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Old 05-17-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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Coffee maker cooked from Xantrex inverter?

Our coach came with the Xantrex 458 inverter and we have gone through 3 coffee makes while trying to make the morning coffee when using the inverter. The coffee maker works fine to make the coffee but it seems to overheat and start to smoke if left plugged in to stay warm. The last time I tried to make the coffee when using the inverter it worked fine but there was a funny taste (similar to burnt plastic) and I unplugged the maker as soon as it completed the brewing. Would there be some issue with the inverter that is allowing too much power through the outlet or what other reason could there be to wreck so many coffee makers?
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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That inverter is a modified sine wave output unit. Some appliances do not not like that and may run hot.

First I would test the output with a meter, but the meter must measure with "true RMS" to get an accurate reading.

Second, I'd suggest you change that inverter to a true sine wave unit, even your television will thank you!

Ed
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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Ed is right. Some electronics don't like modified sine wave inverters. Electric blankets are another notable example.

You need to get a true sine wave inverter, run the generator while the coffee is brewing, or get an old fashioned percolator that you can put on the stove.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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In over ten year of fulltiming and a modified sine wave generator we have never burned up a coffee maker, and we have done a lot of boondocking. We have had two Mr Coffees and both were simple with no fancy electronics, just heating elements.

The heating elements should work fine on a modified sine wave, but if your coffee makers have a clock, timers, etc., they might not like a modified sine wave voltage.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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Coffee makers come in basicaly 2 flavors for this discussion.

1: Basic, nothing more than a resistor and a thermostat, you push the BREW button it resets the T-Stat, these should, in theory, not care if it's a MSW TSW or Direct Current, so long as it's 120 volt (DC or RMS)

NOTE: many volt meters do not read true RMS. One of mine does,, Just one, I have several.

Type 2 are "Fancy electronic Ones" They can smoke on MSW, since the voltages and other things are all wrong.

So try the cheapest Mr. Coffee (or whatever brand) you can get

or as the acronym goes K I S S (keep it super simple.. yes I know I edited it)
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:32 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for your help. Will look into replcing the inverter but for now will use the genset for the coffee in the am or make it the night before and use the micro to reheat. There is a wealth of information and knowledge on this site - - - much appreciated!
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:52 PM   #7
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TVL.. Have you tried a el-cheapo Coffee pot, or are you buying "Fancy" ones.

I mean I can see no way that the waveform coudl damage my Proctor-Silex 1-cup

In fact it is the very kind of load that the MSW inverters work best with (Pure resistive) But if you ahve a fancy job with electronics in it all bets are off.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:18 AM   #8
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The coffee maker in question has been the Mr. Coffee from Costco (about $29.00)with the clock and the timer etc. Yes one of the fancy ones that apparently has issues with the Xantrex 458!! Good thing they are cheap. We will be using the generator whenever possible or the good old Melita drip system when it is not possible to fire up the generator. Thanks again for the explanation!
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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In a pinch when 110V IS NOT AVAILABLE, I have filled the coffee grounds as normal in the pot but heated the water on the stove in a seperate pan. After it is at the proper temp, simply pour the water over the grounds and let gravity take over. Coffee tastes fine!
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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two words

French press
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:51 PM   #11
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We have learned that the Insulated Carafe style coffee maker works much better. The heating element is only hot while brewing and completely shuts off when finished. (No heating plate) The Carafe keeps the coffee good and hot for hours. I have also blown up 3 or 4 coffee makers and now have some no-name maker that we got at Camping World. No idea if they still have them, but the first one blew out within 2 months (Electronics) , called the maker and they replaced under warranty. They also told me tat they had redesigned because so many people in RV's were blowing them up. (Obviously due to the sensitive electronics and inverters.) It is an under the counter style with removable water reservoir and insulated carafe. I have no idea if they still sell them.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed-Sommers View Post
That inverter is a modified sine wave output unit. Some appliances do not not like that and may run hot.

First I would test the output with a meter, but the meter must measure with "true RMS" to get an accurate reading.

Second, I'd suggest you change that inverter to a true sine wave unit, even your television will thank you!

Ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by paz View Post
Ed is right. Some electronics don't like modified sine wave inverters. Electric blankets are another notable example.

You need to get a true sine wave inverter, run the generator while the coffee is brewing, or get an old fashioned percolator that you can put on the stove.
A heating element in a coffee pot is not electronics, it is resistance heating load. There is no reason to get another inverter. The electric blanket controls have trouble with a MSW inverter, not the electric blanket heating. Televisions take the AC and turn it into DC to operate. None of the electronics in a TV operate on AC. They operate on a MSW inverter very well. A sine wave inverter is not necessary in the majority of applications other than to say I have one.
The solution has been offered. Get a pot with just a heating element, no timers, clocks ect.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:02 AM   #13
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This almost makes me laugh! I went thru 6 coffee makers before I learned. (slow learner I guess) I finally found a Kitchen Aide, KCM534ERO, that works fine on Inverter. I returned the first 5 coffer makers to Lowe's with my receipt for a new one before I figured it out. We were traveling so it was a different Lowes each time.
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