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Old 10-25-2018, 04:02 PM   #1
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No 12V to house side; help!

I brought home my new-to-me 1997 Gulfstream diesel pusher a couple days ago and parked it. No issues that I knew of; everything was working as it should yesterday.

I went out today to start it and realized none of the 12 volt house side stuff was working; nothing, nada, not a glimmer. My first assumption was batteries, so I plugged the coach in.

Still nothing 12v DC, although the AC side was working. The Intellec battery disconnect switch in the stairwell hadn't been touched; the chassis battery light was still "on" but the house battery light next to it was dark. Clicking the switch did nothing.

Looking at the inverter (Heart Freedom, I think it is) I see 2 little breakers/buttons on the front which are not popped. Main breakers in the power center inside are not popped.

Put my little meter on the house batteries to see what's what and I get... nothing. Zero voltage. I assumed my meter had gone bad, but it measures DC from a 9 volt battery ok.

I'm feeling like a moron.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:36 PM   #2
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Well Honeybadger,

You might be a moron, but at least you are asking the right questions.....
I have no direct experience with your unit, but I can get you started with a diagnosis.

You are now on shore power.
A meter at the house battery reports Zero.
Right so far?

This is not easy to do.
Did you use the meter directly on the battery terminals? A bad connection could do this.

Go back to all the breakers and fuses you can find and trip/reset every one. Push those on the Heart again.
Take your meter and switch it to a scale that covers 120VAC. Test an outlet that you think is good. Good Reading? Most of the larger than tiny Heart/Freedom unit are converter/chargers. Test the place that the Heart is plugged in. Is that as good as what you tested first?

Go back to a DC scale and poke into the terminals on the Heart. If there is not 13~15VDC there, then disconnect the battery and switch the Heart off and back on and try again. DC there now? If there is, then the Heart unit had done a "crowbar" (the shape of the curve) and shut itself down to protect itself. If not, the Heart may have died on you. You will have to call them.

Now test the disconnected battery. You have to evaluate what you have.
Does it show any life at all?
Yes? Get a stand alone small charger and leave it on there for days (no Joke!) The bank may come back to life.
No? The bank may well be toast, but give it a charge anyway and keep everything crossed. If after two days, there is still nothing, what you have is the core deposit.

Whether the bank came back to life or not, put either the Heart on the house circuit without the battery bank, or that stand alone charger and look for the hidden light that got left on. I hate to tell you how common this is.

Good Luck

Frank - did this to lots of people's boats for lots of years.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:52 PM   #3
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One thing - if you go the small charger route a really low battery will draw too much current and either fault the charger or kill it. Put a low value resistance in the line that will limit the short circuit current to around 2-3 Amps. An old sealed beam headlamp works. As the cells in the battery re form chemically their voltage will go up and the current twill drop. Once the battery gets to around 10-11 Volts DC remove the resistor.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:13 PM   #4
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I have checked and rechecked the house batteries; with the needle probes directly in the lead posts, it reads nothing at all. Doing it the same way on the chassis battery gives me voltage, but low. I accept that the meter may be bad, so I'll drive to town tomorrow and get another.

The inverter appears to be hard wired and not a plug in model.

When I come back with the new meter in the morning I'll check the AC voltage, but how can I check the inverter sans plug in?

What is the likelihood that this is the battery disconnect switch failed in the Store position?
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:48 PM   #5
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Your inverter/charger will not charge a completely dead battery.

Hold the boost switch or start the engine while on shore power. Either thing will send some voltage to the house batteries.

If that don't work, jump a good 12 volt battery to the house batteries to bring the volts up to 7 or 8 volts and the inverter/charger will take over.

Converter/chargers will output 12 volts without a battery.

Inverter/chargers are not converters, and will only re-charge run down batteries.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your inverter/charger will not charge a completely dead battery.

Hold the boost switch or start the engine while on shore power. Either thing will send some voltage to the house batteries.

If that don't work, jump a good 12 volt battery to the house batteries to bring the volts up to 7 or 8 volts and the inverter/charger will take over.

Converter/chargers will output 12 volts without a battery.

Inverter/chargers are not converters, and will only re-charge run down batteries.
So, shouldn't there be a converter somewhere in this 12 volt system? Because I'm getting no 12 volt power when plugged into shore power either, and I thought that was the function of the converter.

I tried the boost switch in order to start the gennie, and that didn't work either. Neither did running the engine; no 12 volt power anywhere.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:22 PM   #7
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i would make it simple so I would check the chassis battery(s) engine off and then with engine started If you get a voltage increase you know the engine generator is working. Jump from the engine battery to the house battery and see what you get. Does the unit have a converter as well as the inverter? if so go to the converter and look for multi-breakers from the 12 volt solenoid. Sounds like a switch or complet open somewhere. You should have something to trace if you have jumped the chassis battery to the house.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
So, shouldn't there be a converter somewhere in this 12 volt system? Because I'm getting no 12 volt power when plugged into shore power either, and I thought that was the function of the converter.

I tried the boost switch in order to start the gennie, and that didn't work either. Neither did running the engine; no 12 volt power anywhere.
Your inverter/charger replaces the converter.

You may have a bad boost solenoid, a common problem. The boost solenoid also doubles as the isolation/charge solenoid.

If the solenoid is bad, the chassis charging system will not charge the house batteries while the engine is running.

Use jumper cables from the chassis to the house batteries or use your car battery to the house battery to get the inverter/charger going.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
I brought home my new-to-me 1997 Gulfstream diesel pusher a couple days ago and parked it. No issues that I knew of; everything was working as it should yesterday.

I went out today to start it and realized none of the 12 volt house side stuff was working; nothing, nada, not a glimmer. My first assumption was batteries, so I plugged the coach in.

Still nothing 12v DC, although the AC side was working. The Intellec battery disconnect switch in the stairwell hadn't been touched; the chassis battery light was still "on" but the house battery light next to it was dark. Clicking the switch did nothing.

Looking at the inverter (Heart Freedom, I think it is) I see 2 little breakers/buttons on the front which are not popped. Main breakers in the power center inside are not popped.

Put my little meter on the house batteries to see what's what and I get... nothing. Zero voltage. I assumed my meter had gone bad, but it measures DC from a 9 volt battery ok.

I'm feeling like a moron.
My buddy had the same problem with his new to him 2005 Monaco. It turned out to be the 50 amp 12 volt relay switch that had a reset button on the back of the switch.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your inverter/charger replaces the converter.

You may have a bad boost solenoid, a common problem. The boost solenoid also doubles as the isolation/charge solenoid.

If the solenoid is bad, the chassis charging system will not charge the house batteries while the engine is running.

Use jumper cables from the chassis to the house batteries or use your car battery to the house battery to get the inverter/charger going.
Any idea how I can identify the boost solenoid?
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:09 PM   #11
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My buddy had the same problem with his new to him 2005 Monaco. It turned out to be the 50 amp 12 volt relay switch that had a reset button on the back of the switch.
I don't know what switch you're referring to?

Help a girl out here...
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rkesselus View Post
i would make it simple so I would check the chassis battery(s) engine off and then with engine started If you get a voltage increase you know the engine generator is working. Jump from the engine battery to the house battery and see what you get. Does the unit have a converter as well as the inverter? if so go to the converter and look for multi-breakers from the 12 volt solenoid. Sounds like a switch or complet open somewhere. You should have something to trace if you have jumped the chassis battery to the house.
Engine batteries are on the other side of the coach from the house batteries; awkward to jump. Any reason why a 50 amp battery charger won't work?
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:25 PM   #13
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Engine batteries are on the other side of the coach from the house batteries; awkward to jump. Any reason why a 50 amp battery charger won't work?


This is probably too simple but the same thing happened to me except I got .09v. Turned out someone at the yard where I picked it up had turned on the cargo lights ( a lot of them ) and ran the batteries down. Put a charger on it for 2days and all is well.
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Old 10-25-2018, 11:14 PM   #14
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I don't know what switch you're referring to?

Help a girl out here...
This is what the relay looks like. It's between the incoming shore power and the outgoing 12 volt. What's not pictured is the reset switch located at the rear of the switch. Click image for larger version

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