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 > How to test rv converter?

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jornvango

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Posted: 11/14/20 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is it possible to test whether your RV converter is working (= keeping the battery charged) by using a multi-meter?

I don't think our rv's converter is charging the 12V AGM battery.

I checked:
1. Two fuses for the converter on electric panel are good
2. While unplugged from shore power: Multi-meter at battery shows 12.6V which also shows on the solar controller, and same reading shows with multi-meter at battery cables leaving from the electric panel.
3. While plugged into 30A shore power, same readings show as above.

To me, it's as if the converter is not doing anything: on shore power, I would expect the battery level to jump up to around 13.5 or higher.
Side note: the converter fan does come on once in a while.

The converter is 11 years old. How can I easily test if it's dead?

wolfe10

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Posted: 11/14/20 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How do you check? You just did.

If there is 120 VAC to the converter and not blown fuse or open between converter and battery bank, it is not working.

Said another way 12.6 to 12.6 says it is not charging. Should jump pretty quickly to at least 13.2 if batteries starting at 12.6.


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enblethen

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Posted: 11/14/20 12:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You must disconnect the wiring from the converter so as not to get false readings from solar system. Then check voltage output from the converter.


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2oldman

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Posted: 11/14/20 12:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

12.6 means you're charged. Is the solar doing that?

wolfe10

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Posted: 11/14/20 12:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

12.6 means you're charged. Is the solar doing that?


Yes, 12.6 is an OK reading for a fully charged battery AT REST.

But, it is not OK for a properly working charger.

time2roll

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Posted: 11/14/20 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK by checking battery voltage you have verified no converter power getting to the battery.
Most likely the converter is dead. You may as well remove it for a bench test. Yes you are looking for about 13.6 volts output any time it is powered up. Don't replace it with a WFCO.


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MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 11/14/20 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BOOT HILL

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Posted: 11/14/20 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Disconnect the the battery pos cable AT DC Dist panel
With AC power to converter...measure the DC Output of converter
13.2VDC Minimum

If less then converter is NOT functioning and will NOT maintain your batteries


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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BFL13

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Posted: 11/14/20 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to confirm the shore power is getting to the converter. Assuming other 120v things work. The converter is on one of the 120v breakers--check that.

If the converter is plugged onto a receptacle, unplug it and plug it in to a known to be live receptacle, extension cord if required.

If it is hardwired, not a plug in (such as a Parallax 7xxx) your 120v is behind the metal panel covering the breakers. Take that off and find the black wire going up from the converter to its breaker. The white wire goes to the neutral buss. Check those wires for 120v. Another way to check that breaker is move the converter's black wire over to another breaker where you are for sure getting 120v.

If you are getting 120v to the converter itself, and no DC output, there is a 120v glass fuse on the converter's board where the 120v come in. You can jump that to see if it is blown.

If no joy, you can post the converter model and get recommended replacements. (The "PD guys" will say get a PD and I will say get a PowerMax, but that's only if you get that far )


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 11/14/20 05:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jornvango wrote:

Is it possible to test whether your RV converter is working (= keeping the battery charged) by using a multi-meter?


yes but why do that much work Two methods
1: identify the CONV breaker in your breaker panel or
2: The MAIN if you can not identify the CONV

Turn on lights and/or roof vent fan (Fantastic fan) Look and listen wioth the breaker off for one minute. now turn it on. Within 30 seconds the fan should speed up and in MOST cases lights get brighter if the converter is working.. NOTE this does not necessarly apply to some very old units not made since the turn of the century

With a multi-meter.. let rig sit converter off for 30 minutes and measure voltage either at converter connections or battery terminals NOTE voltage

Now turn on converter and re-measure and again in 30 minutes

post all readings and we will tell you.


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after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
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