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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Whoops, I did it again.

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Veebyes

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Posted: 05/25/21 09:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I fried an almost new inverter. A not so cheap Samlex 1500W Pure Sine Wave inverter. Back fed 120VAC into it & BANG! What made me hit that switch when shore power was present? Did the same thing to my boat inverter about 20 years ago. Slow learner.

Where's my sign?

Not being a techy guy, obviously, is it worth getting repaired or should it be used as a boat anchor?


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ndrorder

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Posted: 05/25/21 10:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The manual didn't really address that situation. It won't hurt or cost to call tech support. It could have just tripped the gfci.


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rlw999

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Posted: 05/25/21 10:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you heard a "bang" or pop, and/or smelled smoke, then it's probably toast and not worth trying to fix unless you or someone you know have enough skills to find out what blew. It's worth opening it though to see if there's some internal fuse or circuit breaker or something that tripped.

But the bigger question is, how did you backfeed it? If you don't have a transfer switch and you were able to feed 120VAC into the inverter, then it seems like you could also backfeed 120VAC from the inverter into the shorepower cable, which is a safety hazard for you and for the electrician that's working on restoring campground power and doesn't realize that you energized the "dead" circuit.

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Posted: 05/25/21 10:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My magnum inverter charger comes with a built-in transfer switch which prevents such a thing. I guess yours was not set up that way. Things happen.


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Posted: 05/25/21 10:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At 340 bucks for a new one, yours is a boat anchor

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 05/26/21 12:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rlw999 wrote:

If you heard a "bang" or pop, and/or smelled smoke, then it's probably toast and not worth trying to fix unless you or someone you know have enough skills to find out what blew. It's worth opening it though to see if there's some internal fuse or circuit breaker or something that tripped.

That is the problem !

I know enough about inverters to know that the most common failure is the output MOSFETs. At least 4 of them, maybe 12 or 16. $2 - $6 each. Maybe a diode, even cheaper. If the transformer(s) did not fry (unlikely), then the rest of the parts are relatively cheap.

If you don't want to spend the money on an inverter with an automatic transfer switch, wire the output of the inverter to an external outlet near your RV power cord. The power cord is now your non-automatic transfer switch ! Either shore power or power from the inverter but not both !

YC 1

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Posted: 05/26/21 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to install a simple either/or power switch so you cannot back feed the power. Should be very easy to do.

Remove it and open it up. Not much to lose. You might get lucky and find a fuse blown.


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frankwp

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Posted: 05/26/21 07:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rlw999 wrote:

But the bigger question is, how did you backfeed it? If you don't have a transfer switch and you were able to feed 120VAC into the inverter, then it seems like you could also backfeed 120VAC from the inverter into the shorepower cable, which is a safety hazard for you and for the electrician that's working on restoring campground power and doesn't realize that you energized the "dead" circuit.


This! PLEASE, install a transfer switch or put in a receptacle fed by the inverter to accept the RV power plug. Carrying on with the current setup could leave someone injured or dead.


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Veebyes

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Posted: 05/26/21 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not surprised at answers. Fixable but at what price? It is not the price of the parts but the labour of the tech. Still have it & will remove cover to see if there is anything very obvious or to reset.

There is some life. It can be turned on but the overload light is on. No 120VAC though.

Bought a new one, 1000W pure SW, & wired it idiot proof. Needs to be plugged into the ATS & there are very specific instructions on circuits that need to be OFF at the breaker panel first. The only circuits left live are the two for the outlets. TVs & phone chargers don't need much.

time2roll

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Posted: 05/26/21 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good to hear the new inverter was wired correctly. Idiot proof would eliminate unwanted circuits automatically.

* This post was edited 05/26/21 10:00am by time2roll *


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