Jump to content

Electrical Problem-Puzzled


SWharton

Recommended Posts

Tonight while looking at tv we lost power to everything on the inverter. We are in a MH have its systems and added an EMS. The EMS showed E8, low frequency, house batteries were dead. We could not start the inverter due to low batteries. EMS said everything OK. Started the generator and batteries did not charge because inverter would not start. Started MH engine and batteries charged. Stopped engine and it appears the batteries are not charging. Any ideas where to look in AM?

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you check/reset the circuit breakers on the inverter? A RVer next to me a few months ago experienced no power. He had just purchased his unit. Fortunately, he know the mechanic at the dealership and got him on the phone. The issue was the inverter breakers needed to be reset. Once done power was restored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you "might" have a couple of issues going on there. First.. let's discount your inverter (I'm assuming you "meant" inverter when you said inverter and not the converter). It's not related to your charging system (converter/charger/battery bank) and acted as expected in a low voltage situation (if it is in fact tied directly to your battery bank and either your plugging in directly to the inverter or it's wired into your house DP panel it would react the same). It shut itself off to protect your battery bank and will not turn back on again until the low voltage situation has been corrected (battery/ies charged)

More than likely you're looking at an issue with the charger itself.. an inline fuse.. or the batteries. My guess... the charger has a tripped breaker/fuse or it's defunct. Going with the most obvious.. it might be that you had a bad power situation that tripped a breaker/fuse in the charger which left you running on batteries only... subsequently resulting in a low voltage situation. So that.. even when on genny or chassis power.. you've charger won't pass any juice to your batteries.

That leads to the EMS. Personally.. I hardly ever see an E8 error code. Even if the pedestal power has an issue the frequency is still generally rock solid. I would suspect either a major pedestal issue, a poor connection due to.. possibly.. corrosion, a damaged cord (if your EMS is hardwired).. or possibly a defective EMS. It needs to be investigated but isn't the primary concern. I'm assuming you waited for your EMS to fully dial up after plugging in before taking any readings.

If you have another means of testing the pedestal then I would test it out and bypass the EMS temporarily to run checks on the remainder of your charging system.

If I understand correctly.. I'm not sure why you would be running the inverter while plugged in to shore power, but maybe that's just how your TV is wired in and it's too inconvenient to plug in to another outlet? Dunno.

Regardless. Everything needs to be shut down/disconnected, all fuses/breakers/physical wiring connections checked. Starting at the conductors leading into your.. I'm not sure what you have.. but your converter/charger OR your inverter/charger. Depending on how you're wired.. you likely have an in-line fuse leading into your battery bank. I would also check the main battery bus located near your batteries for good measure to ensure it hasn't popped. It will (likely) look like a post style connection with a small black (or red) button to reset the breaker. It's easiest to find by tracing back your source conductors from the batteries themselves. This is an independent breaker separate from any breakers in your power distribution panel. Just for good measure.. I would also check your GFCI outlets (if equipped on your inverter or TV outlet circuit).

Working your way back you would then want to check your distribution panel for any popped breakers or fuses on your 12v side.

If all of that checks out, you would want to reconnect to shore power, ensure the inverter is off and take multimeter readings along the 12v lines. Again.. I would bypass the EMS temporarily. If all of that checks.. 120v going into your charger.. 12v coming out.. getting 12v at your batteries, then your EMS "may" be having an issue. Next will be to ensure your batteries are accepting the charge. How long that takes will depend on your charger but I wouldn't switch power sources at least until you're in absorption mode, but it would be best to let them fully charge first. Once charge.. switch on the inverter to ensure proper operation.

If it's/they're not holding a charge then it would be a good idea to have them load tested.

One tip on the inverter... some inverters have an "off" standby mode and a hard wired on/off switch on the inverter itself. It's not unheard of for an inverter to require a "hard off" to reset after an abnormal shut-down.

Likely.. you won't have to do all of the above. Somewhere along the line it will probably become obvious where the fault was and is easily correctable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone. Still pitch black outside but this should keep me busy after breakfast. I did flip all the circuit breakers on the inside panel, but not the outside. This all occurred at 8 PM. Today is another day. And yes, strange things are wired to the inverter. I will need to check for other breakers and turn everything off and start again.

 

Sleeping on it I concluded what Yarome said. I did not know that an inverter could have an off standby mode. Don't think it is a gfci since the meter readings show low battery voltage for the house batteries. Will check everything.

 

Good start to my day.................

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Magnum MS2000, it is an inverter/charger. Today we investigated it a bit more, finally found the lights on it(well buried). Lights seem to be OK so we did not do a soft reset. We are in Canada and are starting to think something happened at the CG electricity since we had a PE8 on the EMS and possibly the inverter did not reset. We drove today and, right now, all seems well. Hard to be really sure since we also have solar feeding into the batteries.

 

FYI-We have had 3 days of rain and dark conditions.

 

See what happens later tonight........................

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About the 120V circuits powered by the Magnum inverter. With my Magnum MS-2000 inverter charger, the circuits which are powered by the inverter only get their power from the inverter. I don't recall if the inverter has a physical relay or an electronic switch which internally connects the downstream 120 circuits to the 120 volts coming from shore power or generator power. But is does go through the inverter. There is also a 30 amp CB for the incoming 120V power and two 15 or 20 amp CB's for the out going 120V circuits.

 

Based on this, the inverter can affect the downstream 120V circuits when on shore power or generator power.

 

Keep in mind I am not saying that when on shore power the inverter is inverting 12V from the battery. Just that the down stream power goes though and can be affected by the inverter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tonight while looking at tv we lost power to everything on the inverter. We are in a MH have its systems and added an EMS. The EMS showed E8, low frequency, house batteries were dead. We could not start the inverter due to low batteries. EMS said everything OK. Started the generator and batteries did not charge because inverter would not start. Started MH engine and batteries charged. Stopped engine and it appears the batteries are not charging. Any ideas where to look in AM?

 

Thanks

Is it possible that your EMS dropped shore power earlier and you operated off of the inverter and batteries until the batteries got so low the inverter shut down because of low battery voltage????

 

You generator start circuit must be wired to your engine battery. In my MH if my house batteries are dead I can't start the generator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Magnum MS2000, it is an inverter/charger. Today we investigated it a bit more, finally found the lights on it(well buried). Lights seem to be OK so we did not do a soft reset. We are in Canada and are starting to think something happened at the CG electricity since we had a PE8 on the EMS and possibly the inverter did not reset. We drove today and, right now, all seems well. Hard to be really sure since we also have solar feeding into the batteries.

 

FYI-We have had 3 days of rain and dark conditions.

 

See what happens later tonight........................

 

Thanks

If you are using shore power the 3 days of rain and dark conditions have no affect on your battery bank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tonight while looking at tv we lost power to everything on the inverter. We are in a MH have its systems and added an EMS. The EMS showed E8, low frequency, house batteries were dead. We could not start the inverter due to low batteries. EMS said everything OK. Started the generator and batteries did not charge because inverter would not start. Started MH engine and batteries charged. Stopped engine and it appears the batteries are not charging. Any ideas where to look in AM?

 

Thanks

Since your house battery voltage was so low, the chances are that the inverter would not activated, even to charge because the batteries were so low.

Quote from the MS-2000 operations manual:

 

Low Battery - The inverter will shut off whenever the battery voltage falls to the LBCO

(Low Battery Cut Out) level to protect the batteries from being over-discharged. After the

inverter has reached the LBCO level and turned off, the inverter will automatically restart

after one of the following conditions:

1. AC Power is applied and the inverter begins operating as a battery charger.

2. Battery voltage rises to the LBCI (Low Battery Cut In) level.

The inverter’s status LED turns off when a low battery fault condition occurs. Refer to Table

3-1 to determine the LBCO and LBCI levels for your inverter model.

It is possible that if you had let the MH engine run for 30 minutes or so it would have raised the battery voltage high enough to the inverter would reset.

 

Since you drove today the engine probably charged the batteries more than enough for the inverter to work normally now.

 

This also kind of points back to, you lost shore power at some time earlier. Then the inverter powered what you were using on 120V (i.e. TV) and drained the batteries so low the inverter detected low voltage. Then because of low battery voltage it would not reset until the battery voltage reached the proper level.

 

It is really hard to know you lost shore power in an RV, with an inverter, unless you are running an air conditioner or microwave or something that is obviously not working because you lost shore power. The inverter just takes over the TV and your lights are on 12V anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just some clarification here.. in the Mag MS series.. the inverter side is solely an isolated 12v system with no switching and is feeding directly from the battery bank connection. The pass-thru/power switching is on the 120v charge controller side. So in effect.. if the inverter is off or even "dead/defunct".. shore power (120vac) will still pass-thru the charger side of life and supply 12v to your battery bank. It will not provide DC current to the inverter. The inverter has no function in supplying power to your battery bank or 12vdc systems.

 

If a low voltage situation is detected in your battery bank.. the inverter side of your mag will shut-down in order to protect your battery bank from over-discharge. The threshold is "auto" or user settable and will not reactivate until the battery bank low voltage situation has been corrected. This does not mean that.. on shore/genny/chassis (if so wired) power that you will not have 12vdc and charging available.

 

As I read it.. neither shore/genny/or chassis power was providing a charge.. or possibly the charge wasn't holding. While there might be other contributing factors.. in this setup.. the charger is likely the main issue.. or 'more' likely.. possibly breakers or fuses in-line.

 

If the charger has 'reset' itself now.. batteries are being charged.. and the charge is holding.. then 'no harm no foul' for the time being. As soon as the threshold current in your battery bank has been re-established then your inverter should power back on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i am typing this for DH. Our problems continue, he has not read yesterdays notes yet. We are getting the message "No AC in" on the inverter remote. EMS says AC is good. We are looking for a fuse or circuit breaker but haven't located one yet. Any idea where one could/would be. He says where there should be 2 on the inverter(I think) there are none with carraige bolts replacing them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found the problem-fried wire inside of inverter, working on it now.

 

Thanks everyone.......................

This brings up a point that I try to repeat every year.

 

You MUST tighten all your wires that are in your breaker box (loadcenter), your transfer switch, and your inverter. They can work loose over time and cause issues. Primarily smoldering fires. If you have an EMS that does load balancing, then tighten/check those terminals as well.

 

This is a reasonably common occurrence. The wire works loose some due to vibration and heat/cold cycles. Current does not flow optimally, and thus MORE current is required to satisfy load demands. This heats the wire and typically burns the insulation. If you are lucky there are no flammables near, and you smell it. If you are not lucky, you can lose equipment...up to and including the RV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wire that was fried was connecting the Winnie to the Mag. So in the end it wasn't the Mag it was actually the Winnie connection. Luckily there was enough extra in the wire to make a connection. We have learned more about the MH, after 40 years you would think we would have most of it down but this was a problem we had never encountered before in our 5th wheels. Live and learn.

 

Jack, Most of the wires in our MH are well buried and not accessible. DH saw this panel that could easily be removed so he removed it and there were the fried wires. They only used wire nuts to connect the wires. For now we have done the same, soldering these have been put on our to do list. Just like the house battery cubbie, no slide, 4 batteries and only with a mirror can we see the levels. We are hoping to get a pullout tray custom built since we find one that will fit pre-made.

 

Just to save some money, wish they would at least have an option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack, Most of the wires in our MH are well buried and not accessible. DH saw this panel that could easily be removed so he removed it and there were the fried wires. They only used wire nuts to connect the wires. For now we have done the same, soldering these have been put on our to do list. Just like the house battery cubbie, no slide, 4 batteries and only with a mirror can we see the levels. We are hoping to get a pullout tray custom built since we find one that will fit pre-made.

 

I do NOT recommend soldering wires in a mobile environment. That is very problematic due to vibration breaking down the joint. It is best to use a mechanical connector. I realize some will dispute this, but it really is best practice in these environments. For the purposes you are talking about take a look at the Ideal push in wire connectors. These are available at Home Depot and Lowes. They WILL NOT loosen. They are all I use these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be cheaper to purchase an fill system. This is the one I used until I went lithium. You need one for each 12v battery or every 2 6 volt batteries. Not needed for AGM.

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2000-Pro-Fill-Battery-Kit/dp/B001FCAXT0

You also need this

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2020-Pro-Fill-Qwik-Fill/dp/B001FC79EW/ref=pd_bxgy_263_img_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5DXMX1SFXEEZ7GN6DQ0V

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wishful thinking on our part. We could not find any that fit our batteries. We had 3-4 samples from different mfgs. and none would fit. Very frustrating. Our batteries are 3 year batteries, we will begin looking for replacement batteries next year with our box of samples so can eliminate some to start out with. Want to switch to 6v also. We spend the winter in Phoenix and have heard of a golf cart guy who sells the Trojans at a very good price, if a sample fits and his prices are as good as we have heard we will go with the Trojans. We will start monitoring the batteries closely next year. Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bigger problem with soldering wires instead of making a mechanical connection is, under high loads, the solder can weaken or even melt. Just make sure whatever mechanical connector you use is rated at least as high or higher than any loads you expect on the wire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...