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Old 02-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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Unhappy Fried My Inverter/Charger

I am the second owner of my coach. I bought it used in 2006, when it was one year old. It came from the factory with a Xantrex Freedom 458 inverter/charger, as shown in the below photo.

I was doing my monthly house battery maintenance today, when I noticed that an aux. ring terminal that was attached to one of the positive house battery posts was badly corroded. I had seen this ring terminal before, and recall removing and re-installing it when I replaced my house batteries two years ago. I didn’t know what the terminal powered, but I re-connected it back to the same positive battery post when I replaced the batteries.

I decided I would replace the corroded terminal ring today, but first I wanted to trace the wire to see exactly what it went to. It looked like a black phone wire. I found that it went to the battery temp. sensor on my inverter/charger. With that in mind, I disconnected my shore power and switched off all breakers to the inverter/charger. As I began to re-attach my new ring terminal to the same battery post, the inverter/charger let out a loud pop, and smoke started venting out of the inverter/charger. Not a good sign!

I called Xantrex tech support and explained what has happened. The guy I spoke with said the temp sensor wire should first go to a sensor box, before going to the battery terminal. He said that by adding battery current directly to the wire without the sensor in-line, I more than likely fried my inverter/charger. This didn’t make sense to me. It had been wired this way since I bought the coach 6 years ago. Why would it all of a sudden blow up when I merely replaced the same wire with a new terminal ring. And why didn’t this happen when I replaced the batteries two years ago? The tech said more than likely the old terminal ring was badly corroded when I bought the coach and it never made good contact with the battery post. I solved that when I "fixed it"!

Now after that long winded story, I’m finally going to get to my question. I have an extended warranty and they cover inverter/chargers. They may deny coverage if they learn that it was connected wrong. Hopefully my trusted repair tech will just tell them it’s just dead. Either way, since I need to replace the entire inverter/charger, I’m wondering if this wouldn’t be a good time for an upgrade. I don’t know what size my current Freedom 458 is, but I know there are other inverter/chargers out there that do a better job. After all, this inverter/charger is 7 years old. I don’t necessarily need a bigger inverter/charger, I’d just like something that’s proven.

Any recommendations?

BTW, the below photo was taken BEFORE I fried the inverter/charger. I took it when I was looking to add a remote control panel. It no longer lights up as it did in this photo.




Craig
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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I feel your pain! Pulled my 458 several days ago and installed a by-pass breaker box. My unit will be requiring Authorized Repair.

Regarding the info you received on the TSC wire. The Tech apparently gave you some bumb info. Page #6 of the Freedom 458 Series COMBI Inverter/Charger Owners Manual has a drawing which clearly shows the batter sensor cable/wire connected directly from the battery to the unit. There is nothing that mentions a sensor box.

Google a search of the Freedom COMBI Inverter Owner Manual which covers all models of the 458! The Manual contains "installation info" in addition to operating instructions
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
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Bob109,

Thanks for the reply. I too saw that illustration in the owner's manual. I looked through the troubleshooting guide before I called tech support.

Your response made me dig a little deeper, and as it turns out, the terminal ring I removed apparently WAS a temp sensor. If you look at the below photos you'll see that Xantrex has two different types of sensors. One that's about the size of a pack of cigarettes and another that looks like a fat terminal ring. The latter of the two is apparently what I had, albeit a different color, and without any markings or Xantrex logo. It was red and just looked like an ordinary cheap terminal ring, at least to me...

Lesson learned....an expensive one!

BTW, what's a by-pass breaker and why did you install one?




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Old 02-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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OH SHi*!!

My coach has a Magnum Energy ME 2012 inverter/converter. MSW. Magnum has a good reputation if you are going to upgrade. It is a 100a converter and a 2000w inverter. I have 6-6v AGM house batteries and I see up to 105a charge on my Intellitec 50a Energy Management panel running off of the QD 7500 Onan.

I feel your pain!

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig P. View Post
Bob109,

Thanks for the reply. I too saw that illustration in the owner's manual. I looked through the troubleshooting guide before I called tech support.

Your response made me dig a little deeper, and as it turns out, the terminal ring I removed apparently WAS a temp sensor. If you look at the below photos you'll see that Xantrex has two different types of sensors. One that's about the size of a pack of cigarettes and another that looks like a fat terminal ring. The latter of the two is apparently what I had, albeit a different color, and without any markings or Xantrex logo. It was red and just looked like an ordinary cheap terminal ring, at least to me...

Lesson learned....an expensive one!

BTW, what's a by-pass breaker and why did you install one?




Craig
Here's the temp remedy for my failed 458 converter!

Freedom 458 Inverter Removal and By-Pass
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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For a replacement, I would go with the Magnum unit. When my 458 dies that is what will replace it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyljc
For a replacement, I would go with the Magnum unit. When my 458 dies that is what will replace it.
Folks seems to really like them, but I'm having a hard time justifying the additional $1K price tag over the ProSine. My 458 worked flawlessly until I destroyed it.

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Old 02-24-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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Nothing in my manual, 2002 rev 2, about a sensor box. My temp sensor is like yours. In my manual it is on page 26.
"The guy I spoke with said the temp sensor wire should first go to a sensor box, before going to the battery terminal. He said that by adding battery current directly to the wire without the sensor in-line, I more than likely fried my inverter/charger. "
Your sensor was in line.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:25 AM   #9
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For a replacement, I would go with the Magnum unit. When my 458 dies that is what will replace it.
I'm debating whether to replace my inverter/charger at all. Having three power sources, IMHO, seems to be "over kill". I've had my MH for three years and have never used the "inverter portion" of my 458. All it's ever done is charge my coach/chassis batteries and engage the internal transfer switch for two 120 VAC circuits. When I'm on the road I use my 7.5KW Onan Generator for power and I use shore power whenever parked for any durations i.e winter months in Fl.
I've currently removed my 458 and installed both a by-pass breaker box, which gives me my needed two 120 VAC circuits, and my Schumacher Automatic Battery Charger which keeps all my batteries, house and chassis, at 13.3 volts at 2 amps. As the batteries are not constantly being drawn down (deep discharged) by the inverter, there's no need to worry about battery Sulfation. Should that become a issue, throwing the charger to 15 amp, on occasion, should handle that task.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:08 AM   #10
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For a replacement, I would go with the Magnum unit. When my 458 dies that is what will replace it.
Everyone really seems to love the Magnum line. As a layman who knows next to nothing about electricity, I only see whats on paper: The Magnum MS-2012 is almost $1K more, the remote control panel is optional and they don't offer a battery temp sensor. Why are they so much more superior? I'm trying to understand...

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #11
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If your RV style is driving from one power post to the next power post there is really no need for a inverter. We don't do that and VERY seldom do we go to a campground site that has a power post. With the Onan QD 7500, a Honda EU 1000i and 800w of solar and the Magnum Energy 2000w inverter we have no reason to limit our camping choices to where we can have a power post.

When we got our first motorhome we tried the private campground route and hated it. Crammed in like sardines was not for us. We are State and Federal park campers now and we find the nicest sites are almost always the non-serviced sites.

This is our favorite spot of all and it is only 1.5 hours from home. We are there at least once a month 12 months of the year. How can you beat salmon fishing within 100' of your camp site???

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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This is our favorite spot of all and it is only 1.5 hours from home. We are there at least once a month 12 months of the year. How can you beat salmon fishing within 100' of your camp site???

My favorite spot is only 22 hours and 1100 miles from home. I stay in North Central Florida for 26 continuous weeks or 6 months, hooked to shore power. I'm surrounded by fresh water lakes, within 1 hours drive to either the Atlantic Ocean or The Gulf and have some of the best motorcycle riding in the State of Florida. The RV Park has a 9 hole golf course, driving range, practice putting green, heated swimming pool, paved roads, tennis court and boat docks on a 27,000 acre lake. The average temps are 65/85 for the duration of my stay. How can I beat that?????
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Sounds nice, but
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Craig P. View Post
Sounds nice, but
Sorry about that! I'll come right to the point! If you don't routinely invert power you, simply, have a mighty expensive battery charger with the 458 or any other inverter/charger.
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