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Old 04-11-2017, 12:03 AM   #1
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Converter circuit breaker

The 30A circuit breaker for my converter recently started tripping intermittently. I think it's only tripping during the bulk charging stage. Everything else in the house is shut down as the coach is in storage at the moment. I am thinking of replacing the circuit breaker to see if the cb has gone bad. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:15 AM   #2
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Unplug AC power PRIOR to swapping CB
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:33 AM   #3
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If your breaker is on the 12 volt side, 30 amps seems like a small breaker for most converters.

If your converter has a higher amp output, and the wiring is able to handle it, the breaker should be rated higher.

I would investage that, before replacing the 30 amp breaker with another.

You may also want to check the batteries. They may be low on water or going bad, causing the higher output.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
If your breaker is on the 12 volt side, 30 amps seems like a small breaker for most converters.

If your converter has a higher amp output, and the wiring is able to handle it, the breaker should be rated higher.

I would investage that, before replacing the 30 amp breaker with another.

You may also want to check the batteries. They may be low on water or going bad, causing the higher output.


It's the AC breaker that trips and this is a new problem. The one change that has been made, however, is I have gone from 4-6vdc batteries to 6-6vdc golf cart batteries for the house. The batteries are all the same age and type and water levels are good. The capacity has gone from 440ah to 660ah and I have changed the capacity setting on the charger. I have a Xantrex Freedom 3012SW with AGS. The charger is set for 3-stage charging with an initial bulk charge rate of 150amps DC which has been the same for as long as I've owned the coach.

Again, none of the details above are new except for the two additional batteries and the 660ah setting. The breaker only seems to trip after about 15 minutes at the bulk charge rate. The charger output is no different than before so that's why I'm wondering if the breaker may be worn out. After all, the coach is 27 years old.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:18 AM   #5
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This is a guess / speculation.

There are several things that affect the actual battery charge rate:
- Usually, the setting on the inverter / charger are an "upper limit", not a "no matter what, charge at this rate".
- Regardless of what the charge setting is, batteries will only accept charge up to a certain limit. This depends on battery chemistry, bank total capacity, construction, age, temperature, etc.
- As an example, the LiFe battery packs I sell can readily accept 200 - 250 amps, but a similar physical size, or even capacity rating AGM will charge at much lower rates.
- It is possible (likely) that your new, higher capacity battery bank is able to accept a substantially higher charge rate than the old pack, even under the same charge settings, meaning that the actual AC current is now also increased.
- Again, speculating here, but if the charge rate is now significantly higher, it could be bumping up against the breaker rating under hot conditions.

(Many breakers and fuses are sensitive to both the total current and temperature)

Breakers do wear out, so that is a real possibility.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by harryn View Post
This is a guess / speculation.

There are several things that affect the actual battery charge rate:
- Usually, the setting on the inverter / charger are an "upper limit", not a "no matter what, charge at this rate".
- Regardless of what the charge setting is, batteries will only accept charge up to a certain limit. This depends on battery chemistry, bank total capacity, construction, age, temperature, etc.
- As an example, the LiFe battery packs I sell can readily accept 200 - 250 amps, but a similar physical size, or even capacity rating AGM will charge at much lower rates.
- It is possible (likely) that your new, higher capacity battery bank is able to accept a substantially higher charge rate than the old pack, even under the same charge settings, meaning that the actual AC current is now also increased.
- Again, speculating here, but if the charge rate is now significantly higher, it could be bumping up against the breaker rating under hot conditions.

(Many breakers and fuses are sensitive to both the total current and temperature)

Breakers do wear out, so that is a real possibility.


According to the readout on the SCP the charger output is the same as I had observed before the additional batteries were added. I'm thinking that it may be staying at that higher output rate for a longer period of time now with the extra batteries and maybe it's heating up enough over that extra time to trip the breaker. The AC feeder shows a 23 amp output and maybe that's enough to heat up over the longer bulk charge rate period to trip the 30A breaker. I'm guessing 23 amps might be close to the upper end of the sustained capacity of a 30 amp breaker. Is my thinking correct? If so, I'll have to look and see if I can adjust the programming of the charger to charge at a lower rate.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:23 PM   #7
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According to the readout on the SCP the charger output is the same as I had observed before the additional batteries were added. I'm thinking that it may be staying at that higher output rate for a longer period of time now with the extra batteries and maybe it's heating up enough over that extra time to trip the breaker. The AC feeder shows a 23 amp output and maybe that's enough to heat up over the longer bulk charge rate period to trip the 30A breaker. I'm guessing 23 amps might be close to the upper end of the sustained capacity of a 30 amp breaker. Is my thinking correct? If so, I'll have to look and see if I can adjust the programming of the charger to charge at a lower rate.
I am not sure about the 23 amps sustained in a 30 amp breaker question.

Is 30 amps the suggested breaker for your charging setup or can you up size the wire and breaker rating?

Perhaps first try running a charge test at the existing settings, wait for it to trip and look for hot spots in the breaker and wiring all the way from the power coming into the breaker to the batteries. If something is getting hot anywhere along the way from the breaker to the batteries, it is worth looking at further.

Obviously, cut the power further up the line so that nothing is live at the breaker.

I do know that some breakers and fuse setups assume that the wire itself is large enough to carry away internally generated heat, and if this isn't happening, they will trip.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by harryn View Post
Is 30 amps the suggested breaker for your charging setup or can you up size the wire and breaker rating?


I can't say with 100% certainty that 30 amps is the suggested breaker except that this was the breaker installed 9 years ago with the system and has always worked up until now. I'll contact their tech support to confirm and will post an update.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:54 AM   #9
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Easy enough and cheap enough to change the breaker. They can get tired over time. Then if the problem continues go from there.

You could also change the input amperage setting as a workaround. Likely now on '30 amp or more' - change it to '15 amp', or lower. This will limit how much current the charger draws.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:32 PM   #10
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Easy enough and cheap enough to change the breaker. They can get tired over time. Then if the problem continues go from there.

You could also change the input amperage setting as a workaround. Likely now on '30 amp or more' - change it to '15 amp', or lower. This will limit how much current the charger draws.


Those were my thoughts as well. However, I've never had any problems before with the input limit set to 30 amps. I'll start by replacing the breaker and go from there.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:18 PM   #11
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I've been out of town so today I went out to check on the coach. During my absence the AGS did its thing and the breaker didn't trip. I have the run-time limit set to 210 minutes and apparently that was enough to charge the batteries to float condition. I suspect/hope I only need to replace the circuit breaker which I will do when I get a chance.
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