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Old 02-21-2016, 10:27 PM   #1
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My converter died (right?)

Our new-to-us 2013 261bhxl had a fully charged battery when we picked it up, and all systems were a go. After our first weekend, then a week in storage, we turned on the fridge to cool overnight. Sometime later it shut off. And then we also noticed the furnace wouldn't turn over. And come to think of it the lights are dim.

Basically all 12v systems are non functional. Plugged in, our outlets and microwave work normally. Everything else is offline. I suspect out first success was due to a fully charged battery made with a external battery charger.

I swapped the 40amp fuses just to be sure, and checked the breakers-- no difference.

My research online leads me to think its a bad converter. So I tested the voltage.

Power into the converter is 125v ac. Power out of the converter was 8.2v when on shore power, and about the same when shore power was unplugged too.

I unhooked the battery and found it read 8.36v on its own. The output coming out of the converter was 0.4v when the battery was unhooked but shore power was plugged in. Also, the converter fan isn't running at all. And, there is some discoloration on the board of the converter itself.

I should note here that the battery itself is in bad shape and I'll need to replace it. But if I'm not mistaken, the converter should output 12v regardless? And the battery is at least capable of holding a charge as it demonstrated just a week ago.

Before I order a new converter- have I diagnosed this correctly? Any chance that a crummy battery could somehow foul up the converter's function?

The converter is a WFCO 8955PEC (so it's 55 amps, right?). Any recommendations for a good replacement that will fit into the same 4.5" high opening?
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:33 PM   #2
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My converter died (right?)

A bad battery may cause converter to not function properly.
Get a new battery and retest


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Old 02-21-2016, 10:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TURBS View Post
A bad battery may cause converter to not function properly.
Get a new battery and retest


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X2, Your converter includes a "smart charger" therefore, it may not put out any current until it senses a battery connected. BTW, the new battery should be fully charged when you install it. Then re-test. Converter should the show around 13.2 volts.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:39 PM   #4
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Interesting- but how would I know if it worked? All systems would be working off the fully charged battery... So do I just have to wait for the battery to either run down and die or not die?
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:43 PM   #5
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If converter is functioning properly after a good new battery is installed you should be able to read good voltage.
Try taking the battery out out of the system by disconnecting it and see what happens.


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Old 02-21-2016, 10:47 PM   #6
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Interesting- but how would I know if it worked? All systems would be working off the fully charged battery... So do I just have to wait for the battery to either run down and die or not die?
Read through this post; Did our converter die? HERK has some good info/diagnostics on converters and how they work.

BTW, My voltage reads 13.2 volts all the time when plugged into shore power and hardly anything in the trailer running other that fridge electronics, CO detector and thermostat power.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:47 PM   #7
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It is not correct that the converter won't work without a battery in the circuit. It will and is the correct way to troubleshoot the converter. Remove the battery and test for 13.2 volts.

The converter will not allow you to connect a SHORTED (or excessively depleted) battery in order to protect itself.

Having said that, WFCO and others do not recommend continued operation without a battery to cushion the shock of high amperage loads (like slides and the furnace).

Here is a troubleshooting guide for the converter (the 9800 deck mount is the same converter as the 8900 internal converter).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf WFCO 8900 Troubleshooting guide.pdf (4.69 MB, 274 views)
File Type: pdf New-Flow-Chart-for-WF-9800-Series.pdf (826.1 KB, 137 views)
File Type: pdf TEST FOR LOAD.pdf (24.1 KB, 116 views)
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:49 PM   #8
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There you go EAZY, HERK found you.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eazy View Post
Interesting- but how would I know if it worked? All systems would be working off the fully charged battery... So do I just have to wait for the battery to either run down and die or not die?
If you only have the battery, and the converter isn't doing anything, the battery voltage will read no more than say 12.6-12.8V or so, and if run down will be 12 or even in the mid 11s (or worse if it's in bad shape).

If your converter is working, the battery (and anywhere in the 12V circuit) should read 14.4, 13.6 or 13.2V depending on what charging phase the converter has the battery in. Even at steady state fully charged with the converter on, battery voltage will show 13.2 which is a float charge level. It will periodically spike up to 14.4V to help prevent sulfation, but typically will be at 13.2V. (If you have a different manufacturer's model, the numbers may be slightly different but the concept will be the same.)

You can get very good advice here, but since you are trying to figure out if your power converter is working, you will find it really helpful to read the operation manual. This may be the right one depending on your model:

http://www.progressivedyn.com/pdfs/1...ish%20Only.pdf
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eazy View Post
I unhooked the battery and found it read 8.36v on its own. The output coming out of the converter was 0.4v when the battery was unhooked but shore power was plugged in.
Yes. Your converter is shot. Replace it.

You followed the correct testing procedure according to the WFCO users manual (here:
http://wfcoelectronics.com/wp-conten...ion-Manual.pdf ). See bottom of page 5 where is says:
"If the converter output voltage at the battery reads in the 0.0 Vdc range,
or the battery is not charging, check for:
- an open inline fuse in the battery wire (if installed by OEM)
- an open wire between the converter and the RV battery
- loose ground connection
- improper torques
If the converter fuses and AC voltage are good, but the converter output still
reads zero volts, the converter is not functioning properly."

I had the same converter and had the exact same problems. AC circuits worked fine but DC circuits were dead, and upon testing, the DC output at the battery was - - guess what - - 0.4v - - same as you.

Before I did the testing I figured it was just a dead battery, but a new, fully charged battery was dead one week after installation. Also interesting, I had been fighting a propone detector that had been going off intermittently, even when propane was shut off at the tanks. A new charger/converter solved ALL those problems.

WFCO ... is ... junk ... in my opinion. Replace with a good brand like Progressive Dynamics. I got mine from bestconverter.com. Great service, great price, great product. I got the drop-in replacement unit and it only took around 30 minutes to make the swap.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:24 PM   #11
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Here is a link to Progressive Dynamics converters at Tweetys, good prices.

Inteli-Power Converter/ Chargers for youtr RV or Boat

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Old 02-22-2016, 06:53 PM   #12
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My converter died (right?)

Also check
Www.bestconverter.com


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Old 02-22-2016, 07:01 PM   #13
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Everybody should understand that regardless of how poor the LEDs on the house panel are at determining battery state of charge, if they don't all light when on shore power, something is seriously wrong with the converter. Same is true when the engine is running in an RV or the TV is connected with a TT. At least they are good for that.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:25 PM   #14
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My WFCO 55 amp converter died earlier this year. Symptoms included the refrigerator indicator lights clicking on and off. Even though the fridge "runs" on 120V it still needs 12VDC for the controller board. So when you lose the 12VDC then your fridge will stop running.

I checked voltage on the battery and it was about 8VDC. I checked the input to the converter and it was 120VAC - that's normal and correct. The output wires of the converter registered 0VDC - it should be around 13-14 volts.

Reading up on converters it was obvious that MANY WFCO converters were failing - possibly because the majority of the RVs have them. I called a local RV parts guy and he ONLY carried Progressive Dynamics Converters because he didn't want his customers coming back a 2nd time for this problem.

I bought the PD converter. It is SO much quieter I don't even know it is down there doing it's job day after day. The heat sink is so large that the heat generated when the converter is working is dissipated by the heat sink. I've never heard the fan run.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:36 PM   #15
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Everybody should understand that regardless of how poor the LEDs on the house panel are at determining battery state of charge, if they don't all light when on shore power, something is seriously wrong with the converter. Same is true when the engine is running in an RV or the TV is connected with a TT. At least they are good for that.
Lesson learned. We noticed this when getting the RV, but weren't cynical enough to think there was a real problem. The RV guy said "well you can tell how low the battery is just by watching the lights get dim!" That should've been our clue...

I'm just thankful it may only be a $200 repair.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:38 PM   #16
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My WFCO 55 amp converter died earlier this year. Symptoms included the refrigerator indicator lights clicking on and off. Even though the fridge "runs" on 120V it still needs 12VDC for the controller board. So when you lose the 12VDC then your fridge will stop running.

I checked voltage on the battery and it was about 8VDC. I checked the input to the converter and it was 120VAC - that's normal and correct. The output wires of the converter registered 0VDC - it should be around 13-14 volts.

Reading up on converters it was obvious that MANY WFCO converters were failing - possibly because the majority of the RVs have them. I called a local RV parts guy and he ONLY carried Progressive Dynamics Converters because he didn't want his customers coming back a 2nd time for this problem.

I bought the PD converter. It is SO much quieter I don't even know it is down there doing it's job day after day. The heat sink is so large that the heat generated when the converter is working is dissipated by the heat sink. I've never heard the fan run.
Thanks for the input. Sounds like you may have the same setup I did with the WFCO 55amp.

Question about the PD replacement-- the ones I've seen (4655) seem to have the fan pointing in a different direction than the WFCO unit - 90 degrees off.

Isn't this a problem? There is no exhaust in the panel where the fan looks like it would be.
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:07 PM   #17
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If you decide on Progressive Dynamics, you need the PD4655. It is a direct drop in replacement for the WFCO. You keep the distribution center and replace just the converter. I also had the WFCO 8955 as original equipment. Have had zero problems since replacing it. The fan on the PD sucks cool air in thru the front faceplate of the distribution center and over/around the electronics and heatsink. Took me about 30 minutes to swap it out.

4600 series Upgrade Kits
About the best price - - if not the best price - - you'll find and some of the best customer service you will ever get. Randy will answer e-mails and answer questions before you buy.

4600 Series Upgrade or Replacement Power Converters
The Progressive Dynamics website ... you can download the install and users manual here.

There is a youtube video of a guy replacing his WFCO with the PD. Should be able to google it ... that's how I found it.
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:56 PM   #18
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Eazy, my model was the WF-9855 deck mount converter. I replaced it with a similar-in-size PD9160A. It is located under the stairs so it is a pretty large area for the heat to be dissipated.

I see that the Original Poster had the 8955 Distribution Center which is a bit different, to say the least. BUT, my recommendation for the PD replacement for that model also stands, since I've never read anyone say that their PD Converter had died.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:25 PM   #19
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My WFCO 55 amp converter died earlier this year. Symptoms included the refrigerator indicator lights clicking on and off. Even though the fridge "runs" on 120V it still needs 12VDC for the controller board. So when you lose the 12VDC then your fridge will stop running.

I checked voltage on the battery and it was about 8VDC. I checked the input to the converter and it was 120VAC - that's normal and correct. The output wires of the converter registered 0VDC - it should be around 13-14 volts.
If a battery get as low as 8 volts, many converters will simply shut down. They are just not built to bring a dead battery (anything below 10v is dead) back to life. Usually, fuses will blow.

The WFCO converters will generally not charge a battery that is below 10-11 volts, which is pretty low. I've seen it for myself.

When I replaced the dead battery, and replaced the fuses, my WFCO worked just fine.

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