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Old 11-22-2022, 11:50 AM   #1
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Batteries not charging properly with generator

Hi All,
Started the 7500 owen generator this AM and as I usually do, turned on a 1500 watt electric heater, the electric water heater, the front furnace, turned the stove on for coffee (propane) then ground the coffee beans when the power came on and went back to bed till the water was boiling and the rv was a little warmer.
When I got back up I noticed that the Dimensions control panel showed 0 amps going to the batteries, usually at that stage it would show 50 plus amps. When I was checking the panel I noticed that the switch for the engine block heater was on as well.
I turned everything off thinking was using too much power and there was not enough left for the battery charging but still 0
I shut off the generator and restarted and still nothing. Did that a few times and then noticed that it would show 0 then 10 amps momentarily then 0 again.
I shut off the generator for a while then restarted and it started working properly.... for awhile then went back to zero.
I left the generator off for a little longer, maybe 10 minutes then restarted and this time it worked and kept working. And I just tried it again at noon and it seems to be working.
However I expect it is just the start of a problem. And if anyone has ideas of what could be causing this I would sure appreciate the feedback.
My rig is a 2004 Itasca Horizon AD the inverter charger is the original Dimensions. I changed the ATS system last Winter and upgraded to a Paralax power supply model ats 501. The Trombetta booster switch solenoid needs to be changed ( I just haven't got to that yet))

As I said any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Wayne Ridsdale
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Old 11-22-2022, 11:05 PM   #2
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Sounds like you tripped the breaker on the inverter.
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Old 11-23-2022, 06:46 AM   #3
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Yes I was thinking something like that. But it must a auto reset breaker as it seems to be working properly this AM.
Thanks
Wayne
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Old 11-26-2022, 01:18 PM   #4
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Maybe I'm confused here. But it sounds to me like the battery may have had a full charge (0 reading). Also if the batteries were not charging the Generator would not start due to it using the house batteries to start off of.
But I might be wrong or not.
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Old 11-27-2022, 08:39 AM   #5
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Sounds like you might have a charger issue. If so, you should have the same results when plugged into AC power.

Are you sure the generator was providing 120VAC? If not, the inverter would have been providing the AC power and the charger would not be providing any charge (you would be discharging).

Realize that unless the batteries are dead, you will always have AC power available. You might want to turn off your inverter/charger switch to verify your generator is actually providing AC power when you read zero amps charging current.

It's unlikely, but you could also have a problem with your installed DC ammeter.

A test voltmeter and or ammeter might be helpful in figuring out what is really happening.

The other possibility could be the transfer switch. I believe it would be normally dropped out when external AC power was not available and should have never changed state during your various generator starts so I would put this last on the list.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:00 AM   #6
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Carboned up contact points in the charge relay. Change that Trombetta.
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Old 11-27-2022, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unplanned Tourist View Post
Carboned up contact points in the charge relay. Change that Trombetta.
The charge relay " Trombetta " is wired between the house and chassis batteries. It connects the 2 banks together when called for..

It has nothing to do with the inverter/charger charging the house batteries. The inverter/charger connects directly to the house batteries.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWayne View Post
Hi All,
Started the 7500 owen generator this AM and as I usually do, turned on a 1500 watt electric heater, the electric water heater, the front furnace, turned the stove on for coffee (propane) then ground the coffee beans when the power came on and went back to bed till the water was boiling and the rv was a little warmer.
When I got back up I noticed that the Dimensions control panel showed 0 amps going to the batteries, usually at that stage it would show 50 plus amps. When I was checking the panel I noticed that the switch for the engine block heater was on as well.
I turned everything off thinking was using too much power and there was not enough left for the battery charging but still 0
I shut off the generator and restarted and still nothing. Did that a few times and then noticed that it would show 0 then 10 amps momentarily then 0 again.
I shut off the generator for a while then restarted and it started working properly.... for awhile then went back to zero.
I left the generator off for a little longer, maybe 10 minutes then restarted and this time it worked and kept working. And I just tried it again at noon and it seems to be working.
However I expect it is just the start of a problem. And if anyone has ideas of what could be causing this I would sure appreciate the feedback.
My rig is a 2004 Itasca Horizon AD the inverter charger is the original Dimensions. I changed the ATS system last Winter and upgraded to a Paralax power supply model ats 501. The Trombetta booster switch solenoid needs to be changed ( I just haven't got to that yet))

As I said any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Wayne Ridsdale
I am wondering if you have a loose connection in your transfer switch? This is a common problem. If I were you, that is the next place I would look.
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:30 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the responses,
I am traveling, staying at a combination of powered and non powered campsites and so far whenever I used the generator it has worked properly.
I am wondering if I was just trying to power too much at one time and overheated something that once it cooled down corrected itself??
I will keep in mind the suggestions if it starts to act up again

Thanks again
Wayne
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWayne View Post
Thanks all for the responses,
I am traveling, staying at a combination of powered and non powered campsites and so far whenever I used the generator it has worked properly.
I am wondering if I was just trying to power too much at one time and overheated something that once it cooled down corrected itself??
I will keep in mind the suggestions if it starts to act up again

Thanks again
Wayne
That should not happen. The EMS should shed loads. I have had the generator circuit breaker trip when the load was too high and the EMS didn't react quick enough.
When on generator, if you can set the shore power charging current to a low value when on the generator it will help. Watch that you don't go over 30A per L1 or L2.

In any case, please take the time to tighten the connections in your ATS. If you find a blacken lead cut it back to a good area and inspect for board damage. Of course the generator breaker must be off and the shore power disconnected before doing this service.
Happy trails.... Rick
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:31 AM   #11
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So I might have found the problem.
Spent the 2 previous nights at a powered campsite then pulled into Walmart for last night. Later in the evening I noticed the house battery was down to 11.7 volts so I turned on the generator to give it a little boost before we went to bed and found the the same problem, generator would start to charge to 5 volts then cut back to zero charge. So we shut as much power consumption down as we could and went to bed
This morning same thing battery was up to 11.9 but wouldn't take a charge. As I was puttering around getting coffee on I noticed the lights were dimming. Checked the voltage, it was dropping as I watched. By the time I got dressed to go out to check what I thought would be smoking wires the battery was showing 6.5 volts.
I visually inspected the batteries , they looked good. I went around to the ATS and couldn't see a problem but gave it a whack anyway. Then went back to the batteries and found a very loose connection between two of the batteries on the positive side. I tightened it up and voila 12.4 volts and when I started the generator it worked and acted exactly as it should.
I suspect I should put one of those emojis here where I am slapping myself in the head, but I don't know how so I'll just say lesson learned (maybe)

Thanks for all the help and if it doesn't stay fixed I'll be back to you.

Wayne

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Old 12-02-2022, 10:17 AM   #12
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Great you found a problem. Loose connections can be real head scratchers.
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Old 12-03-2022, 08:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWayne View Post
So I might have found the problem.
Spent the 2 previous nights at a powered campsite then pulled into Walmart for last night. Later in the evening I noticed the house battery was down to 11.7 volts so I turned on the generator to give it a little boost before we went to bed and found the the same problem, generator would start to charge to 5 volts then cut back to zero charge. So we shut as much power consumption down as we could and went to bed
This morning same thing battery was up to 11.9 but wouldn't take a charge. As I was puttering around getting coffee on I noticed the lights were dimming. Checked the voltage, it was dropping as I watched. By the time I got dressed to go out to check what I thought would be smoking wires the battery was showing 6.5 volts.
I visually inspected the batteries , they looked good. I went around to the ATS and couldn't see a problem but gave it a whack anyway. Then went back to the batteries and found a very loose connection between two of the batteries on the positive side. I tightened it up and voila 12.4 volts and when I started the generator it worked and acted exactly as it should.
I suspect I should put one of those emojis here where I am slapping myself in the head, but I don't know how so I'll just say lesson learned (maybe)

Thanks for all the help and if it doesn't stay fixed I'll be back to you.

Wayne

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