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Old 10-25-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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Why can't the converter/charger amperage exceed the total of all DC circuits?

If I replaced a 60 amp converter/charger with a 100 converter/charger, what's the harm? I have not changed the safe limits of any the DC circuits. They are still fused the same. The converter/charger is providing amperage in fuse-limited amounts to individual circuits, not forcing amperage of unsafe levels onto unfused circuits.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:49 PM   #2
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I agree with you. Did you hear that you can't replace one with a larger one? To me it would be like plugging a 30A RV into a 50A outlet with a dogbone.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DSurette View Post
I agree with you. Did you hear that you can't replace one with a larger one? To me it would be like plugging a 30A RV into a 50A outlet with a dogbone.
I've had discussions on other forums with those who claim you cannot replace a converter with one of a higher amperage, so that opinion is out there. I'm bringing it up now because I actually saw a warning from Progressive Dynamics that says, "Do NOT install a converter whose amperage rating is higher than the one originally installed in your application. Doing so may cause wiring to overheat, resulting in damage to components and/or fire." I'm baffled by this advice. Surely this is butt-covering legal BS, right?

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Old 10-25-2014, 10:12 PM   #4
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I agree with all of you that this makes NO sense. The only way this would make sense, and this is a cover your ass thing, is if you had a short in one of the circuits then there would be more amperage available from the convertor and that could cause heated wires. But if the fuse were working that would NOT be the issue. More amperage should only be a good thing. I'm really interested to hear the reasoning behind that statement.

EDIT: now that I think about it, it may be the input side that they are worried about, not the different output legs. With more amps available and you turn everything on it could draw more amps than what was designed into the input to the converter. But I don't see that as an issue either,..... just thinking.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:55 PM   #5
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I think Evereddie is on the right track... a 100amp converter could draw up to 13 amps running all lights and recharging the battery. If you were running both air conditioners and the microwave you may exceed your 50 amp service.
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Evereddie View Post
I agree with all of you that this makes NO sense. The only way this would make sense, and this is a cover your ass thing, is if you had a short in one of the circuits then there would be more amperage available from the convertor and that could cause heated wires. But if the fuse were working that would NOT be the issue. More amperage should only be a good thing. I'm really interested to hear the reasoning behind that statement.

EDIT: now that I think about it, it may be the input side that they are worried about, not the different output legs. With more amps available and you turn everything on it could draw more amps than what was designed into the input to the converter. But I don't see that as an issue either,..... just thinking.
I should know this, but is the converter/charger on a breaker? If so, and the breaker was left as it is during the replacement, the new converter/charger would trip at exactly the same amperage draw as the old converter/charger. No safety issue there.
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:06 PM   #7
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I think Evereddie is on the right track... a 100amp converter could draw up to 13 amps running all lights and recharging the battery. If you were running both air conditioners and the microwave you may exceed your 50 amp service.
The AC's and microwave are on the AC current breaker box side of the equation, not the DC current fuse block side of the equation.
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:18 PM   #8
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You are correct...but if your two a/c draw 26 amps, the microwave draws 12 and you add another 13 for the converter you will most likely trip the 50 amp breaker at the post. just saying.....
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:38 PM   #9
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You are correct...but if your two a/c draw 26 amps, the microwave draws 12 and you add another 13 for the converter you will most likely trip the 50 amp breaker at the post. just saying.....
As you worded it, that's a true statement, but the new converter/charger cannot draw more amps then the old one because, like the old one, the amp draw is limited by the total amp rating of every fuse in the block. You are describing a power center with a main breaker that is undersized for the RV. The new converter would not change that scenario.

I think I know why PD posted the warning quoted in my second post. If there was a catastrophic failure of the fuse block (i.e. the fuse block buss went to ground), the larger (new) converter charger would feed the fault at a higher amperage rate then the smaller (old) one. That the fuse block buss would go to ground is highly unlikely and I've still got to think the warning is weasel words for a courtroom, rather than practical safety advice.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:56 AM   #10
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I'd suggest that everyone reread the warning from Progressive posted by Ham Bone. The installed wire conductor sizes are the limiting factors.

Check the breaker and conductor sizes feeding the convertor, and check the conductor size from the convertor to the distribution panel. Check the distribution panel 12 volt side rating. (The 12 volt side of the WFCO panel in our Sunseeker 3100 is rated for 100 amps.) Upgrade it if either is too small for the new rating and you will be safe.

I'll also point out that adding the fuse sizes to come up with the capacity of the system is not a valid approach. Fuses and breakers protect the conductors that are downstream of them. You can have any number of fuses or breakers on a distribution system. The distribution system (panel) is protected by the fuse or breaker the feeds it, which can be in the panel or at the power source. Look at the fuse or breaker panel in your house. A typical panel will be rated for 200 amps but may have 30 breakers rated for 15 to 50 amps. Same for the fuse panels in your vehicles. The logic is that every circuit is not loaded to the maximum rating at any time.
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