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Charging problem???


Mike in Va

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I noticed today that my cabin batteries appeared to show they were boiling a little water over from too much charge. Just a little but not enough to need to add any water to fill. I checked my inverter and it showed charging of 13.6, my cabin batteries showed 13.6 volts and my engine batteries showed 12.6. I cut the cabin battery switch off in the battery bay and waited about 2 hours and checked again. My inverter showed charging 13.6 and the engine batteries showed 12.6. Should the inverter charge the engine batteries to 13.6 volts? According to my manual both sides of batteries should charge on inverter, alter, and generator .I am attaching a picture of my set up. I've replaced the solenoid, ONLY because it appeared orginial, but not the little black box above it. Checking to see if I have a problem or not.  2001 Hoilday Rambler Ambassador599650835_20210514_132537(1).thumb.jpg.a2d733cb1b36d0d4291f3af002af8b49.jpg .Thanks for the help.     

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Mike,

There are three levels of charge provided by your charger, Bulk, Absorption and Float.

Bulk charge is generally over 14.2 - 14.4 VDC

Absorption charge is generally in between Bulk & Float usually 13.8 - 14.0 VDC

Float charge is generally 13.2 -13.4 VDC

Possibly your Inverter/Charger is not functioning correctly by not reducing the voltage to Float.

Also check your charger settings to make sure they are correct.

Edited by Dr4Film
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Dr4Film I contacted the manufacturer today and they said that as long as I had the inverter plugged into shore power the inverter will put out 13.6 volts. Could it be something on the MH is not reducing the voltage as you described above. Could it be the little black box that connects to the solenoid with the red, black and blue wire? Not sure how to test it. On any given day after sitting what voltage should my engine batteries show when tested? They are less then a year old.    Thanks 

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I would suggest you take that relay and black box out and replace it with one of these (see photo)Blue Sea ML-ACR....  Look it up, read about it.... I can now "control" if my alternator or  my inverter (powered by shore or genny) charges one or both batteries or joins them together to start the engine.ML-ACR.thumb.jpg.d24e4acdd940aabd882c47be2d507089.jpg

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I believe with the ML-ACR both chassis and house do... that has been my experience with it in "auto" mode... if I'm running the genny and the engine I isolate them.....  The original relay and control I have no idea how it was designed to work....

 

 

Edited by Cubflyer
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11 hours ago, Mike in Va said:

Dr4Film I contacted the manufacturer today and they said that as long as I had the inverter plugged into shore power the inverter will put out 13.6 volts. Could it be something on the MH is not reducing the voltage as you described above. Could it be the little black box that connects to the solenoid with the red, black and blue wire? Not sure how to test it. On any given day after sitting what voltage should my engine batteries show when tested? They are less then a year old.    Thanks 

What is the brand and model of your Inverter/Charger?

What "manufacturer" did you talk with about the problem?

AFAIK once the batteries attain "Float" SOC the Inverter will just maintain them at that level. If the batteries are being overcharged and boiling water off, it may be a sign of a problem some place other than the charger.

Are your batteries bulging at the sides at all?

I have Water Miser Caps on my House Batteries and sometimes when I check fluid levels I will see a small amount of moisture escaping from the top of the caps.

You can use your DVOM to take measurements of the voltage levels when the Batteries are fully charged & when they are needing to be charged.

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The inverter is a 9200 inteli-power by progressive dynamics and thats who I called. It is keeping my cabin batteries at 13.6 like it should, its the engine batteries that are showing 12.6 volts. I was thinking the engine batteries should maintain 13.6 also. The sides aren't bulging and I tested the acid on the cabin batteries and its fine. Maybe I added a little too much water and caused it boil over. I'm going to clean the area up and keep an eye on it. I noticed clubflyer's post and was wandering, If I put the SEA ML-ACR on my MH what happens to the boost button on the dash panel. Its it still connect to the batteries to help start or would I have to go back and switch the boost on and off. Thanks for your help.  

      

20210929_132932.jpg

20210929_132940.jpg

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Mike,

The Blue Sea has a remote control switch (I have yet to install it)  and there is a "both batteries combined" position (for starting).  Also an "either battery charged" if there is voltage higher than 'nominal battery voltage' so both batteries can be charged from one source, or the batteries can be isolated.... which is what I do if I'm running the engine (alternator) and any other charging source (invertor powered by shore or genny) so I'm not charging from two sources.

the original "Boost" switch is inop in my case, not needed or connected anymore.

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When I installed our ML-ARC, I replaced the battery boost switch with the Blue Sea remote switch.  Found 2 wires from the RRB to the FRB and used those to connect to the switch.  It is superior to the boost switch as the lights in the Blue Sea switch let you know what position the ML-ARC is in.  Auto, connected, or disconnected.  Very pleased.

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Install the ML-ACR and your troubles will be over. Don't know enough about your current specific charging system you have in your coach for both the house and chassis batteries. Some coaches do not have Chassis charging systems for when on shore or generator power but the ML-ACR will provide that for you.

Good luck with the project.

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17 hours ago, Mike in Va said:

The inverter is a 9200 inteli-power by progressive dynamics and thats who I called. It is keeping my cabin batteries at 13.6 like it should, its the engine batteries that are showing 12.6 volts. I was thinking the engine batteries should maintain 13.6 also. The sides aren't bulging and I tested the acid on the cabin batteries and its fine. Maybe I added a little too much water and caused it boil over. I'm going to clean the area up and keep an eye on it. I noticed clubflyer's post and was wandering, If I put the SEA ML-ACR on my MH what happens to the boost button on the dash panel. Its it still connect to the batteries to help start or would I have to go back and switch the boost on and off. Thanks for your help.  

      

20210929_132932.jpg

 

Mike,

I looked up your brand and model to see what the specs were and this unit is a Converter/Charger NOT an Inverter/Charger.

All it does is provide 12 VDC to your 12 VDC devices plus charge your House Batteries.

It has four stages of battery charging, Boost, Normal, Storage & Equalization. Here is the explanation of each stage.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/pd9200-converter/

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On 9/29/2021 at 3:49 AM, Dr4Film said:

What is the brand and model of your Inverter/Charger?

What "manufacturer" did you talk with about the problem?

AFAIK once the batteries attain "Float" SOC the Inverter will just maintain them at that level. If the batteries are being overcharged and boiling water off, it may be a sign of a problem some place other than the charger.

Are your batteries bulging at the sides at all?

I have Water Miser Caps on my House Batteries and sometimes when I check fluid levels I will see a small amount of moisture escaping from the top of the caps.

You can use your DVOM to take measurements of the voltage levels when the Batteries are fully charged & when they are needing to be charged.

I researched your mention of Water Miser caps. I like the concept. You mentioned moisture escaping. Aren't these supposed to prevent that? I was thinking of a watering system until I saw your post. Do you think the WM caps are a better choice?

Thanks Ken

 

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Ken,

A manual watering system is OK but the auto-watering ones are not. They cannot be trusted!

I prefer using the Water Miser Caps as it reduces the times I have to add water to the batteries. The caps do not prevent water from escaping completely hence the need to add water a few times per year versus once a month without the Water Miser Caps.

JMHO

Edited by Dr4Film
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7 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

Ken,

A manual watering system is OK but the auto-watering ones are not. The cannot be trusted!

I prefer using the Water Miser Caps as it reduces the times I have to add water to the batteries. The caps do not prevent water from escaping completely hence the need to add water a few times per year versus once a month without the Water Miser Caps.

JMHO

Thanks for you HO! Do you ever equalize your batteries? If so do the caps need to be popped or removed?

Ken

 

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Nope, I use PowerPulse units on all of my batteries, chassis and house, to keep any sulfates off of the internal battery plates.

It uses pulse technology to keep the plates clean.

Google PowerPulse to read more about them.

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Here is the unit that I purchased from Amazon many years ago.

https://tinyurl.com/57vcny3p

You connect the positive lead to the positive post of the 12 VDC side of the two 6 VDC batteries hooked in series and the negative lead to the negative post of the 12 VDC side of the two 6 VDC batteries hooked in series.

I chose to use two units for my house bank and one unit on my 8D Chassis battery.

I have one unit on each set of two 6 VDC Batteries hooked in series.

Battery Bank - Chassis 8D.JPG

Battery Bank - House GC2.JPG

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4 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

Here is the unit that I purchased from Amazon many years ago.

https://tinyurl.com/57vcny3p

You connect the positive lead to the positive post of the 12 VDC side of the two 6 VDC batteries hooked in series and the negative lead to the negative post of the 12 VDC side of the two 6 VDC batteries hooked in series.

I chose to use two units for my house bank and one unit on my 8D Chassis battery.

I have one unit on each set of two 6 VDC Batteries hooked in series.

Battery Bank - Chassis 8D.JPG

Battery Bank - House GC2.JPG

Looks good thanks for sharing the info. Interesting concept. I need to study up on this one. 

Thanks

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Dr4film if I change  my charging system to the blue sea system can it be wired so that the generator, alter and shore power will charge both the engine and cabin batteries?  Will I keep my current intelli-power charger and wire it to the new blue sea? As you may be able to tell when it comes to wiring I'm not that knowledgeable. Will most likely reach out for help with the install. Thanks    

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On 9/28/2021 at 2:56 PM, Mike in Va said:

I noticed today that my cabin batteries appeared to show they were boiling a little water over from too much charge. Just a little but not enough to need to add any water to fill. I checked my inverter and it showed charging of 13.6, my cabin batteries showed 13.6 volts and my engine batteries showed 12.6. I cut the cabin battery switch off in the battery bay and waited about 2 hours and checked again. My inverter showed charging 13.6 and the engine batteries showed 12.6. Should the inverter charge the engine batteries to 13.6 volts? According to my manual both sides of batteries should charge on inverter, alter, and generator .I am attaching a picture of my set up. I've replaced the solenoid, ONLY because it appeared orginial, but not the little black box above it. Checking to see if I have a problem or not.  2001 Hoilday Rambler Ambassador599650835_20210514_132537(1).thumb.jpg.a2d733cb1b36d0d4291f3af002af8b49.jpg .Thanks for the help.     

In 2001, the typical setup did not charge the chassis batteries from shore power or the generator. Only the house batteries were charged from those sources through the inverter.  The chassis batteries are charged from the alternator, but your photo shows a device which connects both the cabin and engine batteries together after the high initial current required to satisfy the engine batteries tapers off.  That sensing device is an IRD, and is seen on your photo just above the large relay.  That large relay is also used in the “boost” function to assist when the engine batteries are depleted and won’t provide enough current to stare the engine.  
To charge the engine batteries while on shore power, a device called the Lambert Battery Maintainer was added on the High end Monaco coaches.  If you have one, it should begin the same area.  It is a green device that provides a small charging current to the engine batteries whenever the house batteries are being charged from the inverter.

 

 

Dick L.  04 Imperial

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I have a 2001 Holiday Rambler manual that say that the engine batteries should be charged by shore power and the gen. I did post a mistake in my original post by saying it had an inverter to charge the cabin batteries. In fact dr4film pointed out it was just a intelli-power battery charger. But as you say and from what I've seen, the manuals are for several different models. I do know the only time the engine batteries volts are the same as the cabin batteries have is when the BOOST button is pushed. I pretty sure I'm going to install the blue sea system and that will take care of this. Still trying to read and learn as much as I can about this coach. Thanks for your help.  

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Mike,

Without actually viewing exactly what your Front Run Bay Electrical setup is and your rear Run Bay Electrical setup is (if you have one) it is hard to tell what you have and don't have.

Photos would help.

However, based on what you have said so far, the relay in your photo is most likely the Battery Isolator Relay. This relay is used to combine your House and Chassis Battery Banks together. That's why you see the same identical VDC on both sides ONLY when you activate the Auxiliary Boost Switch on your dash.

If you remove that relay and install the Blue Seas Isolator ML-ACR in it's place and hook up the two cables, House & Chassis to it, the brains inside the ML-ACR will automatically determine which battery bank needs to be charged no matter whether you have the engine running, shore power hooked up or the generator running.

Plus if you choose to hookup the additional control wires to each location and to the remote switch based on the supplied wiring diagram it will use the extra features that come with the device.

It's best to study the wiring diagram to familiarize yourself with the device and the instructions before attempting to install it.

We are always here to help out when in doubt.

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