Electrical Rv-electrical Question:
Hi: We live in a resort community of RVs and park models. We have a 12x40' park model with an attached 12x20' arizona room. We have 50 amp service. There is a small building for abt 30 meters for 30 lots and then the wires run from there to our park model, abt 100 yds. For the second time this winter, the power to our lot went off tonight. No breakers at all went off in the breaker box in our home, just the breaker that is for the power which comes into our lot located in the meter building. No disruption of power service to any other
residences in our area. How can this happen? By the way, we were not using any unusual amt of electrical appliances or quantity of electricity, just what we normally have on each evening. The furnace was not running either at the time when the \ main\ breaker in the meter building snapped off. Is it possible for the breaker in the meter building to become worn or something? Is that where we should start our investigation of the problem? Help, from a frustrated wife whose husband also has no idea why this is happening either!
Hi Marg - Great Electrical Repair Question!
In a situation like this I would open the panel where the power comes to your location and make a visual inspection - looking for loose connections or signs or anything that may contribute to this, moisture problems, anything that may compromise the integrity of the circuit. From your information, the problem seems to be between your location and the meter building. This link may help: http://ask-the-electrician.com/safety.htm#safety In summary, a process of elimination through visual inspections and testing should provide the cause of the problem. I would love to know what you find out -
Hi Dave: The electricians are coming tomorrow to assess the situation and have been recommended by the Resort owner/manager. He said they have worked in our Resort many times before and are reliable and reputable. Here's hoping he's right!
I'm going to print out your reply below and also the wire size table. Hopefully, they already know this stuff but I want to be able to ask informed questions and you've provided the answers that they should give me!
Re the pedestal, hubby thinks that that portion was done by the builder at the time he built our place and put it on the lot. We think he forgot the breaker at the meter building because, unless he had a really good steak knife to break into it as hubby did at midnight last night, he forgot to, or didn't bother to, go and get the Resort owner/manager to let him into the meter building. As we discovered, the builder conveniently forgot a number of things relating to this build and others that he did in the resort. As we were living 45 miles away at the time, we trusted him to do what needed to be done, without us having to check up on his every move. Should have known better!
He used to have allow holdbacks until total completion but stopped doing that before we had him build ours so he got every dime from us before we found deficiencies and even though he only lives 2 miles from here, getting him to come back and fix things was a nightmare. Others here who did have holdbacks have never released them to him and this is over a 7 - 9 year period that he was building park models for our park. We've estimated, around the campfire, that he's got over $100,000 in holdbacks sitting here!
Then we heard that he filed for bankruptcy on his company. A guy out here begged him to come and finish up, waving his holdback check in front of the builder's face and the builder told him he wouldn't do it as the check would just have to be turned over to the bankruptcy court and he'd never see a dime of it for his work!
Amazing, considering he's a local and has lived here all his life!
Just so you know, this is our Resort
http://www.mylakeresort.com/main.htm We are in Phase 2 and our lot backs on to the 6th hole of the golf course. This is the first year that we've lived here all winter, hubby retired, can't go south due to family commitments, and we have deer, jackrabbits and tons of birds right outside our deck. Attached is a pic of our park model, now with the Arizona room addition that my husband built last fall. Thank you so very much, Dave!! You are a Saint! Will let you know how we make out. Take care, Marg
Hi Marg -
Thanks for keeping me up to date, and don't worry about the eggs! Something to be aware of, and i'm sure your electrician will take care of: To have a service increased from a 30 amp to a 50 amp does *not* include just swapping out the 30 for 50 amp breaker, it means that a New 50 Amp Sub Feed Circuit to your pedestal is needed to replace the 30 Amp Sub Feed wire. What this means is that if the Existing Wire is sized for a 30 Amp Circuit, then this wire needs to be replaced with 50 Amp Rated wire. A *BIG Mistake * that causes alot of problems, and in some cases fire, is that when a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows that a person simply increases the size of the circuit breaker or fuse and leave the existing wire alone and not replacing the wire. This is without a doubt *extremely dangerous*. You will see what I mean if you visit this page and scroll down and look at the wire size table - Please follow this link: http://ask-the-electrician.com/electrical-wire.html Please keep this in mind as this situation is taken care of. If a reputable licensed electrical contractor is hired, then they will do the job right. Don't be afraid of asking questions, that's how we all learn.
Hi again, Dave: Thought you'd like another update. I dug up the bill for the building of our Park Model in 2001 and right there in black and white, we paid to have 50 amp service installed at the pedestal on our lot and ALSO in the meter building, with the contractor supplying the breaker! So I guess I'm not crazy after all! Needless to say, the builder's company is now defunct so we've hired some electricians to come and do the job we paid him for!! Take care, Marg
Thanks so much for getting back to me! I now have egg on my face! We had the Resort manager open the meter building and lo and behold, we have a 30 amp breaker in there! Needless to say, we're having it changed out to a 50, something that we thought we had had done years ago after we purchased the lot. Anyway, that is likely the source of our problem. I feel like such an idiot!
Thanks again for getting back to me, much appreciated!! Marg
Dave Rongey, Licensed Electrical Contractor, Assisting with Home Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs