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Old 11-23-2019, 05:15 PM   #1
Benzorv
 
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Default Help! Inverter alarm.

I have a 2014 SS Agile with an after market combined inverter and charger. The unit is in the trunk and has to be manually turned on and off as it is not connected to the switch on the control panel. The inverter has a continuous alarm ring that I cannot figure out (a) what for and (b) how to disconnect.
It’s very loud and can be heard even when near the car.
The switch is toggled to off. There are 3 choices:
Power saver ‘on’, power saver “off” and unit “off”.
The alarm still rings in all 3 positions
The screen shows low battery ( but I want to park it for the season and battery disconnect is on and even when I turn the engine on, the alarm is still ringing.
Any suggestions to trouble shoot, ( short of taking an ax to the unit) would be welcomed.
Thank you
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Old 11-23-2019, 07:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

Step One: determine make and model of inverter (and tell us) and download the manual..
It should tell you what/why the audible alarm is sounding.

--dick
p.s. it could be a dead fan, it could be overheating, it could be low battery voltage .... ad infinitum
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:10 AM   #3
irvingj
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

So you're saying it doesn't have a switch on the control panel above the sliding door?

Is it this inverter? (If so, I have the manual, but it can be downloaded. I had to pull the thing out to see the brand & model...)

EDIT: I should add that the label with mfr & model number was put on by me after I found out what it was.
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Last edited by irvingj; 11-24-2019 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

Yes, that’s exactly it. I called RT and they suggested I disconnect the “wire that looks like a phone cord”. It seemed to be in the “temperature gauge” port, but I cannot see it. The unit is tucked in the corner of the truck and bolted in so I cannot move it to see anything.
The unplugging seemed to allow me to power off the unit. I’m not sure if this was/is a temporary fix or permanent.
I’m still very confused about why it alarmed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

If your inverter is in fact the same as ours, be advised that, on the inverter 3-position power switch, "power saver" means that the unit will be off... until it senses a load on the 120V side, then automatically turn on. Personally, I never use this position. If I need 120V circuits activated, I turn the toggle to the Power Saver OFF position. That will ensure the inverter turns ON and starts producing 120V. When I want it to. (Don't much like "automatic" stuff.)

When we first got our Agile, the alarm would frequently come on. We couldn't figure out what it was, but it seemed to have something to do with the High Point microwave -- my guess was that apparently the small 120V draw from the digital clock on the thing would just be enough to turn on the inverter, but then something would say "that's not enough of a load" and the inverter would go off... then on, then off, until the inverter switch was turned to Power Saver OFF. In the meantime, the alarm would be going off. Most annoying. I really don't know for sure, but I think the alarm was related to low battery power... but apparently that Power Saver business is somewhat sensitive!

While we were at the RT factory for charging system repairs I mentioned this. I don't know what they did, but somehow cured that particular issue -- we've never heard the alarm since, but I still will NOT use the "Power Saver" function; the switch is either in the center (OFF) position or in Power Saver OFF position (which means inverter ON). I know... almost as confusing as the %$#@ door step switch!

If I need 120V in the AM for my coffee, I turn the switch to the Power Saver OFF position, wait about 5 seconds, get one "BEEP" from the inverter, and the digital clock on the microwave lights up, indicating the presence of 120V. As soon as my coffee's done, I turn the inverter OFF (center position on the 3-way switch).

Incidentally, if your Agile is equipped with the compressor refrigerator, that thing is always looking for 120V -- if it senses its presence (inverter ON or plugged in to shore power), it will automatically switch to 120V operation.

Not sure if this is related or not, but maybe helps understand that %@%$! "Power Saver" function.

PS- FWIW, our Agile has two switches, one on the inverter and one on the control panel above the sliding door. The switch on the unit itself seems to have priority -- if it's turned on there, the wall switch is incapable of turning it off (hmmmm... and will seem like it's disconnected and/or not working...). In order for the inverter to really be off, BOTH switches must be in the center position.

I wonder if that's part of the problem -- if that inverter is left on (EITHER switch not in the center OFF position) while the RV is parked, it will drain the coach batteries very quickly... which will trigger a low voltage alarm... (don't ask).

And one more thing: I bet that "cord that looks like a phone cord" --RJ11, I think-- goes to the switch above the sliding door. That switch must be reading "ON" somehow, which is keeping the inverter activated and draining your batteries.

Whew! Sorry to ramble! Hope this helps...
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Last edited by irvingj; 12-01-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

The Inverter built-in switch and the door panel switch appear to be parallel connected. If yours is equipped with the remote switch by the sliding door, the Inverter built-in switch should always be OFF (center position) so it can be controlled remotely. The Inverter has a built-in self-diagnosis; alarm code should be readable at the inverter display panel (check the manual for code reference).

For the compressor fridge, you can unplug it from 120 volt outlet and let it run on 12 volt DC only; it is more efficient that way. The RV type fridge compressor is native 12 volts, you waste energy from 2 conversion losses, the coach Inverter/charger converts 12 volts to 120 volts AC-then the Fridge power supply converts it back down to 12 volts for the compressor


Quote:
Originally Posted by irvingj View Post
If your inverter is in fact the same as ours, be advised that, on the inverter 3-position power switch, "power saver" means that the unit will be off... until it senses a load on the 120V side, then automatically turn on. Personally, I never use this position. If I need 120V circuits activated, I turn the toggle to the Power Saver OFF position. That will ensure the inverter turns ON and starts producing 120V. When I want it to. (Don't much like "automatic" stuff.)

When we first got our Agile, the alarm would frequently come on. We couldn't figure out what it was, but it seemed to have something to do with the High Point microwave -- my guess was that apparently the small 120V draw from the digital clock on the thing would just be enough to turn on the inverter, but then something would say "that's not enough of a load" and the inverter would go off... then on, then off, until the inverter switch was turned to Power Saver OFF. In the meantime, the alarm would be going off. Most annoying. I really don't know for sure, but I think the alarm was related to low battery power... but apparently that Power Saver business is somewhat sensitive!

While we were at the RT factory for charging system repairs I mentioned this. I don't know what they did, but somehow cured that particular issue -- we've never heard the alarm since, but I still will NOT use the "Power Saver" function; the switch is either in the center (OFF) position or in Power Saver OFF position (which means inverter ON). I know... almost as confusing as the %$#@ door step switch!

If I need 120V in the AM for my coffee, I turn the switch to the Power Saver OFF position, wait about 5 seconds, get one "BEEP" from the inverter, and the digital clock on the microwave lights up, indicating the presence of 120V. As soon as my coffee's done, I turn the inverter OFF (center position on the 3-way switch).

Incidentally, if your Agile is equipped with the compressor refrigerator, that thing is always looking for 120V -- if it senses its presence (inverter ON or plugged in to shore power), it will automatically switch to 120V operation.

Not sure if this is related or not, but maybe helps understand that %@%$! "Power Saver" function.

PS- FWIW, our Agile has two switches, one on the inverter and one on the control panel above the sliding door. The switch on the unit itself seems to have priority -- if it's turned on there, the wall switch is incapable of turning it off (hmmmm... and will seem like it's disconnected and/or not working...). In order for the inverter to really be off, BOTH switches must be in the center position.

I wonder if that's part of the problem -- if that inverter is left on (EITHER switch not in the center OFF position) while the RV is parked, it will drain the coach batteries very quickly... which will trigger a low voltage alarm... (don't ask).

And one more thing: I bet that "cord that looks like a phone cord" --RJ11, I think-- goes to the switch above the sliding door. That switch must be reading "ON" somehow, which is keeping the inverter activated and draining your batteries.

Whew! Sorry to ramble! Hope this helps...
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

Thanks, RT -- I was aware that the fridge compressor is 12V (and is far more efficient running that way), but we rarely use 120V except for my morning coffee or perhaps --even more rarely-- to watch a video with grandson. I just let the fridge switch over (I can hear it) for the short time I have the inverter on... but I hadn't thought of unplugging the 120V cord on the fridge! Simple! I'll definitely check that out next spring when we pull it out of storage, thanks!

With our 4 batteries and 300W of solar, we've never "run out" of DC voltage, other than when the batteries got fried on our first trip. Overall our system has performed beautifully; we never have to plug in to shore power. Love it.

Where in SoCal? Got some nephews in VN, sister in Redondo. Visit every few years.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irvingj View Post
Thanks, RT -- I was aware that the fridge compressor is 12V (and is far more efficient running that way), but we rarely use 120V except for my morning coffee or perhaps --even more rarely-- to watch a video with grandson. I just let the fridge switch over (I can hear it) for the short time I have the inverter on... but I hadn't thought of unplugging the 120V cord on the fridge! Simple! I'll definitely check that out next spring when we pull it out of storage, thanks!

With our 4 batteries and 300W of solar, we've never "run out" of DC voltage, other than when the batteries got fried on our first trip. Overall our system has performed beautifully; we never have to plug in to shore power. Love it.

Where in SoCal? Got some nephews in VN, sister in Redondo. Visit every few years.
Same with mine, the fridge has been running off solar for 3 straight years now. I only have 220-Ah AGM battery, but that works perfectly for our power needs and rarely plug in to shore power either. I'm located in Orange Irvine.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

I know it’s a delayed thank you, but thanks to both RT and Irvingj.
My RV is currently in the shop. Whatever the alarm was, it fried the battery so I had to get a new battery installed, then the inverter started acting up again, this time the fan was not working, so it overheated and fried. :(
Now they are putting new inverter. Yikes
So.....once that’s done, I need to see if it has remote access. If so, the unit power should be on “off”, and the remote switch on “off”?
Then when I need 120V, turn inverter box switch to Power saver off and remote switch, toggle “on”?
Do I have to do this every time?
( inverter is mounted under couch in trunk).
Also, the fridge plug....since I never use fridge shall I just unplug it?
If it’s unplugged and I use shore power, will it cool fridge ?
Thanks for breaking it down for this “newbie”.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help! Inverter alarm.

You're welcome... sounds like your original inverter may have had the problem which led to the others...?

"Then when I need 120V, turn inverter box switch to Power saver off and remote switch, toggle “on”?" Nah. Just leave the switch on the inverter in center OFF position and control it from the remote switch over the sliding door. (You can turn the system on at either switch, but why bother? Also, that one in the back is easy to forget!! Yep, BTDT.) When you need 120V, turn that remote switch over the door to POWER SAVER OFF position. After a few seconds you should hear a single BEEP from the inverter and the microwave clock (if you have one) will light up. You may also hear the fridge make a noise as it switches from 12VDC to 120VAC.

At this point your 120VAC outlets should be powered on. Just remember to switch that remote switch back to the center OFF position when you no longer need 120VAC, otherwise it will continuously suck 12VDC out of your batteries.

"Also, the fridge plug....since I never use fridge shall I just unplug it?" As RT pointed out, that will prevent the fridge from using 120VAC, but --as I understand it-- it's still wired in to the 12VDC system, so it will still work. If you really don't need or use it, just turn the thermostat (behind freezer compartment door) to the OFF position.


"If it’s unplugged and I use shore power, will it cool fridge ?" See above; since the fridge is wired into the 12VDC system, yes it will still work, taking its power from the batteries. Remember that when plugged in to shore power, the inverter acts as a DC charger to keep the coach/"house" batteries charged and supplies power to the 120VAC outlets.

Take a look at this wiring diagram -- it's not exact, but close, and will give you an idea of how stuff works together. Also -- do you have only one coach/house battery?
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