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Old 07-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


I saw some simular questions but not exactly what I have. I have a camper that is getting full 115v to the outside (any metal) When I plug a tester in I get correct but if I jump and shake the camper it flickers to Hot/Netural reversed. Everything works, nothing has had a problem running. I set a grounding rod in 4 feet and set the hose on a small hole around the top to get the ground extra wet. Still showing 115v in the frame and body. also with the breaker off the tester shows open neutral. I cant remember if it was still happening with the main breaker off but I think it was. I checked all the outlets I could find. They are the Post-Install kind that are self contained (they have copper blades that cut into the wire to make a connection.) All of them work and all have the same reading on the tester. I checked switches fixtures ect. also I have one wall light that has its own push toggle switch. when I turn that on I get Hot/Neutral Reverse solid. But all the wires in the box are solid and connected. and that light wont come on. The wire from the house and that outlet is correct. the plug going into the camper breaker box is correct and not shorting. When I check the wires at the Breakers I was finding around 1000Ohms on the front a rear main lines. (running the outlets and lights in the front and back half of the camper.) I have tried unplugging everything no change. I have been at this for 4 days now. Starting to get annoyed. and ideas would be great.

Thanks,
Joe

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Old 07-19-2012, 06:29 AM   #2
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


Update, Still getting 115v to the outside. The light that was messing the tester up works fine now. I have pulled the breaker box out and checked all the leads. There are 2 for the back half that both show resistance with everything off. One I think just goes to the heater, nothing else. but the other one runs the lights and outlets and I cant figure out why that one shows resistance.

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


What voltage comes into the camper from the house? 120v or 240v? How many wires?

With a volt meter, check the voltage from the hot wire to the camper skin. Check the voltage from the neutral to the camper skin. Check the voltage from the ground wire to the camper skin.

With the meter on ohms and the power disconnected from the house, and the camper breakers turned on, check the resistance between the hot wire and the camper skin at the plug coming in. Check between the neutral and the camper skin. Check between the ground and the camper skin.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


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Originally Posted by jrclen View Post
What voltage comes into the camper from the house? 120v or 240v? How many wires?

With a volt meter, check the voltage from the hot wire to the camper skin. Check the voltage from the neutral to the camper skin. Check the voltage from the ground wire to the camper skin.

With the meter on ohms and the power disconnected from the house, and the camper breakers turned on, check the resistance between the hot wire and the camper skin at the plug coming in. Check between the neutral and the camper skin. Check between the ground and the camper skin.

120v. 3 wire (hot, neutral, ground) I have the ground direct. and hot and neutral are 100% correct from the house into and out of the breaker box.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


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Originally Posted by jpaytoncfd View Post
120v. 3 wire (hot, neutral, ground) I have the ground direct. and hot and neutral are 100% correct from the house into and out of the breaker box.
I don't know what you mean by "I have the ground direct". The ground should go from the house panel's grounding bar to the camper panel's grounding bar. If that's what you mean, then great. However, if the ground were correctly connected, the exterior of the trailer should not be able to become electrified. It would trip the breaker. So something is wrong...

Check the voltage between the earth (a damp spot in the dirt outside the camper) and the hot bus in the camper panel. You should read some voltage. Do the same from the camper's neutral bar to the earth. That should show no voltage. If it's the opposite, then the hot an neutral wires from the house to the RV are NOT 100% correct - they are reversed somewhere. This is the most likely explanation.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


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I don't know what you mean by "I have the ground direct". The ground should go from the house panel's grounding bar to the camper panel's grounding bar. If that's what you mean, then great. However, if the ground were correctly connected, the exterior of the trailer should not be able to become electrified. It would trip the breaker. So something is wrong...

Check the voltage between the earth (a damp spot in the dirt outside the camper) and the hot bus in the camper panel. You should read some voltage. Do the same from the camper's neutral bar to the earth. That should show no voltage. If it's the opposite, then the hot an neutral wires from the house to the RV are NOT 100% correct - they are reversed somewhere. This is the most likely explanation.
Already checked. I think the assumption is (from another forum) there is a short somewhere thats not creating enough connection to tripp the breaker. I am going to borrow a FLIR camera to look for any excessive heat. and there is a ground all the way to the house however there is no ground inside the house to the panel. (Its an old house). so I ran a rod for that line at the camper. Mind you this is only temporary so all I care about is finding the problem in the camper. The outside line is fine. hooked an outlet to that and the tester reads right, everything works off of it, and the breaker tripps if there is a short to neutral and/or ground. also pulled the shore line out of the camper and checked that. no shorts and no resistance from one end to the other. Checked inside the panel in the camper. blacks are hooked to the breakers. whites to the neutral bar and grounds to the ground bar. the ground bar is also connected to the frame. outlets are pass&syemore self contained.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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Correct to HOT/NEU Reverse in camper.


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Originally Posted by jpaytoncfd View Post
Already checked.
Already checked what? I can't tell from that statement what the results of the tests were. You also didn't say anything about how the grounding conductor is connected.

Quote:
I think the assumption is (from another forum) there is a short somewhere thats not creating enough connection to tripp the breaker.
This is impossible if the grounding system is properly installed. If the metal of the camper is properly bonded to the camper panel ground, and the camper panel ground is properly bonded to the system neutral, then it is NOT POSSIBLE for there to be any substantial voltage between the camper and the earth. The very fact that the camper is electrified proves that there is a wiring problem involving the grounding system, in addition to some other fault.

Quote:
and there is a ground all the way to the house however there is no ground inside the house to the panel. (Its an old house). so I ran a rod for that line at the camper.
I don't know what you mean by this. Are you saying that there is no grounding connection between the camper and the house panel, but you installed a ground rod at the camper and connected the camper's grounding bus to that instead? If so, that's a very serious problem. The camper's grounding system is not bonded to neutral in that case, and you have absolutely no protection from ground faults. Any ground fault in the camper at all will therefore electrify the entire metal shell of the camper and never trip a breaker. That seems to be what has happened.

Quote:
whites to the neutral bar and grounds to the ground bar. the ground bar is also connected to the frame.
I assume the neutral bar is isolated from the ground bar? That's how it should be if it's supplied by a three-wire feed (hot, neutral, and ground). But if you do not have a grounding conductor from the house panel to the camper, then the neutral and ground bars in the camper must be bonded... or else you get exactly the problem you've got.

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