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Old 09-16-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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New house battery not powering 12v

I just installed a new house battery. I'm certain (following my last post) that I hooked it up correctly, but now my 12v accessories in the van won't turn on unless the van is running. The inverter is on "auto", the main circuit breakers are on, and the panel is showing 13+volts. I'm stumped. What am I missing?
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

On my van the main (large) battery cable runs to a a terminal lug that the inverter 12 volt supply lead hooks to. Same with the negative. You should have voltage on the positive terminal to ground. From the positive lug there is a slightly smaller lead that runs to the separator. You should have voltage on both sides of the separator.

I'd think you must not have a 12v breaker problem if the van is powering the 12v stuff when the separator closes after the van fires up.

Are you sure the battery is fully connected? Charged? Hope you got the positive and negative cable right. Some inverters will not operate if hooked up backwards. Does the inverter invert and produce AC power when not connected to shore power?
Although I have issues with the house battery not being fused like my van, some builds might have a large fuse or fuses somewhere between the house battery and the inverter terminal.

Follow it with a volt meter or light probe. Maybe it's just something simple you missed.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:44 AM   #3
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

I do get AC power when not connected to shore and I turn the inverter on. I'll have to spend some time under the van to see what I missed, but not 'till next week. If the battery wasn't charged, how would it show a high voltage on the panel? I do believe there's a fuse between the inverter & house battery, which seems to be intact.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

What year is your SMB? have you checked your manual. There is a 40 amp circuit breaker usually close to or on the fuse panel. It should have a small reset button.




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Old 09-17-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77
What year is your SMB? have you checked your manual. There is a 40 amp circuit breaker usually close to or on the fuse panel. It should have a small reset button.




-greg
It does sound like something simple. On my van if that breaker is tripped I loose all DC form both house and engine batteries. But some builds might have more than one feed and possibly more than one breaker, especially if the vehicle is set up with an isolator which would explain a lot.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
It does sound like something simple. On my van if that breaker is tripped I loose all DC form both house and engine batteries. But some builds might have more than one feed and possibly more than one breaker, especially if the vehicle is set up with an isolator which would explain a lot.
Agreed, I missed the part about it working when van is running, I only read that the inverter would work, and the panel showed good voltage. Well, that makes it a mystery then, once you get past the separator/isolator then the distribution of 12 volt House power would be the same path.

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Old 09-17-2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

Unless there are 2 different breakers, the only thing I can think of is the house battery lead is hooked to the wrong side of the separator and the only time it would close is if the engine is running where it detects the 13+ charge voltage.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:26 AM   #8
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

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Originally Posted by daveb
Unless there are 2 different breakers, the only thing I can think of is the house battery lead is hooked to the wrong side of the separator and the only time it would close is if the engine is running where it detects the 13+ charge voltage.
I suspect that you are right Dave, based on his symptoms that would fit. 12 volt distribution only when running, the inverter would be working, etc



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Old 10-13-2014, 11:32 PM   #9
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

Thanks for all the great info. After all that, I took it to SMB and had them look at it. They said the wiring was all FUBAR. Whether it was the original build or mods by the previous owner, the house battery wasn't running through a fuse, rather tied directly to the inverter, and it was grounded wrong. They said they'd never seen a separator under the van either, - it's usually inside. So they did some re-wiring and all is working like it should now. The good news is that all my batteries, inverter, and separator are good. I also had a 200amp alternator installed for peace of mind, before SMB did their thing.

I'm not sure if the engine issue is related though, so I'm still a little nervous about going too far off the pavement for now.

On to the next project.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:33 PM   #10
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Re: New house battery not powering 12v

Oh yeah, and SMB did say I had the wires crossed on the separator which was likely the cause of the lights not turning on at rest.
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