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Author Topic: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset  (Read 2344 times)

Yeldarb

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GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« on: April 09, 2008, 03:11:48 PM »
Talked to the service department at AC Nelson today about my GFI blowing this weekend and not being able to get it reset. I told him I was out this weekend and he said the following "Let me guess, you were in IOWA, probingly Lake Manawa". HOW DID HE KNOW? I guess this must be something he runs into often where certain campgrounds will play havoc with the GFI. He told me to hook up to a different source and see if it wont reset? We'll try next time we get a chance.

All the rest of the outlets continued to work as normal as did my direct plug into the power for my outside lights.

Anybody experience this in certain campgrounds or in Iowa in general?

Thanks

B
Brad and Valerie Clements
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Ron

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 06:10:33 PM »
We have had this experience once in a campground in TX.  We just asked for a different sight and all returned to normal.  Since then we test the campground circuit before we even plug in and haven't had a recurrence.  We have on a few occasions found discrepant power at campgrounds and either the came out and fixed it or they gave us another sight.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 10:16:47 PM »
I've heard reports of places like that but cannot for the life of me figure out how the campground wiring could affect a GFI on a branch circuit in your RV. 
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Jim Godward

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 11:54:49 PM »
Gary,

If the voltage between ground and neutral is not zero at the post, wouldn't that do it??
Jim
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razu13612

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008, 01:35:53 AM »
Bingo Gary.....UR correct, although that isn't the only discrepancy that would cause the breaker NOT to reset......Bet that it is the problem though, judging by the original serviceman's comment about Iowa........Just an idea from an ole retired "spark-trician".........

Karl

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2008, 04:18:35 AM »
Jim,
Quote
If the voltage between ground and neutral is not zero at the post, wouldn't that do it??
Very possible, especially if the original wiring was just 20A done with 2-conductor, and they added the 'green-wire ground' rod later at the post during an upgrade to the 3-wire 30A outlets instead of running all new 3-wire cable from the source.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 04:20:29 AM by Karl »
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 12:06:47 PM »
Quote
If the voltage between ground and neutral is not zero at the post, wouldn't that do it??

It is not supposed to, Jim (& Karl too). The GFI outlet is measuring the current differential between neutral and hot at the point it is installed. The ground is not supposed to enter into it, whether at the post or at the GFI device.

There is an exception to that, though. A GFCI is supposed to detect a Neutral-to-ground fault downstream from the device (not upstream at the power pole). If due to miswiring or a short circuit, the Neutral and Ground wires are connected together by a low resistance (shorted) path downstream of the GFCI, the GFCI should trip as soon as power is applied even if nothing is connected to its outlet. But that would require a grounded neutral in his RV, not a problem at the power post.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 12:13:39 PM by RV Roamer »
Gary
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Dave Stringham

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 12:36:36 PM »
I am curious........I always thought a GFI was there to trip and protect the wiring in the unit from a bad or overamped accessory that was plugged into the wall........I thought the circuit breakers in the rv were there to protect the coach from a problem in the outside service circuit........how would a poor circuit or bad ground get through the c/b's and then trip a GFI?
Dave Stringham
Monaco Executive (The Luv Shack)

Karl

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2008, 12:42:06 PM »
Quote
It is not supposed to, Jim (& Karl too).
Absolutely right, Gary. I should know better than to try and think at 4 a.m. ;D
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Ned

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2008, 12:42:38 PM »
The GFI is to protect against a shock hazard in the event of a wiring problem downline from the GFI.  The circuit breakers protect against overloading the circuit that's connected to the breaker.  They do not protect against wiring problems upstream (toward the outside power source) of them.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 11:06:00 AM »
Quote
I always thought a GFI was there to trip and protect the wiring in the unit from a bad or overamped accessory that was plugged into the wall........I thought the circuit breakers in the rv were there to protect the coach from a problem in the outside service circuit...

Wrong on both counts, Dave.  The circuit breaker protects against excess amp load on the circuit downstream form the breaker. The GFCI protects against   downstream situations in which the current (amps) is going somewhere other than where it should, i.e. back through the neutral. If the "someplace else" is your body, you will quickly appreciate the GFCI.
Gary
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Yeldarb

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2008, 02:47:04 PM »
Rainy and 40ish all weekend here so I probably wont get the trailer to the house this weekend but will next Thursday to prep for our Friday trip.  I'll let you all know how it goes.  Thanks for all the input...

Bc
Brad and Valerie Clements
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joelmyer

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2008, 06:45:06 AM »
Rainy and 40ish all weekend here ...

We've had a few instances over the last couple of years with the GFI popping.  I read somewhere that GFIs over the years get that way.

We had a lot of rain here last month.

The GFI popped in the trailer & wouldn't reset.

Bought a new one & installed.  It popped & wouldn't reset.
 
Started pulling outlets and replacing.  I wanted to pull them anyway to trace and do some rewiring.  The outlets were the pos kind that the wires push into.

After I opened the exterior outlet and removed the pos outlet the GFI problem went away.  There seemed to be a couple of excess "cuts" in the insulation and I speculate that moisture trapped in there was the culprit.

You could have a moisture problem that is popping the GFI.  If the problem persists at home, a hair drier on the exterior outlet(s) might help.  If you wind up pulling and replacing the exterior outlet beware that it is not a simple job.  My pos outlet was secured by plastic "ears".  They didn't work with a real outlet.  I wound up getting a "mud plate", cutting it down enough to fit in the hole and securing the new outlet to that.

Rewiring:

  New "real" box and outlet for the refrig connected to the same circuit breaker as the water heater.  Now I can kill the AC, MW, WH & refrig when dry camping.

  All wall outlets connected to one circuit breaker through a transfer switch so they can be powered by my inverter.  Also installed the inverter.

  New "real" box and outlet for the Power Converter and a dedicated circuit breaker for it.  The Power Converter lives under the stove and the outlet is behind a door.  This gives me a outlet on a separate circuit for the electric heater, toaster oven or coffee pot if they cause problems on the same circuit as TV & etc.


Mystery:

  There was a box under the pos outlet for the power converter with a blank cover.  Inside the box a ac house wire came in, was connected to a rubber covered cable that went under the floor.  I have no clue what that is.  It is not anything mentioned above.

Joel
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

Yeldarb

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2008, 11:09:35 AM »
You know I thought the dealer may be a little off with this so I had prepared and brought a new GFI outlet with me on our trip this weekend.  When we plugged in and the GFI still didn't reset I installed a new one and all worked well.  Didn't thing the main GFI outlet should go bad in a brand new TT but none the less it had and ALL works like new now.  One more question.  Does doing your own work on your TT effect the warrenty?

Thanks Everyone...
Brad and Valerie Clements
Alyssa - 12
Sam and Toby - The good and the bad :-)
Chevy Silverado 1500 - Tow Package
Cherokee Grey Wolf 28BH
Omaha, Nebraska - Rookie

John From Detroit

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2008, 11:27:08 AM »
You need to think like an astronaut

"here we sit, atop xxx.xxx.xxx.00 dollars of LOWEST BIDDER...Gives one a real feeling of confidence dosn't it.


(Fact, it is not all lowest bidder,, Remember the shuttle went boom on lift off.. the solid rocket boosters they use are the 2nd lowest bidder... The lowest bidder did not have the deffective o-rings.  They had a one-piece unit.  the failure mode that killed the crew simply would not have existed on the lowest bidder boosters)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Karl

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2008, 01:17:46 PM »
Quote
Does doing your own work on your TT effect the warrenty?
If you do the job properly and neatly, there's no reason to believe they would (or could) fault you. OTOH, if you did a sloppy job and they had to correct your mistake, they wouldn't be obligated to cover that under warranty.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Ned

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2008, 01:49:01 PM »
By law, the manufacturer would have to prove that the work you did caused a problem that would otherwise be covered under warranty to deny coverage.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Want to know what we're doing? http://blog.usabyrv.us

Yeldarb

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Re: GFI - popped and wouldn't reset
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2008, 11:15:32 PM »
Thanks for the information... Happy Camping...

Bc
Brad and Valerie Clements
Alyssa - 12
Sam and Toby - The good and the bad :-)
Chevy Silverado 1500 - Tow Package
Cherokee Grey Wolf 28BH
Omaha, Nebraska - Rookie