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Old 01-10-2012, 13:27   #1
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Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

I have an inverter and it works fine when plugged to shore power but it recently stopped working when the engine is running. What are some of the more common reasons for this happening and solutions? Thanks for all the help!
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Old 01-10-2012, 13:37   #2
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

What sort of inverter? Are you saying it passes shore power just fine, works while the engine is off, but won't make 110VAC while the engine is running?
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Old 01-10-2012, 13:39   #3
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

It's a Xantex but not sure the specific model. And yes you are exactly right.
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Old 01-10-2012, 13:43   #4
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

Ok, so if I understand correctly.......

Dockside, this model will pass shore power through it, when the shore cord is plugged in.

Unplug the shore cord, with the engine off, and the inverter will turn 12 VDC into 110VAC.

Start the engine and the inverter ceases to make 110VAC from 12VDC.

Hmmmmm....Is this one of the Xantrax inverter charger units with a remote? Are there any error codes on the display?
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:09   #5
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

My apologies, it's Monday and my brain is still warming up. It only works when I'm connected to shore power. As soon as you disconnect shore power, whether the engine is running or not, the inverter doesn't work.

No error codes and I don't believe it has a remote.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:14   #6
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

OK, from your description the inverter is not working.

It is either turned turned off, or broken. It should be controllable from either the inverter itself, or from the remote (it should have one but its not a requirement)
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:17   #7
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

Does your inverter double as a battery charger?

If so, is it charging your batteries?
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:20   #8
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

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Originally Posted by Bumberg View Post
I have an inverter and it works fine when plugged to shore power but it recently stopped working when the engine is running. What are some of the more common reasons for this happening and solutions? Thanks for all the help!

How do you know it works with the shore power plugged in as when you are on shore power the inverter isn't even needed? Mine is just a battery charger when shore power is connected.

When no shore power did you turn the inverter on? Is the power to it from the batteries on?
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:22   #9
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

When an inverter/charger is NOT connected to shore power, it requires a certain minimum DC voltage from the batteries, which it converts to AC voltage.
Check that the switch in the positive cable is in the on position, and that the fuse in this cable is good. You should have both of these features installed.
Check that the alternator is putting out sufficient voltage. If not so, the inverter may be shutting down on low voltage safety.
These devices vary considerably in their set-up details. check your manual.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:40   #10
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

When you are connected to shore power you should not be going through the inverter. You have a 110 volt connection all the way through. Time to get out the volt meter and test to see if it is even connected properly.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:45   #11
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

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When you are connected to shore power you should not be going through the inverter. You have a 110 volt connection all the way through. Time to get out the volt meter and test to see if it is even connected properly.

Semantics,

If the inverter has an automatic transfer switch built in, the shore feeds through it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 15:09   #12
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

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When you are connected to shore power you should not be going through the inverter. You have a 110 volt connection all the way through. Time to get out the volt meter and test to see if it is even connected properly.
--in a way,--current does have to pass thru a transfer relay.
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Old 01-10-2012, 21:15   #13
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

If it's a Xantrex, 'nuff said.

Voice of experience talking...
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Old 01-10-2012, 22:15   #14
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

From the OP's posts the inverter that he is refering to has an automatic transfer switch built in.

As posted above he should check the 12V at the battery connections on the inverter since the inverter needs 12V to operate. I kinda assumed he had done that but we all know about assumptions.

As far as inverters go Xantrex units work just fine and are pretty reliable if you get the high end inverter/chargers. The cheap models are well...just cheap.
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Old 01-10-2012, 22:31   #15
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Re: Inverter doesn't work when engine is running

WAD, no one has asked the appropriate question:

What inverter do you have?

Otherwise, we're all just guessing.
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