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Inverter: Turn Off While on Shore Power?

motorhome inverter

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#1 geraldlanc

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 09:23 AM

I have an inverter question. The inverter is a Prosine 2500 unit in a 2002 Beaver motorhome. We are full-timers and our motorhome sits for periods hooked up to shore power. We rarely boondock when on the road, so should the inverter be turned off when we are stationary?

 

Gerald


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#2 kaypsmith

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:13 AM

Hello Gerald,

I do not own a prosine2500, but looking up the spec's on it, it appears to be an inverter/charger. If this is the only means of charging the house batteries then I think it would be unwise to turn off the unit, as this would mean that the house batteries would lose their charge while hooked up to shore power. I'm sure that an owner of such a unit has a better answer, but until then, I would not just disengage the unit.

Good luck, Kay


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#3 wolfe10

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:56 PM

Really depends on how you have programmed it.  On many, the inverter on/off switch ONLY controls turning on the inverter function when not on shore power or generator (i.e would make no difference if plugged in 24/7).

 

There may (or may not) be a program setting that also allows the switch to control the charging function-- but this is NOT the factor default setting.

 

Read your Xantrex manual, particularly the section on programming/setting the dip switches.

 

Brett


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#4 bizsmith@yahoo.com

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:58 AM

I must turn off my inverter when on shore power because I use an electric space heater whose electronic controls do not like the wave form of the inverter and will fry in a matter of minutes. Otherwise I would probably leave it on. Another consideration is that the heater running on the inverter would deplete the house battery very quick if I happened to not notice the switch.
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#5 wolfe10

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:36 AM

Bizsmith,

 

What inverter do you have?  Most RV inverters have a "pass through" feature. When they sense an external source of 120 VAC (shore power or generator) they do not invert, but merely pass through the external source to those circuits they supply.

 

Think of is as a built in "transfer switch".


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#6 kingfr

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:26 AM

We have never turned our inverter off in 6 years of fulltiming in our coach, except when we changed the MSW inverter to a PSW inverter in conjunction with a Residental Refer install.


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#7 macandphyl

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:07 AM

I always turn my inverter off when on shore power. If you are away from the

coach and there is a power failure, and you have the system set

to invert, then you may have some severly drained batteries when you return.

That "built in transfer switch" that Brett mentioned will engage when shore

power is lost.

My system has charging and inverting controlled by two different switches

on the control panel.


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#8 desertdeals69

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 09:18 AM

I leave the charger on and the inverter off when plugged in while in storage.  If in use while plugged in, I leave the inverter on because if the shore power is momentarily interrupted the 120v won't be.


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#9 wigginsjsr

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:32 AM

Had my coach for two years now.  Never turn inverter off because it stops inverting automatically when shore power or generator are in use.  BTW, I want the inverter to start if I am away from the coach in order to keep the residential frig going.  If afraid of running the batteries down, I could set the AGS, but I haven't found this to be a problem.  When not plugged to shore power, I have found the batteries will last for apx 12 hours before the generator comes on.


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#10 kingfr

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 04:14 PM

I always turn my inverter off when on shore power. If you are away from the

coach and there is a power failure, and you have the system set

to invert, then you may have some severly drained batteries when you return.

That "built in transfer switch" that Brett mentioned will engage when shore

power is lost.

My system has charging and inverting controlled by two different switches

on the control panel.

 

That's why they invented Automatic Generator Start! Mine is set to start if the voltage on the batteries drops below 12 V or if the front A/C wants to come on and shore power is not present. We have dogs who sometimes stay in the coach while we are away, and AGS set is a safety thing for them.


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#11 Allegiance40x

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

My inverter charger has an on/off switch for the charger and an on/off switch for the inverter.  The charger stays on all the time and the inverter stays off all the time...unless dry camping and need it.


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#12 HarveyWhite

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:55 PM

i'm going to have to study on this I was told to always turn it off while on shore power.


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#13 wolfe10

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 04:16 PM

Harvey,

 

As you can see, there is a wide range of how inverter/chargers are set up.

 

So, you are right-- best advice is to read the manual for YOUR equipment.

 

Brett


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#14 ticat900

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

I must turn off my inverter when on shore power because I use an electric space heater whose electronic controls do not like the wave form of the inverter and will fry in a matter of minutes. Otherwise I would probably leave it on. Another consideration is that the heater running on the inverter would deplete the house battery very quick if I happened to not notice the switch.

I doubt this is correct as when on shore power even if your inverter is on it wont effect your heater as it by passes the invertion mode .I always turn off my inverter when on SP because if iam away for the day and the SP fails the inverter kicks in and will kill the batterys pretty quick with all my stuff running that I have on all the time

such as fridge and freezer plus computer etc 


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#15 kingfr

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 12:48 PM

I doubt this is correct as when on shore power even if your inverter is on it wont effect your heater as it by passes the invertion mode .I always turn off my inverter when on SP because if iam away for the day and the SP fails the inverter kicks in and will kill the batterys pretty quick with all my stuff running that I have on all the time

such as fridge and freezer plus computer

As you state, it's ok as long a SP is on, but lose SP while the inverter is on and all bets are off. This is one reason why we changed to a PSW inverter when we upgraded our Refer to a Whirlpool residential. We lost several high end "Mr Coffee" units before we figured this out.


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#16 ticat900

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 03:15 PM

As you state, it's ok as long a SP is on, but lose SP while the inverter is on and all bets are off. This is one reason why we changed to a PSW inverter when we upgraded our Refer to a Whirlpool residential. We lost several high end "Mr Coffee" units before we figured this out.

 

BUT the guy said he" must" turn it off while on SP he's not talking about if he loses SP he talking while on SP like you are. Two different things between what your saying and what I was responding to.


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#17 kingfr

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 03:47 PM

According to Xantrex, Prosine Inverters are Pure Sine Wave (PSW) inverters. Assuming that this is true, there is no need to turn off the inverter ever. It is Modified Sine Wave (MSW) inverters that reek havoc on sensitive electronics.


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Frank
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"It's never too late to have a happy childhood!"


#18 wolfe10

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:24 PM

According to Xantrex, Prosine Inverters are Pure Sine Wave (PSW) inverters. Assuming that this is true, there is no need to turn off the inverter ever. It is Modified Sine Wave (MSW) inverters that reek havoc on sensitive electronics.

 

Because of the programming options (such as on/off switch controls charger section or charger section automatically on when outside source of 120 VAC is present) it is really difficult to give absolutes-- too much depends on how they are set up.

 

Reason to leave switch off: Unless you are storing the coach with shore power.  If power goes off,  inverter is OFF, batteries stay charged.  If ON and any load, you can end up with a set of dead batteries.


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#19 kingfr

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:23 PM

OP is a fulltimer. I doubt that he puts his coach in storage very often. I assume that he is referring to shutting the inverter off while he is occupying the coach. He states that the time time period that he is concerned about is when he is plugged into SP. Us fulltimers often sit in one spot for months at a time, and inverters can save our bacon if power is lost, especially when we have residential refers full of food.


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Frank
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Allie - Beagle

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2015 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Toad
F294035
"Not All Who Wander Are Lost"
"It's never too late to have a happy childhood!"





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