Inverter problems

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Great that it's working again, but I don't believe in magic. I expect something is still amiss, and it will eventually surface again. But now you will be better prepared...

A few things stand out from the schematics:

- The original inverter was a Trace PS2512. Is that what you have, or was it changed to an SW at some point? I think they are equivalent other than sine wave vs modified sine wave.

- The bypass switch does two things. It connects the loads directly to the shore or gen power source. And is disconnects the AC input to the inverter. So when by passed, the inverter will not charge.

- The mystery device behind the cover appears to be a neutral bonding relay. It bonds neutral and ground when on inverter, and disconnects when shore or gen is active.
Ted - Thanks for for the reboot code - much appreciated - and next time you are around Newport, RI I'll buy.

Twistedtree - I think you are probably correct. When I get a moment I will look at the inverter menus to determine the DC Voltage for Inverter shutdown. i am thinking it is set right around 12.3 V DC and that's where the House Batteries have been sitting until I ran both the engines and generator for an hour and a half. Currently the Navy Base berth I have has't been available util today June 1st so I have been sitting next to dock w/o SP.

I do suspect the House Batteries are having difficulty holding a charge. When I asked previous owner two days ago how old they were I got receipts thrown out and I don't remember. Well I remember when I am hauling 8Ds around so I suspect their old. Best way to determine 3 8Ds in parallel are good is what - a full charge and isolate them to monitor each ones discharge rate??

The Inverter I believe to be an SW2512MC and the original. I noted that the AC schematic shows different nomenclature but the DC schematic and the plate on the inverter itself show the same "SW" nomenclature.

Regarding the Bypass switch I am still not confident that I know its function and just when it should be in the Inverter position or in the AC Main position. I am thinking that when the generator or SP are connected to the AC Buses that it should be in the AC Main position because the efficiency of charging the batteries through the Mastervolt battery charger is better than through the inverter charger. More discussion needed for me to feel comfortable with the Bypass switch.

Thanks for assist,
Gents, 12.5v at the inverter terminal does not mean that the battery is good. please try to load test the battery (batteries). as far as I see here is that the Xantrex is trying to start (showing the display on the remote) then it dies when it put the load on the batteries. Once the load is put on the batteries it kills the remote.
Good luck,
Hi Bob,
Welcome to the forum. I too had recent Xantrax (Freedom 2500 if I recall) inverter problems. Numerous self proclaimed electrical experts at $100 plus per hour were tossed off my boat unable to diagnose the problem. I then called Xantrax ((800) 816-0810) and received excellent technical support. Over the phone he had me do numerous checks and tests which revealed a bad temp sensor as well a inoperative echo charger. He gave me the part numbers and said to check Amazon first for a better price. Found 'em, got 'em and installed them. Happy ending! Good lock
Driss... _ I think many of us concluded for right now it probably is a battery problem. The previous owner couldn't recall when the 8Ds were bought - he probably had some one do the work for him. I am a DIY guy and when I replace the 8Ds I remember the day hour and minute. The boat has now been moved to a dock with 50 amp service and she is charged and on a float - according to the inverter - which appears to be working just fine. As I said previously the DC V at the inverter in were 12.28 VDC and it was most likely the cause of the inverter shutting down. I have two action items in front of me right now (1) check the 3 8Ds each separated / isolated to see how fast the are dropping off and (2) check the inverter menus to see what the low voltage setting is.

Crasher - Thanks for the Xantrex phone number - I will give them a call. The Xantrex temperature sensor is just floating on top of one of the 8Ds - is that supposed to be that way?
Just went through similar situation. Wound up replacing one battery bank. Took the inverter into a Xantrex service center. Replaced a circuit board gone bad. Suggest 1) call Xantrex tech support, 2) get a ABYC electrician to check it out.
WOW tons of good info in this exchange. Especially for this old dude looking at a secondary battery bank and a inverter system.
Crasher - Once again thanks for the info on temp sensor. I don't know if it's the same as what you have but I thought it strange that it was just laying on top of the 8D battery and not adhered to it. When I talk to Xantrex I will discuss if I van just re-attach or need a new one. If I can re-attach then I won't do it until I check out to see if battery is worth saving,

Sailorskip - So I have been trying to think my way through how to move 8Ds and you take your Xantrex into the shop. I can't even imagine taking that Xantrex off the aft bulkhead - it looks like it weighs a ton - let alone trying to detach it off bulkhead (very awkward location to get to).

tekdiver - I am just a new owner of a 2008 GB that is trying to drink out of a fire hose right now. Boat is a beauty but has not been used enough to keep everything working properly. She needs the TLC that I am trying to learn about and give to her.
I have a different set-up. Installed additional battery space. Removed 2 8D's, replaced with 6 Group 31 AGM's . Much easier to replace, etc. Also added dedicated starting bank, Xantrex is mounted horizontally, not vertically.
Had a similar thing a few weeks ago, on a relatively new installation (6 months old). Screen would show info but unit would not work and then the screen shows no info etc. Checked all my battery terminals etc, a real head scratcher, Magnum inverter. Pressing the reboot button would not solve or work . Disconnected Neg terminal on battery bank. still no success checked voltage through system all showed good. Then by chance when checking the voltage behind the battery switch, we found intermittent voltage on the outlet side of the battery switch. Removed switch and found loose nut/cable, tightened the nut and now everything works fine. The whole problem revolved on not torqueing the battery switch terminal properly during the install. After previously connecting the battery switch during the install, the electrician then screwed it to the bulkhead twisting it slightly causing the nut cable to unscrew slightly. Worked for 6 months and then one supposes a slight corrosion on the loose terminals and that was that.
FWIW; The bypass switch on my Magma is normally OFF. When in use, it isolates the inverter and permits the dedicated house batteries to connect with 2 8D start batteries for assist, if necessary. Never had a need to test it.

I think the minimal setting on the same model Xantrex on previous boat was set at 11.5 DCV, but memory has notable deficiencies these days.
The ongoing Saga

It has been a while but here is an update and the sage continues. The inverter finally did what I would call a hard failure - no matter what i did and no matter how high the battery voltage was no display - nothing at all. So I called Xantrex and tried all of there tricks to get this inverter to boot up. We were not successful and she stayed dormant. They recommended I talk to the distributor in NJ and potentially get some repair help - if parts were available. So I did and called the distributor. he clearly stated that he could repair it but to be real careful if you ship it - they tend to be dropped and then all bets are off on repair due to shock of drop.

So myself and another very strong person carefully got the six screws our of the 90 pound inverter hanging on the aft ER bulkhead and muscled it off the boat and into my car. I then took a day and drove to NJ (4 Hours thru NYC) - delightful drive - not!! The distributor was very knowledgeable and quickly diagnosed the problem to a board and we looked over the entire inverter and decided the root cause is too much corrosion in the box. He stated that he could replace the board and clean all the corrosion ff then conformal coat the boards = the AC terminal block was badly rusted. The cost was going to be North of $1,100. and he clearly stated he would not warranty the box. so we decided to replace the old Xantrex with a Victron Multi Plus. Very similar to the Xantrx but 1/2 the weight mostly due to 14 years of technology.

Upon trying to install the new inverter charger I discovered that the Bypass switch is not wired up iaw the schematic provided with the boat. That is where I came to all stop this week. I don't mind replacing things when they are pretty much plug compatible but when I have a new inverter going in and the schematic is not the same as the wiring. When I brought AC via SP onto boat and measured the wires for AC Line IN and AC Neutral IN I got not voltage. Yes Bypass Switch was in Inverter position, the inverter breaker was on, and there was 120 VAC at the AC Panel. So all stop and I called the Marine Electrician that was recommended to me - he will take a look at the beginning of next week.

Meanwhile I have received 3 new 8D House battery bank batteries at 162 pounds apiece - two are stacked in ER on top of each other and I have no idea how we are going to get the 8D to the upper spot - the other two we can get into position, Need a sky hook and a chain fall rig to pull this off.

i will keep all posted. It was definitely not the batteries but the root cause was badly corroded inverter components in a 14 year old inverter. The mystery box below the inverter was exactly what twisted tree said it was - "The mystery device behind the cover appears to be a neutral bonding relay. It bonds neutral and ground when on inverter, and disconnects when shore or gen is active." The distributor stated that this is a Contactor and no longer needed with the new inverter.

More to come
Thanks for the update; I love hearing about what I know nothing about - LOL. My wife an I are just now looking into joining the fray of cruising and of course buying our first boat. This kind of thing gives me pause, since there is no way anyone could know about this until it malfunctions. You are dealing with this at the dock, not mid trip.
My followup is that the under lying cause was the corrosion - so this occurs naturally due to mere exposure to the salt air? If so, what about all the other equipment?
I’ve had a Victron Multi-plus for many years. I have only good things to say about it! You might want to check out an accessory called Victron Global Remote. I added this and it gives me great peace-of-mind being able to monitor batteries, power consumption, charging status, inverting status, etc. remotely via a smartphone app. Requires a cellular sim, but a low-value cash card will last for ages, as it sends microdata. I can’t recommend this accessory highly enough. ( and no, I don’t work for victron).
The ongoing Saga

Hankster08 - this particular boat has been down South for most of its life and unfortunately the humidity down there is pretty bad. This combined with the inverter being in the engine room vs the AC spaces is the reason for the corrosion - not to mention the salt water in the air which just acts like a catalyst to speed things up. Boats in the NE where she is now don't have that much humidity but we have to deal with freezing temperatures which is entirely different matter. Most of the electronics is not in engine room. Proceed with your boat buying plans. It is great fun!!

Final Inverter Update

Okay I am in good shape at this point. I replaced the three 8D house batteries that the inverter draws off of. The one 8D that had to be lifted up 2 feet to get onto its angle iron platform position was a lot of work and a really tight fit. We rigged up a car floor jack with a piece of 2 x 6 on top of it and pumped the battery up into position. A little shaky but done / done on the house batteries - better yet no injuries.

The Electrician and I went after the inverter bypass switch and determined the GA electrician was correct the bypass switch needs to be in the AC Main position when on shore power so that the inverter can get power for its charger. The Inverter switch on the AC panel at lower helm is a little mislabeled and should be called the "inverter load" switch because all it does is allow up to 30 amps to go to the inverter loads and or isolates the inverter loads. It has nothing to do with controlling power to the inverter.

We ran some continuity checks from the inverter bypass barrel switch to the inverter to ensure we had line in and line out correct and then hooked up new Victron inverter. The electrician hooked all the inverter wires to a covered terminal block and then properly went to the inverter with enough slack to properly tie off with zip ties. Of course the Xantrex AC terminal block and the Victron AC terminal block are in different locations so the wires would have had to grow about 6" to make a safe no strain connection with strain relief. Good safe installation. She immediately, while the boat was on SP, took to charging and the Victron reported out to my iPhone that the batteries were Absorbing power and then after a day they went to a float / Storage position. Everything is working great regarding the inverter and batteries.

It has been an adventure getting this straightened out and trust me I know the date the 8Ds were installed. I will try to make them last as long as possible.

Newport RI
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