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Old 04-20-2018, 01:46 PM   #1
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Residential Refer- Does electric auto switch?

I have been looking around the forums and canít seem to happen up on an answer so here I am with a mouthful of Gimme and a hand full of Thank ye kindly.

Does the electrical supply switch automatically to the inverter when you are off gen and off shore power or is there a switch of some sort that I have missed?

Yes, I am a NOOB - 1st motorhome

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Old 04-20-2018, 01:58 PM   #2
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As far as Iíve been able to tell, you have to push the inverter button on the magnum power panel on the left. Some people leave the inverter on all the time, but my last coach had weak house batteries so I didnít use the inverter as much.

When we roll we almost always start the generator and donít turn it off much until we plug in somewhere.

Iíll play with mine and see how it behaves...
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:00 PM   #3
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typically a residential refrigerator will come with an inverter. there may be a small transfer switch (not a generator transfer switch) to switch power from shore (or generator) power to inverter power when shore or generator power is not present. some inverters actually have this transfer switch built into them internally. however, the inverter must be on for this to happen. there is normally a remote switch that can be used to power the inverter on or off. there is much discussion and personal preferences about whether to leave the inverter on all the time (other than in storage) or to turn it off when on shore power.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:47 AM   #4
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The inverter on/off will be controlled by the Magnum control panel. You should find this on a wall, about eye level in the middle of the coach. There is a button on the left hand side - push to turn it on, push to turn it off. Turn this on when you need 120v ac power in your coach. It will supply power to everything that would get ac power off the generator or shore power. But, find out how many watts your inverter is and only use appliances that are within that range. For instance, the air conditioner units will be too high to use power from the inverter and it will trip something and show "Fault" on the control panel.

In my 2014 Legacy, with the inverter on, I run my fridge, all ac outlets, and tv's. If we need a/c, microwave, or coffee, gotta run the generator.

In my experience, once you turn the inverter on, it stays on. So, run the generator for what you need then, when you turn it off, the inverter goes back to supplying power.

Just to be sure you know what's happening here, the inverter takes the 12v dc power from your house batteries and kicks it up to 120v ac. How long the batteries last with the inverter depends on how much you are using. While this is happening, the batteries are still supplying 12v power to all the 12v things like lights, alarms, etc.

We have found that while running down the road, we can use the inverter to keep the fridge running and power tv and ad outlets without running the generator. This is because the house batteries are being charged while the Diesel engine is running. Only use the gen set when we need to heat something in the microwave or get dinner started in the croc pot.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:16 AM   #5
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Residential Refer- Does electric auto switch?

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Originally Posted by srappleby View Post
We have found that while running down the road, we can use the inverter to keep the fridge running and power tv and ad outlets without running the generator. This is because the house batteries are being charged while the Diesel engine is running. Only use the gen set when we need to heat something in the microwave or get dinner started in the croc pot.


Hey srappleby,
I agree with everything you said, but wanted to ask a follow-up question on charging while driving. I havenít seen a wiring diagram nor have I closely watched the watched the battery voltage on the house batteries while driving. I do know though that on the Ď14 Legacy we had, the House batteries wouldnít hold too long. So that is why we frequently ran the generator.

I was always under the impression that in order to bond the house/coach batteries, you have to have the Aux Start switch up front held/pushed in, in order for the alternator to charge house batteries.

Also, I donít think that there are diodes in the circuit because one time when my batteries were weak, I had to hold the Aux Start switch to get the generator started and keep it running until the voltage came up. So it works both ways (house to coach batteries and vice versa)

I had a dealer tech recommend to me one time to start the generator and slip something behind the switch the to hold the circuit closed. Which makes me think that he too was operating under the premise that coach/house batteries are not bonded...

Iíll have my wife watch the voltage from the Precision Plex app when we roll next time so Iíll know for sure.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:43 AM   #6
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There is a schematic on the compartment door where my inverter/charger is mounted. But, unless you're an electrical engineer, good luck with that one. Lol.

Along the way, I have had a few techs who said that both sets of batteries, chassis and house, will be charged my the alternator on the engine, by the generator, or by shore power.

A couple of things I've done that supports this theory -
the last couple of times we were on the road, I ran only off of the inverter and the house batteries were topped off when the trip was done.
Once, while stored for a couple of weeks, the house batteries were too weak to start the generator. Instead of using the Aux Start crossover switch like usually do, I instead turned on the engine and ran that for about 15 min at idle. Batteries had enough juice to fire the generator.

The real test would be to compare voltage of the batteries before starting the coach and then after it is running. I just can't ever seem to remember to do this but, some day!

As far as having to hold the Aux Start switch to keep the generator running.....just a theory here but, I'm thinking the house batteries were so low that there wasn't enough to keep the generator running until the generator starting charging the batteries. Important info to keep in mind for anyone who doesn't know is that when you start the generator, there is about a 2 min. delay before it supplies juice to anything. This is to allow the generator to warm up with no load. So, you may have needed to hold that switch so that the chassis batteries could supply 12volts to the generator engine until the generator itself starting putting power into the charger and charging the batteries. Again, just a thought

Another situation I just remembered- once after taking a vacation without the rv (I know, right?) house batteries were low so I attempted to start the coach. The chassis batteries were also too low so I freaked out for a few moments. Then, I rationalized that the generator probably needs less amps to stat so, I held the Aux Start switch, started the generator, then ran that for about 15 or 20 minutes until the chassis batteries were charged enough to start the big engine. I probably could have used the cross over switch again but I didn't want to risk shutting down the generator.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:06 AM   #7
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Agree. I only ever had the one issue, so I havenít spent much time on it... weíre out at a campground in eastern NC this weekend. Iíll look at the gauges on the way home.

Back to DTordoffís question; did you get the information you needed?
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:24 PM   #8
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Don't have generator but tech told me to turn off inverter when on shore power.
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Old 04-21-2018, 06:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rmwmiata View Post
Don't have generator but tech told me to turn off inverter when on shore power.
Does your fridge compressor come on when you are plugged in and the inverter is off? If so...the tech is right.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:27 PM   #10
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Yes it does. Had first trip last weekend in new rig with residential fridge. Still learning.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:50 PM   #11
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I swapped out the two 12VDC house batteries for SIX 6VDC batteries shortly after I got my DX3. The OEM batteries wouldn't last 12 hours running the residential fridge. Once I quadrupled my amp-hours, I can go 48+ hours on batteries alone so, I have a LOT more flexibility. I leave the inverter switched on all the time. When I have any other source of power (shore, generator, alternator) transfer is automatic. In my stick & brick, I have a 100' 10ga extension cord that delivers 15A. When I unplug, the fridge automagically stays running on batteries.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:23 AM   #12
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Yes TKN thanks for asking. We are out at the Galveston Island Sandpiper RV site and I got behind on my emails and reading. The entire set of contributions has been very informative and I have a much better grasp of what is going on with the inverter and etc.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:10 PM   #13
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hi - while not a Legacy, my 'twin' Palazzo also has the Magnum ME-RC remote panel for controlling the Inverter, Charger, and all the settings.

In 3 1/2 years of full time use, we've NEVER turned off the Inverter, no need to, ever. The reason? As someone already alluded to very nicely, the Inverter is your 'default' 120v power source when you are not plugged into any Shore Power, or have the Generator running. What I really ENJOY about leaving the Inverter on, is that it provides instantaneous transfer/switching of 120v power from Shore or Gen, even if those are lost due to a power outage at an rv park or campground, OR if the generator stops due to low fuel. Everything continues working(with the exception, of course, of air conditioning and the water heater). Even the DISH Receiver doesn't miss a beat - if would be very annoying if it had to reset itself every time you switched power sources!

Now, we've been a lot of places, in a lot of situations, and the one thing about 'power' needs is that they can always seem to be unpredictable. The Inverter, though, keeps everything going no matter(as long as there's enough battery power, of course).

I also don't think our CHARGER has ever been off, though it is really only working WHEN you are on Shore or Generator, so it's the opposite.

Here's my best 'advice'(free, of course!) for those concerned about leaving your INVERTER always on:
- push the TECH button
- scroll to LBCO, and press the large knob
- make the setting in the 11.5 range, and press the large knob again

Now you have just determined the battery Voltage level whereas the Inverter will AuTOMATICALLY cut OFF if the battery bank falls below this level, saving your batteries(just in case!), and providing plenty of Generator 'starting power' when you need it.

also, if you're a user of the AGS(automatic generator starter), you can press the AGS button and set up your generator to automatically RECHARGE your house batteries when they fall too low, such as 11.9 to 12.1 range.

but, the LBCO setting is really your 'best friend', and protector!


travel, enjoy! : )
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:05 AM   #14
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I pretty much keep the inverter on when we are using the rig but turn it off while it's resting between trips. This is so I can still use 12-v lights and stuff.

What I have noticed is a problem turning the inverter on or off. I really have to work the little push-button for it to respond. Is this a bad switch or is there a delay of some sort built in to the switching mechanism?
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:16 AM   #15
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are you not turning it OFF at the Magnum MERC controller panel? Seems that button is not too small, just press it once to light the panel, and again to shut off the Inverter. The green light will go off.

Don't use the button on the actual inverter. No need. That's what the Magnum panel does.


by the way, the Inverter has nothing to do with the 12v system, lights, fans, etc.... you can always use them whether the Inverter is ON or OFF.

or you can put the Inverter in 'SeARCH' mode, allowing the inverter to power any 120v items, but only when you turn them on, or when they activate themselves, such as when the fridge needs to power the compressor.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DTordoff View Post
Yes TKN thanks for asking. We are out at the Galveston Island Sandpiper RV site and I got behind on my emails and reading. The entire set of contributions has been very informative and I have a much better grasp of what is going on with the inverter and etc.
It's about to get rather windy and rainy in your area.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:23 AM   #17
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Yes, I use the remote panel to turn it on and off. Must be a bad switch, . I sometimes press it 5-10 times and even used a car key ones to get the inverter to turn on.

I didn't know how the SEARCH feature worked. Sounds like that could be useful for power conservation when dry camping.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:41 AM   #18
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yes, especially if you don't 'like' the idea of the inverter being 'on' when you don't think it has to be when you're only powering the fridge when it needs to actually 'run', or when you have the coach parked at the house or in storage for just a day or two until the next trip, etc.

-press SETUP button
-scroll and press the knob on SEARCH WATTS
-scroll and press the knob on 50w

see if your inverter continues to say 'Inverting'. If so, you have several items 'on' that are drawing watts, even very small 'silent' watts, and are requiring enough to power up the Inverter. Even TVs, while off, still show a small led light that they are 'powered', etc.

if you want to test how the "Search" feature will work when you want it to, turn off all your breakers for your Inverted outlets(usually all the 15amp ones). Now look at the Magnum panel, it may now be reading 'Searching', and may show a green light every few seconds.

reset the 'fridge' breaker

Open the fridge door - the light should come ON, and the Magnum panel will now show 'Inverting', since you've asked it to power up when it finds a need, such as the light.

turn on your other breakers

Your microwave is also an indicator, as it may beep when the 'Searching' feature starts, though the microwave may also not yet show any visual readout, but it is being provided just enough 'wattage' for it's internal circuits to 'see' the Searching of the Inverter. The Inverter 'reads' these watts from all the devices and appliances, and powers UP when they all reach or exceed the 50Watt setting.

If you scroll the SearchWatts setting down to 40w or 30w or lower, you'll start to see the Inverter come on more often because these items are now reaching the limit quicker to power up the Inverter.


FUN!
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