Circuit Breaker overload? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2007, 06:57 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone,

I recently bought a run of the mill small ceramic heater (1500w) for my Trillium. Every time I run it (on shore power/ transformer) the circuit breaker trips, although when I run it at the medium setting it seems to stay running. I have the original "Progressive Dynamics" power converter which came standard in the Trilliums. Is there something I should be looking for in order to stop this, or is this the norm? Am I just overloading it on high or should this be running OK and I need to check wiring?

I am new to this all so sorry if the question is obvious.

Thanks, Torrey
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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My ceramic heater does seem to run at a lower power level on the lower settings (rather than just cycling on and off for less average power, like a microwave oven) so my guess is that the full 1500W level is just too much current. At 120V, that would be 12.5 amps, and I have heard of some trailer power panels with 10 amp breakers. What is the rating on the breaker, and what else is on at the same time?

Also, circuit breakers can get "tired" with age, and start tripping at lower than intended current, which certainly is preferably to allowing more current! I have changed breakers in my house to a new breaker of the same design and rating and had them stop tripping; I have had the same experience with the breakers in the 12VDC system in my Boler.
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian.

The circuit breaker is 15 amp, however according to the manual the "Output Amps" is 9.0 not sure how that relates). Only the lights are running at the same time.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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A 10 amp breaker? After searching several local sources for such an item, I became convinced that 15 amps was the lowest possible.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:33 PM   #5
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Some heaters come with a jumper that allow you to cut the wattage in half. At 700 watts you should be OK. Its usually a red cable.

Paul
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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I thought this topic looked familiar... I suggest having a look at
Progressive Dynamics PD-6911, I want to run my toaster oven so's I can make some Xmas cookies

The "output" rating may be for 12V DC power, not the AC current.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:21 PM   #7
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A 10 amp breaker? After searching several local sources for such an item, I became convinced that 15 amps was the lowest possible.
Google "10a 120v circuit breaker" and you will get a number of hits, including Square D.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:33 AM   #8
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Depending on your lights, it is not inconceivable that with them on, and your heater pulling full current, that you have exceeded 15 amps. The little incandescents in these trailers can draw a lot.

Try using the heater with the lights off and see what happens. Then, turn on one light at a time and see if you pop the breaker at any point.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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My guess is that it pops the breaker when the heater starts up. That's a surge thing. My burro originally had 2 outlets with a small push button breaker in a box on the side of the sink.
When I rewired the Burro, I removed this push button breaker( but kept the box as it would have left an ugly hole there) that would trigger if I thought about plugging something in ( yes they get old and fussy)

I rewired for 20 amp circuits on AC. No problems at all now.
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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It's kind of strange because sometimes the heater runs on high with lights on and it stays on for a while and then trips the circuit, other times it trips the circuit after being on for 30 seconds or so when nothing really changed. One of the outlets in the camper has its own extension cord to plug directly into another electrical hookup for this very reason.
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Old 05-20-2007, 03:33 PM   #11
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most breakers have a thermal type trip, if it has been tripped and reset, it will trip sooner than the previous time, if it has not been allowed to cool down in between uses.
many of the small cube heaters draw close to 15 amps which is usually what your breaker is.

1500w heater
120 volts
draws
13.5 amps
100 watt light bulb
120 volts
draws
.83 amps

add anything else, and you are maxed out.
if you have a converter, you might be over already.

Joe
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