Alarm from a 15AMP breaker in an Elixir Power Converter

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Alarm from a 15AMP breaker in an Elixir Power Converter

Postby john2twain » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:49 am

I have a 2005 Aline LXE Expedition pop-up. It is fully equipped with AC, Furnace, Dometic refrigerator (propane/electric), toilet and shower. Electrical is 30 AMP running through an Elixir Elx-20 with 15AMP and 20 AMP circuit breakers. In line between the 15AMP breaker and the battery is a 30AMP box circuit breaker. The battery was a Trojan 27TM deep Cycle. My tow vehicle is a 2001 Olds Aurora with a Northstar V8.

During a leg of a recent trip we plugged into the campsite’s 30 amp connection (which looked as it if had been serviced) after several hours the alarm in the power converter started going off when a ceiling light was turned on in use with other electrical but stopped for a while when the light was turned off. When it became constant I narrowed the alarm down to the 15AMP circuit breaker, which in conjunction with the 30AMP in line circuit breaker apparently is part of the battery recharge. This circuit also has the GFCI outlet for outside and the outlet for the Maytag AC. On Battery power the only operating electrical are the ceiling lights, the refrigerator and it’s ventilator switch (for towing). As our stay progressed the alarm became more consistent so I turned off the 15AMP breaker, put the refrigerator on propane and the alarm stopped but we still had electrical in all systems.

Traveling to our next destination we were able to turn on the 15AMP breaker (in the Elixer power converter) while hooked up to the tow vehicle. At our destination we again did our usual set up and plugged into the 30AMP camp connection. For several hours everything was fine then the 15AMP circuit breaker began sounding the alarm, I turned it off. The next evening we began losing all electrical despite being connected to the camp power. We were able to regain power for several hours by connecting the tow vehicle and running it for about 30 minutes. We finished this leg of the trip and returned home.

My first project at home was to check the battery, which tested recharge. I charged the battery out of the trailer with no load and the battery only held a charge for a few hours. A new battery did not correct the 15AMP circuit breaker problem; I then replaced the in line 30 AMP breaker and subsequently the 15/20AMP circuit breakers in the power converter. The problem still exists. I have checked the related GFCIs with a multitester and get consistent 120V since they only have power when plugged in.

My next step would be to purchase a circuit tester and go through each connection to find a short. In replacing the circuit breakers several purveyors have told me there is no way to test a circuit breaker so just replace it, again after having done this the alarm still sounds on the 15AMP breaker.

After reading one of the site posts concerning bad outlet connections I am guessing the outlet in the camp ground where the problem started may have created a short somewhere in my system, possibly in items connected to the 15AMP breaker, or damaged the power converter itself even though all appliances and lights are working. I don’t want to risk damaging the new battery if the converter is working incorrectly, draining not charging the new battery.

The bottom line becomes am I on the right track? I trust with your expertise you can guide me to a solution before I take my trailer into a repair shop, any suggestions would be welcome. When I talked to the actual dealer for the trailer he insisted the alarm was from the LP gas/low voltage detector, which sounds an alarm when the fuse to disconnect power for storage is pulled. This is not the case it definitely is the 15AMP circuit breaker and an alarm from the Elixir power converter.

Thank's for your help,

John2twain
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Postby drifter » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:25 am

John, though I haven't worked on an A-Line like you describe and might not be 100% on target here, I can give you some info.

I think the dealer was right. The alarm you heard was the propane detector's low voltage alert. It runs on 12 volts and when you heard it as you turned on a light, you took away just enough power to set it off. With the light back off, it lasted on battery power for a bit longer.

The power pedestal at the campground where you first noticed the problem may have been wired wrong and fried your Elixir converter. Some converters have fuses to protect them. Maybe you'll get lucky.

Test the converter's DC output with your multimeter when plugged in to shore power. Should have about 13.2 volts DC.

(*Had to edit reply when I realized that the Elixir converter is also the power center.)
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15AMP Breaker in Elixir Power Converter - Thanks

Postby john2twain » Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:50 pm

Drifter, thanks for your info I'll give this a try. I have a talent for finding or getting the out of the ordinary so it's always a learnig experience for all when something goes wrong.
Thanks again I appreciate your input.
John
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Postby jmyers » Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:15 pm

Is there a way to check the campground shorepower outlet BEFORE hooking up to it, maybe with a multimeter, for example?
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Alarm from a 15AMP breaker in an Elixir Power Converter

Postby john2twain » Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:18 pm

jmeyers
There is a tester for GFCI circuits. Problem is this dosen't specifically test the 30 AMP hookup and in some campgrounds I have visited I didn't notice a 110GFCI in conjunction with the 30AMP. I have checked several web sites and have not seen anything specific to 30 or 50 AMP outlets.
The multitester/meter might be the only alternative in these cases. I have been following the post about "Battery discharging fast" and the responses have given me a little more insight about my situation, particularly since my converter and alarm are hard wired in the system.
Thanks for your question.
John
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