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Old 06-20-2012, 07:56 AM   #1
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Using a 2000w Inverter

I've never used an Inverter before and there are some things I'd like to know: Are they safe for your appliances? How long can you use them? (I guess that depends on what you're using them for) Are all outlets wired to use them?
My wife uses a breathing machine when she sleeps at night, for sleep Apnia. Can she plug it in and use it when we're dry camping?
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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Inverters are safe for appliances with the following stipulations

It is a quality unit from a reputable manufacturer

It is appropriate for the type of appliance.

There are two types, Pure Sine Wave and Modified Sine Wave. If it is a quality unit with pure sine wave, you can safely use it with any appliance within it's rating. Some appliances with certain types of motors don't work well with Modified Sine Wave. These are microwaves, clocks, some battery charging devices and appliances that rely on 60 cycle timing.

Your wife's breathing machine more than likely has a 12 volt DC cigarette lighter type power supply available for it and would be the most efficient way of powering it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Regarding the MSW (modified sine wave) inverters. Most appliances seem to work okay with them with some exceptions. One is CPAP machines made by Resmed. As far as I know none of their machines are useable with MSW inverters.
Many and maybe all Respironics machines are usable with a MSW inverter.

Many of the newer machines will work with 12 vdc. Most of the older ones will also except for the heated humidifier. Check the manual or web site and see if a dc cord in available.
A 300 watt inverter seems to be enough to supply the needed power for many CPAP machines (including the heated humidifier).

There have been a number of posts about newer electric blankets failing on MSW inverters. Some people have reported that their TVs had lines showing on the screens. Some MSW inverters are worse than others.

Larger inverters are usually wired with a auto transfer switch and a sub panel so that only selected circuit/receptacles are powered by the inverter. The converter is not powered by the inverter or must be turned off when the inverter in on. Often high current devices like ACs are not powered by the inverter.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
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If your inverter is wired into the coach the same as mine it should be able to handle things like your refrigerator clock radios etc. It will use the batteries until it depleats the source and then fail. Therefore the number of batteries that it is connected to and their charge will determine how long they will work. My coach will recharge the batteries as we travel and the inverter will recharge the batteries as the coach is plugged in to shore power. The inverter has to be turned on to accomplish this. It automatically decides weather it needs to be charging or producing 120v. I have a 120V household refrige and it will handle its needs all day long. My coach came with a 2800W inverter because the residental refrig requires more.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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stvscharfe,
Can you tell us the brand and model number of your inverter?

I have a 2kw modified sine wave inverter and I can tell what not to run on modified s/w: many rechargeable battery operated items.

I have 2 Motorola cell phone chargers and both died a slow death. The Winnebago supplied rechargeable flashlight died on the 1st trip I took. Dealer replaced it and 2nd one died in just a few days.

It seems the older stuff that used the wall transformers will do just fine. In 13 yrs never had one go out.

With a 2000 watt inverter, you have to be really careful about how much power you're pulling out of the 12 v batteries. They will run down very fast and you don't want to discharge them much below 50%.....about 12.0 v as measured on digital meter. I have 4 golf cart batteries and just running the dual dvr satellite receiver will run them down in 24 hrs.

Happy Trails,
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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If installing an inverter, you are doing it for convenience. While some things are more convenient having a MSW inverter, some things will burn up or be damaged so as to provide lesser working life. To me the inconvenience of worrying about that is well worth installing a PSW unit instead. Do the job right the first time.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
If installing an inverter, you are doing it for convenience. While some things are more convenient having a MSW inverter, some things will burn up or be damaged so as to provide lesser working life. To me the inconvenience of worrying about that is well worth installing a PSW unit instead. Do the job right the first time.
I agree with you although I have a number of friends that don't.

My PSW inverter is only a 600 watt unit but that is all I need for the items I want to power while we are traveling down the road or when the power goes out for a while.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:26 PM   #8
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I use a Resmed CPAP machine and humidifier with a Hunter Model MS2012, 2000 watt pure sign wave inverter with 400 amp hours of battery energy. We can run all night while running a small fan, the Resmed, the computer, and TV, and a small freezer.

One nice benefit of this inverter is standby mode. We can't tell when the power goes out unless we are running an air conditioner.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaunclm View Post
I use a Resmed CPAP machine and humidifier with a Hunter Model MS2012, 2000 watt pure sign wave inverter with 400 amp hours of battery energy. We can run all night while running a small fan, the Resmed, the computer, and TV, and a small freezer.

One nice benefit of this inverter is standby mode. We can't tell when the power goes out unless we are running an air conditioner.
Thanks Chauncey, that's the best answer I've seen. That tells me about what I can run on my inverter.
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