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Victron experience....blue stuff is getting me red around the cheeks!!


Czauto
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Good day guys,

long time no see. Since I've "upgraded" my 5Kva Axpert to a 3Kva Victron Multiplus late 2018 I've only been lurking in the dark and watching forum posts from a distance.

I have recently run into a problem though. I'm using a Multiplus 48/3000/35-50 with Venus GX. This is connected to 8 105Ah high cycle batteries which is never run down more than 90%SOC because then the load is taken over by a 8Kva Diesel generator. No solar, only used as UPS to power lights and other basic loads. Max power comes to about 1400W. All non essentials like pumps, AC, microwave, etc is connected directly to grid.

After a power outage early August I found that the E/L tripped when the grid power returned. AS a test we bypassed the E/L unit and simulated a power outage and again when power was switched on the Multiplus went into overload protection with error#24. If you switch on grid power first and then switch the inverter on, everything works fine as the inverter picks up the loads when grid fails but then trips again when Grid returns. Being down in the Karoo I removed the covers of the Multiplus and checked to see If I can find something that went bang. All I could find was the transfer relay that clearly spewed out some lead so obviously this was the culprit. I phoned the supplier who asked me to courier it to them. So the days went by and after about 2 weeks I phoned to enquire about the repairs. I was promised that this would be covered under the 5 year warranty. Full of excuses my supplier told me that the unit was sent in to another supplier in town, who apparently was a repairing dealer for Victron. Another 2 weeks went by before I phoned again.....no news. 2 days later they phoned me and instructed me to send my courier to collect and that the unit was repaired and tested by both companies.

After it arrived I installed it exactly like it was before but didn't test it (it's supposed to be fixed right). 2 days later, power outage. Inverter takes over the loads, no problems. But then after the Grid supply came back....BOOM!! total darkness. Exactly the same problem. I get the sparky again to test whatever I haven't tested and yet again all fingers point to the multiplus.

I removed the covers again and there it is. The faulty relay was still there. I know this because I took pictures of it the first time and could use the lead marks (which was still stuck to the plastic of the relay) as reference. I phoned my supplier again the next day and asked what the hell the story was. Apparently now all of a sudden it was tested with no problems and no one bothered to open it and the the internals....

Now all of a sudden the repair will not be covered under warranty and I have to fork out almost R9k for the relay board.

I am utterly disgusted with Victron's after sales service (even at supplier level) and no, I'm not naming them on a public forum. My Axpert was sold after more than 2 years of faultless service and I knew that should it break, I'd be better of buying a new one due to no after sales service but damn, after forking out more than R20k for the Rolls Royce of inverters to have the peace of mind of a proper warranty bit me on my arse!! 

I will be replacing the board, and I will be selling the Multiplus soon and replace it with an Infinisolar for what it's worth.

So if anyone knows where I can find a relay board for a Multiplus 48/3000/35-50, please let me know.

The picture with the white background was taken before the unit was sent for repairs. the other was taken after the fault resumed after "repairs" was done.

Not a happy chappie!!

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6 hours ago, Czauto said:

So the days went by and after about 2 weeks I phoned to enquire about the repairs. I was promised that this would be covered under the 5 year warranty. Full of excuses my supplier told me that the unit was sent in to another supplier in town, who apparently was a repairing dealer for Victron. Another 2 weeks went by before I phoned again.....no news. 2 days later they phoned me and instructed me to send my courier to collect and that the unit was repaired and tested by both companies.

That is not the way Victron operates. I will PM you the details of someone you can contact at Victron, He will sort you out. Victron themselves will not tolerate something like this.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi guys, 

Everything solved. I contacted victron's sales manager (if i'm correct), Gerrit Tromp, and he sorted everything out in a matter of days. I sent the Multiplus back to my supplier and no more than a week later it was repaired (actually repaired this time), under warranty and is now working perfectly. 

In the time i was without an inverter and had to use my generator more often i decided to automate it completely. I ordered a Linixe generator controll module from Aliexpress and less than 14 days later, at a total cost of R927, it was delivered to my door. I also acquired a proper 63A automatic transfer switch and installed everything when the Multiplus came back last week.

Now, when grid power fails, the Multiplus takes over the loads (system is used as UPS with no solar and small 200Ah battery bank). 

What's lekker now, without any user intervention, the Multiplus starts the generator as soon as one of the conditions are met (battery SOC, AC loads) and the transfer switch switches over to auxilary power (generator in this case)

As soon as grid power returns, the transfer switch goes back to normal mode and the Multi stops the generator after the set delay time is met. 

Setting are different for "silent hours" so if grid supply should fail through the night, the generator will only start if it's really needed. 

This is a really great function and i wanted to utilize it for a long time. Glad it's done now. 

Thanks Victron. I now realize again why i've converted to blue, even while you (or rather a supplier) made me red around the cheeks for a while. 

And like always the forum did what it alway does with members replying almost immediately. Thanks guys. You rock! 

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