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Amp Draw Electrical Question

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#1 Zetta

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 02:46 PM

Hi, I can hear the electrical box humming all the time when my 1998 Liberty Deluxe is plugged in so I tested the amp draw and the trailer is pulling approximately 17 amps with the house battery disconnected, the fridge and pump turned off, and everything I can find unplugged. Also, the brake drums are cool so they do not appear to be drawing any power.

 

Does anyone know how many amps the trailer should draw in this condition?

 

Thank you in advance.



#2 kpiercec8

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 03:40 PM

17Amps on the AC Side or the DC side? If on AC side Id watch the meter and start tripping the AC breakers until you find the offending circuit. If its 17A on the DC side watch the meter and start pulling Fuses. We need more information to help you out. With everything off in my Casita the only current draw is about 80ma at 12V and thats from the Propane detector. KP

Kim & Mary Pierce


#3 kpiercec8

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 03:41 PM

17Amps on the AC Side or the DC side? If on AC side Id watch the meter and start tripping the AC breakers until you find the offending circuit. If its 17A on the DC side watch the meter and start pulling Fuses. We need more information to help you out. With everything off in my Casita the only current draw is about 80ma at 12V and thats from the Propane detector. KP

Kim & Mary Pierce


#4 nealreust

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Posted 21 March 2020 - 09:06 PM

You are plugged into shore power and turned every thing off that you can.

The only appliance in your trailer that would be capable of drawing 17 amps under those conditions is the water heater.

Switch it off at the circuit breaker of at the heater itself. 


Edited by nealreust, 21 March 2020 - 09:07 PM.

Neal & Kaye Reust
Las Cruces, NM
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2009 Nissan Titan

#5 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 05:32 AM

With 17 amps of AC current, something is going to get hot.  That's 2100 watts! 

 

As to hum, if you have the Magnatek converter, it has a transformer mounted to the metal case.  Not at all unusual for the transformer to vibrate and resonate with the metal case.   However, it won't be drawing 17 amps.   As advised, turn off one breaker at a time to determine what exactly is causing the 17 amp current draw.  



#6 Zetta

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 06:25 AM

Good questions, sorry about the lack of relevant detail.

 

I am connected to shore power and pulling 17 amps on the AC side. I do not have an electric water heater so that can’t be it. I have disconnected the negative side of the house battery so I don’t see how it would be the battery charging feature but to make sure I will disconnect the positive side also. I only have 3 breakers, the Main, A/C, all 120V outlets. Obviously turning off all three breakers eliminates all draw. Turning on the main breaker with the others turned off immediately jumps the draw to 17 amps.

 

As I said before, the brakes are cool so I don’t think that is the problem but I will check those further. Are the brakes wired thru a fuse or are they wired directly to the battery?

 

If disconnecting the + side of the battery doesn’t change anything I am going to start disconnecting wires in the electrical box to see if I can determine if one of those is causing the draw. 

 

Please send more questions as you think of them. Thanks



#7 Jay herb

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 07:10 AM

If you still have the 6300 Magnatek converter your built in battery charger will hum , I still have the 6300 and I installed a  extra 

circuit breaker and rewired the charger to turn off the charger so I could sleep without the noise right under my head.

Check to see if your refer is not set on DC as it will draw a lot of amps even with the battery disconnected and plugged into  AC.


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So. Oregon
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#8 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 10:27 AM

Fact is......17 amps is not correct nor is it good.   Check to see you don't have the receptical where the shore power is plugged in wired wrong.   Make sure the hot and neutral are not swapped somewhere.     Or at the trailer end.    AS Jay Herb said, the Magnatek converter may hum but should not be drawing 17 amps.   I doubt the refgr even on AC will draw 17 amps.

 

With that much amperage being drawn, something will be getting warm to hot.   Carefully check or feel  wires, outlets and breakers for warmth or hot.  I said CAREFULLY! 

 

The brakes are DC and powered from the tow vehicle  unless the break-a-way switch has been activated at which point it is powered from the house battery.  You've disconnected that.  


Edited by Linda & Bob, K4TAX, 22 March 2020 - 10:28 AM.


#9 nealreust

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 10:29 AM

The frig on DC can draw up to 15 A  on battery but only about 1.5A on ac and he says it's turned off.

The water heater is gas only.  The AC is turned off.

Hi current draw will happens when only the main breaker is on and all ac brakers are off.

All converter outputs should be fused, the largest fuse is 30A, battery re-settable braker was 20 A.

It all suggests an internal short of the converter, which should have burst into flames by now.  

 or

An ammeter read at the wrong scale.


Edited by nealreust, 22 March 2020 - 10:33 AM.

Neal & Kaye Reust
Las Cruces, NM
2008 17 FD "Bert" (Eggbert)
2009 Nissan Titan

#10 Zetta

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 01:48 PM

Folks, I owe everyone an apology and many thanks for the ideas but I have to admit it was all user error. I just went back and read the instructions for my Klein line splitter and testing tool and learned that the splitter multiplies the reading by 10. So instead of drawing 17 amps, the Casita is only drawing 1.7 amps which makes me feel much better about the trailer.  :wacko:

 

However, it does not explain what happened to start me on this journey of discovery. The outdoor 15 AMP GFCI outlet I had plugged the Casita into over the winter to keep the house battery charged suddenly started tripping. At least now I know the problem is isolated to the outlet and not the trailer. I know GFCI outlets can sometimes simply go bad so I will start by replacing it and see what happens.

 

Again, thank you all for the quick responses and great ideas to check. Yeah, I don’t like to ask for directions either so its not unusual for me to get lost. I like to call it unplanned exploring, my wife calls it something else. 


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#11 Linda & Bob, K4TAX

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Posted 22 March 2020 - 06:57 PM

Zetta:   That is GREAT news you discovered the issue.  Glad you read the meter incorrectly and figured out what transpired. 

 

I suggest you replace that 15 amp GFI with a regular 30 amp RV outlet and with a dedicated breaker in the panel rated at 30 amps.  And you can get a GFI breaker to install in the panel to be on the safe side.   

 

If you are using a 15 amp to 30 amp pigtail conversion device,  those can be the cause of the 15A GFI tripping if the ground connection fails.    All of this needs to be in a weather proof UL approved box if outside of the building.  



#12 Zetta

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 05:31 AM

According to my tester, the 15 amp GFCI is wired correctly and the ground is good but I intend to install a 30 amp outlet as soon as the ground thaws to eliminate this question. Plus, on a 30 amp outlet I will be able to run the AC from time to time to make sure all is well before I leave on a camping trip. Maybe the Casita will become an onsite guest cottage  :D

 

Again, thanks to all of you for the assistance.



#13 Euphoria

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 05:37 AM

My trailer is plugged into a 30 Amp RV plug in its own subpanel that I installed outside my garage door, but it is only fed with 12 gauge Romex wiring on a 20 Amp breaker from the garage main panel. I have no problems running the A/C, the fridge, and the TV set on 120 vac, all at the same time. You should be fine with a 30 Amp circuit.


"If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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#14 Zetta

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 06:36 AM

I have some 8 gauge copper wire leftover from another project and I only have to run 50 feet from the breaker box so that should support my 30 amp outlet just fine.

 

Euphoria, how long of a run is that 12 gauge wire?



#15 Euphoria

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Posted 23 March 2020 - 07:45 AM

About 20 feet.


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"If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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