The RV Forum Community

RVing message boards => Winnebago-specific issues => Topic started by: debsmg on September 10, 2019, 08:41:27 AM

Title: Electrical help please
Post by: debsmg on September 10, 2019, 08:41:27 AM
So last night I turned on a small space heater then a little later a Nuwave oven. I realized they were on same circuit and went to shut off heater but circuit popped before I got it off. So I checked breakers- all on. The GFI for this circuit is in a compartment where inverter is on my coach. This circuit runs tv and bedroom outlets and one outlet over table and and can be used with inverter if boondocking. I could not get it to reset however. Checked fuses and they are ok as well. Tried to reset this morning and still no luck. Everything is unplugged from this circuit.
A few days ago when I was unplugging my phone from the outlet where I had plugged in heater. I noticed it sparked. Was not sure if the phone plug or outlet that sparked. If the outlet is bad, could that be what is preventing my GFI from resetting? I am thinking about pulling out that plug and checking to see if something is wrong with it. Ideas? Thanks!

edit by staff - changed message icon to topic solved
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 10, 2019, 08:48:10 AM
A GFCI will not reset if the circuit has no power. Odds are the outlet you used is served by your inverter and that the breaker in the inverter itself has tripped. Usually a push-button type.
Using the space heater + Nuwave together does not cause a GFCI trip unless one of them is defective. What you experienced is a power overload (too many amps), which will cause the circuit breaker to trip rather than the GFCI.  You just need to find the breaker.
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: debsmg on September 10, 2019, 09:10:59 AM
Ok I will do some more looking. I went and reset all the circuit breakers in the panel-still nothing. Will do some more looking. Manual was not helpful. Thanks!
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: Henry J Fate on September 10, 2019, 01:58:52 PM
Definitely pull that sparking receptacle and have a look at it. Even if it is not the problem, it would be a good idea to make sure the outlet is not showing any signs of failure. Both for safety and troubleshooting the electrical issue.

The GFI that is in the inverter compartment, is that running anything in the compartment ?

I have seen series circuits of outlets suddenly quit many times. Most of the time it turned out to be a bad outlet that prevented power from continuing through the entire circuit. The GFI in the inverter compartment may be down stream from another receptacle. Maybe the one that was sparking.

The other possibility is that the GFI in the compartment is the first device serviced in the circuit and has failed. I have seen many fail and need to be replaced.
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: Tom on September 10, 2019, 02:25:57 PM
Do you have a breaker on the outside of the inverter that has tripped? We have two such breakers, and one trips every time we overload a circuit the way you apparently did.
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: John Canfield on September 11, 2019, 06:59:13 AM
It is not uncommon for a GFCI to go bad, I've had to replace many over the years.
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: Gottasmilealot on September 11, 2019, 12:41:04 PM
The GFCI receptacles are problematic. It seems they don't hold up over the long-term with vibration. The fact that it's sparked when you unplug something would mean to me that there is a least a loose connection or the outlet is defective. The outlet can be removed and the wires temporary connected to see if that solve the issue. If so, then just replace the GFCI receptacle. If not, then disconnecting sections of the circuit to isolate the problem would be needed.
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: knucklebucket on September 12, 2019, 06:00:04 AM
most likely the receptacle that sparked when you unplugged your phone? has a loos termination behind it which #1 would explain the spark, and #2 would explain why GFCI possibly won't reset if the wire termination is loose, the current circuit won't be complete to the GFCI therefore it will not reset. I would pull the receptacle before I done anything
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: debsmg on September 12, 2019, 09:13:11 PM
I did pull the outlet and did not see any problem with it. No burnt wires. Tom was correct there was another reset button on inverter that had tripped and needed reset before the GFCI would reset. Now I know where that button is located. Unfortunately it is a pain in the a** to get to but now I know. Thanks all for your time and assistance.
Title: Re: Electrical help please
Post by: Tom on September 12, 2019, 09:18:25 PM
Glad you got it figured out, and thanks for the feedback. Sometimes it's the easy stuff that gets overlooked, but now you (know) where to look next time..