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Old 07-13-2009, 02:30 AM   #1
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Bad Batteries, Bad Univolt or Both -- Please Help

OK, here's the situation.

All the lights in my rear bathroom quit working. I worked on that problem for 2 days. Part of the process of solving the problem was to refill my battery, as I've been hooked up generator power for 5 days. Solved the bathroom light problem and thought I was all good. Then 20 minutes later, all the lights in my galley won't work, nor any of the overheads, except the one in the bathroom, it works fine.

My control board says the battery is bad, although all cells have water. I have a gut feeling it's not a wiring issue, as I found no wiring problems in the bathroom. Also, the test lights on my control system in the cabinet are reading differently at different times.

Can a bad univolt cause no lights to work in various parts of the trailer?

Can it also cause batteries to fail very very quickly?

What do you guys think the problem is here?


I work in the oilfield and cannot take it in for a week and a half or so, as I am currently out on a rig, but when I do get done with the job, I have already purchased a new Inteli-Power 9245C to put in, and I plan on a new fuse panel as well, once I know what kind of fuse panel to purchase.

In the meantime, I need lights and don't know what to do.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:20 AM   #2
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Can a bad univolt cause no lights to work in various parts of the trailer?
If the univolt was bad, and the batteries were bad, you would have no lights anywhere in the trailer. The fact that you have some lights working, tells me it is most likely a fuse, or a problem on the 12volt distribution board (fuse board).
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
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when the umbilical is hooked to the truck, do you have lights? (just don't leave it connected long because you'll kill the truck battery)
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:26 AM   #4
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Nothing changes when hooked up to my truck, it is the same as just being plugged in the the generator. What about the fuses between the batteries and the univolt?
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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If the fuse between the univolt and battery were no good you would not have any 12v even in the bath. Check the fuse panel itself and see if you are getting power accross the fuse . Sometimes the fuse holders become loose or corroded. Also check for bad ground at the light fixtures , and/or bad univolt ground.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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jab, i have been reading your posts elsewhere. you've got a few things going on.

first) have the battery charged and tested at a auto parts store or service shop. you need to start and make sure the battery is ok.

second) if even with the umbilical providing power, you have the same problems, you need to verify you're actually getting power from the cord to the trailer.

third) the battery voltage should match closely, the voltage at the devices used.

fourth) you may have a bad ground somewhere.

start at the battery and check the readings until they are different. part of your lighting issues might be a bad ground, bad switch, bad connection or a short.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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please save me from reading all your posts again. does the univolt hum? they are known for their noticeable hum when you're trying to sleep. do you know what a GFCI circuit breaker is? you may need to check to see if the univolt is tripping that while on the generator.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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Thanks Richinny for your help. Yes, my univolt does hum, not loudly at all though, and yes I do know what a Ground Fault Breaker is. No, mine is not tripping or acting up at all. All of my AC power stuff is good. My 12V system is the only problem. Part of the problem, I think is the PO or the PO of the PO did some creative in line glass fuse holders in the 12V fuse panel that are related to the 5 circuits that involve the interior 12V system. I am thinking that these may be an issue, although they test out at 12V each. However, I've been reading that a fluke meter can lie about the voltage because it doesn't actually load the circuit when you test, and that when an actual load is put on the system that's when the issue can happen. Not sure of the validity of this argument, as I am not an experience electrician.

I guess I am going to see if my negative lead 50 amp fuses between my battery and the univolt are ok and go from there.

I need to know a model number for a new fuse panel so I can get rid of this outdated glass fuse system.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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do a google search for "airforums.com univolt fuse panel"

you should find a few examples of what folks have used. are you no longer showing 9v in the trailer?
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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no, now it is between 6 and 7.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #11
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ok, it looks like the battery is draining and not being charged. check those univolt fuses. i would guess that the lights that are working are getting dimmer.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jabreyd13 View Post
OK, here's the situation.

All the lights in my rear bathroom quit working. I worked on that problem for 2 days. Part of the process of solving the problem was to refill my battery, as I've been hooked up generator power for 5 days. Solved the bathroom light problem and thought I was all good. Then 20 minutes later, all the lights in my galley won't work, nor any of the overheads, except the one in the bathroom, it works fine.
.


What else did you do to fix the bath lights?
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:16 PM   #13
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Not sure really. I took apart connections, cleaned them with contact cleaner, and put them back together, then tested the circuits one at a time and had 12Volts all the sudden. Then 20 minutes later my galley stopped working.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:25 PM   #14
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Not sure really. I took apart connections, cleaned them with contact cleaner, and put them back together, then tested the circuits one at a time and had 12Volts all the sudden. Then 20 minutes later my galley stopped working.
12v can do some wacky stuff when the system is not working right. I suspect the battery. Have you tried individually testing the battery cells and doing a load test on the battery? Reverse polarity on shore power can also cause strangeness.
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