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Author Topic: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?  (Read 1356 times)

sueperdave

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How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« on: July 05, 2010, 07:37:49 PM »
Right now, when the inverter is on, I only have 110v power in the front where the entertainment system is.  I would like to add the bedroom outlet and basement TV outlet to the inverter...pretty much all the plugs actually that are not being used by an appliance. Heck, even the plug the microwave is on would be nice too, hate having to start the generator just to make a hot dog.
Any advice?

deal

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 07:56:29 PM »
I'm interested in this topic as well.

I can offer some smart alec advise and suggest upgrading the hotdog to a sausage and BBQ it!
July 2010 - purchased first RV (1998 Triple E Senator 28ft class C - Ford E350 V10)
retired but stuck in a stick house full time

sueperdave

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 08:27:34 PM »
Too hot outside to bbq now!
Actually finally used my rotisserie and radiant rear burner and smoke box yesterday for a chicken...HUGE  success!!!
Can't believe how much the smoke chips add flavour...mmmmmmmmmm.

I have some ideas on how to do this, but want some advice.

Just Lou

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 08:35:18 PM »
You best determine the size and capabilities of your inverter before adding additional loads to it.  Chances are the current inverter is not capable of driving additional circuits.  It takes a fairly large inverter (and an even larger battery bank) to drive a microwave.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

seilerbird

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 08:59:55 PM »
It takes a fairly large inverter to drive a microwave.

So where exactly is the steering wheel on a microwave?

Does the inverter need a drivers licence to drive a microwave?

InPursuit

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 09:09:09 PM »
I'm about to do this using a 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter.

The plan is to "back feed" the (two) general purpose 120V circuits which both have an end of near the engine compartment.
I have no plan to use the inverter for the microwave or the toaster oven or the coffee maker or the blow dryer...
just the small stuff like the toothbrush and the TV and the clock radio and the cell phones and laptop.
Collectively the load is modest and even with the load consumed by all the 14ga romex the 1000w should be adequate.

The "trick" is to use  something to isolate this addition to those circuits from the other systems.
(shore power and generator)

It isn't that complicated but it needs to be failsafe.
The manual unplug from the generator output to use shore power is almost universally failsafe.

A double pole switch could be enough to get the thing up and running...
but I suspect I'll be using a relay and some indicator lamps on a control panel before I'm done.

Bryan

2000 Georgie Boy Pursuit
Workhorse P32 chassis (It's a CH ch chevy...man!)
Now with new brakes, tires, improved suspension, remodeled bathroom, kitchen and over 9000 miles all since 3/10

John From Detroit

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 09:27:13 PM »
Never EVER backfeed.. Please do not Backfeed, The device used to backfeed is called a SUICIDE plug because it KILLS people DO NOT do it.

Now that we have that

It is very likely that your inverter has a single outlet and someone installed an extension cord, if after market.. If not after market (if factory installed) it's not big enough to run more than the Front end electronics and is hard wired in the power line to there.

Properly doing it is going to take a major re-wire

And.. You may overload either the inverter or the breaker that feeds it when on shore power.

So, find out how much inverter you have

If you have enough (At least a kilowatt, two would be better) then the path is

120 volt service---Inverter with built in ATS --- Sub panel

If inverter does not have built in ATS (Automatic transfer switch)

Inverter ---To ATS
LIne from breaker box---To ATS

ATS ---- Sub panel

Sub panel to all loads you wish to inverter power

NOTE> ATS can be a Manual Transfer Switch too.. Just not a el-cheapo double throw from Radio shack, Use a proper transfer switch.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 09:31:39 PM »
There are a couple of complications that make this a lengthy discussion rather than a simple answer and a wiring diagram. As Porky already said, inverter capacity (watts) is one concern and battery capacity (amp-hours) is another. Then there is the safety issue that In_Pursuit mentioned - it is critical that the inverter never be allowed to feed a circuit at the same time as the generator or shore power.  It is also desirable to power those circuits from shore power or generator when available, i.e. a transfer switch of some kind.

Basically the solution is to remove the existing hot wire to the circuit breaker for each circuit you want to "invert" and replace it with a hot wire from the inverter, and then couple the neutral for that circuit to the neutral (white) wire to the inverter.  A double pole , double throw switch can be inserted at this point if you wish to have the option to switch power from inverter to external and back again. This all assumes you have an inverter & battery bank capable of handling the load. 
Gary
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Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

seilerbird

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 09:48:12 PM »
>Never EVER backfeed.. Please do not Backfeed, The device used to backfeed is called a SUICIDE plug because it KILLS people DO NOT do it.

I am a retired union electrician with over 40 years of service. John is correct. Backfeeding is SUICIDE.

sueperdave

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Re: How do you add existing circuits to the inverter?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 10:51:04 PM »
I have a Xantrex Freedom 10 Inverter/Charger with a bank of 4 deep cycle batteries.  The circuit breaker is rated at 15 amps, which equates to about 1800 watts.
I guess the microwave would be a bad idea as it is 13 amps alone, so that is out.
However all the other plugs only will run a laptop charger in addition to the entertainment system ( which is smallish), I suspect total load to be under 10 amps so that would be acceptable. I will throw my meter on the system tomorrow to get an idea of total load then I will know for sure what the load would be.
I am comfortable running 10 amps through this set-up.
Thanks for your help.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 10:56:38 PM by sueperdave »