Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Electrical Problem

Electrical problems can and do arise from time to time. Our first encounter with loss of power occurred this past Sunday. We were in the process of cooking lunch and when we placed French bread into the toaster oven it had no power. We used an extension cord from an outlet across the room to finish our cooking.

Once our meal was out of the way I (James) proceeded to locate the problem. I did not have any kind of electrical tester so tracing the problem would be trial and error for the time being.
I started at the power box supplied by the campground. The breaker had not tripped so I moved on to the main breaker box that is on our RV. There were no tripped breakers there either although there was no power to half of the electrical box. It was as if one leg of power was just gone.

Ok, this means a trip to the hardware store. Being a Sunday that means Lowes was the only place to go for parts. I knew that any unused parts that I purchase at Lowes could be returned so I decided to purchase all new breakers as well as a voltage tester. I purchased one 50 amp main breaker, two 20 amp double breakers and one 20 amp single breaker.
When I returned to the RV I tested the power coming into the main 50 amp breaker. Power was coming in on both legs however when I tested each of the 20 amp breakers every other one had loss of power. I pulled the 50 amp breaker out and found that the connector tab on one side had burned to the point that the connection was lost.

Temporary fix:
I removed all the breakers and moved them one space to the right.

Permanent Fix:
I replaced the electrical box and all the breakers. I was able to use the old electrical box cover and keep the same placement of the breakers. This way I did not have to remark each breaker as to what they controlled The products I chose to use were Square D brand. Total cost, $140.67

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