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Old 02-21-2021, 03:30 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Converter Circuit Breaker Has Flipped Out Twice This Month

After full-timing 8 years without problems with the CB that protects the Converter in our '99 Excella it has shut down the electrical outlets fore and aft twice in recent weeks. When we switch it back on it works.

The forward outlet is connected to a portable radiator, but we have used it for at least four winters now. The aft outlet is used for a few minutes to power a hair dryer daily, but mostly to supply juice to a clock and a lamp.

Do you have a clue as to why this is happening?
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:53 PM   #2
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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If I have understood you correctly, are you sure that one single circuit breaker controls the 120-volt power to the converter/battery charger, and to those 2 outlets?

Typically the above uses would require at least 2 circuit breakers, and perhaps 3.

Are your batteries being charged correctly by the converter/battery charger, and are all the 12-volt uses in the trailer working OK? [lights etc.]

Maybe both that electrical radiator and the hair dryer are coming on at the same time? That might cause the circuit breaker to "trip" but not sure about it "flipping out" . . .

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Old 02-22-2021, 07:43 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
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Clarification of Our Circuit Breakers

We have one 50 labeled "Main" and 5 20 amp breakers identified as 1) Galley/bath/outside/living area, 2) water heater, 3) microwave, 4) converter (the one that trips - I flip/ out) , and 5) one last 20 for the A/C.

Neither trip occurred with the hair dryer running.

The batteries are halfway through their 4th year of life but register full green without shore power.

Does that narrow the options?

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:59 AM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badkat View Post
. . .
. . . 4) converter (the one that trips . . .
. . .
In my lay opinion, this suggests that your converter has a problem, and may need to be replaced. If it is 1999 OEM I would suggest replacing it, after reassessing your "big picture" priorities for new:

-- batteries [incl. lithium]
-- converter
-- solar
-- etc.

If the converter is charging the batteries to Green, that is good, but the circuit breaker tripping is a red flag IMO. Not sure about the risk of a fire from a converter going bad, so getting expert advice ASAP is probably a good idea IMO.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:12 AM   #5
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Replace the breaker? Consistent once in awhile high draw use on a 22yr old breaker, it may be time regardless.

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Old 02-22-2021, 09:30 AM   #6
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Yep with Robert Cross - things get old and need replacing - my wife continues to remind me of that fact ...
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:31 AM   #7
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Hi

Depending on a breaker to tell you when a circuit is over current is not a great idea. Breakers are there to prevent fires. You can have damage at levels the breaker will not do anything about.

If you dig into the specs on a breaker, they have a "time to trip" specification. If you put a dead short on one, it will trip very quickly. If you put a 10% overload on one it may take a *long* time to trip (like hours ...). Just how long depends very much on the model of breaker you happen to have.

Something like a heater ( = your radiator) will have a variable run cycle depending on the temperature. If it's relatively warm out, it might only pull current for a minute and then shut down for a while. If it gets much colder, it could pull current full time. If that puts it over the "time to trip" on the breaker .... clunk ... out it goes.

Indeed if you have a 20 year old converter / charger, it's time to replace it. That's independent of it being the source of this problem or not. It simply is past its "use by" date. Waiting for it to do something dramatic ( smoke ....) is not a good idea.

Bob
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:16 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
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More Clarification of Our Circuit Breakers

The entire electrical box was replaced 6-7 years ago, including all the breakers.

But the point is well taken on a converter that's old enough to buy whiskey. Should we replace it with something like its '99 OEM converter, or do newer and better converters exist that might serve better or more reliably?

Thanks for your advice,
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:49 PM   #9
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badkat View Post
The entire electrical box was replaced 6-7 years ago, including all the breakers.

But the point is well taken on a converter that's old enough to buy whiskey. Should we replace it with something like its '99 OEM converter, or do newer and better converters exist that might serve better or more reliably?

Thanks for your advice,
Definitely do NOT replace with OEM, you probably can't find anything that bad anyway, unless foolish enough to get a used one, then why bother.

As far as what to get first decide what you want from your 12 volt system.

Do you do a lot of boondocking?

Do you want to upgrade to lithium?

Do you have/want solar?
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:43 PM   #10
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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Check your 30 amp male connection to see if the connections are clean. I had a problem not long ago where I plugged the 30 amp male into a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter and had a 50 ft. Construction cord which was plugged into a 15 amp outlet in the garage which also powers a chest freezer. I was running my oil radiator in the trailer to cut down on moisture when sometime in the morning the house GFIC tripped. I unplugged the heater and reset the breaker only to have it trip again. I found the adapter and 30 amp male plug were a little dirty so cleaned them up with emory paper. I then looked at the male plug at the garage outlet and found an oily substance and grunge on the connections. I cleaned them up and it has been fine for the last few days. The converter is also running on this circuit.
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:49 PM   #11
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One more thought. Is there a relationship between the circuit breaker shutting off the converter and a source of heat near the electrical cabinet? You don't have a heater close to the electrical cabinet? Right? Low voltage at power pillar? Everyone using power in the Park at the same time? Low voltage equals higher amperage draw more "heat" in the cabinet. My 25' Safari original converter would shut down on a regular basis in the summer time until it was replaced with a Progressive Dynamics converter. Just a thought.
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:17 AM   #12
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1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
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So if you were to replace it with a Progressive what would it be? There is no heater close to electrical box or converter. It tripped twice but has not since.
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