230V Fridge only working when battery charger is on - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 05:33 Thread Starter
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230V Fridge only working when battery charger is on

Hi alll.
I am very new to this game and new to the forums so please excuse me if this is a silly question, but I have checked the user manual and googled and cannot find an answer to this.
I have a 2006 Autotrail Tracker with the Sargent 2007 PSU.
When hooked up to EHU and the fridge is set to 230V, the fridge only works when the battery charger is turned on. All 3 pin plugs work fine without the charger being on, but the fridge does not.
Is this normal or is something wrong?
Thanks
Chris
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 05:57
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I'm guessing Chris the fridge has a 12v control. It's only the heating element needs the 240v.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 07:29
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When not connected to 230 volt hook up (and the engine not running) does the 12 volt system within the van work as intended?


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John
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 08:42 Thread Starter
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Ahhh, good call.
I have just checked and the 12V system is not working when not on EHU, so would that be the problem? I didnt realise the 12V system needed to be functioning for the fridge to work on 230V.
So I switched from leisure battery to vehicle battery on the control panel, the 12V system works, and the fridge runs on EHU without the charger on.
Interestingly, when I switch back to leisure battery (EHU still hooked up but charger off) the fridge stays on, but as soon as I turn a light on, the light comes on for about half a second, then goes off, as does the fridge.
So I am guessing there is an issue with the leisure battery, its circuit, fuse or something. Now I have to find the cause of that problem! What would be the sensible steps to take to check this? It is a brand new battery I fitted from Tanya and is showing as 12.5V on the control panel. I may have done something wrong, or maybe it is a bad battery (it was quite wet when I opened it up - could it have leaked even though it is sealed?). Or maybe the wiring is screwed up somehow (we had to get the wiring fixed when we bought it in May)
Sorry if any of this is obvious but mechanics/electrics are really not my thing

Last edited by Bantha; 24-07-2021 at 08:49.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 08:53
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The engine has to be running for the fridge to work on 12v, it works via a voltage sensing relay, I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if it works on tick over or if you need to be over a certain engine speed for the alternator to kick in, but if you put a meter on the 12v input to the fridge you should be able to tell one way or tother.


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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 09:00
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Yes sounds like there is a battery problem.
If the 12v leisure only works for seconds, either it's flat or a bad contact. I would check the terminal connections first and monitor with a multi meter both the terminal volts and the lug volts.

Ray.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 09:36
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Unlikely there's a problem with the actual battery. Check that all connections to the terminals are tight.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 09:43
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That can also be a problem Mike, tightening a battery post clamp. It has been known for the post to be loosened off the plates which can result in a poor connection.

Ray.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 10:20 Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyones help so far.
So the problem is that I am getting no power from the leisure battery. Or rather I do sometimes, for half a second, and then it goes. Other times there is not even that.
I have checked the battery terminals and they are tight, I have had a look at the fuse near the positive terminal, it looks fine and in tact. Same with the fuses on the PSU, all look good.
Any ideas on next steps?
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 24-07-2021, 10:32
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All fuses look good, it is better to test them individually when in situ to ensure that they are working. In an older vehicle cable connections can be intermittent.
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