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Residential fridge on converter


4x4ff

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Hi all,

 

I just swapped out my fridge in my 5er with a residential one. I went with the Whirlpool WRT111 model due to size requirements. Here is my question. My wife and I plan on full timing within the next year or so. I have NO plans on boondocking but I want to be able to run the fridge while we are traveling. Based on what I've read my thoughts are this:

 

I will install 2 6V batteries in place of my current single 12v.

I will install a Xantrex 1000 watt inverter hooked up to the batteries.

The only thing I plan on running off the inverter or batteries is the fridge.

I was going to use the Xantrex transfer relay here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004S5Y158/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=26H6379GZVYXT&coliid=I2YDT0DNHE05CC

 

My question is I'm not exactly sure the proper way to wire in the Transfer Relay. Let me start by saying I am very experienced and comfortable with electrical work although I am NO electrician. If I wire it in the way I was thinking directly at the fridge then I have no circuit breaker protection when it is on the inverter. Also the fridge is in a slide so I am assuming I will have to run 12/3 SJOW cable to get the transfer relay power (Since it would be in the slide). I son't really want to install a separate circuit breaker box to run one circuit.

 

Just looking for ideas

 

 

Steve

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We replaced our RV fridge in 1/2013 with a residential fridge and do not have an inverter. We do not boon dock and always have AC power at campgrounds. The longest travel day was 8 hours (we normally travel ~5 hours or less) and everything in the freezer is still rock solid and the fridge climbs to no more that 43 degrees. If needed for planned travels we'll purchase a Honda 2000. The only risk is if a CG looses AC power for an extended time, but we could move to another. Some of our friends have an inverter and some do not. Just an option for you. Greg

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Is there a reason you don't want to use your existing power distribution box? It seems like it would be easiest to wire your inverter and transfer switch "upstream" of your existing panel on a dedicated circuit to your fridge. Your fridges existing 110 should already be on it's own circuit.. I would think.

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I cant help you with the transfer switch, I don't know anything about it. However, it would be nice to know the following:



1) Current draw of the fridge when running.


2) Starting current fridge requires


3) Amp Hours of those batteries (that doesn't add in series, only the voltage is additive you know)



If a person had those figures and some of the Inverter specs he could see if the Inverter has sufficient surge capacity to start the fridge running as that requires much more (thought short term) then it does to keep it running you know. Also if he knew the typical fridge energy use over say a 24 hour period he could calculate how long the batteries could maintain it.



I have one of those small dorm room style 120 VAC fridge which only uses 30 amp hours per day (draws less then an amp after started) which my 1000 watt inverter and four golf cart batteries (460 Amp Hours) and 400 watts of solar can run indefinitely BUT THATS NOT NEAR AS BIG AS YOUR FRIDGE so I wonder about only 2 batteries and only a 1000 watt inverter??????????????



John T


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Is there a reason you don't want to use your existing power distribution box? It seems like it would be easiest to wire your inverter and transfer switch "upstream" of your existing panel on a dedicated circuit to your fridge. Your fridges existing 110 should already be on it's own circuit.. I would think.

That is what I was wondering about. I'm not sure how to connect the transfer relay to my main box. I do NOT want to power the entire box just the fridge circuit.

 

Steve

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That is what I was wondering about. I'm not sure how to connect the transfer relay to my main box. I do NOT want to power the entire box just the fridge circuit.

 

Steve

 

Just disconnect the existing fridge circuit line and plug that into the "primary" on your transfer switch. Plug in your inverter to the secondary on the transfer switch... then run a new line from the transfer switch to your fridge circuit breaker. Badabing! :D

 

If your inverter is not internally protected, you probably want to run an in-line fuse along your transfer switch leg.

 

Shore power will be detected first.. when no shore power is available, switch on the inverter and you're good to go. It would be a good idea to run the remote panel for your inverter.. or something similar at least so it will be easy to indicate when the inverter is in operation. The case you want to avoid is inadvertently running your inverter when on shore power. It won't harm your electronics or your reefer, but you could end up sucking your batteries dry and not know it when on shore power.

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Just disconnect the existing fridge circuit line and plug that into the "primary" on your transfer switch. Plug in your inverter to the secondary on the transfer switch... then run a new line from the transfer switch to your fridge circuit breaker. Badabing! :D

 

If your inverter is not internally protected, you probably want to run an in-line fuse along your transfer switch leg.

 

Shore power will be detected first.. when no shore power is available, switch on the inverter and you're good to go. It would be a good idea to run the remote panel for your inverter.. or something similar at least so it will be easy to indicate when the inverter is in operation. The case you want to avoid is inadvertently running your inverter when on shore power. It won't harm your electronics or your reefer, but you could end up sucking your batteries dry and not know it when on shore power.

Thats kinda what my question was about. I can hook the transfer switch 'downstream' from the breaker it will power the entire circuit from the inverter not just the fridge which is ok. The problem as you stated is that when this circuit is powered from the inverter there is no 'circuit breaker' protection unless I put in an auxiliary breaker. Didn't know if there was a way to avoid that. The other question is the wiring from the inverter to the transfer relay. The transfer relay includes a 3 prong standard plug that you can plug into the inverter as well as 2 other connections (Line and Load). I am going to have to run the line and load about 10 feet or so. Do I splice into the line and load wires (sj type of wire) with SJ and run them or do I have to run standard NM type wire??

 

I'm sorry if I confused you.

 

Steve

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Depending on the Xantrex inverter used, the transfer switch is built in. Example here, other brand here, and a 2500w here. I've used the first unit before, and have been satisfied with it.

Thanks for the info but the Xantrex you listed is a Modified Sine Wave. After reading through several forums most advise to only use a Pure Sign Wave inverter.

 

Steve

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I have two of these transfer switches installed on my motorhome, along with a 1000 watt Xantrex pure sine wave inverter, and I power two circuits of outlets with it. These switches are made to go with this inverter. I didnt do the install, but they were fairly easy. I also have a remote off/on switch for the inverter.

 

Paul

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Be sure that the inverter is a Pure sine, one of the ones suggested was a modified sine, probably not good for the electronics of a residential frig.I did the same thing you are wanting to do. Very easy. You might find that the 1000W Xantrex will kick off at frig start up. Xantrex is not made to carry the higher start up. So even though the 1000W I first purchased fit the parameters it didn't work. So I had to go with a 1500W and that worked. We do a lot of boon docking and off grid living and it works great.

 

Steve if you are still having problems PM me and I'll send you my Phone number and I can walk you through it.

 

Kent

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Sorry. Steve. I edited the earlier post. I had too many balls in the air at that time. ;)

 

Gotcha. Thanks for the updated link. That looks like a nice unit but for right now its a little outta my price range. And yes I am well aware that you 'gotta buy it nice or buy it twice'....lol. Like I said for right now just wanting to keep the fridge running while on the road.

 

Thanks again,

 

Steve

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I DO NOT recommend a MSW inverter. Too many failures, over time, of fridge components can be traced back to them. Even Samsung, who once said a MSW was OK has now changed that to a pure sine wave. Do some people get away with using them for years? Yes, they do. But far, far, more have issues.

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Very true, Jack. I recently changed out the inverter in the sleeper to a PSW. The fridge would cool right down, and run cold for a day or two, before slowly warming up. Plugged it in direct as a test, and it ran cold in the heat of a Phoenix spring. Swapped the inverters, and all better now. Likely took some life out of the fridge, but it's a cheap "dorm" style anyway.

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We replaced our RV fridge in 1/2013 with a residential fridge and do not have an inverter. We do not boon dock and always have AC power at campgrounds. The longest travel day was 8 hours (we normally travel ~5 hours or less) and everything in the freezer is still rock solid and the fridge climbs to no more that 43 degrees. If needed for planned travels we'll purchase a Honda 2000. The only risk is if a CG looses AC power for an extended time, but we could move to another. Some of our friends have an inverter and some do not. Just an option for you. Greg

You can't go 8 hours to all fridges in all RVs. After 4 to 5 hours the freezer in ours gets into the 20s, so no way am I letting it go 8 hours without power. Luckily we do not have to.

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I slept since I first read this and wasn't familiar with the Xantrex product, so to try and maybe simplify what I consider a transfer switch and how its wired I offer the following.

 

I view a Transfer Switch as a selector switch whereby you want to power a LOAD such as a refrigerator, but you want to choose between two different SOURCES, say an Inverter orrrrrrrrrrrrr the normal RV 120 VAC utility. The LOAD/Fridge is the output while the two selectable SOURCES are the Inverter orrrrrrrrrrr Utility. BOTH the inverter and utility need their three wires (Hot, Neutral, Ground) connected to the transfer switches two source terminals, while the Fridge needs its 3 wires (Hot, Neutral, Ground) connected to its LOAD terminals. IE run three No 12's from Inverter (it likely has its own overload protection already there internally) and three No 12's from the utility (it should already have its own circuit breaker overload protection in the RV's distribution panel) to the Transfer Switch. Then the inverters output feeds three No 12's to the fridge.

 

Wife is calling supper, no time to see if this is right lol

 

John T

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Glenn West is the right direction. Do not use the running amperage of the refrigerator for Inverter sizing. Figure 1500 watts to have a margin for motor startup. A good Inverter (ex: Magnum, Freedom) will have a builtin transfer switch.

 

While you are at it, these same Inverter are Charges and can be used to replace the Converter. Smarter charging. You don't have to have all your AC off of the Inverter.

 

And while we are at it, the OP should change the title of this thread to Residential refrigerator on Inverter so it maakes sense.

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The Freedom doesn't need a switch. It automatically switches when no incoming power. It is also the charger. Not arguing with anyone about my MSW inverter. Ours is trouble free and no need to change anything that works. Our appliances have no problem. This is all factory and it is a 2003.

Your Freedom is an inverter/charger with an internal transfer switch. The PSW inverters being discussed do not have chargers or internal transfer switches, making them cheaper than your Freedom to add when needed.

 

You are also lucky everything works on MSW. Someone I know burnt out an electric toothbrush twice when the they disconnected from shore power, so their Freedom supplied the electricity. The first time they didn't realize why the toothbrush failed.

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You are also lucky everything works on MSW. .

 

Agreed! But being aught 3 equipment you can probably get away with it. The way MSW waveforms slam up and down (aka heat) it's pretty harsh on electronics. In the "modern" world some electronics "can" run on MSW, but it's not really in their best interest in the long run.

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