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Old 10-30-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Heart inverter/charger has heart attack

Greetings to the forum:

Well, a dang development!
Took a short fall cruise and the Heart 1000 watt inverter/charger had a fit. Will not register charging the batteries. Works as a 110 volt distributor but no 12 volt activity. Terminals cleaned, fuses checked, fault finding process per manual followed, and the remaining check is the main fuse located somewhere in a positive line between the inverter and battery(s). Dang

Put the 12 volt battery charger on to the house batteries and contacted our local guru on marine electrical which brought us to the point of the checking of this fuse. If it is good, then it is a replacement of the inverter/charger OR- back to what I know best. Shore power at the dock and 12 volt charge while underway, on an increased number of new 6 volt house batteries, (four vs. current two battries) with the 2000 Honda while on the hook.

Our electrician, if the fuse is good, recommended replacing the inverter/charger, if that is our choice, with an 'Outback" inverter/charger What he didn't have information regarded changing the unit from a 1000 watt Heart to the 2000 watt Outback unit would require upgrading the current Heart wiring system.
That is a deal breaker for me. At 90 bucks an hour, and even that he is good, on top of the replacement cost estimated around $2000 plus, makes the elimination of the inverter/charger system more attractive. Short of contacting the 'Outback" people on the question of wire size, having input from fellow boaters would be welcome.

So there it is, just wanted to share and lament. Other wise the week end was a roaring success, We even boated through the tsunami of Hecata Straits without knowing any of it.
Cheers,
Al johnson-Ketchikan
27 foot Marben
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:55 AM   #2
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If the 110v is working then the built-in transfer relay is sencing 12v so I would not suspect fuses
If you have a remote panel disconect it , it may be the cause , the inverter will work without it
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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We've had an OutBack inverter/charger for 5 years that has worked flawlessly. Here's the link to their document section. Hopefully you can find your answer (s). There is also a user forum.

OutBack Power / Resources / Documents

OutBack Power Technologies User Forum • Index page
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
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IF you are not running a large motor (air cond) from your inverter there is probably no need for a $1000 or $2000 inverter.

A simple 1500W unit is usually under $200 and will mount where your old fancy unit did.

Fine for TV , Sat dish , Microwave and blender.

A good battery charger will also be $100 -$200 , and when either fails , you will have half the replacement expense, of some combo unit.


IF you cruise extensively a 135A truck alt ( $150) belted on the noisemaker and smart V regulator will have a better charge ability than a 150A charger .

And all together wont cost that first $1000 bill.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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If the inverter charger proves to be defective, why isn't having it repaired an option?
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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Stray Cat- Yes, there is a remote panel. the question then becomes how to know the system is working if the panel is eleminated? Without the LED lights indication what is or not going on, leaves one in the dark. (Was that a pun?)

What I enjoy from this site is the common sense understandable conversations. I reviewed the Outback site and in a very few seconds of reading several post, it was obvious that unless you are a tetchy, forget it.
However, our local marine electrician is outstanding so when he recommends a product it is a good recommendation. So If I trade out it will be an Outback.
As our boat is quite small, there is no real 110 demand that we could not live without. Seemingly the use of the 12 volt charger on the house battery bank and 1.5 amp start battery is proving out. A side note, as the 750 watt heater comes on with the use of a temperature sensor plug. if the batteries are low and charging, the heater will throw the inverter off line. To off set this, I installed a splitter on the power cord and run the heater on its own line. Simplicity in nature. That way with little fluctuation of power demand, the inverter should maintain the 12 volt system without giving ulcers.
Again, while on the hook, the 2000 Honda is applied as the seat of the pants indicates.
Thanks to all of the post.
A.M.Johnson-Ketchikan
25 foot Marben pocket trawler
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:55 PM   #7
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1)Use a voltmeter on the battery after disconecting the remote check for 13.5 v
2)You will hear the fans running when its charging

Remember that after the remote is disconected the power switch on the inverter must be switched on manualy
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:08 AM   #8
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Stray Cat

One of the factors is there is NO hum or activity from the inverter. To, the last fuse, the inline fuse is okay. I add this to confirm all fuses are good.
It would seem the inverter has internal ills.
Somebody asked about repairing the system. Most will recognize that this unit is obsolete in terms of being a payout to repair. Better to update.
One of the questions the Outback change out to answer is the wiring size. We could not locate any data from the Outback catalog data to indicate if the Heart1000 watt wiring would support the 2000 watt Outback or would it be required to replace, now we are talking serious cost at $90.00 per, to replace what wiring required on top of a couple of grand for the Outback inverter/charger. Looking more like the simplicity of individual charger on shore power and the Honda when required off the grid.
Again, thanks,
A.m.Johnson-Ketchikan
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al View Post
Stray Cat

One of the factors is there is NO hum or activity from the inverter. To, the last fuse, the inline fuse is okay. I add this to confirm all fuses are good.
It would seem the inverter has internal ills.
Somebody asked about repairing the system. Most will recognize that this unit is obsolete in terms of being a payout to repair.
If the remote is at fault there will be no activity as you describe
Why not check it out as I suggest to rule out a $100 item at fault
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:37 AM   #10
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Stray Cat,
Okay, once I have a handle on where to disconnect I will proceed. I have the voltmeter. Keep posted- Thanks.
AMJ
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:32 AM   #11
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Al - If your local marine electrician is "outstanding", why isn't he figuring out where the problem is and how to deal with it instead of just recommending replacing the inverter? Or having you ask folks on the Internet? Anyone can replace stuff, good techs can repair it.

Why can't he replace it with something that won't need several hours of work to rewire?

I assume this system used to meet your needs when it was working so in that sense it's not "obsolete". Repairing the unit might not seem to be cost effective (have you even looked into repairing it?), but when you add in the cost of a different unit and the labor and materials to rewire it, a repair might indeed be cost effective.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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Ron- Woops Maybe I misspoke. Yes, he is outstanding, I have not employed his talent, just a conversation. He is recommending the change for the reason I gave him, that every time I exceeded the 1000 watts, the inverter shut down requiring resetting, in the meanwhile anything on the system is eating the power, in two cases it was the 750 watt heater.
His recommendation was to confirm the fuses were good, which I did and if they were good to make a decision. put some time at cost into an obsolete inverter, change out the inverter at a cost but have a warranted system, or eliminate the inverter and go with 110 at the dock/anchor and 12 volt underway.
As this is the first acquaintance with an inverter/charger I am uncomfortable with the variables that have come up. I fully understand the simple process of 12 volt/alternator system with 110 for an isolated cabin heater at the dock or on the Honda.
Meanwhile I will give the volt meter check suggested earlier.
Thanks for the comment- enjoy the feedback
A.m.Johnson-Ketchikan
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al View Post
Ron- Woops Maybe I misspoke. Yes, he is outstanding, I have not employed his talent, just a conversation. He is recommending the change for the reason I gave him, that every time I exceeded the 1000 watts, the inverter shut down requiring resetting, in the meanwhile anything on the system is eating the power, in two cases it was the 750 watt heater.
His recommendation was to confirm the fuses were good, which I did and if they were good to make a decision. put some time at cost into an obsolete inverter, change out the inverter at a cost but have a warranted system, or eliminate the inverter and go with 110 at the dock/anchor and 12 volt underway.
As this is the first acquaintance with an inverter/charger I am uncomfortable with the variables that have come up. I fully understand the simple process of 12 volt/alternator system with 110 for an isolated cabin heater at the dock or on the Honda.
Meanwhile I will give the volt meter check suggested earlier.
Thanks for the comment- enjoy the feedback
A.m.Johnson-Ketchikan
27' Marben
Running an electric heater from a battery/inverter combination is not a normal practice because it's pretty inefficient. I have done it once just to take the chill off but with the engine running.

Forget the heater and your system should suit your needs if it can be repaired. If you do away with it, you'll be in the same situation regarding heat.

I have an inverter and no genset and I get by just fine. Inverter for microwave and coffee maker (not at the same time) and every thing else is 12 volt DC. No AC away from the dock and no electric hot water.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
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Ron, Yes you are correct, what happened twice, (Little slow on some things) was the heater was plugged into the AC outlet with the shore power once. then something allowed the surge or what ever, and kicked the inverter off, the second was while I was running and had forgotten to turn the heater off, after wondering why the amp gage was showing 40 amps charge, I woke up!.the heater then sucks the batteries dry in double quick time. I have currently, only two 6 volt golf cart batteries for house use. My thinking is to renew these two and add two more as house battery bank. The only item that would be considerable drain during a night on the hook, would be the Espar furnace. I always turn off the frige, and never use the start battery. We have the 2000 Honda, which will run the charger(s), for the microwave and toaster. Carry a heavy duty jumper battery. I mean on the water I am the guy with belt and suspenders.
I now run a separate power cord from my dockside outlet on a split connector, to the heater with a Canadian manufactured heat tape temperature sensor plug. Sleeping better knowing it is on its own source.

I am surprised that there are not Camano trawlers in our part of the world. During the Summer, there are any number that wander through. Good Southeast Alaska boat in my opinion. Take care-

Acquaintance- AMJ-Ketchikan
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:35 PM   #15
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Ron-High Cotten:

Completed! Had the electrician down this morning at 0800 and by 0930 the inverter/charger was out. Shore power to a distribution center and all systems go. So the end result is shore power 110. When on the hook, 2000 Honda, and underway 12 volt charging. With 200 amp hours, the Espar will not draw down the house batteries enough during a night time application or span of time till either the Honda or the shore power is applied.
Just the way our last boat was wired. Eliminated one more potential from the mix.
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Al Johnson-Ketchikan
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:16 AM   #16
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the Espar will not draw down the house batteries enough during a night time application

That may depend if the E unit is on a thermostat.

Some Espars may draw over 25A during start , so if a thermostat cycles it a couple of times an hour , the amps used may be a surprise.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:56 PM   #17
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FF- Yes the Espar has a thermostat. It draws 20 amp for the purge cycle then drops to 4 amps. The house batteries proved to be up. They are two 6 volt Trojan 125 at about 200 amh. Should be quite enough for a cool night or two. The Honda 2000 is quite when charging and reassuring to hear chugging along.
Thanks for the comeback
Al
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