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Old 08-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #1
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Xantrex Freedom inverter, who fixes 'em?

In my 'propane detector' thread, I mentioned checking batteries..

The reason I was checking batteries is because our inverter is acting up. Has been since we bought this rig 5 years ago.

It's a Freedom inverter, looks identical to this one:

It works great- when it works. Problem is it randomly quits working for some reason. Usually a smack on the side will kick it back on.

It's particularly aggravating because the 110v circuits for the microwave, coffee pot, and the television pass thru the thing. And when it shuts down, those circuits also go dead. Then we can't heat our food, make coffee or watch TV!

Which is the 3 main things we DO when we use the RV!

I've had it out and checked inside, twice now. First time I searched for anything loose, found nothing. Last weekend I checked again for anything loose, and I re-did all the 110v wire connections.

After connecting it back up, it worked for about 3 minutes, then died. About 10 seconds later, came on, stayed on for like 3 hours, then died. Stayed dead till I smacked it... Sometimes it stays on for hours, sometimes for weeks (I keep the rig plugged in most of the summer to keep the fridge cold and batteries up).

Other than a little dirt that wipes off it looks brand new inside and out. I can't see spending $1100 for a new one when it's likely a $12 relay or something is bad.

THAT all said, does anyone know of a trustworthy place I can send it in and get it back within 9 days? (Vacation starts the 20th )

I'm in the SLC area, if anyone around here knows of a place? (guess I could check the RV stores around here)...
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #2
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If you have not already done so - you could start with Xantrex authorized repair facilities.

Here is a link to repair facilities from Xantrex web site.

Next to that, Xantrex service centers may recommend someone near your ZIP if you are talking to them.

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Old 08-11-2015, 05:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Brian- Naturally there's repair shops in almost every state around Utah, but none in Utah..
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:21 PM   #4
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They are straight forward devices and most of the time fairly easy to repair
Suggest you try a local electronics repair facility and competent facility should be able to get you fixed up quickly
Is it heat related?
How about a mechanical connection?
Does the charger function work OK?
Without more specifics it's any ones guess
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:31 PM   #5
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My first contact would be Ron at the link below. He is very knowledgeable and helpful with inverters.

http://www.drfamilyrv.com/index2.html
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:59 PM   #6
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Inverter Failure

We had the same problem with the same Inverter for some time. I reset the inverter many times over the period of a year. I did this by disconnecting shore, gen & battery power for 30 minutes or so. Eventually the Inverter would not reset.

We recently sent the inverter to Robert at One Stop Custom Shop. He replaced the control board and sent it back. We have an appointment to have it installed along with 4 new Deka AGM batteries on Tuesday.

One Stop Custom Shop - Home
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJINTF View Post
They are straight forward devices and most of the time fairly easy to repair
Suggest you try a local electronics repair facility and competent facility should be able to get you fixed up quickly
Is it heat related?
How about a mechanical connection?
Does the charger function work OK?
Without more specifics it's any ones guess
No heat issues. No carbon traces or anything else to indicate it's been hot. The cooling fan works fine when it gets warm.
I've checked all connections, some twice, nothing is physically loose.
The charger works great unless it's dead.

When it does work, it works exactly like it should. And the only thing that works when it's dead is the remote status indicator/lights.

I bought a 110v>220v transformer about 2 years ago to run a Chinese built laser engraver. It worked great for about 6 months, then wouldn't work unless I jiggled one of the relays inside. I'm kinda thinking I have the same problem since a smack makes this one kick back on. I didn't tear too far into it but it looked like if a relay IS bad, the fix is to just replace the whole board it and the others are attached to, rather than just one relay.

As for "resetting" this one, it'll kick on all by itself, I just don't like waiting for it. Unplugging the shore line only works part of the time.

I won't have time to fix it for our vacation, so I'm probably just going to temporarily bypass the inverter altogether so our coffee, microwave ramen noodles & Breaking Bad won't get interrupted...

I have a basic 2/10amp battery charger that will keep all the batteries up for the week.

Many thanks (so far) for the repair suggestions!
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:37 AM   #8
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Sounds as if you have a handle on the issue
So it's really the charger function that does not work?
Sure is nice to see some folks actually attempt the repairs themselves

Yes - The integrated transfer switch aka "Relay" (some have multiple relays for the switching function) is a common failure item, the contacts get pitted and / or oxidized

Me - I would first try some DexoiT solution on the contacts of the relay, cleaned one with the stuff 3 or 4 years back and it's still fully operational. It's got to get on the contacts to be effective.

If need be then replace the just the relay - Unless you have loads of extra cash and want to buy lots of expensive spare parts by replacing a circuit module when the vast majority of the time the failure is limited to one of two very low cost components.
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayItForwrd View Post
so I'm probably just going to temporarily bypass the inverter altogether so our coffee, microwave ramen noodles & Breaking Bad won't get interrupted...

I have a basic 2/10amp battery charger that will keep all the batteries up for the week.

Many thanks (so far) for the repair suggestions!

That is exactly what we are/have been doing.

I am no expert, but I am betting it's the Control Board in the Inverter.
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Old 08-15-2015, 12:40 PM   #10
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Trouble is, Xantrex isn't supplying repair parts for these any more. Or most other models more than a few years old. An good electronic repair tech can check out the board for melted components and solder in new ones, but without board specs its hard to diagnose any failures that aren't visible like that. And Xantrex won't provide board-level info. They say it's proprietary, but I think mostly they just want to sell new inverters.

You can probably replace the inverter itself for what a good tech would get to figure out any non-obvious failure, but there is another gotcha: if you have a remote display/control panel, that won't work with a new Xantrex either. Or with any other brand. So you gotta buy a new inverter and a new remote. And maybe a new AGS, if you have that too.
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:58 PM   #11
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Sounds like Xantrex is run by someone named Gates...

to KJINTF-- when it's off, neither the charger nor the two 110v circuits work. Only the remote readout works.

Yesterday I couldn't get it to stay on for 5 minutes. So for fun I disconnected the thermal overload "phone line", in the hopes maybe the thing thinks my batteries are too hot and is causing the shutdown. I think it was on when I pulled the plug, but not certain, but about 2 minutes later it died. I gave it a smack, and -- it stayed on for about 5 hours! Then I had to drive the rig home and plugged it in, and it's been working-- BUT I need to set the clock on the microwave so I'll know if it's still shutting down.

I'll feel pretty lucky if that overtemp cord was the problem!
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:12 PM   #12
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When I replace mine, I will buy a Magnum Inverter. Made in America and if I recall a 3yr warranty...


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Old 08-21-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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Good luck with this. I suspect it will continue to be frustrating. One more thing to think about are the 12VDC connections. If one is loose, it might cause the symptoms.


+1 one Magnum. The guys who started this company worked for Heart before Heart was bought by Xantrex (the CW of mobil electric stuff). I have replaced Xantrex units in my boat and RV with Magnum. Never looked back. While you will need to replace the remote, at least the old wiring to remote and cut out were the same as the old Xantrex. Personally I prefer pure sine wave, but lots of people have success with modified sine wave inverters.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:48 PM   #14
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While on vacation last week I kept a log on my laptop, and the following somewhat lengthy post (apologies) has to do with this inverter-

The Xantrex was working pretty good for the most part, Saturday night it quit once, but kicked back on a few seconds later. Sunday it did the same thing about 3 times, then on the 4th quit it didn't kick back on right away. Our normal 'kick on' procedure is to smack the inverter, which usually kicks it back on. Rather than smacking it, I decided it was time to just bypass the thing.

Enter the "when something goes wrong, something else not so obvious goes wrong at the exact same time" phenomenon... Example, ever had a light bulb blow out, but the new one doesn't work, and the next new one doesn't work either, and you eventually find the light fixture was bad, even though the first bulb actually WAS burned out? Yeah. This seems to happen all to often to me. I figure it's one of Murphy's Laws, which never let me down. Even while on vacation

So I removed the inverter and wired up the breaker box and 2 circuits. Everything looks good, so I power up and -- microwave and TV doesn't work...? As usual, the rest of the motorhome has power. I check the incoming line to the Xantrex, no volts. I check the inverter breaker, not tripped..? So I tear into the transfer switch. After figuring out what's what, I find there's no power on one leg of my 50amp cord. I fire up the genny and now everything works, including the microwave & TV. So I check the volts at the 50amp plug, and one leg is dead. The 20amp 110v plus is working. So using my adapters I plug the motorhome into the 110v plug and, everything works. So I tried the 30amp plug, and go NO power. I spent 2 hours tearing into this, including checking other power receptacles in neighboring campsites, and opening up our box to check all the breakers and check power on all the wires. I finally determined that one main leg of our shore power was indeed dead, which was the leg that fed the (dead) 30amp receptacle, and the half of the motorhome that fed the inverter.

And it went dead while watching TV, so I naturally assumed the inverter was to blame...Nope. "The Phenomenon" still works.

Seriously- what are the odds of HALF a power outage identically mimicking my inverter problem??

Turns out our campground loop lost one 110v power leg at the transformer on the power pole. I knew for sure when the power truck showed up at 10pm to fix it. The problem (according to the repair guys) was some shoddy connection work by the original electrician who wired up the place. And people wonder why I'd rather work on my own stuff myself...

All was well after the repair guys were done, which was good, because the weather was pretty foul most of the time. Sometime Tuesday (I think), for something to do I decided to tear into the Xantrex, and soon found what I'm pretty sure is the problem, but had no way to fix it there. I put it back together (mostly) and this morning back at work, I tore into it again, and took some pics...

This is the unit-




This is with the circuit card on top out of the way. Note the big red, white and black wires, which have been pulled off their respective spade connectors (top to bottom).






A few screws later, the main board comes out.




When pulling the wires off the spades, I found what I hope is the problem. This is a closeup of the spades- note the bottom spade where it's soldered to the board...




--when I pulled the wires off the spades, this spade came out of the circuit board! Showing it here with my pliers...




The solder, from some excess heat I assume, is separated from the spade's pins. Not a lot of electrical connection going on, and it does explain why smacking the thing will turn it back on...




So I scotchbrighted the ends, removed the old solder from the board as best I could, I re-soldered the spade back on to the board...






-- I got it all back together, and as of now it's been on and running, charging batteries and pass-thru duty for over 3 hours with no shutdown. So far so good! If it works for 3 DAYS with no shutdowns, then I'll be convinced this was the problem
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