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off topic smelling smoke in the rig w/inverter on


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I know this is off topic but you guys are some of the smartest most broad experienced guys I know. I turned on my inverter today, just running off the batteries and solar left the house and when I came back in I could smell a faint smoke smell. The smell seems to be originating from the wall where  my AC breaker box is, my battery monitoring and slide switches are located. Nothing is turned on except for the frig and various parasitic draws. Everything works. We have not used the rig or the inverter for a year. I am wondering if lint or mouse  nest/dander is on some wires. I opened the wall and had less smell in there than outside of it. My inverter is located outside the rig in my generator compartment so it is well vented.We had been on shore power for 3 days with no issues. All help is appreciated.

JB 

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Just a thought, Jack had helped me re-wire my transfer switch a number of years ago on the Teton when it had shorted out!  The switch was behind the partition sliders and the smoke smell was pretty strong in the rig.  Find your transfer switch, open it up and see if you have any thing blackened in there.  Good Luck.

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You mention critters building a nest. That does happen. Inspecting inside the inverter case / box, did you see anything resembling debris a critter would drag in?

Is there a transfer switch / box in your set up? Eventually, connections loosen which can cause erratic behavior. It's VERY important for all connections to be PROPERLY tightened. Torque requirements are often quite modest (in the range of 25 INCH pounds or so). It's VERY easy to over torque the connections and, when over torqued, the connection is irreparably damaged (according to RV Electricity maven Mike Sokol) and, that box / panel will need to be replaced. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Randyretired said:

Checking the transfer switch is a good idea.  Another thought is checking to see what is warm or maybe even hot.  Switches are another area that can overheat if the contacts get dirty or corroded as can any wire connections.

Thanks Randy. I appreciate your input. I am just wondering why I did not have a problem on shore power. As far as I know the inverter mimics shore power. I am still in a park with shore power and did not move the rig. I just put in new batteries and was testing out my boon docking abalities. I just unplugged and turned on the inverter. My xantrex says I am pulling between 10 to occasionally 25 amps. Am I wrong about the MSW inverter? I have no hot or warm spots. I have a real good nose and just catch riffs of smell. Smells more like wood than wire smell.

Thanks JB

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Thanks guys, I think I found it. My nose told me to pull a switch cover and when I did I saw a spark. We had the backsplash replaced a couple of years ago and the tile guy put the switch back in with the connections touching the foil insulation. I pushed the foil back pressed the little CS clip back into place  and no more sparks and hopefully smell. As we all know smoke smell in an RV gets your attention in a hurry.

 

Stay safe JB

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28 minutes ago, HERO Maker said:

Are you sure you only have 1 transfer switch?  I had a front and rear power cord plugin, plus the generator.  Both my transfer switches were side by side.

As far as I can tell only 1, but I only have one plug in. Thanks JB

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That is fantastic JB!  I was getting worried for you and was about to encourage you to follow all your hots wires to junction boxes, switches, and outlets.   As they say, always start working backwards from the last thing that was done!  You must be living right!!!

Edited by HERO Maker
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