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Old 09-13-2018, 07:04 PM   #1
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THOR #12430
Move Outlet to Inverter

In my coach I don't have any outlets other than the TVs that are on the inverter. I always suspected this was wrong and after receiving drawings for my coach this week from Thor I am supposed to have a centrally located duplex outlet on the inverter. For some reason they put this duplex outlet on the GFCI circuit instead. The outlets are near the kitchen sink, but they are up top on the underside of the overhead cabinet which is not a place I would consider a wet area needing a GFCI.


How difficult would it be to move this off the GFCI circuit and onto the inverter circuit?
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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Previous NEC code required 120 volt GFCI receptacles when the receptacles were within 6 ft of a water source or a wet area.



[As of the 2014 NEC, AFCI protection is required on all branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, along with the 2008 NEC additions of family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, and laundry areas].



I do not know if the RVIA has adopted the present NEC code



If you have "home run" wiring, then just remove the wire powering the circuit in question and move it to the junction box for the inverter output. Of course you are still limited by the output of the inverter and the inverter by-pass relay; otherwise you will have to pull new Romex for the circuit.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:05 PM   #3
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THOR #12430
Based on that it may have been intentional. I'm probably inclined to just leave it as is at least for now even though it gives me zero outlets on the inverter excluding the TVs. I'll also ask Thor if it was intentional and the drawing just wasn't updated.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:44 PM   #4
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What is it that you want to plug in?
Why not just unplug a television, and use that plug?
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:53 PM   #5
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sometimes the TV outlets are recessed/installed up and behind them - making it difficult to plug other items easily into... and sometimes they are 'single' outlets(crazy, I know)...

simply 'moving' an outlet to another circuit is not that 'easy'... since they are daisy-chained together - meaning, the outlet's wiring doesn't go all the way back to the circuit breaker, but only back to the closest other outlet... and yes, the outlet is on the GFCI circuit due to it's proximity to the kitchen/sink/water.

but yes, the quickest and simplest work around is to plug in an extension cord to run whatever other items you wish...

Do you have an inverter that is wired into your Main breaker panel, and supports only a single breaker - or is the inverter simply providing a direct line to only one outlet?
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
sometimes the TV outlets are recessed/installed up and behind them - making it difficult to plug other items easily into... and sometimes they are 'single' outlets(crazy, I know)...

simply 'moving' an outlet to another circuit is not that 'easy'... since they are daisy-chained together - meaning, the outlet's wiring doesn't go all the way back to the circuit breaker, but only back to the closest other outlet... and yes, the outlet is on the GFCI circuit due to it's proximity to the kitchen/sink/water.

but yes, the quickest and simplest work around is to plug in an extension cord to run whatever other items you wish...

Do you have an inverter that is wired into your Main breaker panel, and supports only a single breaker - or is the inverter simply providing a direct line to only one outlet?
Seems like a combination of both to be honest, but I'm having trouble making sense of it (I haven't unhooked and dug into the wiring yet).

Here's what I have currently:

According to the drawing I received from Thor, all my non-GFCI outlets are on circuit 3A. If I turn breaker 3A off, it kills all of those non-GFCI outlets that aren't on the inverter. It also kills the power feed incoming to the inverter (shore or generator).

I'm not too familiar with how inverters are wired, but it seems that the 3A circuit is incoming 120V to the non-inverter outlets and the inverter itself and then the inverter outlets are wired directly from the inverter output. I only have two locations of duplex outlets and the single outlet for the fridge that are non-GFCI and are not on the inverter.

Does that make sense/is that a typical install?
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:23 PM   #7
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if an Inverter is 'wired' into the Main breaker panel, then it's usually to only one or a few circuits. They will work even when on gen or shore because the Inverter has a 'pass thru' of 120v power via a built-in relay/auto transfer switch. And, yes, any 120v power from the gen or shore power is NOT to the inverter, but to the CHARGER, though many inverters then allow this 120v power to 'pass thru' when the inverter is not needed.

if the inverter is a separate device, not wired 'to' the Main breaker panel, then any item/device/outlet that is powered by it will come directly from the inverter, and some of these inverters also have one or two outlets on the unit itself, just as a simple way to power plug-in items. These items will continue to be powered by the inverter EVEN when you are on gen or shore power, because it is the ONLY power they receive. Your Converter/Charger will be recharging the batteries, during Inverter use, while on gen or shore power.

and, it could be that they simply used the same circuit breaker to feed a circuit of outlets(3a), AND the Converter/Charger at the same time. If you turn off this circuit, you would lose those outlets, and the battery Charger.
But that would then make it sound like only the GFCI circuit outlets are powered by the Inverter(?)...

could yours be different? sure, factories do weird wiring sometimes.


crazy, but fun.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:31 PM   #8
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Yeah, what confused me is that the inverter panel showed it was no longer receiving 120 power when I turned off that circuit breaker. At that point, turning the inverter off kills all the outlets on the inverter (to be expected).


I just wasn't sure exactly how they can all "exist" on the same circuit yet half of the outlets not be on the inverter.


I assume it will require me opening up and taking a look at all the wiring to know, but I assume the outlets wired to the inverter are wired on the inverter output (the inverter does have pass through when on shore or generator as you mentioned) meaning if my inverter ever goes bad I will lose outlet power to most of the coach.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:35 PM   #9
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Based on the power drawing of my coach that I just looked at again (attached), I'm pretty sure what I said is accurate.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:47 PM   #10
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MY coach had four 15 amp circuit breakers: water heater, GFCI, 120 volt and inverter. Th inverter circuit breaker is for the inverter by-pass relay power. The inverter powered duplex receptacles are located at each TV, the video distribution cabinet and the outside frig, The outside frig receptacle does not have a GFCI as GFCI circuits do not play well with inverters. The GFCI receptacles are in the bathroom, kitchen and the outside. When I rewired the coach for fifty amps, I added another 20 amp relay for the inverter bypass so that all normal 120 volt receptacles could be powered by the inverter. That let me run the portable ice maker and the RV frig off the inverter. I added a 120 volt AFCI 20 amp circuit with a pop-up power outlet on the kitchen counter. I got rid of the GFCI in the bathroom and powered that circuit through an AFCI in the power center. I plan on converting all the coach's 120 volt receptacles to AFCI protected outlets and adding another 120 volt duplex receptacle in the back edge of the dinette to power the sub-woofer.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:58 PM   #11
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I think what you said is probably exactly the setup I have, and if I were to make changes I'd probably do the same.


If Thor had wired per their drawing, I wouldn't need to make any changes, but as it is now I have zero outlets available when only on inverter power.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:58 PM   #12
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interesting...the drawing, I mean, as they show 120v power go 'to' the Inverter, yet it has no Charger built in, hence the Converter, and so the Inverter MUST have a built-in relay/ATS, to power the outlets when on gen or shore.
This means that the outlets powered by the inverter either are NOT run thru the Main Electrical panel, OR that the output 120v from the inverter is fed BACK into the Main panel, probably directly to a 'sub panel' breaker, where it then is wired to the circuits that the outlets are on.
The BREAKER that you tripped, causing you to lose power to all the inverted outlets, is the one that the Inverter is feeding, probably simply coming into the 'exit' of a breaker, which feeds a separate power bar within the panel, which the inverter circuit breaker attaches to, like mine. So, when you trip this 'inverter' breaker, you are breaking the power circuit between the inverter and the outlets.

SEND a picture of your Main Electric Panel box, showing all the breakers, and their labels...
AND, a picture of your Inverter, and possibly the wiring coming in/out of it
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:18 PM   #13
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I definitely intend to rip into all this as soon as I get some time as I'm very curious. My inverter is a Xantrex Pro XM 1000 which does have an ATS. I believe the drawing to be accurate based on my previous look at the wiring, but I will definitely get another look at some point.


Attached photo is a picture of the breaker panel. The 15A labeled RECEPTS is the breaker that cuts 120 to the inverter when turned off.


What's odd is I don't recall seeing an inverter sub-panel or similar which would need to exist in some capacity to tie in the downstream outlets to the inverter output. I guess they could have also just wired a single wire into the output of the inverter and then daisy chained the outlets.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:51 PM   #14
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yep, like me, you'll probably not 'really' know until you take this cover off, and reveal exactly 'where' these feeds to/from the circuit breakers are going...

120v power from this panel to the inverter would make sense, IF the inverter does have an ATS..since then the outlets would be fed by the Inverter, when no gen or shore power, or from the gen or shore power when they are available. Maybe it should have been labeled 'inverter recepts' instead. If the inverter IS working, then they should have power reqardless, unless you trip this breaker. I wouldn't think, though, that the inverter 'cares' about incoming power from this breaker because the inverter's job is to use 12v power from the batteries for it's output, regardless.
Maybe the last 'unlabeled' breaker is the feed to the inverter, for 120v pass thru to the outlets.

I was a little confused on this with mine, as well, as I had TWO breakers labeled INVERTER. I only have one inverter, but I also knew that the inverter does not require power, it uses the batteries to INVERT power and feed it back to the panel..... SO, upon removing the cover and doing some inspections, I came to realize the truth.
The factories don't always make a good effort to put into 'english' what the label is really referring to.
One of my 'Inverter' labels, on a 30amp breaker, is to feed the CHARGER, which is, yes, a built-in part of the Inverter/Charger for Magnum type inverters, like my ME-2012. This is 120v power from the Gen or Shore power to the Charger, which charges the batteries. It is ALSO a feed 'thru' the charger, and the Inverter, when the inverter is then 'passing thru' gen or shore power.
The OTHER 'Inverter' labeled 30amp breaker, on the other end of the panel, is the feed FROM the inverter. This breaker is really operating 'backwards', as it is accepting this power feed from the bottom front of the breaker, where normally the output would be, and into it's own 'power bar' the breaker is attached to behind it. This then powers two tandem 15a/15a breakers that feed the various outlet circuits throughout the coach. All of my outlets are on the inverter feed.

So, after scratching my head, I realized that some of these WFCO or PROGRESSIVE or other brand Electrical Panels are customized for these factories. They have been designed to basically 'build in' a separate 'sub panel' feed for the Inverter - although it looks almost identical to any other Main Panel in any RV.
There are basically THREE power bars behind my 50amp panel... ONE is for the left 50amp supply of power, which is for several 15 or 20amp breakers, ONE for the right 50amp supply of power, which is for several other 15 or 20amp breakers, and ONE for the Inverter return feed. All three are separate, but you wouldn't know it looking at the panel itself.

Your coach and panel is designed for 30amp service, so you'll have a different layout... a little simpler. I think : )
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