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Update and question
I put the inverter problems on the back burner while attending to some home repairs that need to be done before winter and now I'm back at it.
I found a company on the east coast that can test to see if it is my control board or FET board is bad but after round trip shipping, the headaches of removal and reinstall and their bench test fee I'm pretty close to the same price as a control board from them. The FET board on the other hand is another story. Control board is $300, FET board is $600 and it sounds like neither one is available until at least November thanks to the worldwide chip shortage.
I still think its more likely to be the control board but I don't know much about the FET board, it's function or if it typically goes bad. Even with the price of both boards I'm still out less than the cost of a new Inverter. The RV places around here wan't three grand for a new inverter of my type.
Anyone have some information on these FET boards? Thanks.
3k for an inverter? What kind is it and how many watts? You can get a Magnum or victron 3k pure sign wave hybrid Inverter for under 2k.
I'm not stupid. I know They're just trying to rip me off but I didn't bite. Nobody within 200 miles of me will repair inverters. They all just want me to buy a new one. One place even told me a new board would cost as much as a new inverter so I should just buy a new one. And people wonder why I do l my own repairs and maintenance .the only place that has been helpful is a marine and solar place in Florida. I ordered the control board today through them and I might get it this year.
I'm sure there are other good companies out there but I always seem to get the worst ones when I need parts or repairs. You should read my post about trying to find a new AC unit.
They think every is a helpless rube and when you call them out they get pissed.They know there is a shortage so can jack the price up. Not all places quoted me $3k.
I too am handy and try to not spend more money then is needed but whenever something breaks you have to decide if it's better to replace or repair. A $600 dollar part that you are not sure if it will fix an old inverter that depending on the model may be replaced for $1300 or (magnum 2k PSW). Clearly you have to consider the actual replacement cost and the parts cost and if you think the item will be as good as a new one as well as how much hassle you are willing to take on.
I don't believe there is an inverter shortage.
The reason I am familiar with inverter prices and availability and why a $600 inveter part seems questionable is I recently purchased a like new Magnum 2k PSW inverter for $600 plus $75 for shipping for an electrical upgradeI am planning. I am trying to decide if I should use it or sell it and install a 3k hybrid inverter.
I like to read all the electrical threads. I was an apprentice electrician back in the 70's, and switched to a telephone job for a carreer. I've had some training and I have a little apptitude. Having said that, inverters/converters/chargers can be mysterious. In my 4 years of motorhome ownership (2001 Apline Coach), I have had a couple of problems that I thought were inverter issues, and they turned out to be something else. Reading some of your posts make me believe that you have some of the same misconceptions about how things work that I had. I'm going to share some of the fundementals I have learned with the caveat that your coach may be different.
I have an inverter/charger. Some people have inverters/converter/chargers.
Since I have an inverter/charger, all 12v power comes from the batteries.
My inverter/charger will only charge the house batteries unless there is another piece of equipment to sense when the house batteries are fully charged, and transfer the charge to the chassis batteries. On my coach, an Echo Charger performs this function.
The path of power through the coach is more complex than I expected. It was a while before I understood the reason for 2 panels. I also have some 12v items (steps, refrigerator, 12v fuse panel) wired directly to the batteries. I made a diagram that helps me keep this straight in my mind.
On shore power, power comes through the transfer switch to the main panel, from the main panel to the inverter/charger, then AC is passed through the inverter/charger to the sub panel. My sub panel feeds the microwave and a few lights and recepticles. The items that work from the sub panel are the ones that will work when using the inverter function.
Generator power functions the same as shore power.
Battery power feeds the previously mentioned items that are directly connected to the batteries plus the items in the sub panel.
Batteries are what I always check first. One of my biggest hints is that my step quits working when my house batteries get low.
I have some concern about some how your batteries are connected. The 25v measurement and the statement that you hooked them up like the previous owner are not the same "as I know they are right". Again, I made a diagram for my coach that shows all the power. You should note that the house batteries are connected in 2 parrallel pairs of series wired batteries. To write that another way, 1 & 2 are in series, 3 & 4 are in series, the the 2 pairs are connected in parrallel. This nets the 12-14 volts expected.
My coach also has a sticker on the wall of the battery compartment that shows how the batteries should be connected.
On my recent trip, I had some generator problems which lead to some house battery issues when I had a long travel day. To solve the battery issues, I first made sure they were properly filled with water (should be serviced monthly). My control panel would show readings in the low to mid 12s when my step stopped working. When I hooked up to shore power at the end of the day, my inverter would alarm when trying to recharge the house batteries from their low state. I solved the problem by using a auto battery charge on the house batteries while I camped overnight. After a couple of days of struggle, I realized that I was straining the batteries and the inverter/charger by setting up (jacks and slides while the AC was running) before I hooked up to shore power. My house batteries are 6 to 7 years old, so this might be a sign that they are near end of life. My inverter is OK.
Installed new control board today and the inverter appears to be working swimmingly. I haven't tried inverting yet but the charger has been working for a bit now. The inverter is not making funny noises or shutting down. I'll let it charge over night and try inverting tomorrow. If that works I'll button everything up and move onto the next issue: rewiring my new AC to work with the old thermostat and wiring.
Thanks for the help.
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