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  #21  
Old 06-08-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

Note everyone that the problem occurs when the source of power is to the generator or the inverter/charger. There is no problem when connected to shore power and the outlet works when a normal receptacle is installed.

I am thinking that the problem occurs because of the way the neutral is grounded in the inverter and in the generator. It's interesting to note that in another thread someone else had a GFCI receptacle trip on ground fault when he plugged his shore power code into a GFI. He too had an inverter that switched automatically from inverter power, the default SOP, to utility power. The two may or may not be related but it seems an odd coincidence that neither input A/C nor output A/C can be connected to a GFCI when you have a Xantrex auto-switch inverter.

If one connects Xantex's inverter with the built in GFI receptacles to the ships power you get reverse polarity indication on your A/C panel.
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Old 06-08-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

You can have a GFCI outlet with the A/C input and the op is not having a problem with this. He is only having problems with the inverter output.

What do you mean you get reverse polarity from connecting the built-in GFI's to ship's power? I have not had a problem with this on many inverter installs.
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  #23  
Old 06-08-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

I totally missed that this works with a standard receptacle.
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  #24  
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
You can have a GFCI outlet with the A/C input and the op is not having a problem with this. He is only having problems with the inverter output.

What do you mean you get reverse polarity from connecting the built-in GFI's to ship's power? I have not had a problem with this on many inverter installs.
The reverse polarity light comes on. Check it out on cruisers world. Note that this occurs only when the inverter has a built in Gfi receptacle and that receptacle is used to power the ships power
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Old 06-08-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs001 View Post
The reverse polarity light comes on. Check it out on cruisers world. Note that this occurs only when the inverter has a built in Gfi receptacle and that receptacle is used to power the ships power
Any Xantrex inverter I have installed with this option - Freedom HF1800 for example - I have hard wired into the system and had no issues. The GFI on the inverter is for appliances. As stated in the manual it should be hard wired if feeding other circuits.
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Old 06-09-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

FAQs
Power Inverters


Voltage measurement issues (AC output)

I've installed the modified sine wave inverter and it's working okay. However, the output voltage doesn't seem right. There is 124 vac between the hot and neutral pins but the safety ground is not at 0 volts with respect to the neutral pin. Instead, the safety ground appears to float about halfway between the neutral and hot pin voltage. Please explain what's going on!

This FAQ applies to Xpower, PROwatt, Portawattz, Jazz and Xantrex inverters, including the inverters integral to Powerpacks.

Your inverter is designed to have loads plugged directly into it and not be permanently connected to an AC distribution system. The fact that the inverter is not a permanent installation means the US NEC (United States National Electrical Code) doesn't apply, and the NEC is the main place where the requirement resides for single-phase 120Vac or 240Vac systems to have neutral bonded to earth. The US standard for inverters of this sort, UL458, does not have a requirement for a bonded neutral on the output of inverters.

Regarding the voltage that the you are measuring, the ground does not float halfway, rather the neutral is not at 0 volts. The grounding is correct, in that loads plugged in will have their chassis held at the same ground potential as the chassis of the inverter, but the neutral has approximately 60V on it instead of the usual 0V. The impact of that is minimal, since wiring and equipment connected to the neutral side of the circuit are required by safety standards to be treated as if they were at 120Vac. This is because there are many receptacles that are wired backwards or 2-prong plugs that are not polarized. As a result the 60V neutral is not accessible to the user, and any shock hazard presented is mitigated by lack of access.

The main safety agencies, CSA, UL, and ETL, have all approved inverters with this half-voltage on the neutral scheme, and the manuals contain warnings not to AC hardwire any of these inverters.

The above I got from cruisersnet forum but I believe is from Xantrex.




The inverters you have hard wired are made to hard wire and are inverter/chargers. They have a grounded neutral not like the inverters above which have a floating neutral.

I suspect that the OPs problem is that his inverter and his generator also have floating neutrals and half voltage on the neutrals.

Last edited by ebs001; 06-09-2013 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 06-18-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

Huge thanks for all the input to this thread. Sorry for the delay in stating that. Also sorry for not responding. Business travels have kept me from the boat.

- The cockpit EFI is the only one on the boat. EFI is a standard $15 outdoor unit from Home Depot.

- That outlet does have 2 or 3 other outlets in its chain. The boat overall has maybe 15 outlets. All work well under all power options.

- She's a 50' center cockpit with a super high freeboard, well covered and rarely wet. It would take a hose or a downpour to get water on it. I just thought an EFI would be "safer" outside.

- That outlet originally was a standard unit (like all below deck). It worked well with shore power, gen and inverter. It worked full time as other outlets did. There has been no extra wiring to route around it for any special reason or safety concern.

- Battery bank is 6 - T125s powering Xantrex 3000. Shore is 30w.

EFI simply won't power on anything other than shore but other outlets in chain and on boat continue under all options.

Weird. I guess I could try a 3rd EFI. ???

If the green ground that terminated at that EFI box is bad / not grounded on the boat but only at the 30A inlet/galvanic isolator, that would suggest that a regular outlet would work but an EFI wouldn't when not at shore. Agree?

I'll have to call the electrician. ;-)
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

An EFI doesn't need a ground connected to be live. Without a ground it will not provide 5 mA tripping of course, but it will act as a normal outlet.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

Interesting thought. Is the GFI tripping at the receptacle, or is it just not supplying power, even when reset?

I don't mean to ask a stupid question, but did you reset the GFI when installing? They may come popped out of the box. It just can't be that simple........
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: EFI Outlet in cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
. Without a ground it will not provide 5 mA tripping of course, but it will act as a normal outlet.
This is not correct. The GFCI receptacle will trip with a 5 mA ground fault. Any GFI measures the amperage difference between the hot and the neutral. What it won't do is trip the breaker should the hot ground out and there is no other path to ground. The fact that it will trip on a ground fault is why the electrical code allows a GFCI receptacle to be installed to replace a two prong outlet found for example in knob and tube wiring.

Last edited by ebs001; 06-19-2013 at 08:01 AM.
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