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Old 09-23-2013, 05:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bvansnell View Post
Steve
Since we have a small 300 watt inverter I was able to wire the top half of each outlet with cab tire. I ran it along the top inside corner of the driver side overhead cabinets using cable ties. I admit that an inverter is a more elegant solution since you don't need to unplug anything when you switch from shore power to inverter power. On the other hand, having separate outlets for inverter power is more foolproof -- no chance of trying to run the converter on inverter power (a losing proposition).
That can't possibly happen when the transfer switch automatically takes the converter offline when switched to inverter position ...can't happen.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #22
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Steve
Does your transfer switch automatically switch from shore power to inverter power for all connected outlets when shore power is interrupted, or do you switch manually?

When running on shore power you might have a 1500 watt electric heater connected to an outlet, but you might not want the transfer switch to put that load on the inverter.

We often use an electric heater when connected to shore power. We run only select loads when running on inverter power.

I guess if you have a large enough inverter and don't allow the inverter to switch the air conditioner or converter it will be less of an issue.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:40 AM   #23
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Steve
Does your transfer switch automatically switch from shore power to inverter power for all connected outlets when shore power is interrupted, or do you switch manually?

When running on shore power you might have a 1500 watt electric heater connected to an outlet, but you might not want the transfer switch to put that load on the inverter.

We often use an electric heater when connected to shore power. We run only select loads when running on inverter power.

I guess if you have a large enough inverter and don't allow the inverter to switch the air conditioner or converter it will be less of an issue.
Brian, I have a manual transfer switch and my installed heater runs on propane. There are no possible issues with accidently powering some large, unplanned load since my short-term memory is still intact.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:10 PM   #24
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I distributed power from the inverter to the top half of each of the power outlets by splitting them -- you just cut the link between the top and bottom part of the outlet, and connect power from the inverter to one side.
With this configuration, there are two circuits supplying power to a single box. For safety, the breakers for the two circuits should be linked so that if the breaker for one trips or is shut off, the other is as well. In a home kitchen - in which receptacles are normally split this way, the breakers are adjacent in the panel and their handles are physically connected by a bar; however, this wouldn't work in this case unless the panel has both shore and inverter supplies coming into it like the two lines of a 240 volt service. I don't think a typical small RV panel would even have the two input bus bars to do this.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #25
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With this configuration, there are two circuits supplying power to a single box. For safety, the breakers for the two circuits should be linked so that if the breaker for one trips or is shut off, the other is as well. In a home kitchen - in which receptacles are normally split this way, the breakers are adjacent in the panel and their handles are physically connected by a bar; however, this wouldn't work in this case unless the panel has both shore and inverter supplies coming into it like the two lines of a 240 volt service. I don't think a typical small RV panel would even have the two input bus bars to do this.
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I am surprised that you say house outlets with two circuits in one box require linked breakers. Our home kitchen has several such outlets installed by journeymen electricians and the breakers are not linked. In our home we do have linked breakers for major electrical loads such as our electric stove and clothes dryer, but these are 220/240 volt devices.

Our 300 watt inverter has its own remote on/off switch and its own overload protection. We never have both shore power and inverter power active at the same time, so I don't see the hazard.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #26
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You can have as many circuits as you like going into one box. You just can't exceed the rated volume of the box, for wires and marettes.

With the old way of doing kitchen receptacles with the split duplex plug, the two circuits to that receptacle had to be have their breakers tied together so they both split. This is to ensure that there would be no power to that receptacle should one side trip.

I am not positive on when there are two sources for each side of the plug, but the way I read the electrical codes, you really should not be wiring each side of the plug from a different source. The basic issue is that if someone checked one side of the plug and found that there was not power, it would be easy to assume the outlet is isolated, when in fact one side could in fact still be energized. I most definitely would not take the risk of wiring this way.

Using a transfer switch would be a safe way to provide 120V from different sources. I would think it would be the simplest solution too. There would never be need to draw from different sources, and if there was I would just use a dedicated outlet per source.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #27
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Our home kitchen has several such outlets installed by journeymen electricians and the breakers are not linked.
I am quite sure this would be illegal, Brian. I have never seen this done in the 100's of kitchens I have worked on with split duplex plugs. They always should be able to trip at the same time.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvansnell View Post
Brian
I am surprised that you say house outlets with two circuits in one box require linked breakers. Our home kitchen has several such outlets installed by journeymen electricians and the breakers are not linked. In our home we do have linked breakers for major electrical loads such as our electric stove and clothes dryer, but these are 220/240 volt devices.

Our 300 watt inverter has its own remote on/off switch and its own overload protection. We never have both shore power and inverter power active at the same time, so I don't see the hazard.
Not sure what the Canadian code requires, but in the US, Article 210 (B) - "In dwelling units, a multi wire branch circuit supplying more than one device or equipment on the same yoke shall be provided with a means to disconnect simultaneously all ungrounded conductors at the panel board where the branch circuit originated." That is code speak for either a single handle dual breaker or a physical tie between the handles of adjacent breakers.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #29
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Brian
I am surprised that you say house outlets with two circuits in one box require linked breakers. Our home kitchen has several such outlets installed by journeymen electricians and the breakers are not linked. In our home we do have linked breakers for major electrical loads such as our electric stove and clothes dryer, but these are 220/240 volt devices..
Wow... I think electricians here would find that alarming. In a house, it is trivial to place the breakers for the circuits feeding the top and bottom parts of the receptacles adjacent, and the connecting bar is the same as those for 240 volt devices (where again you want both sides to be turned off if either one trips).

In a quick web search, it seems that split receptacles in houses - specifically in the kitchen - was a Canadian code requirement which no longer applies (it is still valid but there is now a different alternative), so split receptacles are now less common. For situations in which they do exist, Jim and Jon have described the reasoning and requirements well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvansnell View Post
Our 300 watt inverter has its own remote on/off switch and its own overload protection. We never have both shore power and inverter power active at the same time, so I don't see the hazard.
Not having both shore power and inverter active at the same time is a good procedure, but any procedure can be accidentally not followed. This probably falls in the category of "I wired it so I know what to watch for", which is the kind of thing which can be hazardous to the next owner, or the technician hired to work on the equipment.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #30
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let's return to the thread subject please, and let the Electricians get some rest.......
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