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Old 08-10-2016, 11:29 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 14
THOR #5091
Electric Outlet issue in a 2014 Thor ACE 30.1

On our last trip out, we noticed that some of the 120V AC outlets were not working while we were plugged in to land power. Specifically the ones in the kitchen and behind the TV and the ones in the bedroom behind the TV and in the desk area. Oddly the other electrical appliances (microwave, fridge) worked fine.

I check the breaker panel under the foot of the bed and found one of the breakers was off; the one labeled outlets. When I tried turing it back on, it immediately turned off again. Knowing something about electricity, I felt comfortable investigating further. I pulled the circuit breaker panel and examined the wiring; everything looked good. I pulled the wire from the circuit breaker for outlets (black wire) and reset only the breaker. It worked fine and stayed on. It wasn't the breaker.

Then I grabbed my meter and tested for short between the now disconnected black wire and white neutral. There was a short indicated. Same with black to ground.

At this point I called Thor for some advice. They suggested that I test the outlets furthest from the breakers for short. This would be the ones in the kitchen and behind the TV. I tested the outlets with my meter and they showed short between the black and neutral spades.

My problem now is how do I find out where the short is? The wires travel inside the walls and they were not forthcoming with even a schematic.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Robert
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:05 AM   #2
Thor Palazzo 33.3 diesel
 
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: Georgia
Posts: 2,443
THOR #4735
I imagine that the short is within the connection of one of the outlets themselves, probably not in the wiring behind any wall. I would guess you would have to check every outlet in the line, including those that are hidden under seats, behind cabinets, under the sink, and hidden by the manufacturer.
I know that I have several outlets under my booth seating, under my bathroom sink, above the microwave in the kitchen cabinet, etc. None of these would you ever see if you weren't digging around while fixing other problems. : )

and this doesn't discuss the issue of the GFCI outlet, usually located in the bathroom, but has many 'downline' outlets that it controls, such as the fridge, microwave, living room tv, outside bay, etc. When it trips, it doesn't just leave the bathroom in the dark, but many other items as well.

also to mention is the 'battery disconnect' switch that most of us have on the wall as we step into the coach. I sometimes accidentally hit mine when meaning to hit the awning switch. .... so aggravating when items don't work and you rack your brain trying to figure out why, when it was just a flip of a switch - who puts such an important switch right next to another identical looking switch?? sometimes I wonder....
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 28A Class C
State: Vermont
Posts: 267
THOR #4117
First, disconnect the power.

I would pick an outlet in about the middle of the string of non working outlets. Remove the outlet from the box and remove the hot wire from the outlet. Of course, the power is disconnected so the "hot" wire is not hot.

With your meter, see which wire, or side, has the short.

Next, repeat the above with an outlet about half way on the bad side. Keep repeating this until you have narrowed it down to the bad outlet.

Once you have found the bad outlet it should be easy to replace the outlet or repair the wiring.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:22 PM   #4
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Model: A.C.E. 27.1
State: California
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THOR #2554
I had a similar problem on my 15 ACE 27.1. Except it was the outlet next to the bed and the refridgerater switched to LP. I took it back to the dealership after I checked for shorts. They found that the wiring harness had melted and shorted out, Replaced under warranty.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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I had similar fault and discovered that is was not a short but simply the ground fault plug in the bathroom had tripped. Turned out that the kitchen outlet is connected to the bathroom ground fault. FRANKO
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:55 PM   #6
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how about some feedback Rezeiler? It would be nice to hear if and how you solved the problem.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:39 PM   #7
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THOR #5091
Cool

Hi

I thought I had posted my results but I don't see it listed. In any case I solved the problem. Since when I spoke with Thor tech support and found out they do not have a specific schematic for the wiring, I decided to make my own. I gathered a meter for continuity testing and a long roll of wire with an alligator clip on one end. The black wires in all the outlets had been disconnected. Starting at the circuit breaker, I attached the alligator clip to the black wire at the breaker (also disconnected) and the other end to the outlets in the bedroom. Behind the TV and then at the desk. I found out the breaker wire is connected first to the TV socket and was not short to ground. Next I moved the alligator clip to the TV socket black wire and tested the next outlet that was the bedroom desk. Also no short. The next wire was a bit more difficult. I again attached to alligator clip to the desk outlet and tried the outlet behind the living room TV. This showed continuity also. However, this wire was also shorted to ground and neutral. A eureka moment. I then disconnected the white wire from the bedroom desk outlet as well as from the living room TV. This was the problem. If I tested for continuity across the white and black leads at either end of this wire it showed short.

I started a process of replacing all the outlets with regular outlets. I found that I had to actually screw the outlet directly into the wall since there was no room for a box; not sufficient depth. Each new outlet was wrapped with electrical tape before attaching. I kept testing for short as I continued on. Everything worked perfectly now. I finished by turning on the power and sure enough, the circuit breaker no longer blew and all the outlets worked fine. All except for the living room TV because now it didn't have any power connected.

I thought of running a new wire to replace the shorted one, but quickly disregarded that idea. When I opened the outlet in the bedroom desk, I noticed that the wire was held in place with a nylon hold down attached on the inside of the wall. In fact I had to cut it to get the wires out. I figured if Thor used nylon ties at one end, they must be all along the wire route. Pulling a new wire seemed out of the question.

However, I noticed that the outlet under the kitchen cabinet (under the living room TV) worked ok and it was attached to the GFCI breaker in the bathroom. (I made a schematic for all the wiring while I was at it). Since this outlet only had to run my blue ray player and my satellite receiver, I thought there would be sufficient amperage available so the next step. I removed the angled panel that held the outlet by removing the four screws in the corners. With the panel removed I had a clear path to the under cabinet outlet and ran a small piece of new wire from one outlet to the next. Replacing the outlet with regular ones as I went along using wire nuts and electrical tape. Before closing everything up, I tested the sockets again by resetting the GFCI breaker after turning on the circuit breaker. Great news, everything worked and no shorts. Closed everything up, mounted the panel (it used square drive screws, by the way) and retested everything that now showed no shorts and worked well.

I wound up using wire nuts and electrical tape to cap off all the wires at both ends that were shorted and pushed them back in the wall.

Now everything works well and no shorts detected.

Thor said originally that the short is probably in an outlet with one of the wires coming off and touching another. This was not the case as the short was somewhere in the run of the wire from the bedroom desk to the living room TV. I also found out that the circuit breaker assigned to the GFCI breaker was not what Thor said; different breaker. You might want to make sure which one in your rig. Also, Thor did supply an electrical wiring diagram but this only described where outlets are located in the rig by picture and a chart of which outlets are connected together in a specific circuit. However, I found several errors in what they described.

Also, while doing the new outlets, I installed two USB charging outlets in two locations. One in the kitchen, under the cabinet by the couch and the other in the bedroom by the light switch. These units have two regular sockets and have two USB sockets for charging. Picked them up at Lowes, but they are available other places.

Hope this helps.

Robert
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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Model: Four Winds 28A Class C
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WOW!

You had quite an adventure. Sounds like Thor really gave you a mess to clean up.

Thanks for the feedback, Hope it will help someone else with a similar problem.

Glad you solved the problem.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:33 PM   #9
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Model: ACE 30.1
State: Colorado
Posts: 388
THOR #5190
Thor 120VAC Wiring Errors

I haven't had a problem with my ACE 30.1 with shorted wires, but I do have a problem with incorrectly landed wiring at the circuit breakers.

First problem I discovered when I replaced the OEM WFCO Converter with a Progressive Dynamics. I found that the power to the Converter was terminated on the circuit breaker labeled Water Heater, and the Converter breaker wire was something else. so after discussing with Thor, I just swapped the wiring on the circuit breakers and thought all was well.

A few weeks later I discovered the the outlets on the driver's side were not powered while the generator was running. I tracked it down the above mentioned "Water Heater" circuit breaker. I like to keep the Water Heater breaker turned off when the coach is winterized so there isn't a chance of burning out the element by accidentally turning on the Water Heater 120V switch on the control panel. Turning this breaker back on gave me power to the outlets.

So I have another 120V distribution wiring error to track down. There are two wires under the "Water Heater" breaker, which I had though were for the heater element and the On/Off switch. Apparently one is the wiring to the outlets and I'm not sure what the other is now. I've got some circuit tracing to do once I have a chance. I don't trust the local CW RV techs to track this down, plus I can hear "warranty voided" because of the first fix I did. I haven't formally tested the other breakers to verity the power what they say they do, but that will be part of tracking down what's up with the outlets and water heater.
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:28 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: West Virginia
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THOR #12403
Thanks...

Thanks to TurnerFam for his response ref GFCI outlet in the bathroom, I reset the GFCI and the electric outlets over the sink and bedroom now are working.

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Old 07-18-2018, 08:41 PM   #11
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Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: Georgia
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sometimes it's just the simplest things, but yet very aggravating.... whew!
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