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 > Burnt wires in power distribution panel

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BeeBee

Colorado

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Posted: 11/24/20 01:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While tracing the cause of an intermittent electrical failure in an electrical circuit in our ORV 21RBS, I discovered that all of the neutral wires in the power distribution panel were 'burnt" where they attached to the block. I pulled the wire for the problem circuit, cleaned it, reattached it and the problem was solved(fridge now works on AC). I am wondering if a power surge might have been the cause of the burnt wires. We did stay at a few campgrounds this past summer with power hookups. Any thoughts on possible causes? I am thinking about getting a surge protector after this incident, even though we mostly dry camp. Below is a link to a pic of the wires in question (well, I hope there is a link below, as I am new to this).

[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

QCMan

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Posted: 11/24/20 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Odds are they are all loose or were before you tightened them. Loose connections = higher resistance = high temps = burnt wires.


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wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 11/24/20 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

QCMan wrote:

Odds are they are all loose or were before you tightened them. Loose connections = higher resistance = high temps = burnt wires.


I agree. MUCH more likely that a random power surge causing the excessive heat that destroyed the insulation on all of them.


Brett Wolfe
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BeeBee

Colorado

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Posted: 11/24/20 01:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

QCMan - thanks for that comment. It had not crossed my mind as a possible cause. Think I will pull and the wires, clean them, and reattach to the block. Might avert a future problem.

2oldman

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Posted: 11/24/20 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Road vibration does this, over time. Amazing what it can do given enough time. I'm always finding little screws on the floor.

* This post was edited 11/24/20 02:10pm by 2oldman *

wolfe10

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Posted: 11/24/20 02:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yup, tightening all the screws in ATS and main 120 VAC distribution panel are part of a routine annual maintenance!

phillyg

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Posted: 11/24/20 02:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found similar in the main panel and transfer switch in my old Bounder. It was also a rats nest of extra wire. I must have taken out three feet of excessive wire in bits and pieces, and it all needed tightening. Amazing there was no fire.


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BeeBee

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Posted: 11/24/20 03:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all for the replies. Is an "ATS" the "transfer switch" ? Is that the switch that switches from DC to AC? Where might I find that in my travel trailer?

dedmiston

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Posted: 11/24/20 03:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BeeBee wrote:

Thanks all for the replies. Is an "ATS" the "transfer switch" ? Is that the switch that switches from DC to AC? Where might I find that in my travel trailer?


Mine makes an audible "bump" about 20 seconds after we start the gen. My wife asks me when it's OK to run the microwave, and I always tell her to listen for the thump. She always looks at me like I'm nuts, but I'll hear it and then point as some of the devices come on (like the electric fireplace).

If you listen quietly, this thump should help you find yours.


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enblethen

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Posted: 11/24/20 03:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Transfer switches are not common in trailers and only if equipped with on-board gensets.
I would suggest coating the wires with electrical grease. The buss bars are commonly aluminum which oxidizes causing issues. de-oxidation compound lessen this.


Bud
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