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 > DC power issue after installing inverter

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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 07/26/20 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There should be a main DC cable larger than all others that runs fairly direct from the stack of fuses to the battery. Could go through the hydraulic pump but that seems odd. Size and color of the wire will match at each end.

Double check for self resetting circuit breakers near the battery. Long shot but have read posts about one of these in a junction box hidden under the trailer.


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BFL13

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Posted: 07/26/20 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I suppose the converter doing the loop could be putting out its max amps, so if the battery fuse is too small in amps for that size converter (can happen) it might have blown. If a CB it should reset. But some CBs need to be reset manually--little black button on it.

I have seen where the battery DC CB is back farther under the trailer, stuck on the underbelly, and not on the tongue by the battery.

Just doing the charging when looped would not blow any fuse unless the fuse is too small. I have done that a few times and only noticed when the converter fan came on. Oops. Forgot to turn off converter. But nothing bad happened except loss of a few AH whenever I did it.


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MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 07/26/20 12:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You dumped a load of armed McCoys in the Hatfield front yard. Two asynchronous AC sources connected have a brief but Oh so violent reaction. Whether it blew the finals in the inverter is the question. Reverse polarity fuses offer zero protection to power FET transistors.

bchoate

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13:

Thanks for the idea, I know I didn't switch anything like this, and the current resident of the RV says she doesn't know of something like this (the RV belongs to her father). I'll do some more looking (especially around the door).

Is it possible there's a switch that automatically disconnects the battery when shore power is connected?

bchoate

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER:

I see what you're referring to, but there was only ever one source of AC (from the inverter I installed). We're in an off-grid situation, so my intent was to allow her to use the installed AC outlets off her existing battery.

bchoate

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll:

Thanks for the idea! I didn't check the undercarriage at all. It is a 5th wheel trailer though, so the battery is actually in a storage area in a vented box near the rear of the trailer (under the bedroom). From there, the heavy gauge wire goes straight through the wall, further to the rear to the hydraulic pump, THEN it goes up into a wall cavity and (I am guessing) to the front of the trailer in the kitchen area where the main panel is.

But, like I say, I'll have a look at the undercarriage, maybe there is some kind of box...

time2roll

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bchoate wrote:

Is it possible there's a switch that automatically disconnects the battery when shore power is connected?
Generally no. When plugged in the battery should remain connected so the converter can maintain a float charge on the battery.

BFL13

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No such switch. Whole idea is for the converter when on shore power to recharge and then maintain the battery, so you don't want the battery disconnected.

On our old 5er, the battery disconnect switch was at the kitchen counter and was a push pull knob. Wife kept bumping it without knowing she did it and that would kill the 12v. [emoticon]

Some have a big red switch handle but it is hard to tell which way is open and which way is closed. Same with those rocker switch types seen in some Class As over the door. (they put two same looking rockers there so first you have to guess which is the house battery disconnect, then guess which way is open)

Some people call those a "salesman switch", can't remember why.

EDIT--sounds like a typical idiotic RV layout for the battery only reversed from the usual. If possible, move the battery to the front cargo bay like many 5ers have theirs, so it is close to the converter and DC fuse panel in that 5er. Saves voltage drop by using short wire runs. Many RVs seem to be based on the idea of using miles of thin wire instead, so the battery is at the other end of the RV from the converter. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 07/26/20 01:29pm by BFL13 *

bchoate

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for sticking with me on this, guys.

It sounds like I have some more searching to do. I did notice a few rocker switches right by the door, but in my naivete just assumed they were light switches, but thinking back now, I recall that there were labels on some of them (though I didn't look more closely and attempt to read them). I'll go back over there and investigate further.

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Posted: 07/26/20 01:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This should work (plugging into the shoreline extension plug) BUT BUT BUT you must flip the circuit breaker to the converter/charger to off, and also switch the breaker to the refrigerator to off (or just unplug it from the outlet), and do not try to run the Air conditioner.

The battery can supply electric to the circuit breaker panel just fine, the issue is that there are things that need more power than the inverter/battery can supply.

I do not think there is a feedback loop created with the battery supplying the charger that is trying to supply the battery, someone correct me if wrong. If older tech, then the charger is a big transformer, so will not short or anything, but if all new electronics then I do not know details how it would work.
The battery is a big absorber of electrical currents so should handle what is thrown at it in this case.

To do this safely you need to isolate the outlets that can be used with the inverter from the outlets and devices that cannot be run or that you do not want to run off the inverter. You need a switch that chooses A or B where A is shoreline and B is inverter. B will just supply the chosen outlets while A will supply everything (both the chosen outlets and the things chosen not to run off inverter).

Of just keep the inverter out of the electrical system, run an extension cord from it into a power strip and plug in there.

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