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Old 01-25-2020, 01:41 AM   #1
adam7118
 
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Default Inverter to Breaker Box

Hey guys,

So I have a 3000 watt power inverter. Im trying to figure out how to run the inverter through my 15/20 amp breaker box. I am powering outlets and my water heater through it. Im not too sure how to run this through the box with this set up. Any suggestions?

Heres the inverter:



https://www.walmart.com/ip/PowerDriv...QaApmiEALw_wcB
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Convert the input leads of your distribution box to terminate in a 3-prong plug.

Make sure the wiring used is rated to carry more than the maximum possible current over say 50% longer than the actual length.

Power tool extension cable from a reputable hardware shop is a good source, rather than anything Chinese built to a price sold on some sketchy website.

plug that into the inverter outlet.

Ideally secure it so it can't be pulled out accidentally.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam7118 View Post
So I have a 3000 watt power inverter. Im trying to figure out how to run the inverter through my 15/20 amp breaker box. I am powering outlets and my water heater through it. Im not too sure how to run this through the box with this set up. Any suggestions?

Heres the inverter:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/PowerDriv...face/372063895
Since the WalMart page doesn't say it's a "pure sine wave" inverter, i would be highly suspicious that it's not.
(in other words, it's a Modified Sine Wave inverter, which some loads will not appreciate).

Next: 3000 watts is 25 amps at 120 volts ... the inverter's individual outlets are not rated for that much current ... they're expecting you to pull a maximum of 15 amps from any one outlet.
I would *carefully* read the manual to check what you can pull from it. You might run one outlet to the water heater, and then use the "put a plug on your breaker box" trick.

If it were me, and i was building a breaker box to come from this inverter, the best way would be to split the bus bars in the box so that half of the breakers are plugged into one of the inverter's sockets, and the other half plug into a different inverter socket (with the manual hinting which ones to use .... one from each side? Or just the upper and lower sockets on one side?

If the inverter provided a 30 amp socket, or provision for "hard wiring" the feed to the breakers, it would be better.

Here's the NEMA socket configurations ... note how the 20 amp socket has a "T" -shaped hole for the "neutral" blade.

NEMA_Female-sockets.png

The typical wall sockets:

NEMAoutlets.jpg

20-amp plugs have a "sideways" neutral blade so that they cannot be plugged into 15-amp sockets.

But even a 20 amp socket is not rated to carry 3000 watts.

--dick
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Last edited by autostaretx; 01-25-2020 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
Since the WalMart page doesn't say it's a "pure sine wave" inverter, i would be highly suspicious that it's not.
(in other words, it's a Modified Sine Wave inverter, which some loads will not appreciate).

Next: 3000 watts is 25 amps at 120 volts ... the inverter's individual outlets are not rated for that much current ... they're expecting you to pull a maximum of 15 amps from any one outlet.
I would *carefully* read the manual to check what you can pull from it. You might run one outlet to the water heater, and then use the "put a plug on your breaker box" trick.

If it were me, and i was building a breaker box to come from this inverter, the best way would be to split the bus bars in the box so that half of the breakers are plugged into one of the inverter's sockets, and the other half plug into a different inverter socket (with the manual hinting which ones to use .... one from each side? Or just the upper and lower sockets on one side?

If the inverter provided a 30 amp socket, or provision for "hard wiring" the feed to the breakers, it would be better.

Here's the NEMA socket configurations ... note how the 20 amp socket has a "T" -shaped hole for the "neutral" blade.

Attachment 124183

The typical wall sockets:

Attachment 124184

20-amp plugs have a "sideways" neutral blade so that they cannot be plugged into 15-amp sockets.

But even a 20 amp socket is not rated to carry 3000 watts.

--dick
I believe you're right. This is what it says in the manual.. This is disheartening. But it sounds like splitting the bus bars would be the way to go

Name PD3000 Input 11−15V DC Output 115V AC Output Waveform Modified Sine Wave (MSW) Continuous Power 3000 Watt Surge Power 6000 Watt Efficiency MAX 88% Power Switch ON/OFF Control ≤ 1A DC No Load Draw 11
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

It is possible that the two outlets are 15A each.... And not a single duplex one.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrioN View Post
It is possible that the two outlets are 15A each.... And not a single duplex one.
How would I figure that out?
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Also, there are four outlets on the front of this
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

https://www.solar-electric.com/outba...-vfx2812m.html

https://www.solar-electric.com/lib/w...obilespecs.pdf

Just as a point of comparison, this is what a ~ 3000 watt inverter looks like.

Unfortunately there is a lot of fraud in the inverter market.

If you would like to use that inverter for your project, a single 15 or 20 amp breaker should be sufficient to protect 10 awg wire in your van.

Just wire your van the same way that a home 15 or 20 amp circuit is done.

Plan to run 1 appliance at a time.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam7118 View Post
How would I figure that out?
A meter would be your friend here.

The manual says that each of the four receptacles is rated for 15 amps so they must be fused individually. No need for a breaker box in this case.

You could possibly parallel connect two outlets to one phase of the panel but I wouldn't risk it.

Last edited by AirJoseph; 01-25-2020 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Inverter to Breaker Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrioN View Post
It is possible that the two outlets are 15A each.... And not a single duplex one.
Based upon the photo:

PD3000.jpeg

See the "crease" running across the front between the outlets?
(plus, on 3rd viewing, each side's outlets are not vertically aligned)

That tells me that each outlet is individually wired to the internal circuitry.
So each outlet is capable of 15 amps. They're not a "mated pair" like a typical duplex outlet.

Whether or not the *internal* circuitry can handle "all 25 amps" on one side (and this inverter has 100% surge allowance ... 50 amp spikes!) can't be determined without opening it up.

Adam's "expanded" listing of the inverter's specs also clearly state that it's an MSW unit.
That means that, instead of a sine wave, this is what your plugged-in gadgetry will be getting:

microwaveTraces.jpg

(photo of oscilloscope looking at my own 1kw MSW inverter's output)
((i'm pretty sure it damaged my microwave))

--dick
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Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))

Last edited by autostaretx; 01-25-2020 at 06:03 PM.
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