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Old 08-08-2014, 08:59 PM   #1
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Wiring switch for dedicated Inverter line

I need some help form those experienced electricians out there with a wiring question.
I am in the process of installing a residential refrigerator in my fifth wheel RV. I'm wrapping it up and ready to install the new refrigerator.
I have run a dedicated 110 line to the refrigerator from the inverter. There is a single 110 outlet behind the refrigerator that is part of the RV wiring that is on a branch circuit and breaker. I would like to be able to use the outlet that is currently in place to plug the refrigerator into. My desire is to be able to install a switch on the wall beside the refrigerator to manually switch between the shore power and the inverter power. I am not sure if this can be done. I was told to buy a double throw double pole switch to achieve this but I'm very confused as how to wire it.
I do not have an a/c powered inverter nor does it have an auto switch over. I would just like to switch between the two power sources using the existing single plug. I do not know if I have the correct switch but Have been told I do. I just don't know who to wire it. Please advise. Thanks, Phillip
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
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If you're using a switch rated for the power your passing through it, a DTDP switch is a simple hook up. The top two poles should have the hot and neutral wires from the shore power, the center two poles, the hot and neutral wires to the outlet. The bottom two poles should be the hot and neutral from the inverter. Of course all the hots should be on one side, the neutrals on the other side. You could flip the shore and inverter pairs of wires top and bottom, I just illustrated one way to wire a DTDP switch.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
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I did purchase a switch rated for 30 amps. Although all that is running through the line will be 15 amp outlets.
The wiring diagram, while it may not apply to my particular application, shows the loads on opposite sides of the switch - L1 and L2 on opposites sides of the switch. Does that matter or should we still keep all the neutrals on one side and hots on the other? Thanks Phillip
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #4
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If inverter has ats no need
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:26 AM   #5
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That way of wiring a DTDP switch is used for reversing polarity in a DC circuit. Yours should be wired like this:

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Old 08-09-2014, 08:17 PM   #6
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Bob, Thanks so much for you help AND the diagram.
I appreciate everyone's contributions to this thread. Prior research told me that the Leviton DPDT center off switch would work and be safe to use. Hind site is always 20/20. That being said, I guess there are other ways to achieve my goal such as buying a different inverter and other types of switches and wiring.
I don't have a genset, don't dry camp, and I'm only interested in using the inverter to power the refrigerator. I felt that wring the way in which I've described would be a simple solution. The I didn't want to "power" the entire coach with the 1000 watt inverter and did not want to get into the main shore power supply, etc., etc.
My inverter is installed and connected and power to the dedicated inverter line test good. So now I have to complete the wiring between the two hot lines (dedicated inverter line and factory 110 line that previous powered the fridge on a/c), the DPDT switch, and the 110 outlet.
I hope to complete the wiring tomorrow. I have all my wiring cut and ready to connect to the respective places.
Today, in an effort to do a preliminary test, I connected the dedicated inverter wire to the switch and the wire from the switch that will go to the wall outlet with a test meter on the end. The end of the outlet wire was note connected to the outlet at this time. Testing the switch in this manner gave fault codes on the inverter indicator lights and shut off power to the dedicated inverter line.
I don't understand why this is happening when the lines test good prior to connecting to the switch. Please advise. Thanks, Phillip
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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Perhaps the meter was the cause of the inverter shut down. As long as you keep the hot and neutral from connecting together, I think you'll have it licked.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Perhaps the meter was the cause of the inverter shut down. As long as you keep the hot and neutral from connecting together, I think you'll have it licked.
The inverter would give fault codes and shut down immediately upon switching the toggle from the center off position to "on" position. All was ok in the OFF or in the "down on" position. Upon switching it to the "up on" position, the fault code lights and shut-down would occur.
We had black wires on one side and white wires on the other side. We connected both ground wires to the green ground terminal on the switch. The outlet romex coming from the switch was not connected to anything. This anomaly was occurring with OR without using the test meter.
Thanks, Phillip
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:30 PM   #9
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Your switch is the issue.

Try again with shore dead.

It may be making brfore break or the inverter is seeing residul energy.

Zero crossing is where switching takes place when the ac is crossing zero...fancy stuff but cannot do here.

You may need to be sure inverter and shore are off then switch.

There are a handfull of ways to do this via switching.

You could add a relay or 2 that would react to presence of ac power to reduce the chances of inverter switching on with shore power present.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Your switch is the issue.

Try again with shore dead.

It may be making brfore break or the inverter is seeing residul energy.

Zero crossing is where switching takes place when the ac is crossing zero...fancy stuff but cannot do here.

You may need to be sure inverter and shore are off then switch.

There are a handfull of ways to do this via switching.

You could add a relay or 2 that would react to presence of ac power to reduce the chances of inverter switching on with shore power present.
Thanks, but we had no shore power connected during any of the wiring thus far. I can connect a 110 outlet to the dedicated inverter line and plug in a tester to the outlet and all is good. When I connect the outlet to the switch and switch between the center off and an on position, that is when the fault codes start. Phillip
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:54 PM   #11
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Does the inverter have a A/C input with internal transfer? Second will the inverter run the fridge with nothing else hooked up some inverters don't like running appliances. Another issue with only switching the hot and neutral is your common grounding the inverter to the house circuit and you could have stray voltage in the ground causing the inverter to fault out. The ones I have installed we ran RV 110 to the inverter and RV 12 to the inverter and than ran the inverter output to the fridge. That way the inverter never sees any stray voltage from a open ground or neutral in the switch.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:04 PM   #12
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No, the inverter does not have an a/c input or transfer switch - only a/c output with GFCI outlet. The inverter is grounded to the RV frame just like everything else. It is a 1000 watt true sine wave rated at 2000 watts surge. The lights are all green Plugging anything into the gfci outlet works and the romex cable test good at the end where I want to connect to the switch. The inverter operates fine with a direct line only connected to something or something plugged into the inverter gfci. When I try to wire the inverter line through the switch is when it faults and shuts off. Phillip
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:15 PM   #13
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Next guess is soft start...

If the inverter is off and load attached when turned on it ramps into the load.

If it is running and the switch flipped it may not like the sudden load.

What happens if yoy turn inverter on then plug in the load?

You also should not ose an on-off-on switch as it can be left in off plus sometimes they may not switch clean.

Just 2 position is all you need...either shore or inverter.

We make a "poor mans ats" for either inverter or 12 volt operation depending on the project.

For this you only need a 2PDT relay with mounting socket with a 120 vac coil with 10 amp contacts with a short extension cord and an extra computer cord.

Instructions
On relay there are following markings in pairs.

C common
NO Normal Open
NC Normal Closed

Coil

Mount relay to panel.

Add a stud for ground connection.

Cut female from computer cord.

Attach safety ground to stud

Attach remaining 2 wires to terminals identified as coil

Plug relat into socket

Test
Plug cord into inverter

Turn on inverter and relay should click.

Unplug and turn off.

Cut extension cord to length needed to plug into existing outlet and fridge.

Attach safety grounds to stud.

Determine color of all wires used as HOT which is the narrow pin.

On the relay socket attach the wires from the female ended cord to relay terminals identified as C or common.

Attach the wires from the male ended cord to the terminals identified as NC normally closed

Label this plug as "to outlet shore power"

Be sure the wire colors are correct that hot is connected to hot.

Confirm with ohmmeter.

Last install jumpers from the first wires connected to Coil to terminals identified as NO normal open and be sure hot is hot.

Label this cord as "to inverter".

Plug outlet cord into outlet

Inverter cord into inverter (can plug into any outlet to test)

Fridge into female
Theroy...


With inverter off relay is relaxed so common is connected to normal closed so power flows from outlet through relay to load.

When inverter is turned on the coil energises relay and connects common to NO connecting inverter to load.

You can test with extension cord instead of inverter to confirm function if inverter is nuts.

Check everything with ohmmeter before plugging in.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:29 PM   #14
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I'm not sure I understand, however, there is no load on the inverter at this point. The refrigerator is not even in the rig at this time. All this is happening by simply flipping the switch without any inverter power actually powering anything. Phillip
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