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Old 10-19-2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Auxiliary batteries died?

SoÖwhat am I doing wrong. Put the MH in the storage lot last week. Turned off main batteries and auxiliary batteries. Turned off inverter. Noticed the inverter was still humming and microwave clock was still on. Also a couple other minor things like lights to the DVD player etc. Thought about it but not long enough I guess. Went back today and sure enough the coach batteries dead. Fired up the engine and generator and charged up the batteries. Turned everything off (mains, auxiliary and inverter) and again some things still light up and inverter still humming. Thought of flipping the switches on the inverter but figured Iíd ask some questions first.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:19 PM   #2
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Cdn-Tx,
Try turning off the AC breaker, in your main power panel, to your inverter. As long as AC power is available to the inverter the battery charger portion of the inverter is energized. The breaker on your inverter just turns off the inverter portion. Also turn off the battery isolation switch.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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Cdn-Tx,
Try turning off the AC breaker, in your main power panel, to your inverter. As long as AC power is available to the inverter the battery charger portion of the inverter is energized. The breaker on your inverter just turns off the inverter portion. Also turn off the battery isolation switch.
So much information and so little brain power
When I walk into the coach there is a control panel up front with all the tank level checks, generator hour meter, and a number of switches that turns on and off the main and auxiliary batteries, generator and inverter. I assume those switches are the battery isolation switches or is there something else? I have everything off on that control panel. The main breaker panel is in a cupboard under the bed and I turning off the 50 amp main breaker but the inverter still hums and microwave light is still on. I must be missing something I suspect. The book for the inverter doesnít really say what to turn on or turn off.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Did you turn off the switch located on the inverter? Also, if there is no AC supplied to the coach the battery charger feature should be off. The battery isolation switch is usually located by the front door but in your case it may be in the panel by the door.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:43 PM   #5
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So much information and so little brain power
When I walk into the coach there is a control panel up front with all the tank level checks, generator hour meter, and a number of switches that turns on and off the main and auxiliary batteries, generator and inverter. I assume those switches are the battery isolation switches or is there something else? I have everything off on that control panel. The main breaker panel is in a cupboard under the bed and I turning off the 50 amp main breaker but the inverter still hums and microwave light is still on. I must be missing something I suspect. The book for the inverter doesnít really say what to turn on or turn off.
It would help if you could tell us the brand and model of your inverter, that way we may be able to tell you what switch to turn off on the inverter, or maybe find out whether it is malfunctioning.

All larger inverter installations I've seen (i.e. ones that power microwave ovens) are powered directly from the coach battery bank, the battery disconnect switch will not cut them off. There should be a way to turn them off at either the inverter itself of as remote control.

You mentioned you had all the breakers turned off (mains, aux, inverter), with them off and the inverter switch on the control panel off the inverter should not be humming, so you are on the right track.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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Did you turn off the switch located on the inverter? Also, if there is no AC supplied to the coach the battery charger feature should be off. The battery isolation switch is usually located by the front door but in your case it may be in the panel by the door.
Nope, I havenít turned anything off on the actual inverter. I saw 2 breaker style switches but didnít do anything with them. I need to go back (about 4 miles away) and take another look but want to gain some intelligence first. There are a couple of switches by the front door (step, light etc) but not sure if there is an isolation switch there. Once inside, up top at the front is the control panel and it has switches on off for auxiliary and main batteries.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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It would help if you could tell us the brand and model of your inverter, that way we may be able to tell you what switch to turn off on the inverter, or maybe find out whether it is malfunctioning.

All larger inverter installations I've seen (i.e. ones that power microwave ovens) are powered directly from the coach battery bank, the battery disconnect switch will not cut them off. There should be a way to turn them off at either the inverter itself of as remote control.

You mentioned you had all the breakers turned off (mains, aux, inverter), with them off and the inverter switch on the control panel off the inverter should not be humming, so you are on the right track.

Good Luck!
Stewart
My build sheet tells me itís a Heart 81-2022-12217 which I think is a 20 amp. Freedom 485 series Combi Inverter / charger. I went back and flipped the 2 breakers on the front of the inverter itself and the lights of the microwave went out but the lights on the front of the inverter are still on. Cooling fan ran for a bit then shut down. Wet and Charge are the light on. Charge solid and wet blinking (I think that was the status). I do have wet batteries. But for some reason the switch inside that should remotely shut down the inverter isnít working. The coach is a few miles away so not the easiest to trouble shoot. Saw in the manual there should be 2 buttons on the front of the inverter that read Invert and Charge. I need to go back and see if those do anything.. Any ideas?
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:18 PM   #8
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OK, you got the inverter shut off this time. Before it was powering the micro and clock, so ran the batteries down after several hours. But I'm pretty sure a Discovery should have a remote to do that. Should be an inverter On/off on that remote panel. On means it will invert when no shore power is present, and that takes battery amps.

The lights on the inverter itself are powered direct from the battery. No way to shut them off except to physically disconnect the inverter power cables from the battery. Shouldn't run the bats down short of a month or so of idle time.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
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Gordon, You should be able to control the inverter with the buttons. According to the manual, the invert button will turn it of and off by pressing and holding 3 seconds. You may want to try disconnecting your remote cable and see if the inverter can be controlled without it.

When you remove shore power and have the inverter off it should not hum.


Do you have a basic remote panel that looks like this?:


I believe they had an even simpler one with one rocker switch, I have one at home but can't find a pic on the web for it.

If I remember correctly, an open in the cable from the remote to the inverter will cause the inverter to run all the time, so you may want to inspect the remote cable at the inverter and at the switch.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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Gordon, You should be able to control the inverter with the buttons. According to the manual, the invert button will turn it of and off by pressing and holding 3 seconds. You may want to try disconnecting your remote cable and see if the inverter can be controlled without it.

When you remove shore power and have the inverter off it should not hum.


Do you have a basic remote panel that looks like this?:


I believe they had an even simpler one with one rocker switch, I have one at home but can't find a pic on the web for it.

If I remember correctly, an open in the cable from the remote to the inverter will cause the inverter to run all the time, so you may want to inspect the remote cable at the inverter and at the switch.
Yea if you look at the picture you posted, the 2 small switches are highlighted with dotted lines at the upper left corner of the front. I thought there were no switches there but I guess thatís a flexible plastic front and if I push it should shut off. I have to go back and try again as the storage place is a few miles away. I flipped off the 2 breakers on the front.
The control panel I have has rocker switches and one that reads Inverter On / Off. I wonder if I follow instructions for a reset if it'll make a difference?
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:39 PM   #11
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So…I went and took another look. The switches on the front of the inverter appear to do nothing as well. Only way to stop the inverter from humming and power down microwave etc is switch off both breakers on the front. But if I read the manual correctly, the only way to use the unit without the remote switch is if there is a jumper installed in the Auxiliary Switch Port on the front. I have 2 wires plugged into that plug which I assume run up to the control panel. I’m guessing the first thing to do is check those wires and make sure they are good. The LED’s flashing sequence appears to suggest everything is in normal condition when turned on or turned off.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:29 AM   #12
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Gordon, from the sounds of it the inverter is bad. It should turn off using the "Invert" switch on the front panel (I know mine did). I believe the problem is the inverter circuitry is trying to run even when the breakers are open and that draws the batteries down.

These inverters do go bad occasionally, there used to be lots of ads for "refurbished" Freedom 458's on eBay and such, I have not looked lately. There are several places that repair these, here is a thread regarding repair.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:46 AM   #13
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I think I’ll check out the switch first just to make sure its not a simple broken wire or something. I suspect if its not the switch there must be a bad relay as that small wire isn’t closing any type of circuit past a relay.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:32 AM   #14
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Have you tried disconnecting your batteris from the coach in the battery box. I would remove all DC power for a couple of minutes then reconnect.

Not saying this will help but with electronic's these days?!?!?!?!?! Sometimes removing the power, rebooot, will help.
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