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Old 05-30-2017, 06:54 PM   #1
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Default Slight shock when plugged in

Hello, I have a 1989 Dodge 228 Xplorer camper van, I noticed yesterday when I plugged it in to power all the lights and things in the camper that it is giving a low level shock or constant flow of electricity when I touched the inside door handle while I was standing on the ground, I immediately unplugged it until I figure this out, I'm assuming a bad ground as the lights inside did work when plugged in, any help would be great cause I don't know where to start.



Thank you
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:36 PM   #2
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make sure your shore power connection has a good ground connection & that polarity is correct

it could be the van, your cable or the outlet you used

Mike
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:55 PM   #3
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A small shock with shoes on could mean death to a barefoot child. Don't ignore this.

RV Electrical Safety: Part IV – Hot Skin | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:59 PM   #4
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I know it has a 220 to 110 adapter on the end that plugs into the wall, I will have to do some test later this week on it, I just didn't know if there was a main ground spot or something.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Buy a $5 outlet tester. The outlet you used may have lost/weak ground connection. Don't plug your van into a non-GFCI protected 110 outlet.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopefish View Post
I know it has a 220 to 110 adapter on the end that plugs into the wall...
That makes no sense. There should be nothing in that van that runs on 220 and you should not be plugging into anything that supplies that voltage.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:16 PM   #7
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guessing a dryer or range type outlet is what he is using....and an adapter to use only 1 leg of the 240

OP don;t mess around with this.

to test just use a normal 15amp outlet from your house....and don;t turn on the ac or alot of stuff in teh van

mike
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
guessing a dryer or range type outlet is what he is using....and an adapter to use only 1 leg of the 240

OP don;t mess around with this.

to test just use a normal 15amp outlet from your house....and don;t turn on the ac or alot of stuff in teh van

mike
A lot of home 220v outlets like stoves, some dryers, welders, etc don't have an neutral, so if the van has neutral bonded somewhere, which is pretty common especially with inverters, he could be carrying all the current in the ground.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:09 PM   #9
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I will snap a picture of the adapter and plug when I get home from work later today, I heard a hum sound from the back of the van when it was plugged in, that might be normal if it has a charger or inverter. I got this van from my father when he passed away so I'm still learning things about it.

Thank you
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:14 PM   #10
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It is likely a 30 amp to 20 amp converter cord.

Buy a tester, they are a few dollars, and test the plugin that you used. If that plugin tests OK then do not plug in your van again until you have it checked by a competent technician skilled in automotive electrical.

Posts above are not kidding, people have been killed by ground loops/shorts.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:24 PM   #11
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If it is a store bought adapter, it wouldn't plug in to an incorrect outlet, but I have seen way too many homemade ones that were bad. The worst one was where they took a 220 outlet with no neutral and wired the neutral of the adapter cord to the groun pin to use the outlet ground as neutral. It would run stuff fine, but certainly was extremely dangerous.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:11 AM   #12
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ok here are some photos of what I have for the adapter, however I had a multimeter and I tested the outlet I used (non-GFCI)

Right small plug with positive tester and the left large plug with negative = 120v

Right small plug with positive tester and the bottom round with negative = 25v

no idea why its 25 volts but im assuming that's the issue?
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:27 AM   #13
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.

How old is this cable?


:-O
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:59 PM   #14
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I thought this was a 220v outlet we were talking about.

You have a picture of the outlet?
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:41 PM   #15
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I'm not much of an electrician so when I looked at the adapter I thought it was a 220 plug, it must be a foreign plug with that adapter, sorry for the confusion, I don't know how old the adapter is, I'm thinking my dad bought it in the 90's so probably at least 20 years old, just a guess.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I thought this was a 220v outlet we were talking about.

You have a picture of the outlet?
I don't think there's any 220v connection involved. Dopefish has said he's new to RVs, so I'm guessing he looked at the RV's 30 amp plug & thought of it as a 220v connector. (Edited to add: looks like we crossposted and he just confirmed that.) Those pictures he posted look like a 30A to 15A dogbone.

But it does sound like there's a problem with that outlet he tested. Assuming it's a standard 15A outlet, the shorter prong is hot, the larger prong is neutral and the round prong is ground. If I'm understanding his measurements, he's seeing 120v from hot to neutral but only 25v from hot to ground.

I agree that an outlet tester would be a smart investment at this point. My guess is that hot & neutral are swapped on that outlet, which the tester would confirm.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:10 PM   #17
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sorry for the confusion
Yes Gryphon you are correct with my tests, I will stop by the hardware store on the way home today after work and pick up an outlet tester......maybe two of them !

I will also take a photo of the outlet, it looked like a pretty standard outlet to me.

Thank you
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:58 PM   #18
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Get a new 30 amp power plug at home Depot. They are $15.

Connect it properly (you need am ammeter) so that the 3 wires end up in the same configuration pattern as the old plug.

Get a buddy with electrical knowledge if you are unsure.

yOUR PROBLEM WILL BE SOLVED IN 20 MINUTES.
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:40 PM   #19
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ok so I stopped by the hardware store but they were all out of outlet testers so I just bought a couple on Amazon, as for now it turns out one of my co workers husband is an electrician and he will help me with the house wiring issue.

Thank you for all your help!
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopefish View Post
ok so I stopped by the hardware store but they were all out of outlet testers so I just bought a couple on Amazon, as for now it turns out one of my co workers husband is an electrician and he will help me with the house wiring issue.

Thank you for all your help!
Just be careful. Many well intentioned and knowledgeable electricians have mistaken the 30 amp RV outlet/plug for a 220v affair. Double check with him that that cord and what it plugs into is 110v.
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