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Old 15-07-2014, 01:01   #1
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Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

Hello all,

Our inverter stopped working last night. We were watching TV and then it was gone. There are no LED's on which the Manual says could be a blown fuse.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Do I need to send the unit back (would be a pain) or can I just replace it myself?

Anything else it could be or that I could try?

Thanks in advance,
Simon
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Old 15-07-2014, 04:01   #2
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

Welcome to Victron ownership. Every single piece of Victron gear I own has dead failed at least once.

My Victron Multiplus charger/inverter dead failed, requiring horrendous de-installation, packing and shipping the heavy beast, and another horrendous re-installation process, requiring a couple of days of very hard and unpleasant work.

It was under warranty, and it was discovered that the control circuit board had failed and needed to be replaced. The warranty was cold comfort, since the removal and reinstallation was many times more expensive than the control board.

I suggest not futzing around with it; just send it in.
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Old 15-07-2014, 14:54   #3
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

Ugh, I hope I don't need to rip it out and send it back, that would be a pain.

Ours is in quite an easy to reach place but still would require a bit of work to remove and put back in. And then the postage wouldn't be nice either.



It does say there's a fuse, but it also says that if this has blown the unit has to be sent back for repairs as you say.

If it's just a case of replaying a simple fuse though I'd rather do that than pay the postage and wait an extra 2 weeks to get a working unit.
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Old 15-07-2014, 15:15   #4
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Welcome to Victron ownership. Every single piece of Victron gear I own has dead failed at least once.

My Victron Multiplus charger/inverter dead failed, requiring horrendous de-installation, packing and shipping the heavy beast, and another horrendous re-installation process, requiring a couple of days of very hard and unpleasant work.

It was under warranty, and it was discovered that the control circuit board had failed and needed to be replaced. The warranty was cold comfort, since the removal and reinstallation was many times more expensive than the control board.

I suggest not futzing around with it; just send it in.
Surely you are exaggerating just a little bit. Two days of hard labour to swap out a Multiplus? I removed and reinstalled mine in a little over one hour. But then mine was mounted according to the directions.
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Old 16-07-2014, 01:46   #5
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

I think mine wouldn't take long to remove either. It's the pain of having to send it back.

Did you need to send yours back in the end? Or did you repair it yourself?
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Old 16-07-2014, 02:02   #6
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

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Surely you are exaggerating just a little bit. Two days of hard labour to swap out a Multiplus? I removed and reinstalled mine in a little over one hour. But then mine was mounted according to the directions.
No exaggeration.

Mine is mounted in my crawl-in engine room, where the original Newmar charger was located. I chose this spot because all the wiring was already there and there is space enough for it. Also, it is equidistant between the two halves of the battery bank, which is important for balanced charging. Other possible locations would have been worse from a lot of different points of view.

The downside is that you have to lift it into place into a spot your arms can't reach, then get bolts into it and bolt it down, then wire it up, all without really being able to reach or even see.

It took two guys a weekend to do it. I guess the first day wasn't a full day, but the second one was. It was a huge PITA. To even get the alternator into the general area, we had to remove the alternator from the main engine plus a bunch of hoses, then horse it slowly over the engine.

Then we had to use an improvised block and tackle to lift it into place, then one guy held it and manipulated it while the other guy got the bolts in. We had to improve the bracket, which also took some time.

Then the wiring. Oh, the wiring! I won't even go into that; the memory is too painful

Needless to say, this is an extremely bad place to have a device which is prone to failure and needs to be taken out.
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Old 16-07-2014, 02:34   #7
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hello all,

Our inverter stopped working last night. We were watching TV and then it was gone. There are no LED's on which the Manual says could be a blown fuse.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Do I need to send the unit back (would be a pain) or can I just replace it myself?

Anything else it could be or that I could try?

Thanks in advance,
Simon
Is it in warranty? Anyhow - change the fuse. Can't hurt. Alternately, pull the fuse and check it for continuity.

You gotta start somewhere...
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Old 16-07-2014, 05:49   #8
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

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I think mine wouldn't take long to remove either. It's the pain of having to send it back.

Did you need to send yours back in the end? Or did you repair it yourself?
The dealer who sold the multiplus to me thought he had to "reprogram" the software, but only succeeded in locking out any further changes, so we could not correct the mistakes. The dealer threw up his hands and admitted that he didn't know how to fix it and that I was on my own. So I contacted Victron directly and they sent me a new board, which was a 10 min job to replace. But that didn't cure all the problems, so Victron sent me a whole new inverter. That was 2 1/2 years ago, and the second inverter has been working flawlessly ever since.

Victrons customer support was superb. Their only mistake was to appoint a dealer who didn't know, and didn't care.

Anyone thinking of buying a Victron inverter/charger should consider that this is a very sophisticated piece of equipment, with more features than other brands on the market. But that comes with a down side too. I liken it to a modern automobile, far more reliable and more capable than autos designed 20 years ago. But when they break, only a mechanic with special tools and special training can fix it.
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Old 17-07-2014, 02:37   #9
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...Mine is mounted in my crawl-in engine room, where the original Newmar charger was located. I chose this spot because all the wiring was already there and there is space enough for it...
Some of you guys should read the installation manuals and consider relocating them - whatever the cost or inconvenience! No electronic equipment likes a hot unventilated environment. Chargers like Victron and Zantrex reduce their output when this gets above 40 degrees C, heat is guaranteed to shorten their life. Even a well ventilated engine compartment can get much hotter than 40C, and it retains it's heat for a longtime after you have docked and connected the shorepower.
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Old 17-07-2014, 02:49   #10
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

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Some of you guys should read the installation manuals and consider relocating them - whatever the cost or inconvenience! No electronic equipment likes a hot unventilated environment. Chargers like Victron and Zantrex reduce their output when this gets above 40 degrees C, heat is guaranteed to shorten their life. Even a well ventilated engine compartment can get much hotter than 40C, and it retains it's heat for a longtime after you have docked and connected the shorepower.
Good advice. In my case, however, the engine space is pretty voluminous and has forced-air ventilation using two big blowers which draw cool air from the bilge and exhaust hot air out two big vents in the transom. So the engine space rarely gets over 30C. When the main engine has been running, there is little need for charging as I have a 110 amp school bus alternator, so if I hook right up to shore power, the charger will just be doing a float charge.
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Old 17-07-2014, 04:23   #11
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Re: Victron Phoenix Inverter 12 / 350 help

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.... So the engine space rarely gets over 30C. When the main engine has been running, there is little need for charging as I have a 110 amp school bus alternator, so if I hook right up to shore power, the charger will just be doing a float charge.
Maybe not over 30C in the UK, but here in the Med or other hot areas your engine compartment will start at 30C and will easily get above 40C on almost all boats.

Even after engine running the batteries may only be at 85% so will still have a long way to go before Float. Even in float mode at temperature the electronics are hot and that is what kills them.

So much kit gets installed in engine compartments and then burns out early. My 2 year old boat came with a Balmar regulator 2" away from the alternator. It lasted another two years!

Don't get me started on sealed batteries installed in engine compartments!
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