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Old 05-07-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
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Inverter circuit problem

I have an intermittent problem and right now it is a problem. I have a generator and a inverter/charger (Freedom 2000W) and a 50A service cord. The inverter circuit runs the entertainment center over the front cab and the microwave in the kitchen.

Obviously there is an auto transfer switch that is located in the main service bay. I have some pictures that I can add when I can figure how to get them off my android phone. The switch is a Todd PS245L that handles a gen. and main power with 3 connection sections. I don't see a place for the inverter connection. However, this all works properly some of the time so there must be a way the transfer works properly.

The breaker box seems to be ok and I tried switching breakers around in case one was bad. I don't have an electrical schematic so I'm not sure if there is another transfer switch somewhere.

I have to fix this since it runs the microwave too.

Without AC power, the inverter works the circuit just fine. When the Gen is running, no AC to the inverter circuit and when shore power is on, no inverter circuit AC power. But it has worked before.

Any thoughts or questions???

John
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:01 PM   #2
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The transfer switch in in the inverter. It sounds like the transfer relay is the problem.
It needs to be sent in for repair.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:09 AM   #3
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There is a fuse inside the inverter if you are comfortable in working with electricity and careful, can be replaced; many times this will solve the problem of the inverter not passing current through to the loads you mention on generator or shore power.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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You can download the manual here:

Inverter/Chargers

Look on page 31. It shows led light status and what is happening to your inverter at any time. Maybe this will help you figure out what is going on with your system. It sounds like to me that the internal transfer switch is not working properly. My suggestion is to turn off all AC power and disconnect the batteries, then open the AC cover panel on the inverter and check all of the connections. You might find one loose.

Also check your ground cable connections on the case of the inverter and ground.

BTW--While all of the power is off, remove the front cover of you circuit breaker panel and check all of the connections there too.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb7auk View Post
The transfer switch in in the inverter. It sounds like the transfer relay is the problem.
It needs to be sent in for repair.
I took it partially apart today and could not find the transfer switch itself. Both fuses on the 2 control boards were intact but showed lower ohm readings than there should be.

When you say send in for repair, where do you mean? Do they do that at the manufacturer? I hate to pay $1000+ for a new one if I don't have to.

John
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Call Xantrex Tech at 1-800-670-0707 ( I think that number is still good)
and talk to them.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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Is the battery charger function working? If not, check the breaker going to the inverter/charger.

FYI, the transfer switch selects eiher commercial or generator power. The inverter/charger is between the transfer switch and inverter powered devices. When AC power is present a the inout to the inverter/charger the battery charger will be on and a relay inside the inverter/charger will pass the incoming AC directly to the output.

The Xantrex repair facilities are regional. I used the one in Portland, OR and I was pleased with their work.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
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Switching Breakers Around

The inverter needs to see both legs of the line voltage at least in my coaches breaker panel. If you moved a breaker to the same leg of power, might have caused problems that may not have been there orginally. When I use an 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, I have to tell the power control that it is 30 amp to insure that the inverter will pass the shore/generator power on through.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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Only connect those loads you want on the inverter to the inverter. Do not connect the inverter to the system except for input power. It will sense inlet supply and drop out of the circuit after approximately 20 seconds transferring the load to the inlet source. If you have the load connected to the inlet supply and the inverter, the inverter will be as confused as you are now and it will cause numerous undefined problems. With the inverter supplying power to the predetermined load, in my instance a refrigerator and two duplex outlets it will take responsibility for those loads as soon as external supply is lost. (This actually happens faster than a digital clock loses count) When power is re-supplied the inverter coordinates with the inlet power and drops out of the circuit and reverts to being a charger in the case of the Freedom units.

120VAC power&12VDCBattery->inverter->load
If you have 120 to the load along with the inverter the inverter will not be able to discriminate and may be damaged.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowboy View Post
...120VAC power&12VDCBattery->inverter->load
If you have 120 to the load along with the inverter the inverter will not be able to discriminate and may be damaged.
I'm not sure what is being said here. The inverter has no idea what else might share the AC power being supplied o it, it can't tell what the current capacity of the input is, and it can't tell if the other leg of the 250VAC 50A input is there. It doesn't need to know any of these factors to function properly. As for the flow, just to be clear, the input AC directly feeds the inverter, if the AC input voltage is present it flows directly to the inverter loads without inverting. If the AC input is not present or below the voltage theshold the inverter turns on, producing 120VAC from the batteries, and automatically supplies inverted power to the inverter loads.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowboy View Post
Only connect those loads you want on the inverter to the inverter. Do not connect the inverter to the system except for input power. It will sense inlet supply and drop out of the circuit after approximately 20 seconds transferring the load to the inlet source. If you have the load connected to the inlet supply and the inverter, the inverter will be as confused as you are now and it will cause numerous undefined problems. With the inverter supplying power to the predetermined load, in my instance a refrigerator and two duplex outlets it will take responsibility for those loads as soon as external supply is lost. (This actually happens faster than a digital clock loses count) When power is re-supplied the inverter coordinates with the inlet power and drops out of the circuit and reverts to being a charger in the case of the Freedom units.

120VAC power&12VDCBattery->inverter->load
If you have 120 to the load along with the inverter the inverter will not be able to discriminate and may be damaged.
I haven't done anything to the electrical loads or modified any circuit. It is setup the way National built it in 2001 and has been working fine for all those years. It has started to fail recently and not switching the invert circuit over to shore power when it is there. That is what it is supposed to do but is no longer making the switch. When shore power is available, the outlets on the the invert circuit have no power thus the inverter/charger is not making the switch. When no shore power, the invert circuit has power if I turn the Invert option on. When I connect shore power, the invert circuit loses power.

John
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagineIF View Post
I'm not sure what is being said here. The inverter has no idea what else might share the AC power being supplied o it, it can't tell what the current capacity of the input is, and it can't tell if the other leg of the 250VAC 50A input is there. It doesn't need to know any of these factors to function properly. As for the flow, just to be clear, the input AC directly feeds the inverter, if the AC input voltage is present it flows directly to the inverter loads without inverting. If the AC input is not present or below the voltage theshold the inverter turns on, producing 120VAC from the batteries, and automatically supplies inverted power to the inverter loads.
Should the inverter turn on automatically to supply AC to the invert circuit when shore power is unavailable, or do you have to choose that option from the remote panel? It seems that I have to choose the Invert option if I want it. If I'm going the other way and moving from invert power to shore power, it should automatically make that switch (but it doesn't). Is that what you mean?

BTW, this has happened when connected directly to 50A service and currently I am in commercial storage where they have 110V 20A service to my unit. I have a dogbone (30 to 50) and a 15 to 30 conversion plug connecting the 15A shore line. I have tested coach outlets and they show ~110V with a Killowhat meter.

John
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:32 AM   #13
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John,
The inverter/charger gets it's input voltage from a 30 amp breaker in the main power box. If the inverter/charger see's AC on the input it switches that power to it's output and turns on the battery charger.
With the lack of AC on the inverter/charger input the inverter will supply AC power
to the output if it is turned on at the control panel.
It will also turn off the charger part with no AC on the input.
With AC power supplied to the coach measure the output from the 30 amp breaker
suppling the inverter/charger to see if you have AC going to it.
If you have power being supplied and it still does not allow power to the output you
can check where the input power connects to the inverter to be sure you have no
loose connections. That requires opening up the inverter. Make sure you have the
power off before you do this.
Also you might do a reset and that is done by unplugging the phone cable from the
unit wait a minute and plug it back in.
If it still does not work as I said before it has something wrong with the transfer
control or relay inside the unit.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:25 PM   #14
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Problem Solved

After contacting the Xantrax regional service center and finding out that it will cost me ~$550 to fix it if the transfer switch was the probem, I decided to take the thing apart and see if I could find the switch and maybe take it apart. In the process of doing so, I finally got to the front of the unit. It was tucked into a large bay but in one corner where it was close to the batteries but hard to get access to the front. I pulled the AC wires out from inside the unit without disconnecting them. They had twist locks on the wires and I started to take them off but a couple seemed to not be very tight. I tightened all of them (4 sets) and tried the unit before I went any further.

Wallah... It worked. I have tried numerous situations and all work like they are supposed to. I would have tried this option first but it was so hard to get to. I did not tuck the wires back inside the unit as I think that was how they became separated. There is very little space for the wires in there anyway. If I have any more similar issues, they will be easier to reach.

Thanks to all who tried to help. I learned a lot in the process.

John
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