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Battery Charging: Inverter/Charger Not Working

xantrex inverter chassis batteries

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#1 sundancev

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:29 PM

Hello all.  

 

My volt meter is indicating 12.5 Volts on Chassis and 12.25 Volts on House Batteries, which is usually and does currently cause the inverter to shut down.  

 

When I plug into Shore Power (50 Amp) or to Generator Power (7.5KW), voltage does not change, which would seem to indicate the charger in the Inverter/Charger (Xantrex 458) is not working.  My suspicion is my house batteries are somehow  preventing the charger from kicking in.

 

 We are full-timers and use our inverter lots.  Our house batteries are 4 Interstate 6V Golf Cart Batteries (2) in Series and then parallel to maintain 12 V.  They are two years old and were originally warranted for that period.  I am not complaining as we have had wonderful use from them.  We were still having some problem approximately 6 months after installation of the new house batteries with the inverter not always working well so I had the Fleetwood Factory Service in Decatur check the system and they found the Chassis Batteries were failing.  I told them I had recently had new house batteries installed and did not understand why the chassis batteries contributed to the inverter not working.  

 

The techie indicated the inverter used the house batteries and also the chassis batteries until the chassis batteries dropped to 12.5 V or lower.  After changing out the Chassis Batteries (Trojan maintenance-free), all has been well until recently.  

 

I can use the main engine to charge batteries but that is not a good solution so I am looking for advice.  I have a very good system to fill the Chassis Batteries all at one time and do so every two weeks and in fact two days ago topped off house batteries.  I have checked breakers on Xantrex, and every other place I can think of.  

 

Critical factor is the charger part of the Xantrex does not seem to be working.  I am thinking of using a automotive-type charger to charge overnight and with the inverter turned off and see if the charge will hold at higher level.  If batteries hold a charge for several hours, that would seem to indicate batteries are not the problem(?)    

 

Does anyone have a suggestion other than driving down to the Battery Store to have load test.  Thanks in advance.  Paul  


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#2 desertdeals69

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

I would have the inverter/charger checked out.  You might want to upgrade to a pure sine wave inverter/charger.  When you turn on the charger the battery voltage should rise.


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#3 sundancev

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:57 PM

If I need a new inverter, I will surely purchase a pure sine wave inverter/charger.  I do not want to buy one until I am sure the existing one is kaput.  The only thing we run off the inverter is coffee pot, microwave, several battery charger devices for laptop, cameras, mifi and the like so the current one has served us very well.  I understand completely the advantages/disadvantages of both.  As to your final point, the charger in the 458 does not have an on/off switch.  It is automatic or has been for the last 30 months we have owned this motor home (39 Fleetwood Providence.)  Thanks.  


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#4 wolfe10

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:57 PM

Start by verifying that the breaker on the 120 VAC main breaker panel for the inverter/charger is ON.  There is also a fuse in the inverter 120 VAC "in" line.

 

When the inverter/charger gets 120 VAC from shore or generator it does two things:  "passes through" the 120 VAC to all circuits it supplies AND uses the 120 VAC to power the battery charger portion of the unit.

 

You need to find out where in that "chain" you are breaking down.


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#5 sundancev

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:06 PM

Brett:

 

The 25 Amp breaker on the front of the Inverter is fine.  The Breaker for the Inverter on the Main Panel is fine.  The Inverter on/off switch in the front panel seems to function correctly i.e. when I have volts above 12.5 V on Chassis, I can turn off Breaker for shore power and run normal lights, microwave etc off inverter so Breakers all seem to be OK.  

 

The charger on Shore Power or Generator is not working which seemed to me to be a problem with the charger circuit of the inverter/charger 458. Since the batteries were two years old I suspected that might be the problem.  Thanks.  

 

BTW, your suggestions as to the Land and Sea WiFi guy in Ft. Lauderdale was super good.  Randy is a great guy.  His product did not help us, but he is so competent and easy to deal with I would not hesitate to recommend him also.  Best.  


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#6 sundancev

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:22 PM

Hello All:  The rest of the Story.

 

I called Xantrex.  Techie there told me to pull cover of Inverter and remove wiring from Power In side.  Then check to see if any resistance across points where fuse is located.  While waiting for good time to get off the road for a few days, out of the blue the Charger begins to work just like it was new.  

 

So will do nothing for now and hope for no future occurrence.  

 

Thanks for suggestions.  

 

Paul 


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#7 TechMan

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:25 AM

Paul,

 

For the charger to begin functioning again tells me that most likely there's a bad relay on the transfer board within the inverter.

The contacts get burned and then fail to make contact. After a few cycles they may make connection and everything works.

 

Clay, Arizona


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#8 DickandLois

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:09 AM

Hi Paul,

 

I would go along with Clay. There is a transfer relay and control circuit board inside the unit.

 

Think you have an option to change out the current unit for a new sine wave system or replace the defective board..

 

A call to Xantrex to check on availability and cost might be good, then you know where you stand regarding repair cost; to replacement cost. They will ask a number of questions, this helps them in regards to having the correct parts on hand. 

 

The board that controls the inverter portion in my unit failed about 5 years ago and I had it repaired in NC for around $200.. No shipping fees and they can be steep.

 

Make plans ahead of time so you can limit the turn around time. 

 

Rich.


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