Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Gen/inverter issue
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 > Gen/inverter issue

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ivbinconned

highway 16

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Posted: 02/08/20 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed a manual Reliance transfer switch in our trailer. Purpose is to draw power from shore out the rear or from gen up front where gen is.
All has worked well.
Lately I installed a 1000 watt inverter. It is in mounted in front storage close to batteries.
Now I manually unplug from gen and plug into inverter. I installed the remote inverter switch inside the trailer and beside it installed a switch to turn off “converter” when we use the inverter. All has worked fine until last night.

We are boondocking and plan to sit at this location for some time so I used a long heavy cord and set the gen out aways from the trailer connecting it to the rear shore power plug.
Half way through our movie I went out to shut the gen off. Then I switched transfer switch so as to disconnect gen and connect inverter.
Inverter turned on and converter off yet we had no power??
I found his confusing. I then noted the breaker on the inverter had blown, but when I tried to reset... it would not.
Thinking about this for a bit I finally went and unplugged the gen from back of the trailer, even though doing so I thought, could not make a difference because the transfer switch in my mind had that line totally disconnected.
But it did!!??
The inverter breaker now I could reset, and all is well.

This has me puzzled. Is there someone out there that can explain to me what is going on here?


Ram and 34 ft Cedar Creek

2oldman

AZ

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Posted: 02/08/20 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A diagram would be of great help.

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 02/08/20 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something apparently is not wired correctly or not working correctly. The transfer switch should disconnect the shore power cord entirely from the RV electric system (save the ground connection, which is continuous throughout the entire system) when power from the other source (the inverter, in this particular case) is being used. That's the whole reason for the transfer switch to exist: to isolate power sources from each other.





ivbinconned

highway 16

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Posted: 02/08/20 01:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well if I remember correctly (without removing the cover) the hot wires (from either the two incoming sources of power) are the only circuits that are alternatively connected or disconnected.
The ground may be common regardless.
If this is the case is the inverter sensing that the ground is connected to the (not running) gen? And finding fault with this?

MrWizard

Traveling

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Posted: 02/08/20 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the wiring on your
Long extension cord


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DrewE

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Posted: 02/08/20 03:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For use in the RV, you generally should be switching the neutral as well as the ground, whereas a standard residentail backup generator installation does not require that.

The details can get a bit complicated, but basically neutral and ground should be bonded together at exactly one point near the power source. For a house, that one point is the main circuit breaker box. For an RV, when it's plugged into a shore power receptacle, that one point is the main breaker box supplying power to the receptacle that the RV is plugged into; but when operating from a (built-in) generator, neutral and ground ought to be bonded together at the generator. The way to accomplish this is to switch the neutral as well as the hot.

I'm guessing possibly inverter is sensing that neutral is bonded to ground and based on that refusing to turn on. I could be all wrong with that guess. Regardless, there are good reasons to want to switch both the neutral and hot leads in an RV transfer switch (not only because the electric code demands it); in certain fault conditions, it helps avoid damage to equipment and/or danger to people.

wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 02/08/20 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

YOu said that you reset the breaker on the inverter and all was well after that.

So clearly you had something that tripped the breaker. Now was it a standard "Too much current" breaker or was it a combo GFCI/Current (or a straight up GFCI)?

I'd guess something inside was not quite shut off but in trouble shooting you shut it off LIkely the converter


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ivbinconned

highway 16

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Posted: 02/08/20 06:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a “reset breaker built right in the inverter. That is the one that tripped. The converter was off so that was not what tripped it.

whjco

Lexington, KY

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Posted: 02/08/20 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wonder if the line from the generator plug and the line from the inverter output have been wired in parallel to one another. If so, that would explain why the breaker reset on the inverter after the generator was unplugged.


Bill J., Lexington, KY
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beemerphile1

Ohio

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Posted: 02/08/20 07:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The breaker you reset, is it a GFCI?


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