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Old 08-18-2018, 12:29 PM   #1
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SurePower 1315-200 fire next steps ..

Okay, so here's the breakdown. I replaced the contactor on my SurePower with a new trombetta. My wife and I start heading out on a trip. First thing we notice, house battery is reading 5.2! This is not great, battery is pretty much kaput, but hopefully the new charging set up will help and it will get us two days down the road.

The norcal fridge gets turned on to 2, funny noise, then funny smell, then smoke, and there you have it. Our SurePower caught on fire. We shut down the house battery, removed the SurePower seperator and the new trombetta, and now are travelling with deep paranoia of even a hint of melted plastic like odors….which we get nostalgic moments of through the a/c….

So, a couple of questions:
-What happened?

-The SurePower Seperator is completely toasted, but the Trombetta still seems like new. Is the Trombetta still okay? If I get a new Seperator, can I still use this Trombetta?

-we used electrical tape to tape off every wire that was connected to the unit, and then turned the yellow house battery switch off. Should we be doing other things right now? Disconnecting anything else?

-we plan to try to charge the house battery off shore power tonight or tomorrow. Is this okay? Anything to worry about?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:31 PM   #2
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There was a safety bulletin about the Surepower catching on fire a few years back but only on specific group serial numbers. As many issues as I had with going through several Surepower separators due to poor charging through the relay, I never had one burn up. Hard to comment on your replacing the relay and don't have a clue exactly what you did. That Surepower does run really warm though and my guess is the Trombetta does too. Are you saying you replaced the relay on the Surepower with the Trombetta relay?

Is the battery an AGM type?

I have always been a DC meter watcher and knew if the battery was charging or not. Sounds like your house battery is low which is causing issues with your fridge. For now I'd try an isolated charge on the house battery to try to bring it back up. Make sure all the battery connections are good. Use can also use a good charger that shows the charge level and make sure it tapers off to an amp or so after a few days. If you use an onboard inverter charger that doesn't show the amperage always keep an eye on the battery temp (reach down and touch it) and if it starts to get hot to the touch quit charging. If the battery is hot chances are you'll see the charger ramp up to its higher limit. Most of the AGM batteries that I've lost simply go dead and won't accept a charge but never take a chance by not monitoring the charge. You might have something else going on that is adding to the problem.


BTW I stopped using Surepower and switched to Blue Sea back about 2008 and haven't had any issues with their product.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:42 PM   #3
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The Trombetta swapped out a previous Trombetta that was older. This is a agm Contenential 4d 12v 210a.

I'll probably try to charge the house tomorrow at this point. I'll have better access to shore power then.

Out of curiousity. Did you convert to bluesea yourself, or get smb to do it?
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:57 PM   #4
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So did you put a fuse on the ground line, when you changed out the Trombetta, this would aid ion not letting the unit go up in smoke. There should have not been much issue in swapping out the Trambetta, it really can only fit on one way. Obviously your Surepower could be one of the bad units, odd that it would wait until you changed out the contractor to go.

If you need to spend more money, I would really just move to the Bluesea unit, it can be done by yourself if you have tools. see attached pdf


I also have a slightly used Surepower unit, that you are welcome to for the cost of shipping. But really it would be time to upgrade.


-greg
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Upgrading to a Blue Sea from Surepower.pdf (1.11 MB, 18 views)
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:18 PM   #5
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It's possible the old solenoid had high resistance that limited the amount of current that could pass through the Surepower. When the solenoid was changed, it's possible a lot more current began to flow, and if the Surepower was marginal, the added load may have been what toasted it. I would definitely switch to a Bluesea's unit. If your not comfortable changing it, (it should be pretty easy) any RV shop can do it, no need to return to Sportsmobile. Glad you didn't have a fire.
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:19 PM   #6
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Yes, thanks folks. Lot's of smoke and adreneline, but no real fire. The Trombetta swap did go super smooth, Greg, but I didn't add the ground. I thought that since it worked fine before, this swap shouldn't impact anything......insert rookue jokes here please......

Anyways, yes, I think I'll be going to bluesea now. Thanks for the PDF, Greg, and also the tip that many RV places should be able to do this, artictraveller. I'll see what we end up doing g once we have a chance to asses our options. Thank you!
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:35 PM   #7
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I believe that the original problem that prompted recall notice was believed to a manufacturing issue. Specifically components or etches were cracked, this is usually prone to the outside edges or where attachments are made such as the bus bars. The control unit is potted and fairly small, so I would not expect vibration or shock to be the culprit.

While I agree with Arctic that the old Trombetta had a high resistance issue, the new one should not draw more current through the control unit, the higher current passes through the solenoid. My guess would be the FETs that turn the Solenoid on cracked and burnt up. Possibly the cracked made worse when taking the old solenoid off and installing a new one.

The cost of a good crimp tool would be a good start on the labor for a RV shop to do the Bluesea Swap. Unless, you plan on using the tool a lot or have a friend that has one, the RV shop would probably be the way to go.

-greg
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:55 AM   #8
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Okay - for the curious, here's the results of the SurePower incident, as well as our happy new BlueSea install!

Burnt out Controller...which occurred on I-95 in the South Bronx, on the way to the GWB....so a fun, adrenaline filled event on an extremely small shoulder in heavy traffic..../s:







And the new BlueSea installed by the good folks at Hilltop RV in Brainerd, MN.....yay!:



Thanks again for all the help Greg and Arctic!
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:57 AM   #9
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Wow, that thing got kinda warm. Glad that's all that happened.
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