Transfer Switch burned up

Discussion in 'Recreational Vehicles, Pushers, Travel Trailers, C' started by powerboatr, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. powerboatr

    powerboatr living well in Texas

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    Around 4 am on Wednesday, i woke up because i heard the transfer switch and surge guard relay trip, then the following noise from the inverter, then the power tripped back on, then right back off.

    then silence and i fell back to sleep
    I woke up a few hrs later to the odd noise from the heater as in its was not running normal speed.
    like a deer in traffic i quickly checked the surge guard panel and it was dark,
    the 12v panel was down to 9 volts and flickering.
    i tried the genny and she started but no engagement of electrical load.
    so i shut it off and checked the power panel in the rv port to see if the 50's had tripped, by now i am dressed
    no tripped breakers.

    now I am concerned...and click the surge guard came back on and clearly shows we have power available for use...........
    but still no secondary click of the transfers switch.
    now i have donned a thick coat, crunched throw the snow and open up the power cord panel...it stunk
    so i quickly killed power and then opened up the transfer switch..
    yep it was burned up and caused my pucker factor to increase.

    ordered a new upgraded surge guard transfer switch, which arrived this morning..thank goodness for over night AIR freight.
    I had bypassed the transfer switch and was able to get power to the coach, and now the rebuild continues
    tomorrow i am replacing the entire main coach line to the circuit breaker box, to be safe, something caused 6 or so inches of insulation on the white return line to melt.....

    so please check your transfer switch for corrosion, as i suspect this is what caused the failure.
    plus the factory installed switch had 10 gauge wires inside vice the 6 on the surgeguard
    so it was nominal at best
    more pics tomorrow when i am all done

    what gets me is, I am anal retentive at checking wiring lugs for tq and corrosion.
     

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  2. DaveBen

    DaveBen SDD Senior Member

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    I am not sure I share your corrosion caused problem. NONE of your connections show any signs of corrosion. All the lugs appear to be tight with no signs of arcing (with exception of the white jumper in photo #1 thru #3). I have no conclusion as to why you had this failure. I would guess your transfer switch went bad or shorted. :dunno I would be very interested in your promised photos!

    Dave
     
  3. BIG JOE

    BIG JOE Full Access Member

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    By what I see in your Pics.. and the event sequence you've described Robert, I'm guna say: This smacks of more like a momentary reverse in polarity.. in the Grid supplying your RV site area.. Pre your Rig. Your Surge protector and the Rig protection gear tried to do/did it's job.. but by then, and if there was any additional Reverse spikes... the Damage was done. It just doesn't sound (to me) like it was any of Your Gears fault ?

    Was there any local Power Grid incidents that night ? Poles/Wires down for any reason ?

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  4. Tbar

    Tbar SDD STAFF/Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow.....!!!
     
  5. powerboatr

    powerboatr living well in Texas

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    finished up this afternoon, new main feed from the surgegaurd to the mains breaker box
    new transfer switch also made by surgeguard and my intact functional surgeguard.
    It tested out ok with no smoke so the company gave me a blessing

    i ran 35-40 amps per leg this afternoon for 30 minutes, no overheating and no power issues except one transient from 121 volts to 119 then it stabilized back at 120.
    took every space heater and both heat pumps to pull enough amps
    after looking at a few other oddities and counting the events leading up, i think the corrosion under the insulation combined with maybe a severe surge, we have in the past had alarms for open neutral, so that could be a causal factor, this is at home...
    i think the power company needs to come out and check our pole and input.
    all the lugs were very tight, in fact one cracked when i tried to unscrew it. just scared my wife and I because this compartment is right under the bedroom slide and the toxic fire could have caused us some bad things if the surgegaurd had not killed all power

    i am sort of going through the 7 year itch with this rv..
    new tires , two new heat pumps this season, new fridge nov 2013,
    so we should be good for another seven.....
     

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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  6. DaveBen

    DaveBen SDD Senior Member

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    I hope you have this corralled powerboatr! Surprises, like unexpected fires, are not good. :thumbs

    Dave
     
  7. powerboatr

    powerboatr living well in Texas

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    more pics
     

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  8. DaveBen

    DaveBen SDD Senior Member

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    Ah! I see the corroded wire you were referring to. It looks like battery acid got to the wire. Or salt...

    Dave
     
  9. powerboatr

    powerboatr living well in Texas

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    i am thinking salt...batteries are on the other side of the coach
    i was surprised the box was not sealed

    all good now
     
  10. Tbar

    Tbar SDD STAFF/Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep I see that green corrosion now. That's weird.

    Pick up a battery powered smoke detector and put in the compartment for some cheep insurance.
     

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