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Old 12-11-2011, 10:30 PM   #1
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Angry Sine Wave Inverter

For you technical people. First off, I have a FS36 Jayco Motorhome.
My motorhome took a power surge caused by a near by lightning strike. At first I lost all AC. I took voltage readings at the AC input to the Distribution Panel and had approx 121 volts AC in. Also had approx 121 V out. I disconnected shore power and started Generator and had same results in and out of the distribution panel. Still had no power to the plugs where the Converter and the inverter are plugged in. Long story shortened, I found that the main Circuit Breaker and one other tripped. I reset the breakers and had power to both plugs where the Converter and the Inverter are plugged in. It resulted in tripped breakers again when I plugged the Inverter and Converter back in. Next I unplugged the Inverter and reset breakers. Good results with the converter plugged in. So now I have ac working.
The inverter is an RS400 sine Wave Xantrex and appears not to be available anymore. I am going to do more testing on it, but if I have to replace it, will an XS400 Sine Wave be a good replacement. They seem to have about the same footprint and same features except maybe the XS400 is more of a pure Sine Wave than the RS400.
Also, is there any magical thing that a half-A** electrician can do to get the RS400 up and running again.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:54 AM   #2
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With lightning damage, sometimes it's worth doing component level repair, and sometimes the damage is too widespread and not worth trying.

The first I would suggest, is to open it up and see if there is any visual evidence of charring. Since it was not a direct strike, there may be no visual indication, which could mean less damage. You say when you plug it in, it will blow the breaker. This to me indicates a component has shorted, or maybe the strike has left a carbon path across the connections. If the inverter has an MOV surge device across these connections (a strong possibility) the MOV could have done its job, but finished in a short-circuit condition. Try cutting out the MOV (it's wired in parallel) and see if the inverter comes to life. Digging deeper than this will add up the dollars, with diminishing returns. It becomes a judgement call.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
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Know you know why I NEVER hook up the power supply without having one of these inline...
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...rge-guard/2279
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2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:05 PM   #4
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Thanks David
I would think that if a component inside the inverter was actually fried, it would have a distinct odor and there does not seem to be any oder that I can detect. The inverter is supposed to have a fault indicator light and reset button, but the way it is mounted, the front of the Inverter is about two inches from the bulkhead and impossible to see. It is mounted under the bed which does not help an old fat man getting to it either. However, with it tripping breakers, I figure that there is more damage that just a fault indication. Work schedule has not permitted me to get in there yet to dig further.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Seann45
I would like to have one of those, and probably will eventually, but I am not sure that one would have protected this. Not even sure that it came in through the AC line. Just a side note, it also took out two tvs in the house, but did not affect three computers. Go figure!!!!! Motorhome and house are about 100 ft apart.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:23 PM   #6
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Leeman,
If you are adventurous, here is a link to a schematic of a typical DC-AC Inverter.
http://inverter-circuit.com/wp-conte...it-diagram.jpg
If you are lucky, the protection device ZD1 will be present in yours, and done its job, then ended in a shorted condition. I referred earlier to it being an MOV. I should have said Zener Diode, since this is the DC side, not AC. If you are un-lucky, one or more of the transistors and/or the integrated circuit will be damaged.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:43 PM   #7
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Leeman,
I may have mis-read your original post. Maybe your tripped breaker is on the AC side of the inverter? If so, my comment about an MOV on the AC side would be something to check. An MOV device is not shown in that particular schematic. Hopefully the transformer would not be shorted out. It doesn't take much to make repair too costly.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:44 PM   #8
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check out this

http://partsonsale.com/xs400.html
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