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Old 08-17-2016, 11:23 AM   #1
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Troubleshooting Flickering Lights

I think I've isolated the problem, but I don't know what the solution is. I'll bet someone on the Forum who's good with electrical systems will know exactly what to do.

1. I'm connected to shore power and my LED lights flicker.

2. I removed the LEDs, lightly filed the connections, reseated the lights, and they still flicker.

3. With shore power connected, I turned OFF the battery switch that came installed below the bench seat at the table.

4. The flickering stopped!

For some reason, isolating the battery power stopped the flickering.

Is it possible the problem stems from a faulty converter? Some other issue?

Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
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I would suspect a loose or faulty ground wire connected to the cutoff switch. Faulty grounds make 12v systems (like the lights) go haywire.

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Old 08-17-2016, 11:46 AM   #3
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lights

We had a flickering LED light with our Lil Snoozy .We did not have a converter just a smart charger .Whether we were on A/C or 12 volt it would flicker when pump would come on ? The Snoozy forum said put an accumulator on the water pump flickering stopped ? The pumps recycling kept the flickering on and off?
Let me get this straight the Converter takes 110A/C and tranforms it down to 12 volt right ? plus an added feature of charging one's battery when it's down? Jim
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
We had a flickering LED light with our Lil Snoozy .We did not have a converter just a smart charger .Whether we were on A/C or 12 volt it would flicker when pump would come on ? The Snoozy forum said put an accumulator on the water pump flickering stopped ? The pumps recycling kept the flickering on and off?
Let me get this straight the Converter takes 110A/C and tranforms it down to 12 volt right ? plus an added feature of charging one's battery when it's down? Jim
Everything inside the trailer is 12v DC powered - except for a 110v outlet running off an inverter. And, even that power has to be inverted from DC to AC. The "converter" function doesn't really come into play unless you have hookups, because there is no need to convert AC power to DC unless AC is being supplied.

In simplest terms, a converter turns AC power into DC power. An inverter does the opposite.

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Old 08-17-2016, 11:57 AM   #5
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One other thing I failed to mention is that the WFCO power distribution and converter aren't known for providing the cleanest power. That's one of the reasons I'm upgrading to the boondocker converter and board assembly. Many people with flickering lights have fixed them with this retrofit.

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Old 08-17-2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
One other thing I failed to mention is that the WFCO power distribution and converter aren't known for providing the cleanest power. That's one of the reasons I'm upgrading to the boondocker converter and board assembly. Many people with flickering lights have fixed them with this retrofit.

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I don't have a specific answer to your problem, but some observations of LEDs in fixtures might be helpful -

One of the problems LEDs present is flickering under situations where an incandescent lamp won't. The reason is the LED switched off & on or gets brighter/dimmer instantly, following any voltage fluctuations in the system. An incandescent lamp, because it produces light from heating often does not show minor voltage fluctuations since it doesn't cool off between them.

If individual LED fixtures flicker, the problem is usually the contacts between the socket & the lamp. Because they draw so little current, even small amounts of corrosion can cause problems.

If all of the fixtures flicker, it is a supply problem. Generally, just running on the battery alone won't cause flickering, although running a motor such as a fan or more likely, the water pump can cause a problem.

If you have solar, particularly a portable panel with an inexpensive controller, LED lamps may flicker as the controller tops off the batteries. A PWM controller switches the panels off & on to limit the charging current & the inexpensive ones sometimes do it slowly enough so that LEDs flicker. The better controllers switch off & on fast enough that flickering is faster than the eye can see.

A converter can cause the same problems as the solar controller, particularly if the battery is out of the circuit.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:11 PM   #7
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Looking at my trailer, the only things between the cutoff switch and the batteries is the cable as mentioned and the 50A breaker ETI installs. If the cable checks out then maybe you can try jumpering over the breaker. Your trailer may vary from mine.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff and Karen View Post
1. I'm connected to shore power and my LED lights flicker.
...
3. With shore power connected, I turned OFF the battery switch that came installed below the bench seat at the table.

4. The flickering stopped!

For some reason, isolating the battery power stopped the flickering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
If you have solar, particularly a portable panel with an inexpensive controller, LED lamps may flicker as the controller tops off the batteries. A PWM controller switches the panels off & on to limit the charging current & the inexpensive ones sometimes do it slowly enough so that LEDs flicker. The better controllers switch off & on fast enough that flickering is faster than the eye can see.
I think Jon is on to a good possibility: turning off the battery switch isolates the battery from the lights, but it also isolates the solar charge controller from the lights. The solar controller looks like a good candidate for the source of the problem, if the flickering is occurring while the panels are producing power.

The easiest way to confirm or eliminate this possibility is to check for flickering with the battery switch on and no power coming from the panels (that is, at night).
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:07 PM   #9
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We had a flickering light over the bed. I exchanged the LED bulb with another fixture. The flickering bulb flickered in the new fixture and the exchanged bulb didn't flicker. This proved it was only a faulty bulb.
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:17 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=rbryan4;156258]I would suspect a loose or faulty ground wire connected to the cutoff switch. Faulty grounds make 12v systems (like the lights) go haywire.

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A wiring diagram would show that a ground wire is not connected to the battery disconnect/shutoff switch
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