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Old 01-21-2004, 11:50 AM   #29
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Update on time

That shoud be 2 1/4 hours for the recharge not 1 1/4 hours.
Sorry
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:31 AM   #30
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Dying Univolt??

Before we go out and buy a new Univolt (or OB) I will ask a few ??

We just got back from a 4 day camp trip where we used the Univolt w/battery exclusively. Prior to leaving for the trip, we had the trailer plugged into shore power and everything was working. Also, while on trip, the Univolt w/battery was working fine, w/power going down toward the last day (lights dimming). We got home yesterday, plugged back into shore power w/Univolt still going, and LOW AND BEHOLD, the lights were WAY DIM and the wall plugs non-working. Price unhooked Univolt, the wall plugs worked, but lights did not. What's up, is it dying??? I will also mention, Price washed the trailer as soon as we returned, prior to plugging in to shore. Could something have gotten wet and the Univolt is not working properly because of that? It sure gets frustrating when something is working properly, then all of a sudden isn't. Help
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Old 08-11-2004, 12:04 PM   #31
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Hi, this is Price...(Gary, I'm Leigh's Trailer Repair Guy...that's Leigh's Trailer and Leigh's repair guy!)...anyway, I thought I would clarify what has occured since we returned. First, I took the battery out of the battery compartment and plugged it into our Battery Minder in the house. I washed the trailer. I plugged in the shore power. The rest is as Leigh said...but with an addition. After we tried the lights/wall plugs etc., with AND without the Univolt plugged in, I again plugged in the Univolt and left the shore power on all night. This morning when I went to the trailer, I could smell hot electrical wiring...you know the smell, I'm sure. I unplugged the Univolt (which was quite hot) and unplugged shore power. That's basically the same routine I do every time we come back from a trip, with the exception of washing the trailer...I don't do that every time. We've naver had anything like this happen before. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Price
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:03 PM   #32
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Two questions:
1. Did you put the battery back in Before or After the "Hot Wire" smell?
2. Did the leads that you pulled off of the battery touch each other or metal on the camper while you had the battery unhooked?

John
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:43 PM   #33
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Did you hook the battery back up, "exactly" the way you disconnected it.

Plus to plus and minus to minus?

Andy
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:51 PM   #34
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John,

1. The battery was removed before we hooked up to shore power, and was not in the trailer at all after that.
2. To my knowledge, the terminal cables never touched. However, they could have been connected through water when I washed the trailer, as they were lying in the bottom of the battery tray. The battery door was closed, but does not seal against the elements at all.

Our system is comprised of two pieces: the converter and a 12 volt fuse distribution panel. The converter is made by Litton: model TU-440-6 Triad-Utrad.

I examined the fuse distribution panel and found an SFE 30 fuse had been blown...replaced it and still have the dim lights, etc., as previously reported. I didn't leave the unit plugged in long enough to find out if the electrical smell and converter/panel were hot again. Also I have not tried putting the battery back in to see what happens because we need to be able to use shore power on occasion anyway.

Color me confused and baffled! With electricity, don't you either have it or you don't? I can't understand how we could have "partial" power...i.e. dim lights.

Price
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Old 08-11-2004, 06:13 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COArgosy78
John,

1. The battery was removed before we hooked up to shore power, and was not in the trailer at all after that.
2. To my knowledge, the terminal cables never touched. However, they could have been connected through water when I washed the trailer, as they were lying in the bottom of the battery tray. The battery door was closed, but does not seal against the elements at all.

Our system is comprised of two pieces: the converter and a 12 volt fuse distribution panel. The converter is made by Litton: model TU-440-6 Triad-Utrad.

I examined the fuse distribution panel and found an SFE 30 fuse had been blown...replaced it and still have the dim lights, etc., as previously reported. I didn't leave the unit plugged in long enough to find out if the electrical smell and converter/panel were hot again. Also I have not tried putting the battery back in to see what happens because we need to be able to use shore power on occasion anyway.

Color me confused and baffled! With electricity, don't you either have it or you don't? I can't understand how we could have "partial" power...i.e. dim lights.

Price
Just a thought on what you might be actually smelling, and what you might want to check out in the Univolt. The burned wire smell you mention might actually be the large transformer in the Univolt. If the battery was not in the circuit, it's possible that the transformer was heating more than usuall since it was not dissipating the charging energy. This may have caused either the transformer windings (hundreds of wraps of wire around an iron core) to short or open. If they opened, then the Univolt would not output any power, if shorted, it may act strangely. As mentioned in a number of other posts on the Univolt, your capacitors (a critical circuit component) may be damaged and require replacing. You could open the unit and examine the transformer and capacitors, but be very careful! If the capacitors are still working they hold what could be a lethal electric charge! If it is the caps, they can be easily replaced. Search on "York Capacitor" in the forum, they stock the exact 4uf (microfarad) 660volt capacitors.
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Old 08-12-2004, 07:33 PM   #36
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Since I last posted, I have put the battery back in the trailer and everything works fine...with the Univolt plugged in and with the Univolt unplugged. When I again remove the battery, and plug into shore power, the same situation occurs...dimness and "that smell".

Now, as for the capacitors...exactly what do they look like? And how will I know if they hold a lethal charge...short of learning the hard way? Is it advisable to take the unit out of the trailer and have it tested by a professional, or leave it in the trailer and have it tested by a professional? I'm not sure I want to risk a "charged" capacitor without any better (translatation: NONE) knowledge of this thing.

Thanks for all the helpful advice...and knowledgable tips. If I haven't fried myself, I'll return for another post at some future point!

Price
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:45 PM   #37
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If the 12 volt system reads 13.0 Plus while plugged in, 12.5 or less with the trailer unplugged then the univolt is fine.
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:24 AM   #38
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COArgosy78,
If you do not have experience working on electronics, don't open the case. Get an experienced technician to help you. Someone who installs furnaces, or an electrician. The danger is not the small 4 uf AC capacitors, but the exposed 115 VAC with only the house circuit breaker to protect you. The secondary of the transformer can melt things with the current avail. If the transformer is truly fried, it's a boat anchor. Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2004, 11:13 AM   #39
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I'm trying to wrap my mind around this problem, so going to see if I can summarize what we have so far.

1. Plugging in the battery - the lights,fan,etc. seem to work regardless of the Univolt - they were of the same intensity when the Univolt was plugged in or not plugged in.

2. Removing battery and using Shore Power - Wall sockets work when Univolt is unplugged, but no lights,fan,etc. When Univolt is plugged in, it seems to lessen the current to wall sockets and lights,fan,ect. work, but are significantly dim.

So, Univolt is not dead, but something is shot within. Not knowing the ins/outs of the Univolt and not having a diagram or any basic knowledge of this unit - I would like to ask for a concensus. Does it seem like an easy fix (ie, something that can be pinpointed and a walk thru of repair given) or does it seem more likely that we should go the replacement route? We are leaning toward the replacement, but hate to toss anything that potentially works safely and reliably if fixed.
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:05 PM   #40
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I'm not sure if you have an actual Univolt or you're just using that term generically.

However, I belive univolts require the battery to be in place in order to work correctly, it's part of the circuit. Some of the newer type chargers can work either way.

A better test for you would be to put the battery back in and test across the battery terminals with a meter. It should be around 12.5 volts.

Plug in the trailer and the univolt should be charging the battery and with the meter you should see around 13.2 v - 14 v. Much out of this range with a good battery your univolt is probably shot. Generally if the univolt is shot your going to be replacing it.

As a side note, your wall sockets don't have anything to do with the univolt. They are only hot when the trailer is plugged in. The lights and water pump, and some other small items always run off the battery. Which, when plugged in is kept charged by the univolt when its working properly.

Good luck with your electrical work!
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Old 08-14-2004, 12:50 PM   #41
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Here is my understanding of the Univolt (yes ours is a Univolt made by Litton) both from reading in our owner manual and the bit I have gleaned from posting. The manual indicates that the Univolt could stay plugged in at all times and would regulate the current for both battery power and shore power (from manual "the Univolt System has a transformer designed to maintain constant output voltages regardless of variances that occur in city pwer systems." But according to many posts, there seems to be controversy re: the Univolt and battery. Many seem to have experienced shorter battery life when the battery stayed in their trailer for extended periods, or when both battery and shore power were used together w/Univolt. So, we have always only used shore power here at home w/o our battery in place, but w/Univolt plugged in. And likewise, when no shore power was available (ie.camping) we used the battery plugged to Univolt. This has always worked for us w/no problems until this last trip (while camping and using battery, we noticed no problem), when upon returning home, and plugging into shore power w/o battery, we found the lights and fan to be working, but very dim and w/the strange smell (ie.ozone/burning wiring?) We have always done it this way only because there was that controversy and we did not want to destroy our battery (It is plugged into a BatteryMinder when not in trailer).
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Old 08-14-2004, 01:10 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COArgosy78
I'm trying to wrap my mind around this problem, so going to see if I can summarize what we have so far.

1. Plugging in the battery - the lights,fan,etc. seem to work regardless of the Univolt - they were of the same intensity when the Univolt was plugged in or not plugged in.

2. Removing battery and using Shore Power - Wall sockets work when Univolt is unplugged, but no lights,fan,etc. When Univolt is plugged in, it seems to lessen the current to wall sockets and lights,fan,ect. work, but are significantly dim.

So, Univolt is not dead, but something is shot within. Not knowing the ins/outs of the Univolt and not having a diagram or any basic knowledge of this unit - I would like to ask for a concensus. Does it seem like an easy fix (ie, something that can be pinpointed and a walk thru of repair given) or does it seem more likely that we should go the replacement route? We are leaning toward the replacement, but hate to toss anything that potentially works safely and reliably if fixed.
Leigh:

Here's a guess of what might be happening via remote diagnosis.

You lights, fans, etc are 12 volt and are powered by the battery. When the battery is installed and hooked up they work the same short term whether or not the Univolt is plugged in. When the battery is removed and disconnected, they do not work. You need your battery installed and hooked up to get your 12 volt lights, fans, etc. to work.

The Univolt is a battery charger. When the battery is removed and the Univolt is unplugged, nothing happens, including your lights, fans, etc. not working. With your battery removed and the Univolt is plugged in, the Univolt is trying to charge the battery, which is not there. As a result, the Univolt continues trying to charge whatever is between the disconnected battery terminal cables, which might be the the floor -- hence the smell and the dim 120 volt lights while the Univolt busts its buns trying to charge your trailer floor or whatever is between the disconnected battery terminal cable ends. Not a good situation.

Do you have a wiring diagram for your trailer? Do you have a service manual for your trailer? If not, buy one from Helen Davis. tel. 937-492-8885, so you can see how your Argosy trailer is wired before you attempt electrical diagnosis or repairs.

My above analysis is just my guess as to what might be happening in your trailer, so don't relpy on it -- its simply something to think about as to what might be happening in your trailer. Don't reply on group consensus on what might be happening in your trailer. Do reply on the wiring diagram for your trailer as a starting point for diagnosis and repair.
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