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About oldjohnt

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    RV Travel, Antique Tractor Shows, Bluegrass Festivals, Snowbirding

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  1. QuestVent, regarding your GFCI. A GFCI ONLY deals (senses and measures any difference between Hot and Neutral) with current flow that passes through its Torroid Coil and DOES NOT control what's happening upstream and before it. That being said, if there is a load attached with current passing through it and input voltage rises that will affect its load current (Yet its still only the DIFFERENCE in Hot and Neutral current that matters). While the GFCI may or may not have a problem, I don't see it as affecting your genset operation but NEVER SAY NEVER Its possible a fault or short etc that's fed via the GFCI (either direct or downstream via the LOAD terminals) might draw excess current and somehow cause the genny to shut down (or EMS trip) for over current and/or the GFCI to trip, BUT THATS THE FAILT OF THE DEFECTIVE OR SHORTED LOAD,,,,,,,, NOT THE GFCI WHICH IS MERELY DOING ITS JOB CORRECTLY... Any weak or loose or carboned or resistive connections or excess dirt or moisture can affect your gennys, especially electronics and circuit boards etc, operation. John T
  2. I upgraded from wet flooded lead acid to AGM AND AM VERY SATISFIED. I don't have to worry with checking and adding water, believe they can accept a faster/higher charge, HOWEVER their cost was a bit higher. I see no reason why Id ever go back to wet FLA. Now if I (who does a lot of dry camping) were younger and knew Id camp say 7 to 10 more years and/or keep the same RV that long, I'd choose Lithium, that's up and coming technology for long term dry campers. If you're looking at AGM consider the single 12 Volt Deep Cycle units which may be in the 100 Amp Hour range or the Frame size 4D 200 Amp Hour units if you have the space. My 208 Amp Hour 12 Volt Frame Size 4D batteries weight 129 lbs each grrrrrrrrrrrr. I looked at Full River, Lifeline, Trojan and Renogy and there are several other good brands out there. Your money, your space requirements, your budget, your choice John T
  3. Jim & Alice, Congratulations and thanks for the feedback, I appreciate hearing what the problem was. That's one more (among a ton in the past) solenoid failure I can add to my list of causes to your problem. Best wishes, take care John T Live from The SKP Resort in Wauchula Florida
  4. Just FYI and unlike as readily available many years ago, you can buy true Deep Cycle Batteries in EITHER Wet Flooded Lead Acid or AGM in SINGLE 12 volt units to avoid using two six volt batteries in series. IE Two 6 Volt Trojans (or other brands) isn't the ONLY WAY to get 12 volts and still have true deep cycle. There are other brands in addition to Trojan such as for example Rolls Surette and Crown and Interstate etc plus cheaper (perhaps lower Amp Hours ??) units like sold at Sams Club. Of course, so called RV/Marine dual purpose hybrid 12 volt batteries is a cheaper (less energy storage capacity ??) option, although they aren't full true deep cycle and lack their advantages for those (unlike yourself) who do dry camp a lot. For infrequent dry campers the cheaper 12 Volt RV/Marine dual purpose hybrid batteries can "work" but even if a bit more expensive the next step up (my personal advice) would be the cheaper lower amp hour although still "Deep Cycle" Sams Club units. FWIW I agree with the Interstate Battery guy. Prior to a meaningful Load Test the battery needs to be fully charged and if you look at for example Trojans website it describes the proper way to Equalize (Desulfate) which may help revive an abused battery. If you do as he suggested and desulfate then charge it to 100% SOC and then they perform a Load Test NOW THAT CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTION OF THE NECESSITY OF REPLACEMENT...Once full charged the Load Test can provide the final verdict lol The final decision of using a cheaper lower capacity RV/Marine battery or true deep cycles (be they wet flooded lead acid or AGM) or two sixes in series or a single 12 volt unit is YOURS ALONE subject to your energy requirements use and BUDGET. Your time and research should help you make an informed decision and choose the best option FOR YOUR NEEDS Congratulations and best wishes, let us know what you decide John T
  5. Its been years ago but I recall being taught water, NOT acid, is what one ads since that's what was lost and requires replacement. John T NO warranty, this chemical stuff is over my pay grade lol I would just give them a good charge (as much as possible) then after stabilization perform a voltage followed by a LOAD TEST to decide if and when replacement is necessary. Sure, before add distilled water if necessary.
  6. Master, to answer your questions 1) Is there a way to monitor the battery standing voltage to determine at what age to replace a pair of 12 volt wet cell batteries? NO the standing voltage of a battery at rest and stabilized can provide an indication of its "State of Charge" HOWEVER that ALONE can't predict when its time to replace it, unless of course no matter what's done or how much its charged, it cant ever achieve full charge status meaning its TIME TO REPLACE. If its a flooded lead acid a Hydrometer can indicate EACH INDIVIDUAL CELLS state of charge but again that cant say when its time to replace it, unless of course a cell is totally shot meaning its TIME TO REPLACE 2) Is the age a good guide for both AGM and old style wet cell? NOT necessarily if a battery has had good maintenance, kept well charged, and few of its X number of Life Cycles used up it can last longer then one that's been abused HOWEVER after many years of use sulfation and accumulation eventually start to affect its performance. NOTE another good test which many shops will do for free that can measure a batteries ability/capacity to store and deliver energy into a load is A LOAD TEST. If voltage readings at rest and stabilized plus a hydrometer check if applicable are all okay THEN A LOAD TEST MAY INDEED ANSWER YOUR QUESTION OF WHEN ITS TIME TO REPLACE NOTE regardless of all the above and if your dual purpose hybrid RV/Marine batteries have some age on them, I WOULDNT WAIT TOO LONG BEFORE REPLACING THE WITH FULL TRUE DEEP CYCLE BATTERIES for dry camp purposes. John T
  7. CONGRATULATIONS thanks for the feedback. Indeed any loose resistive connection and resultant voltage drop can cause problems. On starters or other electrical devices with an insulated pass through connector/stud if the inner terminal is allowed to turn the connection may break or become shorted. Good job John T
  8. DITTO to that. I've owned several Onan's and few experienced failed starters. HOWEVER I've NEVER seen a GENERATOR starter fail so badly that it caused the "HOUSE BATTERY" bank (assuming its okay??) voltage "TO FALL OFF FIVE OR SIX VOLTS" as the OP indicated. But likewise indeed saw engine starter motor failures (Dodge 360 or 413 or 440 or Chevy 350 or 454) draw extreme high current grrrrrrrrrrrrrr lol It would take one heck of a HUGE current draw and/or bad batteries to cause a 5 or 6 volt drop. It seems to me if the generator starts fine as soon as the Engine battery comes on line as the OP indicates, the generator starter and solenoid are okay BUT HEY IM NOT THERE AND HAVE NO DATA SO I FOR ONE JUST CANT SAY THE CAUSE. Again this all takes me back to EITHER a bad house battery,,,,,,,,,,,or the house battery bank has a bad frame ground connection (Check house battery ground terminal/post and its cable to frame connection),,,,,,,,,,or some other cable or connection (Maybe bad on POS side ??) DARN IF I KNOW LOL PS Many of the genset starter failures I saw were its starter drive (like spring and plastic screw etc) mechanism failed or stuck even thought the starter motor itself was fine otherwise. I also experienced several generator starter solenoids fail but that didn't cause any 5 or 6 volt house battery drop. Oh well were trying, that's all we can do remotely God Bless yall and best wishes John T Live in the RV from the Florida Flywheelers in Fort Meade Florida. Its HOT here
  9. If one of the house batteries is bad it will drag down the good battery. If voltage is greatly different if one or both are in parallel I SUSPECT THE LOW VOLTAGE BATTERY, HAVE IT CHECKED. Regardless if all else was good (cables and connections and grounds) even only ONE 12 Volt battery (used separate) should crank the genset no problem. That leads back to a cable or ground or connection issue if one battery alone still cant start it. YES there's a starter solenoid on the genset but it seems to be fine when the engine battery and alternator are used to jump start. The fact it starts when jumped makes me think the genset and its starter and solenoid are all okay. Back to a bad battery or cable or ground or connection grrrrrrrrrrrr lol NOTE I dont know how your RV is wired butttttttt the house batteries may use frame ground as a current carrier to the gensets ground cable (also to frame) ground and likewise the engine battery is frame grounded which is the engine batteries current path to the genset ground when jumped. IF THATS THE CASE A BAD HOUSE BATTERY GROUND MAY NOT ALLOW THEM TO START THE GENSET WHILE A GOOD ENGINE BATTERY GROUND (with engine running and relay engaged) ALLOWS IT TO START IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moral of the story, after batteries are checked CHECK ANY HOUSE BATTERY TO FRAME GROUND CONNECTION AND THE FRAME GROUND CABLE at the house batteries. John T
  10. NO I don't think you need a new "engine" battery. YES house and engine batteries are different items HOWEVER on some RV's when the engine is running a solenoid engages so the engine batteries and alternator essentially jump in parallel to the house batteries to charge them when driving. Typically (maybe not yours???) the house batteries start the genset but if they are bad and your engine starts and its wired to jump house to engine that can allow the genset to start even if the house batteries are low. Have batteries tested then check all cable and ground connections...... John T
  11. Homeless, lets address this one step at a time: 1) Voltage falling off five or six volts: Ifffffffff the batteries PLUS connections are ALL ?? good it would take one huge current draw (like a near shorted generator starter) to drop BATTERY voltage that much. HOWEVER since it starts once the engines alternator and battery essentially jump starts it, I don't see the generator starter as the problem. Since its hard to drop BATTERY voltage (provided they are good???) that drastic, I question just exactly where the voltage is being measured. If measured right at the batteries is one thing but if somewhere downstream there may be an I x R voltage drop. -------------ONE prime suspect is a bad battery (even if new) which a load test at a shop can find. --------------The other prime suspect is a faulty resistive loose/burned cable or connection which may well be one of the GROUND connections. I would check and if necessary remove clean and wire brush each and every ground connection at BOTH the batteries and genset. SO OFTEN A BAD GROUND CABLE OR CONNECTION IS THE PROBLEM 2) Engine starting allows genset to start: On some RV's if the engine is started the engine battery and alternator are then jumped in parallel with the house batteries which charges them plus can jump start/boost enough to start the genset. SUMMARY Have new batteries tested at a shop (many will do that for free),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Check each and every battery post and terminal connection and cable ESPECIALLY all frame grounds and cable to ground and genset to ground (cable or frame) connections,,,,,,,,,,,,,If you have two sixes in series check that series connection...……..Two twelves in parallel can still have a bad connection but if that's what you have even one battery can start a genset easily Not being there my "pure guesses" remain a bad house battery or a bad cable or connection including the GROUND..Its easy to check all those cables and connections and grounds and if NONE of those are bad have the batteries tested John T
  12. Rusty AMEN TO THAT I've seen several that way. HOWEVER I will say the more expensive spec grade sold at our local electrical supply houses last longer then the cheapies sold at big box store...….Just sayin John T
  13. Hey not being there absent any testing or data whatsoever I CANT PROVIDE THE ANSWER EITHER ???? The GFCI still functions as it ONLY measures the current in versus current out of the two conductors inside the toroid coil. When it started tripping the current in one conductor had to have been at least 0.005 amps different then the other, so it must have been leaking/flowing elsewhere BUT DARN IF I KNOW WHERE AND WHY LOL Nice chatting with you John T
  14. Poohbear, Indeed you're correct, an RV Panel is configured as a SUB PANEL, therefore, the Neutral and Ground Buses are electrically insulated and isolated from each other, UNLIKE a typical homes main distribution panel in which two buses (G & N) may be bonded together (cross tie bar) or even only one common Neutral/Ground buss where BOTH Neutrals and Grounds are attached. A GFCI works by having Hot/In and Return/Out current conductors (whatever they may be) pass through a Torroid Coil and if both currents are the same (as should be unless there's a leak/fault) it doesn't trip, HOWEVER if there's as little as 0.005 to 0.006 amps difference (due to a leak/fault) a voltage is induced signaling it causing a trip. John T
  15. If the GFCI wasn't tripped and still has power (assuming all is wired correct and working??) that means no device plugged into it NOR any downstream receptacles (and their loads) that were fed off its LOAD terminals encountered a ground fault OTHERWISE it would have tripped killing it PLUS any downstream receptacles fed from its LOAD side terminals. HOWEVER if other downstream receptacles were effectively wired off its LINE supply side they are NOT protected nor would they go dead if the GFCI tripped. The GFCI always protects itself PLUS it can be wired so it also protects any regular receptacles wired to its LOAD side terminals. A receptacle cant work unless the branch circuit (consists of a black hot a white neutral and a bare/green ground) is hot with 120 VAC Line to Neutral,, no tripped or open circuit breaker,, and all wires are continuous (no bad wire nuts or other splices) intact and properly connected including where the black hot attaches to the circuit breaker and the white neutral attaches to the panels Neutral Buss Use a light or meter to SAFELY insure the black hot and white Neutral have 120 VAC, if not a receptacle wired to it cant work. NOTE if the circuit breaker is OPEN there's no voltage getting out to that circuit nor any receptacles wired to it, any test for voltage to the circuit and its receptacles needs to be done SAFELY AND PROPERLY FULLY PROTECTED AGAINST CONTACT OR SHORTS with the breaker CLOSED... Open breaker = no voltage on that circuit..... If receptacles are daisy chained together all the connections and wires must be good and continuous. If no even new receptacles are hot (yet panel has sufficient voltage) I suspect the circuit is the problem maybe caused by a bad or tripped breaker,,,,,,,,,,,,,non connection of the hot or neutral in the panel,,,,,,,,,,,,,,bad/open wire nut or butt or crimp connection of wires together,,,,,,,,bad connections in a receptacle,,,,,,,,,,a tripped GFCI which kills it plus any load side wired receptacles downstream. There may be a hidden GFCI that's tripped which would kill it PLUS any load side wired downstream receptacles. Look in bathrooms and kitchens and outside storage compartments and outside receptacles and check the breaker and neutral connections in the panel and any junction boxes and receptacles...……. You can do this just BE SAFE John T
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