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Another chasing electron tale


lenp

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Two weeks ago the electric side of my hot water heater quit working. Checked the switch on the wall - yep, it's on. Went to the breaker panel - yep, breaker has not tripped. Turned the breaker off and check continuity to neutral - sure enough there is an open circuit.

 

Must be (1) switch on the back of the tank - not likely as no one has been in there; (2) element; or (3) thermostat. Ordered thermostat and element from Amazon. Left the breaker turned OFF. Parts are here and will pull heater when weather permits.

 

Fast forward to this morning......woke up to a power outage that lasted for about an hour. When power came back on I noticed my load share monitor panel said I was on 30 amp service - NOT!

What the heck happened. Figured a surge when the power came back on must have done something. Checked at the pedestal - 240 between L1 & L2. Checked output of SurgeGuard - same thing. OK, what the heck is going on?

 

Pulled out the information I have on the load sharing equipment. Pulled the cover from the main distribution panel (where the load share "guts" are located) and started measuring voltage there. WAIT A MINUTE, there is only one leg of 120 coming into this thing. Traced the wires and discovered the second 120 leg came from - you guessed it - the water heater breaker! Turned it back on and panel now says we are on 50 amp service and no longer load sharing!

 

Total time - about two hours! What a way to spend your retirement! I guess I need to pay more attention to the Load Share monitor panel in the future as well - two weeks this has been going on!

 

Lenp

 

USN Retired
2002 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom

2012 F150 4x4

2018 Lincoln MKX

2019 HD Ultra Limited

 

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Traced the wires and discovered the second 120 leg came from - you guessed it - the water heater breaker! Turned it back on and panel now says we are on 50 amp service and no longer load sharing!

The question now is, who connected it this way as that is not proper and should be fixed. I highly doubt that it came from the factory that way. You need to do some serious wire tracing. Should not the load sharing stuff be between the power cord and the distribution panel? Might the breaker you opened supply more than just that electric water heater element? If so, there should be a different breaker supplying the water heater. Might there be a separate circuit breaker in each leg (L1 & L2)?

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

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It is wired right...With Winnebago (not sure about other makes) the EMS panel uses the water heater circuit to detect the presence of 50A service (since it's on the 'other' leg of the 120V service). If that circuit breaker is turned off the EMS panel will not properly detect 50 amp service...Don't know if they still do this but that is how my 02 Horizon is wired....

 

You can find your wiring diagram here

 

http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/Wiring.htm

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It is wired right...With Winnebago (not sure about other makes) the EMS panel uses the water heater circuit to detect the presence of 50A service (since it's on the 'other' leg of the 120V service). If that circuit breaker is turned off the EMS panel will not properly detect 50 amp service...Don't know if they still do this but that is how my 02 Horizon is wired....

Are you saying that the water heater element is the only thing on the "other" leg? Normal distribution for a 50A panel is to have L1 on one buss and L2 on the other and loads are split as evenly as possible between the two legs. I would think that the could simply monitor the two buss bars to know if it was 50A service. Looking at the drawings on the link it really don't show enough detail to determine a lot but it could be that the load sharing monitors a single circuit, although if so it seems strange to me. I have never looked into one of the load sharing circuits from Winnebago but wonder if they don't use on from some other supplier? If you have something more detailed on that device, I'd love to have a look at it, just to satisfy my curiosity.......

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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Kirk...The unit (Intellitec/Powerline) senses 50 amps using one of the circuits on the 2nd leg via a jumper wire...Different years of Winnebago may use a different breaker...On the 02 vintage coaches, they used the water heater breaker...I can send you a wiring diagram showing the jumper wire from whatever breaker they used to the ems module...I'm not an electrical engineer and don't know why they do it this way but I have read enough posts on Winnie forums to know that this is how they do it...

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Kirk...The wiring diagram clearly shows this...Again click on this link http://www.winnebago...gram/Wiring.htm...Choose the model and year (2002 Ultimate Freedom in Lenp's case)...The first item on the list is 110 volt load center/Auto transfer switch...Click on it and scroll down to the breaker panel...The breaker marked WHT is the water heater breaker...You will see the jumper going from it to the ems module...

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Kirk,

 

Huskie is correct. Wired from the factory this way.

 

The monitor system is not drawing any power from the water heater breaker - just using it to sense if 240 VAC is applied. When hooked up to 30 amp service there would be no voltage difference between the water heater circuit (assume L2) and whatever other circuit is being used for L1.

 

All of the load monitoring is done in the neutral leg of the "shared" loads. I think that is coming via the sub panel.

 

All is working today after pulling the tank and discovering a badly burned/melted connector between the thermostat and the ECO. Changed the element as well as the thermostat and ECO while it was out of the coach.

 

Sure would have been nice if Winnebago had provided access to the rear of the unit. Pain in the rear pulling it out just to get to the 120 VAC end of it. Might just be a modification coming in the near future. Of course this unit also has the engine heat exchanger (heats your water while driving) and you have engine coolant hoses coming in the back side as well. First time I removed it a couple of years ago (had to replace the backflow device) I got drenched in engine coolant. I did install shut off valves at that time so only lost about a cup today - much better!

 

Lenp

USN Retired
2002 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom

2012 F150 4x4

2018 Lincoln MKX

2019 HD Ultra Limited

 

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..I can send you a wiring diagram showing the jumper wire from whatever breaker they used to the ems module...I'm not an electrical engineer and don't know why they do it this way but I have read enough posts on Winnie forums to know that this is how they do it...

I'm not engineer either, just an old technician. I used to tell the engineers that it was our jobs to make the equipment work, in spite of the way it had been designed. :P I sent you a PM with my email address.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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Humm, I never noticed this 3huskies, as I always have our WH electric switch on when not winterized. I'll try mine out when we get our to-do list for our house finished this spring. I think our WH is #1 on the load-shedding panel.

 

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961

 

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Ray...I just cheked your model and they did use the water heater breaker jumper to the ems module so keep that in mind if you ever turn it off....

Thanks for the information.

 

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961

 

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Lemp, we forgot to ask if you have caught any of those electrons yet? Might want to keep a bucket full just for an emergency! :lol:

Kirk...This is for you..

 

A engineer was walking down the sidewalk one day when his friend, another engineer, rode up on an incredible shiny new bicycle.

 

The first engineer was stunned by his friend's sweet ride and asked, "WOW! Where did you get such a nice bike?"

 

The second engineer replied, "Well, yesterday I was walking home, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up to me on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, 'Take what you want!'"

 

The first engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice. The clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

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Kirk, Don't have a spare bucket - all of them are being used to hold all the fish I am catching. I can always get more electrons at the next campsite!

 

Lenp

USN Retired
2002 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom

2012 F150 4x4

2018 Lincoln MKX

2019 HD Ultra Limited

 

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