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Old 21-03-2017, 20:43   #1
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Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

As I tried to keep warm on my new to me boat I used a 1500 watt heater on shore power and turned on another load which tripped the breaker. I actually did this multiple times as a new live aboard getting used to not having a 200 amp electrical service. As the inverter 12v main supply was switched off I thought I wouldn't do any harm. But apparently Xantrex uses the incoming AC service to provide 12v dc to energize a relay to pass the AC_in thru to AC_out. This lets the high current pass thru the electronics. I now have a fault indication and no AC output. How do I protect the new inverter, short of moving to the tropics where no heat is required? Or is the inverter just supposed to handle this abuse?

Is this a solution?

Old Wiring: AC thru main panel(30A) branch breaker(15A) to inverter to outlets
New Wiring: Service entrance breaker(30A) to inverter to breaker(15A) to outlets. This places the breaker between the source of the overload and the inverter.
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Old 21-03-2017, 21:25   #2
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKdot View Post
As I tried to keep warm on my new to me boat I used a 1500 watt heater on shore power and turned on another load which tripped the breaker. I actually did this multiple times as a new live aboard getting used to not having a 200 amp electrical service. As the inverter 12v main supply was switched off I thought I wouldn't do any harm. But apparently Xantrex uses the incoming AC service to provide 12v dc to energize a relay to pass the AC_in thru to AC_out. This lets the high current pass thru the electronics. I now have a fault indication and no AC output. How do I protect the new inverter, short of moving to the tropics where no heat is required? Or is the inverter just supposed to handle this abuse?

Is this a solution?

Old Wiring: AC thru main panel(30A) branch breaker(15A) to inverter to outlets
New Wiring: Service entrance breaker(30A) to inverter to breaker(15A) to outlets. This places the breaker between the source of the overload and the inverter.
Suggest before you go down that route, read the Xantrex Manual
http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Pow...ork)%20(1).pdf

Note:
Section 3.21 discusses the correct wiring methods and loads. The incoming breaker is required to be sized to protect the internals of the Xantrex.
Section 5.3 has fault codes - reading those may get you back online.
Section 3.17 clearly states : The XM 1800 will not operate electric heaters, air conditioners, stoves, and other electrical appliances that consume more than 1000 watts (XM 1000) or 1800 watts (XM 1800).
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Old 21-03-2017, 23:13   #3
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKdot View Post
As I tried to keep warm on my new to me boat I used a 1500 watt heater on shore power and turned on another load which tripped the breaker. I actually did this multiple times as a new live aboard getting used to not having a 200 amp electrical service. As the inverter 12v main supply was switched off I thought I wouldn't do any harm. But apparently Xantrex uses the incoming AC service to provide 12v dc to energize a relay to pass the AC_in thru to AC_out. This lets the high current pass thru the electronics. I now have a fault indication and no AC output. How do I protect the new inverter, short of moving to the tropics where no heat is required? Or is the inverter just supposed to handle this abuse?

Is this a solution?

Old Wiring: AC thru main panel(30A) branch breaker(15A) to inverter to outlets
New Wiring: Service entrance breaker(30A) to inverter to breaker(15A) to outlets. This places the breaker between the source of the overload and the inverter.

No you can't do this unless the inverter has 30a pass through rating. The good ones do. The 1800 May only be 15a pass. If you buy a new one make sure it has 30a pass through.

Other solution is to have an outlet not on inverter for the heater. Main 30a to 15abreaker to heater outlet.
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Old 21-03-2017, 23:20   #4
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

run an extension cord in the window. run the heater directly off that. then read the xantrex manual with the heat on. this works with a lamp for light also...

likely some light guage wire got hot with the high load, and pissed off your breaker. try switching to 750 watt on heater, put on sweater. dont use the microwave and the hair dryer while heating the boat...

spring is here! wont be long before sun is out till 9pm!
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Old 22-03-2017, 08:38   #5
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

Thanks for the speedy replies.

The 1800 watt inverter had no problems carrying the 1500watt heater until I added another load. The inverter was fed by a 15 amp breaker off of a 30 amp main panel. The 30 amp breaker never tripped.

My point to those not aware was that switching off the 12v supply does not protect the inverter internals. It just keeps the "loss of power" automatic transfer from happening. If I had known that the AC current still runs through the inverter electronics, I would have done things differently.
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Old 22-03-2017, 08:56   #6
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

While you're at it, replace the Xantrex with a Magnum inverter.
Worlds better in terms of quality. Made NOT in China, but the USA only about 50 miles from where I live.
Our home's backup power system has a 4 Kw version which works flawlessly during power outages.
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Old 22-03-2017, 16:00   #7
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

First, you must have a breaker in front of the inverter that is of proper size, to protect the Xantrex. Sounds like the 30A in "New" may be too much. Didn't look up the specs, but assume 1800 means it is an 1800 Watt max output unit, and that probably includes the total of pass-through power and the 12V charger. That's equivalent to 16A at 110V, so a 20A breaker might be appropriate. Look up the Xantrex requirement.

Heaters should not be run from or through an inverter, unless just a couple hundred watts. You can split your AC panel into two sides, each protected by a 20A panel breaker. From one side, run through 10A or 15A breakers to a couple of the AC outlets on your boat that are in convenient places for your space heater to plug in, and run other circuits from this side to any electric water heater you may have.

The other "inverter side" has its own 20A panel breaker which powers the Xantrex. From the Xantrex inverter output, run back to the sub-circuit breakers on this panel. These invertor-powered breakers will connect to those AC outlets where you want to plug in small appliances and a smallish microwave, a rice-cooker, etc.

IMHO, Works for us, but we use a Freedom 2000 that is 20 years old.
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Old 22-03-2017, 16:51   #8
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

Thank you Waterman46 for your reply
The Xantrex that I had was an inverter only, no charger. Why do you say "Heaters should not be run from or through an inverter, unless just a couple hundred watts", I'm an admitted newbie and I don't understand.

After the inverter failure I moved the port side outlets to the battery charger circuit. The water heater circuit was already loaded at 12.5 amps. The starboard side outlets are carrying the heater load allowing normal operation of the port side outlets.
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Old 22-03-2017, 17:32   #9
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

When you say "fried internals" you may just have fried some capacitors which can be replaced.

Just a thought.
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Old 22-03-2017, 18:05   #10
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

Sailpower, I have removed the covers and don't see any swollen or obviously burned components. How do I isolate bad components/capacitators?
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Old 22-03-2017, 18:44   #11
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

My experience with caps is viual observation which you have done.

Someone w more knowledge than me can chime in.

When I have had electrical problems with equipment I have had good luck w Google and YouTube.

xyz no power out, etc.

Amazing what is out there.
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Old 22-03-2017, 19:24   #12
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKdot View Post
As the inverter 12v main supply was switched off I thought I wouldn't do any harm. But apparently Xantrex uses the incoming AC service to provide 12v dc to energize a relay to pass the AC_in thru to AC_out. This lets the high current pass thru the electronics. I now have a fault indication and no AC output.
F($&k Xantrex. Whichever idiot decided it was ok to use relays that need active cooling for their pass through ('not doing anything' mode) needs to have their pencil taken away.

My boat came with that garbage, now I know never to buy their junk on purpose.

Every time I hear that fan come on when I'm demanding no more functionality out of it than a ($&@$( extension cord, I want to pull it out of the boat and throw it through Xantrex's window.
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Old 23-03-2017, 10:08   #13
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

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Originally Posted by DaveKdot View Post
The Xantrex that I had was an inverter only, no charger. Why do you say "Heaters should not be run from or through an inverter, unless just a couple hundred watts", I'm an admitted newbie and I don't understand.
.
No problem with being a newbie - we are all learning no matter how long we've been here. I'm a retired electronics engineer so I have a general background in the subject but I still learn something new every time I look into any specific electrical problem.

My advice to not run heaters from an inverter is because you don't want to run any really high power AC device from your batteries, especially given the power loss of conversion from 12VDC to 110VAC. Two exceptions: you are simultaneously generating the equivalent 12V power from your engine or a 12V generator, or you are running a microwave oven for a short period of time.

If you keep your heater AC circuits supplied only from shore or AC generator, separate from your AC circuits that are supplied from the inverter, you have less chance of accidentally putting continuous high current demands on your inverter.

To your original question, I can't see why the Xantrex failed due to the conditions you described. In your "Old" circuit you had a 15A breaker on the supply side of your Xantrex. Thjis should have tripped at just about 1800Watt load from your heater, which is 16A at 110V. I think you wrote that your Xantrex didn't fail until you added additional load, which you didn't specify, and then a circuit breaker tripped and the Xantrex failed. What was the additional load? Which breaker tripped, the 15A or the 30A? Breakers are not infallible so I'm thinking that the cause of failure may not lie with the Xantrex alone.

BTW capacitor and solid state device failures often leave no visual signs. And it's difficult to track down a failure in any modern electrical device due to the high level of integration ("chips"), even with a complete circuit diagram, unless you have knowledge of the correct voltages and waveforms at each terminal in the circuit.

There are some good books available on boat electrical systems, which might be helpful before you spend any big money on changes to your boat.
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Old 23-03-2017, 20:09   #14
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Re: Fried My Xantrex Pro 1800

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Originally Posted by waterman46 View Post
My advice to not run heaters from an inverter is because you don't want to run any really high power AC device from your batteries, especially given the power loss of conversion from 12VDC to 110VAC. Two exceptions: you are simultaneously generating the equivalent 12V power from your engine or a 12V generator, or you are running a microwave oven for a short period of time.
They weren't running heaters off their battery, they were running it it off shore power.

But in Xantrex's infinite wisdom, they wedge some cheapo undersized relay and an even cheaper cooling fan between you and your shore power. So even in this 'not even using the inverter' use case, the Xantrex can die. It's a mind boggling design choice.

Say no to Xantrex.
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