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Old 07-24-2021, 02:29 PM   #1
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Inverter Issue (I thnk)

Yesterday I was running the generator with both AC's on to cool the coach down before going to bed. Everything worked fine, I shut off the rear AC and was going to leave the front run a while longer. About 3-4 minutes later the generator cut out. It was dark and I didn't want to fool with it then. Hit the road this morning and drove ~350 miles and am now parked at a Cabela's in Dundee. I had the inverter running the whole time I was driving so batteries were 100% when I parked.



Started my troubleshooting. Got a 3-3 code and a 3-6 code. I primed the generator and it started right up but then died as soon as the transfer switch kicked in. Turned off the breaker on the generator, it started and ran a long time but as soon as I flipped the generator breaker it died.

Went inside and shut off all the breakers, (main, Inverter 1&2, and all the breakers in the main and inverter panel). Started the generator with the generator breaker on and it stayed running. Went inside and flipped the main breakers, it stayed running. I did this with all the breakers and with the inverter on and off.



Through trial and error I found that if I left the Inverter #2 breaker off the generator would stay running and all the circuits are energized with the inverter on. I am running 2 AC's right now. I checked voltages at the panel and the main circuit breaker is receiving 119.3 volt from the generator.



I checked my inverter, I have only 1 circuit breaker and it was not tripped.

Anyone have any suggestions on what the problem may be. I know that the inverter has pass through circuits that passes 120 volt on shore or generator power. Not sure why, when I flip the #2 Inverter breaker on the main panel the generator dies. Could it be a problem with the breaker itself, I may go buy one and swap it out if I can find a compatible one, but I'm doubting that is the problem. My guess is something is wrong with the inverter. Is there a problem with using the generator to charge the batteries via the inverter in this situation, it is currently showing 13.4 volt charging.



I am on the last leg of a 5 week trip, will make one more stop and then headed home. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2021, 03:43 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
Yesterday I was running the generator with both AC's on to cool the coach down before going to bed. Everything worked fine, I shut off the rear AC and was going to leave the front run a while longer. About 3-4 minutes later the generator cut out. It was dark and I didn't want to fool with it then. Hit the road this morning and drove ~350 miles and am now parked at a Cabela's in Dundee. I had the inverter running the whole time I was driving so batteries were 100% when I parked.



Started my troubleshooting. Got a 3-3 code and a 3-6 code. I primed the generator and it started right up but then died as soon as the transfer switch kicked in. Turned off the breaker on the generator, it started and ran a long time but as soon as I flipped the generator breaker it died.

Went inside and shut off all the breakers, (main, Inverter 1&2, and all the breakers in the main and inverter panel). Started the generator with the generator breaker on and it stayed running. Went inside and flipped the main breakers, it stayed running. I did this with all the breakers and with the inverter on and off.



Through trial and error I found that if I left the Inverter #2 breaker off the generator would stay running and all the circuits are energized with the inverter on. I am running 2 AC's right now. I checked voltages at the panel and the main circuit breaker is receiving 119.3 volt from the generator.



I checked my inverter, I have only 1 circuit breaker and it was not tripped.

Anyone have any suggestions on what the problem may be. I know that the inverter has pass through circuits that passes 120 volt on shore or generator power. Not sure why, when I flip the #2 Inverter breaker on the main panel the generator dies. Could it be a problem with the breaker itself, I may go buy one and swap it out if I can find a compatible one, but I'm doubting that is the problem. My guess is something is wrong with the inverter. Is there a problem with using the generator to charge the batteries via the inverter in this situation, it is currently showing 13.4 volt charging.



I am on the last leg of a 5 week trip, will make one more stop and then headed home. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

First off it would be help full to know what make a model inverter you have. Is it original to the coach? Do you have an inverter/charger in one unit or do you have a stand alone inverter and stand alone converter/charger? If it is an inverter/charger is it pass through. That means if you are hooked up to 20 amps at 120v, and you draw more than 20 amps does the inverter come on, draw battery power to provide extra watts

You keep referring to inverter. Inverters do not charge. They convert 12v battery power to 120ac.

If you have an inverter/charger in one unit, the inverter will supply 120 v when no shore power or generator 120v is detected. Most have on, off, and standby. You also don’t say if you have an EMS on this unit.

With the batteries fully charge, no shore power and no generator does it produce 120v?

If you we’re running the generator the inverter display should read “ over ride by ac/ or something to that affect. If you had the inverter on standby, and either don’t have an EMS or it did not react quickly enough, the loss of generator power while running the AC may have overloaded the inverter. Normally this will pop the breaker on the inverter, but it also may have fried the inverter. If working properly, you should get an “inverter overload” message when you try an turn the inverter back on. Sometimes they will pop the breaker, sometimes they can be reset by pressing the controls on the display in a certain order or for various lengths of time, sometimes they fry the inverter.

You say if you leave inverter breaker #2 off the generator stays running and all 120v circuits are live. They should be because they are being supplied by the generator.

Are you running the generator going down the road? If not, neither the inverter or charger are charging anything. The house batteries are being charged by the engine alternator via a relay or isolator that only connect the house and chassis batteries while the engine is running. Unless you need 120v power going down the road the inverter should be in off position. I usually left mine on to run the refrigerator on 120v instead of propane. The batteries were constantly being charged by the engine alternator.

I fried mine this winter. There was a power blip in the 50 amp power system and it was jus enough to overload my inverter. The charger side still works so I am awaiting a new upgraded pass through

It sounds like you have an inverter issue. If plugged into shore power or the generator running it is charging batteries it’s not on that side of the system. If with no shore power or generator you don’t get 120v at your outlets it’s likely the inverter

Firts with all power off, including disconnecting the batteries, chech all the wire connections. Make sure and wire nuts are tight, check all the lugs in the inverter, converter, transfer switch, the high voltage connection at the generator.

If all is working, power with inverter, shore power, generator and batteries are charging on shore power but the generator shuts off when you set the breaker it is probably in the inverter. For some reason the generator is either shorting out or loosing a groun which will shut the generator down. It doesn’t appear you are overloading the generator as that would trip a breaker on the generator.
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:00 PM   #3
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Running the inverter an the genator running the a/c on the genator only turn off the inverter It's.For making coffee small stuff off the batteries when the genator is off
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:03 PM   #4
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Since we don't know the exact model the OP has, this is somewhat speculative, BUT with any source of 120 VAC (generator in his case) it really doesn't matter if the inverter switch is ON or OFF. In either case, most will PASS THROUGH the 120 VAC and CHARGE THE BATTERY. They will not invert when there is an external 120 VAC source.


And, if the alternator voltage is higher than that of the inverter/charger, it will not charge either. Said another way, charging source with the higher voltage dominates.
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:07 PM   #5
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The inverter is original to the coach. It is a Trace RV2012, it does have a built in charger to keep batteries up when plugged in.



I installed a Bluesea ML ARC about 2 months ago, if charging on shore power or by alternator it combines both battery banks. So yesterday when I parked I had full batteries but I ran generator to cool the coach down. It shut down ~9PM and I didn't even try to restart. Batteries were still +70% when I woke up.



After driving today the batteries were full. I started troubleshooting when I parked.



Generator has been running for +1.5 hour without a problem. Ran both AC's for 1/2 hour and then turned the rear one off. Front has been running fine. The inverter is working as the circuits controlled by the #2 breaker are seeing power.



Just looking for suggestions as to what might to look for when I get home. If the generator and inverter continue to work I'll spend a couple more days on the road, if not I'm heading home tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:58 PM   #6
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The inverter is original to the coach. It is a Trace RV2012, it does have a built in charger to keep batteries up when plugged in.



I installed a Bluesea ML ARC about 2 months ago, if charging on shore power or by alternator it combines both battery banks. So yesterday when I parked I had full batteries but I ran generator to cool the coach down. It shut down ~9PM and I didn't even try to restart. Batteries were still +70% when I woke up.



After driving today the batteries were full. I started troubleshooting when I parked.



Generator has been running for +1.5 hour without a problem. Ran both AC's for 1/2 hour and then turned the rear one off. Front has been running fine. The inverter is working as the circuits controlled by the #2 breaker are seeing power.



Just looking for suggestions as to what might to look for when I get home. If the generator and inverter continue to work I'll spend a couple more days on the road, if not I'm heading home tomorrow.

Ok, so this is not a pass through inverter. It has 120v input which it uses to run the charging portion. It has 12 input to run the 12v to 120v. It bypasses or goes to standby anytime shorepower or generator power is on.

Does it produce 120v from just the batteries with no shore power or generator?

Normally there is a hot line in the inverter that when on battery power only is available that goes over to the ATS. Some go directly to the distribution panel. If you have 2 breakers that say inverter/charger that might be the case on yours. Mine has the 120 output from the inverter goes time lug on the shore power side of the ats.

You need to find where the 120v coming out of the inverter goes. If when only on battery, inverter on there is no 120v you inverter is dead.

If there is then time to start checking grounds, breakers, and fuses.

Yes, a bad breaker could cause an inverter to not pass power.

Since this is a factory installed unit on a 20 year old coach the possibility of failure I great. They only last so long. Some do have internal fuses that are designed to be serviced by a trained technician, but since you have nothing to loose, take the cover off and look.
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Old 07-24-2021, 06:56 PM   #7
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My coach has 2 breakers in the main panel that go to the inverter. I then have 2 circuits that come back and feeds a subpanel that has ~5-6 different circuits that power outlets, the microwave, refrigerator etc.

I can have all the breakers on except the one that goes to the inverter from the main breaker.

The inverter seems to be charging the batteries when it is running and if I turn the inverter on I have power to all the circuits.



This is a head scratcher and my head is starting to hurt.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:17 AM   #8
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I had both wires from the main panel disconnected I checked ohms across the L1 and L2 inverter circuits in the main panel, these are the ones that feed power to the inverter.

The L1 ohmed 0

The L2 ohmed 259, which I assume is bad

I'm going to call trace and/or a repair shop and see what they say.


Anyone have any experience with this. Options to repair/replace.


Thanks
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Old 07-30-2021, 03:15 PM   #9
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So I completely removed the inverter and confirmed the readings on the LI & L2 wires. One has 0 ohms and the other 259.

I looked on the Xantrex website and found a certified repair facility near me and gave them a call. I explained the what happened and the readings I got on the inverter. He said the readings were correct, one leg should have 250-300 ohms. He didn't believe the inverter was the problme.
He suggested I the Line 1&2 and Load 1&2 together and try and start the generator.

I then found that my 12 volt circuits are dead. I checked battery voltage and it is good. Battery disconnect is good. It seems as if I've lost the ground on the 12 volt side, not sure if it is because the inverter is disconnected or not.

I was able to get the generator going by engaging the Bluesea ML-AR manually providing power to the circuits. Started the generator and did as the tech suggested, I left the L2 circuit off as before and was able verify voltages. I turned on the L1 and was able to run both AC's. Flipped the L2 breaker and the generator died.

The tech said that if this happened I have a short in that circuit.

I quit at that point.



Does anyone know where the house 12 volt grounds are.

I crawled under the coach and looked and on goes up from the battery compartment to the back bedroom and another wire goes to the front. Can't see any large grounds in the inverter compartment other then the small ground to the inverter case.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:17 PM   #10
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So I put the inverter back in and hooked up the 12 volt (+) & (-) plus the large ground to chassis. I was then able to energize the 12 volt circuit. I guess not have the inverter hooked up was the reason I had not 12 volt circuits.


I then passed the 120 volt circuits from the inverter and was able to identify the circuit causing the problem, it is the rear bath/bedroom circuit. This was controlled by a GFCI breaker, I took one from another circuit that was working and it did the same thing, not sure why.



So I am now troubleshooting that circuit



So I'm going to close this thread.
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