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Old 05-28-2016, 05:36 PM   #1
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Batteries boiling

I have a Xantrex 458 inverter/charger. It is boiling batteries (4 6v). My brother is a Electrical Engineer and he said he built a charger for a friend of his to put on his motorhome. He said his friend had no more boiling problems after her put his charger on. I asked my brother for more info, and he sent me a schematic for a Bluebird Controller.

Is it possible to replace the Xantrex with the Bluebird Controller?

I know the Bluebird has no inverter, but do I need an inverter?

Walt
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:42 PM   #2
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Before you run off spending money that may not be necessary , check to see what voltage your current charger is putting into the batteries when they are off gassing ( boiling ) . Your charger should step down to 13.1 volt for a float charge, when the batteries are fully charged. If the voltage is higher, then the next step would be to have the batteries load tested , a bad cell in one of the batteries could trick the charger into thinking the battery bank isn't at a full state of charge, and then it would hold the charge rate at 14.2v ( approx) till the batteries show they are fully charged.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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Batteries boiling

Agree. Check existing charger for proper operation and check the condition if the batteries before looking to modify/upgrade.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:39 PM   #4
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If your existing 458 charger is putting more than 13.4 volts across the battery then it is not falling back into float charge mode. If you put more than 13.4 volts across a fully charged battery it will generate gas. The 458 has a automated 3 stage charge feature so if working properly the batteries should not outgas.

The 458 is a $ 800 value inverter charger with 2,000 watt filtered modified sine wave AC output and integrated transfer switch, so it may be worth getting it fixed if it's not working right. Don't think you want to have it and something else, a.k.a. a Bluebird whatever that is, both trying to charge the same batteries.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:47 PM   #5
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I had the same problem on my (last MH) 2002 Expedition. It would boil the batteries dry. Hearing the Freedom 458 buzzing loudly all the time was not what I wanted.

I found a remote control for the Xantrex 458 and mounted it in the bedroom hallway. It's connected via a computer cable. After the install I had near complete control of the battery charging level.

I'm thinking it was about $130 plus cable. Well worth it.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:59 PM   #6
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How do the settings work on those control panels? I have the same one, but I don't know how to adjust it. I tried to read the book, but I didn't find any specific info on adjusting the settings
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:28 AM   #7
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Agree with the others - the 458 doesn't boil batteries unless something is wrong, usually the batteries themselves. One bad cell in a bank of batteries can cause the charger to overwork. So can corroded connections. Also a faulty temperature sensor (if your 458 has one connected as it should).

So you don't need a "Bluebird controller", whatever that may be. The Freedom 458 is probably every bit as capable, and maybe more so. You need to diagnose what is wrong with your battery a bank and existing charging system and then fix what is wrong.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
How do the settings work on those control panels? I have the same one, but I don't know how to adjust it. I tried to read the book, but I didn't find any specific info on adjusting the settings
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See this pdf for insight into the settings and functions of the Xantrex Freedom 458 inverter/charger remote panel: http://www.unitron.com.br/index.php/...6357d43bf54401
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stillthinkin View Post
I had the same problem on my (last MH) 2002 Expedition. It would boil the batteries dry. Hearing the Freedom 458 buzzing loudly all the time was not what I wanted.

I found a remote control for the Xantrex 458 and mounted it in the bedroom hallway. It's connected via a computer cable. After the install I had near complete control of the battery charging level.

I'm thinking it was about $130 plus cable. Well worth it.
Thanks. I have a 2003 Expedition so that is probably my problem. The 4 batteries I have were installed in August 2015.

I see a Xantrex 84-2056-01 Freedom Basic Remote on Amazon. If I purchase that device do I just run the cable to the Xantrex. And then where do I plug the cable?. Did you change Ahrs, if so, what level, or just installing the remote do the trick?

Sorry, I just realized there is a remote connector on Charger.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:42 AM   #10
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Wboudx, I agree with the comments from others. Skip426 and Garyrvroamer said to check the charging voltage at the batteries and check the temp probe at batteries (appears in working order), I would check those first.

Why I wanted the remote control: The three stage charging with the 458 didn't seem to be working - full blast all the time. The remote control was a simple fix for me at the time.
The remote also helped me with putting the MH in storage or when plugging in to shore power before a trip, to get fridge working and batteries charged to full. The following happened several times...I'm a slow learner, I would plug in to the 15 amp shore power (only one available) and it would trip the shore breaker. I would check that all MH items are off, especially the easily forgotten elec water heater and try again. Shore breaker would trip.
After much head scratching I figured it out, the Xantrex charger was trying to charge the depleated batteries at full blast! With the new remote charger control, that I installed at my chin level - easy to read, I could easily press the power share button way down to keep the charger at a trickle. When I was dry camping of course I wanted the charger to run full blast with the generator in the evenings and again in the mornings.
If you install yours where I did, in bedroom hall closet, be prepared that wall is hollow so cut shallow. I ran the cable down the wall and under the drawers to the sidewall where I could drill down to the electric bay (see pics). The string you see in pics is to pull cable up to connect to remote panel.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:15 PM   #11
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I have a Xantrex RS 2000, the charger would float-charge at 13.8 VDC and boil the batteries. During a conversation with a Xantrex technician, he advised me to unplug the battery temperature sensor and watch float voltage. I did as he said and float voltage immediately dropped to 13.2, and it remains there while in the float cycle.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:15 AM   #12
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13.8 volts should not boil the batteries. If it does, something is wrong with the batteries.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:11 PM   #13
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My MH is a little over an hour away, so I am just now getting there to look some things over.

I now think my batteries are not balanced.

Two batteries were purchased on 10/8/14 and two on 8/11/15. I found out that should not be done. I should have bought all 4 at once.

The first thing I did on arrival was check water levels. All levels were above the plates. I did have to add a little water on 3 or 4 cells. Then were a little below the fill line. This has been since filled 3 weeks ago to full level. We have not used the MH but it has been on outside AC for those 3 weeks.

The specific gravity was 1.300 and above on all 12 cells.

The voltage across all batteries was 13.4 volts. I am assuming this is float voltage. Unplugging outside AC showed a reading of 13.150 v.

Voltage on each battery:
#1 6.69v, 6.563 w/o AC
#2 6.728v, 6.562 w/o AC
#3 6.713v, 6.595 w/o AC
#4 6.697, 6.498 w/o AC

I then ran a load test for 10 secs on each batter. All tested good.

After load test, I reconnected AC and batteries measured 14.1v to 14.3v, I assume that is bulk charge voltage.

I am going to order the Freedom Basic Remote from Amazon and also order another temperature sensor. When I get these items, I will see about doing an Equalize procedure on the batteries. The manufacturer of the batteries recommend equalizing every 30 days on an active battery, and once a year on non-active batteries.

Thanks to everyone for helping. I will follow up on my actions.
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:18 PM   #14
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13.8 volts should not boil the batteries. If it does, something is wrong with the batteries.
That's what Exide states on their website, (float 13.3-13.8) but it did mine, and they were 7 months old. I found out float would sometimes get up to 14.2VDC. in cold weather. That's when I phoned Xantrex tech support.
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