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Electric heater circuit. Lesson Learned!

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Steve, Apr 19, 2004.

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  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Now that winter is over I can turn off my electric heater... It also means I
    can now set my Inverter/Charger on automatic again.

    Here is the fault a found in my AC power panel wiring, I discovered the hard
    way..

    Normally I only turn my Inverter/Charger to the charge mode when I note
    that house battery bank is down a little.. This will usually be the result
    of my frequent use of DC lighting while I'm onboard. The only other DC load
    is the main bilge pump and I just leave the house battery disconnect OFF.
    The only AC load is the electric heater with the thermostat set at about
    50-60 deg, to keep things from sweating and take the chill off.

    Back in Feb. I left the unit on auto charge for a day or so. When I
    returned and opened the boat up I found that the AC shore power was off and
    the Charger had switched over to Inverter and was heating the boat off the
    800 AH house battery bank.. It must have been going on for a while because
    the battery voltage was low enough that the Inverter was cycling off and on
    at it's low voltage setting. I don't remember what the spec. voltage is for
    that, but at least it did prevent the battery bank from dropping to a
    critical level.

    Upon investigating the cause of the shore power outage, I found that the
    utility company was replacing utility poles and had been turning the power
    off everyday for that past couple days.

    Now I will have to do a little AC panel rewiring so the electric heater
    isn't on the same breaker banks that is powered by the Inverter.

    I'm even considering just a small trickle charger to keep the bank topped up
    when I'm not onboard to monitor the much larger 150 amp charger. Or unleash
    my Windbugger in the winter breeze (more like gales here).

    If you have a similar Charger/Inverter, make sure you don't have your heater
    on an Inverter powered circuit.
     
  2. Len Krauss

    Len Krauss Guest

    Steve,
    Several people I know have cut the buss bar at the last connection and put
    things like shore powered A/C and heaters on that segregated breaker so that
    the inverter can't power them.
    Len
     
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