Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

Hi

I have two propane heaters, they are both the same Hunter (Cozy) baseboard style propane heaters. I have them at my camp now, and the work fine on my older Galaxy Nova inverter. When they are run off the cotek st-1000-124 they will try to light and shut off and retry. With the honda EU2000 they will not even try to light. I have the Honda and Cotek grounded to a metal plate in the ground and the neutral is bonded to ground.

They are tube heaters with a blower and spark ignition, they draw .5amp at 120v

Any Ideas... Thanks..

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    what is the minimum load needed to wake up the inverter from sleep or standby mode?
    Try plugging a 60 watt light bulb into the inverter and then see if the heater will fire up....

    hth
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
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  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter
    westbranch wrote: »
    what is the minimum load needed to wake up the inverter from sleep or standby mode?
    Try plugging a 60 watt light bulb into the inverter and then see if the heater will fire up....

    hth

    The inverter has sleep mode disabled, I have tried it with many different loads with all with the same results.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    The start Load may be to big.

    Baseboard Heater, LP, 48 In, 5000 BtuH, 120V

    Baseboard Heater, Gas Type LP, 5000 BtuH, Width 48 In., Voltage 120, 1465 Watts, Gas Connection 3/8 In., Depth 5-3/8 In., Height 9-3/8 In., Wall Opening Size 2-1/2 In. Diameter, Vent Type Direct, Floor to Center of Vent 7-3/4 In., Max. Wall Thickness 16 In., Min. Wall Thickness 4 In., Control Volts 24VAC, 60 Hz, 3.5 Amps AC, Color Off White, Finish High Temperature, Baked Enamel, Power Cord Length 6 ft., Standards ANSI Z21.86, CSA 2.32
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter
    The start Load may be to big.

    Baseboard Heater, LP, 48 In, 5000 BtuH, 120V

    Baseboard Heater, Gas Type LP, 5000 BtuH, Width 48 In., Voltage 120, 1465 Watts, Gas Connection 3/8 In., Depth 5-3/8 In., Height 9-3/8 In., Wall Opening Size 2-1/2 In. Diameter, Vent Type Direct, Floor to Center of Vent 7-3/4 In., Max. Wall Thickness 16 In., Min. Wall Thickness 4 In., Control Volts 24VAC, 60 Hz, 3.5 Amps AC, Color Off White, Finish High Temperature, Baked Enamel, Power Cord Length 6 ft., Standards ANSI Z21.86, CSA 2.32


    I watched the led on the inverter when it tries to light and it does not show an overload. I spoke with a heating guy at a heating store and he believes that the heater will not work on an inverter or a generator do to the way the heater proves ignition. The heater has lit a few times and run for around 30 seconds and the shuts off and reties to light. I was first thinking it was a grounding issue as I had a cut on my finger and could feel a slight shock when the cut touched the heated housing. I put a 12x12 grounding plate in the ground, about a foot deep. I could go deeper with the grounding plate but it is very bouldery here, there is lots of moisture in the soil right now.

    I was thinking maybe a capacitor in line might help. The heaters work every time on the large older inverter, I could uses this inverter but it draw 5amps at 24v just idling.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,497 admin
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I have seen "spark ignition" type natural gas systems. Those very specifically need the polarity on the AC plug and "return ground" to be correct (hot/neutral/ground).

    The Hot and Neutral was reversed in our home's outlet (during a remodel) on my spark ignition stove (sparks only when there is no flame), and the ignition system became very erratic. Small AC inverters and gensets generally do not have neutral bonded to green wire ground--And I could understand that a similar ignition system may not work correctly. Similarly, many Florescent Tube Fixtures can have issues starting if the metal housing it not tied to green wire ground/AC neutral.

    If you have a hot element or other ignition system, I would not expect hot/neutral/green wire grounding to make a difference.

    I would also be surprised if a ground rod/buried plate did anything at all (ground rods/plates are generally useful for areas with lightning and/or to make sure things like metal water pipes, sinks, water heaters, antenna towers, solar mounting racks, etc. are all at the "same potential" to avoid electrical shock).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • AguarancherAguarancher Solar Expert Posts: 301 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    You are correct. They are polarity sensitive, the 'ribbed' part of the cord need to go to the neutral.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    well the smallest Nova inverter is 2000W so it is 2x your Cotek.. and the Honda eu 2000 puts out about 1600W continuous, 2000 max surge. So you probably need a bigger inverter to handle the surge which must be over 2000W from what you have said.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Thanks for all the replys... I could not see this heater drawing more then 300W, the biggest draw would be the gas solenoid. The control unit might be able to handle 1450W but it is only powering a really small fan, gas solenoid and the spark igniter. There is a led that flashes when all is well, with the honda generator it will not flash and stays lit and the heater will not even try to lite. The honda is grounded and connected to the cotek st-1000 and the cotek has a power bar connected to it that has the ground bonded to the neutral. I can not find the manual for the heater to find the fault code of the constant lit led. I simply plug the cabin into the power bar on either the cotek or the nova 2.5kw.
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I found this thread..

    i'll take a shot....the TR in the furnace is it seeing a true 24Vs or higher sounds like it is trying to start and the VA pull is failing it.check it with a meter right on the TR on the secondary next time.


    Also

    “The control module initiates an ac signal that is sent out to the igniter. The flame acts as a diode and converts the ac signal to a rectified dc signal. The strength of the signal required to prove the flame, and therefore to keep the gas valve open, is dependent on the control module and varies from one control manufacturer’s brand to another. Signal strength can be affected by the type of burner, position of the igniter in the flame, age of the igniter, type of gas, coating on the igniter, and any impurities that could have built up over time. It is imperative that the flame remains in contact with the burner, and that the burner and control module have the same common ground.

    is there a way to test this.

    Thanks..
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Have you got a Kill-A-Watt meter and a power source that will run the heater?
    If so, use it to measure what power demands are really there. That will tell a lot.
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I did put a clamp meter to check the draw, it was around .5amp until the gas solenoid would open but it would shut off before it would read. The technician I met in the store said these types of control units would not work on either generator or inverters because of the way they prove ignition with ground. I told him I could try a grounding plate and his reaction was " well maybe".
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I will try this and report back...

    Thanks again for the replies....


    The method used to prove flame in most gas-fired products produced in the last seven or eight years is often misunderstood. This method is usually known as “flame rectification.”
    Many servicers believe the flame sensor takes an active role in proving flame, and because of this, believe the sensors sometimes fail. Let’s look at what happens.

    In order to verify flame, the ignition control must establish current flow using the flame as a conductor. (Did you know that carbon molecules in a flame will conduct an electrical current?)


    The mechanics of flame sensing
    When everything is working right, the moment flame touches the sensor, the module establishes and monitors this current flow.
    The voltage at the sensor is ac (alternating current), but because of the great difference in mass between the flame sensor and the furnace chassis, this voltage is “rectified” from ac to dc (direct current), usually less than 10 microamps.

    As long as this current flow exists, the ignition control will power the gas valve.

    The flame sensor is not sensing anything. The flame sensor’s only “claim to fame” is that it is resistant to the effects of being immersed in flame.

    A flame sensor can become coated with a silica-type material. (Silica is a component of glass and glass is a great insulator.) When this happens, all that is required is a cleaning of the sensor with a light abrasive.

    That’s the mechanical side. Now let’s look at what can go wrong electrically.


    Electrical snafus
    We know that 115 vac has one hot leg and one neutral. The black (or common) leg has the potential to ground. The neutral does not.
    Apply this to what we just learned about flame sensing and think about what will happen if a furnace is installed with the neutral and common reversed.

    The module must establish current flow through the flame to ground, right? So if the black and white are switched in the junction box or the receptacle, there is no flame sense because there is no voltage potential.

    Everything else in the unit works fine, but a few seconds after the burners light . . . the module closes the gas valve because the power for the flame-proving circuit is not there.

    What if the common and neutral are connected properly, but the flame still drops out for “no reason?”

    Check the ground to the unit. Here’s how:

    You have already measured between common (black) and ground and read 120 vac. Now measure between neutral (white) and ground to be sure you have no voltage (0.0 vac).

    Remember, your flame-sense current is very small, usually less than 10 microamps dc. Think about what would happen to the flame-sense current if there were another voltage potential at the furnace chassis because of a poor ground.

    The same problems can occur on a gas pack if the unit is not properly grounded. You might also have problems on a three-phase unit if the “stinger” leg is the line that winds up as the ignition control’s power source.

    The ignition control needs a clean, properly polarized voltage source to do its job.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,757 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter
    In order to verify flame, the ignition control must establish current flow using the flame as a conductor. (Did you know that carbon molecules in a flame will conduct an electrical current?)

    I always thought it was because the flame mimics a plasma. That feature has been used as an audio speaker for many years.
    http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2009/04/plasma-speakers/
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Since the power produced by a pure sine inverter or inverter-generator is exactly the same as that available from the grid (in some cases better) you have to examine what is different. This comes down to two things:

    1). Actual power available, i.e. the load draws more than the source is capable of producing. This normally will cause a fault in the source.
    2). Lack of neutral-ground bond. We know the Honda I-G does not have this built in, nor do most inverters. If the heater is looking for a Voltage state in respect to ground (not neutral) and there is no bond at the source then it will be looking for Voltage against a what is essentially a disconnected wire. Having the ground actually connected to Earth is not going to alter this.

    One other point, which probably doesn't apply here, is that if the power source is through a GFCI that can cause trouble too.
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I tried a Cotek SE350 this weekend and the heaters worked great, so I have know idea why the heater will not run on the ST-1000. All three inverters share the same ground, the cotek SE350 worked bonded and non bonded.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Well the SE 350 has an N-G bond built-in so there's no way you can remove that without opening the case. You will find this on most pure sine inverters that have outlets on it instead of 'hard wire' connection such as the ST-1000 has.
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Still, any ideas why the st-1000 will not run the heaters when the others will. The Nova Galaxy put out 124vac, SE350 110vac and the ST-1000 118vac. Could the ST-1000 be defective in some way?
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    QUICK UPDATE..

    The two propane baseboard heaters worked flawlessly on the Cotec SE350 inverter all winter.

    Thanks for the reply's...











    Basicplus wrote: »
    Still, any ideas why the st-1000 will not run the heaters when the others will. The Nova Galaxy put out 124vac, SE350 110vac and the ST-1000 118vac. Could the ST-1000 be defective in some way?
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Did you do a continuity test between neutral and ground on each inverter and the Honda (while off of course)? That would confirm which ones have an internal bond and which don't.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Ken MarshKen Marsh Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I have not had experience with the specific equipment you are using but feel I do know what is happening.
    MSW inverters do not have nor can they have their neutral connected to the ground.
    This is because of the bridge connected chopper output.
    It must be isolated from both legs of the input power.
    Evidently the flame sensor requires the neutral to be at the same potential as ground.

    I would use a small isolation transformer in the line feeling power to the heater.
    I doubt that the control uses much power.
    If it did it would get hot.

    Note that this transformer must be a full primary/secondary isolation transformer (not an auto transformer).
  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    On the EU2000i, are you sure you had neutral bonded to ground? The generator doesn't have that internally.

    I can run my home furnace (gas, full electronic) on the EU2000i just fine, but when I first wired things up I had a dedicated line going from the generator on the back patio to the furnace. Without the neutral-ground bond the furnace refused to run, as soon as I bonded them (just jumpered neutral and ground in a spare plug and plugged it into the second outlet on the generator) it fired up. I have since modified / expanded my system so there's a permanent bond in a sub panel for the backed-up circuits, as well as a real ground.

    This furnace draws 800-900W while running, peaks around 1800W when the main blower is starting.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter
    RandomJoe wrote: »
    On the EU2000i, are you sure you had neutral bonded to ground? The generator doesn't have that internally.

    Yup, that's why I suggested some continuity tests on the prior page. Hopefully he checks in again.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • BasicplusBasicplus Solar Expert Posts: 25
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter
    techntrek wrote: »
    Yup, that's why I suggested some continuity tests on the prior page. Hopefully he checks in again.

    Hi

    I was as surprised as most people to see that the honda eu2000 would not power the heaters, I have the ground bonded to neutral. The led will show power on the heater but they will not even attempt to light. With the Cotek st-1000 the heater will power up the fan and light but then stop a second later, this will cycle non stop. All this is grounded to a buried grounding plate.

    I use the st-1000 to power my water heater which is a modern ignition propane forced air 40gal water heater, it will not run on the honda or the st-1000 without being bonded. I have an extension cord end which I bonded the neutral to ground that I use to test with as well, I even plugged that too in the Honda.

    I know the Honda inverter generators have very clean power, but I believe the issue is more of how the control units in the heaters prove ignition. I have no idea why they will not even attempt to run on the Honda, but the fact is they don't. I have two heater and a spare control unit and it is the same on all, I did also verify that the were bonded with a good volt meter.

    The cotek se350 powered the heaters all winter, they worked every time without fail.

    If there are any tests that you think might solve the mystery, I will happily try them, but the bonding has been done.

    Thanks Dave..
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    Good to hear. I don't have any other ideas at the moment.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    While we're taking wild stabs in the dark...

    Have you checked the frequency output on the generator? It's an inverter, so *should* be nice and stable and exactly on-frequency, but this morning I remembered a job I had once where some controllers that worked just fine on grid power stopped functioning when the building switched to backup generator. Turned out those controllers were VERY frequency sensitive, expected 60 Hz +/- 1 Hz and the generator was at 58 Hz. They tweaked the generator up to 60 Hz and everything ran fine. I'd worked with hundreds of that model controller over the years, many in settings with backup generators, and ran across the frequency issue only the one time.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,369 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    You have verified that the Honda and the Cotek both connect the same side of the plug (the wider blade) to ground? Sounds like you did by using the same cable. Other than using a scope to check voltage and current waveforms, I don't know.

    As a general comment, people would well advised to get a $1 "Electrical Receptacle Wall Plug AC Outlet Ground Tester".

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Propane heaters will not run on Honda EU2000 or Cotek st-1000 inverter

    I'd check the gas supply also, make sure the line is purged of air and the regulator is working. Most newer gas valves and igniter's will not function of the gas flow or pressure is low. The propane heater on my boat will act the same way and I have to move the propane tank in under the hull in the winter.

    Might find something here.

    http://energy.edu.pl/oil-885-0-asc-15.html
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