Electric gremlin

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kjoverbeck
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Electric gremlin

Post by kjoverbeck » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:45 am

We are in the Bahamas. This am we discovered that all our outlet switches were dead. I turned them off then on but no green lights. Buss b has power and the water heater and AC work fine but Stb. Outlet, port outlets and galley have no power. It's like all three circuit breakers failed at once. They worked the night before as we watched tv and charged the computer. I looked at the backside of the panel and all looked fine.
Any ideas? Help!

Kent Overbeck
2005 PDQ#66 Rising Tide

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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by deising » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:03 am

Hi, Kent. I understand that some (all?) of our boats run the AC outlets through the inverter. If the inverter fails, there is no voltage at the AC outlets, even when plugged into shore power.

Our Xantrex inverter has a switch that acts like a circuit breaker. Once the inverter stopped working (under heavy load, I suspect) and all I needed to do was move that switch and it was fine.

So, check all your inverter switches to see if that is the problem. Good luck!
Duane Ising
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Punta Gorda, FL
2006 PDQ MV 34 - hull 91, 75HP, 3-blade

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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by kjoverbeck » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:39 am

Thai was the problem! I don't know what caused it to kick off, but it is working now.
Thanks Duane

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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by Gusto » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:00 am

Kent,
Were you plugged into shore power at the time? If so the problem may have been caused by high or low input voltage. We had a similar problem. I called the Prosine help desk and they had me change the default settings for high and low AC transfer. The process is explained in the Prosine manual on pages 43 through 49. I lowered the low number by 5 volts and raised the high number by 5 volts. Problem solved.
Bob MacNeill
Gusto 2006 34-83

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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by kjoverbeck » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:45 am

Thanks Bob. This was a learning experience. Great forum.
Kent

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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by AMCarter3 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:04 pm

We had the same issue occur just last week in Gig Harbor, WA. Our Xantrex Prosine 2 inverter's breaker flipped off sometime one night in a rain storm while connected to shore power. I could not tell -- all I could see was no AC power on Bus B to any of the AC outlets or Water Heater breaker. And the Prosine panel showed an error msg -- "Temp2 Too Hot". Finally figured out the Xantrex's main breaker must have popped.
Sure enough, after resetting the Xantrex unit, everything worked again.

Here's what the manual says to reset the unit:

"If the PROsine does not appear to be operating correctly it may require a system reset to properly restart, this will clear any hysteresis (Chapter 5, “Operation”), most errors and warnings (but these may recur if the condition that caused them persists). Note that this will not change any configuration settings within the unit. Locate the ON/OFF/REM switch on the PROsine, just below the connector for the display panel. Set the switch to OFF for 5 seconds and then back to ON (or REM if you are using a remote switch with the PROsine)."

If you do not have this user manual and want it, you can download it at: http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/i ... ine-2.aspx (see "Owners Guide" button on right)
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98; twin 100 HP Yanmars
Home Port: Bellingham WA 98229
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by rhumbline2 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:12 pm

My 120 volt shore 1 runs thru the inverter/charger. The generator does also - hence the entire 120 volt system when the generator is running. I can only power up the 120 volt Bus B with a "Para Bus A + B" switch when the generator is running. Both of my air conditioners are on Bus B, however, when the generator is running, I get a voltage drop to 0 on Bus A when the air conditioner compressor starts. After a few seconds, it resets and goes to 120 volts and everything works fine. The boat electronics guy that sold me the 2000 watt Xantrex Freedom SW to replace the burned up Prosine told me it is not good for the contacts to open and close like that repeatedly and could eventually damage the unit.

Has anyone else out there had similar issues???
Having a competent boat electrician look things over is a problem because the boat is in Guatemala/Belize.

I would So Love to install an idiot proof switch that would completely bypass the inverter/charger when the air conditioner(s) are running on generator. I have a spare 60 amp charger installed and a spare true sine wave 1000 watt inverter installed. I just have to buy (or make) the switch to bypass the Xantrex. When the inverter/charger was burned up prior, I wired the 120volt input/output wires to the inverter/charger together and the boat worked fine except of course there was no inverter/charger. Being able to run the AC units on generator without worrying about burning up the inverter/charger would be great! Perhaps there is a better solution.

James Mills
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by duetto » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:33 pm

hi james,

we had a prosine years ago. we replaced it years ago with a victron. as i recall the default setting on the xantrex was that the xantrex just "observes" when there is a 120V source. on our setup, when the genset/shorepower was present, the xantrex never responded (i.e. inverter cut in) unless voltage dropped below inverter cut in threshold.
john & diane cummings
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by Nick » Mon May 20, 2019 10:20 pm

Haha! We are the new owners of hull #66 (just bought from Kent) and had the power go out as he described AND fixed it with the help of these older posts. WOW! How great is this forum as a resource. Thanks everyone for posting a few years ago....solutions still work.
Nick & Barb
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by deising » Tue May 21, 2019 11:47 am

Congrats, Nick and Barb. Welcome to the PDQ family. Hope you really enjoy your boat for many years and miles.
Duane Ising
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Punta Gorda, FL
2006 PDQ MV 34 - hull 91, 75HP, 3-blade

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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by Nick » Tue May 21, 2019 12:41 pm

.....well, not so fast. The fix was temporary. Checked error codes which said “high AC IN V” and spoke with Xantrex customer service who confirmed issue sounds like it’s coming from variability in the the shore power post, but the posts are new here in St Augustine. Many boats happily running off them (including another PDQ across the dock) and my needles aren’t jumping around at all. Of course the analog gauges are not fast enough to catch variability, but it must be there.

Net net, the solution was to raise the inverter’s upper limit on the AC in from 130 to 135. Yes, that solution was mentioned in this string, but the manual wasn’t clear how to do it. Xantrex tech help was fantastic! Power On!

PS: the tech help said I could safely raise the limit to 140, but recommended I click it back to 130 once we leave this dock just so we’re aware of power variability issues, if any, at future stops.
Nick & Barb
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by Expatriate » Tue May 21, 2019 4:11 pm

Here's another electric gremlin. Last year the water heater blew its breaker and the main breaker for the entire panel. I assumed that the heater had shorted. I did not bother to replace the heating element, I just replaced the whole water heater. It worked as advertised for eight months.

Now, less than a year later, it's doing the same thing, blowing the breaker for the entire panel. I'm pretty sure that this time it is not the water heater. The breaker blows so quickly that I cannot even see how many amps it is pulling. I will start by looking for a short somewhere other than the heater itself. This is too strange.

Any ideas would be helpful.

Tim
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by duetto » Tue May 21, 2019 4:40 pm

could it be a breaker going bad (i.e. tripping at too low a setting)?
john & diane cummings
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by Expatriate » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:38 pm

John and Diane,

Thanks for the post. It got a little stranger. I spent about four hours trying to understand this problem. The water heater is less than a year old. The wiring is fine. It had to be something on the panel itself. After much wire tracing, and making sure that I understood A+B parallel and all that, using the Volt-Ohm meter to look for anything odd, I could find nothing wrong.

I unplugged the shore power cord and plugged it into the other socket that powers the "B" side only (where the water heater breaker lives) but got the same results. I am currently using a 50 amp to 30 amp splitter so I changed sides of the splitter. Same thing. I have a spare splitter, so I used it. Same thing. Finally, as a last resort, I started the gen-set, turned on the panel to use power from the gen-set. The water heater worked perfectly!

Yikes! The only difference is that shore power provides 120 volts while the gen-set provides 127 volts. The water heater breaker is 15 amps and the water heater is 1500 watts. Lower voltage means higher amperage, but the math does not work out. I still come up with 12.5 amps which is just slightly more than I saw with the gen-set running. I know that breakers can wear out so I think the thing to do is just replace it. I am thinking 20 amps this time.

One more thing. I replaced the water heater less than a year ago because it was throwing the breaker. I assumed it had shorted and I did not want to go into replacing the heating element, so I replace the entire heater. Now I know the water heater was probably not at fault. So if you see this problem, it is not too likely to be the water heater. Honestly, until now, I have never replaced a water heater unless it was all rusty and leaking.

Since we do not live on the boat, this is not much of an issue. At anchor, the gen-set will provide hot water, but we mostly use a sun shower anyway. I wonder if a 20 amp breaker will get me in trouble. Any electrical engineers out there?

Thanks everyone.

Tim,
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Re: Electric gremlin

Post by deising » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:08 am

Breakers do wear out and fail. They are sized to protect the wiring from overheating and causing a fire, so increasing the amp rating of the breaker is not advised unless it was undersized to begin with. What about just replacing the breaker with the current size and see if the old one was just worn out?
Duane Ising
m/v Diva Di
Punta Gorda, FL
2006 PDQ MV 34 - hull 91, 75HP, 3-blade

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