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99 Monaco: electrical..fault code..only works..any AC power at all…

Customer Question
I have a electrical problem...
I have a electrical problem with a '99 Monaco Ex. The inverter (Trace 3000) has an overload fault code, I can unplug from shore power and reset it, but it only works for a second until I plug in the shore power and it goes back into fault. I don't seem to have any AC power at all after that. I've unhooked most ac items in the coach. Is this a problem with the inverter or AC power. Where do I start? We've had a bad cold spell and I've been running the Aqua hot a lot, until it quit working then to prevent freezing I ran some small heaters in the coach, until this problem, now I have the heaters pluged into ex. cords from our house. Thanks
Submitted: 12 years ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
1/12/2010
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 28,773
Experience: RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
Verified
Hi: Thanks for coming to Just Answer with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX perhaps I can assist you with this. The reason that you have an overload fault is that you have run too many things at once and have exceeded the available amps. Add up the amount of each appliance or device you have on. They can't exceed 3000 and it would be best not to go that high. Most appliances are rated in watts. Each amp is equal to 120 watts. On a 30 amp shore cord for instance, you cannot exceed 3600 watts. On a 50 amp cord the amount available is 6000 watts. Many heaters are around 1500 watts or more. If you have the water heater on AC, add about 1400 for that. The refer is about 250 for most and double that for a side-by-side. You also should check the reserve capacity of your batteries. If they have run low on water, they may be overheating and may have developed a short in one cell. This cuts down on the available amperage. Also if you are running the heaters on an extension cord, it has to be rated high enough so you don't overload it or the circuit feeding it. A standard outlet is 15 amps in most homes. That is about 1800 watts max. Even then the cord has to be at least 12 gage or 10 gage and not very long as longer cords cut down on the available amperage, just like too long a water hose does the same on the water coming out the other end. Get back to me if you have further questions that might help you resolve this. If you found this information helpful, please hit the "ACCEPT" tab so I get credit for assisting you. All the best, R.J.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
Hi Randall, (I'm Randy). I understand that the potable heaters caused the problem, however they are not hooked to the coach now, and the fridge, tv's sat, etc are unpluged or turned off, I reset the inverter with the Trace website inst.'s and it still kicks off. I just tried to start the gen. and it wont start. I will try to hook up a battery charger to the start batteries but I'm not sure if they are two 12v or two 6v? It is about 20 deg/s out so every thing is a pain. Could low batteries cause the inverter to not work?
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Absolutely.......and the colder the weather, the worse it gets. I would have them checked to be sure they are good.......maybe they got low on water or overheated and may have a short. You always have to start with good batteries. 6 volt batteries have 3 cells, 12 volts have 6. Be sure you mark the cables so you get them back on the same way they came off. You would be surprised at how many questions we get about that problem! Be sure to clean the terminals and replace any that are badly corroded. I hope that helps you get back up and running. All the best, R.J.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX very good at typing, plus I have to come inside to answer you, would you like to send me your phone number so I could call and explain the problem better?
Randy
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
We aren't allowed to make or receive calls.........rules of the site. Sorry about that. Have you had the batteries tested? Let me know how I can help. R.J.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
Ok. I charged the engine batt.'s and got the gen. to start. Still no AC power anywhere. Does the ac power (shore or Gen.) have to go through the inverter to make it to the coach? I also have a big 50a transfer box and a box with green lights for each leg, (the green lights are on, red light is not). If I unplug the shore power and reset the inverter, the inverter code goes off, when I plug the shore back in, it takes a few seconds and then I hear the transfer box thunk ( that's normal I think) then the Ac works for a short time, then goes off and I get the error code on the inverter again.
The batteries were charged up until I had the inverter screw up the first time, then I think it ran the ac stuff on the batteries until they were discharged. Even though the shore was still hooked up. Does this make any sense to you?
I can take the house batteries out and have them charged (my charger is for 12V) but the problem started when they were charged up.
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
The inverter shouldn't be a factor with the shore cord or genset supplying power. It only is in use as a power source when you are not hooked up with either of those other two sources. If you have no power when you are on shore power, you may have a damaged ATS. This is the switch that controls which source of power is being used. They are usually mounted alongside or on the rear of the power center. The line from the genset, the shore cord and the inverter go to it. Its job is to chose a source and ONLY one at a time for power to your coach. These get damaged and this happens more frequently when one of the sources is overloaded and then the heat goes up and burns the contacts or overheats a relay. You should still have the batteries tested to eliminate this as any source of the problem. The ATS has a cover on it that you can take off and then you can take a VOM and see if the power is making it to that and not through it. It is possible that if you overloaded the inverter then it may be damaged and need to be rebuilt. Start with the batteries and then check the transfer switch (ATS) and lets see where we are.
All the best, R.J.
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Customer reply replied 12 years ago
Sorry about the delay. I had to charge the engine batteries so I could start the Gen.

I've been on the phone with Monaco tech services who led me through the testing of the AC power at outlet, cord, transfer switch (in and out and gen. side), the main breaker inside the coach and then at the inputs in the inverter.

Everything read ok on my voltmeter.
I then called Xantrax tech., who led me through checking the inverter. After trying it a couple of times (unhooking shore power and batteries from inverter, unhooking the coach output wires and re hooking shore and batt.). I think we have it isolated to the inverter, as we have no power on the ac output side with the coach hooked to it or unhooked from it.

The only thing that bothers me is that the house batt.'s are low and I wonder if that could be affecting the inverter?

I have a good 12 volt charger, but no 6 volt, should I buy one, and charge each batt. seprately?

Once I get the batt.'s charged up and make sure the problem is the inverter, do you know how to repair one?

Thanks Randy
RV Mechanic: Randall, RVIA Certification replied 12 years ago
Not a problem in the delay........glad you got back to me. I would like to have the Monaco number for my records when we get done if you don't mind. I am glad that they are getting up and running again. You can charge the 6 volts on a 12 volt charger if you leave them connected in pairs. This would be a series connection where you have the positive of one connected to the negative of the other. No use trying to spend money for another charger. I still would be sure these don't have a short. This takes a sophisticated tester that most automotive stores have now. Once you know the batteries are good or not, then you can go to the next step. Do I understand that the ATS is working o.k.? You do get AC out of it into the power center from the genset and the shore cord? If so, then I would be looking at the inverter as a cause. I have never tried to repair one. I think it would be best to have Xantrax to it and have a warranty. Let me know what you find with the batteries. All the best, R.J.
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