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Old 07-02-2018, 04:29 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

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Old 07-02-2018, 04:55 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, 04:58 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, 05:05 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, 05:56 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, 06:44 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, 09:07 PM   #7
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They are hereby "thermal circuit breakers," and not "thingies."

Chuck
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:18 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, 09:19 PM   #9
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Thank you all!
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
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They are hereby "thermal circuit breakers," and not "thingies."

Chuck

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Old 07-02-2018, 10:06 PM   #11
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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

Attachment 32493
Take a good look at burnt yellow crimp ?

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Old 07-02-2018, 10:38 PM   #12
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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

Attachment 32493
Maybe one of the electrical gurus will chime in but is this wiring correct? why the short 8 awg between the two breakers. ?
Edit: Ok maybe it does not connect to the second breakers but is run behind it ? Ah my bad
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:24 AM   #13
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I'm trying to figure out why the staples are shown there, almost like they missed the joint when stapling the wood together? I'd snip off those staples to keep them away from the wiring. I had a household fire when I was refinishing my basement. It seemed the main supply electrical cable going to the main box had been run along the top basement sill plate. When I started hammering near that sill plate, sparks and smoke erupted. A quick call to fire department and they quickly found the problem. There was a staple sticking out of the sill plate, behind the cable, that had pierced the main cable when it was installed. My hammering caused some movement and short out the house. The firemen pulled back the cable, pulled out the staple, and rewrapped the cable, all was good.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:36 AM   #14
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After a closer look at the photo I would replace the breaker , cut the wires back to clean copper , install new lugs and reconnect . It appears the connection was loose and arcing which will damage the breaker as well as the connection . Since the electrical devices are mounted on a flammable substrate
I would be very cautious
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:50 AM   #15
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I don't get why Scott has two breakers there. I have only one. Had to replace the factory breaker when it died --of unknown causes.
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:43 PM   #16
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2nd one might be for a factory installed inverter? just guessing...
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:51 PM   #17
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I do have a factory inverter, so that could be it.

Still waiting to hear back from Reace.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:19 PM   #18
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2nd one might be for a factory installed inverter? just guessing...
Factory inverter wiring is MUCH bigger and has a 200 amp fuse. In the pic below, the small 8 gauge is the wire going to your relay - the large wire is for the inverter.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:03 PM   #19
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2nd one might be for a factory installed inverter? just guessing...
Or Solar...
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:02 PM   #20
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So the long and short of this is that it *was* a loose connection on that one terminal; that particular wire and breaker goes to the roof solar; the breaker was fried and must be replaced; Reace came through both diagnostically and with several good and fair options for fixing it; and he added that he will have words with the QC team, who are supposed to physically touch every connection to make sure they’re tight.

I continue to be a happy and proud Escape customer.

Thanks to all for your help here as well!

Cheers,
Scott
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