PDA

View Full Version : Breaker problem


Clydaho
07-14-2021, 06:34 AM
We have our 2019 Bullet parked on our lot where we are going to build. Last year got electric to the lot. Bullet is plugged into it's own 30 amp circuit. If the AC, water heater nd TV are on, no problem. Add the microwave or vacuum cleaner and it trips the 30 breaker. I get it. Last year it tripped the breaker in the trailer panel. Now it trips out at the meter base and not inside the RV. I have a longer cord between the RV and meter plug-in than I had last year.
Why does it trip at the base and not in the trailer?
Is my 30 amp breaker in the trailer faulty?
How tough is that to change?
Is it because I have 75 more feet of cord?
I have a surge protector in-line as well.

Thanks for any help from the experienced RV'ers out there.:ermm:

flybouy
07-14-2021, 06:53 AM
75 MORE feet? How many feet total? My guess would be a voltage drop. The surge protector is useless. Get an EMS, well worth the money. Check the voltage at an outlet in the camper with the a/c and water heater on electric. If the voltage dips below 105 v you could do damage to the a/c compressor.

Clydaho
07-14-2021, 07:03 AM
I added 75' to the camper's cord, total of 100' I think.
I'll check the voltage today.
If the voltage drops, is that what will cause the breaker at the meter to pop?
Just seems weird.
Thanks.

mikec557
07-14-2021, 07:06 AM
Replacing the 30 amp breaker in the RV is easy. Because there are different breaker bases, I would remove the oem breaker and take it with me to the store to get an identical breaker. This is true for any of the breakers in your RV panel.

But I don't think your breaker in the RV is the problem. As you noted, when you turned "everything" on last year you exceeded the 30 amp limit and the RV breaker broke.

This year you have an extra long extension cord from source of power to RV, that is, 75 feet. And now it's the 30amp breaker at the source tripping. You didn't mention the gauge of the extension cord, but if it's not at least 6ga I'd say: there's your problem. It's probably a pain in the butt to move the RV closer to the pole, and use an appropriate gauge extension cord, but that's what I'd do.

I don't know why this year it's the pole breaker breaking and last year it was the RV breaker breaking. But I do believe it's breaking because you're farther away and (probably) using too light of an extension cord.

I suppose another question should be, is the 30amp breaker at the source new? Or was it a "used" breaker installed when your temporary power source set up?

Just one guy's opinion 😊

JRTJH
07-14-2021, 07:07 AM
I'd suspect it is a combination of several conditions that are causing one 30 amp breaker to trip before a second 30 amp breaker...

Things that could affect it in no particular order:

1. All mechanical components are built to with a tolerance. As an example, 30 amp breakers may be built to trip between 29-31 amps. You could have a breaker in the trailer that trips at 31 amps and one on the pole that trips at 29 amps. Both are within tolerance, but one will "almost always" trip before the other based on their "individual build"...

2. From your description, there is one breaker "inside the trailer" (somewhat controlled environment) and one breaker "outside on a pole" (exposed to the environment). There could be some slight corrosion on the "outside breaker" that increases the resistance through the breaker. That could cause it to trip slightly before the "non-corroded breaker".

3. Theoretically, the amperage run through the circuit is "supposed to be" the same, but in reality, the "instantaneous draw" may be just enough to cause "BOTH" circuit breakers to trip, but the one on the pole trips "just an instant" before the other, causing the second one not to trip....

I'd suspect that the breaker on the pole is slightly corroded, but still functional and tripping "a tad bit lower (but within specifications) on the amperage load"....

I've been in a number of campgrounds where the 30 amp breakers are "well worn and show their age" and in those campgrounds, the pole breaker almost always trips before the trailer breaker. That's one reason I typically plug into the 50 amp side of the campground supply. Not only does it make resetting a tripped breaker easier (it's inside, not outside) but it also "protects my shore power cable from the pitting/arcing that could occur on the 30 amp campground plug with loose contacts in the plug.

Unless your situation is such that the pole breaker is not allowing the trailer to function, I wouldn't worry too much. If it bothers you, consider replacing the pole breaker with a new one of known serviceability.

ADDED: The length of the electrical run is/could be an issue. Not only do you have the 100' of "your electrical run" but you also have the distance from the source transformer to your circuit breaker. While most installations aren't subject to much voltage drop on the utility side of the meter, with a "limited construction setup" that may be a factor....

ALL voltage drops increase amperage (to meet wattage demands) so as the voltage goes down, the amperage goes up to supply the wattage.

As an example, at 120 VAC, 20 amps is 2400 watts (120x20=2400) while at 105 volts, that same 20 amp draw is only 2100 watts (105x20=2100). So, at "full voltage" your trailer could draw 2400 watts before tripping a 20 amp breaker, but at 105 volts, that same "trailer load" would always trip the same 20 amp breaker because at 105 volts, to get 2400 watts requires 22.9 amps (2400/105=22.85) That will always trip the 20 amp breaker. This is one of the reasons a "functional EMS (not a surge protector) is a vital part of protecting your RV electrical system.

Clydaho
07-14-2021, 07:43 AM
Everything was brand new last year. The extension cord is an RV cord, new this year. I learned about lighter cord problems previously. 50' from pole to plugin. All new, contractor installed. Moving the trailer is not an option.
Thanks for the info on breaker tolerance.
I guess the distance is my problem.
We will have to be aware of what all we have plugged in.
Thanks everyone!

flybouy
07-14-2021, 10:54 AM
I think the long run is causing a voltage drop. Ohms Law states given a constant load if the voltage drops the amperage increases. Why the breaker trips on the service drop (where your extension cable plugs in) I'm guessing but it's logical to think it's the temperature differential between the service breaker outside and the RV breaker inside in the air conditioning.

Bottom line is with a voltage drop you need to shed some load. Run the a/c only snd change over the water heater and fridge to gas only. They use very little LP gas. If you run the microwave turn the a/c unit to fan only then back to cooling when the microwave finishes. In your situation I would plug in a voltage meter into an outlet and monitor it. You can get one that simply plugs into the outlet for <$20.

Sarge2
07-14-2021, 11:10 AM
That is a pretty significant load to have all those high draw / high wattage things going at the same time... JMHO...
I think your best bet is to simply not run some things unless you turn others off.. Granted the water heater isn't always going nor is the A/C always drawing high but if they were to go on, I'd think it would be overloading that 30amp circuit regardless of how long or short that cord is... why it breaks at pole and not the trailer is probably for the reasons mentioned.. the variances in plus or minus specs, exposure to the elements and or simply wear and tear... but they, (your breakers) are telling you that you're asking for too much power thru that circuit.... again JMHO...

SandyBurg
07-14-2021, 02:15 PM
With a previous camper we ran into a similar problem. When we had too many things on it would trip the breaker. Then we started to trip the breaker on the pole. (private campground for the summer) After dealing with this for over a month we realized that the breaker on the pole was worn and would trip with very little load. Told the owner, he changed out the breaker and no problems after that. Just a suggestion. I'm not an electrician and don't attempt to be.

Good luck!

CedarCreekWoody
07-14-2021, 05:27 PM
You should get in the habit of switching off the water heater before using the microwave, then turning it back on.

jasin1
07-14-2021, 06:14 PM
Feel the breaker on the pole and see if it’s warm or hot…there is a chance the wires are just loose on the breaker causing it to trip…although I would still just replace it if that was the case

rwreuter
07-17-2021, 08:10 PM
Amperage draw increases with voltage drop.

Simple and what is happening is normal. Only way to remedy it is to upsize the wire.

cavie
07-22-2021, 08:03 AM
Turn off the a/c for the short time you are gonna use the microwave. Problem solved. Master Electrician here. You can also run the WH on gas.

lcarver02
07-22-2021, 12:49 PM
Replacing the 30 amp breaker in the RV is easy. Because there are different breaker bases, I would remove the oem breaker and take it with me to the store to get an identical breaker. This is true for any of the breakers in your RV panel.

But I don't think your breaker in the RV is the problem. As you noted, when you turned "everything" on last year you exceeded the 30 amp limit and the RV breaker broke.

This year you have an extra long extension cord from source of power to RV, that is, 75 feet. And now it's the 30amp breaker at the source tripping. You didn't mention the gauge of the extension cord, but if it's not at least 6ga I'd say: there's your problem. It's probably a pain in the butt to move the RV closer to the pole, and use an appropriate gauge extension cord, but that's what I'd do.

I don't know why this year it's the pole breaker breaking and last year it was the RV breaker breaking. But I do believe it's breaking because you're farther away and (probably) using too light of an extension cord.

I suppose another question should be, is the 30amp breaker at the source new? Or was it a "used" breaker installed when your temporary power source set up?

Just one guy's opinion 😊

Have an electrician install a 3-prong RV Outlet on your house. Plug your RV directly to the outlet. I believe this is 30A capacity, guess you could get a 4 prong 50A. You should not need that. Best check your cord, assuming this is a high quality 30A RV Cable and not some little 110V cord. What is blowing the breaker? AC on max, AC and Microwave? There are ways to measure the amperage your RV is pulling - Amp Probe.

01soundman
07-23-2021, 08:35 AM
This solved the problem for me... :rolleyes: