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Author Topic: Possible problem with ATS?  (Read 363 times)

Jedlec

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Possible problem with ATS?
« on: August 09, 2017, 09:17:38 PM »
Good day,

I have just returned from a week away with my Toy Hauler, boondocking and to my dismay my batteries were not charging with the generator.

Here are some other details in the hopes that someone can help me confirm the problem...

-Trailer is a 2007 Dutchmen Wild Thing 26LT

- Both batteries are brand new ultra AGMs and were charged on the bench just before the trip and were charged out of the trailer again at a friends house and last for a few days each time before charging.

- The onboard generator starts fine and powers the A/C, microwave and outlets just fine but doesn't provide charge to the batteries.

- Once home, I plugged in to shore power and had power to the same appliances as the generator but the power inverter/converter fan doesn't kick on as  per usual so I know something must be up.

- The inverter/converter is getting power to it and at the connections where the red and white wires hook in, there is 13.6 volts. Both fuses on the converter are fine and also all breakers/GFI's were checked and seem fine physically flipping on and off.  None were in the tripped position. Fuses on the panel were all checked and are fine.

- I checked the red and white wires while they were disconnected from the convertor and they are showing 12.7 volts which is the same as what I got right at the batteries.

- With the generator running, I checked the smaller red wire going back to the battery bank to see if any voltage making its way back to charge it and no go on that. Nothing.

- I cleaned up a bunch of connections on the outside of the trailer, although there is one more I believe I didn't do.

- I will note that when I shut off the breaker for the converter for a few seconds and click back on, the fan did start momentarily but didn't run constant like it usually did.

- The converter/inverter is a WFCO WF-9865.

- There is one fuse that is hard to get to within the wiring mess in that tight crawl space.  It is an in line fuse, 1A, but inserted into a connector that states 5 A max.  I am having a hard time to reach it.  It is a blue wire and not sure where it goes or comes from.

It seems that anything 12 v is working just off the batteries energy.

Is it possible that the transfer switch is done?  Are the A/C, Microwave and outlets not affected by a bad transfer switch because they run on shore/generator power only?

I didn't think there would be anything wrong with the panel as when the batteries are all charged up, everything is fine. 

I wish I could have found a wiring diagram for the trailer but no luck.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

John From Detroit

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 06:50:54 AM »
The fan is controlled by a Thermostat. It should "Test run" when power is first applied as part of the Power On Self Test. but then it should shut off if not needed, thus fan running/not running is NOT an indication of problems.

VOLTAGE is. 13.6 is normal float

WFCO converters do have a known failure mode where they fail to go into BOOST mode.. Yours is stuck in float.. The solution is to replace the "Guts" with a Progressive Dynamics in this case 4665 or 5660
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Alfa38User

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 09:07:03 AM »
Confused!!!

The WFCO 9865 is a CONVERTER only, no inverter is involved. Manuals for this unit can be found here.... and there is a troubleshooting section included.

http://wfcoelectronics.com/product/wf-9865-65-amp/

Quote
Is it possible that the transfer switch is done?  Are the A/C, Microwave and outlets not affected by a bad transfer switch because they run on shore/generator power only?

Which transfer switch?? You likely have only one associated with the generator. It allows power from the generator or the shore power to power up the main electrical distribution panel and anything connected to that panel should function either on shore power or generator, including the converter.... maybe not all at once but.... that is another question. The transfer switch itself has no 'selective' powering function. I believe the "Wild Thing" has a 30 amp system so you would have only 1 set of contacts on the transfer switch. On a 50 amp system you will have to check the outputs at all contacts as there will be 2 sets of outputs of 120V each and, theoretically, one set of contacts could be bad.

If the converter is functioning (regardless of the fan operation) you should read at least 13.2V at the battery terminals with everything hooked up and either on shore power or generator power. Any reading from 13.2V to 14.4V indicates the converter is functioning as expected, depending on mode at that time. Anything lower is suspect.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 09:57:15 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 09:16:23 AM »
The "ATS", if you have one, switches the 120vac power between shore and genset. It has nothing to do with battery charging. If the WFCO converter is receiving 120v power, then the genset is doing all it can do. The converter is supposed to produce 12v power for lighting and such and also charge batteries. You say you measured 13.6v, and that is what it should be. With shore power present or genset running, you should be able to measure 13+v on the red & white wires to the battery teminals. If its there, all is well.

I don't see anything in your description that is "not working". Is your only concern that the converter fan doesn't run?  It's on a thermostat, so that could well be normal.

Why are you taking the batteries out to charge?
Gary
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Jedlec

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 10:37:14 AM »
The "ATS", if you have one, switches the 120vac power between shore and genset. It has nothing to do with battery charging. If the WFCO converter is receiving 120v power, then the genset is doing all it can do. The converter is supposed to produce 12v power for lighting and such and also charge batteries. You say you measured 13.6v, and that is what it should be. With shore power present or genset running, you should be able to measure 13+v on the red & white wires to the battery teminals. If its there, all is well.

I don't see anything in your description that is "not working". Is your only concern that the converter fan doesn't run?  It's on a thermostat, so that could well be normal.

Why are you taking the batteries out to charge?

I had to take them out to charge because the generator wasn't doing it for me.  In the past few years it was not a problem as we could start up the genset and top them up.  This year it is not working.  So with proper output voltage at the wires from the WFCO where do I look next?  I am not sure of the path it goes from there to get back to the battery for charging. 

Jedlec

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 11:12:22 AM »
The fan is controlled by a Thermostat. It should "Test run" when power is first applied as part of the Power On Self Test. but then it should shut off if not needed, thus fan running/not running is NOT an indication of problems.

VOLTAGE is. 13.6 is normal float

WFCO converters do have a known failure mode where they fail to go into BOOST mode.. Yours is stuck in float.. The solution is to replace the "Guts" with a Progressive Dynamics in this case 4665 or 5660

Other than not charging the battery would this also affect the fact that all my lights in the trailer go dim or out as the batteries die?  I have not reached anything higher than 13.6 or so, definitely not in the mid 14 v area that it indicates for boost.  Thanks

Jedlec

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 11:15:22 AM »
Confused!!!

The WFCO 9865 is a CONVERTER only, no inverter is involved. Manuals for this unit can be found here.... and there is a troubleshooting section included.

http://wfcoelectronics.com/product/wf-9865-65-amp/

Which transfer switch?? You likely have only one associated with the generator. It allows power from the generator or the shore power to power up the main electrical distribution panel and anything connected to that panel should function either on shore power or generator, including the converter.... maybe not all at once but.... that is another question. The transfer switch itself has no 'selective' powering function. I believe the "Wild Thing" has a 30 amp system so you would have only 1 set of contacts on the transfer switch. On a 50 amp system you will have to check the outputs at all contacts as there will be 2 sets of outputs of 120V each and, theoretically, one set of contacts could be bad.

If the converter is functioning (regardless of the fan operation) you should read at least 13.2V at the battery terminals with everything hooked up and either on shore power or generator power. Any reading from 13.2V to 14.4V indicates the converter is functioning as expected, depending on mode at that time. Anything lower is suspect.

So it appears that my converter is not going into boost mode as it is not reaching the volts mentioned on the website for that mode.  All the info I am getting here is helping me to understand the path the power is travelling to make things work.  So the 12 v systems should run off the inverter or just from the batteries?

Alfa38User

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 11:40:36 AM »
Quote
So the 12 v systems should run off the inverter or just from the batteries?

Both!!! It does both jobs at the same time. It would appear that your converter is not working as expected though. Have you checked the water level in the batteries and refilled if necessary to the correct level using distilled water???
 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 11:46:36 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Jedlec

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 02:13:36 PM »
Both!!! It does both jobs at the same time. It would appear that your converter is not working as expected though. Have you checked the water level in the batteries and refilled if necessary to the correct level using distilled water???
 

Both batteries are brand new this year and charge up fine when I put them on the deep cycle charger in my uncle's garage while we were on vacation. I had to bring them to his house as we were a kilometer away in the woods. They hold power for a few days without charging as well but eventually die down.

It seems like the converter would be the culprit according to what you and the others have mentioned.  I just wanted to confirm before spending the money on one if it didn't fix anything.

With the info I have received so far, I feel confident enough to buy another converter to at least try that option.

Thanks again.

Jedlec

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 01:45:12 PM »
Update...  replaced converter with a brand new one, same model as I had in it.  All is working fine now.

Thanks for the input!!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Possible problem with ATS?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2017, 10:48:58 AM »
Great!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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