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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 06-11-2012, 10:49 AM   #1
rksylves
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Default War Wagon shocked me

I'm at Cocoa Village competing saturday afternoon and after awards are over I'm talking to a couple of guys and it's starting to rain (again). So we break up and I head to the trailer to wait it out. The door was already open so I grabbed the door frame as I went to step up. Zap! What the Fark??

At first I thought it was because I was standing in water that I was a better ground than the real long extension cord. So I hop up into the trailer in one jump and try the door frame again. No shock. Hmm.. That's weird. I just go ahead and disconnect from shore power and head home.

Fast forward to Sunday morning. I go to plug the trailer in to an outlet in the garage that I've used numerous times before and the instant the plug touches, the house GFI breaker pops. Odd. I reset the breaker and everything seems fine.

I go into the trailer (no shock) and about 30 seconds after I go in, I hear a dull pop noise from behind the wall near the ceiling and all the power goes out. GFI breaker again. Oh crap..

So I go into the trailer AC electrical panel and disconnect the feed that goes to the roof air conditioner (that's the only thing that has power that high in the wall). Go reset the house GFI breaker and everything is fine. Had the power on for an hour or so. Unplug the power, reconnect the roof AC, and viola, the problem is back within 30 seconds.

So I disconnect it all again and this time I take the cover off the air conditioner and splice an old extension cord directly to the A/C unit and plug into the exact same house outlet. Works like a champ. Ran it for an hour or so with no troubles.

So the problem is between the breaker panel and the A/C unit, somewhere in the wall. This afternoon after work I'm going to start getting into the wall to see what I can see. Stay tuned.

Russ
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Unread 06-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
caseydog
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It could be that a wire has rubbed through inside the wall. That would explain both the shock and the ground fault. If a wire is in a tight area on a trailer that get's bounced around going down the road, friction could rub through the wire's insulation.

CD
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Unread 06-11-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
The_Kapn
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Ouch (literally).

My bet is on a screw going through a wire from when the walls were reinstalled.
But, I know you will find it.

Good luck.

TIM
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Unread 06-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #4
Q-Dat
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Yep thats a wire grounding somewhere.
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Unread 06-11-2012, 11:55 AM   #5
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Did you recently screw anything to the wall? If you did you may have run the screw through the wire.
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Unread 06-11-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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I just came in here because an alarm went off on my Stoker.

Goes off when the phrase "screw anything against a wall" is written in the forum and I like to watch.

A bit of advice... as a guy who gutted a trailer and did all sorts of stupid stuff I never told anyone. The first thing I would advise even if everything was fine, is if you are going to connect a trailer to AC.... ground it out properly with a dedicated GFI. You can lose your life just grabbing the trailer.
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Unread 06-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
rksylves
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I haven't changed anything in the trailer in a few months. No screws, nails, etc. have been added or deleted.

It's strange that it took 30-60 seconds before the breaker tripped. If it was a direct short then the breaker at the comp should have blown. It never did. Also, the 20 amp breaker in the trailer AC panel never tripped either. The only breaker that tripped was the garage GFCI.

Now I'm not an electrician but I always thought that the GFCI measured the difference of current between the hot and neutral and tripped if they weren't equal. The only way I can think that this could have happened would be that the hot is only partially shorted to the trailer frame (ground). That would cause some of the current to flow through ground and would upset the hot/neutral balance.

I'm tempted to measure the resistance from the hot (black) wire to the trailer frame on that power feed with both ends disconnected and see if there is a current path.

Russ
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Unread 06-11-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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A GFCI will trip well before a regular breaker. On my teardrop, the first thing inside my shore-power inlet is a GFCI. Like PT said, I'd install a GFCI in your trailer. They are lifesavers.

CD
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Unread 06-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #9
rksylves
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Found it. The total idiots who built this trailer obviously have no clue about common sense. Some bonehead actually squashed the romex between a section of the metal framework and a 1x3 board to screw the ceiling panels to. I tried to take some pictures of it but only one came out worth a darn.

Yet another in an extremely long list of screw ups from this company. I wouldn't let these morons build a dog house.

So this weekend I get to tear apart the back half of the ceiling to get to it and fix it. Oh fun...



Russ
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Unread 06-12-2012, 08:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rksylves View Post
I haven't changed anything in the trailer in a few months. No screws, nails, etc. have been added or deleted.

Russ
I figured it might be that new cooker that you cookin on.
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Unread 06-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #11
Q-Dat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rksylves View Post
Found it. The total idiots who built this trailer obviously have no clue about common sense. Some bonehead actually squashed the romex between a section of the metal framework and a 1x3 board to screw the ceiling panels to. I tried to take some pictures of it but only one came out worth a darn.

Yet another in an extremely long list of screw ups from this company. I wouldn't let these morons build a dog house.

So this weekend I get to tear apart the back half of the ceiling to get to it and fix it. Oh fun...



Russ
Thats why I think I'm just gonna paint my plywood walls white instead of paneling. If I ever need to get back there it will be less hassle.
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Unread 06-12-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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that is why I insisted on doing it myself - and we ran our electrical across the wall or ceiling we used metal protection.
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Unread 06-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #13
rksylves
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Quote:
I figured it might be that new cooker that you cookin on.
Took me a minute to figure out who you are! No Way! That cooker is the best decision I've made in a long time. Remind me to buy you a Pepsi (with a little sumpin' extra) when I see you at Damon's!

Russ
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