View Full Version : Using outlets without Generator?

09-17-2011, 05:28 PM
Hello again and a little embarrased to asked this but can someone on this fine forum explain to me how I can use the interior outlets without turning the generator on when parked? I have no juice coming from the outlets unless the generator is on! I hate to run the generator for just having to power for my laptop computer. I know this is a rookie question but I cant figure it out and my manuels dont cover the question. Thank you in advance! Oh and Oregon coast is producing a trillion pounds of blackberries right of the road and right off the vines everywhere! Now, how do I make a living picking and selling blackberries so as I don't have to return to the corporate world that I know I must face with monies slowly fading away! That I guess is my million dollar question please??? Thanks again, Robert P.S everyone on this forum is out of sight for all the help and knowledge for all that is shared!!!!!!

09-17-2011, 07:13 PM
Coaches are wired different, but some outlets will run off inverter from house batteries...

09-17-2011, 07:18 PM
I just replaced all four AGM batteries and was hoping my Heart interfave invertor would allow me to use the 110v outlets off of the batteries to power up low amp tools like my laptop. also does anyone know what the selector switch above the microwave is for? Any help would be appreciated. Thanx, Robert

09-18-2011, 12:12 PM
HT ....We can be more specific if you include your year and coach number..My 1993 has one 115V circuit that runs through the inverter. It powers the frige and outlets for the TV. There's an outlet on the bottom side of an overhead cupboard next to the frige on that circuit as well.

09-18-2011, 12:17 PM
On my '93 the TV, microwave, 1 outlet in front, and bathroom outlet are powered by the inverter.

09-18-2011, 02:37 PM
It could also depend on who installed it and how it was wired. On our '82 the entire Switch Panel was Hot!
I was doing some electrical work just after we purhased the coach and with diligence I checked the panel to ensure that it was off and it wasn't!?!? surely surprised me. I disconnected the shore power cord and still reading voltage!?!? After tracing down the wiring I found that the Inverter was wired using the relay to power the entire switch panel.
I installed a Manual Source Isolation Switch (Shore and Generator came from Newell with the Relay type Source Isolation) and gave it a dedicated Circuit. My HEART Inverter now only powers the TV in the Bedroom, the TV and one Outlet in the Saloon (Living Room) and the Microwave Oven.
A small plug in AC Outlet Tester is very helpful and if you get the one that tests the Ground Fault Function you would also be able to prove/disprove those Receptacles.
Good luck.

09-18-2011, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone.I checked all my 115v and no power to any. Question would be I guess, what do I need to do to have one,two or three outlets live off of batterys? Waste to have 12.5k running for laptop. Also ant reasoning not to have all oulets live off of batterys? Man this forum is the best!!! Thanx, Robert

09-18-2011, 09:44 PM
it is really quite simple. i added my microwave to the inverter and will be adding my fridge once i get it installed.

in your power panel, there should be a subpanel for your inverter. simply move the breaker that supplies the outlets you want on your inverter to the inverter subpanel. if the subpanel is full, then replace one of the existing breakers with a tandem.


09-18-2011, 09:56 PM
Subpanel? Now that's interesting. My electrical panel has 1 breaker marked inverter but I believe this supplies power to the inverter/charger. Below that panel box is my 12 volt panel with fuses. The inverter is under the bed and has +/- cables. So I'm not sure where my subpanel would be. Guess I need to stick my head in deeper.

09-19-2011, 02:03 AM
The inverter has a breaker suppling power to it and it has a built in transfer switch. If you look at the inverter it will have a romex coming out of it supplying power to a sub panel that will hVe the breakers that power the inverter powered circuis you just have to manage the power you use but adding a circuit to power outlets will be no problem remember some things dont like a modifed sine wavw inverter

I guess it is possible the inveeter could have its own breakers on it and no subpanel but is not the way I have seen it in the ones I have seen I rewired my inverter the reason for having the subpanel next to the main panel is to be able to reset the breakers easily if needed at a common place

Hope that helps tom

09-19-2011, 02:17 AM
Guess I'll be chasing down wires tomorrow!
I think my inverter is a Heart 2800. It does have the remote panel in the galley.

09-19-2011, 02:27 AM
Mine does not appear to have a sub-panel. My Heart 2800 and the just-installed Xantrex Freedom 458 2000 both had breakers built into the Inverter/charger.

09-19-2011, 01:58 PM
Here's a pic of my Xantrex Freedom 458. The breakers on the front panel control the output. I can run one 20 amp or two 15 amp circuits.

09-19-2011, 07:16 PM
the challenge with that hookup is access to the other circuits.

with mine, the subpanel is next to the main panel and i can easily move what circuits are powered by the inverter.

if there is no subpanel and the breakers on the inverter do it, then you have to run wires to them if there are not there.


09-19-2011, 07:42 PM
Just looked at mine again. I have 2 10/3 wires from inverter that I traced over to the cabinet that the main electrical panel is in (1 wire supplies power from the elect. box to inverter). But there is no subpanel that I can find. I can only assume that the other wire crosses over in the ceiling to the bathroom & kitchen receptacles + microwave. If yall don't hear from me later today send help, my big fat head's probably wedged in there somewhere!

09-19-2011, 07:53 PM
Mine's like Forest's...............my wiring that is...B-)

09-20-2011, 04:38 AM
Great advice on moving the breakers I will try to figure it out tommorow. Let me ask what appliances do not care for modifed sine wave? Thanx

09-20-2011, 09:55 AM
i have a modified sine wave freedom 458. that said, my microwave works on it but not at full power. it sounds a little "sick" when running on the inverter. i have heard that is manufacturer dependent. mine is a sharp convection microwave that is common in our coaches. it wont hurt it i believe, but may take a little longer to cook.

my laptop works fine. that said, the power is ok but not "clean" from a modified sine wave. really sensitive equipment may glitch or not work at all on them. i know some power tool rechargers dont like them.

if i had to replace mine it would be with a pure sine wave. but i will not spend the money just cause. these modified sine wave inverters have been in coaches for a long time and still are.

it has not been a problem for me.

tom (changing planes in korea)

here is some info i found on a web site.

Do I need Modified Sine Wave, or Pure Sine Wave? Advantages of Pure Sine Wave inverters over modified sine wave inverters:
a) Output voltage wave form is pure sine wave with very low harmonic distortion and clean power like utility-supplied electricity.
b) Inductive loads like microwave ovens and motors run faster, quieter and cooler.
c) Reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.
d) Prevents crashes in computers, weird print out, and glitches and noise in monitors.
e) Reliably powers the following devices that will normally not work with modified sine wave inverters:

Laser printers, photocopiers, magneto-optical hard drives
Certain laptop computers (you should check with your manufacturer)
Some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts
Power tools employing "solid state" power or variable speed control
Some battery chargers for cordless tools
Some new furnaces and pellet stoves with microprocessor control
Digital clocks with radios
Sewing machines with speed/microprocessor control
X-10 home automation system
Medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators

09-21-2011, 04:21 AM
We are going to Santa Barbara next week and if you can wait until we get back (end of next week or so) then I can take some pictures of what I did to up-grade our '82.
Basically what I have done is to select a Circuit Breaker at the Switch Panel that only supplies power to the circuits that I have chosen to be powered by the HEART Power Inverter. Next I added a Source Isolation Switch between the HEART Power Inverter and the Circuit Breaker at the Switch Panel. Now I can chose to have that Circuit Breaker powered by either the Shore Power or the HEART Inverter or Disconnect all Power to that Circuit Breaker.
let me know.

09-21-2011, 03:04 PM
No hurry Steve. Thanks

09-22-2011, 02:05 AM
If that would allow me to power my outlets through my inverter fed by my battery bank than that picture would be most appreciated! I have a question on my Heart interface panel and my new set of batterys. I just put 4 new AGM batterys in my coach, 2 per side, do I need to have my panel and inverter reset to recognize the new batterys so as they will give me a new status on battery charge, % of charge life left during that cycle? I'm wondering wether I'm getting a false reading from the previous worn out batteries. I seem to go from 20% overcharge on batteries from the generator to a -140% in a 20 hour time with out using much electricity besides a couple lights, flushing toilet(water pump), and the laptop computer plugged in. It would seem to me that my batteries would last much longer being new and with me being stingy on using the power in a days time. I was wondering whether or not the invertor panel recognize the new batteries and self adjust or do I need to reset the panel after full charge to have it measure up % of power and cycle life left in battery. Also since I tend to boondock more than site camp with being plugged in is there a better way to charge and condition my batteryies other than relying on my generator two hours a night? I may not be charging the new batterys correctly and causing short cycle life

10-03-2011, 04:37 PM
Here are a couple of pictures of the Source Selector Switch that I installed for the Power Inverter. As a side note my Inverter went out on the first day of our trip to Santa Barbara. I was able to get that Circuit back up by Switching over to Inverter Bypass so now the Circuit was Powered up by the Shore Power through the Circuit Breaker on the Switch Panel.
Sorry about the picture being out of focus but you should get the idea. This is a 2 Pole, 3 Position Rotary Switch. I installed the Power Inverter - Out (Hot and Common) to one position of the switch and the Circuit Breaker (Hot and Switch Panel Common) to the other position on the rotary switch. The middle position is all power off from those circuits. clarification

10-03-2011, 04:44 PM
yes you should set the system up for the new AGM batteries. You should be able to set the total amp hour and the new charge rates. This should be important since the batteries are not cheap!
I would try to charge the batteries an hour in the morning and an hour at night rather than two hours at night. We have solar panels so I charge at the end of the day but when we were on the boat I would charge in the morning and at the end of the day. Sounds like you have a Link 1000 or 2000 panel and it does need to know what batteries and how many are being used for the house so that it can calculate the remaining power.

10-07-2011, 04:19 AM
Prarieschooner thanks for the answer. I have two questions if you dont mind please. First is what is charge rate and 2nd is on my Heart Interface Link 2000 on the right side of the display I have Battery 1 and below that is Battery 2. When I am on generator battery 1 will recharge from negative # to plus # mainly on accept highlighted instead of charge highlighted ? Again the battery will recharge but it will only recharge on the charge mode a small amount of time then kicks to accept mode to do most of the recharge.Is that ok? And when I go to charge battery 2 nothing happens the number does not change and when I switch it over back battery 1 it was taken the charge even when battery 2 was what I had selected. Hope I came across ok. One more time the invertor charges under accept mode and not charge mode. And battery two does not charge at all when chosen but keeps charging battery 1 though I chose to charge battery 2. Thanks for your previous reply.