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Throwing breakers


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#1 clover

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:26 PM

I want to plug in the Casita just to keep the battery charged. I ran the cord into our garage and tried 4 different plugs. I had all of the breakers turned off inside the Casita so there was no chance I might accidentally put a load on the house by switching on the air conditioner or something else. Every time I would plug in the cord the house plug would throw those little red/black button in the middle of the plug. (I know there is a name for that kind of protected plug...GCIsomething). I can plug in a hair dryer into those same plugs and they won't pop the plug breaker. Is there something wrong with the wiring in the Casita or the house?
Happy Trails!
Clover
2003 17' SD
2003 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)

#2 Mark and Shannan

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:07 PM

I'll take a guess and say that you may have a dead battery and the converter is popping the GFCI outlet (15 amps?). How old is the battery and when was it last fully charged?
Mark and Shannan
Pacific Northwest
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Nissan Pathfinder LE 4WD

#3 dab

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:28 AM

I believe the breaker that you refer to is a "Ground Fault" breaker, it is designed to detect small differences in "hot" and "neutral" current. If there are differences in hot and neutral currents, then the likely explanation is current flowing somewhere it's not supposed to - like through your body. That's why you find them (required by code I think) in bathrooms, kitchens and garages. They are a personal safety protection item, but also protect against current overload. I would guess you have a "ground fault" in your Casita if the little red button in the middle of the breaker or plug is popping.

Dave
Boise, ID

#4 sparky1

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:54 AM

1. If all the breakers are (OFF) in casita===I would suspect the extention cord--first-unplug it from Cassie--Try again.
2. lots of GFCI ground fault circuit interrupters in series -will trip the closest to the power panel., which is what you are saying,but if Cassie ,all breakers are open(OFF) it's possible it' might be wired incorrectly or the male plug/and Or adapter your using to adapt to Extention cord are shorted,somehow.
3. how good is the extention cord- also how long in ft. ?
sparky1 in Va.

#5 clover

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (sparky1 @ Feb 19 2010, 06:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. If all the breakers are (OFF) in casita===I would suspect the extention cord--first-unplug it from Cassie--Try again.
2. lots of GFCI ground fault circuit interrupters in series -will trip the closest to the power panel., which is what you are saying,but if Cassie ,all breakers are open(OFF) it's possible it' might be wired incorrectly or the male plug/and Or adapter your using to adapt to Extention cord are shorted,somehow.
3. how good is the extention cord- also how long in ft. ?
sparky1 in Va.



The extension cord that is part of the Casita looks great, no dry rotting, crack or crimps. The extension cord I used to attach to the Casita cord is about 6 months old with no visible blemishes.

I have plugged a hair dryer into several of the outlets in the garage without those GFCI things tripping.

How do I figure out where there might be a short? I have not messed with the wiring and the previous owner only used the Casita a few times, he did not do any modifications to the Casita. Should I take it back to Casita and have them look at the wiring?
Happy Trails!
Clover
2003 17' SD
2003 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)

#6 Mark and Shannan

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 10:03 AM

Eliminate the extension cord by trying the hair dryer on it (just for the heck of it). Disconnect the battery and see if the breaker still pops.
Mark and Shannan
Pacific Northwest
17 Liberty Deluxe
Nissan Pathfinder LE 4WD

#7 Don in OKC

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:29 PM

1. Disconnect the Casita cord from the 'extra extension cord'.

2. Plug your hair dryer (heat and air selected) into the extension cord. Does it work?

If not, replace the extension cord.

If so, continue.....




3. Disconnect the Casita battery.

4. Turn all the breakers in the Casita converter/charger panel 'off'.

5. Plug the Casita cord into (the extension cord that is plugged into) the house/garage.

a. if the house/garage breaker doesn't blow..... take your hair dryer (select no heat, just blower only) to an outlet in the Casita, plug it in, and one at a time turn each breaker 'on' until something happens. If the hair dryer works OK, the trouble is in the Casita battery or wiring going to it. Actually the trouble is that your house circuit won't handle the amperage that the battery needs due to it's depleted state. You may need to remove the battery from the Casita (check each cell for the proper electrolyte level, add distilled water if needed), charge it up using some other means, then install it back in the Casita.

You may need to use a house outlet that's not protected by a 'ground fault interrupter'. The little red button thingy. I've had this trouble along with many RV folks. You may need to use an inside outlet......or.... don't be fooled other outlets in the garage, kitchen or bath may be controlled by the 'little red button' outlet. If you plug in to one of these, the little red button may still trip. Keep looking for an outlet that's not effected by the little red button. It was common to install house circuits this way for 20 years or so, but I think they do it differently on recent construction.

....... the trouble is elsewhere in the Casita.


POint is that if you have a late model Casita, with a dead battery, the converter/charger is going to try to put out about 30-35 amps at first to revive a dead battery. You're plugged into a 20 amp circuit which will blow the house breaker......but add to that the ground fault circuit (the outlet controlled by the 'little red button') is more pickey about high amperage output and will blow quicker than a regular 20 amp circuit.

Your hair dryer, on high heat and high fan will use about 15 amps.

Next, we're 'assuming' your outlets are properly wired. Walmart or Harbor Freight has a tester for a bout $7.

But, I'll bet it's the battery. wink.gif

Once going, FEEL each cord, especially at the connections, for heat. A good 'looking' cord may fool ya. If it's hot, there's trouble underneath. Disconnect and find the source. Do not leave a hot cord unattended!

Yeah, it's the battery...... but I'd bet the battery is just a victim in this case and the perp is lurking in the shadows.
Don in OKC - (Useta have a) 2000 16' LD, 98 Chrysler T&C

#8 Jim & Carol

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 01:01 PM

I had a similar problem with a GFCI tripping with shore power a couple years ago. It would trip whenever I turned on the converter breaker. I called Parallax and the guy I talked who said he had worked a lot on RV electrical problems and most of the time, elecrical leaks that trigger a shorepower GFCI were due to a bad hot water heater AC heating element, even if the hot water heater is turned off. He was right. The water heater element was burned out and the GFCI tripping problem disappeared once I replaced it. I have never reallyy understood the electrical reason why this happens, perhaps someone else would know.
Jim
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#9 dab

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE (Don in OKC @ Feb 19 2010, 01:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
POint is that if you have a late model Casita, with a dead battery, the converter/charger is going to try to put out about 30-35 amps at first to revive a dead battery. You're plugged into a 20 amp circuit which will blow the house breaker......but add to that the ground fault circuit (the outlet controlled by the 'little red button') is more pickey about high amperage output and will blow quicker than a regular 20 amp circuit.


30 to 35 amps at roughly 15 volts is only 500 watts. That's about 5 amps at 120 volts, assuming the converter might only be 80% efficient. Shouldn't be a problem for LOAD. I think this is a ground fault problem.

Dave
Boise, ID

#10 Mhilley

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE (dab @ Feb 19 2010, 08:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Don in OKC @ Feb 19 2010, 01:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
POint is that if you have a late model Casita, with a dead battery, the converter/charger is going to try to put out about 30-35 amps at first to revive a dead battery. You're plugged into a 20 amp circuit which will blow the house breaker......but add to that the ground fault circuit (the outlet controlled by the 'little red button') is more pickey about high amperage output and will blow quicker than a regular 20 amp circuit.


30 to 35 amps at roughly 15 volts is only 500 watts. That's about 5 amps at 120 volts, assuming the converter might only be 80% efficient. Shouldn't be a problem for LOAD. I think this is a ground fault problem.

Dave
Boise, ID

Very simply stated, the GFI measures the current going out and compares it to the current coming back and if it doesn't match it will trip. Huh? If the extension cord is miswired of has moisture under the cover it will trip the GFI. That is my vote, but please let us know what you find. I bought a new cord at Home Depot once which was miswired (made in guess where - China.)

#11 clover

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 05:15 PM

Wow! gone for the weekend and look at all the help I received!

I need to help clarify. Burro had a suggest in a message sent................I need to have year and model of our Casita so folks can help me much better. I did put that in my signature. Thanks for the suggestion Burro! 2003 17' SD.

The hair dryer.........I plugged it into the outlets in the garage to test the outlets and see if they were the problem. Since the hair dryer was the highest watts device I could come up with. None of the garage outlets tripped.

The cord for the Casita has never been hot after being plugged into an outlet at a camp sight or to our Honda generator. I only used an additional extension cord one time and it did not get hot.

The battery was not or has not been dead. It is 6 months old and I have kept it topped off in distilled water. I just wanted to be able to plug it into the house outlet occasionally to top off charging the battery or if I wanted to go inside and do some packing or cleaning and not have to run the generator to run the lights.

I was having problems with my hot water heater, but got that fixed. It seemed I couldn't get the empty hot water tank filled enough off the fresh water tank just using the pump........to satisfy the propane to ignite. Once I hooked up to city water the tank filled and the propane side of the heater lighted up. The water is hot using propane or electricity.

I am going to follow up on some of the suggestions you all have given me and I will report back when we solve the mystery.

Thanks all for your prompt responses and great suggestions.


Happy Trails!
Clover
2003 17' SD
2003 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)