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Author Topic: Keep blowing fuses!  (Read 6224 times)
ronixrider82
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« on: June 07, 2010, 09:21:50 PM »

Ok just bought a 1994 Dutchman 1002xs tonight AND I keep blowing fuses. FIRST I was looking at it and I had the ac going and then I turned on the inverter and the lights came on and it kicked the breaker in the house so I thought it was the ac doing it so I turned the ac off and reset the breaker. Then I just kept the lights on then the fuse that is the 5 amp that is spliced in a wire blew. So replaced that. Then they started working again then blew the glass fuse in the inverter. But the ac still works and the power outlets with the fuse blown. I don't know what else that fuse power's? I still don't know if the fridge works or not. Any sugestions??
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austinado16
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 09:27:39 PM »

I would think a 5amp fuse is too small for the load of ceiling lights.  I'd go 10, or 15, maybe even a 20.

Your roof a/c compressor probably draws too much for a standard house breaker.  You probably need a 30amp breaker for that.

Check the rating of the glass fuse that was in the converter.  It may also be too small for the load that's passing through it.

BTW, welcome.

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beemerphile1
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 04:28:09 AM »

I am confused about what is going on from your description.

I'll point some things out so that you may get a better understanding of what is going on.

Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally what is used for 120 volt AC systems.
Unlikely you have an inverter, it is probably what is referred to as a converter.
The converter supplies power to the 12v DC items and charges the battery.

The 12v DC system consists of the converter output, the battery, ceiling lights, controls, sensors, water pump, furnace, and refrigerator.

The 120 volt AC system supplies power to the converter, powers all the outlets, the air conditioner, and maybe the refrigerator.

Fuses and breakers generally trip or open due to an overload.  The overload could be just trying to draw more power than the rating or could be a dead short.  Either reduce the load or search for bare wires contacting metal.

A 5 amp fuse is very small and is unusual to be found in your pup.  I wouldn't tell you to install a large fuse until I know what it is protecting and what gauge wire is used.

Hope this helps you get a handle on what is happening.
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Tim
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 04:34:44 AM »

Your roof a/c compressor probably draws too much for a standard house breaker.  You probably need a 30amp breaker for that.

An old wives tale that continues to be repeated on these forums ... provided the source voltage is a nominal 120vac and the main service run to the trailer isn't excessively long and therefore causing excessive voltage drop there's no reason at all that a 13,500 BTU roof top A/C unit, be it a Coleman, DuoTherm, or Carrier can't start and run just fine on a 15 amp circuit that's not feeding anything else.
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austinado16
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 06:53:16 AM »

Well Oz, since "we" haven't been told what he's plugged into, whether it's on a GFI (and that is simply tripping) what else is on the circuit, what the breaker is rated, how many times it's been tripped in it's life, and if he's using 100' of 16ga extention cord or 25' of 8ga, I don't think we can say that his house circuit is capable.

But hey, maybe I'm just spreading more wives tales.
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Oz and Us
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 07:11:24 AM »

Well Oz, since "we" haven't been told what he's plugged into, whether it's on a GFI (and that is simply tripping) what else is on the circuit, what the breaker is rated, how many times it's been tripped in it's life, and if he's using 100' of 16ga extention cord or 25' of 8ga, I don't think we can say that his house circuit is capable.

But hey, maybe I'm just spreading more wives tales.

IMO, you are because your blanket statement wasn't specific to just the OP's particular situation ...

"Your roof a/c compressor probably draws too much for a standard house breaker."

There's no reason "a standard house breaker" i.e. a 15 amp breaker should trip just by putting the load of a roof top RV A/C unit if the circuit is otherwise not drawn down and is operating within it's nominally stated range of 120vac.

In the pic I linked to earlier it shows my total load with my travel trailer plugged in, the converter running as needed, and the Coleman A/C running on LOW with the compressor running.  As you can see I'm pulling under 13 amps and in fact still have sufficient reserve to run interior lights, the radio or TV, even the fridge if I want.  I know because I do it all the time and never pull the 15 amp breaker protecting the circuit I'm using.  The only caveat is that we have "good" power in this area which always measures a nominal ~ 120vac and I of course make sure that nothing else but the trailer is plugged into that circuit.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 07:18:34 AM by Oz and Us » Logged

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chipperone1
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 07:22:43 AM »

    Yep, Old Wives Tale.
    15 Amp is more than enough for AC. Of course the OP should NOT replace the "standard house breaker"-15 Amp-    with a 30Amp breaker on this circuit.
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Ronin__9
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 10:22:01 AM »

I would agree if you operate nothing else, the A/c should run.
According to the manufacturer my unit pulls 13.2 amp on the compressor and 2.8 amp on the fan.
http://www.dometic.com/f0493afb-4b19-459b-9a70-a6532be76248.fodoc

However, I would rather not run anything on the maximum limit.


Ronixrider82...
Plenty of times I have called the RV dealer and asked for help. Maybe they can even provide photocopies of the old manual or something of use. The manual may tell you what correct fuses should be.
The last owner may have done some creative repairs or had a hungry mouse.
you may need to (unplug first) open the compartments and see.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 04:34:03 PM »

I would agree if you operate nothing else, the A/c should run.
According to the manufacturer my unit pulls 13.2 amp on the compressor and 2.8 amp on the fan.
http://www.dometic.com/f0493afb-4b19-459b-9a70-a6532be76248.fodoc

However, I would rather not run anything on the maximum limit.

As you know your DuoTherm, like the Coleman and Carrier brands, has more than just one speed ... run it on LOW and if you measure the current draw you'll find it somewhat less than the maximum rating for the unit when running on HIGH.  I had a Carrier AirV on our two popups, a DuoTherm on our hybrid, and now have a Coleman on our travel trailer ... in each case I ran the A/C on LOW using the same 15 amp circuit I have in my workshop without ever pulling the breaker, the reason being that in all three cases the maximum constant draw was always below the breaker's 15 amp rating.
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Packman
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 06:30:17 PM »

I would think a 5amp fuse is too small for the load of ceiling lights.  I'd go 10, or 15, maybe even a 20.

Do not just start substituting fuse sizes unless you know the rating of ALL the components of the system.  This includes the WIRES and any other component in the circuit including terminal blocks connectors and other components the the current runs through it.  The fuse or circuit breaker is in place to prevent over current any any of the components as they all have a maximum rating.  With that said, I highly doubt in a application such as a pop up that your connectors will be overloaded but you could overload your wiring if your not careful.  When wires are overloaded, they heat up and that is how fires are started. Try picturing wires in a toaster, enough current and that is what you get.   Try to determine if the circuit with the 5 amp fuse is what was the original design.  If it is, they sized it that size for a reason.

FIRST I was looking at it and I had the ac going and then I turned on the inverter and the lights came on and it kicked the breaker in the house so I thought it was the ac doing it so I turned the ac off and reset the breaker. Then I just kept the lights on then the fuse that is the 5 amp that is spliced in a wire blew.

This makes sense.  Your home circuit if it a typical outlet is rated at 15 amps.  I would expect your Air Conditioner to draw around 15 amps.  Since it didn't blow just running this it tells me it is drawing slightly less than 15 amps. 

When you turned on the converter, you had an overload of your home 15 amp breaker as you now exceeded the 15 amp rating of your house circuit since you were probably drawing around 13-14 amp from the Air Conditioner plus you had a draw from your converter which caused the 15 amp breaker to fail. 

Then I just kept the lights on then the fuse that is the 5 amp that is spliced in a wire blew. So replaced that.

Now the 15 amp circuit doesn't fail as the that circuit is now lightly loaded.  However, the 5 amp fuse on the output of the converter has a short or overload, and the 5 amp fuse blows.

So replaced that. Then they started working again then blew the glass fuse in the converter. But the ac still works and the power outlets with the fuse blown.

Did you put in a larger fuse?  If it was too large, the fuse which is protecting the converter, did it's job correctly and protected the converter. 

My guess is that you put in a fuse that is larger than the original  5 amp circuit and the fault is not a dead short because a dead short would usually ( but maybe not always as I have seen poorly designed circuits) cause the 5 amp fuse to fault quicker than the 15 amp breaker could upstream in the circuit.  This would also account that 5 amp fuse ( Or whatever size in in there now)  that the fuse on the output of the converter not blowing after you turn off the AC unit. 

Did you change the fuse size?  You will have to look at what is all loaded on the converter and what the converter is rated for.

Also, to clarify for readers as this not necessarily true.

Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally what is used for 120 volt AC systems.

Fuses and breakers can be used in either 12v or 120 volt for various reasons.  I suspect beemerphile is looking at home systems and the main distribution box.  Breakers are generally seen in distributions systems (your main circuit panel at home is a good example) as they are economical in this scenario.  However, fuses are also used in 120 volt and higher systems for various reasons as they can be more reliable and predictable in their behavior.  There is a time and place for both breakers and fuses in either system. 

I am confused about what is going on from your description.

Unlikely you have an inverter, it is probably what is referred to as a converter.
The converter supplies power to the 12v DC items and charges the battery.

The 12v DC system consists of the converter output, the battery, ceiling lights, controls, sensors, water pump, furnace, and refrigerator.

The 120 volt AC system supplies power to the converter, powers all the outlets, the air conditioner, and maybe the refrigerator.

Fuses and breakers generally trip or open due to an overload.  The overload could be just trying to draw more power than the rating or could be a dead short.  Either reduce the load or search for bare wires contacting metal.

A 5 amp fuse is very small and is unusual to be found in your pup.  I wouldn't tell you to install a large fuse until I know what it is protecting and what gauge wire is used.

Everything else  beemphile wrote is right on. 

Scott
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beemerphile1
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2010, 04:24:22 AM »


Quote from: beemerphile1 on June 08, 2010, 07:28:09 am
"Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally what is used for 120 volt AC systems."

Fuses and breakers can be used in either 12v or 120 volt for various reasons.  I suspect beemerphile is looking at home systems and the main distribution box.  Breakers are generally seen in distributions systems (your main circuit panel at home is a good example) as they are economical in this scenario.  However, fuses are also used in 120 volt and higher systems for various reasons as they can be more reliable and predictable in their behavior.  There is a time and place for both breakers and fuses in either system. 

Just to clarify;

I wasn't referring to houses, I was referring to pups since this is a pup forum.  Although you are technically correct that fuses and breakers can be used in either.  But houses are unlikely to even have a 12 volt DC system.

In a pup;
Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally used for 120 volt AC systems.

The exception would be the self resetting circuit breakers that are sometimes used in the 12 volt DC system but are not applicable in this instance.
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Tim
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30 nights camped in 2013
33 nights camped in 2012
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Momma said; "If you argue with a fool, it makes it hard to tell which one is the fool".


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1998 Ford E150 towing 2006 Weekend Warrior FK1900 TravTrl Long Blue Van Blue
1996 BMW R1100GS
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2010, 04:58:15 AM »


Quote from: beemerphile1 on June 08, 2010, 07:28:09 am
"Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally what is used for 120 volt AC systems."

Fuses and breakers can be used in either 12v or 120 volt for various reasons.  I suspect beemerphile is looking at home systems and the main distribution box.  Breakers are generally seen in distributions systems (your main circuit panel at home is a good example) as they are economical in this scenario.  However, fuses are also used in 120 volt and higher systems for various reasons as they can be more reliable and predictable in their behavior.  There is a time and place for both breakers and fuses in either system. 

Just to clarify;

I wasn't referring to houses, I was referring to pups since this is a pup forum.  Although you are technically correct that fuses and breakers can be used in either.  But houses are unlikely to even have a 12 volt DC system.

In a pup;
Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally used for 120 volt AC systems.

The exception would be the self resetting circuit breakers that are sometimes used in the 12 volt DC system but are not applicable in this instance.


HOLD ON!  If you're going to quote a previous post in order to clarify at least make sure you're making reference to the person who actually wrote what you're quoting!  That quote is not mine but rather Packman's ... and in fact, I'd agree with you, when it comes to popups the 12vdc system is protected by fuses, the 120vac system is protected by breakers.
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beemerphile1
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 05:56:16 AM »


HOLD ON!  If you're going to quote a previous post in order to clarify at least make sure you're making reference to the person who actually wrote what you're quoting!  That quote is not mine but rather Packman's ... and in fact, I'd agree with you, when it comes to popups the 12vdc system is protected by fuses, the 120vac system is protected by breakers.

Sorry Oz and Us, I screwed up the formatting/editing and didn't pay attention. Embarrassed  My face is red, my apologies!
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Tim
32 nights camped in 2014
30 nights camped in 2013
33 nights camped in 2012
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Momma said; "If you argue with a fool, it makes it hard to tell which one is the fool".


2009 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L towing 2009 Aliner Sport  Chalet/AlinerCar Blue
1998 Ford E150 towing 2006 Weekend Warrior FK1900 TravTrl Long Blue Van Blue
1996 BMW R1100GS
2005 Trek Madone
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Packman
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2010, 10:20:46 AM »

Just to clarify;

I wasn't referring to houses, I was referring to pups since this is a pup forum.  Although you are technically correct that fuses and breakers can be used in either.  But houses are unlikely to even have a 12 volt DC system.

In a pup;
Fuses are generally used for the 12 volt DC systems.
Breakers are generally used for 120 volt AC systems.

The exception would be the self resetting circuit breakers that are sometimes used in the 12 volt DC system but are not applicable in this instance.

Good point.  I'm not trying to stomp all over you, I just want to educate people on breaker and fuses in general because alot of this information can apply elsewhere.  Sometimes I get a little carried away on being techinically precise and accurate because been burned more than once when troubleshooting bigger electrical systems.  You think you know alot about a topic and then you get schooled troubleshooting something and learn some more.  If you ever read a part of an NEC book (National electrical code) you often read about specifications and wonder "Why does this spec matter when it desn't seem important?".  It does, because somebody had a failure and they rewrote the code to accomadate it.  For example, you sometimes have to derate wire load capacities under various conditions.  So I tend to be very precise when talking electrical.

I agree on what you said when referring to popups .  My apologies if I offended you.   

Scott
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Scott
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