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Author Topic: 3 way AC light switch for inverter?  (Read 1052 times)
ttomas
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« on: August 05, 2007, 02:06:14 PM »

I plan on using an inverter to run one ac while traveling. Is there a problem using a household  3 way switch to swap between the generator  and the inverter? I want to put the switch between the main power panel and the air conditioner, connecting the inverter at that point. That way, only one power source can  energize the ac at a time. thanks for your input, Tomas
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2007, 02:15:55 PM »

The switch you mention could only be used to energize some pretty hefty relays, since a household switch is only rated for 10-15A or so. Maybe you could find a DPDT switch heavy-duty enough, I dunno. Just make sure it's rated for the amperage and type of load you're using.

HTH,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2007, 02:26:23 PM »

You can find commercial quality switches rated at 20 amps.  I think if you are careful not to switch under load, it should work OK.

Len
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2007, 03:20:30 PM »

Hi Guy's

If you are Not using relays as Brian Brown pointed out, the switch should have a rating of 30A because of the

start up draw of the compressor.

Good Luck
Nick-
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ttomas
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 03:35:02 PM »

Thanks guys, know for the real dummy question. what does a relay do? Can I install one with not much problem or knowledge
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 03:39:13 PM »

Automatic transfer switches are pretty cheap on Ebay if you buy an RV surplus one.  The power would auto switch to the generator when the generator is running.  I don't know why you would use the inverter if the generator is running.  The bad part is an inverter that has a charger would not charge the batteries when the generator is running.

My inverter is a Prosine 3000 with 30 amp transfer switch internal that will charge the batteries when it gets AC input.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 05:43:16 PM »

Thanks guys, know for the real dummy question. what does a relay do? Can I install one with not much problem or knowledge

Hi TT,

The relay would carry the heavy load of the a/c, your house hold 3 way switch would activate the relay. Thus not putting a
heavy load on the 3 way switch.  Or, do as Brian [belfert] suggests, and use an automatic transfer switch. "much easier"

Good Luck
Nick-
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ttomas
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007, 06:10:29 PM »


Brian,     I want to use an inverter because the genset I have will only support two air units. I have the power saver. they pull about 10.5 amps each.  Thanks again for all of your great info
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Buffalo SpaceShip
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 09:56:16 PM »

Like many here, the "easy way" for me is to just have the inverter feed the entire electrical panel and then I can choose what to power from the inverter. I have to be selective about load shedding, obviously, to avoid overloading the inverter. Like Brian E., I also have an automatic transfer switch in my inverter that switches between inverter power and incoming AC (shore or genset). Works great.

It's my wife that can't seem to "get" that you can't run the toaster, the microwave, and the coffee pot at the same time on our 2500watt unit. She even started up the A/C on it one day! Luckily, I was there and started the genset before she drew down the house bank to dangerous levels. "I just want it to be easy!" she says.

Hmmm.... And I thought it was!  Grin

Brian B.
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Brian Brown
4108-216 w/ V730
Longmont, CO
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