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Author Topic: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?  (Read 186 times)

PlowHand

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How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« on: September 16, 2018, 08:53:50 PM »
Electrickery has me stumped again. I have a clicking noise in my fuse box behind the fuse control board (see attached pic). It is one of the three switches shown in the second picture. I donít know how to test to see which one is the clicker. The only way I can get the clicking (about once every 5-10 seconds) to stop is to disconnect the negative cable on my house batteries. Disconnecting the negative on the chassisís battery doesnít stop the clicking.
 
Iíve got 12.5 volts on all batteries and Iím not sure why it is clicking or which one of the three is doing it. Any help/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
 

Arch Hoagland

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Re: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 09:07:06 PM »
Put your finger on each one of them and see if you can feel it clicking.
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PlowHand

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Re: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 09:11:11 PM »
Put your finger on each one of them and see if you can feel it clicking.

I have to take off the control board to get to the switches so I canít do as you suggest.

John From Detroit

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Re: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 07:41:20 AM »
From my experience this is normal.  The rest of this post is supposition.

It only happens from time to time (at least on my RV)

my theory is this..House and chassis batteries do not always disccharge at the same rate. The Intelletec Battery Control Center may be switching between Bridged and isolated modes (Bridged means the house and chassis batteries are joined in parallel or "Bridged" together).

Let's say the batteries are down a bit. such as overnight camping.. And then power is applied (Either engine started or plugged in or generator started)

The Powered battery starts to charge. when a minimum Voltage is reached the isolator bridges them. the other battery then "Sucks it down" a bit. the isolator isolates. this continues for several cycles till the voltages are high enough to lock into bridged and stay there.

I DO NOT know if the BCC Isolates in a HIGH voltage condition. but would not be surprised if it did. same thing would happen here just the other way around.
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Alfa38User

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Re: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 07:58:47 AM »
I don't see anything in the upper picture that would cause a clicking sound, it would likely be a relay. The lower picture is another story, there are at least 3 relays (not switches) there and I would suspect the big silver one on the bottom.

When does the clicking occur, while running down the road or when idling, or just plugged in as well? You might be able to separate them temporarily as you described and check with your finger.

Make and model of the RV might help here!!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 08:12:02 AM by Alfa38User »
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PlowHand

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Re: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 09:02:50 AM »
Sorry but Iím not very good at describing my problem I guess.
 
My RV is a 2006 Thor Hurricane. The top picture is the fuse box. After I disconnect all the wires and remove the control board out of that fuse box (from the first picture) you can then see the relays and solenoid that are behind that circuit board (in the second picture). At that point I canít recreate the clicking because my circuit board is no longer controlling any of the relays/solenoid.
 
My question is - how can I determine which of the three switches in the second picture is the one that is making the clicking noise? If all three switches are good (working as designed) then the problem most likely is the circuit board (controller).

Lou Schneider

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Re: How do I test disconnect and/or solenoid switches?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 09:32:32 AM »
None of those relays are self-latching, if one is turning on and off it's at the direction of the control board.

One thing you could do is to connect a small 12 volt light bulb to a pair of alligator clip leads long enough to let you clip the bulb onto each relay's small terminals and put the fuseboard back in place.  The light will come on when that relay activates, it will flash on and off when it's on the clicking relay.

Or identify which wires going to the control board control each relay, then remove only those wires from the control board until the clicking stops, then finding out what function that relay performs.

One other possibility ... that metal box with two terminals above the control board is a self-resetting circuit breaker.  They're known for developing arc damage across their contacts after they open and close a few times, which then makes them trip and reset at lower than normal currents.  This may be the source of the clicking sound, or it may be affecting the control board or one of the larger relays.

To test it in-circuit, put the light bulb across it's terminals.  The bulb will light when the circuit breaker opens and will go out when the breaker is closed.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 09:51:47 AM by Lou Schneider »