Inverter problem??

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Jul 12, 2006
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On our last trip out I could hear my converter making a clicking sound like a relay opening and closing. All the 12v systems work
with battery connected or disconnected.
Is the inverter going bad or what??
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You started out talking about your converter but ended up asking about the inverter, which are two different things.  Could you elaborate a bit?

A converter transforms 120 VAC "shore" power to 12 VDC power and also charges the battery. An inverter transforms 12VDC power to 120VAC power and powers the AC oultlets and applainces when shore power is not available. An inverter may be standalone and used in addition to a 12V converter or may be integrated with a battery charger, in which case no converter is needed.

A clicking sounds indicates a relay is opening and closing. That suggests the charger is encountering a problem trying to charge the battery, either a short (excessively high current draw) or high resistance to charging.  Either one would typically cause the charger to stop charging, but it would continue to provide 12V power to the Rvs 12V circuits.  Have you checked the water in the batteries lately?  Loss of battery fluid could cause those smptoms. So could corroded connections at the battery posts.
 

rsalhus

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All the 12v systems work with battery connected or disconnected.

One way to tell if RV Roamer's theory is right or not is to disconnect the battery.  If you don't hear the clicking sound when the battery is disconnected, then maybe he's right.  In my rig, when I hit the disconnect switch for the coach batteries, my converter will not charge the coach batteries whether I'm hooked up to shore power or running the generator.  Check for loose connections also.   
 

trac209

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Well now I have a question for you after reading this, how do you know if your converter is capable of charging a battery? I have never used my converter to charge my battery and would like to ask what settings does it have to be set to,"to be in charge mode". I have a 74 lionel with a solid state power converter. It has a setting that reads trans, that is for when your on shore power and an off setting and a 12 volt setting. Also it has two push pull swicthes that will shut off the power altogether. And a red button that if pushed will interupt the 12 volt power but it has to be held in to do so. Thanks for any insight you can offer guys! ;D
 

trac209

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Karl said:
Need more info to help you. What is the manufacturer and model # of your converter?
It is a progressive dynamics and the model # is PD686w2
 

Karl

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Hmmm... Can't find anything with that model number. Can you take a picture or two of it, including the label(s) and post them here? Sounds like it's a really, really old unit, and chances are it won't do a proper job of charging your batteries. Most people use 3-stage chargers/converters that won't fry them by overcharging. Might be time for an upgrade ;)
 

trac209

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Karl said:
Hmmm... Can't find anything with that model number. Can you take a picture or two of it, including the label(s) and post them here? Sounds like it's a really, really old unit, and chances are it won't do a proper job of charging your batteries. Most people use 3-stage chargers/converters that won't fry them by overcharging. Might be time for an upgrade ;)
Yes it's  really old unit as the pup is a 74. I will try to post some pics of it. I have just been using a regular battery charger to do the charging and have had no issues with doing so. I was just curious about my converter as a charge unit. having said that I took the unit out and in the back there was no tranformer big enough in there to do any reall charging so I'll just go on doing what I have been doing for years now. Thanks for your help anyhow!
 

rsalhus

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Getting back to the problem of what's causing the clicking sounds........  I have an Intellitec converter in my MH and for this type of converter, clicking sounds are usually the sounds you will hear when the isolator relay is turned on and off.  It seems this clicking sound is normal with heavy loads on the batteries or when the batteries are low.

Here's how it works:  If connected to shore power and the coach battery is being charged and goes above 13.3 volts for 2.5 minutes (no heavy loads), then the isolator relay will close, which will then provide charging current to the chassis battery (or batteries).  And when the voltage to the coach batteries falls below 12.8V for more than about a minute, the isolator relay will drop out to prevent the coach loads from discharging the chassis battery (or batteries).  Hence the clicking sounds.  So if your clicking sounds are about a minute to 2.5 minutes apart, maybe this is your problem.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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In my rig, when I hit the disconnect switch for the coach batteries, my converter will not charge the coach batteries whether I'm hooked up to shore power or running the generator.

Good point. Some systems have separate charge lines and some charge the battery by backfeeding through the main 12V power lines. And those that backfeed may make the converter power connection on the battery side of the disconnect or on the downstream (house) side.  There is no standard design, so any advice needs to be generic until a specifi system can be identified.
 
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