Yet another inversor question

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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I have just got my first inversor! It worked fine for 3 weeks and then kept breaking down. Just turning itself off. The electrician kept coming to fix it and said:

1. The voltage coming in was too high, so changed the wiring outside to a lower voltage.

2. The voltage coming in was too low, so changed back to the higher voltage.

3. The shower (one of those which heats up in the shower head) was too powerful so disconnected from inversor, so only works on street power.

4. The fridge was too powerful so disconnected from inversor too.

Anyway none of this worked so now the inversor has gone away for repair and he has lent me a small 1.5KW one.

This one goes into overload when you use the iron (the electrician says never use iron with inversor), the water cooler (now disconnected) and struggles even with the coffee maker.

OK, so I decide to educate myself and learn about watts! So as far as I can work it out, I can use things up to 1,500 watts and all should be fine. The water heater is 650, the iron 1200 so that won't work. No idea about the coffee maker. But surely if the water cooler is 650 I should be able to use that with just light bulbs and computer? But if cooler is on, the inversor makes a funny noise and the lights go up and down.

And the one being repaired is 3000 so why can I not iron with that one? I know that there are spikes when you turn things on, but how high are the spikes?

Help.

Matilda
 

AZB

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
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I have just got my first inversor! It worked fine for 3 weeks and then kept breaking down. Just turning itself off. The electrician kept coming to fix it and said:

1. The voltage coming in was too high, so changed the wiring outside to a lower voltage.

2. The voltage coming in was too low, so changed back to the higher voltage.

3. The shower (one of those which heats up in the shower head) was too powerful so disconnected from inversor, so only works on street power.

4. The fridge was too powerful so disconnected from inversor too.

Anyway none of this worked so now the inversor has gone away for repair and he has lent me a small 1.5KW one.

This one goes into overload when you use the iron (the electrician says never use iron with inversor), the water cooler (now disconnected) and struggles even with the coffee maker.

OK, so I decide to educate myself and learn about watts! So as far as I can work it out, I can use things up to 1,500 watts and all should be fine. The water heater is 650, the iron 1200 so that won't work. No idea about the coffee maker. But surely if the water cooler is 650 I should be able to use that with just light bulbs and computer? But if cooler is on, the inversor makes a funny noise and the lights go up and down.

And the one being repaired is 3000 so why can I not iron with that one? I know that there are spikes when you turn things on, but how high are the spikes?

Help.

Matilda

Oh boy, you have so much to learn. I don't even know where to start from. 3k to fix it? Oh nooo. If its a dominican inverter then he is over charging you.
First of all, if he connected the whole house with the inverter, including shower heater etc, then he is an idiot. He doesn't know what he is doing. Think of inverter as emergency power source: use it only for low wattage light bulbs, pc, radio, TV and fans. Nothing else. No water heater, no iron, no fridge if you don't have sufficient wattage rating (3.5kw) and 8 batteries, no blow dryer and no washing machine and dryer. The electric toaster and microwave would also have to be out of the inverter circuit.
These things would have to be out of the circuit. I have all the heavy items out of the circuit so my inverter never breaks down. Its a dominican brand and I always have lights even with 2 batteries.
 

whirleybird

Silver
Feb 27, 2006
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Oh boy, you have so much to learn. I don't even know where to start from. 3k to fix it? Oh nooo. If its a dominican inverter then he is over charging you.
First of all, if he connected the whole house with the inverter, including shower heater etc, then he is an idiot. He doesn't know what he is doing. Think of inverter as emergency power source: use it only for low wattage light bulbs, pc, radio, TV and fans. Nothing else. No water heater, no iron, no fridge if you don't have sufficient wattage rating (3.5kw) and 8 batteries, no blow dryer and no washing machine and dryer. The electric toaster and microwave would also have to be out of the inverter circuit.
These things would have to be out of the circuit. I have all the heavy items out of the circuit so my inverter never breaks down. Its a dominican brand and I always have lights even with 2 batteries.

Errrrrr, I think you misread Matilda's post.... she didn't mention cost of repair the 3000 relates to the kw of the inverter as I read it!
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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What is the wattage of the invertor? 1.5k? 2.4k? 3.5k?

Is it a 12 or 24 volt invertor?

What is the condition of the batteries? New? Old? How many do you have?

I have everything but a/c, water pump (both 220v), water heater and washer/dryer on my 3.5kw/24v/4 battery invertor/ with ~zero~ problems. This includes microwave, fridge and water cooler. In normal useage, we get 7-9 hours from the system.

I suspect you have a number of electrical Germlins in your house electrical system, the invertor was incorrectly installed/set up, and it's trying to run too many electrical appliances...
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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Thanks wb yes mine is 3K watts not 3k to fix it.

Yes I realise I have a lot to learn re inversors and am trying to learn hence this post. Thanks Windeguy - have now checked out calculating the power budget, and now know that the spikes are 3 to 4 times the wattage - which is massive. I have 12 batteries, so that should be OK. Is there any little gismo which can show how many watts are going through inversor so I can know whether or not can put washing machine on or whatever? Or do I have to either just use for lights and PC and fan and TV, as AZB says, or wander around with a calculator?

Matilda
 

jrhartley

Gold
Sep 10, 2008
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a button pops out of the side of our inverter when the microwave and vaccuum cleaner are on at the same time- is there a button on the side right hand side of yours by any chance

our washing machine is on another circuit so it cant be used when the power is off
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
5,485
316
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What is the wattage of the invertor? 1.5k? 2.4k? 3.5k?

I think 3k or 3.5K but as is at repairers cannot check

Is it a 12 or 24 volt invertor?

No idea as at repairers

What is the condition of the batteries? New? Old? How many do you have?

New, 12.

I have everything but a/c, water pump (both 220v), water heater and washer/dryer on my 3.5kw/24v/4 battery invertor/ with ~zero~ problems. This includes microwave, fridge and water cooler. In normal useage, we get 7-9 hours from the system.

I suspect you have a number of electrical Germlins in your house electrical system, the invertor was incorrectly installed/set up, and it's trying to run too many electrical appliances..

Very probably, very probably and very probably lol
.

But how come you can run microwave and fridge and water cooler, when other people say you must never do that??


matilda
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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Thanks wb yes mine is 3K watts not 3k to fix it.

Yes I realise I have a lot to learn re inversors and am trying to learn hence this post. Thanks Windeguy - have now checked out calculating the power budget, and now know that the spikes are 3 to 4 times the wattage - which is massive. I have 12 batteries, so that should be OK. Is there any little gismo which can show how many watts are going through inversor so I can know whether or not can put washing machine on or whatever? Or do I have to either just use for lights and PC and fan and TV, as AZB says, or wander around with a calculator?

Matilda
Each appliance should have a label that shows the amperage draw. Use that to calculate the wattage, since W=A*V.

An appliance may say it's 10 amps, but the initial spike (especially for electric motors) may be 3 times that.

If you have 12 batteries, you have a 12 volt system, since it's arrayed in lots of 2x6v batteries. A 24v system has 4, 8, 16, etc. batteries. The higher the voltage system (6->12->24->48, etc.) the overall more powerful and efficient the system.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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But how come you can run microwave and fridge and water cooler, when other people say you must never do that??


matilda
I don't know why they say it. It shouldn't be any problem at all if your invertor is rated high enough and you have sufficient battery capacity...and with 12 batteries and 3kw you should. We have a 3.5k invertor. My microwave is 1200w. No problem.
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
5,485
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a button pops out of the side of our inverter when the microwave and vaccuum cleaner are on at the same time- is there a button on the side right hand side of yours by any chance

our washing machine is on another circuit so it cant be used when the power is off


No button on right hand side, but button on front which goes red. Used to be able to push it back in, but then that didnt work either - hence repair.

Matilda
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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I don't know why they say it. It shouldn't be any problem at all if your invertor is rated high enough and you have sufficient battery capacity...and with 12 batteries and 3kw you should. We have a 3.5k invertor. My microwave is 1200w. No problem.

And the microwave does not have a spike of 3 X watts ie 3600 when you turn it on???

matilda
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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And the microwave does not have a spike of 3 X watts ie 3600 when you turn it on???

matilda
No.

Spikes come from electric motors, like fans, ac compressors, washing machine/dryer motors, pool pumps, water pressure pumps, etc. They need extra oomph to get started, like morning coffee for humans. That small turntable in a microwave needs very little.

Any electric appliance that gets hot draws a lot of energy (measured in watts), but doesn't need extra to get going.
 

woofsback

Bronze
Dec 20, 2009
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agree with cb

every motor we have at work needs an extra kick to get it going at first, or we blow the circuits so we actually have to take our time and wait for each motor to kick in fully b4 starting the next motor. once all motors are going we still have enough power for other things like fridges and microwaves and lights :)
 

AZB

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
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Forget about spikes for now, worry about the inverter connected to the circuit. If you have water heater connected and if you turn it on, then you might melt the relay inside the inverter even if the streets lights are on and no blackout. It is not designed to pass so much current, it will heat up and melt. You must take the heavy duty stuff out of the circuit because even if you have the heavy load running and if the lights go out, everything falls on the inverter at that moment. Now you can imagine what can happen. I see there is so much to learn on your part. It will cost you money and many headaches. You have not been reading the threads on inverter because I see you don't even understand the basic points when it comes to using inverters.
I2 batteries ?? wow, you must be rich. Now remember, even if one battery has a short circuit, the inverter will keep charging and charging until it will fry all the batteries. So I am not too sure of a huge system like this. If your inverter is 3k (??? should be 3.5kw) it will take a super long time to charge all 12 batteries. I have a feeling the guy who sold you the inverter is not very qualified in the field and the one who connected it is even less of an expert.
AZB
 
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cobraboy

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I have an Trace DR series 3.5 KW inverter with 8 batteries and it won't run my Panasonic microwave.
I don't know why it wouildn't. We run our 1200w Samsung all the time. In fact, it runes BETTER on the inverter than on street power, because we get 110v from the inverter and uaually 95-100v on street power.

wg said:
People do use banks of 12 more batteries but that really is not a very good idea because of the imbalances that happen in such complex hook ups.
I assumed it was an array of 6x2 6v batteries, i.e., all batteries are of equal capacity.

My mistake, you can have 3 arrays of 4x6v batteries and be of equal capacity.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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mat,
it is better that NOTHING producing heat, so to speak, is connected to the inversor. no iron, no microwave, no electic grill, no electric kettle, no washer/dryer, no hair dryer, no breadmaker, the list goes on.
he have a 3.5k inversor with 8 batteries and virtually the whole house is wired to it save for two sockets. so the fridge is connected, so is the water pump, enetertainment and all the lights. two sockets serve for all the equipment that should not be connected to the inversor.
remember about this simple rule and you should be fine!
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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Thanks for all help. Still seems to be a difference of opinion re microwave and I do not have a lot of the appliances like hairdryer, electric grill, kettle etc. What about water cooler as opposed to heater? It is 650 watts but does not heat but cools. Is that the same rule? At the moment I have unplugged it just in case.

Matilda
 

SantiagoDR

"46"
Jan 12, 2006
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The very NEXT thing you need to do Matilda is find someone who knows what they are doing with the Inverter and the batteries.

I run everything in the house except the water heater.
That includes a large and a small refrigerator.

The microwave and washing machine are on the Inverter also because all outlets in the house are wired in. We refrain from using the microwave when the street power goes off, and pause the washing machine also if we are washing clothes. I have inadvertently used the microwave because it's hard to tell when the street power is on or off usually.

We have a 3.6kw Inverter with 8 batteries.


D in Tampa
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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Most water pumpsare 200v, so the inverter won't run them anyway.

We have everything but the 220v appliances (water pump and a/c), water heater (110) and washer/dryeron the inverter. Not everything is on at once and certainly we manage the load in times of no power, but life is fairly electrically normal on inverter. If it weren't for the UPS and a wireless phone chatting and beeping at the switch, we'd not know when that was...And I suppose a faster switchover could be adjusted.

We use the microwave if needed on inverter for quick uses, a couple of minutes at a time max.

FWIW, ours is a 3.6 also, not 3.5.
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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The very NEXT thing you need to do Matilda is find someone who knows what they are doing with the Inverter and the batteries.

I run everything in the house except the water heater.
That includes a large and a small refrigerator.

The microwave and washing machine are on the Inverter also because all outlets in the house are wired in. We refrain from using the microwave when the street power goes off, and pause the washing machine also if we are washing clothes. I have inadvertently used the microwave because it's hard to tell when the street power is on or off usually.

We have a 3.6kw Inverter with 8 batteries.


D in Tampa

Well the man who installed it said could run everything on the system which i assume is 3.5kw (will confirm when gets back from menders) and 12 batteries. I have no water heater, just one of those shower heads that heats up instantly. But now I am soooo confused as you and Cobraboy and DV8 can run things and azb can't. So while it may seem simple, we seem to have a difference of opinion between us. And obviously I was doing something wrong lol. At the minute the shower and fridge are off the circuit, and the man told me not to use the iron nor the water cooler. I will post details of my inversor when I get it back. Thanks for giving me hope!!!

Matilda