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Old 08-12-2020, 10:34 PM   #1
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Auto transfer switch contact cleaning

I have a Progressive Dynamics 5100 auto transfer switch that seems to be on its last legs. The shore power contacts are dirty enough that most times I plug it in I have to smack the box hard a few times before it works. I popped the cover and gave the contacts a nudge with the plastic cover and they arc. I can usually get it working with an appropriate amount of smacking and nudging but I know it's only a matter of time before it just won't make the connection anymore.

I've tried getting some sandpaper in between the contacts and spraying them with contact cleaner without much improvement. Is there anything else I can try before going for a full replacement?
If I do have to replace it is another PD 5100 the way to go or is there a less expensive option that works better? Any fully solid state transfer switches out there?
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:20 PM   #2
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Mine ended in a fire from loose contacts. Fortunately, we were not harmed and the damage was within the box itself and burned wires. Not fun to wake up to your fire alarm and smoke in the rv. I replaced with same PD unit. I wouldn't mess with cleaning contacts.
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Old 08-14-2020, 03:27 PM   #3
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This from their website. I thought maybe the contactor could be replaced but apparently not.

Relay Contacts Burned and Pitted
If the Relay Contacts are burned and pitted (see photo below), the Generator has a problem and itís voltage is dropping below 90 VAC under load. If this problem occurs, you must repair or replace the Generator and the complete ATS.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:11 PM   #4
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Gone
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OldWEB View Post
Relays are replaceable. RV Parts
I am sure if you have the old one in hand (or the data at minimum), a reputable electronics supply store could get them fairly inexpensive compared to a RV Part store.
Pay no attention to that link. It's for a 2 pole DC relay, NOT what you need for the ATS.

Could you find the right relay for the ATS? It's possible, but not probable unless you have the exact part number. For a 30 amp ATS you need a 3 pole, double throw, break before make, self powered/sensing, time delay, 250 VAC rated, 40 amp continuous rated, relay. Good luck finding that needle in Google's haystack. And if you do, it will probably cost more than the replacement ATS. Is it really worth it?
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Pay no attention to that link. It's for a 2 pole DC relay, NOT what you need for the ATS.

Could you find the right relay for the ATS? It's possible, but not probable unless you have the exact part number. For a 30 amp ATS you need a 3 pole, double throw, break before make, self powered/sensing, time delay, 250 VAC rated, 40 amp continuous rated, relay. Good luck finding that needle in Google's haystack. And if you do, it will probably cost more than the replacement ATS. Is it really worth it?
Will you please go back to post one and LOOK at the photo the OP supplied before your spew??
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:05 PM   #7
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Well we got to our site for the weekend and no amount of smacking or jiggling got the power on so it finally gave up the ghost. The wiring was done up with wire nuts inside so I just bypassed it, won't need the generator this weekend anyway.
I found a "very good" open box one on Amazon for $60 that'll be waiting for me when we get home. That and the front Sumo springs will be my Sunday project I think.
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:13 PM   #8
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Will you please go back to post one and LOOK at the photo the OP supplied before your spew??
What would I see there? No part numbers.

Look at what you linked to:
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:22 PM   #9
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I didn't make the product....

Am I to argue with the engineers at PD that made the 5100 Series control? At least I researched before I posted.
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Old 08-14-2020, 10:04 PM   #10
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What would I see there? No part numbers.
Look at what you linked to:
Probably have to remove and send to PD for repair.
In the meantime you got no transfer switch.

This is the lowest price I could find on-line.

https://www.boatandrvaccessories.com...ransfer-switch
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:39 PM   #11
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Am I to argue with the engineers at PD that made the 5100 Series control? At least I researched before I posted.
Well, that just makes no sense.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:16 AM   #12
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Cleaning relay Contacts is at best a temporary repair. Once the conductive surface has been pitted or burnished away the contacts are ruined.

Replace the whole unit, probably with the same transfer switch. Don't get in the weeds looking for Double sided , 3 pole, left handed, quadruple whatever nonsense-ing ....... .
Insure all connections are tight and to reduce arcing and pitting at the contacts, reduce the electrical load before connecting or disconnecting at the pedestal or starting the generator.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:34 AM   #13
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Or skip the device entirely - itís just another failure point. Put a pigtail on the generator output and on you shore power line and an inlet on your house circuit. When you get to a park plug in the shore line. If you need to be on the generator plug it in. Easy and simple.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:39 PM   #14
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Or skip the device entirely - itís just another failure point. Put a pigtail on the generator output and on you shore power line and an inlet on your house circuit. When you get to a park plug in the shore line. If you need to be on the generator plug it in. Easy and simple.
Well, you are absolutely correct.
In fact, earlier model RVs worked that way.

Recently, I saw a guy in an older Winnebago fussing around in an outside storage compartment. He was removing items that blocked his generator plug.
He finally did plug it in and started his generator.

I thought to myself..."what a PITA", always manually plugging and unplugging everytime the generator or shore power was needed.
But that's how it used to be for all RV's.

Old technology, but Proven technology!
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Old 08-15-2020, 02:51 PM   #15
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I thought about a manual setup but I'm 100% positive I'd forget to plug the generator in before leaving. Then an hour or so later the missus would want the coach AC started or to run the microwave and I'd have to stop.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:03 PM   #16
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Got the new ATS installed yesterday. Amazon's "Very good - Item will come repackaged" was actually brand new but came in a generic Amazon plastic bag so I lucked out and got that for under $60. The other used listing mentions cosmetic damage on several sides so I would avoid that one.
The old one wired up with wire nuts, the new one has these Wago nuts which reviewers weren't very happy about (Amazon listing shows a terminal block). Given how many random wire strands fell out of the wire nuts when I took them apart I think I prefer the Wago nuts for now. The new one also has a protective cover over the contacts but otherwise it was basically identical.

I cut/stripped the used ends of the wires to expose fresh wire and they went together nicely in the Wago nuts. Thor added a hole to the box for the shore cord between the gen and house wiring so I had to add a matching one. Gave it a test run and it works like it's supposed to with no smacking required!

For fun I took apart the shore power contact so I could get a look at it. It's a little crispy on the hot side, not much usable contact area left. Neutral wasn't quite as bad.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:16 PM   #17
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Looks a lot like mine.

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That's why in a previous post I said replace it. I used crimp on connectors.

You'll sleep better now that you know it's done right.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:30 PM   #18
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Thanks for update
I don’t see you mentioning...Will Progressive Dynamics repair your old one?
Probably would cost more than the $60 you paid for a new one.

I noticed on the PD website that the ATS has just a 2yr warranty.

The EMS & Surge Protectors that Progressive Industries sell (different company) are all “lifetime warranty”, you only pay shipping to their facility.
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Old 08-17-2020, 01:59 PM   #19
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It's a 2018 coach but I bought used so all the warranties including Thor's are typically out the window.
The burnt contacts would likely be considered normal wear and tear from switching sources with the AC on for example. I have no idea how often the previous owner did it but I know I've done it exactly twice from pulling into a campsite with the generator running and leaving the AC on while I plugged in and shut the generator off.
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Old 08-19-2020, 10:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
Well, you are absolutely correct.
In fact, earlier model RVs worked that way.

Recently, I saw a guy in an older Winnebago fussing around in an outside storage compartment. He was removing items that blocked his generator plug.
He finally did plug it in and started his generator.

I thought to myself..."what a PITA", always manually plugging and unplugging everytime the generator or shore power was needed.
But that's how it used to be for all RV's.

Old technology, but Proven technology!
Yep I was once that guy with a 2006 Class C Winnebago Outlook 29B. Worked without a hitch for 11+ years and 66K miles.
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