EC325 again ! (1 Viewer)

May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
Hi all,
I've been having problems with the starter battery losing charge quite quickly (over a few days) even on hookup. Not managed to track down the issue with that yet but needed the battery charged to operate central locking etc and not ruin the battery again.
So I've just connected a mains charger unit to the battery to maintain it. The battery has been disconnected for a few weeks and upon reconnection I had to reboot the sargent control panel. Once running again the control panel says there is no ac power to the van.
Well, the odd thing is, the rocker switch is knackered on the psu itself and is in the off position (not lit, no green led) so the control panel is sort of telling the truth but despite the psu being unpowered, I'm running the battery charger from a 240v socket in the van! Also, the 240v lighting is working. The hookup is connected of course.

I've decided to bite the bullet and get the newer 328 psu and control panel, but am waiting for sargent to respond as to whether this is a direct replacement for the 325, including the arrangement of the connectors.
Hopefully the new system will allow me to track down this non charging issue with the vehicle battery.
Did I mention that I hate tracing electrical problems?
I also hate that autotrail have placed the psu in a stupid place that requires the dismantling of the cupboard and removal of the surrounding items before you can get at the connectors.
 
Oct 10, 2018
2,025
1,150
Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
Funster No
56,646
MH
PVC
Exp
Since 2005
There is information that can be found , and you may not have seen , regarding starter battery charging (or lack of automatic charging ) , with the system you have , on the Sargent website that may explain your problem in - support -help centre- EC325 www.sargentltd.co.uk
The rocker switch is to turn the PSU on which is not needed for the 230v sockets and 230v lights to work , but would be needed for 230v charging and 12v DC operation via the PSU (This is what is being indicated on your control panel)
 

Hoovie

Free Member
May 16, 2021
1,249
1,689
Funster No
81,251
MH
Autotrail
Hi all,
I've been having problems with the starter battery losing charge quite quickly (over a few days) even on hookup. Not managed to track down the issue with that yet but needed the battery charged to operate central locking etc and not ruin the battery again.
So I've just connected a mains charger unit to the battery to maintain it. The battery has been disconnected for a few weeks and upon reconnection I had to reboot the sargent control panel. Once running again the control panel says there is no ac power to the van.
Well, the odd thing is, the rocker switch is knackered on the psu itself and is in the off position (not lit, no green led) so the control panel is sort of telling the truth but despite the psu being unpowered, I'm running the battery charger from a 240v socket in the van! Also, the 240v lighting is working. The hookup is connected of course.

I've decided to bite the bullet and get the newer 328 psu and control panel, but am waiting for sargent to respond as to whether this is a direct replacement for the 325, including the arrangement of the connectors.
Hopefully the new system will allow me to track down this non charging issue with the vehicle battery.
Did I mention that I hate tracing electrical problems?
I also hate that autotrail have placed the psu in a stupid place that requires the dismantling of the cupboard and removal of the surrounding items before you can get at the connectors.
The reason for not seeing the control panel saying there is no Mains to the van is exactly as GeoffnDee says - it actually means the charger is switched off. (the text is misleading without a doubt.
From what you are saying, the non-charging issue could be as simple as a faulty switch. That would be pretty easy to replace for someone who is happy to remove the unit and is probably worth a go.
If you have the EC325 in the same place as mine (top cupboard behind the drivers seat) and the same wiring, it is a right pig to get to. I spend around a hour with a mirror refitting the tank sensor connector!

If you do decide to replace with the newer EC328, then I am pretty sure all the connections are identical and it is a direct exchange, but best you get that confirmed. The only real difference as far as I can see is the actual charger part - the EC328 has a 3-stage charger but still fairly small and not sure if you will really gain by doing the swap if you have a separate charger in use already?
PS. The control panels are the same, so no need to buy a new panel as well unless you think the current one is faulty?

Ref the vehicle battery ... You are probably aware that the EC325 (and the EC328 for that matter) will only charge one battery? That battery is the one selected on the control panel and if you use the default L setting, being on hookup or not will make no difference to charging the Starter Battery.
If you get your EC325 repaired, or get the EC328, you will be able to charge the Starter Battery by selecting the alternate 'V' Battery from the CP button. You could do this maybe once a week or every few days (whatever seems to suit) to allow you to charge both batteries, albeit not at the same time.
 
OP
OP
Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
The control panel appears to work fine. I can turn on the 12v systems, water pump etc and see the state of charge of batteries. The issue with charging is good news, in a way. That has been my problem and with the switch playing up as well, it's just as well to replace the psu.
 
Oct 10, 2018
2,025
1,150
Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
Funster No
56,646
MH
PVC
Exp
Since 2005
The control panel works through the PSU and if that is all ok , as suggested , you may only need a new charger switch . A replacement PSU will not alter the fact that the battery to be charged when on EHU (with the charger power switch on), engine or leisure battery , needs to be selected manually on the control panel .
When the power switch can be used the Power system monitor on the front of the EC325 PSU will illuminate and indicate with green/orange/red lights the state of its operation and if a fault is present.

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Last edited:
OP
OP
Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
Well there appears to be 2 schools of thought on the charging method. I've seen comments suggesting it's auto switching and comments saying you must manually switch over on the control panel. I know I never used to need to switch manually and never had a problem. That is until the psu started playing up.
 
OP
OP
Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
After some more reading, I may have misunderstood. The solar will charge either battery as needed, but only if the solar is connected through the sargent unit. I can't tell how mine is connected.
 
Oct 10, 2018
2,025
1,150
Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
Funster No
56,646
MH
PVC
Exp
Since 2005
According to the Sargent manuals both the EC325 and EC328 are manually switched for mains charging and when solar is connected through the PSU it then also charges both batteries , but only when solar is in operation..
Is it possible that a Vanbitz battery master, or similar , has been fitted in the past to enable charging of both the starter and leisure batteries when leisure is selected and that has now become faulty/disconnected and starter battery trickle charging is not now taking place.?
If you are still not sure Sargent Electrical (01482 678981) should be able to confirm the charging method used on your EC325 if you phone them , they are normally very helpful,
 
Apr 27, 2016
6,937
8,102
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
Well, the odd thing is, the rocker switch is knackered on the psu itself and is in the off position (not lit, no green led)
You've probably seen this already, but in case you haven't, I posted a link to a replacement switch in post #6 of this recent thread:
Apuljack Electronics will repair this if you don't want to do it yourself, or sell you a new or refurbished one.
 
Oct 10, 2018
2,025
1,150
Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
Funster No
56,646
MH
PVC
Exp
Since 2005
User instructions (If you do not already have them) for the EC325 can be found in the Manuals for Motorhome stuff section of Resources that is in the menu of this site and there is information in it that may help find the charging fault , if it is still there , when the on/off switch is replaced .

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OP
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Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
Hi,
Well after investigation it appears that the solar system is independent of the sargent system. As I only assumed that the sargent system automatically charged the vehicle battery and that assumption was wrong, I am now just going to replace the switch and see where that gets me.
I still have the parasitic drain on the vehicle battery to find which, when solved might make the charging issue moot.
Thank you all for your advice.
 
Jun 16, 2014
656
2,450
NOTTINGHAM
Funster No
31,988
MH
Autotrail Savannah
Exp
Almost a Newbie but not quite now.
Dec 12, 2010
5,458
21,974
Cumbria
Funster No
14,651
MH
C Class
Exp
since 2011
Hey Headrush, just had this YouTube video pop up on my feed, it's for an EC225, but gives you an idea as to what's inside if you're going to tackle the repair yourself ?
 
OP
OP
Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
Hey Headrush, just had this YouTube video pop up on my feed, it's for an EC225, but gives you an idea as to what's inside if you're going to tackle the repair yourself ?

Thanks mate,
I have had the box off the wall before and the cover off because there was no 240v. Turned out to be a dodgy hookup socket and a loose connector on the box. The problem with the job is getting the box off the wall to undo the cover bolts. Bloody auto trail never expect any work to be done after they've finished theirs!
DSC_2832.JPG
 
OP
OP
Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
Well I fitted the new switch today. Managed to prise the old one out without removing the psu from the wall, which was nice.
So that's all working now as far as I can tell. I have set the control panel to use the vehicle battery to enable charging from the ec325. There still appears to be something drawing power from the vehicle battery as initially the voltage reading on the control panel read 13.2v, then about an hour later it was down to 12.7v. After selecting the vehicle battery on the control panel and waiting a few minutes, the voltage was back up to 13v.

I'll be keeping an eye on it, but any serious investigation won't happen until it stops raining!

Cheers
Alan

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Apr 27, 2016
6,937
8,102
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
There still appears to be something drawing power from the vehicle battery as initially the voltage reading on the control panel read 13.2v, then about an hour later it was down to 12.7v
Might be nothing wrong at all. 12.7V is the resting voltage of a fully charged battery, ie with no loads and nothing charging it. It only goes up over 13.0V if something is charging it.
 
OP
OP
Headrush
May 19, 2018
252
397
Funster No
53,980
Might be nothing wrong at all. 12.7V is the resting voltage of a fully charged battery, ie with no loads and nothing charging it. It only goes up over 13.0V if something is charging it.
I hope you're right. Before all this started with the switch on the psu, the vehicle battery had been draining over the course of a week. Killed one battery so I bought a new one and about a week later spent a weekend away with no hookup.
Parked up for a week after that and the battery was down to about 9v. So I disconnected it to prevent it getting murdered too while I figured things out.

I've been externally charging the battery this last week so I can start tracing the current draw. The broken switch on the psu was incidental to connecting the system back up. I sort of hoped that the psu was the cause of all the problems but fixing the switch was the cheapest option for now.

I never used to need to worry about the vehicle battery draining while parked up for months. It started to be a problem in maybe November, December last year. I also didn't realise that the psu wasn't charging it without the control panel on and switched to the vehicle battery.
Ignorance was bliss! We've had this van since 2016 BTW.
 

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