Friday, April 26, 2013

Electrical Problem Solved

(Huntsville, AL)  Hi 77 Lo 45 -- We were up by 6:45 this morning to hitch up to take the RV to Madison RV Supercenter, Inc. Jim called them yesterday about our electrical problem, and they were able to get us in at 8 this morning.
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If you've read our last few blogs you know that we've had problems with losing ac power. We'd lose all power except the wall plugs around our seating area and the microwave. Well, a week ago I smelled something funny, like a burning electrical smell. It was so faint that Jim couldn't smell it. I couldn’t find it at the time, and I didn’t smell it anymore so we forgot about it. Last week at Hoover, AL was when we started having the problem with the power going out. Jim changed to our backup electric cord and even changed from 50 amp to 30 amp at the pedestal, but nothing worked. We thought it might be the pedestal, so we waited until our move here to Huntsville, where the problem persisted. Last night the problem got worse, with the power going on and off every few minutes. We unplugged from the pedestal before going to bed. It got down to 45 degrees, so we got out a couple of blankets and snuggled up to keep warm. (We could have run the propane furnace, but we didn't want to run the battery down.)

Well, to make a long story short, the problem was our transfer switch. If you fire up the generator without disconnecting from shore power, the transfer switch transfers the ac power to the generator automatically. Ours apparently had shorted a couple of the wires. Here's what ours looked like after it was removed. (Click to enlarge.)

The case is made of plastic, which is probably what I was smelling a week ago. The technician who replaced it said we're lucky we didn't have a serious fire. The new switch he installed was much higher quality than this original one, with a metal case. Thankfully, our extended warranty paid all except $50 of the $639 bill. We LOVE our extended warranty!

We're impressed with Madison RV Supercenter, and want to thank them for getting us in so quick. The lady at the service desk said they always try to take care of folks passing through the area, especially full timers. We recommend them highly if you're ever in Huntsville and need RV service.

Tumbleweed is all repaired and ready for the trip back to the park.
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That’s too close for comfort. We’re doing well tonight, just a little nervous about what could have happened. We have angels watching over us. The takeaway here it to always pay attention to strange smells or noises. Although there wasn't much we could do about the smell last week, our error was not connecting that with the electrical problems we had soon after.

We're back settled in our site here at Redstone Arsenal RV Park, and it's nice to not have to worry about our electric power.


Jessica Riker said...

Yay!! Thank goodness the problem has been taken care of, and so quickly. Good information to know...I will definitely make sure that we pay attention to any odor like that if we ever notice it.

Jim and Sandie said...

So glad it turned out okay with no fire. Great service is definitely important to know about because you just never know when we're going to need it.

owensontheroad said...

You definitely have an angel on your shoulders :) Glad the problem is all fixed and you are settled back in.

KarenInTheWoods said...

Wow.. what a relief you guys are okay and the problem is fixed! Wheeeewww that could have been awful. Yes, angels are watching over you two. you have many more miles to travel~

Mike and Terri said...

Glad the problem was easily found and fixed. Now you can sleep easier tonight.

dreamjosie said...

Wow that's scary. Good you got it fixed before it could serious trouble. Electrical stuff is dangerous. Glad all is ok.

FD5, Retired said...

We had the same problem with our 05 Mobile Suites when we first started out. While we didn't have a generator, it was prepped for one. We got the electrical odor and looked everywhere for it. Turned out to be the transfer switch shorted.

Stay Safe