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Installing an inverter


lartross

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I'm going to install a 1000w psw inverter. I want to switch the dc lines from the converter

to the inverter when I want inverter function. I want to tie the inverter output, in

parallel to the 110v load panel [shore power in] and leave it in place. It makes sense to me that the

inverters output would have an isolation circuit when off. Am I thinking correctly?

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Am I thinking correctly?

 

You don't need to do anything with your converter or disconnect anything from your current electrical system. The simplest install would be to connect your battery bank directly to your inverter, then run your inverter power (110v) to a dedicated outlet. If you want to tie your inverted 110v into your power distribution panel.. providing current to your entire 110v system, then it gets a little more complicated. No isolation circuit is necessary (in the simple install outlined)... your inverter is either 'on' and supplying current.. or it's 'off'.

 

What exactly are you wanting to power?

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Unless your inverter has a transfer switch in it you should not tie the inverter in parallel with you shore power input. Feeding 120 volts into the output of your inverter could wipe out the inverter. I plan to install an inverter and run it into the generator side of my transfer switch.

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Unless your inverter has a transfer switch in it you should not tie the inverter in parallel with you shore power input. Feeding 120 volts into the output of your inverter could wipe out the inverter. I plan to install an inverter and run it into the generator side of my transfer switch.

 

That's not a concern with a stand alone inverter (no A/C input)... only in the case of an inverter/charger where the A/C would need to pass to the charger. It's not applicable in this case.

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PatC, on 27 Oct 2015 - 3:40 PM, said:

Unless your inverter has a transfer switch in it you should not tie the inverter in parallel with you shore power input. Feeding 120 volts into the output of your inverter could wipe out the inverter. I plan to install an inverter and run it into the generator side of my transfer switch.

 

That's not a concern with a stand alone inverter (no A/C input)... only in the case of an inverter/charger where the A/C would need to pass to the charger. It's not applicable in this case

 

 

 

He said "I want to tie the inverter output, in parallel to the 110v load panel [shore power in] and leave it in place.".

Do most inverters allow 120 volts directly to their output? I would think this is a recipe for disaster.

 

Pat

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He said "I want to tie the inverter output, in parallel to the 110v load panel [shore power in] and leave it in place.".

Do most inverters allow 120 volts directly to their output? I would think this is a recipe for disaster.

 

Pat

 

True. But in that case.. the connection would be made using, ideally, a subpanel for the 110v loads... or using a ts at the power distribution panel.. not on the inverter side. When you're talking about inverters equipped with transfer switches... those would only be inverter/chargers, which is how I read your post.

 

Sorry for my confusion. :)

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Thanks for the replies, I just want it for boondocking for the entertainment stuff...so I'll provide bat. pwr

to the inverter, control it with the on/off sw and do a switched output to the breaker panel [shore panel]

just to be safeish. I realize I REALLY don't want shore power and inverter power at the same time. I also realize

I don't want the inverter driving the converter to power the bats. Thanks for helping me out.

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Thanks for the replies, I just want it for boondocking for the entertainment stuff..

 

In that case, I wouldn't go to the trouble, expense, complication of routing it through the power box. I would just route your inverter output to a dedicated outlet you can plug your entertainment stuff into when boondocking. If you don't want to have to remove the plugs and plug them into the dedicated inverter outlet, you could add a transfer switch at the existing outlet. That would make it on/off with the inverter switch. You're talking about adding a $50-$70 piece of equipment though just so you don't have to unplug the TV and plug it into the dedicated outlet.

 

Routing it through your panel directly with a transfer switch will make 'all' of your 110 outlets powered and anything attached to them.. including your converter. You would need to make sure and switch off the breakers to anything 110 that you don't want drawing on your inverter (microwave, water heater, A/C, etc). Using a subpanel you can better control what's powered and what's not, but then you're talking even more money.

 

I would keep it simple.

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Thanks Yarome...my thought exactly...but, you know, sometimes I think well and sometimes I think I think well

. It's comforting having this forum as a bs detector. I don't remember being this challenged by something so

relatively simple...and there's the problem!

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We have a 3600 watt inverter with a terminal block output which makes life easier. I wired this to a 30 amp socket and when boondocking I plug my power cable into the socket I wired to the inverter. You could do the same with your 1000w inverter, just use an adapter to connect your power cord to the regular power cord for your rig.

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Larry and Kathy, I'm in Yarome's camp on this. I likewise have a PSW Inverter (12 VDC to 120 VAC, NOT an Inverter/Charger) I use primarily to charge cell phones, run a laptop computer, power my 12 VDC TV, power other small electronics. I simply ran its 120 VAC output to a standard NEMA 5-15R Duplex Receptacle located near my booth dinette where I use the computer and charge phones etc. That is so simple easy and direct with no need for Transfer Switches or sub panels or other wiring complications. Its the old KISS method and a kid can wire it. In the same location I took 12 VDC (fed from house battery bank) and wired it to a triplex 12 VDC (cigarette lighter) outlet with USB adapters which makes it so easy and convenient to plug up BOTH 5 VDC USB computer/phone/charger cord as well as cigarette lighter type of 12 VDC cords. I GOT IT ALL

 

John T

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I plug my 30 amp power cord into the inverter and have installed a switch to shut off the converter.It powers all the plugs in the trailer. The inverter does not have a charge unit. I use it when boondocking and make sure the circuit breakers for the ac, electric wtr. htr, and micro are turned off to avoid accidental discharges. It is a 1800 watt PSW that powers the tv, sat., CPAP, and charges devices w/o any special wiring concerns. KISS principle.

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I have just finished my 2K, PSW, install. It has it's own outlets. But as I worried about parasitic draw, I ran the 00 battery cable through a BlueSea 600A on/off switch. I can disconnect the inverter when it is not being used. I can disconnect my charger as well, but that is not necessary for use of the inverter.

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I worried about parasitic draw, I ran the 00 battery cable through a BlueSea 600A on/off switch. I can disconnect the inverter when it is not being used.

 

Parasitic draw isn't an issue with a stand alone inverter when the 'main' switch (as opposed to 'off/standby' at the remote.. if installed), however, it IS a good idea to have a switch in order to disconnect the inverter from your battery bank without affecting the rest of your system or having to disconnect cables in the event your inverter is in need of repair/replacement/rewiring your output. It's not a necessity, but I always recommend them.

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We may all be guilty of OVER answering, OVER analyzing Larry's question, but hey that's how Im "wired" so I will add a bit more.

 

The closer the Inverter is located to the battery bank the less voltage drop in the Inverters 12 VDC INPUT wiring. If I had my druthers Id locate the Inverter close to the batteries so as to minimize the big 12 VDC INPUT cable voltage drop, as its less crucial on its low current 120 VAC smaller cable OUTPUT. For a 1000 Watt Inverter (subject to distance, wire, enclosures, etc) I wouldn't use cables having an ampacity of less then 100 amps and on the 120 VAC OUTPUT (say 8/9 amps) Id still use at least 14 Gauge (15 amp rated) wire. The 120 VAC Output would connect to a standard 120 VAC Duplex Receptacle near your computer and charging location. ITS CHEAPER TO BUY 15 AMP THEN 100 AMP WIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

As discussed on here before, I DO NOT want any potential spark producing electrical devices or Inverter cooling fans etc etc in the same air space as where the batteries are especially their top where explosive gasses may be present.

 

Install and wire the Inverters INPUT in a safe and vented location (fuse and switch as you please),,, Run 14 Gauge 3 Conductor (Hot, Neutral, Ground) minimum wire to a duplex receptacle where you can plug up your computer or phones or small power electronic devices etc,,,,,,,,,,,PIECE OF CAKE If Yarome were near you Id volunteer his help...............

 

John T

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If Yarome were near you Id volunteer his help...............

 

:lol::D:P You wouldn't want me. I'm more a backwood lectatratrition. That's where you lick your fingers and grab a wire...

 

Hits up to your shoulder.. that's 120v

Hits all the down into the gut.. that's 240v

Wake up, it's tamara and ya messed yerself.. that's 3-phase.

(If 3-phase is suspected SOP is, "hey buddy.. hold this for a sec will ya?")

 

John... that's 3, brother! ;)

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I Was thinking I'd use the converter charging wires for my 12v source, mount the inverter on a partition under

the kitchen counter. Take the output wires for the outlets I want to power up and run them to to the common

of double pole single throw switches. One pole to the inverter, one pole to the breaker for the outlet. Then,

when using the inverter, a simple foolproof method to use inverter power as I want. Before I do that I'll verify

the converter to battery wire is adequate. If that doesn't work out, I'll mount the inverter near the batteries

and do the switching of the output wires the same way. I'm leaning toward the inverter near the batteries

because a few of you have stressed that that's the way to do it. Just have to look into how to run a new 14/3 gauge

cable from the basement to under the kitchen counter. I'll fuse the 12vdc hot and I can reach under to power the

inverter on/off. I'm leary of drilling a hole through the floor to poke the cable through...no idea what's runnning

around under there, if anything.

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I Was thinking I'd use the converter charging wires for my 12v source, mount the inverter on a partition under

the kitchen counter. Take the output wires for the outlets I want to power up and run them to to the common

of double pole single throw switches. One pole to the inverter, one pole to the breaker for the outlet. Then,

when using the inverter, a simple foolproof method to use inverter power as I want. Before I do that I'll verify

the converter to battery wire is adequate. If that doesn't work out, I'll mount the inverter near the batteries

and do the switching of the output wires the same way. I'm leaning toward the inverter near the batteries

because a few of you have stressed that that's the way to do it. Just have to look into how to run a new 14/3 gauge

cable from the basement to under the kitchen counter. I'll fuse the 12vdc hot and I can reach under to power the

inverter on/off. I'm leary of drilling a hole through the floor to poke the cable through...no idea what's runnning

around under there, if anything.

 

Either way, that's going to be a problem switching out wiring and tying into existing breakers. You don't need to touch, disconnect, or switch any of your existing wiring.

 

You mentioned running 14/3 from the inverter to under the kitchen counter. Is that where the outlet for your entertainment stuff is located?

 

Ideally, you would locate your inverter as close to your batteries as possible. From there you would run NEW cables (properly fused inline) from your battery's + / - directly to the inverters + / - inputs. You don't want to be using any of the existing wiring or you will run into problems.

 

From there you would run your 14/3 from the inverters AC output to a newly installed outlet. Located wherever is convenient for your intended use.

 

You 'could' use a switch between your battery bank and your inverters inputs, or, ideally, it would be located as close as possible to your battery bank so it should be just as easy to turn off the main power switch on your inverter as it would be to flip a newly installed switch on the 12v line between your battery bank and inverter. Unless you needed to place a switch in a more convenient location if the inverter switch is hard to get at.

 

Depending on which inverter you have, there may be a remote option. It's typically just an on/off switch that can be located anywhere inside of your rig and connected to your inverter via a standard RJ11 cord. I don't know if your inverter has that as an option, but most newer inverters do. If not, then it would require you to manually turn it on/off at the inverter itself.. or as you mentioned.. installing a cutoff switch somewhere between your battery bank and inverter that can be more easily accessible.

 

I'll stress again.. for a 'simple install' there is no need to alter any of your existing wiring/breakers/converter/switches/outlets. To do so could potentially have serious consequences without taking additional measures and the installation of additional equipment.

 

As far as wire routing, if you tell us exactly where you require inverter power, we might be able to offer some advice on inverter placement and wire routing.

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Well Yarome, to me it makes more sense to use the existing internal wiring to power up the outlets near the

entertainment devices. So I thought I'd just remove the wire from the appropriate breakers output and attach

them to the common of a dpst switch, one sw for each output I need to power up with the

inverter, then run a new wire from one pole of the sw back to the

breaker output. When I take the time, I'll use a trouble light to verify which breakers

control which outlets and go from there. Doesn't that seem like an easy way to do it to you? I just hate the

idea of trying to run wires for new circuits when everything I need is already there. I hate

running new wires, period.

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Larry, I understand your reasons for trying to use existing receptacles and your idea to use Transfer Switch. Were leaving soon so I dont have time to explain it all now, but be aware:

 

There are instances where you need a 2 pole Transfer switch to switch BOTH the Hot and Neutral (for a Separately Derived Source)

There are instances where you can get by switching ONLY the Hot (NOT a separately derived source)

THERES A CHANCE IF MIS WIRED YOU COULD END UP WITH A SECOND NEUTRAL BOND WHEN ONLY ONE IS PROPER

NEUTRAL BEING FLOATED OR BONDED IN YOUR ENERGY SOURCE IS CRITICAL

The Inverter may have a relay that bonds Neutral or it may not???????????????

 

Soooooooooooooo be careful and do it correct if you go your transfer switch method and this depends on your Inverter and its configuration

 

 

Sorry cant say more now but leaving soon, I will try to check back later, in the meantime Yarome and Kirk and Stanley will get you going

 

PS haven't left yet:

 

1) If you only switch the Hot (SPDT Transfer) the Inverter Neutral bonds to Utility Neutral BUT THE INVERTER MUST HAVE A FLOATING NON BONDED NEUTRAL. Its NOT a Separately Derived Source

 

2) If you switch BOTH Hot and Neutral (DPDT Transfer) theres no Utility to Inverter Neutral bond, BUT INVERTER NEEDS A BONDED NEUTRAL. Separately Derived Source

 

Pole 1 to Inverter, Pole 2 to Utility, Throw wires to your Load

 

Remember the RV distribution panels Neutral and ground Busses are separate insulated and isolated UNLIKE at your home panel

 

NOTE If the Inverter bonds Neutral when turned on (relay) or is hard wired, then I would use a DPDT Transfer to switch BOTH Hot and Neutral and again no other Inverter Neutral to Utility Neutral bond.

 

Clear as mud Im sure lol Im long retired so no warranty but believe this to be right or I wouldn't post it

 

John T

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You will not be able to power that much from a 1000 watt. You will be much better with a separate outlet from the inverter. Why not plug a outlet strip into the existing inverter outlet (outlet on the inverter). Trying to use the existing 120V circuits could be more trouble than you think. As important is to use a dedicated 12V supply to the inverter. Research the gauge of 12V wire to use based on the distance from the battery. Include a fuse.

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