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Old 19-09-2012, 20:28   #1
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Problem With Inverter Installation

Need everyone's help,

I am trying to install a Xantrex 2000 watt inverter. Hooked it up to the batteries as instructed by the manual. I have a switch installed that allows me to select shore power or inverter. This inverter has 2 GFCI outlets that you can plug into. When I am not hooked up to shore power (shorepower plug disconnected) and am switched to the inverter, the inverter works as it should. When I plug the boat in regardless of where I have the switch (Inverter-Off-Shorepower) the GFCI trips. The manual does not refer to this problem any where. Is this maybe what is supposed to happen? I have friends that have inverter chargers that when it senses shorepower it automatically switches off and vice versa when shorepower is disconnected. Because this inverter does not have a charger and is accessed through the GFCI outlets should the GFCI trip when it senses 120 volts?

Need some wisdom here!

Thanks, Golden Echo

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Old 19-09-2012, 20:35   #2
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Do you have the chassis ground connection connected as indicated in the manual?

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Old 20-09-2012, 00:42   #3
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Some of those gfci plugs trip when power surges as when the inverter kicks in.
Even in my house , I hooked up a gfci in my bathroom and when I turn on my electro hair trimmer it cuts out.
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Old 20-09-2012, 03:23   #4
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Re: Problem With Inverter Installation

If I follow your wiring you take the 120V from the GFCI outlets in the inverter and wire them to a switch that selects between shore and inverter power. Those inverters are not designed to be wired that way. I suspect you have a problem with the shorepower ground when it is wired that way.

And IMO GFCIs really don't work on boats. The wiring is always a bit damp and that causes GFCI faults.

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Old 20-09-2012, 04:28   #5
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Re: Problem With Inverter Installation

Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
... And IMO GFCIs really don't work on boats. The wiring is always a bit damp and that causes GFCI faults.
The use of Weather Resistant GFCI receptacles*, and boxes, will ameliorate this problem.

NEC Article 406.8 that states that all receptacles installed in wet or damp locations must be weather resistant. Typically, these will have a prominent "WR" molded in the face of the device.

The Illusion of GFCI Protection - IAEI Magazine : IAEI Blog
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 20-09-2012, 04:31   #6
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Re: Problem With Inverter Installation

Sounds like a neutral/ground fault. The neutral/ground should be connected at the source in this case the inverter or the dock. The marine inverters when switching make or break this connection. Your inverter as it is not automatic and may have the neutral/ground connected in the case. This could cause the outlets to trip when shore ground is connected. This is just a guess without having wiring diagrams of what you have.

And GFIC outlets work just fine in boats and should always be used. If you have a tripping problem or your wiring is "wet" you should find the fault and fix it or replace the wet wiring. Good marine grade wire will not wick up moisture from the air.

Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
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installation, inverter

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