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Old 08-13-2016, 06:30 AM   #1
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Converter humming with generator off and batteries disconnected??

Edit: I reposted this question in the Appliances and Systems category. Tried to delete this one but I am not able to, thanks.


The converter in my rv (or something in its vicinity) is making a high pitched humming noise. It continued all night after the generator was turned off and batteries disconnected?? It only stopped after I ran the generator again. The next day. 1975 class C motorhome.

Should I be concerned and what if anything would explain the sound?
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:45 PM   #2
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12 v DC power won't cause a hum. It might be a cooling fan, or could be an inverter, a device to change 12v DV to 120v AC? You need to track it down, an inverter left on, even without a load, can deplete batteries over time.
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:02 PM   #3
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This is not a nomal issue.
Knowing the make and model of the converter might make it possible to guess what it is if it is a failure.

Frank
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:10 AM   #4
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Is it a converter 120a/c to 12 volts d/c or an inverter 12volts d/c to 120volts a/c? being it is a 1975 they came with converters.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

It is a converter. It allows me to switch between 12v battery power and 120v ac shore power.

I am very confused how something can be making that noise while no power sources are connected. My new theory to test is that it could he the 3 way fridge which does not work (will not pump coolant). I noticed while hunting for the source of the noise that I must have left the fridge on "120v ac ON" back when I was troubleshooting it. A couple.years ago. We rarely run the geni for more than an hour but last weekend it was raining and I let the kids watch movies for a few hours and when I switched it off I noticed the noise which lasted over 12 hours.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:22 AM   #6
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Here is a picture of the converter and breaker panel. I can't get the details because the camper is a 2 hour drive from my home, on a lake in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge75 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

It is a converter. It allows me to switch between 12v battery power and 120v ac shore power.

I am very confused how something can be making that noise while no power sources are connected. My new theory to test is that it could he the 3 way fridge which does not work (will not pump coolant). I noticed while hunting for the source of the noise that I must have left the fridge on "120v ac ON" back when I was troubleshooting it. A couple.years ago. We rarely run the geni for more than an hour but last weekend it was raining and I let the kids watch movies for a few hours and when I switched it off I noticed the noise which lasted over 12 hours.
Just a couple of points to clarify. A converter doesn't switch between 12v battery power and 120v AC power. It converts 120v AC to 12v DC. This 12v is used to charge the battery and power the 12v items in the RV. The converter/charger is hooked up to the batteries, which are hooked up to the house circuits and the power needs no switching.

A 3 way absorption refrigerator doesn't contain a pump. A boiler heats the refrigerant and the design of the piping results is pressure and phase changes that produces the cooling effect. The heating is done by LP gas, a 120v heating element, or a 12v heating element. 12v is also used to control and operate the refrigerator. Turning the refrigerator upside down of a day or so can often cause the crystalized blockage to be cleared and restore function.

You said you weren't connected to 120v or running the generator, and you had disconnected the batteries. I still can't explain the humming noise. The fridge should have had no power if all electric was off. Leaving it on 120v cooling wouldn't make any noise, especially since the fridge is operated by a 12v control board.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Ok that is very helpful. It has a switch labeled convert/batt. I thought i needed it switched to conv the use the 120v ac circuits, i must be mistaken.

It has never charged the house batteries for me but then again there is a problem with the wire going between the "converter" and house batteries. So I cannot use my house batteries until I change this wire (under the floor) I know this is the case because if I wiggle the wire the 12v ights will flicker on battery power.

My thought with the fridge was that if I ran the geni for 3 hours and it is malfunctioning the boiler may have created some heat and pressure and the high pitched sound I was hearing could be pressure slowly escaping or moving. That theory made more sense to me than an electrical hum while there is no power connected. And the fridge is very close to the converter.


Thanks for the tip on the refrigerator I will look into that tipping option for sure!
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:12 PM   #9
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The comment was made that the refrig takes 12V to run. This is a '75 MH. If that is the original refrig it doesn't require 12V. My '95 Toadtrek is 3 way and only needs 12V on the 12V setting, On gas it needs no voltage.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:28 PM   #10
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The comment was made that the refrig takes 12V to run. This is a '75 MH. If that is the original refrig it doesn't require 12V. My '95 Toadtrek is 3 way and only needs 12V on the 12V setting, On gas it needs no voltage.
Then what opens and closes the LP valve? Most all RV fridges use 12v DC to control temperature. The 12v board changes from gas to 120v when available, turns on and ignites gas, shuts gas down if temperature is reached in fridge. That's how 2 way and 3 way absorption refrigerators usually work. A 3 way has the additional flexibility to operate with a 12v DC heating element as well as the LP gas and 120v heating element. The 12v heating element consumes large amounts of power and is often only enabled when a charging current is available, either from the engine alternator, generator, or shore power.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:24 PM   #11
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Te ther,ocouple does create enough to keep the flame lit without 12V power. Mine is a Dometic 3210 in my '95 Roadtrek. Look on line and see the only 12V use is for the heater element. I takes my freeze to -4F overnight. On 12V I get half of a night before a dead battery.

A seperate tip is how I know my refer temps. I got a thermometer with inside and outside temps and put the outside one in the refer.
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