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Old 09-23-2019, 04:37 PM   #1
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converter issue or not?

Just purchased a battery for my new to me 1997 Solaris. While connected to shore power I tested the wires with my VOM prior to attaching to battery. 7.5v was the reading. I remembered I had the fridge running so I shut that off and retested. Now 8.5VDC. Could there be corrosion somewhere reducing the voltage or would the converter be the culprit? Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-23-2019, 05:05 PM   #2
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Was it connected to the battery at the time? Many require a reference voltage.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:02 PM   #3
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The battery was not connected at the time I tested. I did hook the battery up and test again and the voltage did not go above the voltage of the battery
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
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My '99 T-1950 Solaris' converter puts out about 14.2V (as I recall) when on shore power with the battery disconnected, and no load except the LP gas detector.

Where were you measuring the voltage? To eliminate a lot of guesswork, measure it at the hot side of the fuse bank in the converter. If it's low there, you almost certainly have a problem within the converter itself.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:15 PM   #5
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You can try this to help sort out what is good or not.

Unhook the battery, test the voltage at the battery itself. Yes, it is a new battery but you need to know what state of charge it is in. Many batteries right out of the store need to be put on a battery charger to bring them up to 100% fully charged and it can take a day or 2 to get it there pending the size of the charger.

A battery fully charged on the charger, then let rest for 8 to 12 hours to allow the surface charge to fade away, should be in the 12.73 volt range at 100% charged. You have to let it rest after charging to bleed off the excess surface charge or it will read real high. Also test your volt meter on a known good battery to make sure it is working right. This now tells you what the battery itself is doing.

As fyi, a lead acid battery at rest is 100% state of charge = 12.73 VDC. 70%= 12.37VDC, 50% = 12.10 VDC, 30%=11.81VDC and 10%=11.51VDC. As you can see, the meter has to be accurate as there is only 1.22 volts difference between 100% charge and 10% charge when using voltage to determine battery state of charge.

Then with the known battery voltage, (charged or uncharged), unplug the camper from shore power. Make sure no 12 VDC loads are active in the camper (lights, radio, roof antenna etc are all off) . Then with the battery leads off, test for the voltage at the battery. Then put the leads on and test at the battery, it should be the same but maybe not as it can mean there is still some kind of load drawing on the battery.

Go inside the power converter on the wires that come from the battery. The voltage at the battery unhooked and at the power converter when the battery is hooked up should be very close to the same. If you are getting 0.4 to 0.5 or larger volts difference, then the wiring is really small or you have corrosion, bad connection etc going on or a load draining it down inside you did not find. Unhook one of the wires from the battery inside at the converter to confirm if it is a real low voltage. It should be very little difference. 0.1 to 0.2 volts drop.

Now on shore power, if the power converter is working, these are voltages that you should see, at the battery with the leads hooked up and no loads going on in the camper. Test and see what you get.

Much anything less than 13.0 volts, the power converter is not working right.

13.25V = float charge. Only maintaining a battery. Not charging.

13.65V = standard charge. This is a charging voltage.

14.4V = boost charge. Many really old power converters never had this. If your old one has it this high, the converter may have a bad regulator and is over powering the battery cooking it out. The newer boost features of 3 stage chargers use this higher voltage and it auto regulates the current and then tapers the voltage down to 13.6, then later down to 13.2 as the battery comes up to 100%. Your old converter, may only have one voltage (standard charge) and never taper down. These older ones that never dropped into float mode cooked out batteries often.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:31 AM   #6
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A proper working converter will attempt to charge a weak battery even if one cell is bad. If you are reading the same voltage as the battery with the converter online there is a problem. Generally the converters are AC hard wired and not on a breaker the output (DC) is fused usually with two 30 amp fuses that would be the next thing to check before you condemn the converter.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:24 PM   #7
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I hooked up the battery and left it. Came back and checked the leads at the converter. 13.74v. Looks like it is working.
Thankbu for all the replies
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:36 PM   #8
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Glad all is working. Your 13.74 volts is in the standard charge mode. If you leave it plugged in for a a few days (2 to 3 days) the battery should reach 100% charged. And then check the voltage again. Ideally with the converter on, it should drop down to float mode, 13.25/13.3 volts and just maintain and not keep charging.

If your your older converter never drops out of the 13.7 area volts, it is constantly charging. Some of the older converters did that. And they cook out the battery electrolyte out in the process.

If yours is like that, constant non stop charging, then when you store the camper between camping trips during the warmer nonfreezing months, once the battery is fully charged, pull the shore power to shut down the converter. And then pull the negative cable off the battery if there is no battery disconnect switch.

Odds are high you have very small power loads from a possibly LP gas detector and radio backlight display, and even a roof antenna booster left on that can drain a battery over a few weeks or so hooked up.

If you are storing the camper for the winter outside, then the battery storage mode is different. If you need help on that, let us know and we can type some more.

Thanks for reporting back.

John
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:18 AM   #9
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Something's not right about a new battery being only 8.5 volts. Was it connected for a day or so not plugged in?
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