Saturday, December 11, 2010

Foreshadowing.

You know it when you read it.  An involuntary shudder travels up your spine;  you have knowledge that the character should have, but doesn't.

BREAKING unresolved news: the power just went out in the Duck, but not in the house. Inverter won't come on. GFCI keeps tripping, and I can't find the fault. I just know it's not mine.

*If you care what, but not why, resume reading at the next asterisk.  You'll get no judgement from me.

WHAT WE KNEW: The fault was the two inches of water standing in the converter bay.  The converter scratched out its message to the world and converted its last current. No problem! we thought with delicious literary irony. We have battery back-up and a decent inverter in a separate system.  Plus, we have a brand-new converter hooked up - bring it on.  By morning we had no DC action. No lights, no furnace fan, and once we were down, the LP detector kicked us by shutting off all gas for cooking and hot water (because of the low battery action).

Photobucket
The culprit.  Notice droplets;  do not question why the converter would be in a wet bay.

Photobucket
Tight conditions.  Longshoremen blushed while Annie made these repairs.






Photobucket
After Annie Pex'd it up

WHAT WE DIDN'T KNOW:  The dead converter was converting AC to DC power stored in the chassis battery.  Once our house AC was separated from this system, we were living la vida dulce all night on our starting battery.  [Very, very dead.  Permanently dead.]  The fancy battery bank was useless because the (dead) converter converted AC power from the inverter that had already been converted from DC power in the batteries that had been converted from AC power from the house. 


We spent several cold days and nights not actually considering moving back into the house.   We did dishes in the house and showered in the house, and I can't fully explain why we didn't just put ourselves there for a few days.  I can't.  I don't know.  A need to test our mettle?  I DON'T KNOW.  


Annie found two Optima AGM batteries after talking to our electrician.  One is a new starting battery (R.I.P., Diehard) and the other a new coach battery.  We picked up a battery charger (standby converter) and it is hooked up to the coach battery and the stick house AC.  


battery
Starting (chassis) battery



Marine battery
Marine (hybrid) battery




This isn't the endless loop we experienced earlier, when the house AC powered the batteries which powered the inverter which powered the converter which powered the batteries which powered the inverter which powered the converter.  None of that would be a problem without that pesky Newton and his Suggestions of Thermodynamics.  But, it is a double loop.  


* The second converter is fried and it is an essential component in our system as it is configured.  Annie found an Intelli-Power 9200 at Streetside Auto (the best price, plus free shipping) and may or may not install it today.  If she chooses Option A, she will probably install it upside down on the bay ceiling.  


Sometime this week we got full functionality back, after the new batteries were installed and continuously-charged.  Neither of us can remember when, only that it happened and it was wonderful.

Pin It

8 comments:

Jennifer said...

I read all between the asterisks and still don't get it. Hmmmm. I'm trying to stay with it because I need to know this stuff.

I need a picture of this:

"The fancy battery bank was useless because the (dead) converter converted AC power from the inverter that had already been converted from DC power in the batteries that had been converted from AC power from the house."

So, the system was:

AC Shore Power>>Converter>>12V Batteries>>Inverter>>AC Power>>Dead Converter?!!

¡Vizcacha! said...

Yeah, that's the sad story right there. We've had the set-up reconfigured, and now neither of us really understand the flow anymore, except that everything before the dead converter is a stand-in for AC power. We have our battery bank (4-6v, in series, then parallel), but apparently they are just storage that has to go to the coach battery in the bulkhead to power everything.

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

I tried to follow along, but you lost me at the breaking news!

Nellie
http://midlifecruiser.blogspot.com
(36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

The Good Luck Duck said...

Ha Nellie! See? No judgement.

Maria B said...

Okay, I have a new reason why I could never take this courageous path you two are taking - I don't understand ANY of this post! Add that to my just general addiction to comfy-coziness and a fluffy-spoiled lifestyle. While I have lived in a tiny house before and would be willing to live in one again, a tine house on wheels may not be in my future as a permanent residence...

¡Vizcacha! said...

Maria, you should blame my explanation. Look above your comment - NO ONE understood what I said! Plus, it took me six months to even remember which was AC and which was DC. It was a Highway to Hell.

But, yes. Fluffy-spoiled lifestyles are nice! And it's not like your life has been one down pillow after another the last five years.

Wayne and Maureen said...

Great pictorial of on the job training!

The Good Luck Duck said...

All Annie! She's the full-service repair center.

Post a Comment

Quack here!