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Trouble tying an inverter into the breaker panel-gctid370858

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    Trouble tying an inverter into the breaker panel-gctid370858

    So while I am waiting to get my drive fixed, I thought I would get another project off the list. I have a 2000watt Vector VECO54C MAXX SST inverter. The PO just had it mounted under the seat and would run an extension cord to it when needed. I wanted to tie it into my panel so when on, all of the plugs would be hot. I will not be running the stove or water heater from it, but it would be nice to plug in a small appliance.

    I purchased a switch from WM to separate the shore power from the inverter output. Managed to run all the wires and get it mounted in the panel as per the instructions. (I just put a male plug on the end by the inverter and plugged it into one of the 110 VAC outlets) Now comes the problem. Shore power works fine, but when I switch to the inverter, I get a reverse polarity light on the panel and no power. I checked the output of the inverter with a meter. With the black lead on the ground, I get 110 on both other leads, the hot and the common. I have even unhooked the wires completly from the panel and get the same result. The shore power is as it should be, 110 on the hot and nothing on the common.

    Any ideas?

    #2
    frenchcreek wrote:
    I just put a male plug on the end by the inverter and plugged it into one of the 110 VAC outlets)
    Male plug for the output of the inverter?

    I've done that myself for emergency power. We affectionately call those "suicide plugs" for a reason.
    Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

    iBoatNW

    1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

    Comment


      #3
      The HOT male plug is not only illegal, but very dangerous.

      This allows for an un-wanted "Back-Feed" of power. Best if you do not do this.

      Sounds like you could use a slide bar/lockout style main breakers incorporated into your main panel.



      Shore Power to one side, Inverter Power to the other.

      Only one source can be selected at a time.

      S/P will supply all circuits since the amperage is good to 30 amps (approx 3,600 watts).

      The Inverter source will supply limited circuits.

      The Reverse Polarity is due to the Inverter.

      Probably a non-issue if you keep the HOT leg and Neutral leg in their appropriate locations schematically.

      .
      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


        #4
        Thats where I fried my first inverter. I forgot and left it connected with the inverter off when I pluged in the shore power. 1/10 of a second it was gone, a little squeel from the inverter and a whisp of smoke.

        I'd look to see if a breaker or the GFI is tripping they sometimes don't like inverter power. The inverter creates a different type of AC power and the polairity light gets confused but it still works OK. I used a Suicide plug and made it to be completely removed when not in use BE CAREFUL. If someone not familiar with your boat messes with the plug there could be a problem ,The Coasties don't want to see it either . There is probably a better safer way of going but I seldom use the inverter any more so It's just unplugged and the doubble ended male cord is stored away from it.
        Carl
        2452

        Comment


          #5
          The black lead on ground will cause a reverse polarity situation.

          In shore power nomenclature,

          Black is hot

          White is neutral

          green is ground
          Captharv 2001 2452
          "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

          Comment


            #6
            captharv wrote:
            The black lead on ground will cause a reverse polarity situation.
            Harv, I thought the same thing when I first read that, but after reading it a second time, I think he's refering to the test meter lead.

            I checked the output of the inverter with a meter. With the black lead on the ground, I get 110 on both other leads, the hot and the common.
            .
            Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
            2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
            Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
            Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
            Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

            Comment


              #7
              2850Bounty wrote:
              The HOT male plug is not only illegal, but very dangerous.

              This allows for an un-wanted "Back-Feed" of power. Best if you do not do this.

              Sounds like you could use a slide bar/lockout style main breakers incorporated into your main panel.



              Shore Power to one side, Inverter Power to the other.

              Only one source can be selected at a time.

              S/P will supply all circuits since the amperage is good to 30 amps (approx 3,600 watts).

              The Inverter source will supply limited circuits.

              The Reverse Polarity is due to the Inverter.

              Probably a non-issue if you keep the HOT leg and Neutral leg in their appropriate locations schematically.

              .
              The picture shows two double breakers for a reason. You have to break both sides of the circuit.

              Attached files http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img]

              Comment


                #8
                As I said in my original post, I did install an isolator switch. I did not use a suicide plug, I put a male end on my wiring to plug into the outlet of the invertor, not into a plug on the boat. I then wired the other end into the isolator switch. I am using ~ 12' of 12/3 wire between the outlet of the invertor and the input of the isolator.My concern is that both the common and the hot have power on them. From some other reading, this might be normal for an invertor and that is the reason you get the reverse polarity light. (Yes, by black lead I meant from my test meter)I tried just plugging a small vacuum directly into the invertor and got an immediate trip and squeal, so maybe the invertor is having issues.

                [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/674362=26391-switch.jpg[/img]

                Comment


                  #9
                  frenchcreek wrote:
                  As I said in my original post, I did install an isolator switch. I did not use a suicide plug, I put a male end on my wiring to plug into the outlet of the invertor, not into a plug on the boat. I then wired the other end into the isolator switch. I am using ~ 12' of 12/3 wire between the outlet of the invertor and the input of the isolator.My concern is that both the common and the hot have power on them. From some other reading, this might be normal for an invertor and that is the reason you get the reverse polarity light. (Yes, by black lead I meant from my test meter)I tried just plugging a small vacuum directly into the invertor and got an immediate trip and squeal, so maybe the invertor is having issues.

                  http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img]
                  Did you run a separate green wire from after the isolater back to the case of the inverter.Also check the dc polarity of the inverter connections.Not trying to be insulting, just trying to help.Cheers

                  Comment


                    #10
                    frenchcreek wrote:
                    As I said in my original post, I did install an isolator switch. I did not use a suicide plug, I put a male end on my wiring to plug into the outlet of the invertor, not into a plug on the boat. I then wired the other end into the isolator switch. I am using ~ 12' of 12/3 wire between the outlet of the invertor and the input of the isolator.My concern is that both the common and the hot have power on them. From some other reading, this might be normal for an invertor and that is the reason you get the reverse polarity light. (Yes, by black lead I meant from my test meter)I tried just plugging a small vacuum directly into the invertor and got an immediate trip and squeal, so maybe the invertor is having issues.

                    http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img]
                    The rotary switch is commonly used to switch between two equal amp capacity sources... such as S/P and Generator.In your case (Inverter power -vs- S/P), the two sources are not equal! You gain nothing by using the rotary switch.... unless you want to bring in a generator into the mix for future.You need to somehow divide the main breaker and consequent branch circuits as to avoid an accidental over-load of the Inverter.One way to achieve this, is by using the slide bar/lock-out style double main breakers as shown.From the rear of the panel it would be wired as such that:
                    • One main breaker will feed all possible branch circuits.... this will be while on S/P.
                    • The other main breaker will feed only those branch circuits that the Inverter would be capable of operating.... this will be while on Inverter Power.


                    Label them them accordingly, and you'll simply switch between the two depending on what your source will be.When on Inverter Power, they'll be no chance of accidentally powering up the Stove Top or WH, for example.When on S/P, it won't matter.... all branch circuits will be capable of operation.I'm afraid that there's no easy way to avoid this, unless your Inverter capacity matches your S/P capacity.In order to do that, you'd need one hell-of-a large House battery bank, and one hell-of-a kick butt On-Board charger, and one hell-of-a good generator to power the charger..
                    Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                    2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                    Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                    Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                    Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                    Comment


                      #11
                      check737 wrote:
                      Did you run a separate green wire from after the isolater back to the case of the inverter.

                      Also check the dc polarity of the inverter connections.

                      Not trying to be insulting, just trying to help.

                      Cheers
                      The ground wire connected to the block with all of the other ground wires, it did not go to the rotary switch.

                      Checked polarity and it is good.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        2850Bounty wrote:
                        The rotary switch is commonly used to switch between two equal amp capacity sources... such as S/P and Generator.

                        In your case (Inverter power -vs- S/P), the two sources are not equal!

                        You gain nothing by using the rotary switch.... unless you want to bring in a generator into the mix for future.

                        You need to somehow divide the main breaker and consequent branch circuits as to avoid an accidental over-load of the Inverter.

                        One way to achieve this, is by using the slide bar/lock-out style double main breakers as shown.

                        From the rear of the panel it would be wired as such that:
                        • One main breaker will feed all possible branch circuits.... this will be while on S/P.
                        • The other main breaker will feed only those branch circuits that the Inverter would be capable of operating.... this will be while on Inverter Power.




                        Label them them accordingly, and you'll simply switch between the two depending on what your source will be.

                        When on Inverter Power, they'll be no chance of accidentally powering up the Stove Top or WH, for example.

                        When on S/P, it won't matter.... all branch circuits will be capable of operation.

                        I'm afraid that there's no easy way to avoid this, unless your Inverter capacity matches your S/P capacity.

                        In order to do that, you'd need one hell-of-a large House battery bank, and one hell-of-a kick butt On-Board charger, and one hell-of-a good generator to power the charger.

                        .
                        I plan on only having the breaker for the receptacles on when switched to the inverter.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          frenchcreek wrote:
                          The ground wire connected to the block with all of the other ground wires, it did not go to the rotary switch.
                          If I've understood you.......... Be careful taking AC grounds to 12 vdc system Negatives. The two are not the same.

                          A galvanic isolator should be used here.

                          Mike (aka Somesailor) would be a good one to talk to about these.

                          .
                          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                          Comment


                            #14
                            2850Bounty wrote:
                            The rotary switch is commonly used to switch between two equal amp capacity sources... such as S/P and Generator.

                            In your case (Inverter power -vs- S/P), the two sources are not equal!

                            You gain nothing by using the rotary switch.... unless you want to bring in a generator into the mix for future.

                            You need to somehow divide the main breaker and consequent branch circuits as to avoid an accidental over-load of the Inverter.

                            One way to achieve this, is by using the slide bar/lock-out style double main breakers as shown.

                            From the rear of the panel it would be wired as such that:
                            • One main breaker will feed all possible branch circuits.... this will be while on S/P.
                            • The other main breaker will feed only those branch circuits that the Inverter would be capable of operating.... this will be while on Inverter Power.




                            Label them them accordingly, and you'll simply switch between the two depending on what your source will be.

                            When on Inverter Power, they'll be no chance of accidentally powering up the Stove Top or WH, for example.

                            When on S/P, it won't matter.... all branch circuits will be capable of operation.

                            I'm afraid that there's no easy way to avoid this, unless your Inverter capacity matches your S/P capacity.

                            In order to do that, you'd need one hell-of-a large House battery bank, and one hell-of-a kick butt On-Board charger, and one hell-of-a good generator to power the charger.

                            .
                            Rick, I agree but most inverter users just have a 30/15 adapter and plug their shore power into the inverter.

                            A simple checklist to insure some breakers are tripped when on inverter power is sufficient.

                            Also the inverter is self regulating and will trip very quickly if overloaded.

                            I put a 20 amp breaker on my inverter, 30 amp on my shore power, that is why I like the slide bar switching system, I cannot see where the protection is with the rotary switch. This is breaking power i assume before the main breaker and therefore the inverter is on a 30 amp breaker. Also does this switch break the common??

                            In my photo I wired the meter to the two buss bars after the breakers so it reads either shore power voltage or inverter power voltage depending on which is powering the buss.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              2850Bounty wrote:
                              If I've understood you.......... Be careful taking AC grounds to 12 vdc system Negatives. The two are not the same.

                              A galvanic isolator should be used here.

                              Mike (aka Somesailor) would be a good one to talk to about these.

                              .
                              The green wire at the inverter end in my 12/3 is attached to the ground terminal of the 3 pronged plug. At the panel end, the hot and common are attached to the rotary switch and the ground is connected to the block with all the other green ground wires.

                              Comment

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