Author Topic: Lost shore power  (Read 679 times)

Mike Sulley

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Lost shore power
« on: December 02, 2021, 11:27:31 AM »
My first post.  My name is Mike Sulley.  My wife Susan and I are retired and live outside of Kenai, Alaska

Purchased a 2001 Marquis Amethyst in October..  I am a total “newbie” to the RV world.  Coach is old but looks to be well taken care of.and beautiful.  Unfortunately, winter came early to Alaska this year,and my first drive was about 8 miles into a new heated storage unit (so new that the ceiling wasn’t insulated yet).  Snowed the very next day.  A few days latter the weather was in the teens and the unit was 30 -32 degrees.

Fortunately, the seller a contractor let me borrow his 150’ power cord and we ran “shore” power to the coach.  Turned on the electric heater and set the thermostat to 60 degrees.  The next day the monitor screen ( is this the Aladdin system?)said 59 degree in the basement and I had 120 volts ac on both legs.

A few days later I checked the coach and the coach was dead.  The breaker in the storage unit had tripped.  Upon resetting the breaker I had shore power but the coach was still dead.  The only light that worked was a very dim glow in the glass cabinet.  Nothing else worked.

Does this sound like the transfer switch?  I checked the shore power outlet with a circuit checker and it showed plug to be wired correctly.  I couldn’t get my VOM probes into the plug but checked voltage at the storage panel both legs 120 to 123 volts.

I know I should check voltage at the coach reel, but I couldn’t find an access point and don’t know if it’s wired continuously into the coach or has brushes and contact rings.

I went looking for the transfer switch.  I think I read that might be on the ceiling or a back wall.  Is it the Surge protector 40250 that’s no longer available?  Does it have a cover on it?  I have only found pictures of the inside.  How would I recognize it?  The storage unit is so narrow that I can only open the curb side bay doors.  So I hope it’s on that side.

Am I thinking correctly that it’s probably the transfer switch?  Could it be a fuse or breaker that I don’t know about?  Also, I think my coach batteries may be dead.  I had them on trickle chargers before I had shore power and they were showing 6.5 volts.  I quit charging them once I got shore power because I thought the inverter (xantrex sw 3012) would keep them charged.

I would really appreciate any and all ideas about what is going on and if the transfer switch is a bad what my options would be.  I have read the first 35 to 40 pages of the technical forum trying to increase my knowledge.  I am really impressed by how knowledgeable and helpful everyone is to share on this forum.  You make it so much easier and pleasant to learn about our coaches.  They are so big and complex that it is daunting.  Frankly, they kind of terrify me and I hate to pay someone to do something that I should be able to do.

Respectfully,
Mike Sulley
2001 Marquis Amethyst
62 Airstream Globetrotter

2001 Marquis Amethyst
43’-10”
Cat C12 505 hp.

Mike Shumack

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2021, 11:46:38 AM »
Is that 150ft shore power cable providing you 30Amp 240VAC power? I assume so, if you are seeing 120V on both legs on the Aladdin screen.
That's a long cable. I use a 100ft cable but only 20A 120VAC power. In the Inverter settings you should set "Shore Power" to the "circuit breaker size of the shore power source" (i.e. In my case it is set to 20A) that is to prevent the shore power circuit breaker from tripping when there is a high load in the coach and the battery charger is charging on high.

It sounds like your House batteries went dead. I suspect when the shore power circuit breaker tripped, you had the Inverter turned on, so the batteries started providing power for your electric heater (being converted to 120V via the Inverter) until the batteries died.

When you are in storage, and connected to 120V/240V shore power, you can turn the Invertor Off, the Inverter's battery charger will continue to charge the batteries.

On my '05 the transfer switch is mounted on the upper back wall of the basement compartment between the frame rails, in the last compartment. Of course, your location may vary.
This is what it looks like:

Now that your shore power is working again, can you get the Aladdin to show voltage status again? Possibly you need to get your batteries up to 12V first. Also, when you're checking the battery voltage with your meter, be sure to note that the House batteries are 6V, so you need to check from pos to neg term across the two batteries in series to read 12V.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 11:54:46 AM by Mike Shumack »

Fred Brooks

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2021, 01:36:41 PM »
   Mike,
We need more information concerning your source of "shore power" If it is 150 feet long, what gauge is the cord? What size receptacle is it plugged into? What size is the circuit breaker that you found tripped? If it is a standard wall plug, there is no way that will power up your coach without you turning off all the equipment that is drawing power. Example would be just the inverter/converter alone upon initial start up would draw over 20 amps of power just to start charging the batteries. You stated that you turned on the heater. Is that the Aqua hot system or an electric heater that you plugged in? If the Aqua hot electric circuit breaker is on, that will also draw an additional 15 amps of power.
   If your coach is subject to freezing temperatures, it will suffer a lot of damage if you don't get ahead of your condition. Please give me a call at 520-309-1260 and I will walk you thru this. Fred Brooks, retired luxury coach technician.
Fred & Cindy Brooks
2000 Marquis, Jasper
C-12 Wild Cat (U of A)
2014 Honda CRV
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Eric Maclean

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 02:34:51 PM »
First off
Mike welcome to the forum you will find it your best source of Beaver related information.

Fred is correct if the coach is in freezing conditions make sure the aqua hot and the plumbing systems are properly winterized which means pumping plumbing antifreeze through the domestic hot water loop in the Aquahot as well as the coach plumbing.
Simply blowing out the plumbing will not effectively winterize the Aqua hot.

This is very important as the Aqua hot is a very expensive item and a freeze event can and will cause many thousands of dollars of damage to it.

Hope this helps
Eric

1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Mike Sulley

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 07:58:17 PM »
Mike, Fred, and Eric thank you so much for your replies.

Mike the picture of the Surge Guard really helps.  Now I know what I’m looking for.  I thought it defaulted to shore power?  And it did initially.

Fred  the shore power is a standard 4 wire 240 volt 50 amp outlet.  Both legs are reading 120 volts.  The cable is SO cord but I don’t know the wire size.  It’s large.  I watched the coach as it was for sale all summer.  I never let the wife see it as I new she would love it and have to have it.  It was plugged into this same cord all summer and worked fine. 

The house batteries are six-6 volt deep cycle in two banks.  Not quite sure how they are wired.  I can only open the bay door about three quarters of the way.  Just enough to get my head under it.

The previous owner has been most helpful.  He loaned me his SO cord when the temperatures fell in my unit and wired it into the panel in the storage unit.  He is good friends with storage unit owner and paved the way with the owner for permission to install shore power in my unit.

Fred thanks so much for sharing your number with me.  I will give you a call.  What time zone are you in and what time would be convenient?

Eric I know you are right about freeze protecting the coach.  The temperature in my unit is now 60*.  The whole idea was to avoid it.  And to protect the interior form the temperature cycles around freezing.  I also know it’s a gamble.

The electric heater is an Aqua Hot.  When we went to shore power I believe we turned off he inverter because it would charge the house batteries anyway.

So to conclude, when the 2O- 30 amp draw from the Aqua Hot and the 20-30 amp draw from the Xantrex charging the house batteries combined to cause the 50 amp storage breaker to trip.  Which then drained the house batteries.

I should have turned down the thermostat to 40-45* and flipped the coach breakers on everything else to avoid tripping 50 amp storage breaker.

Where do I go from here?  How do I go about restoring shore power to the coach?  Is my transfer switch toast?  Are my house batteries toast as well?  I will check in /out voltages at the transfer switch now that I know what to look for.  I will check voltage of the shore power plug with longer VOM  probes.  I will get  bigger chargers on the house batteries.

Apologies for the long winded posts.   I’m  a recovering engineer.  I’ve struggled with it  my whole life.  But I’m a ME not an EE.  Electricity is not my thing.

Thanks again.

Respectfully,
Mike Sulley
2001 Marquis Amethyst
43’-10”
Cat C12 505 hp.
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Eric Maclean

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 09:17:52 PM »
Mike
Check your shore power carefully
Your surge guard is more than just a surge protector it also is an electrical management system ( EMS) it is set up to shutdown or not allow power to the coach if there is any of the following electrical faults
1) open neutral
2) open ground
3) reverse polarity
4) hot ground
And finally if the coach loads draw the voltage down below 102 volts on either leg it will disconnect the coach to avoid the related damage low voltage has on electric motors such as A/C units refrigerator compressor etc.

As Fred mentioned you can set your inverters charge to limit amp draw depending on your shore power capabilities this will help alleviate the draw on your shore power to some extent this will help keep from trip g the shore power breaker.

How ever if you are tripping a 50 amp service breaker I'd be looking for a short as your coach should be able to run almost everything on that 50 amp supply.
Possibly a faulty connection at the shore breaker or bad cord.
Or even possibly a short in the Aquahot heating element although it should have its own onboard breaker.

Your on the right track
I'd shut down all the breakers in the coach to limit any load and then check your power supply to the EMS in to see if your have a problem with your shore power cord or even your coach cord a d reel setup.
If you have power to the EMS a d not through it look carefully for any of the above mentioned electrical faults before condemning the EMS .
If by chance you get power through the EMS then start by setting you main 50 amp input breaker at the coach panel and work from there to see if you have a breaker which too much load or( short circuit ).

Be careful working (testing) that power input 50amps at 240 volts can.be deadly
You should be in good hands with Fred anyway.

Hope this helps
Eric


If any of the above conditions exists the EMS will not connect the power to the coach
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.
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Fred Brooks

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2021, 12:13:43 AM »
   Mike,
Thanks for the call and the opportunity to clarify your issue. Thanks, Eric, for your detailed explanation of the surge guard and it's parameters to fault. I am not sure why the "salesman switch" is not activating the solenoid that turns on the 12volt inside the coach unless the mechanical battery disconnects are turned off or the 5amp ATC fuse is blown at the solenoid. As I suggested to you, temporarily jump that solenoid (the one with the brown & white 14 gage wires) from the post at 9:00 o'clock to the post at 3:00 o'clock with a jumper cable to power up the interior of the coach. Then turn on the SMC monitor above the dinette table to look at shore power voltage on each leg and 12volt charging (13.7 to 14.2). Incidentally, the other solenoid next to it with the purple and gray wires going to it is the chassis disconnect.
 As Eric suggested, it is really important to winterize the Aqua Hot in the event your shelter suffers a power loss.
  Blessings, Fred
Fred & Cindy Brooks
2000 Marquis, Jasper
C-12 Wild Cat (U of A)
2014 Honda CRV
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Mike Sulley

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2021, 10:14:45 AM »
Gentlemen thank you for all your ideas.  But no joy today.
I spent a couple hours today crawling around the curbside bays next to the battery bay taking pictures of the different assemblies.

I again checked the 150’ SO cord 240v 50 amp receptacle with the circuit tester.  It shows it to be wired correctly center blade ( white wire) common, outer two blades ( black and a red wire) 122v and 124 v respectively to the white common.  Same voltages between red and black wires to ground(green wire).

Fred, I visually checked the two 5 amp fuses on the latching solenoid.  The fuse contacts need a little cleaning but they don’t appear to be blown.  The solenoid is similar to the one in your picture.  I was confused because it is labeled both house and chassis.  Is this solenoid that is supposed to be activated by the “ Salesman switch”?  I tried jumpering the two lugs at 3:00 and 9:00 o’clock but nothing happened.  I measured the voltage at each lug to ground and read 3.68volts..  Coincidentally, that was also about the voltage of the total of the three banks of two 6 volt house batteries  measured the combined output voltage to ground.  While I was there I visually checked what appear to be fuses between the two lugs on either side of the solenoid.  I believe one is labeled house and the other is labeled chassis.  What is the black cylinder to the right of the solenoid?

I went looking for the Surge Guard transfer switch, only to fine an Esco ES50 Volt Transfer automatic generator/ shoreline transfer switch (ES50M-65N).  Two gray boxes each about 12” square hanging from the ceiling.  I couldn’t open either box because I didn’t bring a stubby Phillips screw driver.  And a long skinny gray box labeled RV Electronics (PLM-50A) power line monitor with a large black cable running in and out hanging on the inside wall.  Īs this part of the house voltage monitoring system?  Does anyone have a picture on the insides of he transfer boxes.

 I also found a smaller breaker box with 4 breakers hanging from the ceiling.  A 30 amp main, a 15 amp micro, and two 20 amp breakers one labeled galley and one labeled lights, entert, misc, and recept.  I didn’t mess with these today.  None look tripped, but a couple have a little red showing, so I will rock them tomorrow.

I left two 6v trickle chargers on two sets of house batteries when I left.  So maybe we will have enough voltage to do some good tomorrow.

Respectfully,
Mike Sulley

2001 Marquis Amethyst
43’-10”
Cat C12 505 hp.

Eric Maclean

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2021, 01:28:06 PM »
Mike
The breaker panel on the ceiling of the bay is the inverter output panel the inverter has is powered by a 30 amp breaker in the main coach panel when connected to shore power through that 30 amp breaker the power is used by the inverter to run the internal battery charger and it also has a relay which passes the 30 amps through to feed that panel in the bay known as a passthrough relay. When the inverter is not on shore power the passthrough relay switches to connect the inverter to the bay panel so that when the inverter is turned on (is using 12 volts to invert into 120 volts ) the inverter power is feed to the coach circuits via that same bay mounted breaker panel.

Mike there is a troubleshooting manual in the coach assist section for the Esco transfer switch under misc.

The PLM-50 is the ( surge protector and electrical management system)  EMS I spoke of earlier.
Unfortunately that company is no longer in business and I can't find any info on there unit so if it is dead you will have to replace it with a newer sty!e system .
I assume your coach does not have the Aldin coach monitoring systems as I thing they weren't needed unit later years.


Hope this helps
Eric
« Last Edit: December 03, 2021, 01:58:43 PM by Eric Maclean »
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.

Fred Brooks

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2021, 08:21:34 PM »
    Mike,
 It is beginning to look like your house batteries are not being charged. That black solenoid you inquired about is the battery boost solenoid. When you push the switch at the driver's console that has picture of a battery on it, it energizes that solenoid and combines the house and chassis batteries for a boost when starting in cold weather.
   Forget trying to use the 6volt battery charger. Purchase a Schumaker 50 amp 12volt battery charger and charge the whole bank. Hopefully the batteries will come back to 12volts. If the batteries smell like rotten eggs when charging, they are sulfated and are junk. Hope this helps, Fred
Fred & Cindy Brooks
2000 Marquis, Jasper
C-12 Wild Cat (U of A)
2014 Honda CRV
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Mike Sulley

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2021, 07:16:01 AM »
Follow Up:
Thanks Gentlemen for all your help.

Following the shore power breaker tripping, my house batteries were down to 2 volts measured diagonally across the stack.  Fred told me that nothing would work until I got the house batteries up to 12 volts.  The storage unit is so narrow that I can’t open the bay door enough to really see how the house batteries are wired- series/ parallel.  So I put two six volt chargers across two sets of two batteries in series.  That’s all I had at the time and I thought since the batteries were 6 volt, I had to use a six volt charger.  Fred set me straight and I applied a 12 volt 5 amp charger diagonally across all six batteries and managed to get them up to 12+ volts.

I bought a 30 amp charger, to charge them faster but it tripped the GFI on the 120v 20 amp circuit in the storage unit.  Fred also told me that the first sign to tell if I had power in the coach was the display on the microwave would come on.  And it did after a couple days charging.

So now I have house batteries at 13.7v and  on the CMP-20 house monitor I am showing 124v and 123 v on legs 1 and 2 respectively.  So everything is working in the coach.

Thanks everyone.  This has been a great experience .  It’s forced me to crawl around on the coach.  Taking picture of my systems in “my” coach.  Learning the vocabulary so I can talk RV’s.   I am beginning to really appreciate how well thought out and well built these coaches are.

Now I’m off to tackle freeze protecting the Aqua Hot and the rest of the coach.

Respectfully,
Mike Sulley
2001 Marquis Amethyst
43’-10”
Cat C12 505 hp
2001 Marquis Amethyst
43’-10”
Cat C12 505 hp.

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2021, 01:18:41 PM »
Since your Marquis is plugged into 50 amp, just plug your 12v - 30 amp charger into one of the Marquis' basement receptacles.
2004 Beaver Marquis Sapphire

Fred Brooks

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2021, 02:46:24 PM »
    Mike ,
I am not sure where your inverter/converter monitor panel is located. Perhaps above the passenger seat behind a small cabinet door like on my 2000 Marquis. Once you locate it, if all is well the monitor should indicate "float" charge once the house batteries are fully charged.
  You will know if the coach is winterized by checking the following: Turn on the water pump at the switch up under the CMP 20 monitor panel (or at the lavy vanity cabinet). Open the cold-water faucet in the kitchen and see if you get pink colored water. Next try the lavy sink and then flush the toilet. If all are pink, you're good. Open the hot water faucet in the kitchen and see if you get pink water. That water is supplied by the Aqua-hot. If pink, that is a good indicator that the Aqua-hot has been winterized also. When you can access the driver's side water bay, check the external water faucet fixture which is sometimes overlooked. Please read the owner's manual for a full understanding. Happy for your progress, Fred
Fred & Cindy Brooks
2000 Marquis, Jasper
C-12 Wild Cat (U of A)
2014 Honda CRV
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Eric Maclean

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2021, 08:45:02 PM »
Mike when winterizing don't over look the washer dryer and dish washer if you have them they need to be winterized too.
Eric
1997 Patriot Yorktown
3126-B
2009 Chevy HHR
Roadmaster falcon tow bar
Demco Air Force one tow brake.
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Frank Bergamo

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Re: Lost shore power
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2021, 09:54:17 PM »
May I add, the ice maker as well. Hope this helps.
Frank & Paulette Bergamo
2019-       : 2007 Marquis Topaz IV  C-15 600 HP Allison 4000
2014-2019: 2002 Marquis Emerald C-12 505 HP Allison 4000
2004-2014: 1986 Executive Diplomat 3208 250 HP Allison MT-643
Grand Junction, CO.
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