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Old 02-26-2017, 08:06 PM   #1
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Thinking about removing inverter

Due to a recent problem with a connection inside my inverter I'm considering removing it and replacing it with a simple 2 bank battery charger . We've owned the boat 4 years now and have never used the inverter part of the inverter/ charger , only the charger . We have a 7.5 kw generator and use it for ac and making coffee when out .
We only do weekend stuff with an occasional 4 or 5 day cruise and even that would include a night or two at a marina with shore power .
I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to electrics on the boat . With a less complicated system I would achieve some level of confidence.
Does any of this make sense with the way we use the boat or am I just overthinking.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
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Having 110-volt AC as well as 24 and 12-volt DC systems on board and usually connected to AC shore power, that's unthinkable for me. Certainly, if you've no use for AC, you shouldn't need an inverter.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:56 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. PM. I can see how you're a bit gun shy regarding your recent incident. I makes some sense to replace a dual purpose item (charger/inverter) of which you only used the charger part with a dedicated charger. Seems you should be able to continue the style of boating you do without too much bother. If your needs change in the future, you can always add a dedicated inverter I suppose.
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:12 AM   #4
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A new single purpose charger would be fine, and require no effort to keep the house up..
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:05 AM   #5
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When you replace your inverter/charger with a charger only, you will have to wire the incoming power feeder directly to your AC panel rather than first going through the transfer switch on the inverter. You will have to power the new charger from a secondary breaker on the AC panel. If the inverter/charger was originally added after the factory built the boat, it should be relatively easy to do. If it was installed at the factory it will probably take some new wiring.

But given the way you use your boat, I agree an inverter isn't necessary.

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Old 02-27-2017, 06:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pack Mule View Post
We've owned the boat 4 years now and have never used the inverter part of the inverter/ charger , only the charger . We have a 7.5 kw generator and use it for ac and making coffee when out .
We only do weekend stuff with an occasional 4 or 5 day cruise and even that would include a night or two at a marina with shore power .

Sounds like you don't really need the inverter function...

But did you never make coffee using the inverter, genset not running?

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Old 02-27-2017, 06:50 AM   #7
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We have no inverter and really do not need one. We have no air conditionner, and almost everything aboard run on 12v. We do cruise some weeks and spend days at anchor but never spend two days in a row without moving so water heater is taking heat from engine. Only thing we had that needs 110 is the microwave that we are removing as we never use it.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:21 AM   #8
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This is great, in the world of ever adding more gadgets, you get the award for keeping it simple, congrat's!
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We have no inverter and really do not need one. We have no air conditionner, and almost everything aboard run on 12v. We do cruise some weeks and spend days at anchor but never spend two days in a row without moving so water heater is taking heat from engine. Only thing we had that needs 110 is the microwave that we are removing as we never use it.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:35 AM   #9
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Spending a boat buck to rewire and replace a piece of equipment that already performs the charging function seems like a waste of money.

On the other hand it's your boat and your money. Tough decision.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:32 AM   #10
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You say you never use the inverter so you may not need it. My question is "Why don't you use it?" Firing up a genset to make a cup of coffee or heat leftovers in a microwave seems like a lot of trouble (and noise).


I have no genset so I rely on my inverter quite a bit. I realize I have a different perspective than you but right now, you can repair your inverter/charger for under $10 or spend $500 on a charger and then pay someone to rewire your boat.


When it comes time to sell your boat, that inverter will be a welcome feature to most buyers.


It's your choice of course, but I'm recommending fixing the inverter/charger for $10.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:50 AM   #11
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I kind of agree with WesK.
If/when you sell an inverter is a good feature that most people expect.
If in fact it is an inexpensive repair, get it fixed.
You might enjoy making coffee without the sound of the generator first thing in the morning!
What brand inverter charger is it? I know that the Xantrex used on our last boat was essentially unserviceable. When we lost ours at 4 years of use I replaced it and gave the failed unit to a friend who is literally a rocket scientist. He repairs anything and said "no way"!
Just curious...
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Old 02-27-2017, 09:11 AM   #12
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I have fixed several larger inverters but my parts always cost upwards of 30$ or more. Usually mosfets, mosfet drivers will all fail, and some gate resistors.
And the circuits board itself may burn it's copper traces. These things seem to run on a hair's breadth of failure.
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Old 02-27-2017, 09:46 AM   #13
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I have fixed several larger inverters but my parts always cost upwards of 30$ or more. Usually mosfets, mosfet drivers will all fail, and some gate resistors.
And the circuits board itself may burn it's copper traces. These things seem to run on a hair's breadth of failure.
From the OP's other post, the failed part is the terminal strip where the AC power connects. It burned, probably from a loose connection.
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Old 02-27-2017, 09:48 AM   #14
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I'm going to repair it and slowly start using it .It's not much to repair it anyway,just a connector. With this near fire on the boat as RT said I'm a little gun shy. I'm pretty sure I now know the cause of the failure,just a loose connection that I probably caused. I'll say that this got my attention for sure. I've been going over all the connections and surprised at how many that needed to be tightened up . Thanks for all the input.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:01 AM   #15
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So I am in the ant-inverter group, kind of.


Have a friend with a 43ft Marine Trader and his boat is set up when shore power/Genny goes straight to the inverter/charger. He is a don't run the genny in the bay type of person. Everything comes off the inverter, everything. He is always having issues with his inverter because he over uses it.


Now me. I have a 3000W inverter which I run when cruising. I run the following on my on my inverter:


1. My ice maker for drinks
2. The wine cooler cause the Admiral to me so.
3. Sat TV to watch baseball, NASCAR
4. Freezer for the fish/crab/shrimp I want to kill


That's it. Nothing more, but I am an electric boat and I will run my stinky generator when I see fit.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
From the OP's other post, the failed part is the terminal strip where the AC power connects. It burned, probably from a loose connection.
An easy fix then. Resistance creates high heat and won't pop any type breakers.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:36 AM   #17
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Never had an inverter, just another thing to go wrong.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:59 PM   #18
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Marty, glad to hear you'll be fixing it and retaining that capability. Even if you don't use it now, there's growth potential there. In my case, I installed the inverter to power an extra fridge, then added other small appliances over time to utilize the new-found capability. For us, it's another arrow in the quiver of power use. I like having options.
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
You say you never use the inverter so you may not need it. My question is "Why don't you use it?" Firing up a genset to make a cup of coffee or heat leftovers in a microwave seems like a lot of trouble (and noise).


I have no genset so I rely on my inverter quite a bit. I realize I have a different perspective than you but right now, you can repair your inverter/charger for under $10 or spend $500 on a charger and then pay someone to rewire your boat.


When it comes time to sell your boat, that inverter will be a welcome feature to most buyers.


It's your choice of course, but I'm recommending fixing the inverter/charger for $10.
+1

My goal is to ditch my generator.

Even a small 1000W inverter (with peak 2000W) can run microwave, coffee grinder, hot water pot, fridge, laptop, etc. (maybe not all at once). 500 or so watts of solar can keep all that going indefinitely without a noise maker.
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:23 PM   #20
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Obviously live in Arizona with tracking panels...


Good luck with 500 watts solar keeping up with anything but a minimalist boat...


And infinite batteries only forestall the inevitable and take forever to charge with solar unless you have long days of endless sun and your panels are always tilted towards the sun.


My batter charger died this week while in the Keys. I have 6 golf cart batteries and a couple danfoss 4 amp fridges and minimal everything else. With some TV and miscellaneous drains.....the 400 watts solar I have even with 2 panels moveable to get 100% sun from sunup to sunset couldn't keep up....did pretty good...but 2 very cloudy days in a row and without a battery charger to help...catching up was slim to none.


Even when the batts were supposedly pretty full by the solar controller...the new charger ran at 50 amps for almost 3 hours till it started tapering off and the Balmar state of charge meter came back to 100%.
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