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Inverter Circuit Issue


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Hi folks!

Just in the middle of a power failure and I'm seeing an issue with my inverter-provided AC power which has me a bit stumped. 

On my unit (2000 Diplomat) the inverter powers 2 circuits, Inverter 1 and Inverter 2.

The Microwave is on it's own circuit, Inverter 2, which works fine. So that circuit can be eliminated from the equation.

The issue is with Inverter circuit 1, which powers a slew of outlets. 

While on inverter, no incoming AC, *some* of the inverter outlets work and some don't. I've reset both breakers on the inverter and also tripped the breakers in the panel. 

So line 1, coming out of the inverter, is actually working. This leads me to believe inverter is OK. However, some outlets don't work, which leads me to believe there is a wiring issue. 

They all *used* to work just fine. 

What I find odd is that one one circuit some items work and some don't. This has me wondering, could this be a GFI-caused issue? I replaced as many of the GFI's as I could with regular outlets just to get rid of such issues. In the coach there are none left. 

Could I be on the right track with respect to GFI's?

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The GFI is the first thing I thought of.  The wiring never made sense to me on my coach.  I think the GFI in the bathroom also has the basement plug on it, etc. etc.  I think you said you replaced the GFIs with regular outlets?  You might make sure you have them all.  I have at least three in my coach.  Other than the GFI, if you replaced outlets, you might go back through and make sure all the wires are still connected.  Bumping and banging down the road can work magic on otherwise good connections.  I'll leave the issue of replacing GFIs with regular outlets to another discussion.

Another good piece of info would be do the outlets work on shore power and/or when the Gen is running. 

 

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You could have an actual ground fault issue now that the GFI protections are all gone. It may be time multimeter/tone tester work.

I'd revert back to the last thing you changed, reverse and test, then keep reverting until the issue is resolved.

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1 minute ago, Jim Bob said:

The GFI is the first thing I thought of.  The wiring never made sense to me on my coach.  I think the GFI in the bathroom also has the basement plug on it, etc. etc.  I think you said you replaced the GFIs with regular outlets?  You might make sure you have them all.  I have at least three in my coach.  Other than the GFI, if you replaced outlets, you might go back through and make sure all the wires are still connected.  Bumping and banging down the road can work magic on otherwise good connections.  I'll leave the issue of replacing GFIs with regular outlets to another discussion.

Another good piece of info would be do the outlets work on shore power and/or when the Gen is running. 

 

The only GFI I have left is the block heater at the rear of the unit which is on it's own circuit in the panel. So it should be eliminated. I haven't used it in years but did jamb a screwdriver into the two contacts to be sure. 

The outlets DO work on Generator and they do work on Shore Power. Just not on inverter. Yet all the other outlets on the same circuit do....

They *used* to as of just a couple of days ago. So even worse, it appears to be intermittent. The other day I ran on inverter to exercise the batteries. 

The two outlets which do not work are across from each other. The kitchen counter outlet and the outlet under the kitchen table. 

 

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5 hours ago, Chuck B 2004 Windsor said:

GFI protection was installed on your coach for a reason, protection from an electrical shock.  I pray that you do not experience that loss of protection.

Chuck B 2004 Windsor

Couldn’t agree more.  Why take the risk? Speaking as a licensed electrician.  

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41 minutes ago, JDCrow said:

Had this same issue. The GFCI in the bathroom was the culprit for me. Went through 3 from the store till I found one that would work. 
 

 

We had the same thing with our Diplomat and it was the bathroom GFI as well. It happened several times over the years and because of the timespan we had forgotten about the previous incidents. The last time it did it, it mimicked so perfectly a failed inverter that we almost replaced it......

Like yourself, we had to buy a very specific one in order for it to work. I can't tell you how many times those things caused problems. I'm glad I got rid of them. When I look back on all the houses I've lived in, we never had an electrical problem - ever. But then, GFI's were not in use in those homes. 

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I had an issue last year that turned out to be one circuit and I isolated the bad section from the service panel to the first outlet so the bad portion was in my ceiling, I suspect mice damaged the wiring.  My symptoms were that if I had the circuits to the inverter on the generator would shutdown.  Initially thought it was the inverter. 

When I built my house I was lucky in that the authorities did not require full implementation of the most current electrical codes.  Can't remember by year/version I had to follow but I had to have the normal GFIC outlet in all wet locations and AFIC in the bedrooms. 

Current regs require the service panel type GFIC breakers and AFIC for all breakers.  I was worried as they changed the requirements after I got my electrical permit but the inspector said I could follow the codes as of the date of my permit.  There are a couple of exceptions, refrigerators/freezers can be on a standard outlet, there may be some others but not many.   Cost wise I it would cost me several thousand more $$ if I were building today.   I installed ~400 amp service and split this between two service panels plus I added subpanel for the basement which also feeds my garage.   I probably have 60 different 20 amp circuits, I didn't skimp on circuits or the number of outlets in each room.   Last count I was over 9K ft of wiring in the house and garage.  Glad I don't have to buy it now, a 1000' roll was $108 then but is $640/roll YIKES!

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I remember several years back there was a post about using a specific GF outlet in a Monaco coach.  I will try to research that and post back.  Not all GFI outlets are the same.  Chuck B 2004 Windsor

It's not uncommon for something in the RV to have the ground and neutral tied together, causing the GFI to trip.  In some it's the inverter.  The only way to test it is to lift the hot wire for each circuit at the breakers (with power removed of course) one at a time until the culprit is found.

Chuck B 2004 Windsor

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I can definitely say it has to be a 15amp and not 20amp. Tried to fit a 20amp slim as I have a weird slim side entry box. It wouldn’t stay active at all, for me anyway 

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A little food for thought…if you wire more than one gfci on the same circuit, it will most likely trip right away, or nuisance trip quite easily.  Try putting a standard plug in and see if the gfci tester trips another gfci on that circuit. 

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13 hours ago, BradHend said:

A little food for thought…if you wire more than one gfci on the same circuit, it will most likely trip right away, or nuisance trip quite easily.  Try putting a standard plug in and see if the gfci tester trips another gfci on that circuit. 

I removed them all some time ago due to the difficulties they seem to create. 

12 hours ago, Chuck B 2004 Windsor said:

There is a input side and a output side of a GFI outlet.  May be you have yours wired backward.  Chuck B 2004 Windsor

Ditto 🙂

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