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Waco fridge
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userJrr
Posted: 27 October 2014 11:12 PM
Subject: Waco fridge
 
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I have an auto cruise rhythm 2008 with a Waco compressor fridge , I have2 banner agm 110amp batteries and one 95 watt solar panel all lights are led, on Friday I arrived at a rally at 1200 noon control panel read 13.8 amps. Used tv for 30 mins. And by six o clock pm on Saturday the fridge was coming on every couple of seconds. Inside the fridge the red light was flashing once indicating low battery the freezer box was wet and the contents ruined by this time the control panel read 12.1 . The fridge came on and off all night every couple of seconds and the following morning the control panel still read 12.1 is this what I can expect or is there something wrong. Thank you in anticipation. Jim.

Edited by Jrr 2014-10-27 11:17 PM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 28 October 2014 8:12 AM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


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Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Welcome to the Out&AboutLive forums, Jim.

How soon after arriving at the rally did you notice that the control-panel reading was 13.8 volts? (I’m assuming you meant volts not amps.)

While you were driving there your leisure-batteries will have been being charged by your motorhome’s alternator at over 14V. Consequently, if you had read the control-panel on arrival at the rally (or soon after) the reading will have been falsified. For a true reading of a the battery’s charge state, it’s necessary to let the battery ’settle’ for, say, four hours and then take a volteter reading (preferably at the battery’s terminals) when no electrical load is being placed on the battery.

Assuming that your control-panel provides an accurate reading, 12.1 volts would indicate a near as dammit completely discharged battery, so it should be no real surprise that your Waeco fridge’s red light was flashing to indicate a low battery-charge.

Based on your description of your Rhythm’s equipment, I would have thought that - if both of your Banner AGM batteries were in good condition and fully charged when you arrived at the rally (and as you also have a solar panel) - it would be reasonable to expect to be able to power the fridge for 36 hours with no problems whatsoever.

Do you know how old the Banner batteries are, as a Rhythm won’t have come with them as standard specification when the vehicle was built in 2008? If the batteries are quite old and have been used hard, one (or both) may now be coming to the end of its useful life, but to confirm whether or not this is the case tests would need to be carried out on them.

A bit of background might also be useful. I’m guessing that you haven’t owned this motorhome long as, otherwise, you’d probably know whether the scenario you’ve described is ‘normal’ or ‘unusual’.
userlennyhb
Posted: 28 October 2014 9:16 AM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


Lord of the posts

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Location: West Sussex: Hymer B678 Dynamic Line, 150hp Auto


Worth mentioning that at this time there are no chargers fitted in Motorhomes that will fully charge an AGM battery (Schudt have a new Elktroblock coming out early next year).

Depending on the charger it will take the battery up to 14.2 or 14.4 volts & in the case of some older chargers only 13.8 volts. An AGM battery needs to reach 14.8 volts to be fully charged, so you will have started out without your batteries fully charged.
At this time of year you will be lucky to get much more than 7 or 8 A/H out of your solar panel on a bright sunny day and on a cloudy or rainy day hardly anything.

Even taking into account the above, I would have expected the fridge to have been able to run for 1 - 2 days, sounds like it is time for new batteries.
userJrr
Posted: 28 October 2014 1:39 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 
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Thanks for the advice and info I'm getting the batteries checked next week although they are both 18 months old and were fitted together at the same time. Also I've been advised by an engineer to get the wiring checked from the batteries to the fridge for thickness.. If they are not thick enough I could be losing voltage.
userKeithl
Posted: 28 October 2014 2:43 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


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Location: Birmingham. 2004 Auto-Trail Cheyenne Mercedes 313.


And don't forget that 2 x 110 Ah batteries will take quite a while to charge if they are heavily discharged.

For example if discharged to 50% then they will require (2 x 110 x 50%) Ah of charge, or in simple terms 110 Amps x Hours.

So if when driving lets be generous and say they get 20 Amps of charge, then it will take five and a half hours of continuous driving to fully recharge them. That's a lot of driving!

I seriously suspect you started out to your rally with only partially charged batteries.

Try putting them on a bench charge for a minimum of 24 hours and see how they do. I would also use a good quality mains charger for maintenance charging, something like a CTEK 8 stage charger.

Keith.
userlennyhb
Posted: 28 October 2014 3:16 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


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Jrr - 2014-10-28 1:39 PM

Thanks for the advice and info I'm getting the batteries checked next week although they are both 18 months old and were fitted together at the same time. Also I've been advised by an engineer to get the wiring checked from the batteries to the fridge for thickness.. If they are not thick enough I could be losing voltage.


A battery drop test won't really tell you a lot, you are not interested if they will start an engine but need to know how they perform under steady discharge conditions.

Something I wrote earlier :-
Modified for your size of battery.

Best way to check the battery is make sure it is fully charged, leave it on charge at least 24 hours, disconnect your mains & solar chargers switch the control panel off leave for about an hour then check the battery voltage, should be approx 12.8v.
Now switch on some lights until the battery shows a current drain of 5 amps leave for 11 hours (25% discharge) switch off lights and panel leave for half an hour and check voltage should read 12.5 - 12.6v.
Now repeat above test so you now have discharged the battery by 50% reading should be 12.2 - 12.3 v
Repeat again 75% discharge should now Read 12v.
I do not recommend you discharge the battery's any further, if you attain the above readings not much wrong with your battery.

You could run the same test on each battery individually just reduce either the time or current by half.
userlennyhb
Posted: 28 October 2014 3:25 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


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Keithl - 2014-10-28 2:43 PM

So if when driving lets be generous and say they get 20 Amps of charge, then it will take five and a half hours of continuous driving to fully recharge them. That's a lot of driving!
.


High hopes unless he has B&B or an Elektroblock type charger. If the van has the standard split charge relay probably get 10-20 amps for the 30 minutes or so, then once the battery terminal voltage starts to rise it will reduce to 5 amps or less.
If they were 80% discharged might get them fully charged driving 800-1000 miles.
Even then they probably wouldn't be fully charged as the alternator voltage output is too low for an AGM battery.
userKeithl
Posted: 28 October 2014 4:42 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


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lennyhb - 2014-10-28 3:25 PM

Keithl - 2014-10-28 2:43 PM

So if when driving lets be generous and say they get 20 Amps of charge, then it will take five and a half hours of continuous driving to fully recharge them. That's a lot of driving!
.


High hopes unless he has B&B or an Elektroblock type charger. If the van has the standard split charge relay probably get 10-20 amps for the 30 minutes or so, then once the battery terminal voltage starts to rise it will reduce to 5 amps or less.
If they were 80% discharged might get them fully charged driving 800-1000 miles.
Even then they probably wouldn't be fully charged as the alternator voltage output is too low for an AGM battery.


I did say "lets be generous" just for the sake of keeping the maths fairly simple, but in reality as you say it will probably take much, much longer.
Far better to charge on hook up at home before starting out and then not running them too low.

Keith.
userRetread24800
Posted: 28 October 2014 6:39 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 
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It's the voltage at the fridge that matters and from my experience the wires used by some retro fitters are well suited (to a door bell) you really need heavy cable from your battery 
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 29 October 2014 6:51 AM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


500050005000100
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Retread24800 - 2014-10-28 6:39 PM

It's the voltage at the fridge that matters and from my experience the wires used by some retro fitters are well suited (to a door bell) you really need heavy cable from your battery 


On-line comments about Waeco compressor fridges reveal that voltage-drop problems due to under-size cabling are well recognised.

Waeco’s FAQ advice includes the following (note the final sentence).

"What does it mean if the error light is flashing?

If the error light on your fridge flashes once every 5 seconds, it is definitely indicating that you have a voltage drop problem. This means that the wiring in your vehicle may be inadequate to carry the correct amount of volts to the fridge.

To test if this is the problem, plug the fridge into a suitable AC adaptor. If you find that the fridge works, you can eliminate that there is a problem with the fridge and the vehicle wiring should be checked. If the fridge does not work on an AC Adaptor, further investigation is required. Speak to WAECO if this occurs.

We recommend vehicle wiring to be a minimum of 6mm-8mm cross section wire.”
userlennyhb
Posted: 29 October 2014 8:52 AM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


Lord of the posts

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Easy to check if the wiring is up to scratch, a visual check will give you a clue.
With the fridge compressor running check the volts directly across the battery, then check again where it connects to the fridge.
The maximum recommended volt drop is generally considered to be 2%.
userJrr
Posted: 29 October 2014 6:47 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 
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Thanks again for all you're comments when I've had the wiring checked next week I'll get back with the results.i liked the one about the door bell I reckon you could be right. Jim.
userlennyhb
Posted: 7 November 2014 1:03 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


Lord of the posts

Posts: 5851
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Location: West Sussex: Hymer B678 Dynamic Line, 150hp Auto


Jim, did you get it checked out this week, if so what were the findings?
userJrr
Posted: 10 November 2014 8:26 PM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 
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Lennyhb still waiting to have the wiring from battery to fridge upgraded and also having second solar panel fitted next week will let you know how it works out. Jim
userlennyhb
Posted: 11 November 2014 10:26 AM
Subject: RE: Waco fridge
 


Lord of the posts

Posts: 5851
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Location: West Sussex: Hymer B678 Dynamic Line, 150hp Auto


What size were the cables to the fridge?
What volt drop were you getting?
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