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Old 08-02-2017, 10:21 AM   #1
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Inverter AC output climbs when running microwave?

I noticed this morning that my norcold was beeping and displaying "AC HI" when we were running the microwave. I went to the AC Outlet at the back of the refrigerator and tested it. I am reading 121 volts from the inverter but it climbs to 126+ when the microwave is turned on. I would have thought that the opposite would happen.

Is this ok or does it mean that I'm somehow back-feeding power to the Inverter when microwave is running?

I should mention that this happened this morning when my battery bank was at 11.6 volts. I tested it with the Gen running and the voltage didn't spike at all. Steady at 120-121.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:44 AM   #2
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Allowing your batteries to discharge to 11.6v, which is about a 20% state of charge. Anything less than 12v is the threshold for good battery health. Repeated discharge to below 12v will damage the batteries.

There is no way you are back feeding power, not physically or electronically possible. You didn't mention the inverter brand. I'd look up the inverter to find a manual for it and see if the inverter was below the DC voltage threshold for accurate AC voltage output. You might also reset the inverter low threshold shut off to reduce problems in the future.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:22 PM   #3
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It's a brand new AIMS 2000W PSW Inverter/Charger and seems to be ok so far. I'm trying to put it through its paces on our trip because I can return it for a full refund in the 1st 30 days, no matter the reason.

The funny thing about the voltage threshold is that the auto generator start feature doesn't even kick in until batteries get below 11.5. Probably not a good design if the house batts should never get below 12.0V.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:34 PM   #4
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Don't know if this is the case in your situation.

I bought a cheap internet special, 2500 watt PSW inverter. It would blow surge guard type power strips if I added a heavy load. Figured it out when a table lamp near me got real bright as I switched on an 8000 BTU AC.

After throwing 2 smoking power strips and a DVD player out the door, I threw the inverter out too.

Learned to buy name brand, quality inverters.
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Old 08-02-2017, 01:21 PM   #5
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After charging the batteries fully this morning, my problem is solved. No more issues with erratic AC voltage output from Inverter.

With respect to buying quality name brand products, I agree and typically do that. My problem is that i've got a stay at home wife (plus not a minus) and we're raising 4 kids on my salary alone. Hard to make ends meet while constantly putting money into the MH. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my decision to purchase it, the family loves every minute of our time together in it.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:30 PM   #6
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I no longer run the microwave on just batteries through the inverter. On mine, the microwave sounds likes it's laboring when I run it on just batteries. I either have the generator, shore power, or the engine running to keep the battery voltage up when running the microwave.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
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You learned a few things. The Inverter overcompensates for low battery. The autostart is set too low. Running your microwave off the inverter may not be a good thing.

If you fix the AGS then you won't get get your batteries run so far down so the voltage should not be an issue. Better yet start the generator when you want to use the microwave. It might start when you do use the Inverter to run the microwave if set right as the battery voltage might be dropped as you pull 100-150 Amps out of the batteries. Simple fixes that are free to cheap. ;-)
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
I no longer run the microwave on just batteries through the inverter. On mine, the microwave sounds likes it's laboring when I run it on just batteries. I either have the generator, shore power, or the engine running to keep the battery voltage up when running the microwave.
+1

I don't even think Monaco recomends running it off inverter. I run the gen, if not on shore power.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:48 PM   #9
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Makes sense. It's certainly easy enough to run the Gen when we need to use the microwave. It does pose the question though: why have an Inverter larger that 2K if you need the Gen for large appliances? I was considering upgrading to a 3K model but now, not so much.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:57 PM   #10
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So you can run a few smaller draw appliances at the same time. TV, Sat reciever, coffee maker etc.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by broadrun View Post
Makes sense. It's certainly easy enough to run the Gen when we need to use the microwave. It does pose the question though: why have an Inverter larger that 2K if you need the Gen for large appliances? I was considering upgrading to a 3K model but now, not so much.
If you increase the size of your battery bank you could run more, longer, on the inverter. The OP didn't say how many batteries he has, but it is interesting that his RV refrigerator is on the inverter. Perhaps the ice maker, but if the Norcold detects 120v present it would switch to 120v heating elements. With those loads, you better have a large array of storage batteries to handle all the power needs of the refrigerator and microwave.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:03 PM   #12
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What is your charge controller a Ric-7? You should be able to set a higher level for your auto start. Watch for quite hours. If you have that set the genny may start and stop right away (observing programmed quite hours)
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
If you increase the size of your battery bank you could run more, longer, on the inverter. The OP didn't say how many batteries he has, but it is interesting that his RV refrigerator is on the inverter. Perhaps the ice maker, but if the Norcold detects 120v present it would switch to 120v heating elements. With those loads, you better have a large array of storage batteries to handle all the power needs of the refrigerator and microwave.
Are there basic, rules of thumb when it comes to sizing a battery bank?

For instance, is four 6 volt batteries in series/parallel sufficient for a 2K Inverter? I recognize that the larger the bank, the longer you can power your coach. Just wondering if people follow a certain rule.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:17 PM   #14
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You can do some quick guesses by assuming you will draw 10x the DC current as the AC current when doing the conversion. That is 10 amps from the battery for every amp out out of the inverter. You can look up the capacity of your batteries on the vendor site and add them up as needed. Series strings do not add, parallel batteries do. Also look up the Amp Hour rating. Deep cycle batteries last longest when they are discharged at a relatively slow rate. The spec you will find most often is the 20 Amp discharge rate.

Putting that together when one wants to run a 15 Amp Microwave the inverter will be drawing ~150 Amps. If you have a 225 AH battery bank you will suck it below the 50% point in less than an hour. That is why you see folks with DP's and big inverters also have 800 AH or more battery capacity.

There are folks who insist on using an inverter for a couple of minutes to heat a cup of water or run a 10 Amp Mr Coffee for 8-10 minutes. Unless they are running a big battery bank they are also complaining about battery life.

This should be enough of a framework for other folks to toss in their $0.02. Sometimes it gets interesting.
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