Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Images: 3
Weird Univolt noise (no not the hum) and power flicker

I've gotten used the the loud hum from the univolt in my 1975 Airstream Ambassador but this morning it switched from the hum to a louder growl and the lights power flicked off then on 2-3 times over the course of about an hour. I went ahead and flipped off the power before leaving (I live full time in the Airstream).

I am wondering if this is simply a symptom of the Univolt dying? In which case I figure I just need to replace it. But I haven't seen this symptom mentioned anywhere on the forums.

It's been cold here in Oregon, 28 degrees this morning so I've been running my little oil radiator at a higher temp, and I'm wondering if that's enough to kill an elderly Univolt.

thanks!

C
__________________

__________________
ovrteakettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,139
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
It sounds like the insulation (varnish) is breaking down allowing the metal plates in the core of the transformer to vibrate. It will continue to deteriorate to the point of total failure. I would recommend you replace it ASAP. Depending on it's location, it could become a fire hazard.
__________________

__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Images: 3
Thanks! The fire hazard thing is the part that worries me! I think it's fine for the day since I flipped the charger breaker switch which killed all the power and stopped the noise, and I'm guessing my battery is dead because the 12 volt power was off too. I have a friend who works on RVs coming out to look at it today and he says he can put a new transformer in if that's the issue. Since I live in it, I hope it's something fairly simple!
__________________
ovrteakettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 12:26 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
1969 27' Overlander
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 168
Intelli-power's are $150.00
Might be the time to replace the old unit with 21st century electronics.
Inland RV Inland RV Center - The Nations Leading Expert in Airstream Innovations,
or RV Parts Outlet Leading the WORLD in RV Parts Sales - RV PARTS OUTLET
are great!
RV Parts is in Oregon.
Good luck!
__________________
Ed Glenn
edglenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Images: 3
Ah, I didn't know about RV Parts in Oregon, good to know. We've also got Sutton RV which is an Airstream dealer, but it sounds like I can get a part that's not Airstream specific?

Thanks!

C
__________________
ovrteakettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,400
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
If you have a Univolt and it's plugged in all the time, your battery is probably cooked.

If it's a 120v electric radiator, it has no effect on the Univolt unless it throws the external breaker for the socket your trailer is plugged into.

No one has anything really good to say about Univolts, and the WFCO converter the previous owner put into my trailer seems to manage the battery pretty well.
__________________
David

Zero Gravitas 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 04:11 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Images: 3
Thanks for all the input! Is it pretty simple to figure out what to buy to replace the Univolt?
__________________
ovrteakettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,400
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
It seems to be. As I said, I'm happy with my WFCO, and it's my impression that people in general are satisfied with Intellipower and Iota converters. Best Converter is a commercial member of the forums and people give them great reviews for service and support. The page I linked to is specifically about recommendations to replace Univolts.

NOTE: I have no direct experience with Best Converter, though I know from the receipts that's where the previous owner of my Argosy bought the WFCO he installed.
__________________
David

Zero Gravitas 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Images: 3
Hmm other (related) question.

I am assuming the weird louder noise is relating to my power going on and off, but I'm basically running on 120 volt as I'm parked and plugged in. Would a dying Univolt affect all my electric or just the 12 volt?
__________________
ovrteakettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 06:43 PM   #10
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,400
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
It depends on how it dies. If it dies with a short circuit it could take out the 120v circuit it's on, but other than that it shouldn't affect the 120v system. Remember, though, that all the lights are 12v, as is the fan for the furnace. If you have a newer refrigerator, it may have a 12v control board that needs power, though the refrigerator that's original to a '75 doesn't need 12v. A DSI water heater would also require 12v to operate, but a gas-pilot unit doesn't need any electricity.
__________________
David

Zero Gravitas 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2011, 06:51 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Images: 3
The only things operating on the 12 volt are a couple lights, my fridge and every thing else are on 120. This leads me now to wonder what's up with my power flicking on and off and if it's unrelated to the weird noise from the Univolt.
__________________
ovrteakettle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2011, 10:43 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
1969 27' Overlander
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 168
Disconnect the Univolt AT THE UNIT. You may have to remove a couple of screws to pull it out far enough to undo the terminals.
If the problem on the 120vac circuits goes away, the Univolt is shorting and pulling the entire grid down. Replace it ASAP.
If the problem DOESN'T go away, then you have a wiring issue in the trailer (or trailer PLUG). Find it and fix it, before it kills someone!!
You may have some burned wires, like behind an electrical outlet, etc.
Don't mean to scare you, but DO NOT ignore electrical problems, especially if you're living in the unit.
__________________
Ed Glenn
edglenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2011, 12:31 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,139
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
Before you dive into the trailer make sure you have a good connection to the shore power. If the plug shows signs of arcing, that could be the flickering problem. Are you connected to a 30 amp receptacle? What kind of shore power cable do you have? If it is an extension cord plugged into the trailer and at the outlet supplying power, it could be one or both ends.
__________________

__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Silver Sisters Online Rally LuminumTraila Forum Rallies & Meet Ups 3111 04-07-2014 01:11 AM
The Hum is (was) back RichHog Audio, Video & TV 11 03-16-2013 01:39 PM
Mysterious Electronics - 2007 19' Bambi randf Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 15 05-31-2012 06:11 AM
AC Hum from Stereo Speakers Voyager407 General Repair Forum 2 08-22-2011 11:57 AM
HUM from radio when hooked to shore power The Driver Audio, Video & TV 5 07-12-2011 06:42 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.