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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2015
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jcs707 jcs707 is offline
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Default How does this work?

Can any of the electrical gurus out there explain how this particular circuit works? For my coach it's part of the 'main wiring diagram'. Conceptually I think I understand it, but the electrical schematic leaves me scratching my head.

Yeah, I understand it controls the circuit to the refrigerator. But how does it do it? Questions I have:

1. Does this illustration show it in it's default position?
2. If so, does that mean it's being powered from the main panel (shore power)?
3. If shore power is removed, how does it auto switch to inverter?
4. What changes in the diagram when the breaker switch is manually switched to the off position?


Sorry for the newbie questions, and maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but I just like to know how it works.



And here's the associated breaker panel:

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Clint & Tammy Summers
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2015
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nbedinger nbedinger is offline
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It is a contactor switch, sort of a transfer switch for inverter power.

If shore power (or generator power) is present, contactor lets shore power run the circuit.

If no shore power and inverter is on, contactor lets inverter run the circuit.

If both power sources are available, it should switch to shore power. But superstition dictates "turn off inverter when other source of 120V is present." Your owner manual might have something to say about this. Your inverters might have AC Pass-thru, so turning them off might not matter much.

Yours appears to have breakers for two inverters. The list of things powered by each inverter appears on the breaker box. Breaker OFF = no power from that inverter, would be my normal way of wiring the breakers. I don't know if they are factory designed or an add-on by PO. Best to do some tests and deduce what is going on there.

What inverters do you have?

I believe these contactors are made by Potter-Brumfield, and can be replaced with solid state. They're interesting, do some searches of the forum for other threads about them.
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2015
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jcs707 jcs707 is offline
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Ned,
Thanks a bunch! After doing some studying on contractors and watching several videos - it makes sense now. When the contractor coil is energized (by shore power or generator) I believe it will pull the armature from 7 & 8 to 5 & 6. This allows the load to be powered by shore or generator.

When the contractor coil is not energized (as shown) the armatures stay on 7 & 8 allowing the load to be powered by the inverter.

And the breaker (pictured previously) was also throwing me off. It's not even shown in the schematic - so maybe someone did add it later. Basically, when switched off at the 'inverter sub-panel breaker', the circuit (and thus load) can never be powered by the inverter.

I may not be 100% correct on how the contractor works, but this has certainly gone along way on de-mystifying how electrical loads are switched from shore to inverter power.

Thanks again!
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Clint & Tammy Summers
Atlanta GA
1995 WB 42 "The Magic Carpet" sold
1977 FC 31 RB "BUSTA BUS"
2000 LXI SS "Piper"
MeWe : https://mewe.com/i/clintsummers1
Semper Fi
-----------------------------------------
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2015
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Rodmanb294 Rodmanb294 is offline
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Default Hello

Hey Clint... Are those two boxes in the bedroom,? I have two like that but unlabeled...
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2015
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Yep, they sure are. Mine were already labeled, most likely thanks to Ron. I would bet yours control the same circuits.
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Clint & Tammy Summers
Atlanta GA
1995 WB 42 "The Magic Carpet" sold
1977 FC 31 RB "BUSTA BUS"
2000 LXI SS "Piper"
MeWe : https://mewe.com/i/clintsummers1
Semper Fi
-----------------------------------------
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2015
rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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Yes, the boxes are original and I did label them as I got into this a little bit. Now Clint is finishing the process and I think I am understanding it (thanks, Clint), BUT, I am going to do several tests with inverter on/off, shore power on/off, etc., and try to determine what the refrigerator cb does and what cb is running the refrigerator when on inverter. I guess the 20 amp inverter output may be the only circuit protection for the refrigerator when on inverter, but ??? That doesn't sound like a good arrangement.

I do know that on the '00 turning off the cb does not kill the fridge. I'll have to try it with the inverter off. If the shore power is off, the genset is off, and the inverter is off, we have discovered perpetual motion!

Getting close, Clint!
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcs707 View Post
Ned,
Thanks a bunch! After doing some studying on contractors and watching several videos - it makes sense now. When the contractor coil is energized (by shore power or generator) I believe it will pull the armature from 7 & 8 to 5 & 6. This allows the load to be powered by shore or generator.

When the contractor coil is not energized (as shown) the armatures stay on 7 & 8 allowing the load to be powered by the inverter.

And the breaker (pictured previously) was also throwing me off. It's not even shown in the schematic - so maybe someone did add it later. Basically, when switched off at the 'inverter sub-panel breaker', the circuit (and thus load) can never be powered by the inverter.

I may not be 100% correct on how the contractor works, but this has certainly gone along way on de-mystifying how electrical loads are switched from shore to inverter power.

Thanks again!
Ment to post this several days ago but got tied up in other electrical projects. Anyway here is my drawing and explanation of that dreaded relay. It is behind the kitchen sink up high enough where it is near impossible to work on. Operation as you described.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf INVERTER CIRCUIT RELAY WIRING.pdf (261.2 KB, 198 views)
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2015
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When I see the title on this thread it makes me think of an Instructor I had in Refrigeration School years ago. When ever someone asked "How does this work?" or "How does that work?" his stock answer was "Just Fine."
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2015
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jcs707 jcs707 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCSS View Post
It is behind the kitchen sink up high enough where it is near impossible to work on.
Per my schematics, there are at least (4) of these 'dreaded' contactor/relays serving various loads that can be powered by the inverter. Are they scattered through-out the coach? I think I read somewhere that they were behind panels in the bedroom closet?
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-----------------------------------------
Clint & Tammy Summers
Atlanta GA
1995 WB 42 "The Magic Carpet" sold
1977 FC 31 RB "BUSTA BUS"
2000 LXI SS "Piper"
MeWe : https://mewe.com/i/clintsummers1
Semper Fi
-----------------------------------------
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2015
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Turbokitty Turbokitty is offline
Timberlake Products Group
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcs707 View Post
Can any of the electrical gurus out there explain how this particular circuit works? For my coach it's part of the 'main wiring diagram'. Conceptually I think I understand it, but the electrical schematic leaves me scratching my head.

Yeah, I understand it controls the circuit to the refrigerator. But how does it do it? Questions I have:

1. Does this illustration show it in it's default position?
2. If so, does that mean it's being powered from the main panel (shore power)?
3. If shore power is removed, how does it auto switch to inverter?
4. What changes in the diagram when the breaker switch is manually switched to the off position?

Sorry for the newbie questions, and maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but I just like to know how it works.



And here's the associated breaker panel:


Vague at best... I would certainly re draw it or at least detail it properly for future reference

A Xantrex ProWatt SW inline transfer relay is a great little switching device for an all electric fridge.
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