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Old 03-12-2017, 09:21 PM   #1
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Two out of three outlets

In the stateroom we have three electrical outlets. In the Pilothouse we have two. They all work fine on shorepower and the generator. But when they are powered by the inverter, two of three in the stateroom work fine, but the third pulses on and off. In the Pilothouse, one works fine on the inverter, but the other cycles on and off. For example, when I plug my phone in one of these cycling outlets to test it while the inverter is operating, the phone beeps on, then shuts off, then beeps back on, then shuts off, etc. Any ideas on how to fix it?
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:42 PM   #2
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Not sure how your inverter is setup. Some have a trigger amp draw that pulls them out of standby mode. Maybe there's not enough amperage from the charger. Try something with more draw like a lamp with an incandescent bulb.

Ted
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:55 PM   #3
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Not sure how your inverter is setup. Some have a trigger amp draw that pulls them out of standby mode. Maybe there's not enough amperage from the charger. Try something with more draw like a lamp with an incandescent bulb.

Ted


Yes there is a power saver setting that keeps the inverter off until there is a minimum wattage demand. I turned it off, but still have the problem.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:58 PM   #4
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If you move your phone to the other outlets, does the problem follow the phone, or stay with the outlet?
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:10 AM   #5
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If you move your phone to the other outlets, does the problem follow the phone, or stay with the outlet?


It stays with the outlet. An outlet on two different circuits behave this way on the inverter. I used the phone as an example of the cycling. The outlets basically don't work on the inverter, but they work fine on shore power and generator. It's just an annoyance, but I thought if there was someone with a similar problem I might find out how to fix it.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:51 AM   #6
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Are the outlets that work GFI and the ones you are having a problem with down stream of the GFI? Is the inverter pure sine wave or modified sine wave?

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Old 03-13-2017, 07:49 AM   #7
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Are the outlets that work GFI and the ones you are having a problem with down stream of the GFI? Is the inverter pure sine wave or modified sine wave?

Ted
^^^^ What he said
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:16 AM   #8
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The inverter is a Magnum pure sine wave. There is a GFI outlet on each circuit that has the funky outlet, but there are also non-GFI outlets that function properly. What is the GFI relationship?
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:57 AM   #9
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The inverter is a Magnum pure sine wave. There is a GFI outlet on each circuit that has the funky outlet, but there are also non-GFI outlets that function properly. What is the GFI relationship?
I want to make sure I understand you. Are the outlets that are funky, the GFI outlets? Normally, the GFI outlets are the first on a circuit, and protect all the circuits down stream from it. Sometimes there will be a circuit without the first outlet(s) being GFI, and the last one (maybe in the head) is a GFI. Can you tell if the non-GFI outlets that are ok, are before or after the GFI outlet in the circuit?

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Old 03-13-2017, 10:11 AM   #10
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The outlets that do not function properly on the inverter are non-GFI. I can't tell the wiring order. Let's assume the GFI is not the first outlet in the circuit. Would the problem I am experiencing be a symptom of that? If so, what is an appropriate solution?
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:20 AM   #11
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Trip the GFI to determine if the non GFI outlets are chained to the GFI outlet.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:56 AM   #12
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The outlets that do not function properly on the inverter are non-GFI. I can't tell the wiring order. Let's assume the GFI is not the first outlet in the circuit. Would the problem I am experiencing be a symptom of that? If so, what is an appropriate solution?
I'm not a marine electrician, never played one on TV.

If all the outlets are in a string, the first one should be the GFI to give all the others after it protection. If that is how they are wired (in a string) there should be only one as the second causes problems. Before continuing, verify there is only one GFI on each circuit.

You can determine the position of the GFI in a circuit by pushing the test button on the GFI receptacle. After it has tripped, the GFI and any other outlets down stream shouldn't have power.

If you're not comfortable doing electrical wiring, at this point, hire a marine electrician.

If it were me (I'm proficient with most wiring work), I would turn off the power, open the GFI outlet, disconnect the power wires, remove the GFI completely and connect the wires in that box by colors so that power will flow to the remaining outlets. Then turn the inverter back on to determine if the other outlets work (without the GFI) with your phone charger. If so, I would assume the GFI is causing the problem.

Inverters work with GFI outlets. If your GFI proves to be the problem replace it with a new one.

Ted
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:48 AM   #13
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If it is a faulty GFI, why do all of the outlets work on shore power and the generator, but not on the inverter?
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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Your chance to buy a new toy! This little toy will trip a GFCI as well as test the other functions.

The most sensitive, delicate bit of electronics in the circuit will be the problem, like a GFCI. I suppose it could also be a loose connection / higher resistance at the offending outlet, or feeding that outlet. You might be able to pull a large load across the connection but not the little charger's.
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Old 03-13-2017, 12:23 PM   #15
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If it is a faulty GFI, why do all of the outlets work on shore power and the generator, but not on the inverter?
I don't know.

I understand what a GFI does, not how it does it. I know the technology has changed over time and that they do go bad. I have a Magnum Energy pure sine wave inverter that works perfectly with all my GFI protected circuits. Don't know how your inverter ground is set up, and if that could be effecting the GFI. Do you have a galvanic isolator or an isolation transformer on your shore power supply? Does the problem replicate if you disconnect the shore power cord (not just turn off the main breaker)?

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Old 03-13-2017, 01:18 PM   #16
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In the stateroom we have three electrical outlets. In the Pilothouse we have two. They all work fine on shorepower and the generator. But when they are powered by the inverter, two of three in the stateroom work fine, but the third pulses on and off. In the Pilothouse, one works fine on the inverter, but the other cycles on and off. For example, when I plug my phone in one of these cycling outlets to test it while the inverter is operating, the phone beeps on, then shuts off, then beeps back on, then shuts off, etc. Any ideas on how to fix it?
What you've described doesn't make much sense to me but no doubt you have experience what you describe or you wouldn't be posting.

To start with, I would use something that draws more current than a telephone charger. A lamp. a hair drier, and electric drill, etc. Second of all, did this just start or has it been this way since when you got the boat? Has any electrical work been done on the boat? Are either the inverter or genset New or recently repaired?

Pretty much the only way a receptacle can "cycle" is by having a loose connection to the wiring. If that were the case, It would happen on shore power as well. If thee was a problem with the inverter, this would happen on all the receptacles.

My suggestion is to bring in a marine electrician. All anyone can do here is guess. An electrician will have the tools and experience to figure it out and fix it.
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