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Old 01-02-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Possible converter problem

We were running our heat and I noticed the fan sounded slow so I checked the battery level and it was low. The battery was almost 5 years old so I thought it was bad. We got a new battery and late the same night the same problem, got down to 1/3 on battery meter. During the day the battery would charge back up.
Also I tried just unhooking battery and let the park power run everything and that did not work either. The 12 volt lights would blink and the propane detector would make noise.
My understanding was you could run without battery if you were hooked up to park power.
It is a 2008 flagstaff with a parralax converter
Has anyone had this experience?
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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No trouble like that, but-- consider purchasing a VOM. Then, measure the voltage to your battery.
Check internal fuses, and so on.
Mike
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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I had a similar problem on my 2011 Sabre. If I cycled the power to the converter, it would start to run again until it got the battery almost full then would quit and not start again until I cycled the power again. The converter was under the manufacturer warranty (the coach was 10 days out of warranty) so they (the converter maker) replaced the converter. It took them alomst 3 weeks to get one back to me.

When my converter was out getting checked out by the manufacturer and when it was on the fritz, I just hooked up my intelligent battery charger (has automatic float) to the battery and every thing was good.

To the best of my knowledge, you will need the converter working or a battery charger to run any 12 volt items as it keeps the battery charged to run the 12 volt side which runs off the battery. My coach would not run any 12 volt items without a good battery.

Mike is right on, you really should check the voltage at the battery. With the converter running is should read ~ 13 volts. If it is lower than 12, then it would appear that the converter could be bad.

HTH

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:36 PM   #4
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First and easiest, check all your breakers. Then check the two large fuses in the converter panel. My converter will every once in a while trip a breaker. If you don't know which one, turn them all off, then back on, one at a time. After that, you will need a meter.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:22 AM   #5
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My money is on a corroded ground.

A high resistance ground connection will give you ALL the symptoms you describe.

Remove the battery ground wire from where it is screwed to the frame member. SAND the terminal and the frame hole (lightly on the inside as well) and using a NEW screw of the same size, reattach it to the frame.

Check charging status with a voltmeter (or light).
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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I will check it today and let you know what I find.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
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Went out and checked breakers and fuses all were fine. Checked with volt meter and it said 12.3 so I unhooked battery and the volts were 3.2 with just the wires.
I also cleaned the ground and same result, 12.3 volts at the converter also.
What do you think?
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:22 PM   #8
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Typically:

A. 14.2 volts Normal charging voltage for a 12 volt battery.
B. 13.2 volts Voltage for a fully charged 12 volt battery.
C. 12.5 volts The point at which a 12 volt battery is 50% discharged.
D. 11.6 volts The point at which a 12 volt battery is "fully discharged".
Charging a battery requires higher voltages than the battery already has.

My next step would be checking the voltage right at the converter. Charging also requires a connection at the battery, else the converter won't produce (generally) a high voltage and necessary current.

So-- ensure proper connections, find the exit wiring of your converter and a bare post, then measure the voltage with a dead battery. Measuring with a charged battery will not show charges, and if it does, then you've a problem with the converter.

Your meter should read around 14.2 v because you are attempting to charge a depleated battery.

As a battery charges, the voltages and currents from "good" converters or chargers diminishes, thereby not over charging, which is equally damaging, or more so.

Batteries that boil dry because of excessive charging die quickly. When plates in a battery dry, that cell or cells is essentially a drain and the life expectancy is sometimes only a day or two. Therefore, check for proper levels in solution, clean the tops of the batteries and ensure tight connections.

Also, you might take your battery(s) to a battery supply house for a quick check. These companies, if reputable, will put the battery under load and determine it's capacity. But, be cautious as all companies are in the business to sell you new products.

Finally, should you find an adequate voltage at the converter, then trace the wiring to your battery. You may have a connection that's broken, called an open. If you do, then replace the entire run with properly sized wire and quality (that used by RV's and autos).

If you don't have enough voltage at the converter, then check the converter for internal fuses, assuming you have 110 at the unit itself. Remember, 110 is a dangerous voltage as it's sine is approximately your body sine. Following safety procedures is a critical element.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrayflagstaff View Post
Went out and checked breakers and fuses all were fine. Checked with volt meter and it said 12.3 so I unhooked battery and the volts were 3.2 with just the wires.
I also cleaned the ground and same result, 12.3 volts at the converter also.
What do you think?
OK, 12.3 across the battery terminals with the converter powered, right.

Confused about the 3.2 volts. Was this across the battery(s) with the converter wires disconnected? Not the voltage across the converter wires with the battery disconnected and the converter powered.

When you say 12.3 at the converter I assume you mean in the power panel. Was this with the converter powered and the battery connected or disconnected? Check the power center output only with the battery disconnected.

The attached file has the troubleshooting procedure on page 8.

If the battery stack (two 6 volt batteries in series) is only reading 3.2 volts, it is too dead to charge with the converter. You will need to remove the batteries and hook them up to a battery "re-conditioner" with a "desulfator" circuit. This will blast the sulfates off the plates and back into solution.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Manual - Power Distribution Center WF-8900 English.pdf (1.89 MB, 25 views)
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
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Checked voltage when I got back from work and it was back up to 13.5 at the converter and 13.3 at the battery.
Does the furnace draw so much power my converter can't keep up?

Herk, the 3.2 volts were at the wires that hook to the battery (not hooked to battery). I thought that it would show how much charge the converter was putting out.
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