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Old 11-18-2009, 08:36 AM   #1
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Chasing the Gremlins.......

When running the genset and charger/inverter all systems function normally. But when I attempt to get AC power to the fridge/outlets,etc. nothing happens. When genset is shut down and inverter left on all AC appliances and outlets function.
Something that may be related is that when I turn on AC cabin switch the light comes on at the microwave breaker and at the gen switch.
Before I begin to chase the problem does anyone have any idea that may help to get me started?
I will check gen breaker first and believe there is a short, reverse polarity, etc.
Any and all help is appreciated and will provide any further info asked.
Thank you for your time and help
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:11 AM   #2
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Did you change your shore power selector switch to "shore" when switching over to 115V shore power? That's the switch that says Gen / Shore / Off with maybe an "inverter" position.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

No sir. Switch is on generator. I still feel wire is loose or disconnected somewhere. Will check breakers for power and trace wires back from there even though breakers all work with gen off and inverter on I don't know where else to begin after doing a complete visual inspection
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:00 AM   #4
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

If you could describe more in detail how wired. At the main panel, most boats have a main switch, shore, gen/boat and off.*How is your main swtich?* *How do you switch between gen and/or inverter?* Is it automatic or manual?* On most boats after the main switch the breakers and wiring are the same.*So if *it works on one setting, shore or boat, then it should work on the other?**What are we missing?*


*
So if you can explain more in detail it would help.
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

As Keith pointed out, if you are on shore power, the switch must be on shore too, not Gen!
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Check for a loose neutral wire..............Arctic Traveller

Trawler training and yacht charters at www.arctictraveller.com
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Vessel is moored so shore switch is never on until seldomly docked. My main switch is Gen/Shore 1/ Shore 2/and Transfer. I have another panel switch that turns inverter on and off. Have tried all combinations and spent 5 hours trying to track short, missing ground, broken wire, etc all to no avail.
Am I down to sending inverter to Heart to check internal operations such as a relay switch?
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:26 AM   #8
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Now I am confused?* The main switch should not allow shore and the gen AC power to be connected at the same time as connecting two AC electric sources is not recommended.* The same is true for the gen and the inverter AC power.* So what does 1/shore and 2/transfer due? **


*
I am still confused by you first sentence; When running the genset and charger/inverter all systems function normally. But when I attempt to get AC power to the fridge/outlets,etc. nothing happens. When genset is shut down and inverter left on all AC appliances and outlets function.
*
It sounds like the problem is with the gen set not the inverter as every things works with the inverter?** So what other AC appliances/items are on the boat that work?* *


*
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Sorry Phil,
Bad punctuation I guess.
My switch choices are as follows:


Generator

Shore 1

Shore2

Transfer

for a total of 4
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Phil,
Forgot to answer 2nd part of your question.
When genset is running I can run the AC water heater and the airconditioning. I cannot get power to my outlets nor run my 110 refrigeration,
As*stated when generator is off all AC systems work properly with inverter on.
As suggested it could be anything from*loose neutral wire to a bad relay.
How hard would it be just to bypass these defective units with new wiring?*Looking at it from my end the problem will be in running the wires so it would be more of a physical problem than electrical.*
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:44 PM   #11
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Chasing the Gremlins.......

RR, Sounds like your circuits that are missing are wired through your inverter, a common practice. There should be a bypass switch from the inverter for this. With the inverter off and no bypass those circuits are not active. Some gensets need there output adjusted to match the inverter or it does not want to work. Chuck

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Tuesday 24th of November 2009 06:46:49 PM
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:31 AM   #12
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Chuck,
Thanks for the info. A new avenue to explore.
So are you saying if thats the case the switch needs to be replaced or can it be reset?
A lot of this is new to me. I do have the Heart Interface 2500 manual which hopefully will help and show me the settings .
Have had this system working fine for years so confused as to how or why this happened
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:45 AM   #13
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

RR, The switch I refer to is usually a manual switch but some inverters do this internally when shut down, not sure about your particular unit. If the switching is done internally it is going to be hard to have it repaired. These Heart systems are old and out dated technology so once they start having problems, and my bet is the inverter/charger, it is best to replace them. But do take the time and troubleshoot. Run the system so that the problem is there and start from the source, the genset AC output, and with a voltage meter find out where the voltage stops. Where ever it goes in but does not come out is the problem, then look for a resolution to that.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:05 AM   #14
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Chasing the Gremlins.......

I think some of the older Roughwater/CHB TT had two separate AC circuits that a bar/breaker had to be connect if one AC power source was used.**It seem the bar/breaker was close to the main panel or shore power plug? **It might be as simple as a breaker needs to be reset.* So what kind of boat and year?*
*
However, it could be the inverter as mentioned.* I took out*our old charger/inverter and replaced with a separate charger and inverter with manual switches, so I knew was on/off and/or not working. We have an inverter and two gen sets on the boat*so*I wired*in two addtional manual selector switchs,*selector swtich -*inverter or gen, and a third selctor swtich -*main gen or cruise gen.* So only ONE power source can be selected at a time.
*
So you have two shore powers?* Which would seem that the AC circuits are split into two separate circuits.* So can you tell what items are on Shore 1 or Shore 2?**What does the transfer do?* Can more then one source be selected at a time?**.*
***
Our insurance company required we bring the electrical up to ABYC recommendations and required a marine electrician to sign off on.* I spend several days marking and mapping out the breakers/wired.* If you can not figure it out then hire a marine electrician as most boat fires are electrical at the main panel and/or shore power. Also might want to bring up to the ABYC recommends for insurance purposes.
*

*


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Wednesday 25th of November 2009 12:05:41 PM

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Wednesday 25th of November 2009 12:06:05 PM
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:49 PM   #15
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

I think Capn Chuck has it nailed. Most inverters are wired so they can run all the stuff that you say is running with the Generator OFF(ie outlets and fridge). The inverter wiring is usually done to prevent the inverter from powering the water heater and air conditioning. SO when your generator is on, it is able to power the items that are directly wired to the generator "bus". The lower draw items(fridge,outlets,etc.) usually run thru the inverter "bus"....for wahtever reason, the generator is unable to power those lower draw items.....and I think Chuck gave it to you.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:30 AM   #16
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Gentlemen,
Thank you for all your replies.
I will answer some of your questions and give some new info that may help track the problem down.
I'm still hoping the inverter is ok because it functions properly when genset is off and it will run ALL the 110 appliances and outlets when it is on and gen off.
As far as shore power is concerned I have never been plugged into 2 shore power cords at once but I can run all appliances albeit not at once.
My vessel is a Marine Trader 1987.
I have just noticed the last time I ran the generator and had the inverter on I turned on the cabin outlets and refridge the red reverse polarity lights came on the shorepower/generator/transfer switch. When I turned the cabin outlets and fridge breakers off the reverse polarity lights go out.
My next attempt is to hook a portable generator up to shore power and see if I can alleviate Shore 1 and 2 and see if the cabin outlets and fridge function.
Thanks to all for your time and assistance and I am taking all suggestions seriously and aplogize for the lack of my "technical explanations"
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:41 AM   #17
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

RR, The reverse polarity light on the transfer switch does not always indicate reverse polarity. Is the light bright or dim? There can be a false reverse polarity indication, this usually is a result of a ground problem OR a wire too small on some circuit. You can usually determine which one by switching off each circuit, one at a time, until the light goes off. Blue Seas has a short explanation of this on their web site. Chuck
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:33 AM   #18
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Chuck,
The red lights are bright on the blue seas panel. I'll go to their site and see if I can get any more info
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:42 AM   #19
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

Chuck,
Regarding the reverse polarity lights on the panel when I switch off the fridge breaker and the cabin outlet breaker the red light goes out. All other 110 breaker switches can remain on with no reverse polarity.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:27 PM   #20
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RE: Chasing the Gremlins.......

RR, You may need to pull each outlet and look for a problem with the way the wiring is connected. It only takes one outlet wired wrong or a loose connection to affect all of them on that circuit. The fridge probably plugs into an outlet also. Then again, an outlet or set of outlets with a heavy load and too small wires will also give a false positive. You have to get a good meter and start troubleshooting or call a marine electrician. Chuck
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