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Old 09-13-2021, 04:18 PM   #1
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Angry Voltage Drop

We just got back from a trip and as we were hooked to shore power cleaning up our 2007 National Tropi-Cal, the lights suddenly dimmed. Checked the panel and there was a warning that the batteries were low. Voltage was showing as 9.4V. Checked the incoming power cable from my base to the RV and it was fine. The inverter lights were green as usual. I uplugged shore power, waited a bit and plugged back in. Everything normal again. Then about an hour later, it happened again. Any ideas??
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:18 PM   #2
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I'm thinking if the inverter functioned for a while; after a shut down; then the batteries show that low 9.4 volts , you have a shorted battery and the inverter/charger is overheating and shutting down .

Disconnect and load test all batteries .
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:49 PM   #3
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Do not run the inverter while on shore power, it's totally unnecessary.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:56 PM   #4
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Do not run the inverter while on shore power, it's totally unnecessary.

It is necessary if the unit is a combination ; inverter/converter/battery charger.
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:19 AM   #5
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Sounds like a battery problem. When the inverter charger receives a high temp from your battery bank, it shuts down. If you can eliminate the bad battery(s)., You may be able to operate until you get home. Likewise turning back the charge rate may also keep your batteries from over heating.
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:05 PM   #6
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It is necessary if the unit is a combination ; inverter/converter/battery charger.
I suppose a cheap model might only have one control, my Xantrex has separate switches for inverter and charger.
Why would an inverter/charger need a converter?
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:15 PM   #7
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Dimming light are a battery disconnect switch issue.

The inverter/charger charges and maintains the battery voltage with cables connected to the batteries. You said thats all showing green lights.

The lights and other 12 volt items are powered thru the battery disconnect solenoid, including the panel volt meter. If failing, it can cause your problem.

The inverter/charger thru the BTW, monitors the battery temps to adjust the charging voltage slightly due to battery compartment ( outside ) temps.
It does not tell the inverter/charger that a battery is HOT.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:25 AM   #8
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Update

When I checked the batteries, I found that they were all about dry. I check every month when docked at home and have not had to add water so that was a big surprise. I added water to all batteries and charged overnight. The batteries read 11.7 across the 4 and I could hear the batteries sizzling and they were all hot. Turned off the incoming power before I had an explosion or fire. Next, is pulling the batteries and checking for shorts.
Rssnapes mentioned turning down the charging voltage in a reply. What should I be charging at on the panel inside the coach?
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:43 AM   #9
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Next, is pulling the batteries and checking for shorts.
Rssnapes mentioned turning down the charging voltage in a reply. What should I be charging at on the panel inside the coach?
Your charging system will ramp up the charge rate depending on what it sees for the battery bank's state of charge . One ( or more )battery not taking a charge caused the charge rate to ramp up to the point where it boiled all the batteries dry. Probably 14.2 volts or higher.
Unfortunately , you should replace all four batteries, then closely monitor the charge rate with new batteries are installed .
When the new batteries are in and fully charged , the voltage should drop to approx 13 volts from the charger , to prevent excessive gassing of the electrolyte and the need to add water .
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:49 AM   #10
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Most smart inverter/chargers need to be PROGRAMMED.



They are only smart if you tell them what to do.


Typical issues are:


Battery bank size (in amp-hrs)
Battery technology (wet cell, AGM or gel)
Temperature (unless remote battery temperature probe)


Most are also smart enough to NOT try to charge a deeply discharged battery!
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunshot View Post
When I checked the batteries, I found that they were all about dry. I check every month when docked at home and have not had to add water so that was a big surprise. I added water to all batteries and charged overnight. The batteries read 11.7 across the 4 and I could hear the batteries sizzling and they were all hot. Turned off the incoming power before I had an explosion or fire. Next, is pulling the batteries and checking for shorts.

Rssnapes mentioned turning down the charging voltage in a reply. What should I be charging at on the panel inside the coach?


Some inverters will let you set the charge rate as well as the voltage for the “absorb” or second stage. Setting them for new batteries should be based on the battery manufacturers recommendations.

With your batteries as they are, turning it down will keep the batteries cooler. If they are too far gone, it would be best to remove them all before you have a bigger problem.
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Old 09-16-2021, 02:42 PM   #12
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If they were dry and plates showing they are probably on there way out, time to replace.
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Old 09-16-2021, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
Most smart inverter/chargers need to be PROGRAMMED.



They are only smart if you tell them what to do.


Typical issues are:


Battery bank size (in amp-hrs)
Battery technology (wet cell, AGM or gel)
Temperature (unless remote battery temperature probe)


Most are also smart enough to NOT try to charge a deeply discharged battery!
where & how do you tweak an inverter/charger?
When plugged into my home 15amp circuit=no problem
When plugged in the storage unit 110/15a...pops breaker!...have checked circuit with volt meter = 112v
someone said I need to change settings on the inverter? where/how
BTW: 2006 PaceArrow 35D
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Old 09-17-2021, 05:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaceArrow06 View Post
where & how do you tweak an inverter/charger?
When plugged into my home 15amp circuit=no problem
When plugged in the storage unit 110/15a...pops breaker!...have checked circuit with volt meter = 112v
someone said I need to change settings on the inverter? where/how
BTW: 2006 PaceArrow 35D


Storage unit should be 120 so it is popping breaker because the voltage is low which causes amps to go up. What brand inverter do you have? Look up the manual for your inverter, to learn how to program it.
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