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Old 24-07-2020, 11:42   #1
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Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

We have a house bank consisting of 6 golf cart batteries. We have a Magnum inverter which came with the boat, Model ME3112, but it's not hooked up because it gave a fault message. We had it bench tested in town (the man at the Magnum factory told us they no longer bench test) and they said it was working fine, but when we got it back to the boat, the same fault message came up on the screen - no fault code, just the word Fault.

This is an old boat so it's also possible the problem is on the boat, we're just not sure where to start. We hired a marine electrician to do find the problem with the Magnum, he hooked it up advised us there was a fault and presented his bill. To muddy the waters further, we also show 4 amps intermittent on the green wire going back to shore power. Yikes.

Anyway, recently our Blue Sea battery charger bit the dust and we need to replace it with an inverter/charger, if not with the Magnum, then with something else.

Looking for recommendations for inverter/chargers that you are happy with or advice on what's the next step for the Magnum.

As always, thanks.
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Old 24-07-2020, 11:58   #2
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Here is my recommendation: disconnect shore power. Take battery charger, Magnum, shore power inlet and breaker and related cabling out. Make do with some extension cords and automotive battery charger as a temporary setup.

I am assuming you have a 30A shore power setup...

Now check the savings account and start buying, in this order:

1) Smartplug inlet & cable kit https://www.amazon.com/SmartPlug-Cor...F0SEVP1C578YD5

2) Galvanic isolator: https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=605562

3) Breaker + box: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

4) Victron Multiplus inverter/charger: https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Multi...5616888&sr=8-2

Use this as a wiring example: https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...4V-120V-AC.pdf
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Old 24-07-2020, 11:59   #3
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

And a remote panel for the Victron:https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Digit...5617144&sr=8-3
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Old 24-07-2020, 12:14   #4
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Wow, thank you.

We already have the new breaker box and galvanic isolator.

I knew the new inverter was going to be spendy, but it's not terrible.
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Old 24-07-2020, 12:16   #5
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Did you call Magnum and ask anything other than if they will bench test?
Magnum faults are from my limited experience exceedingly rare. I have called them when in the middle of the night I found a way to plug my 30 amp 110 cord into a 50 amp 220 outlet, I know your not supposed to able to, but I found a way, this of course fed 110V through both the hot and neutral wires on my boat and the Magnum thankfully didn’t connect the rest of the electrical system or who knows what all would have fried.
Anyway I called them and they talked me through a reset, seems the Magnum survived, although I swear I saw and smelled smoke.
There are only three cards in my Magnum, with separate functions so pretty easy to fix.
But give them a call and ask what should I do, they may talk you through it, they did me.

I know Victron is the newest neatest thing with Bluetooth etc, but Magnums seem to be simple and bullet proof.
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Old 24-07-2020, 12:41   #6
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
Wow, thank you.

We already have the new breaker box and galvanic isolator.

I knew the new inverter was going to be spendy, but it's not terrible.
Okay but make sure to rewire it. The 4A current through your ground conductor makes wiring, inlet and the galvanic isolator suspect, apart from the shore power pedestal.

Magnum has become a throw away and replace box mover as you experienced. I don’t think the unit is very new and that you wasted enough on it already. The Victron comes with 5 years manufacturer warranty.

When you have other “smart” Victron gear like battery monitor, solar controller etc. then I recommend a different remote panel, which integrates it all (Color Control GX).

Make sure that the battery cables to the inverter charger are in 100% condition and big enough. There needs to be a fuse as well but that should already be there from the Magnum installation.

Sell the Magnum “as is” here on the forum to recoup a bit
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Old 24-07-2020, 12:52   #7
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Did you call Magnum and ask anything other than if they will bench test?
Magnum faults are from my limited experience exceedingly rare. I have called them when in the middle of the night I found a way to plug my 30 amp 110 cord into a 50 amp 220 outlet, I know your not supposed to able to, but I found a way, this of course fed 110V through both the hot and neutral wires on my boat and the Magnum thankfully didn’t connect the rest of the electrical system or who knows what all would have fried.
Anyway I called them and they talked me through a reset, seems the Magnum survived, although I swear I saw and smelled smoke.
There are only three cards in my Magnum, with separate functions so pretty easy to fix.
But give them a call and ask what should I do, they may talk you through it, they did me.

I know Victron is the newest neatest thing with Bluetooth etc, but Magnums seem to be simple and bullet proof.
Good to know. I don't know if my husband asked Magnum for help or just a bench test. I would love not to buy another right now, we just spent $10K on new roller furling and winches for the jib and staysail, so the bank accounts are not fat right now. Simple and bullet proof is a good thing. Thanks.
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Old 24-07-2020, 14:46   #8
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Ditto s/v Jedi's recommendation!!................. for a galvanic isolator and Victron Multiplus inverter/charger 120v 3000 watt plus Victron Digital Multi Control (DMC) GX for Multi-Plus and Quattro 200/200A GX and Victron Digital Battery Monitor.
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Old 24-07-2020, 15:29   #9
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

Quote:
Originally Posted by sail sfbay View Post
Ditto s/v Jedi's recommendation!!................. for a galvanic isolator and Victron Multiplus inverter/charger 120v 3000 watt plus Victron Digital Multi Control (DMC) GX for Multi-Plus and Quattro 200/200A GX and Victron Digital Battery Monitor.
Instead of the Color control I got the Venus-GX becouse it has ports I could hook up my fuel tank & water tank levels too. I love it!
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Old 24-07-2020, 15:46   #10
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

I would also suggest a new marine electrician. There can be several sources for the 4A return through ground. A good one will take the time to find the cause if it’s not your inverter.
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Old 24-07-2020, 19:51   #11
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

FYI an invertor charger typically connects green and white while inverting but with shore power the green and white are disconnected. My Xantrex was disconnecting too slow and setting off the huge GFI unit that shut off the entire marina. I was not a popular guy that day.

Check all the greens and whites at your ac panel and determine which are connected together through ohm meter. If you find green and whites that are connected, fix and repair. disconnect all green while checking. Whites should not be connected with shore power.
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Old 24-07-2020, 22:41   #12
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

One way to cheaply protect against problems with shore power is to only connect to an isolating battery charger then use the inverter to generate all power onboard. That way you always have stable quality supply don't have any connection to the shore power earth line except the charger case. Much safer and reduces risk of galvanic corrosion as well. I would certainly check out the boats wiring further before spending on a new inverter as it sound like that is where the problem is, The fault code displayed on the inverter could mean it has a faulty supply not a fault in the unit.
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Old 25-07-2020, 06:52   #13
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Re: Help Us Understand Our Inverter Or Get a New One

I agree with SV Jedi, except, I’d look at the Xantrex (so) inverters. However on another point, I’m not a fan of inverters because they pull so much energy from the batteries when delivering AC power. I prefer to set up the boat as a DC boat and use a gen set for the AC needs, albeit not always an option (space, $$$). However, if prudently employed the newer inverters provide the occasional AC needs on boats quite well. Just make sure it is in charge state (some are automatic) when on shore power...
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