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kellyfrank

Whole Motor Coach Electrically Charged!

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After I filled the deep cycle batteries with distilled water yesterday, now the whole coach has a current running thru it!!!! Is it possible spilled water is under the battery and making a connection that way? Need help soon...

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Kelly,

First question-- are you plugged in to shore power?

Have you used a digital voltmeter to check between coach metal and ground (metal water pipe, metal stake driven into moist ground, etc).

Check on both VAC and VDC scales.

And, if on shore power, check with shore power plugged in and then with it unplugged.

Brett

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OK, so it is shore power that is the cause-- that is what I suspected, as 12 VDC really doesn't give you that "tingle" that 120 VAC does.

Are you on 15, 30 or 50 amp shore power?

Have you checked for proper polarity and presence of good ground?

Until you determine and remedy the problem, probably safer to unplug.

Also, if shore power is off and generator is on, do you still have the voltage on the chassis. Again, if you use a digital voltmeter, you will have concrete numbers to work with.

Brett

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Ok not very electrical... lol the shore line is from my garage and it may not be grounded right... I will try to run it from my house. We are about to go on our maiden trip and I have so much to learn.

Do you believe it is from the shore line not from an internal issue? I will start the generator next and touch and see if i get that tingle... if not it makes me believe it's my cord and should not happen at the camp site.

Thank you for your input on this holiday. Have a safe fourth of July,

Frank from Mass.

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Frank,

Strongly suggest that you do buy a digital voltmeter-- they start under $20 at Sears, Radio Shack, etc. Invaluable in troubleshooting RV issues.

And, if you had one, to check that 15 amp ("regular" house outlet):

Short straight= HOT

Long straight= NEUTRAL

Round= Ground.

So, from short straight to long straight= 120 VAC

Short straight to round= 120 VAC (if not ground, it would read zero and just that quickly identify the problem).

Long straight to round= zero (if 120 VAC here, just that quickly, you would know that polarity was reversed and you would have identified your issue).

But, until you identify and fix the issue, I would NOT use shore power from that outlet.

And, could it be a problem in one of your adapters or shore power cord-- sure, but again you would need a voltmeter to check it out.

Yes, you do need to be careful not to touch the metal probe part of the voltmeter leads, but other than that, pretty straight forward.

Brett

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Sounds like a wiring issue for sure !! Meter is the best little investment you can make. The other item that might help answer this problem is an outlet tester. Generally yellow / orange in color with a plug. Most building supply outlets should have them in stock. It plugs into a standard house outlet and has three lights, Yellow - Red and Clear lens. You can look at the lights and compare the pattern to the list on the back side. That tells you what the problem is, but not where. Since you are plugged into the the house, the outlet could be the problem. The extension cord if you made up one special for the coach could be an issue.

As Brett mentioned !!! Unplug the shore power feed. Things are dry for now ,but if your feet are wet you will get more then a tingle. !!!

That sensation should not be there when your running the generator.

The nice thing about the circuit tester mentioned above, you can run a quick test of the shore panel box and if the 115 outlet is OK. Then the 30 amp and 50 amp are most often wired correctly.

Short straight= HOT> Black wire

Long straight= NEUTRAL> White Standard wiring configuration

Round= Ground.> Copper or green

Added a little to Brett's post

Hope this helps Rich.

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I went and bought a plug tester and the outlets are correct, 2 yellow. When I test the coach after it's plugged in all outlets in the coach now show two yellow one red, but the instrument does not give a troubleshoot for that readout. Someone told me it is a ground wire bleeding over... in the coach???

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Don't know the yellow, yellow, red on your particular meter. Might want to google the manufacturer and determine what it means. Kind of useless to have coded lights without them supplying you with what the codes mean.

I would start checking the adapters with an ohm meter to make sure that there was not a broken connection or prong within the adapters.

Let us know what the the yellow, yellow red means, then we can give further help.

Brett

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I had a similar problem one time. I believe it was due to a combination of several issues.

First, the plug on the end of my shore power cable had a problem, the thick outer rubber casing was loose from the plug casing, so you could see into the inside of the plug casing.

Also, I found out later, that the extension cord from my house, that I had the RV plugged into, had little nicks and I actually got a tingle stowing that in my garage, (it was still plugged into the wall when I wrapped it up). Finally, I had been sanitizing my fresh water tank and the fill is just above my hot water heater and a lot of water overflowed onto that. Next day, when that had dried, the problem was gone. But I still taped up the extension cord and put a new plug with the casing and all, on my shore power cable. Hasn't happened again since.

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I have an outlet tester like the one kellyfrank has mentioned. The tester is normally used to test household 115 volt outlets, but with adapters it will test other outlets. A 30 amp male to 15 amp female adapter will allow the tester to check a 30 amp outlet. A 50 amp male to 30 amp female with a 30 amp male to 15 amp female will allow the tester to check only one side of the 50 amp outlet.

These are the three light codes:

Nothing Yellow Yellow = Correct

Red Yellow Nothing = Hot and Neutral Reversed

Red Nothing Yellow = Hot and Ground Reversed

Nothing Nothing Nothing = Open Hot

Nothing Nothing Yellow = Open Neutral

Nothing Yellow Nothing = Open Ground

These testers do not check for high or low voltage, but work for a quick check to see if further analysis is needed. I do have Surge/High/Low and Incorrectly wired protector permantely wired in the coach, but I still use this tester with a 30 amp male to 15 amp female adapter to precheck a 30 amp outlet. So many of these were wired with alumium wire that eventually caused a ground neutral short.

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Ross,

If his tester is set up the same as yours, he have a VERY serious problem, with HOT and NEUTRAL being reversed.

Since I believe this is a 15 amp receptacle at his home, he needs to unplug the coach and have an electrician rewire it. In the meantime if power is needed, use the generator, or test and use another outlet that is properly wired.

Brett

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My outlets are all correct yellow yellow clear. it has something to do with the ground in the coach I truly believe. I am going to wait for a friend to come over that is more electrical savoy than I am. I bet I have a loose ground somewhere...

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As I mentioned above, start by checking the adapters and shore power cord with an ohm meter, as they take a lot of abuse. If they check out OK , THEN start with the coach.

A bad ground would not give the red light you mentioned and mrboyer posted (assuming your meter lights are the same as his).

Brett

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