Transfer switch inspection

Even if you dont know exactly what you are looking for most people are able to recognize something that doesn’t look right compared to similar items in the same space.

Right now I’m referring in particular to electrical connections, where wires are terminated by a screw or clamp of one type or another. By looking at the attached photo it is very evident where the problem is. The sad part is that this type of failure is preventable.

With no electrical power connected to your RV you can open up the transfer switch cover and look for discolored connections, if you suspect one is showing signs of getting hot but not yet overheated you could either try torquing the loose connector or call a qualified tech to come check it out.

Even if you pay the tech a couple hundred dollars to check and tighten the connectors, it could save you between $400.00 to $1000.00 for a replacement transfer switch plus the labor to replace the unit.

In the above picture you see red, black and white wires. On the right hand contactor you see the wire in the center that has over heated and nearly burned to a crisp for several inches of wire. In this picture that is the generator input wires to the transfer switch.

The reason this happened is because the screw that makes the connection to the connector here was not tightened properly when the unit was installed in the RV. This particular unit has a retail cost of $750.00 and it is a well built unit. Dispite the cost or quality if its not installed properly it can fail leaving you without power and with a hefty repair bill.

Other similar sources of power failure are the power cord reels, they are very nice to have, but moving contacts can fail typically with the same results like the above picture with an overheated wire or connection.

Power reels are a little more time consuming to inspect but it is likely worthwhile especially if its been in use for a couple of years or more.

PS. The price of your RV is not a guarantee that the parts put in it are the same quality and reliability of the RV company.

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