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Old 02-22-2014, 01:22 PM   #1
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dc-ac inverter/charger

I'll try to keep this short. I have a SMB installed Tripp-lite model MRV2012 inverter/charger. Last fall we had to abort a trip because it failed. It would cycle up, the fan would spin and then it would shut down. I went through all the testing/restart procedures to no avail. A month or so later I take it to SMB Austin, the builders and guess what IT WON'T FAIL. I was unhappy for several reasons one of which is that I live in the Dallas area. Anyhow, I keep the van plugged in and everything has been working fine, even started right up earlier this week when I was doing some cleaning. Went out today and van battery was low, had to jump start the van. Of course the house batteries were down also. Got it started, turned on the DC switch after awhile and things seem to be working. Drove to Ft Worth and back and somewhere on the return trip things went haywire again.

Sooo, as I was checking things again I noticed that one of my two batteries boxes was pretty hot, the other seemed fine. I'm really confused now. I sure don't trust the inverter at the moment but now I'm wondering if I have a bad battery and it's screwing things up? I'm pretty sure that we have crossed the threshold of my expertise. BTW I can wire a 3 way AC switch but I'm lost here.
Any ideas/thoughts would be appreciated. Oh, I do have a converter on hand to replace the inverter if necessary.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

Probably need a little more info on your rig. First the year it was built and any know modifications that were made, solar etc.. When you say one of the two batteries was hot (this is definitely not good) are you saying one of the two house batteries? If so what size and type if you know it. Second what vehicle are we talking about also, Gas, diesel, etc. For more clarity what do you mean by I turned on the DC switch? A switch on the inverter? And did you notice any lights on the Inverter. it should have thrown a fault code of some sort. How are your house batteries mounted and where?

-greg
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

2010 Chevy 3500 EB gasser. July 2010 Austin SMB build. These are house batteries. East Penn Mfg Intimidator Gels. 580 CCA, 92 SH@20 hrs. The DC switch is mounted near the floor and shuts off all DC power to the van. Can't see the lights on the inverter because of the way it is mounted. The remote panel indicator lights just show low voltage on the house batteries and the plugin dc voltage gauge shoed as low as 8.6 V. The batteries are in sealed boxes under the guacho. Thanks
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:44 PM   #4
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

First and foremost I would take the battery that was getting hot out of the equation. Since it is a 12 volt battery it should be in Parallel. Your voltage readings are extremely low, and the inverter/charger will not work with a battery voltage so low.

Did the DC switch turn itself off? it is really a breaker. Is the remote panel indicator the Tripp-lite
APSRM4? It would have a switch for the inverter 3 LED's on the left side and 3 LED's on the right. This would be same LED's that you would get on the Inverter. If that is the case, then you have all the indicator lights that the inverter supplies. If this is the panel you are talking about what were the LED's on the right side? If there was nothing that would indicate that you were not plugged in. If the remote you are talking about is not http://www.tripplite.com/shared/othe...4-features.jpg and you do not have one of these then you need to go back to SMB and have them install it.
It really sounds like you now at least have one bad battery, I see that you have a had a history of the DC switch resetting in some previous post. It is possible that you have a intermittent short some where.

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Old 02-23-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

The only time the DC switch turned itself off was a couple of years ago when I was running the AC on the road trying to cool things off in a Texas heat wave. That indeed is the remote panel in the van. When switched to the battery side initially I had the yellow light then the red. When switched to the line side all lights were normal. I've removed the hot battery and will get it checked out today. Meanwhile, I assume(this is always dangerous) that I can connect the pos and neg cables together to complete the circuit. Assuming that the remaining battery is good I should be able to start things up and determine if the inverter is OK? Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:37 AM   #6
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbernie
Meanwhile, I assume(this is always dangerous) that I can connect the pos and neg cables together to complete the circuit. Assuming that the remaining battery is good I should be able to start things up and determine if the inverter is OK? Thanks for your help.
No, do not connect the positive and negative cables together. Just tape them off so that they do not touch anything, or if possible remove them. Connecting them together would cause a direct short to ground. Since the batteries are in parallel, the remaining battery is still in the circuit. You are thinking that the batteries are in series.

Good luck

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Old 02-23-2014, 09:05 AM   #7
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:44 AM   #8
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

Actually, one more quick question. If I understand correctly BOTH house batteries must be exactly the same in regards to CCA and AH? Which means if you can't find an exact match I need to buy 2 batteries?
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:36 AM   #9
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

You can run different capacities. But if they are connected, even if they are the same capacity, size and brand in my experience they still aren't optimum if they are widely apart in age. The thing is that deep cycles can only withstand so many cycles; f you got the two original batteries odds are that maybe the "good" one is suspect. Each battery is actually composed of cells, and even a battery that can still function acceptably might have a cell on the way out. Not catastrophic, but not optimal either. And if something is falling as low as 8 volts it's in trouble.

If I were you I'd replace both. I doubt the other one has much life in it anyway. If you do decide to keep it, maybe pull it and test it. You probably could have that done in a marine place or rv shop; it's more than just attaching a DC meter.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:10 PM   #10
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Re: dc-ac inverter/charger

Replacing both batteries makes a lot of sense. So I'm open to suggestions for suitable replacements for 2 DEKA(East Penn Mfg) Intimidator Gels. 580 CCA, 92 SH@20 hrs.
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