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Old 06-24-2008, 02:50 AM   #1
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Currently I am noticing that my house batteries are only charging to 12.8-13.0 volts when previously they had been holding a charge around 13.2-13.5 volts. I know there have been numerous problems reported on this forum with the Dimensions battery charger/inverter. How can I tell if the charger is working properly or if I have another problem? I have kept the water levels topped off in the house batteries and when I returned from a trip to FCSC in Gaffney (great job, by the way) the house batteries were at 14.2v and the 12 v overhead lights, etc..., were noticeably brighter. Any ideas?

By the way, it seems the every time I have checked the status of the charger it is in "float" mode...isn't the charger a three stage charger and should it be in something other than float? As you can tell, I am a little confused by what is happening.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:50 AM   #2
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Currently I am noticing that my house batteries are only charging to 12.8-13.0 volts when previously they had been holding a charge around 13.2-13.5 volts. I know there have been numerous problems reported on this forum with the Dimensions battery charger/inverter. How can I tell if the charger is working properly or if I have another problem? I have kept the water levels topped off in the house batteries and when I returned from a trip to FCSC in Gaffney (great job, by the way) the house batteries were at 14.2v and the 12 v overhead lights, etc..., were noticeably brighter. Any ideas?

By the way, it seems the every time I have checked the status of the charger it is in "float" mode...isn't the charger a three stage charger and should it be in something other than float? As you can tell, I am a little confused by what is happening.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:19 AM   #3
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The Dimensions should float your batteries around 13.6 volts or so. I don't know/remember exactly since I replaced my Dimensions with a Xantrex when the coach was fairly new.

If you turn on a bunch of 12V lights, fans, etc, the charger should kick in to supply the additional current being used and hold the voltage constant or increase it a little.

The charger should go into "bulk" mode when the batteries are way discharged. Run a bunch of 12V stuff or use the inverter for an hour or two to discharge the batteries (with shore power off, of course.) Then see if it kicks into bulk mode.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:36 AM   #4
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Carroll, John's advise above should do the trick to get you into the "bulk" mode.

If the batteries still do not charge @ the proper voltage your batteries may need "equalizing". According to the Dimentions tech rep, the charger is programmed to go into the "equalizing" mode every 20th cycle. This means that every 20th time the rig is plugged into shore power or the generator is started the charger will attempt to burn off the junk that is covering the plates within the batteries.

If you tend to stay in one place hooked to shore power for long periods of time your batteries never have a chance to equalize. Don't know your traveling habits but this may be a possibility.

The Dimentions inverter has had it's share of bashing on this and other forums but after two and one half years I have never had a problem. Keeping my fingers crossed..
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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From the owners manuel....
The 3-steps of the charging process are as follows:
" Bulk mode: Charging current is passed through the batteries until a factory set
acceptance voltage limit is reached. The charger's maximum output and/or the state
of charge of the batteries determine the amount of current.
" Acceptance mode: Charging continues with the voltage held at the accept voltage
until current flow decreases to the factory set end value or the factory set
acceptance mode time limit is reached.
" Float mode: Battery voltage is held at a factory set value, which will neither charge
nor discharge the batteries.
" Condition mode: Occurs every 10th charge cycle between Acceptance mode and
Float mode to ensure full restoration of active materials in all the plates of the
battery cells.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:33 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, I will try this and let you know how it goes.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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The charging voltage is also temperature compensated via the temperature sensor attached to the batteries, so it will vary a bit depending on the temperature.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:16 PM   #8
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Also, don't hesitate to call Dimensions 651-653-7000 as they were very helpful in helping me trouble shoot ours when it started failing.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Currently I am noticing that my house batteries are only charging to 12.8-13.0 volts when previously they had been holding a charge around 13.2-13.5 volts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

12.8 - 13.0 volts looks like the normal range for the current temparatures. The themal sensor attached to the battery terminal causes the change.

Mine is operating within that same range (13.0 currently) yet this winter it would float at as much as 13.4 volts.

You might check your batteries with a hydrometer to see if they are indeed fully charged when the dimensions charger is in float mode.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:44 PM   #10
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I tried the inverter trick that John mentioned and it ran for about an hour before the batteries were too depleted and it shut down. Then the charger did go into bulk charge mode and charged the batteries to a target voltage of 14.2...then I checked the display later in the day (two to three hours I guess) and it was back to the same old 12.9-13.0 volts or so and back in float mode. I'm going to check the electrolyte levels next and then call the company if the results aren't good. By the way, that's the first time I have used the inverter in two years of ownership.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:04 AM   #11
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The charger should have progressed from bulk to acceptance, then to float.

I suppose it could be that you have a bad cell or cells, but usually the charger then pumps out lots of current thinking the batteries are discharged. You also get gassing - electrolyte bubbles out and the top of the batteries are wet.

If the batteries are okay, then it sure sounds like a wonky Dimensions.
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