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INVERTER WARNING do not use automatic turn on!


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Warning when using your inverter! We have usually had our inverter set to come on automatically when we disconnected from our AC source. This was to keep our fridge and other important AC devices operating while going down the road. The inverter will turn on within a few seconds after unhooking from AC. This has always worked well until one day when we parked in a campground that only had 30 amp service. All was going well until we turned on two many devices for the 30 amp breaker to handle. The breaker on the power pole tripped and before we could turn off any of the devices the inverter turned on. This was when the real problem occurred. The power overload caused the main fuse between the battery pack and the inverter to blow. BAD BAD! This fuse does not reset and the replacement cost can run any where from 50 to 150$. The other problem is: TRY TO FIND ONE! No RV dealer or automotive parts place within 200 miles carried one. Luckily I was able to get the AC to work from the power pole but the batteries would not charge. Was able to drive to my current location , plug in, and wait for a replacement to arrive by UPS.

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Back up is paramount in my mind. In one of my basement bays is a fully automatic battery charger and a spare water pump as well as a 2000i Honda generator in spite of the fact that I have an onboard 7500 watt genset and an air compressor again in spite of the fact that I have a built in air compressor on board.

 

Did I mention I like back up systems?

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Sounds like your wiring between the battery and inverter is inadequate to handle the load it really should, but it was properly fused. It should have been wired to handle over 300 AMPS of 12 volt (10 times 30) and had a fuse of 350 AMP or so. That is how mine is wired.

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X2 on the battery store for your fuse. It would depend on what inverter your have and your wiring size, but I might lean a little more toward a 300 amp fuse. Just to error on the side of caution... But again, that would depend on your equipment.

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Back up is paramount in my mind. In one of my basement bays is a fully automatic battery charger and a spare water pump as well as a 2000i Honda generator in spite of the fact that I have an onboard 7500 watt genset and an air compressor again in spite of the fact that I have a built in air compressor on board.

 

Did I mention I like back up systems?

Plus 1. I left my spare Honda Eu2000 home this trip. Wouldn't you know it was the first time it was needed.

I am also a boater and I boat in a very remote area and never use a dock. I have backup for almost everything and spares I hope I never need.

Over 40 years ago I was boating in the same area and blew a head gasket on one of my main engines. I had one aboard and was able to change it.

Overkill, maybe but it isn't when you need it.

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A fuse is a one time device - a breaker is a multiple time (with reset) device. With the current that an inverter draws, a fuse is the best, low cost protection. As you've heard, most of us carry spares, not only the fuses, but water pumps, smaller fuses, etc. I carry a battery charger which will replace the charger or for other uses.

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My fuse is a

T-Tron JJN-300 AMP

Current limiting class T
300 VAC.
the cabling between the battery bank and inverter is very heavy. We were just drawing way too much power for the fuse to handle. I could turn the generator on and was able to head down the road without any problems. After searching the web the best price I could find was in the $50 range.
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The big current draw you can see on a direct wired inverter, even on 30 amps, is the main reason I like to suggest a sub-panel breaker box that only powers stuff that needs inverter power. We kept the AC unit, water heater, fridge and outlets that powered floor heaters off the inverter panel so they couldn't eat our batteries.

 

I did use a BIG DC rated circuit breaker in my inverter power line as it wasn't that much more than a holder and a few fuses.

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Also for these types of fuses....I have seen these in pretty much every battery store I have been in. Not an RV dealership or automotive store but a genuine specialist battery shop....every city has one.

 

X2, They're not all that cheap, but easy enough to come by if you look in the right place.

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