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Old 06-08-2020, 06:37 AM   #1
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Main bus bar corrosion

Hi folks, I found a new problem this weekend. A buddy was camping with us in their 2012 model year Jayco popup, and they could not het any of the house lights to work.

The battery was dead. No biggie, get a new battery.

OK. Still no joy.

The converter wasnít putting out any power at all. There was a short on the pigtail to the truck, so cut the 12v+ to the truck, and finally the 12v bus in the converter was live.

But the converter wasnít running.

Pedastle was checked, good power. Even went to another pedestals.

Finally opened the breaker panel and pulled the converter out, start looking for loose mains. Nothing. Open the sub panel to gain access to the breakers. Unsnap the beakers, look Into the hot bus on the 120v side.

BINGO.

The mains had corroded at the lug where it connects to the hot side bus bar in the breaker panel.

Corrosion at the lug was bad, and looked like itís been slowly deteriorating for years.

The strands of wire were deteriorating, and as the strands rotted away, the resistance went up, and finally the mains line started to overheat.

I donít think it was water intrusion.

My guess is galvanic action between the aluminum bus bar and the lug and copper mains line.

Iíll update this post with a pic when I get Back to the office.

But who knew we should inspect the main bus bar inside the breaker panel??

Thatís not exactly something I would EVER expect a noobie to know how to attempt. hell, on the back side of that breaker, itís down right dangerous to be messing with the mains.
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:59 PM   #2
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The connection was loose causing some arcing and lots of heat and the insulation and the conductor and lug is now damaged and must be replaced.
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:11 PM   #3
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Could have been loose.


Could have been dissimilar metals.


We may never know. But it sure was plenty green and rusted. And melted.



Its functional again.
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:14 PM   #4
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The wire is copper and the bussing is UL rated for both copper and aluminum wire so no dissimilar metal issue there. I've seen this many times before in my 37 year electrical career and it was a loose connection, textbook case.
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicr View Post
The wire is copper and the bussing is UL rated for both copper and aluminum wire so no dissimilar metal issue there. I've seen this many times before in my 37 year electrical career and it was a loose connection, textbook case.

Thank you sir for the experience.


CT
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