Originally Posted by airduds
We have almost new 2 8D deep cycle house batteries and I will program the silverleaf to to start the gen if power is lost and the batteries draw down too far. But what is this I've heard about not letting heaters run off the inverter? Hooked to shore power I can turn my inverter off and let the heaters run straight through but if I do that they won't be powered if the shore power goes down. Maybe I'm over-analyzing. Cold weather is new to me.
The issue really is a small relay which will "pass-thru" shore or generator power (if present). When the shore
or generator power cuts off, the relay lets the inverter start supplying 120 vac to the outlets using batteries.
Some people have found a very high wattage appliance placed too great a load over time on this
relay, causing it to fail prematurely. Too many variables here to say this is a hard and fast rule. They
might have had older and/or lesser quality equipment. The inverter might have been only a 1500 watt
Unit, which would mean it was operating at 100% capacity- with no margin of error. Who knows ?
I would suggest that when running an electric space heater, you always run it at less than full power.
Many heaters can be switched to only use 750 or 1000 watts instead of the full 1500. I submit to you
that if you do this, there is much less worry. If you have a very large inverter, say something like a 2800
watt unit that is becoming more common these days, you also should have no worries.
And remember, your original question was asking about backup scenarios "should" your main
Hydronic heater fail. So in this situation, the electric space heater is just a fall-back option, and not
something that needs to run at full power 24x7. I would not worry. Set the space heater thermostat
5 or 10 degrees colder than the main thermostat. Program the generator for auto start. Now if the
main heater fails, the space heater takes over. If shore power fails, the generator will power the space
heater. Double redundancy.