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Old 07-02-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Overheated Wiring Concern

I just discovered something in our 19 that concerns me. There are two small thingies (fuses?) screwed to the framing next to our WFCO power center. The poles on the thingies are covered with little plastic booties, presumably to prevent shorts. One of the poles on one of the thingies appears to have seriously overheated at some time or times, as the plastic bootie and pole are both singed pretty bad. See attached pic.

I immediately emailed ETI but got an auto reply that it’s a long weekend for them, so I’m reaching out here for help until they get back to me.

Questions: What is the thingie in question? Is this normal (I think not but it’s an important question)? Fire hazard? What do I do about it?

-Scott

IMG_5010.JPG
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
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Those look like the main 12v fuses for the trailer that can blow and then reset, I think?
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:58 PM   #3
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That is a circuit breaker that automatically resets itself. The little white boot is to keep you from shorting out the two bolts. (It also appears to be a good safety indicator as well)
My first thought is that the nut is not tight which would cause this overheating at the connection. If this is not the case and your not using the trailer...unplug it from AC and disconnect the battery until you hear from ETI.
And yes they are the main breakers from the battery etc.
DONT STICK A WRENCH IN THERE BEFORE DISCONNECTING ALL SOURCES OF POWER.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:05 PM   #4
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Those are thermal circuit breakers.

Usually that kind of situation is caused by poor contact creating high resistance and heat.

I'd first disconnect the battery, remove the terminals and wire brush or lightly sand them and reinstall them making sure the nut is tight. The nut may not have been tight enough originally leading to the poor contact situation.

Then I'd monitor it to make sure there's no abnormal heat at the terminal.

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Old 07-02-2018, 04:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
I just discovered something in our 19 that concerns me. There are two small thingies (fuses?) screwed to the framing next to our WFCO power center. The poles on the thingies are covered with little plastic booties, presumably to prevent shorts. One of the poles on one of the thingies appears to have seriously overheated at some time or times, as the plastic bootie and pole are both singed pretty bad. See attached pic.

I immediately emailed ETI but got an auto reply that it’s a long weekend for them, so I’m reaching out here for help until they get back to me.

Questions: What is the thingie in question? Is this normal (I think not but it’s an important question)? Fire hazard? What do I do about it?

-Scott
The plastic thingies are screw protectors - you can get them at Lowes.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hillman-4-P...ectors/3012672

Ron in BC is spot on with his procedure but I would also check the crimp on the terminal lug.
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File Type: jpg screw protector.jpg (17.9 KB, 35 views)
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:44 PM   #6
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indeed what they said, disconnect battery, unplug AC, etc, then remove that terminal, take the nut down to the hardware store and get a new one, anda new lock washer, clean off the ring connector down to shiny metal, and inspect the crimp. if the crimp is bad, get a couple inches of the same gauge and grade wiring (if you can't find it at the hardware store, try a marine supply, or auto parts store) and suitable ring terminals and make a new jumper wire. I much prefer marine crimps to the standard ones, the insulators are shrinkwrap and designed to seal around the wire insulation when heated with a hot air gun.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:07 PM   #7
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They are hereby "thermal circuit breakers," and not "thingies."

Chuck
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:18 PM   #8
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I would replace the crimp on ring connectors
Many crimp connectors are plated and if you sand or file the ring connectors you remove the plating
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:19 PM   #9
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Thank you all!
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citabria90 View Post
They are hereby "thermal circuit breakers," and not "thingies."

Chuck

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