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Old 07-09-2006, 12:01 PM   #1
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inverter guestion

say folks, if i have a inverter hooked up to my batteries but have nothing plugged into it is it still putting a drain on my batteries ?? thanks john
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Old 07-09-2006, 12:45 PM   #2
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yup

One of mine is a Vector and per the book it draws 53 mA with the switch on and no load. So about 6 watts or so... I'd guess that they all do since every one I've seen has a 'No load Current Draw' line in the specs.
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Old 07-09-2006, 09:08 PM   #3
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I have a coleman PMP2000 2000 watt inverter the manual says no load 1.2 amps.

I noticed a drain on my batts so have now removed the ground wire off the batt to the inverter to see if the batterys are still being drained (suspect a bad battery) I keep forgetting to call coleman to see if the inverter will still drain the batts even if I have the on/off switch turned off.

http://colemanpower.com/items/showdetl7672.html
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:22 PM   #4
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My inverters have fans and LED's (although LED's draw just about no power) so I know they COULD run the batteries down, but I don't worry about turning them off unless I'm going to be parked for a week or so. The reason? I can run the fridge, tv, PS2, stereo, lights, and a fan for 16 hours off my two golf cart batteries. In fact, I'm sure I could go longer...I just haven't tried yet (voltages were still fine, but discharging never seems to be linear). My advice...if you're parking for a long time, turn them off. If you're not going to be somewhere for all that long, don't worry about it. Just make sure there honestly isn't any load on them. There are only two of us that know how to operate the electrical on my bus, as simple as it may be, so I just use the inverter switches as a means of controlling the power consumption.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:25 AM   #5
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When I bought my inverter my friend at Interstate Batteries said to make sure it was hooked up to a second battery with an isolator because it will draw all the time. You can solve this by buying a battery disconnect switch like this one...



You can buy it here...or a local auto parts store...

http://www.speedwaymotors.com/xq/aspx/d ... roduct.htm
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:29 AM   #6
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I've got one of those switches too. 15 bucks at Kragen, if you have Kragen wherever you are.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:44 PM   #7
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What about using a combiner? That way, both batteries charge when there's incoming current, but the starter battery stays isolated from the house bank. No switches (or brainpower) necessary to always make sure that you can start.

Here's a version:
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...allpartial/0/0
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:54 PM   #8
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A "combiner" sounds an awful lot like an isolator or even the solenoid system I have set up (but not hooked up right now). With my system, the positive cable for the house batteries from the alternator runs across a $5 generic starter solenoid. The starter solenoid is energized by a switch on the panel. I believe it is one of the old rear heater fan switches, actually. All those switches are a keyed source meaning that the key has to be turned for them to work. So.......my house batteries are automatically isolated from the starting battery any time the ignition is off. I can also turn the off when the engine is running by turning the switch off.

Not bad for $5, eh?
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Old 07-16-2006, 11:04 PM   #9
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but does it charge the house batteries? One woudl certianly think that it would, but i've had very poor luck with connecting my dead (or needing to be charged) house batteries in paralell with my starting batteries. I don't know why it doesn't work, but i have not had good luck with that method. I used 00 welding cable connected directly to the posts on the starting battery on one end, and directly to the posts of the house batteries on the other.

This method does allow me to use my inverter when the engine is running and not really change the state of charge of the house batteries. if they are charged when i start out on a trip, they seem to stay close to full charge. IF the house batts are low when i start, even after 2000 miles, the house batteries are still low.

An isolator did work very well to charge both sets of batteries, but as a side note my alternator needed to be repaced soon after installing the isolator. It could be that after 280K miles the alternator just decided to quit working. I wouldn't be afraid to try an isolator again.

Let me know if it works for you, and if it does, i gotta know what you did right so i can get it to work in my bus too.
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:17 AM   #10
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It charges the batteries JUST fine. The cables I'm using are the stock cables. My bus came from the factory with four Group 31 starting batteries all wired in parallel and it has the cables in place still even with just the single Group 27 battery. The other ones were just taped up by the previous owner so I tapped into one of those. I still have the others available for future use though I'm not really sure what for. One way or another I probably need to find something for them other than the taped-n-floppin' position they're in right now.
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