The Five Most Common Installation Mistakes We See

PowerPros-firstarticleOver our 40 years serving the RV industry’s electrical needs, we have seen some common missteps emerge in installing our products. Our goal is always to help our products be installed correctly in any way we can to minimize the potential for problems down the road.

Below are the top five common occurrences we’ve noticed over the years. Most involve relatively simple solutions that, if implemented, can prevent warranty claims and other complications in the future.

  • AC and DC wires on converters aren’t torqued to the proper torque specification. Under torqued wire connections on the AC and DC sides can cause heat build-up and reduced power transfer. Make sure all connections are torqued to spec if a torque wrench is available or, if not, are very snug without over torquing. Check out our online torque chart for easy reference!
  • The converter is mounted in a location with no ventilation. All converters have fans to circulate cooler air across the internal components. If no fresh air ventilation is provided for the converter, it could overheat and shut down.  Ensure the fan has access to fresh air, so the converter is adequately ventilated.
  • The battery is not charging correctly. The incorrect wire size could cause this for the distance from the battery to the converter. Long distances cause a voltage drop in the wire, which lowers the available power. Larger wire sizes reduce the voltage drop. Shorter wire runs and larger wire sizes are always excellent ways to help minimize the voltage drop.
  • Bad ground connections. Typically, the method for grounding the 12 VDC grounds is a big wire nut or a scotch lock, which can and will work loose from road travel. It is recommended that a ground buss bar is used for the 12 VDC ground. Grounding issues cause numerous bad connections throughout the 12 VDC circuits. Most charging problems are cured when a correct/good connection has been made on the 12 VDC ground side. Cleaning and maintaining the battery connections is also a perfect practice.
  • They are continually tripping circuit breakers or blowing fuses. Take the time to collect load information on the circuits and fuse them to the connected loads. Too many circuits on one branch may cause an overload situation that could trip the breaker or blow a fuse. Be mindful of start-up currents for motors and some big appliances, as they draw large amounts of power until they enter the run mode. Also, check to make sure fuses are correctly seated into the terminals. A loose fuse can cause it to blow or provide intermittent operation on that circuit.