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Monday, August 15, 2011

A Power-full Post

Today we are in Centralia.  We made a quick visit home yesterday to fix a leak in our toilet and I think I may have resolved that one.  So today, we came back up to Centralia.

Before going on, I want to interrupt this blog post and take a minute to update you on the power problem we had a few weeks ago in Redmond.  You may recall that our automatic transfer switch started smoldering and melting wire insulation and the relay contacts.

For those of you who don’t know anything about these switches, they automatically switch from shore power to the generator when the generator is on.  This eliminates the possibility of the RV being momentarily powered from both shore power and the genny which would cause a large arc, likely catch fire, and probably cause a power failure too.

Our switch needed to be replaced which we did at home.  The one we had used two relays and one was burnt around one of the connectors.  The manufacturer would not however sell the parts to fix it, instead they wanted to sell you a new one.

So I had to have it replaced, but did not use the same brand!  Next time (and hopefully there isn’t one) we can just replace the bad relay.  But during the replacement, we discovered that the old one was not properly installed.  There are two 30 amp circuits from the generator which would give you a total of 60 amps of generator power.  This takes 4 wires (2 positives, one neutral, one ground)

Unfortunately, Fleetwood only ran 3 wires.  So they tied both 30 amp circuits together at the generator and also ran a jumper at the transfer switch.  This meant we only had 30 amps from a 5500 watt generator. 

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Here you can see two wires tied to one going to the switch.  Not good!

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On the left relay, you can see the black wire tying two lines together.

Fortunately I had some heavy gauge wire left over from running my 50amp RV connection and we were able to run another lead from the generator to the transfer switch and now it is wired correctly.

What a pain!

Also while home, I was able to get my main computer fixed.  We had a power failure just before we left last Thursday and the monitors would not work.  At my son Tim’s suggestion, I disconnected it all, took it out to the shop and blew all the dust out. Then I started connecting things one at a time and it worked right from the beginning.  I did replace the power cord which appeared to be intermittently bad, but I don’t think that was the primary cause.  As Tim suggested, sometimes you just need to take them for a walk!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post already in progress……

Tonight we went to McMenamins in the old Olympic Club in downtown Centralia.  It probably dates to the early 1900’s and includes a pool hall.

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The pool hall has 8 antique pool tables and some were in use while we ate just a few feet away.  The food at this McMenamins was pretty good.  There are probably 30 or more McMenamins in Washington and Oregon.  There are 9 on the historic building register and these are hotels, schools, clubs, and even a poor farm.  Others are just store fronts, like the one nearest to where we live.

If you haven’t ever visited one, I recommend you give them a try.  Quality varies from OK to really good, depending on location.   I think Carol has it on her list of things to do to visit each of the historic ones.

2 comments:

Sue and Doug said...

you are quite the jack of all traders, there Dave!..hey we have to Mcmennamins!!..well, one of them anyway!!!

Donna K said...

Sure glad you found the wiring problem. Wonder if Fleetwood does this on all their products - might be dangerous for someone who is unaware. Perhaps you should write them a letter and let them know what happened to you. Seems like a manufacturing defect to me.