in the manner it is. Is there some convenience that this inlet provides ? Or do ya think it otta be abandoned and a nice patch be put in its place?

Ed
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Old 01-07-2006, 08:21 PM   #42
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Post #40

Geeze, I just re-read the above post about having a main breaker. The way the box is configured is that there are 4 breaker positions, #2&3 will power the entire bus.
What type of breaker, given my box configuration, will fix this?

Thanks again,
Ed
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:09 PM   #43
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Ed,

You're almost there. Just buy a 30a GE single pole breaker and put it in position #5. Then take the black wire from the power inlet and install it on the 30a breaker. It will power one buss, and the jumper you put on the 'auxilary' taps will feed the other.

If you disconnect the ground wires from the neutral buss you will have completed the project. Just run the green wire from the power inlet cord direct to the red wire nut. Make sure the neutral buss is isolated from the box.

Good work!
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:59 AM   #44
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I see said the Blind Man

Thanks Markdoane

Reworked those two connections and all is well. The panel is now configured the way I had envisioned it, just didn't have ma glasses on when I did it! I also "get" how the power buses are working and the isolation of the grounds.
Here's the final confirmation below. Mucho thanks. I also got an explaination on that extra 15amp power inlet at the front of the coach. I've only got one set of mystery wires coming out of the wall and now that the system is hooked up correctly, I'll probably find out what its for!

I'm now on to the DC side.

Regards,
Ed
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:13 PM   #45
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Ed,

Nice job!

The power inlet & cover look fabulous!
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:41 PM   #46
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ed super job looks great!

one suggestion, in the above photo where the black romex emerges from the wall (numbered 1 thru 3) put some kind of bushing or slip a piece of slit heater hose over the wires.

that will keep the aluminum from sawing thrugh the romex.

john
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:52 PM   #47
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Ed,

Your wiring job looks great!

One detail, though, that may be covered, but I can not tell from your picture: On my Overlander, the shore power's green, ground wire is tied to the metal electrical box.

Does your new setup include this detail?

Tom
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:16 PM   #48
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Here's the truth

Thanks John and Mark, here’s the real story.
The old rubber grommets for the romex were replaced with plastic snap-in shields.

My first wiring attempt, predicated on not reviewing the wiring diagram on the inside cover of the breaker box, I ran the ground wires to the aux hot lugs. Over the New Year fest in Bullhead, AZ I picked up a Marinco 30amp to 15amp adapter. I then twist locked the pigtail in the power inlet and went to connect my 15amp cord from the garage. ZOT. The procedure slightly melted one leg on the 15amp adapter and fused shut the female receptacle of the power cord. A friend looked at it and announced the error of my ways. I rewired properly but didn’t understand at the time about the two power buses, nor were they bridged at this time. The 30amp main had power and was also feeding the 15amp GFI breaker above it, unbenounced to me. I went to test the air conditioner on the 20amp circuit and got no power. The reason is obvious now. What the heck? Thinking there was something wrong with the 30amp adapter, I left it pluged in to the power inlet. As I was successful with using the battery to trace the various feed lines, I figured in my infinite wisdom that would work too on the adapter to see if power was coming through. (Don’t stop me here, I’m on a roll!) I had a 50/50 chance of getting the hot lead from the battery onto the adapter prong and guessed wrong. After about 2 seconds there’s white smoke coming out of the power inlet. ZOT. Managed to fry the ground lug on the power inlet clear through to the face plate. The third attempt to straighten this mess up was post #41. Mark’s post about cleaning up the wiring finalized the thing for me. (I can kinda feel John’s white knuckle grip on the armchair followed by rolling belly laughs)

I’m posting this cause it’s a warning to the rest of the folks out there that are as electrically challenged as I was. Not to mention the potential danger that didn’t occur to my person or trailer but limited itself to just parts. (Actually the trailer is insured to be worth more dead than alive!) To borrow your forum phrase,Where else can you have this much fun with your pants on! Talley Ho Folks, I’m blundering off to do something else that will eventually require forum help. Until then, I remain, sincerely yours,

Special Ed
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:23 PM   #49
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No Tom it doesn't.
The ground wire from the 30amp service connects directly to the circuit ground wires, which I understand isolates the grounding to the shore power source. John and Markdoane would probably have the better explaination.

E
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:31 PM   #50
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hmmm.

good point tom.

ward you will want to include a ground to the box from the red wire nut in your photo.

otherwise you could energize the trailer chassis if a hot lead touched the box or the skin of the trailer.

without the ground to box/trailer chassis there would be no way for a breaker feeding the trailer to trip.

john

on edit, each of your trailer outlets would tie the ground to the skin. grounding it in the box is the proper way to do it.
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:41 PM   #51
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Ed,

You could also go to the nearest HD and buy a short grounding bar. It looks just like the neutral bar in the box you have. Mount the grounding bar directly to the surface of the box. Then just run all the ground wires to the bar and eliminate the red wirenut.

The grounding bars cost $3 or so.
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:45 PM   #52
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Can do John, that brings us back to the breaker box pic on post 41. That configuration ran the power source ground to the box lug and was then bridged to the circuit grounds. It would be simple enough to run the bridge from the wire nut over to the box ground lug. Is that what you are advising?

You know, they put dem grounds lugs in there for somthin' and I was actually wonderin' why none were used but I figured the box itself is in contact with the skin and the circuit grounds are in contact with the skin and that the ground was completed in that manner. Course we all know what happens when I start figurin'! Let me know.

By the way John, I was wondering if you have ever met or knew Kitty at the Madison Club.

E
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:48 PM   #53
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Whoa

Mark, are you saying that the neutral bar consists of both the 2 big lugs behind it as well as the bar with screws above it and that the two lugs below the aux hot lugs aren't ground lugs at all?
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:56 PM   #54
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First you need to realize that the breaker rating is the maximum that the breaker will allow to pass thru over an extended time. The breaker can allow for a short period of higher amperage during the start cycle of a motor. For example , Your AC is rated at 14 amps. When the motor starts this will jump to about 22 to 25 amps for a few seconds. A properly working breaker wont trip during this time. After the motor comes up to speed the Amperage draw will drop considerabley possibly to 8 or 9 amps. The reason that your garage breaker hasnt tripped is that The total actual amperage draw hasnt exceded The 15 or 20 amps for sufficient time to trip I hope this helps a little. The photo of your electrical system shows that it probably needs some work. It looks kind of scary to an old electrician.
Curt
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:00 PM   #55
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Quote:
By the way John, I was wondering if you have ever met or knew Kitty at the Madison Club.
no but i would bet my father does, he is a lifetime member.

i cannot quite make out the four large lugs in the photo....


a little better pic would help.

the bottom line is that no matter what the lugs go to, the neutral needs to be electrically insulated from the ground and chassis of the trailer. AND the ground needs to be attached to the box/chassis.

how you do this is just a matter of technique at this point, use the wire nut or get a ground bar. either way is fine.

john
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:01 PM   #56
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Ed,

I sure agree with John on this. Make sure the bar that the neutrals are attached to is isolated from the box, and the box itself is grounded.

I can't tell from the picture either, but I thought the upper two lugs (with the jumper) are the hot legs, and the two lower lugs are for the neutral bar.

I think you need to check that the neutral bar is not connected to the box. If it is, you should switch all the ground wires to the bar with 7 screws and two lugs, and install a separate insulated neutral bar for all the white wires.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:04 PM   #57
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Everyone of them Got Screwed

Happy to report that we are done, or at least I figure so...uh ho!

A ground bar was just installed. The test for continuity was negative from box to neutral and from ground bar to neutral. Evidently the neutral bar supplied is in fact the lug bar connected to the two large lugs beneath it forming one neutral bus bar and based on the continuity test is isolated from the box.

Here's the final, final, final pic of the breaker box installation.

Ed
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:14 PM   #58
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Absolutely beautiful!

Karma to TomW for noticing the ungrounded box.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:30 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardinbb
... Here's the final, final, final pic of the breaker box installation.
Excellent!

Fine job sir! You are now funtional as well as safe.

Tom
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:34 PM   #60
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outstanding!

it looks better than the factory installation in my trailer!

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