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Old 08-12-2019, 10:40 AM   #1
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Wiring Question: breaker box and converter

I have a 2018 36BHQ and always seem to have weird issues around electrical especially when the batteries get really low. This usually happens after we forget to turn off the inverter which powers the fridge while driving down the road.

Questions:
1. If the inverter was left on while on shore power, would the converter be powerful enough to keep the batteries charged faster than the inverter could drain them?

2. When the batteries are completed dead(less than 10v) and we are plugged into shore power, would the converter breaker trip turning off all power to everything?

We have the WFCO WF8930/50 breaker box and the WFCO 9855 converter.

I would be interested how others use their inverter with batteries and when they turn things off and on etc. Maybe our process is wrong.

Also, we just had to replace the deep cell interstate batteries because they weren't holding a charge any more. They were both less than 2 years old.
thanks
matt
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:57 AM   #2
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I suspect your issues were related to bad batteries.

Now... you're going to get a tirade of posts telling you your WFCO converter is junk and get rid of it as fast as possible.

I'm not going to say you don't have a converter issue not keeping your battery(ies) charged but please check it first before just replacing it. There are thousands of WFCO converters out there doing an OK job.

Check your converter output with a meter and determine the states of charging.

Also... do not let your batteries deplete to 10v. That has likely contributed to having to replace them more so than the converter. Yes, it is possible a current load of trying to charge a 10v battery(ies) could trip the breaker or blow the protection fuses.

Does YOUR inverter auto-switch to 120v pass-through when plugged in?
Most I've seen do, some do not. No real need to turn them off if they auto-switch.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:03 AM   #3
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Question 1 answer: When you plug into shore power the inverter will normally switch to AC and not draw from the battery. When on shore power I turn off the inverter, but if I forget it will not draw down the battery.

Question 2 answer:You should never drain the battery to 10V. That is a stone dead battery at 10V and more than 90% discharged. You should never discharge a 12V battery to more than 50% or about 12V or permanent damage will be done. If you got 2 years usage out of batteries that where treated in this manner, you are very lucky. Your remaining capacity of the batteries now will be nil. The converter will not normally trip the breaker when applying full charge to the batteries. But given the current state of the batteries this may happen.

Your tv should be providing 12v to the batteries when you are on the road. I run my residential fridge when on the road all day and the battery discharges very little. My discharge is due to pit stops we make for lunch and such. I would make sure your TV is providing 12v to the battery while towing.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:12 PM   #4
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@5picker my inverter setup is a bit different than I am used to and I haven't figured out exactly how each setting works but basically the inverter itself has a off and on switch in the front of it and then in the coach I have a manual on/off switch for it. the most recent issue occurred when we left the manual switch flipped on for more than 24 hours, while we were plugged into shore power.

what would the converter output be and how could I test different stages?


@clr the truck charges the batteries but with the poor state of the batteries I think the truck really only kept the inverter powered for the fridge to stay running.

Thank you guys for a quick reply!
matt
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:27 PM   #5
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Attempting to troubleshoot all my issues for anything obvious, I traced wires per the wiring diagram on the breaker box and I found that per the breaker box, the factory switched the 2 black negatives coming into the box from the battery and the converter.

So essentially the black and the white one at the top of the first picture should be switched...would this be the cause of my strange battery draining. Can I just flip them now?

At the risk of asking too many questions at once...when the converter breaker trips sometimes it doesn't reset right away and my wife reported smoke smell coming from behind the breaker box when attempting to reset the break and it tripped instantly. On our last trip when everything broke and I had to buy new batteries just to get home what triggered everything was when I went to use the front jacks, I immediately got a jack fault and the converter breaker tripped. When the converter breaker trips, I lose all power to shore power things like AC microwave tv etc AND the battery items all go really dim because they are running on the drained battery.

Thanks again for the help!
matt
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Lewis View Post
@5picker my inverter setup is a bit different than I am used to and I haven't figured out exactly how each setting works but basically the inverter itself has a off and on switch in the front of it and then in the coach I have a manual on/off switch for it. the most recent issue occurred when we left the manual switch flipped on for more than 24 hours, while we were plugged into shore power.

what would the converter output be and how could I test different stages?


@clr the truck charges the batteries but with the poor state of the batteries I think the truck really only kept the inverter powered for the fridge to stay running.

Thank you guys for a quick reply!
matt
Here's the specs directly from the WFCO web site. There is a wealth of information there... WFCO


"Automatic three-stage charging extends the life of your battery with output voltage modes of 13.2 VDC range “float” mode, 13.6 VDC range “absorption” mode, and a 14.4 VDC range “bulk” charge mode."
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:32 PM   #7
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OK I am confused now, some what of a normal state some people say. An Inverter takes 12vdc and outputs 120vac for use when you do not have ac voltage available such as on the road.
A converter takes 120vac and outputs 12vdc for charging the batteries and for use within the unit. The converter output depends upon the model and type of converter you have and the number of steps or charging level that that model is capable of producing. A three stage charger has a bulk mode about 13.2 vdc, and absorption mode and a float stage 13.2 - 13.4 vdc.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:41 PM   #8
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I would NOT recommend that you swap the red and white cables at the top of your picture. They look normal to me. The red is normal Positive + and the white is Normal Negative -, the negative is connected to the frame ground within your unit. Short miswiring within the box is not your problem I believe.
If any thing I would start looking at the battery connections and make sure the red lead is connected to + and the white is connected to -. This is where people normally screw up. If this was done you have blown the 40 amp fuses in the converter for both the positive and negative side. That is the normal mode of failure.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:36 PM   #9
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Thanks again!

My idea was to swap the black wires. So the negative from the battery and the negative from the converter. So if you follow the jumper it leads to the white.

I called WFCO tech support and they suggested not doing that and mentioned something to do with the negative coming from the converter was polarized. I am not and electrician so I have no idea what that means, I just could easily see how a line worker could grab a black wire thinking it was something it wasn’t and as long as batteries are at full charge there are no issues.

Just a guess though.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:38 PM   #10
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I wouldn't recommend starting to swap and reverse cables. Black is Hot in AC and Black is Negative/Ground in DC. Swap those and a new world of problems will begin.
Red is Positive in DC. Without a voltage and amp meter don't just rely on a printed diagram for your total guide... nor always put your faith in a color being what it should normally be. Many a problem or mistake have come from doing it the normal way.
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