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Old 09-22-2014, 06:56 AM   #1
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1 inverter and 3 outlets

No results searching the inter webs. Seeking electrical advice.

So, in my bus I have an inverter, my AC power needs are only through 3 outlets. 1 bathroom outlet, 1 kitchen outlet, and 1 next to the dinette. Nothing will be plugged into these outlets full time. They are only for powering devices every so often, maybe a glue gun or drill charger.

I feel it kind of over kill to buy an ac panel and breakers for only 3 outlets when my inverter has 2 ac plugs on it.

Could I wire say the bathroom and dinette outlets together and put a male nema plug on it and plug it into the inverter and put the kitchen outlet on the other plug at the inverter? I am sure there won't be a time that all 3 would be used or even the dinette and bathroom would be at the same time.

Sorry if I wrote this slightly confusing.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

What kind of things are you plugging in, out of innate curiosity? How many electronics are going into the bus? Fridge and Freezer uses up the one in the kitchen. Coffee maker? Fan? Blender? Slowcooker? TV? DVD player? Computer? Heated blanket? Microwave? Printer? Alarm clock? Rodent/Insect repellant? What powers your on-switch for the furnace (I actually don't know what makes my furnace kick on as it hates me and I like my Buddy Little Heater anyhow)? Radio? Water heater? Vacuum cleaner/ShopVac? Charger for phone/tablet/thinger. Electric kettle? Battery charger for the stuff that doesn't plug in?

I just found out, by the by, that I can't run my water heater and my electric kettle at the same time, as I blew a breaker. Mental note: the danged water heater gets its own breaker.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

Yeah its probably over kill but breakers are there to protect the wiring not really the device per se. So I would suggest the breaker box if it were me. Cant have too many safeties when it comes to ac or dc power. It will also keep you open ended if you go from a 30 amp service to 50 if you venture that way. Just food for thought.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

most invertors only have internal protection on the 12v side (standard auto blade fuses), no protection from what plugs into it, probably due to built ins w/I the appliance

I would just put a small box with a 20 amp breaker in it (under $20) then run input from invertor to box, from breaker to all 3 outlets, pickup some 12 ga wire or extension cords (15/20 amp cords) and use them

this allows you some wiggle room for the future
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

Only things running off of the outlets are small devices. No appliances.

I also don't have shore power hookups.

So like basil said I may get a small ac panel and run all three outlets to one 20amp breaker. Just as a precaution I guess if it's less than 20$.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

You would be fine for now if you size all the cable for more amps than the inverter can put out if the inverter has short/overload protection--but what if you switch inverters down the road? A small breaker panel makes it easier to change or upgrade later and (hopefully) protects the bus from burning down if a cable insulation rubs through.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

similar to the one I got to do my water heater install

13.87 ea
http://www.lowes.com/pd_95511-82364-...nfo=$10%20-$15



6.74 each
http://www.lowes.com/pd_71801-296-QO...o=$5%20-%20$10

couple of these

.43 each
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1


this is just quick hits at Lowes (not associated at with Lowes)
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

Thanks. I was looking at Home Depot stuff and it was like 5$ more.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

Also. When in doubt. Imagine burning the bus to cinders. It's funny how you can forget that possibility.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:25 AM   #10
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Re: 1 inverter and 3 outlets

You don't have to spend that much. Buy a one-piece outlet and plate with a built-in GFCI breaker in the outlet. Choose a 15-amp or 20 amp GFCI depending on the surge capacity of the inverter. The outlet will have hot side and a protected side wiring screws. Mount a wiring box for it at the location by the inverter.


15-amp, $12.40 at Home Depot

Wire a cord with a male plug on the hot side of the outlet to get power from the inverter output. Run your other two outlets to the GFCI outlet box using #14 (15-amp) or #12 (20-amp) wires. Connect the black and the white wires to the protected side of the GFCI. Don't be tempted to only connect the black, and wire nut the hot and protected white wires together. The green safety grounds can all be tied together.

Voila! you now have a circuit breaker that protects all three of your outlets, and GFCI, no less.

THANK YOU Redbear!!!

great idea and saves some room due to bulky box!
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