GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter



  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,630 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter
    nsaspook wrote: »
    We agree that's "silly" to bandaid a product to make it work but sometimes it better in the long run to do it if it fixes the problem. The poor quality of some components from China will only make things worse when used in critical functions. The EMI generated by home electrical is nothing, these are the kind of filters I've used on systems at work to stop electrical problems.

    One of the things about the Chinese that often gets left out is how good they can be at making existing products better. Yes I know about the Chinese drywall and plastic toys with arsenic. It is amazing to me how good they are when they are not constrained with price.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
    E-mail [email protected]

  • nsaspooknsaspook Solar Expert Posts: 396 ✭✭✭
    Re: GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter
    One of the things about the Chinese that often gets left out is how good they can be at making existing products better. Yes I know about the Chinese drywall and plastic toys with arsenic. It is amazing to me how good they are when they are not constrained with price.

    I agree that they can make quality products, it's just the the bean counters here and there only look at cost. One of the primary problems is the quality of their bearings. I've spent way too much time replacing smoked fans and motors when the vendors switched to "quality" cost saving products. RANT OFF...
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Re: GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter

    The attitude in much of Asia has historically been 'let the buyer beware'. Some Chinese companies are past that now but many are not.

    İndia is the same way - worked there many years. My old boss (whole family) had one point only - how to make more money regardless of how. İf he was doing something real bad he might warn close family members to be cautious. There were posters about ethics posted all around but they really meant employees should not steal from the company - never mind what the company does - bit of a double standard.

    The old attitude in Asia is something most people in North America and Europe would have great trouble understanding.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter
    iabteri wrote: »
    The dedicated outlet I had installed for my computer system has a plug on the other end and is plugged directly into the inverter with the GFCI.

    (Sorry, I haven't read the whole thread so someone may have said this already.)

    Is the newly installed outlet a GFCI? Is so, then that is your problem. According to the manual:
    (page 5)

    this inverter comes in either a "Hardwired" model (1/2" ko for wiring - NO receptacle) OR a "GFCI" version.

    From your description is sounds like you have the GFCI version of the inverter - AND you have a second GFCI (the one newly installed in your slide-out) plugged into the first (the one built-in to the inverter).

    You can split a circuit and *parallel* two GFCIs on one circuit - but you CANNOT have one GFCI protecting another "downstream" GFCI.

    Plugging one GFCI into another GFCI (or hard-wiring one to the *load side* of another) will cause them to misbehave and more or less randomly trip each other. Normally, whichever one is most sensitive will be the one that trips most often.

    [EDIT: Nods to Coot who mentioned this already.]
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,482 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter

    A GFI has a toriod transformer with hot and neutral (wider prong) wire wrapped in opposite directions so their fields cancel in toroid core. A pick up winding is also wrapped around toriod core and is amplified and rectified to create the signal that trips the breaker.

    When hot and neutral carry exact same currents there is no net field in torroid core and therefore no sense winding output. When hot and neutral are not exactly the same, as result of one of the two lines having leakage to ground terminal, then there is output from the sense winding and the GFI trips open.

    The spec on GFI's are that they trip with greater then 5 mA AC leakage to ground. There is variation in this leakage sensitivity from GFI to GFI. I have one that I have measured to trip at 100 uA leakage. This may explain why your first inverter did not trip and new one does.

    It is common for switching power supplies, like one in your computer, to have two caps to ground prong as part of the EMI filtering. The tolerance on these caps can result in some imbalance on the amount of current that is passed to ground prong by the caps. This could be enough to trip an overly sensitive GFI.

    Some generators have neutral and ground tied together. Your charger could also have the EMI caps to ground like the computer power supply.

    Your solution may only be to have any offending device not to connect their ground to your inverter ground (three pin to two pin AC adaptor plug).
  • iabteriiabteri Solar Expert Posts: 45 ✭✭
    Re: GFCI Tripping on Magnum Inverter

    I wanted to update my original thread with the results of this issue.

    The GFCI was in fact defective and/or over sensitive. I called Magnum and asked if I could replace it with the GFCI outlet that was on the old unit I was returning to them, and he said to go ahead and do that. After it was installed, everything is working fine again, even with my surge protector back on the computer system.

    I am getting ready to add solar panels to my system (already purchased from Wind & Sun), so I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.

    Thanks again to everyone who replied. You input is much appreciated.
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