Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-07-2011, 19:38   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

I've come across an odd interaction/incompatibility between a Splendide 2100XC washer and a MasterVolt Combi Inverter/charger. This is all on a 2009 boat that I just bought last fall, and surfaced the first time I tried the washer.

The symptom is that the washer runs continuously trying to empty the drum and eventually gives up and reports an error code indicating that the drum is reporting both full and empty at the same time.

I talked to Splendide's tech support (who are awesome, by the way), and all indications pointed to a bad control module. I had removed and tested the pressure switch that measures water level and it was working fine. The unit is out of warranty, so I plunked down $350 for a new module. Long story short, it made no difference. I got back on the phone and they asked if I had an inverter, to which I answered yes. He said they have seen cases where they interfere with each other.

Now mind you that the washer does not run off the inverter - it runs directly off shore or gen power. The boat lives on a mooring so I was running the gen to do all this. The inverter is just passing AC through to the boat's outlets, adn charging my house bank.

The tech suggested shutting off the inverter. I did, and presto, the washer worked properly. I tried some subsequent experiments with different AC loads and the only one that impacts the washer is the inverter. I have a straight MasterVolt charger too, and that doesn't cause any issue.

Has anyone else run into this?
__________________

__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2011, 21:58   #2
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 4,812
Re: Interaction between Inverter and washer?

Inverters are pretty electrically noisy. You might try putting Ferrite Cores/choke on the AC outlet of the inverter and on the AC inlet to the washer. They might help and it's a cheap item and should help to reduce 3rd order signal noise on the AC side. Also check that the inverters ground is good.

Here's a link to google for the Ferrite Cores

Google
__________________

__________________
sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2011, 05:57   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Interaction between Inverter and washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Inverters are pretty electrically noisy. You might try putting Ferrite Cores/choke on the AC outlet of the inverter and on the AC inlet to the washer. They might help and it's a cheap item and should help to reduce 3rd order signal noise on the AC side. Also check that the inverters ground is good.

Here's a link to google for the Ferrite Cores

Google
The washer cord had two ferrites on it when I bought the boat. They appear to be a previous attempt to do just that. Moving them around as well as removing them made no difference.

Keep in mind that:

1) The washer is NOT on the inverter's output, so any inverter output noise would have to be radiated to get back to the washer.

2) The inverter input and washer ARE being powered by the same leg of the genset's 240V split phase output. If this is conducted noise (which I expect it is) it's noise that the inverter is imposing on the AC input side.

3) Because the inverter input has AC power, the inverter is in bypass mode so I don't think it's inverting at all. It is however charging the batteries so it is drawing AC, but very little. I measure about an amp because my batteries are already charged.

At some point I might try running the inverter and washer off separate legs to see if that helps. Unfortunately all the other outlets in the boat are on the same leg since they are all powered via the inverter, so it requires breaker panel surgery to swap legs around, and that's not an easy place to work.

I'm increasingly disappointed by the number of appliances that require near perfect AC for proper operation. I had a stove once where the electronic ignitors would work fine when powered by an inverter, but would not spark when powered by a generator. If anything, I would have expected just the opposite. I currrently (on land) have a super efficient Buderus boiler that also runs fine on inverter power, but will not light when powered by a generator. In both cases we are talking about high quality, high capacity permanently installed generators, not a portable or other occasional-use machine.

As a former engineer, I want to scold all these manufacturers for building something that expects anything other than crap on the AC power side of things. It's particularly frustrating with Splendide since I expect a significant portion of their sales are into boats and RVs where inverters are also ubiquitous.

It might be time to break down and buy a scope to see what's really going on.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2011, 06:13   #4
Registered User
 
Blue Crab's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hurricane Highway
Boat: Cal 29
Posts: 3,882
Cool Re: Interaction between Inverter and washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Inverters are pretty electrically noisy. You might try putting Ferrite Cores/choke on the AC outlet of the inverter and on the AC inlet to the washer. They might help and it's a cheap item and should help to reduce 3rd order signal noise on the AC side. Also check that the inverters ground is good.

Here's a link to google for the Ferrite Cores

Google

I love it when women talk like this!
__________________
Blue Crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2011, 06:20   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SW Florida
Boat: FP Belize, 43' - Dot Dun
Posts: 3,423
Re: Interaction between Inverter and washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
1) The washer is NOT on the inverter's output, so any inverter output noise would have to be radiated to get back to the washer.
Just a guess. You mentioned a MasterVolt Combi Inverter/Charger. I believe those units have power support function that supplements power when the main source is overburdened. I'm curious if you defeat all that magic if you still have the problem.
__________________
DotDun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2011, 17:18   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Interaction between Inverter and washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
Just a guess. You mentioned a MasterVolt Combi Inverter/Charger. I believe those units have power support function that supplements power when the main source is overburdened. I'm curious if you defeat all that magic if you still have the problem.
Yes, good thought. I those functions all turned off. What I don't know is whether that means the inverter function is completely shut down, or if it's still running in sync with the generator ready to take over the loads if the gen shuts off. I don't think there is any way to know from the outside.

These Splendide washers appear to be the only game in town for a vented washer/drier combo, so I would expect others to be experiencing similar troubles.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2011, 17:27   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Oahu, HI
Boat: Pearson Vanguard 32
Posts: 47
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

Even though the inverter is not powering the washer, they are both off of the same 240. The inverter can produce really noisy power and noisy power can and will flow to the source, think of it as a ripple that travels into a harbor. And it sounds like your washer has some sort of digital input or computer/PLC in it to handle the controls.

You might try popping open the washer and looking for any loose/corroded spade connections, that will help reduce the impact noise will have on the washer.

The other thought that you have brought up is try separate 240, but with the inverter off, it sounds like one is affecting the other.

The other option recommended by sailor chic, the ferrite cores, will help reduce noise.
__________________
Acedude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2011, 10:13   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: NJ, Paris FR and, for the moment, Cape Coral FL
Boat: Islander Freeport 41, AEGEA
Posts: 186
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acedude View Post
Even though the inverter is not powering the washer, they are both off of the same 240. The inverter can produce really noisy power and noisy power can and will flow to the source, think of it as a ripple that travels into a harbor. And it sounds like your washer has some sort of digital input or computer/PLC in it to handle the controls.

You might try popping open the washer and looking for any loose/corroded spade connections, that will help reduce the impact noise will have on the washer.

The other thought that you have brought up is try separate 240, but with the inverter off, it sounds like one is affecting the other.

The other option recommended by sailor chic, the ferrite cores, will help reduce noise.
As noted by others, inverters, especially modified sine wave versions, are really noisy. They don't affect things like motors and such, but they can be hell on electronics. If you handy that way, you might try finding the feed to the control module and putting the ferrites on it.

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
__________________
Dick Pluta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2011, 10:37   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

I've tried ferrites on the washer power cord as follows:

1) No ferrites

2) 2 Ferrites, both at the plug end

3) 2 Ferrites, one at the plug end and one where the cord enters the washer.

The washer's power cord also has an integral noise filter just inside the washer chassis. I replaced this whole assembly because the neutral wire was cooked at the connector and into the filter. My guess is that it took a lightening strike while on shore power which is how the previous owner use it. However with a new power cord and filter assembly I still get the same funky behavior if the inverter/charger is running.

Since the only coupling between the washer and the inverter/charger is on the INPUT side of the inverter/charger, by current assumption is that the charger is distorting the AC input and/or backfeeding noise into the AC input which is then being picked up by the washer, inadequately filtered, and confusing it.

Oh, and it's a full sine wave inverter, not an MSW.

Anyone know of a descent, relatively low cost scope? I've had enough of these wacky problems that I think I'm going to get one.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2011, 01:06   #10
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: NJ, Paris FR and, for the moment, Cape Coral FL
Boat: Islander Freeport 41, AEGEA
Posts: 186
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

My suggestion was to get inside the washer and put the ferrites on the lead to the control module. On the power cord, you're trying to clean up all the power coming into the washer, including the motor. In comparison, the power consumed by the control module in minute and easier to clean up.

It's amazing how little it takes to "fool" an electronic device. I once did a heated seat controller for Chrysler. When the door was first opened the relay in the control would click once. Immediately thereafter, no matter how many times the door was opened, no click. Wait a little while and the click was back.

We finally put a multi channel recorder on everything we could think of and, finally, found the culprit. It was the dome light. When the lamp was cold the resistance of the filament was relatively low and it drew a higher current. This was enough to generate a little bit of noise that was powerful enough to get through our filters. Once the filament heated up, the resistance increased and the noise dropped to a level that our device could absorb. A bigger cap in our unit and the problem disappeared.

Your problem is clearly the inverter. Maybe the ferrites on the control module will help. It should be a simple fix. Find the lead and clip on the ferrites. You don't even have to cut the wire and can't do any harm, even if it's not a fix.

Good luck

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
__________________
Dick Pluta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2011, 04:51   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Pluta View Post
My suggestion was to get inside the washer and put the ferrites on the lead to the control module. On the power cord, you're trying to clean up all the power coming into the washer, including the motor. In comparison, the power consumed by the control module in minute and easier to clean up.
Got it, thanks. Next time I have the machine removed I'll see if I can find the wires. Unfortunately, removal is VERY difficult.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-07-2011, 16:51   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

Today, just for kicks, I ran an extension cord from the washer to one of the boat's outlets that's powered by the inverter. With the inveter on an no generator running, I tried the washer. Low and behold, it worked fine.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2012, 07:16   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 264
Re: Interaction between Inverter and washer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
These Splendide washers appear to be the only game in town for a vented washer/drier combo, so I would expect others to be experiencing similar troubles.
Has there been any further progress on this issue?

My Splendide also misbehaves during wash cycles on the pure sine wave inverter, but works fine when the generator is on. I suspect noise when inverting that goes away when the inverter "passes through" the power from the generator.

Ferrites on the control module is a good idea. Is there another way to clean up a power source?
__________________
JayH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2012, 07:47   #14
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,022
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

"Is there another way to clean up a power source? "
Would depend on specifically what kind of "cleaning" needed to be done, and at what power level. It is one thing to remove spikes, quite another if the waveform itself is the problem.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2012, 09:01   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,823
Re: Interaction Between Inverter and Washer ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post

Anyone know of a descent, relatively low cost scope? I've had enough of these wacky problems that I think I'm going to get one.

I used to have one of these, but sold it when we left for cruising.
It's a great unit.


Sencore SC61 Waveform Analyzer Ocilloscope 60Mhz to100Mhz with Digital Voltmeter | eBay
__________________

__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
inverter

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.