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Old 10-21-2020, 12:59 PM   #1
PSFORD99
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Electrical Problem

I have my fifth wheel plugged into a GFI receptacle 20 amp. on the outside of my house , no extension cords just the 50 amp RV cord with the adapters . Have done this now for over 14 years with three different fifth wheels. Here about a year ago the GFI started tripping once in awhile. It was 20 year old ,I replaced it with no further problems until now. This fifth wheel has the wired in 50 AMP EMS

A little history ,we went on a short trip, I ran the fifth wheel on ,and off on a 2000 Honda generator for 5 days, had to shut off the EMS ,it would not allow power into the fifth wheel. Got home this past Sunday, plugged it in to the house ,turned on the EMS , no power to the fifth wheel, turn off the EMS power to the fifth wheel. Strange power to the cord but EMS will not allow it thru. So I plugged it into another GFI outlet inside the garage, different circuit, no problem. EMS is on, and power to the fifth wheel. After all this, it seems obvious to me a GFI can have a problem, not trip, and still supply power ,but the EMS detects something. Any thoughts . I will replace the GFI, but its is a strange one .
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:04 PM   #2
DutchmenSport
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I have read on these forums several times now, that EMS systems don't play very well with GFI receptacles.

Is there any way you can plug in to another outlet that does not go through a GFI?
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:08 PM   #3
jsb5717
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I've heard the same thing. Some have had no problems using GFCI plugs with their trailers but the general wisdom is that they can be problematic. If it used to work and doesn't now, and there are no changes in any part of the set up then it does seem odd.

For me when troubleshooting I start with...If it used to work and doesn't now, then something changed. Sounds basic but for me it's a simple fact that needs to be chased down. YMMV
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
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It sounds like the 'new' GFI outlet has a problem now, and probably needs to be replaced. Make sure that it is wired in properly, because they will not work right if wired in backwards.

Also, we use our Honda generators all the time with our EMS turned on, just use a grounding plug in one of the outlets on a generator. A grounding plug can be purchased or you can make one with a three prong plug, and install a short piece of wire between the ground terminal and the neutral terminal.
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:09 PM   #5
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To keep my protable progessive EMS from doing the same thing I plug a Southwire 444000 into one of the outlets on one of the generators and it solves the grounding problem with the EMS. Should also work on a wired in model. Got it from Amazon.
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:57 PM   #6
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Since it works on one GFCI outlet and not the other, I see three possibilities;
The one that trips is bad and trips when it shouldn’t,
The one that doesn’t trip is bad and doesn’t trip when it should, or
The one that trips is more sensitive than the other.

The GFCI compares the current flowing thru the hot pin to the current flowing thru the neutral pin. Those should be exactly the same. Any difference would indicate a “leakage” of current somewhere, i.e. a fault. A difference of 5 milliamperes can cause it to trip. I don’t know if an EMS has built in ground fault checking, but I have read that a GFCI downstream of another GFCI can cause the upstream GFCI to trip.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #7
PSFORD99
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Thanks everyone. turned out the ground in the 110 receptacle was getting pretty worn in there checked voltage black to the long side of receptacle ,and red to the short side ,and got 120 volts took the black on the voltage meter and went to the ground on the receptacle ,and had to wiggle around quite a bit to get the 120 volts. that told be I have power ,but no proper ground to the fifth wheel, the EMS without ground will shut down the power .

I replaced the receptacle ,its downstream from the GFI that services two others , so a total of four receptacles counting the GFI. GFI is working okay ,had to replace as said about a year ago ,it was periodically starting to trip, but it was 20 years old.

Another problem on the ground is I use the dog bone 50 to 30, and a 30 to 110 to plug into the receptacle, and that small black 30 to 110 was also worn a bit in the ground. Probably reason why running my Honda 2000 as said needs to be grounded ,and I am thinking that 30 to 110 was the issue, so now with new receptacle , and that a different 30 to 110 I had all is well. I am going to check running my Honda 2000 with that newer 30 to 110 adapter ,and see if I can run with the EMS on ,and have power in the fifth wheel.
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:37 PM   #8
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Another thing I am going to do is wire in 30 amp RV plug instead of the standard house receptacle , just couldn't find one today so went with the same ,and eliminate that small black adapter ,and then I am going to get a 30 amp cord for the fifth wheel ,and eliminate the dog bone, no more adapters here at home or at an RV that has 30 amps. I spend 6 weeks in the summer at small RV park in Montana that only has 30 amps, I always need the adapter .Going to try ,and simplify a bit, and potential issues .
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:57 PM   #9
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Good choice on the 30. I have a 30 amp cord for when we go to a 30 amp only park in Colorado. Much easier on this old body to get it out and then roll it back up to leave, especially in cold weather when that big black anaconda is a real fight.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BB_TX View Post
Good choice on the 30. I have a 30 amp cord for when we go to a 30 amp only park in Colorado. Much easier on this old body to get it out and then roll it back up to leave, especially in cold weather when that big black anaconda is a real fight.
No kidding on that 50 AMP cord, and yes especially cold weather, just got back from a hunting trip ,and it was pretty cold there.It was battle with that cold cord.

Thanks again .All is well with the fifth wheel now .
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:45 PM   #11
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I had a similar problem using a 100 ft outdoor extension cord. Solved it by buying a 12 gauge cord and when I plugged in, I found I had left both A/Cs on. The smaller gauge cord caused too much of a voltage drop and higher current drain to do nothing but trip the GFI breaker.

BTW, I turned the A/Cs off and vowed to never let that happen again.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-29-2020, 03:18 PM   #12
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psford99 Please check out this video for your problem with your generator. This will fix the problem with your EMS and generator.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:08 PM   #13
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The OP with the Honda doesn’t need to test for a ground not connected to the neutral, they aren’t connected and that’s why the EMS will not power up the rig, and why the simple grounding plug will solve the problem as it gives the EMS the neutral/ground connection it is looking for. Even though these Honda’s are pretty reliable, I still want the protection in case of failure in the generator, so use the EMS in its protection mode even with the generator.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:28 PM   #14
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Sorry that I was not clear. I posted the video to show that he needed a neutral/ground bonding plug and then the Ems will work to full capacity without overriding.
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:19 PM   #15
PSFORD99
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Originally Posted by h2ojocky View Post
psford99 Please check out this video for your problem with your generator. This will fix the problem with your EMS and generator.

Thanks for the info, although that grounding plug plus seems to be pretty elusive . Not available on Amazon, nor Walmart when I googled it, listing them as a vendor . Progressive does not list it on their website, wondering if its no longer made ,or I am just not looking hard enough .
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:29 PM   #16
PSFORD99
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Originally Posted by PSFORD99 View Post
Thanks for the info, although that grounding plug plus seems to be pretty elusive . Not available on Amazon, nor Walmart when I googled it, listing them as a vendor . Progressive does not list it on their website, wondering if its no longer made ,or I am just not looking hard enough .
Looking a bit further , Southwire sells one on Amazon , Southwire 44400 Surge Guard. Its on order .
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