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Old 08-22-2019, 12:00 AM   #1
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Mystery of the converter/inverter/charger

I appear to be having trouble with my Dimensions WIN 12x20b3rt converter inverter charger. Today I had lots of stuff on in the RV and smelled this burning electrical smell... you know, the kind that leads to immediate panic. Anyway a glance at my Display showed "Inverter overload" and my battery bank sitting at 14.60 volts. But when I flipped the breaker for the converter, I lost all power in my AC outlets. Why did this happen and what can I do to to bypass this issue until I get a new converter?
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:08 AM   #2
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Before you buy a new converter you should ask:

In watts, what is the total power draw from the "lots of stuff on in the RV," vs the max amp you can draw from your existing converter/house battery bank? More qualified electrical gurus than myself will chime in here but my 2 cents worth is that substantially violating Ohm's law will get you that "burning electrical smell."
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:38 AM   #3
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i'd try to get a clear meaning of what 'inverter overload' means. since you were hooked up to shore power at the time the inverter should just be in standby mode. you had lots of stuff on at the time. lots of 120vac stuff? and if so does it all go through the inverter or is some of that stuff powered only by shore power. if so, that stuff shouldn't be affecting the inverter. as far as losing some of the other ac outlets it might just be that they are wired on the same circuit as the inverter. but that still doesn't explain the smell and the error message. find out what that message is trying to say. and why it will just display a message and not take an action such as flipping a breaker on the inverter itself.
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.
Honestly I am not sure what items were actually plugged in to outlets connected to the converter, but I am pretty sure one of them was my heat gun. I assume that I can send as much 120v load through (in/out) the converter as long as it is not doing anything with that voltage/wattage.
Once I realized the smell was coming from the converter box, I went back inside and turned on the display and saw the inverter overload message. I assume that means the converter has failed when it shows an overload even though the inverter part is not even in use.
As far as the inverter overload message goes, I have not used the actual inverter (off shore power)since last October.
I have since removed the converter and tied the 120v in and out together to restore power. I have a car battery charger connected to the battery bank to keep it going until I get to the bottom of the issue.
I do not see any burned areas or damage inside the converter.
I was hoping the smell would be gone forever, but last night my wife smelled it again very slightly.
I hope to get behind my breaker panel today and give all the wiring back there a close look.
Anything else I should check?
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Old 08-23-2019, 06:53 AM   #5
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At 14.+ volts, the overload may have been in the charging section of the " Inverter/Charger " ( Proper name of it. Its not a converter )
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:36 PM   #6
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While you have the main breaker panel open, tighten all connections/screws, our rolling earthquakes will vibrate loose wiring connections.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:09 AM   #7
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I found on my Heart Interface Inverter that burnt up and the Magnum I replaced it with the relays inside Were/are rated at 25 amps though the wiring and circuit breakers are 30 amp components. On the replacement Magnum, it had dual relays inside one of which was for an option not installed so I wired that relay in parallel with the main relay for 50 amp capability and have not had any issues since. The Heart relay had gotten so hot is melted the wires connected to the relay, I also bypassed the inverter to get back on the line until I could replace it. I was running two electric cube heaters and the reefer on 120 ac when I fried my unit.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kg4izw View Post
Thanks for the responses.
Honestly I am not sure what items were actually plugged in to outlets connected to the converter, but I am pretty sure one of them was my heat gun. I assume that I can send as much 120v load through (in/out) the converter as long as it is not doing anything with that voltage/wattage.
Once I realized the smell was coming from the converter box, I went back inside and turned on the display and saw the inverter overload message. I assume that means the converter has failed when it shows an overload even though the inverter part is not even in use.
As far as the inverter overload message goes, I have not used the actual inverter (off shore power)since last October.
I have since removed the converter and tied the 120v in and out together to restore power. I have a car battery charger connected to the battery bank to keep it going until I get to the bottom of the issue.
I do not see any burned areas or damage inside the converter.
I was hoping the smell would be gone forever, but last night my wife smelled it again very slightly.
I hope to get behind my breaker panel today and give all the wiring back there a close look.
Anything else I should check?
Lets start at the begining. A converter changes 120 volts AC into 12 volts DC. It charges the battery, It contains the 12 volt fuses for your system. Your outlets are not connected to the converter. An inverter changes 12 volts DC into 120 volts AC. Some of your outlets are connected to your Inverter. Pull the breaker panel and look for loose wiring.
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:14 PM   #9
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Expanding on what cavie says, your combo converter/charger/inverter shares a common 120v source. When the inverter isn't actually inverting (making 120v from battery 12v), it "passes through" 120v power from the main panel. If you shut off the 120v breaker that feeds the converter, you also killed the charger and the pass-through power to the inverter and thus killed the associated outlets UNLESS the inverter is activated (On).
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:35 PM   #10
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I had been smelling the same thing the last 2-3 times out in our MH. Was looking at buying a new Converter/Charger when I came across a thread here suggesting to check for a loose connection.

I went and did and found my ground wire screw was a little loose. After I tightened it up, everything worked perfectly and the "burnt wire/capacitor" smell has disappeared. Check all of your wires coming out to be sure the connections are good and tight.
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