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Old 11-23-2017, 06:21 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Yes flip off that breaker and see if the current draw is less.

Then it might be interesting [no shore power] to turn the breaker back on, go to "Use," turn the inverter "On" at its switch/button, and then measure the draw of the inverter ready to put out 120 volts AC [but don't plug anything in to an inverted duplex receptacle, just yet].

Then plug a 120 volt AC appliance into an inverted outlet, and operate it. We have a small toaster that works for this. Not sure what the capacity of your inverter is.

Through the various stages of inverter use above, the current draw data will be helpful IMO.

Do you have a sub-woofer buried somewhere, like under a bed or couch? I found ours under the bed, and confirmed that it lost power in "Store" mode.

Have a good Thanksgiving.

Peter
Ha...doubt my batteries are going to be in any shape tomorrow to use the inverter LOL! I have a 1000 watt inverter and have a sub-woofer under the couch. I'll check that also.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:47 AM   #62
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Measure DC Amp.

Can you measure DC with a Clamp meter. Thought that was for AC only? Mine wont. But it is an older model. I have to use meter leads in series with load.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:25 AM   #63
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Hi

Ok, let's sort things out a bit:

The inverter and converter do not leak power on the 120V side. The only side you care about is the 12V side. Plugging and un-plugging the 120V cable isn't going to do much as far as parasitic loads.

There are an almost infinite number of clamp amp meters on the market. They date *way* back. I have some very cool Amprobe meters that are older than I am (they date to the 1940's). Trying to say they all do this or they all do that ... not so much.

Clamp meters that measure DC are a bit newer than ones that measure AC. Some have full scale numbers up in the 400A range. Trying to read low currents on a 400A meter ... not so much. That's true of any meter as long as it stays on the 400A scale. We tend to forget this in the era of meters that auto scale all the time.

You can get meters that do the clamp on thing at DC and have a full scale range of 40A. I tend to trust that sort of thing more if the mete says Fluke on it It's not terribly hard to set up a science experiment to verify if your meter is lying to you at 1A DC. It's a bit more exciting to check it at 400A DC

If you dig into the spec sheets on the expensive converters, they get very specific about parasitic load. They all have some load in the "off" condition. On the fancy ones, it's a pretty small number. I have no data on the stock AS converter. I'm sure it pulls at least a few ma. I would not be surprised if it was 10's of ma. That puts it into the 1 to 10 AH per month range.

Batteries self discharge. Manufacturers either do or don't mention this on their spec sheets. Those that do mention it put a pretty wide range on the number. If you take a look at some data sheets, they get up into the 15% per month range. That's going to be 12AH on an 80AH battery. Worrying about 1 or 2 AH per month ... forget about it ...

Lots of fun !!

Bob
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:48 AM   #64
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Hi

Ok, let's sort things out a bit:

The inverter and converter do not leak power on the 120V side. The only side you care about is the 12V side. Plugging and un-plugging the 120V cable isn't going to do much as far as parasitic loads.

There are an almost infinite number of clamp amp meters on the market. They date *way* back. I have some very cool Amprobe meters that are older than I am (they date to the 1940's). Trying to say they all do this or they all do that ... not so much.

Clamp meters that measure DC are a bit newer than ones that measure AC. Some have full scale numbers up in the 400A range. Trying to read low currents on a 400A meter ... not so much. That's true of any meter as long as it stays on the 400A scale. We tend to forget this in the era of meters that auto scale all the time.

You can get meters that do the clamp on thing at DC and have a full scale range of 40A. I tend to trust that sort of thing more if the mete says Fluke on it It's not terribly hard to set up a science experiment to verify if your meter is lying to you at 1A DC. It's a bit more exciting to check it at 400A DC

If you dig into the spec sheets on the expensive converters, they get very specific about parasitic load. They all have some load in the "off" condition. On the fancy ones, it's a pretty small number. I have no data on the stock AS converter. I'm sure it pulls at least a few ma. I would not be surprised if it was 10's of ma. That puts it into the 1 to 10 AH per month range.

Batteries self discharge. Manufacturers either do or don't mention this on their spec sheets. Those that do mention it put a pretty wide range on the number. If you take a look at some data sheets, they get up into the 15% per month range. That's going to be 12AH on an 80AH battery. Worrying about 1 or 2 AH per month ... forget about it ...

Lots of fun !!

Bob
The meter I used is a Fluke 325 clamp meter. It has both a 40amp and 400amp range. At 0.25 amps, that is a lot more than 1 or 2 AH per month. My current problem appears to be my batteries. However, once changed out, I don't think I'll be able to go one week with the current parasitic loads without charging the batteries. Looks like I need to install a battery disconnect switch!
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:52 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billrector View Post
The meter I used is a Fluke 325 clamp meter. It has both a 40amp and 400amp range. At 0.25 amps, that is a lot more than 1 or 2 AH per month. My current problem appears to be my batteries. However, once changed out, I don't think I'll be able to go one week with the current parasitic loads without charging the batteries. Looks like I need to install a battery disconnect switch!
Well, I'm at least were getting this sorted out sort of... I just ordered a knife kill switch again. I had one on my last 25' and it worked well; no battery issues after I installed. https://www.amazon.com/WirthCo-20148...GA4GVRYKTFST15
The AS tech manager I talked with earlier, also recomended switching to 6V AGM's when I replace my Interstates. I mentioned Costoc was carrying the Interstate 6V Golf Carg batteries, and he said "junk"; said to get Trojan 6V AGM's when I switch. I see them on line for around $125-200 each; any experience or comments here?
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:43 AM   #66
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I went back to the trailer today and the voltage was about 10.5 volts. I removed both batteries and brought them home with me. I plan to charge both of them and then see how the capacity is reduced just based on time.

I did see an interesting YouTube video on how to test the individual cells of a lead acid battery and gave that a try. You simply put the positive lead on the positive and the other lead in the water. In theory, with 6-cells in each of my batteries, each cell should produce approximately 2 volts.

The first cell of the first battery I tested showed just 0.4 volts. I then went on to the next cells and each cell added about 2 volts to the total (i.e. the 2nd cell was 2.4 and the 3rd was 4.4, etc.).

I then tested the other battery and got the same results.

Now, these batteries were not fully charged (10.5V vs. 12.7V) so I don't really know if my test was valid. I do find it odd that out of 12 cells it was the first cell that far less than 2V and the other cells all seem to be close to 2V.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:51 AM   #67
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Well, I'm at least were getting this sorted out sort of... I just ordered a knife kill switch again. I had one on my last 25' and it worked well; no battery issues after I installed. https://www.amazon.com/WirthCo-20148...GA4GVRYKTFST15
The AS tech manager I talked with earlier, also recomended switching to 6V AGM's when I replace my Interstates. I mentioned Costoc was carrying the Interstate 6V Golf Carg batteries, and he said "junk"; said to get Trojan 6V AGM's when I switch. I see them on line for around $125-200 each; any experience or comments here?
Hi

Trojan makes pretty good batteries. They are flooded cells, so you get all of that nonsense with them. They also are a bit large for some battery boxes. You will get around 10% more capacity with them than with other common alternatives. There are indeed "uncommon" alternatives that will double or triple your capacity.

One gotcha with heading out to "odd brands" is the support network. It's pretty easy to find an Interstate dealer. With Trojan (or some of the even more obscure outfits) it can be exciting to find a place to get warranty service. That's not to say it's impossible. You just will drive a bit further in most cases.

Any time you see something like a battery sold online, consider shipping. A flooded cell may not be "happy" being shipped with acid in it. You might be getting a "dry" battery. I *have* had this happen in the past. They also are not very light. Usually you do better cost wise driving over and picking them up.

I have seen cases of manufacturers not honoring the warranty on online battery purchases. That's not a common issue. It is worth thinking about. There also is the question of how old the batteries are. An authorized dealer will likely not sell you batteries that are past their "sell by" date. How much these issues are tangled with each other - who knows.

Bob
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:43 AM   #68
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I went back to the trailer today and the voltage was about 10.5 volts. I removed both batteries and brought them home with me. I plan to charge both of them and then see how the capacity is reduced just based on time.

I did see an interesting YouTube video on how to test the individual cells of a lead acid battery and gave that a try. You simply put the positive lead on the positive and the other lead in the water. In theory, with 6-cells in each of my batteries, each cell should produce approximately 2 volts.

The first cell of the first battery I tested showed just 0.4 volts. I then went on to the next cells and each cell added about 2 volts to the total (i.e. the 2nd cell was 2.4 and the 3rd was 4.4, etc.).

I then tested the other battery and got the same results.

Now, these batteries were not fully charged (10.5V vs. 12.7V) so I don't really know if my test was valid. I do find it odd that out of 12 cells it was the first cell that far less than 2V and the other cells all seem to be close to 2V.

Thoughts?
One other thing I failed to mention....

When I removed the batteries earlier today, I noticed water under one of the batteries. Is was only under one and there has been no rain and storage is covered. I have replaced the converter and only had it charging for 40+ hours at the most. Is this indicative of a failed battery?
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:33 PM   #69
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Possibly from the battery boiling over IMO.

I would be very cautious about charging these batteries in a flammable structure, as there is a risk of fire IMO.

Best to take them to a battery store for testing and replacement.

Your labor in this entire process has already paid for a new set of batteries!

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Old 11-25-2017, 07:29 AM   #70
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I did manage to charge both batteries yesterday. The first battery seemed to charge just fine and a few hours after disconnecting it from the charger it read 12.9V. The other battery would not charge beyond 11V. The charger said it was 100% charged and I tried to charge it twice. So, I'm assuming that battery has a shorted cell.

This morning I measured the battery that read 12.9V yesterday and it is down to 12.6V with no load on it whatsoever. Now, my assumption is that this battery has issues also?
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:02 AM   #71
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Hi

A battery has two plates in it separated by electrolyte. To make a battery that does not immediately dump all it's charge, you use an electrolyte that is not a terrific conductor. You don't want to short out the cell with the electrolyte.

The battery voltage is measured between the plates. Since the electrolyte is in the middle, you get a voltage "somewhere in the middle" when you stick a probe in it. If your meter is super high impedance, you will get one number. If it's a conventional multimeter, you get a very different number. If your probe is metal, it may make a "battery" when put into the electrolyte.

Simply put --- not a real good way to check cells unless you have pretty fancy gear. Also not a great way to check the "end cells".

====

Sounds like it's time to take your batteries over to the local battery dealer and get them warranty replaced.

Bob
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:19 AM   #72
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I did manage to charge both batteries yesterday. The first battery seemed to charge just fine and a few hours after disconnecting it from the charger it read 12.9V. The other battery would not charge beyond 11V. The charger said it was 100% charged and I tried to charge it twice. So, I'm assuming that battery has a shorted cell.

This morning I measured the battery that read 12.9V yesterday and it is down to 12.6V with no load on it whatsoever. Now, my assumption is that this battery has issues also?
Depending on the ambient temperature 12.7 volts is 100% charge. Your 12.9 volt was taken too soon after removal from the charger.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:07 AM   #73
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Last update!

Took the batteries into Interstate and they checked both of them. The first had a bad cell. The second passed that test but the specific gravity between cells was out of spec. Both were replaced under warranty.

I had hoped to upgrade to golf cart batteries there, but they would not apply the credit to a different class of battery so I walked out with the same batteries.

At this point, I'm going to try to sell these new batteries and upgrade to the Costco golf cart batteries that are under $100 each.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:43 PM   #74
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I would suggest keeping the new batteries, in order to deal with only one variable at time. Your converter/charger may not be operating correctly, and you may have a subtle short circuit someplace IMO. The new batteries will last for at least 5 years with proper care.

Have a good weekend.

Peter

PS -- Will golf cart batteries fit in your OEM box, or are mods required?
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:46 PM   #75
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. . .
. . . Your 12.9 volt was taken too soon after removal from the charger.


His post says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by billrector View Post
. . . a few hours after disconnecting it from the charger it read 12.9V.
. . .
[emphasis added]
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:52 PM   #76
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I'm not sure what your point is, if he is reading 12.9 volts it is too soon as a 100% charged battery should read about 12.7 volts.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:50 AM   #77
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The point was that billrector said he had waited "a few hours" before getting the 12.9, so IMO that was sufficient time, and not "too soon" as you said in Post #72.

Therefore, there was no issue of time rush/delay after charging, and thus the cause of any problems had to be something else, which the battery store later confirmed as a bad cell in that battery.

I can't explain why a battery with a bad cell would be at 12.9 a few hours after shore power was removed, but time was not a causative factor IMO.

Peter
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:32 AM   #78
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The point was that billrector said he had waited "a few hours" before getting the 12.9, so IMO that was sufficient time, and not "too soon" as you said in Post #72.

Therefore, there was no issue of time rush/delay after charging, and thus the cause of any problems had to be something else, which the battery store later confirmed as a bad cell in that battery.

I can't explain why a battery with a bad cell would be at 12.9 a few hours after shore power was removed, but time was not a causative factor IMO.

Peter
Just to clarify, the battery with the bad cell measured 11.0V. The battery that measured 12.9V had the specific gravity issue and was "going bad" according to Interstate.

I charged the two new batteries YESTERDAY. TODAY, they read 13.0 volts and this was approximately 12 hours after removing them from the charger!
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Old 11-26-2017, 10:35 AM   #79
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Took the batteries into Interstate and they checked both of them. The first had a bad cell. The second passed that test but the specific gravity between cells was out of spec. Both were replaced under warranty.

I had hoped to upgrade to golf cart batteries there, but they would not apply the credit to a different class of battery so I walked out with the same batteries.

At this point, I'm going to try to sell these new batteries and upgrade to the Costco golf cart batteries that are under $100 each.

Thanks for all the help.
Hi

The Costco batteries may or may not have any more than 10% more capacity than your Interstates. There is no reason at all to believe they are any more durable or reliable.

Bob
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Old 11-26-2017, 11:21 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billrector View Post
Took the batteries into Interstate and they checked both of them. The first had a bad cell. The second passed that test but the specific gravity between cells was out of spec. Both were replaced under warranty.

I had hoped to upgrade to golf cart batteries there, but they would not apply the credit to a different class of battery so I walked out with the same batteries.

At this point, I'm going to try to sell these new batteries and upgrade to the Costco golf cart batteries that are under $100 each.

Thanks for all the help.
I am very surprised Interstate would not offer 100% credit toward an upgrade to AGM or more expensive battery. I would call back and ask for the Interstate manager and explain situation to be sure. I have done this both in San Diego with my 2014 AS when the Interstates went bad, and more recently in Helena MT this past summer. Both places offered credit....does not make sense they would not offer trade up especially when it means more $$ to them? my 2 cents...
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