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Old 03-06-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Inverter Charger wiring questions

First some background on my installation. A PO had an inverter-charger unit wired to the 110v fuse panel and I want to use this left over wiring to install my Xantrex Freedom 10 Inverter-Charger. The one pic shows the four wires which ran to POs inverter-charge and these wires are capped off now. The other two pics simply show my 110v fuse panel. The main wires on the left are from my 30amp pigtail. The black insulated wires (red, black, blue and orange) run out to the inverter-charger.

Which of these four wires are considered AC inputs and AC outputs to the Inverter-Charger?
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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Sorry about the pics. My internet connection went down as I was downloading. Here they are:
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mello mike View Post
First some background on my installation. A PO had an inverter-charger unit wired to the 110v fuse panel and I want to use this left over wiring to install my Xantrex Freedom 10 Inverter-Charger. The one pic shows the four wires which ran to POs inverter-charge and these wires are capped off now. The other two pics simply show my 110v fuse panel. The main wires on the left are from my 30amp pigtail. The black insulated wires (red, black, blue and orange) run out to the inverter-charger.

Which of these four wires are considered AC inputs and AC outputs to the Inverter-Charger?
Hi mike,
Are you sure the previous owner had an inverter-charger? A converter/charger would be much more common. From what I see on Xantrex's web site ( they do have some wiring diagrams), it looks like they are expecting a separate load panel and AC circuitry for the inverter output. Keep in mind that I did not even know there was such a thing as an inverter charger until I googled it. I would think that you would need some sort of switches or relays to switch your AC panel from inverter output to shore power if you use the same panel box.

Regards,
Ken
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Hi mike,
Are you sure the previous owner had an inverter-charger? A converter/charger would be much more common. From what I see on Xantrex's web site ( they do have some wiring diagrams), it looks like they are expecting a separate load panel and AC circuitry for the inverter output. Keep in mind that I did not even know there was such a thing as an inverter charger until I googled it. I would think that you would need some sort of switches or relays to switch your AC panel from inverter output to shore power if you use the same panel box.

Regards,
Ken
After looking at the pictures, I guess it was an inverter/charger and the relay must be in the unit.
The red wire is the 115 coming from the shore power. The orange wire is the 115 going to the main bus in the panel. I assume it is either from the shore power if plugged in or from the inverer if not.
The blue and black wires are both ground. Does that help at all? I guess there must be separate wires somewhere that connect the batteries to the inverter/charger. In other words, the red and either blue or black (does not matter) is the AC in , the orange and leftover wire are AC out. If it blows up this message will also self destruct.

Regards,
Ken
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Hi Ken,
Thanks for responding. Yes, the relay that switches from shore power to inverter power is built into the Inverter-Charger itself.

The 12v wires which go the batteries are not shown here. The are big suckers (2/0). These mount on the 12v input side of the inverter.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:14 PM   #6
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Red = hot input
Black = neutral input
Orange = hot output
Blue = neutral output

Be sure that the inverter is grounded to the panel somehow. It doesn't look like there are provisions for that.

Also the minimum wire size for what you're doing is 10 AWG. It doesn't look to me like they're that big, they look like 12 from the photo.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
The blue and black wires are both ground.
Neutral is not ground.

The ground wires in this installation are either bare or green, and are attached to the bus at the top of the photo.

The neutral wires are attached to the bus at the bottom of the photo.

The neutral and ground wires should not be interconnected at any point in an RV, except at an independent power source such as an inverter or generator, and then only when the transfer switch is set so that the inverter or generator is supplying power.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:08 PM   #8
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Neutral is not ground.

The ground wires in this installation are either bare or green, and are attached to the bus at the top of the photo.

The neutral wires are attached to the bus at the bottom of the photo.

The neutral and ground wires should not be interconnected at any point in an RV, except at an independent power source such as an inverter or generator, and then only when the transfer switch is set so that the inverter or generator is supplying power.
You are correct. I should not have called those wires ground.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:21 PM   #9
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OK!

Before someone gets hurt by incorrect advise regarding inverter/charger connections, let me break my posting silence to interject a little wisdom.

I service inverters and remove/replace and install them on almost a daily basis.

This photo of Mike's breaker box IS A MESS and IS WIRED INCORRECTLY!!

It appears that the trailer power cord enters from the left. the ground and neutrals go to the correct busses, but the hot should feed the breakers directly, and should be connected to the lug where the orange wire is now.

THERE SHOULD BE NO WIRE NUTS USED IN A BREAKER BOX!!!!!!!

The 4 conductor cable entering from the right seems to be the power feed for the inverter. IT SHOULD BE RUN FROM IT'S OWN 15 AMP BREAKER ON THIS PANEL. Given the size of this inverter charger, 12AWG is more than enough and 10AWG is not necessary or needed. Remember, it is a 1000 watt inverter/charger.

There needs to be a second, auxiliary beaker box where the inverter circuit(s) will be connected to a 15 amp breaker. This creates a loop that allow the inverter to power all circuits when shore power is present (via the inverter's internal transfer switch) and also allows the chosen 'inverter circuit(s) to be powered from the batteries when the inverter is in use when no shore power is present. No other relays/switching is needed.

Also, a 300 amp class T fuse is required in the positive 12VDC feed to the inverter from the batteries.

This breaker box as shown IS A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN!!!!!

If anyone has questions, please PM me. THANKS!

Lew
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post

THERE SHOULD BE NO WIRE NUTS USED IN A BREAKER BOX!!!!!!!
Technically, that's true. I'm not convinced that it's an especially critical principle, however.

Quote:

The 4 conductor cable entering from the right seems to be the power feed for the inverter. IT SHOULD BE RUN FROM IT'S OWN 15 AMP BREAKER ON THIS PANEL. Given the size of this inverter charger, 12AWG is more than enough and 10AWG is not necessary or needed. Remember, it is a 1000 watt inverter/charger.
The Xantrex inverter-chargers incorporate a transfer switch and their own breakers. The intention on Xantrex's part is that the portion of the load that is capable of being supported by the inverter (typically, everything except the air conditioner and water heater) is wired on the load side of the inverter.

Quote:

There needs to be a second, auxiliary beaker box where the inverter circuit(s) will be connected to a 15 amp breaker. This creates a loop that allow the inverter to power all circuits when shore power is present (via the inverter's internal transfer switch) and also allows the chosen 'inverter circuit(s) to be powered from the batteries when the inverter is in use when no shore power is present. No other relays/switching is needed.
The Xantrex inverters incorporate the key parts of this internally.

Quote:
Also, a 300 amp class T fuse is required in the positive 12VDC feed to the inverter from the batteries.
Well, yes, but that's not what the OP is about.

Quote:
This breaker box as shown IS A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN!!!!!
I've seen a number of disasters waiting to happen and this isn't one. Not, mind you, that it's the way I would have done it.

But that wasn't the question.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
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Okay, picked up another breaker box for the inverter circuit, a roll of 12/2 wire, plus two 15amp breakers. Started work on this project last night after work. Cleaned up the wiring in the main breaker including the removal of the four wire romex installed by the PO. The main breaker box looks much better now.

Tonight I'll install the auxillary (inverter) breaker box including the input and output 12/2 wiring to the inverter. Weird thing about this new box I bought last night. It doesn't have a separate bus for ground. It looks like both the ground and neutral feed of the same bus. Is this right?

Also, should the air conditioner breaker have a 30amp vice 20amp breaker in the main breaker box?

Thanks, everyone for your help and input on this thread.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:01 AM   #12
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You need a separate bus for ground and neutral. The two should not be connected together.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:21 AM   #13
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Usually the ground bar is sold separately. You should be able to get one from the place where you got the breaker box.

For service entrance applications (say, a garage) they aren't necessary so they don't include them as a cost saving measure.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:11 AM   #14
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Cool, thanks.
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