Test light help

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by Kitrina, May 11, 2019.

  1. Kitrina

    Kitrina Member

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    Hi there. Newbie camper owner who recently purchased an 07 Niagara and I'm currently working through some electrical issues. Kindly asking for help/advice on a few specific things:

    -I’m troubleshooting power issues from the battery (shore power fine but nothing on 12V) and wanting to test my fuses on the 12V side of my converter. I have a test light, my first time to use one, and my understanding is that I need to clip the cord onto a ground wire (or metal on the trailer frame?) but the cord is only 4’. What can I clip it onto for a ground? Also, should battery be connected and kill switch on, or no?

    -Assuming fuses check out fine (which they should because I replaced them all as part of my troubleshooting journey), what is a way to check my converter to see if it's dead?

    -Celing lights: I'm taking them down because I need to replace a ceiling section and there are blue connectors that seem to hold the wiring together (pic attached); are these something I can pry apart to disconnect the wires or do I need to cut the wires and where should I make the cut?

    07 Niagara pics of converter and light wiring connectors are attached. TIA!

    07 niagara camper wiring.JPEG
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  2. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Ok, the blue connectors are crimp splicers. You probably can't open them up, so just cut the wires before and after them. You'll only lose about 1.5" of wire. They pierce the insulation anyway, so you really can't reuse them reliably.

    On the test light, you need to find a chassis ground. The ground cable coming in from the battery would be your bese bet, but you also have a ground lug on the 12V board. I can't quite tell from your pic, but it kind of looks like the lug with the single black wire is your ground side, but I can't zoom in to be sure.

    If you plug in to shore power, and you're getting 120VAC to the circuit breakers in the converter, then all you need to do is figure out if you're getting 12VDC out of the transformer in there. It's usually a big hunk of metal with a coil on it. One side is 120VAC, the other is 12VAC. Then it goes through a rectifier, and it becomes 12VDC. The 12VDC side of the transformer will lead to the green 12V circuit board. If you put the test light on a good chassis ground, and you get no volts out of the rectifier... it's not working.

    BUT, it's possible your 12V battery could bypass the rectifier so have you tried to get 12V on the battery versus the converter?

    I can work through this in my mind in like 15 seconds, but to run all the possible troubleshooting flowchart options would take me hours to write up.

    I hope this helps some and spawns some ideas.
     
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  3. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Ok, the blue connectors are crimp splicers. You probably can't open them up, so just cut the wires before and after them. You'll only lose about 1.5" of wire. They pierce the insulation anyway, so you really can't reuse them reliably.

    On the test light, you need to find a chassis ground. The ground cable coming in from the battery would be your bese bet, but you also have a ground lug on the 12V board. I can't quite tell from your pic, but it kind of looks like the lug with the single black wire is your ground side, but I can't zoom in to be sure.

    If you plug in to shore power, and you're getting 120VAC to the circuit breakers in the converter, then all you need to do is figure out if you're getting 12VDC out of the transformer in there. It's usually a big hunk of metal with a coil on it. One side is 120VAC, the other is 12VAC. Then it goes through a rectifier, and it becomes 12VDC. The 12VDC side of the transformer will lead to the green 12V circuit board. If you put the test light on a good chassis ground, and you get no volts out of the rectifier... it's not working.

    BUT, it's possible your 12V battery could bypass the rectifier so have you tried to get 12V on the battery versus the converter?

    I can work through this in my mind in like 15 seconds, but to run all the possible troubleshooting flowchart options would take me hours to write up.

    I hope this helps some and spawns some ideas.
     
    Kitrina likes this.
  4. Kitrina

    Kitrina Member

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    Wow--thank you for all the info--this gives me quite a few things to try! Another question you may be able to answer is about a brown GFCI plug near the power center. It has the test and reset buttons, and they don't seem functional. They don't move when pushed, and it doesn't "pop" when I push the test button - would that be an indicator of the converter being bad? I wish I could remember if that outlet actually works but I can only test it when plugged into shore power and I just can't remember if I tried that outlet.
     
  5. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  6. Kitrina

    Kitrina Member

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  7. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Double post. Either the Portal or my laptop is very slow tonight.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  8. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    The blue connectors are no strip connectors and are easy to remove. There is a clip on one side that is popped open with a small screwdriver. The little silver connector is pushed off the wires with the screwdriver or an awl, and pulled out with needle nose pliers, if needed.

    A GFCI receptacle needs power on it for the test function to work.

    If you can't find a close ground, run a piece of wire from a ground to the area you are working, and use it.
     
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  9. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    The blue connectors are called Scotch Loc's. They will cause more trouble than they are worth after they age. A Ohm meter is the easiest way for me to check fuses., and is the best way to check voltages You can pick up one from Harbor Freight cheap.
     
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  10. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I was suggesting in your picture the top white wire should come from the batt neg and the bottom black wire should come from batt + (as depicted in the linked manual), that seems a good places to probe for 12v!

    to test for chassis common you would clamp onto the chassis and then probe the batt + terminal, the light should be bright. This shows that current is going from the batt - term to the chassis, through the chasis and back to the batt + (thru the test light) to complete the circuit. Remember you can extend you 4' of wire!

    Then probe the PU side of the circuit breaker, again bright light, this confirms power is going thru the breaker.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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