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Old 05-14-2020, 05:06 AM   #1
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THOR #14595
Is My Inverter Dead? Xantrex Pro XM1800

I had my rig hooked up to shore power in preparation for a trip - fridge on. For some reason the GFI tripped and shore power went off. From there my batteries drained and my Xantrex Pro XM1800 flashed code 02. Then it stopped working.

I charged the batteries, they show 12.8 Volts output. When I remove the cables from the input terminals on the inverter and measure them on their own they also show 12.8 Volts.

When the cables are connected to the inverter and I measure across the input terminals I'm getting 4.8 Volts.

I've gone through my manual to see if there is a way to re-set the inverter but I'm kinda stuck. I submitted a request to the Xantrex support site but so far no response.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:02 AM   #2
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That is a pretty big voltage drop. If the Inverter is off, it sure sounds like something in the Inverter has failed and something in it is drawing down the batteries. The fact the you are measuring 12.8V from the side of the cables that connect to the Inverter when they are disconnected tells me the Bussman breaker from the batteries is not tripped or shorted.

I'm going to throw something else out there to look into.....

Measuring 12.8V on the charged house batteries is a good step. However, if you have a battery with a bad cell, the Inverter could be just knocking the voltage down because there is a bad battery if the Inverter is trying to power the fridge (the breaker to the Inverter input tripped). It would be good to check the Specific Gravity or use a battery tester on each battery.

Assuming the batteries are good and fully check-out ok.....

Did you have a surge protector in place when you were plugged in? I'd be concerned there was some type of shore power surge that cause some damage given you had the GFCI trip and you lost shore power. Did a storm roll through? Light in the house flicker? Power go out?

The XM1800 has a built-in transfer switch so if you did have a power surge of some sort, it is possible it took out the Inverter as a voltage surge was passing through it.

Does the Xantrex Control Panel power up at all when it is connected to the batteries?

This shouldn't be your problem but the only thing that I can think to check on the Inverter is the built-in Circuit Breaker on the Xantrex. In many cases Thor wires the AC output of the Inverter from the wires that are used for he optional GFCI outlet that can be installed in the Inverter. That outlet has it's own built-in push button breaker. That breaker would only impact the AC ouput of the Inverter. Xantrex recommends using the AC Out terminals on the Inverter and installing a sub-panel and separate breaker for the accessories being powered but Thor saves a few bucks by using the built-in breaker.

It would also be good to check to see if the breaker going to the Inverter tripped. There should be a breaker that supplies the AC input to the Inverter.

With the shore power plugged in, is the fridge running off the AC voltage at this point? If the Inverter was completely dead, you may not get voltage passing through the Inverter to power the fridge.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:18 PM   #3
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If you have 4.8 VDC at the inverter input that reads 12.8 VDC when the cables are disconnected from the inverter, AND the battery terminals read 12.8 VDC whether the cables to the inverter are connected or not, you have a high resistance connection between the batteries and the inverter. Time to use the voltmeter and find out where the other 8 volts are dropped. Until you find this problem you can not pronounce the inverter dead, or even non-working.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the thorough replies guys. Looks like I have a project this weekend.

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Old 05-14-2020, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
...If you have 4.8 VDC at the inverter input that reads 12.8 VDC when the cables are disconnected from the inverter, AND the battery terminals read 12.8 VDC whether the cables to the inverter are connected or not, you have a high resistance connection between the batteries and the inverter. Time to use the voltmeter and find out where the other 8 volts are dropped. Until you find this problem you can not pronounce the inverter dead, or even non-working.
I just re-read this Ted. To be clear, the 4.8V reading at the input terminals is ONLY when the cables are connected. Disconnected they read 12.8.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:53 PM   #6
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My new SV34 with the Xantrex 2000 would only show that it was on inverter mode even when plugged into shore power. Batteries would run down fast. My dealer was able to diagnose a bad connection on one of the feeds plugging into the Xantrex. Even though it was charging the batteries when pluggeg in, batteries were powering the fridge, etc., so they were never getting fully charged. Once that connection was fixed, inverter showed correctly that it had switched to shore shore power. So far every thing seems to be working properly.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MTcamper View Post
My new SV34 with the Xantrex 2000 would only show that it was on inverter mode even when plugged into shore power. Batteries would run down fast. My dealer was able to diagnose a bad connection on one of the feeds plugging into the Xantrex. Even though it was charging the batteries when plugged in, batteries were powering the fridge, etc., so they were never getting fully charged. Once that connection was fixed, inverter showed correctly that it had switched to shore shore power. So far every thing seems to be working properly.

You may want to look at something else that I discovered with my 2020 Magnitude SV34 and was having a problem with my Inverter and house batteries when driving. When I was driving and using the Inverter to power the fridge, the house batteries were running down and not being charged by the alternator.

Thor also thought it was a loose connection but I continued to have problems. After I did a lot of troubleshooting and contacted Precision Circuits about the BIM160 battery isolator manager I determined Thor wired the BIM160 backwards.

The way the BIM160 works is supposed to work is......

- When the engine is running and the chassis battery is fully charged, the BIM will switch to also charging the house batteries from the alternator if their voltage drops to 12.6V.

- When on shore power and the house batteries are fully charged, the BIM will switch to also charging the chassis batteries from the Converter / Charger if their voltage drops to 12.6V.

I found that other manufacturers using the BIM160 were wiring the chassis battery to the BATT-A post on the BIM 160, which is nearest to the IGN post. Then the house batteries are wired to the BATT-B post nearest the SIG post.

Thor wired the house batteries to the BATT-A post and the chassis battery to the BATT-B post. When it was wired this way, the alternator was not charging the house batteries properly. After I put the chassis batteries on the BATT-A post and the house batteries on the BATT-B post, the BIM160 started working properly.

Attached is how Thor wired it and how other manufacturers wire it. According to the manufacturer of the BIM160, it should not matter when I talked to them but it clearly does in how it performs in this application. I already contacted Thor about it and they are investigating.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Islandsmith View Post
I just re-read this Ted. To be clear, the 4.8V reading at the input terminals is ONLY when the cables are connected. Disconnected they read 12.8.
Correct. So either the voltage at the batteries is also dragged down to 4.8 VDC when connected, or you are losing (dropping) 8 VDC between the battery and the inverter. Voltage drop only occurs when current is flowing, but even a small "keep alive" current on the inverter may cause a voltage drop across an iffy connection.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:31 PM   #9
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That's interesting, will have to look into that. I have not been able to use it enough to see what is going to happen next!
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:24 AM   #10
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THOR #14595
Update to my original post. The day I first posted we were getting packed up for a few days in Eastern Washington. I figured that since the fridge was working on shore power I'd be OK to be a few hours without power and risk spoiling any food. An hour into the drive we stopped for gas and I noticed the control panel for the Xantrex was back live and showing that while the engine was running I had 13.7V incoming. I don't know when it turned back on.

Once we got to our destination (Sun Lakes) and were plugged into 50A shore power everything worked just fine.

Coming home same thing, everything was just fine. However, once we stopped the engine and got in line for the ferry the voltage drop on the Xantrex control panel could be observed changing pretty quickly over the hour we were waiting. When the fridge kicked on the voltage drop caused the alarm to ring and display an Error 01 code - low voltage.

I'm going to pull the batteries because it seems like one of them might be bad. Doesn't seem like the voltage should be dropping that quickly.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandsmith View Post
Update to my original post. The day I first posted we were getting packed up for a few days in Eastern Washington. I figured that since the fridge was working on shore power I'd be OK to be a few hours without power and risk spoiling any food. An hour into the drive we stopped for gas and I noticed the control panel for the Xantrex was back live and showing that while the engine was running I had 13.7V incoming. I don't know when it turned back on.

Once we got to our destination (Sun Lakes) and were plugged into 50A shore power everything worked just fine.

Coming home same thing, everything was just fine. However, once we stopped the engine and got in line for the ferry the voltage drop on the Xantrex control panel could be observed changing pretty quickly over the hour we were waiting. When the fridge kicked on the voltage drop caused the alarm to ring and display an Error 01 code - low voltage.

I'm going to pull the batteries because it seems like one of them might be bad. Doesn't seem like the voltage should be dropping that quickly.
I would use a battery tester or check the specific gravity of each cell (if you have flooded batteries) before just replacing them but..... I would also verify that your BIM is working properly.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had an issue with the BIM160 that was giving me Inverter and house battery charging issues.

Once in a blue moon, I would see the house batteries go above 13.7V while the engine was running but often the batteries would drop below 12.6V and the BIM would not kick in as it should.

Not only would I get a low voltage alarm on the Inverter but I could not even get the slide out after driving several hours unless I was plugged into shore power or the generator was running because the house batteries were drained.

In my case Thor had the BIM160 wired incorrectly per my earlier post and it was not properly charging the house batteries when driving and it was causing my batteries to drain.

I found an easy way to test the BIM160 to make sure it is wired and working properly.


Test 1 - Shore Power ON / Engine Not Running


- With the shore power on and house batteries charged, turn the headlights on to start draining the chassis battery (without engine running).
- If you aren't measuring chassis battery voltage inside the coach, use a voltmeter directly on the chassis battery.
- After the chassis battery voltage drops below 12.6V for a few minutes, you should hear the BIM relay engage and the chassis battery voltage should go over 13V indicating it is charging from shore power.


Test 2 - Shore Power Off / Engine Running


- With the chassis battery charged, start draining the house batteries by having the Inverter on and powering the fridge (and TV's if powered by the Inverter).
- Monitor the house batteries via the Inverter panel.
- Start the engine and verify the chassis battery voltage indicate a full charge.
- When the house batteries drop below 12.6V for a few minutes, the BIM relay should engage and the house battery voltage should be over 13V indicating they are charging.

Repeat these two tests several times. The BIM should behave this way like clockwork if it is working and wired properly. If it is working like this, then it could be your batteries need replaced.

Once I fixed the BIM wiring issue I have not had an issue with my house batteries staying charged properly when driving and not draining too quickly when using the Inverter.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:59 PM   #12
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Thanks Judge, I will do that. I suspect you might be onto something here. My house batteries seem to be charging when driving but not when plugged into shore power. I think there is an easy thing to identify here as long as I isolate the potential issues along the way as I test.
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Old 05-18-2020, 03:22 PM   #13
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You could have a Converter / Charger issue if your not getting a full charge on shore power. I had an issue with my WFCO Converter before I upgraded it to a Progressive Dynamics unit shortly after buying my Magnitude. The fuses in the back of the Converter were very loose and not fit tight in their sockets. They would intermittently make contact not letting the house batteries charge properly on shore power.

If you run my tests, you can rule out your BIM as an issue.

You could as you indicated have a bad battery as well.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:34 AM   #14
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I finally had time to pull the batteries and test them. Out of the coach they measure 12.6V so I'm going to charge them to bring them to 100%. Specific gravity looks good so now I'll test the BIM this weekend once I have them re-installed.
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Old 07-19-2020, 04:58 AM   #15
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UPDATE - After removing the positive and negative leads to the Xantrex for over 30 minutes and re-installing them everything worked as expected. Not sure if I have a surge or what...but everything seems to be working fine now.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:52 PM   #16
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UPDATE 2 - Not so fast swifty. After a couple of hundred mile trip I arrived to find the remote control panel blank. No power, nothing. Batteries are fully charged so I can only think there is a loose or exposed wire that is causing issues when moving. Damn...not sure what to do next.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:43 PM   #17
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I completed some testing.

1. Removed the battery cables from the input side of the inverter. They measure 12.8V when not connected to the inverter. Once connected the measurements at the terminals drops to 7'ish volts. Something is fishy.

2. Unlplug from shore power and plug back in. You can hear the inverter "click". I went an measured the voltage at the batter terminal input and the reading was inconsistent each time I disconnected and reconnected shore power.

Everything points to a bad inverter.
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Islandsmith View Post
I completed some testing.

1. Removed the battery cables from the input side of the inverter. They measure 12.8V when not connected to the inverter. Once connected the measurements at the terminals drops to 7'ish volts. Something is fishy.

2. Unlplug from shore power and plug back in. You can hear the inverter "click". I went an measured the voltage at the batter terminal input and the reading was inconsistent each time I disconnected and reconnected shore power.

Everything points to a bad inverter.
I'm not sure why you are plugging/unplugging SP to troubleshoot the inverter.

If inverter input voltage drops from 12.8 VDC to 7 VDC just by connecting the inverter I would go measure the house battery bank voltage at the same time. If the battery bank reads 7 VDC then you have bad batteries. If it reads greater than 12.0 VDC then you have a bad connection to the inverter.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
I'm not sure why you are plugging/unplugging SP to troubleshoot the inverter.

If inverter input voltage drops from 12.8 VDC to 7 VDC just by connecting the inverter I would go measure the house battery bank voltage at the same time. If the battery bank reads 7 VDC then you have bad batteries. If it reads greater than 12.0 VDC then you have a bad connection to the inverter.
I was plugging in and out of shore power because there seemed to be a difference after each time shore power was attached when on the road. Just to be clear, connecting shore power doesn't change the voltage from the battery bank but it DOES change the voltage that is displayed across the input terminals for the inverter. When the inverter is not connected to the battery cables the voltage there is consistent.

I have pulled the batteries out, tested them and they are fine. I also checked the connections at both ends and they are good. I think there is an error inside the inverter.
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Old 08-09-2020, 01:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandsmith View Post
I was plugging in and out of shore power because there seemed to be a difference after each time shore power was attached when on the road. Just to be clear, connecting shore power doesn't change the voltage from the battery bank but it DOES change the voltage that is displayed across the input terminals for the inverter. When the inverter is not connected to the battery cables the voltage there is consistent.

I have pulled the batteries out, tested them and they are fine. I also checked the connections at both ends and they are good. I think there is an error inside the inverter.
So are you using a voltmeter to test voltages? Or are you relying on the inverter display?
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