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Old 04-04-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Aktiv and Roadtrek Ecotrek are unsafe

The previous safety thread was five pages of great discussion. That thread presented numerous issues present in laymen's terms. This group knows electricity so we need a schematic. I've update the webpage with the attached figure showing the exact hardwired ground path from the campsite (left) to the Aktiv's cabin receptacle (right). There are no relays or other connections that improve the shore power safety return. Can we agree that the 18 gauge wire in the center is wrong? Do we agree that under the right shore power conditions the 18 gauge could fuse living the Aktiv live?


https://sites.google.com/view/shoot-...afe?authuser=0

I also added a picture of the plumbing that shows why the boiler could explode.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:46 PM   #2
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I was lost in the previous thread but I am still lost. Bond is between ground and neutral but the picture is showing ground connection only. It could help to see neutral and ground wiring.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:52 PM   #3
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Default Safety ground is want matters

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I was lost in the previous thread but I am still lost. Bond is between ground and neutral but the picture is showing ground connection only. It could help to see neutral and ground wiring.
GeorgeRa, I was getting lost too. There are so many Hymer defects that the previous thread when in lots of directions. When all else fails the safety ground shall be capable of carrying the full input current. This is especially true when the neutral wire breaks. Therefore I ask that for now we just discuss the safety ground wiring and agree that it is very wrong.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:06 PM   #4
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Do you have pictures of these marked with arrows connections?
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:19 PM   #5
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That new drawing is not what the inverter manual says happens. The drawing shows the only connections between shore ground and van ground as being through the 18ga wire or the case. This is not the case per the inverter manual that says there is an internal switch that connects shore and van grounds whenever you are on shore power.



This is what I have been trying to get across for quite a few posts, that if that internal switch actually is there as the manual says, the 18ga wire is irrelevant to the actual safety of the system, as long as the 6ga chassis ground is in place.

As also asked in my last post in the other thread, was shore power ground, at 12ga hooked up to the terminal strip as the original description described? Same question on the output side.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:30 PM   #6
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That new drawing is not what the inverter manual says happens. The drawing shows the only connections between shore ground and van ground as being through the 18ga wire or the case. This is not the case per the inverter manual that says there is an internal switch that connects shore and van grounds whenever you are on shore power.



This is what I have been trying to get across for quite a few posts, that if that internal switch actually is there as the manual says, the 18ga wire is irrelevant to the actual safety of the system, as long as the 6ga chassis ground is in place.

As also asked in my last post in the other thread, was shore power ground, at 12ga hooked up to the terminal strip as the original description described? Same question on the output side.
That is the way how my Magnum Inverter is working. I have 2 AC panels:
1. Direct connection to shore – bond at shore
2. Via inverter – bond at Magnum Inverter
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:56 PM   #7
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Default The manual is wrong

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That new drawing is not what the inverter manual says happens. The drawing shows the only connections between shore ground and van ground as being through the 18ga wire or the case. This is not the case per the inverter manual that says there is an internal switch that connects shore and van grounds whenever you are on shore power.



This is what I have been trying to get across for quite a few posts, that if that internal switch actually is there as the manual says, the 18ga wire is irrelevant to the actual safety of the system, as long as the 6ga chassis ground is in place.

As also asked in my last post in the other thread, was shore power ground, at 12ga hooked up to the terminal strip as the original description described? Same question on the output side.
BOOSTER, you and I are about to be on the same page You've made that point and I've been listening. I have posted pictures and a schematic of realality. The manual is wrong or at least unclear. There are two relayis in the inverter. One appears switch the hot line and inverter line to the output. The other might conect neutral and the 18 gauge wire. This doesn't change the fact that the ONLY connection to shore power safety ground is an 18 gauge wire. QED
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:03 PM   #8
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I don't think we have seen any pix except of the wire and painted panel. What we really need to see is what is on the inside of the inverter between the the shore power E terminal and the output E terminal, as that circuit should be capable of carrying 30 amps or possibly a little less if there happens to be an undersized ground rule like with house wiring 12ga/14ga ground Romex. The internal connections between those terminals should not have anything to do with wire to case that the pix showed, and would not even be visible from the outside.

I understand that there are often mistakes in manuals, but this would be a very extreme one and of an odd type, I think. If you have it open, you should be able to find a manufacturer logo or name and contact them directly for a better explanation.

Of course, there are also some other odd possible things that could be happening. If your shore power cord plugs into a outlet on the van so is not hardwired, there is a possibility that the outlet has the ground to the chassis of the van. If so, other grounding really wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:23 PM   #9
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I am kind of lost as well, so my apologies if this isn't helpful, but:

Below is a diagram from the manual of my Outback inverter that shows how it works wrt bonding. I kind of assume that this is pretty standard.


outbackBonding.jpg

The Outback has a jumper wire as well, but I always assumed that it simply controls the relay.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:28 PM   #10
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I am kind of lost as well, so my apologies if this isn't helpful, but:

Below is a diagram from the manual of my Outback inverter that shows how it works wrt bonding. I kind of assume that this is pretty standard.


Attachment 5519

The Outback has a jumper wire as well, but I always assumed that it simply controls the relay.

That is like most I have seen also. Most also have an auto bonding eliminator which is usually just a green wire in the circuit for the neutral/ground bonding that you can unplug to prevent grounding. Since this is on the inverter side of the AC system, it would only have to be able to handle about 17 amps. Power stream lists single wire in air max capacity for chassis wire at 17 amps so the wire the OP is seeing may be that wire and be large enough.

That doesn't answer the question of the the shore power cord ground not being connected to anything. I have to start to wonder if the Earth connection terminals on the terminal strip are mechanically connected to the chassis to give a ground path when on shore power. It really makes no sense that anyone would allow voltage float on a metal box like a van with power that is itself referenced to earth ground, it makes no sense.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:41 PM   #11
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This page is from my Magnum MMS1012 manual.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:11 AM   #12
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From the description of the function of the inverter and how it handles bonding and grounds, I think this is what the basic schematic would have to look like to accomplish what they say happens.

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Old 04-05-2018, 02:54 AM   #13
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Here is a reference chart for wire capacities that is more matching the situation, as it is for single wires in free air.

From this, it would appear that the internal wiring of the ground connections between shore and van grounds could be done with 14ga wire of the right type that would rate at 30 amps. The bonding side could be 18 gauge that would rate at 16 amps as single wire (similar chart on Powerstream site).

https://wiktel.com/standards/ampacit.htm

https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:00 AM   #14
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Do you have pictures of these marked with arrows connections?
Please take no offence in the biblical title. If a seasonal joke and none is intended.

Here are actually pictures of the disassembled inverter's terminal. No relays, switches just one 18 gauge wire plus the 10 gauge that I added to make the inverter safe. No one else should do what I did. There is lots of chance for inverter damage and shock. Let Hymer fix it when they wake up.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
That new drawing is not what the inverter manual says happens. The drawing shows the only connections between shore ground and van ground as being through the 18ga wire or the case. This is not the case per the inverter manual that says there is an internal switch that connects shore and van grounds whenever you are on shore power.



This is what I have been trying to get across for quite a few posts, that if that internal switch actually is there as the manual says, the 18ga wire is irrelevant to the actual safety of the system, as long as the 6ga chassis ground is in place.

As also asked in my last post in the other thread, was shore power ground, at 12ga hooked up to the terminal strip as the original description described? Same question on the output side.
I'm reading and understanding what you are saying. The two attached pictures are 100% accurate for the shore power ground. The inverter's relays don't matter when using shore power. The only wire connected to shore power safety ground is an 18 gauge wire. Too small. BTW the inverter is not ground bonded inside of out. That's bad but lets first agreed that the safety ground is wrong and unsafe.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:10 AM   #16
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Default This is not a magnum inverter

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This page is from my Magnum MMS1012 manual.
I like the schematic of the Magnum. My Aktiv and all EcoTreks I've seen use microgreen and its not the same. The pictures and schematics are the situations reality and not what might be in any manual.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:22 AM   #17
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Default Correct wire gauge

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Here is a reference chart for wire capacities that is more matching the situation, as it is for single wires in free air.

From this, it would appear that the internal wiring of the ground connections between shore and van grounds could be done with 14ga wire of the right type that would rate at 30 amps. The bonding side could be 18 gauge that would rate at 16 amps as single wire (similar chart on Powerstream site).

https://wiktel.com/standards/ampacit.htm

https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
I was wondering if de-rating tables would come up. Just to set my context, I'm on a two-year sabbatical. Before that I was the chief engineering designing full cabin aerospace electronics (Video, power supplies, routers, in-seat power, and much more the same as RVs). We use and love similar de-rating tables. The de-rating has to be approved by the certifying officer. The one place we are never allowed to scrimp is safety ground. The code requires that the safety ground be the same gauge as the power and neutral. Besides the inverter is mounted in a poorly vented cabinet and gets hot. The code requires an external 6 gauge wire. I will not ever let costumers use power coming down a 12 gauge wire when there is only an 18 gauge safety.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:25 AM   #18
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Default Thanks for improving my pitch

Let's remember that the reason we are here is to find a .GOV inspector that will make an official ruling and force Hymer to fix the major safety flaws immediately. I will forward the new drawings and pictures to them. Thanks for the review.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:27 AM   #19
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It seems as the inverter manufacturer assumed external ground distribution. If your inverter doesn’t have ATS (automatic transfer switch) built in I would suggest to add an external one.

Your pictures are low resolution so I am not certain but is your wiring done with rigid copper?
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:34 AM   #20
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It seems as the inverter manufacturer assumed external ground distribution. If your inverter doesn’t have ATS (automatic transfer switch) built in I would suggest to add an external one.

Your pictures are low resolution so I am not certain but is your wiring done with rigid copper?
All internal wire is insulated stranded copper. The external wires, except the 6-gauge bonding wire are solid.
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