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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Damage to converter?

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ShawnMG

Central Mass.

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Posted: 07/30/12 02:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a problem with converter/ electrical system the other night. I know this is the prime example of why I should of had a surge protector with low voltage cutoff, but hindsight is 20/20. Unfortunately, I was hooked up to a 20 amp plug in the site I had. For about a minute, the fridge switched back and forth from electric to propane. There was nothing else on but two lights. Smoke started to come out of the converter box. I turned off the main circuit breaker and unplugged the cord from the pole. The next day I was moved to another site with 30 amp service. No issues since. My main concern is how much damage did I do to my converter? Did I shorten the life of it by months/ years or can it go any day now? Thanks


Me, DW, 2DS (6, 8)
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2009 Kodiak 195


trickyvic3

Raymond NH.

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Posted: 07/30/12 02:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hard to say, but if your lucky you got it quick enough before any long term damage. We can never stress how important it is to use a surge protector and now you know why. Don't mean to rub your face in it, but I would give thought to buying one. Heck of a lot cheaper than a new converter and wiring. IMHO

Vic

camperpaul

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Posted: 07/30/12 02:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When the smoke escapes from electrical or electronic equipment that means something is wrong.

Repair or replace the converter.


Paul
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trickyvic3

Raymond NH.

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Posted: 07/30/12 02:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

camperpaul wrote:

When the smoke escapes from electrical or electronic equipment that means something is wrong.

Repair or replace the converter.


I kind of have to agree with Paul. At the very least have it checked out by a tech.

Vic

smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 07/30/12 02:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Done is done. If it works, it works. Could work another 20 minutes or 20 years.


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 07/30/12 02:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I disagree. As someone with a career in electronics behind him I can tell you that if it smoked, something is damaged. But hopefully it's limited to the 120V side. I would take the front cover off the converter and look for melted wires and loose connections at the breakers or twist nuts.
It doesn't seem like the converter is likely to be damaged by low voltage because it should just switch over to the battery but anything is possible. If you start to see lights dimming or flickering then the nail is probably in the coffin.


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mobilefleet

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Posted: 07/30/12 04:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

my vote is a burned breaker inside the converter, easy fix. But check behind it for melted wires too

christopherglenn

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Posted: 07/30/12 04:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Replace the converter, depending on how it is damaged, it may run either low voltage - and never totally charge the batteries, or high voltage and overcharge the batteries. Either will damage the batteries - and you still have a bad converter.


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BFL13

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Posted: 07/30/12 04:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could be getting 12v from battery now and be thinking all is well until the lights start to dim.

Disconnect the battery bank entirely and see if on shore power you still get 12v.

A part in the converter could have smoked but not burnt so it still works but is now very "weak" so it won't take much to finish it off.

I had that happen with a converter's in-rush current thermister that smoked when it got too hot when I was fooling with the voltage pot. I stopped that and the converter still worked, but not for long. I twiddled the voltage pot some more and the thermister burst into flame. Was sort of exciting


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 07/30/12 07:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Odds are whatever fried in the converter can be easily repaired or replaced, Howeever a man with a soldering iron, around here, is about a new converter an hour with one hour minimum billing (or 150dollars take your pick).

I charge myself a whole lot less when I break out the iron to solder )

Glad I know how.

My line on smoke is that electronic devices run on magic smoke, This smoke is held captive inside the device, if you let it escape, it don't work any more.


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