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Old 10-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #1
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I am not sure where to post this, but think it should be known by others what happened to us today!......

Ran into a very scary problem today. Wifey bought new heating blanket for the bed, dual heating unit (since we are not compatible on settings) and life was wonderful. But today, was moving day since the new blanket.

Now, the units were turned off (or as off as they can be with the controls on the unit). After disconnecting shore power and going about our business of pulling out of the site, connecting the TOAD, taking some pictures and saying goodbye to a number of people, wifey went into the back of the coach where there was smoke. Very scary, as we did not know from where it was coming and did not want to burst into flames. After yanking everything out of power plugs and flipping breakers, I set out to find out what it was as quickly as possible, as I did not know if it was smoldering or what.

It was the heating blanket controllers, both of them melted and burned and getting close to really burning up.

We learned a leason on this, but now we really have a problem. Finding a blanket we can use that this will not happen with. Why? Think what might have happened if we were asleep with the blankets and the power was lost? My inverter kicks in automatically, the controllers heat up, burn and maybe us with them. Not a pretty sight in a coach.

So, beware, consider testing or make sure the outlet being used is NOT on inverter power. My inverter is a modified sine wave type, but even still, this chinese crap is going to get us all, one way or another.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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I am not sure where to post this, but think it should be known by others what happened to us today!......

Ran into a very scary problem today. Wifey bought new heating blanket for the bed, dual heating unit (since we are not compatible on settings) and life was wonderful. But today, was moving day since the new blanket.

Now, the units were turned off (or as off as they can be with the controls on the unit). After disconnecting shore power and going about our business of pulling out of the site, connecting the TOAD, taking some pictures and saying goodbye to a number of people, wifey went into the back of the coach where there was smoke. Very scary, as we did not know from where it was coming and did not want to burst into flames. After yanking everything out of power plugs and flipping breakers, I set out to find out what it was as quickly as possible, as I did not know if it was smoldering or what.

It was the heating blanket controllers, both of them melted and burned and getting close to really burning up.

We learned a leason on this, but now we really have a problem. Finding a blanket we can use that this will not happen with. Why? Think what might have happened if we were asleep with the blankets and the power was lost? My inverter kicks in automatically, the controllers heat up, burn and maybe us with them. Not a pretty sight in a coach.

So, beware, consider testing or make sure the outlet being used is NOT on inverter power. My inverter is a modified sine wave type, but even still, this chinese crap is going to get us all, one way or another.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:23 PM   #3
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Zbugsii, first let me say I am glad the situation you describe did no more damage than it did, and thankfully it did not happen in the middle of night. You have brought up a very good point concerning the auto kick in of the modified sine wave inverter, a point I for one had not considered. Care to give the name brand of the blanket?

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Old 10-16-2008, 12:29 AM   #4
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Zbugsii, this issue was posted on about a year ago but I think it is a good reminder to folks. If you are going to use an electric blanket these days, don't have the inverter on. Thanks for reminding all of us to think safety.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
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This should not be limited to just electric blankets.

All devices need to be tested for compatibility with an inverter and checked for running too hot. This warning has been included with every Modified Sine Wave inverter I have purchased to date incuding those from Xanterex and the other Name Brands not just the Chinese knock offs.

Things to be specially wary of are any device with a battery charger or with components similar to a battery charger. To me that means check everything before leaving it unattended running on the inverter.

The controllers for the electric blankets probably have a converter so that only 12 volts or so is powering the heat strips in them or in other words a device similar to a battery charger. Even though they were off the converter would still be active and able to overheat.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:44 AM   #6
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Our last motorhome came with a mod. sinewave inverter and we burned up two elec. blanket controllers. I had it changed out to a pure sinewave unit and not only did I have no more elec. blanket issues but the microwave liked it to.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:06 AM   #7
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The brand of the units we had are:

Sealy with Auto Off feature.

I had and have been considering replacing my modified sine wave inverter... but am having to watch the $$s a bit. With all the features of auto gen start and battery monitoring, it will cost a bit and be rather time consuming to do.

But with this, the level of importance on it has been increased.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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I believe Sunbeam, or a name similar makes an electric blanket that runs on 12 volt and performs very well.

I believe they also make one with dual controls, much like your current one.

I believe jimandsue (On this forum) have had them at one time when they used to fulltime in pickup camper (prior to their current motorcoach).
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:21 PM   #9
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For now a easy way around the problem is rewire the receptical in the bedroom to a circuit for a circuit that is not off the inverter. I have a American Tradition and had the same problem with the controls. Our old Sunbeam will run on the inverter, but the newer ones do not. You will find you have a circuit that does not operate off the inverter.Actually use a Air Conditioning circuit. The blanket will not add that much load.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:48 AM   #10
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More and more electrical and more so, electronic equipment either does not work at all, or at the very least work poorly with modified sine wave inverters. For this reason we, especially us boondockers, all should be looking at using pure sine wave inverters. It's the only way to go.

I fried one of the newest DirecTV Receiver's with my modified sine wave inverter. Our LCD HD Television has angled bars that show up across the screen. Doesn't happen when plugged into shore power. Our cell phone chargers don't work with them. Microwave ovens operate at reduced power. I've also noticed even when some of these devices do work they get much hotter and their efficiency is much worse.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:28 PM   #11
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I will probably do as Jerry suggested and rewire my outlets as a temporary fix.

Long term fix, when I have the $$s, replace the unit with a pure sine wave inverter. I have a number of other items that would really appreciate this and besides, I think the piece of mind is worth it. Being fulltimers, I do not need any mishaps.

More and more, everything is electronic and all of it is not so happy with the MSW.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:05 AM   #12
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That much excitement no one needs, right?

DH and I have different 'warmth' issues that most people do. Daughter-in-law made us each a double bed size fleece polyester blanket for Christmas. Very light-weight. He wraps up like a mummie...I don't need as much. Fold in half if more heat necessary. Works for us. No re-wiring!

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Old 10-30-2008, 03:21 PM   #13
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I seems to me that an inverter that comes on automatically is as much of the problem as a device that doesn't like a modified sine wave.

Since I'd never consider running an electric blanket off of the battery bank via the inverter, we never had that problem on our CP because the inverter only came on when we told it to.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #14
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Kinda off the subject, but relevant. Black and Decker Pest repellers (ultrasonic) that plug directly into a 120 volt outlet will melt and smoke within less than 1 minute on modified sine wave inverter. Fortunately I had it plugged into outlet at passenger seats feet and I saw it backing out of my garage. Tried two more (they come in a 3 pack) and all three were fine on shore power and promptly lit off on inverter.
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