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Old 06-20-2019, 11:30 AM   #1
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i can't figure out my electrical problem


Hi everyone...I have 2 small construction office trailers parked very close to each other, just inches apart.

from the main 200 amp power box on house i ran a 60 amp sub-service to trailer number 1...everything works properly, no electrical issues at all..

using the panel in trailer1 like a junction box, i added another 60 amp breaker to trailer number 1 from that breaker i ran service to the 2nd trailer to another 60 amp as the main breaker in trailer 2, which has five 20 amp circuits for 3 lights and outlets and one GFCI circuit for a bathroom. It also has a 30 amp circuit for the wall mounted HVAC unit which i removed. everything works properly except and until i plug a 5000 btu window ac unit into any 20 amp outlet in the trailer.

when i plug the ac on to cool, compressor on, the power to that circuit dies, switches, and lights fed the circuit are dead. the leg from trailer number one that feeds the circuit the ac in trailer number 2 is plugged into is dead, no power.

If i use just the ac fan without compressor running the power is there, i can plug any appliance, tool, fan etc without interference with the circuit but with the ac on compressor the power is killed back to the source trailer number 1.

i tried installing a new and separate circuit for the window unit from the host trailer number 2, running #12 wire to a 20 amp outlet and get the same results.

i took the window unit ac to trailer number 1 and it will work normally on any circuit in trailer number 1 without any issues but not in trailer number 2 where i need to install it

any thoughts on what the problem might be sure would help me

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Old 06-20-2019, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


Pictures of the panel in Trailer 1 might help.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


here you go..both panels

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Old 06-20-2019, 12:40 PM   #4
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


Wire size and length could be an issue.

You have bonded neutral improperly at more than one location.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelacroix View Post
Hi everyone...I have 2 small construction office trailers parked very close to each other, just inches apart.

from the main 200 amp power box on house i ran a 60 amp sub-service to trailer number 1...everything works properly, no electrical issues at all..

using the panel in trailer1 like a junction box, i added another 60 amp breaker to trailer number 1 from that breaker i ran service to the 2nd trailer to another 60 amp as the main breaker in trailer 2, which has five 20 amp circuits for 3 lights and outlets and one GFCI circuit for a bathroom. It also has a 30 amp circuit for the wall mounted HVAC unit which i removed. everything works properly except and until i plug a 5000 btu window ac unit into any 20 amp outlet in the trailer.

when i plug the ac on to cool, compressor on, the power to that circuit dies, switches, and lights fed the circuit are dead. the leg from trailer number one that feeds the circuit the ac in trailer number 2 is plugged into is dead, no power.

If i use just the ac fan without compressor running the power is there, i can plug any appliance, tool, fan etc without interference with the circuit but with the ac on compressor the power is killed back to the source trailer number 1.

i tried installing a new and separate circuit for the window unit from the host trailer number 2, running #12 wire to a 20 amp outlet and get the same results.

i took the window unit ac to trailer number 1 and it will work normally on any circuit in trailer number 1 without any issues but not in trailer number 2 where i need to install it

any thoughts on what the problem might be sure would help me

A bad breaker or loose connections are my first thoughts.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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here you go..both panels
Those are not pictures.

The trouble with drawings is that some people draw what they think they have, not what they actually do have.
Others only draw what they think is important, which may or may not show the actual problem.

Pull the covers off the panels and take/post the photos.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:47 PM   #7
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


if i took pictures of the inside of the panels, it would be far less clear than my drawings of what i am absolutely sure of i have the correct wire size, have changed out all breakers in trailer # 2 for new ones all breakers are powered and functional until i turn on the window unit ac which kills the main feed to that busbar in the panel wire size is 6-gauge, 3-conductor, with ground, length of run is approx. 20 feet neutral wire is connected to correct location in box, as is ground...2 live wires are connected to the breaker
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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Originally Posted by stevelacroix View Post
if i took pictures of the inside of the panels, it would be far less clear than my drawings
Electricians 'look' at panels and figure out problems everyday, rarely is there ever a drawing

What is 'kills the power' ? Breaker tripped ? Just that the lights dim ?
What is the voltage L1-N L1-G L2-N L2-G L1-L2 ? At panel #2 , at feeder breaker from panel 1, at feed for panel 1, and at feeder breaker in main panel ?
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:14 PM   #9
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If I understand that, when you turn on the A/C in trailer 2, the entire panel in #2 is dead? Test the wire coming into #2 by touching the tester leads to the actual wire both leaving #1 and entering #2.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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Originally Posted by stevelacroix View Post
here you go..both panels


Neutrals connected to breakers in trailer 1? What kinda breakers are these?
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:01 PM   #11
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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If I understand that, when you turn on the A/C in trailer 2, the entire panel in #2 is dead? Test the wire coming into #2 by touching the tester leads to the actual wire both leaving #1 and entering #2.
no, turning on the ac does not kill all power to the panel...it only kills the main leg coming into the panel that powers the outlet the ac is plugged into...the light/outlets on the other leg are still powered...

double pole, 60 amp GE breaker has 2 wires black and red...a ground a neutral

both red and black are hot without ac compressor on...turning ac compressor on kills the power at the red wire running into the breaker from power source.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:47 PM   #12
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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double pole, 60 amp GE breaker has 2 wires black and red...a ground a neutral
That makes no sense
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:06 PM   #13
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


Any competent electrician will find the problem in a heart beat. There is a problem in trailer #2.

The breakers are protecting you from a serious problem....do not ignore.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:04 PM   #14
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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That makes no sense
i agree, that's why i'm here..trying to make sense of it with the help of some of you guys that know more than me
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:33 PM   #15
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Re: i can't figure out my electrical problem


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Originally Posted by stevelacroix View Post
no, turning on the ac does not kill all power to the panel...it only kills the main leg coming into the panel that powers the outlet the ac is plugged into...the light/outlets on the other leg are still powered...
When you turn on the AC unit, what happens to the voltage on both legs back in trailer 1? If you have good voltage on both legs there, then the problem is with the wiring or breakers between trailer 1 and trailer 2. Might be a bad connection on either of the 60A breakers, the neutral, or a damaged wire in the cable between them. Since it happens with the AC plugged into either leg, I'm thinking it's a problem with the neutral.
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