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Mains Inverter


John Wr
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Have used an inverter now for some years,but always I think with double insulated appliances eg lights, chargers and TV.

 

I am left wondering though what are the consequences of using an inverter with an appliance that needs an earth connection and if there is a failure in the device.

 

If the consequences are as dire as I think, is there some practical action which could be taken or should such appliances only be used with a big note of caution.

 

Any thoughts or am I missing something obvious?

 

Cheers

 

John.

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Have used an inverter now for some years,but always I think with double insulated appliances eg lights, chargers and TV.

 

I am left wondering though what are the consequences of using an inverter with an appliance that needs an earth connection and if there is a failure in the device.

 

If the consequences are as dire as I think, is there some practical action which could be taken or should such appliances only be used with a big note of caution.

 

Any thoughts or am I missing something obvious?

 

Cheers

 

John.

 

So long as the appliance is correctly wired in the plug, then the protection afforded by the earth connection in the inverter will be the same as it would be if the appliance were connected to the public supply,

so any perceived danger would also be the same as if the appliance was connected to the public supply .

 

So the risks of using an inverter are no different to connecting to the mains

Edited by Elldisrod
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But the inverter itself isn't connected to earth - the 12v go to battery positive and negative - the mains side goes to the appliance - if the appliance develops a fault, it's earth connection doesn't go anywhere.

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But the inverter itself isn't connected to earth - the 12v go to battery positive and negative - the mains side goes to the appliance - if the appliance develops a fault, it's earth connection doesn't go anywhere.

 

Until you touch it or the appliance plugged in then it's earthed.

Doesn't the same apply to a generator shouldn't they be earthed as well with a spike driven into the ground? Can't remember one being used like that though

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Have used an inverter now for some years,but always I think with double insulated appliances eg lights, chargers and TV.

 

I am left wondering though what are the consequences of using an inverter with an appliance that needs an earth connection and if there is a failure in the device.

 

If the consequences are as dire as I think, is there some practical action which could be taken or should such appliances only be used with a big note of caution.

 

Any thoughts or am I missing something obvious?

 

Cheers

 

John.

I think you will find that with a Inverter or a Generator that both the earth and Neutral are at the same potential (ie they are connected together)

 

The only way to get a good earth is to knock a 3/4ft copper rod into the ground and 6/10mm of cable to connect to the inverter etc

 

Radiotwo

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I'm not an electrician, but my limited knowledge tells me there is no danger of a shock unless you short out both sides (i. e. live & neutral). In household mains, the neutral has a path through the earth (connected back in the sub stations) which is why you can get a shock that way.

 

I am sure someone with a better knowledge will confirm this (or tell me I am talking rubbish :rolleyes: ).

 

MW

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The Aldi/Lidl inverters instructions state it must be connected to earth and an earth connection point is fitted.

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To answer one or two points made above,

 

The inverter is a stand alone device, it has its own internal earth connection, so it no way relies on any external earth path for safety,

 

The use of an earth rod will add nothing to enhance safety if the inverter is connected directly to an appliance,

 

New regulations now require EXTERNAL generators / inverters to have an earth rod connected to the generator/ inverter, and also an earth rod connected to the main earth terminal in the portable building ( caravan )

 

There are many designs of inverter / generator with various methods of deriving the earth connection

 

I have a 300w inverter, just for laptop use, and in this the output is centre tapped, so the output is 120v above and below earth, I also have an early Honda generator with a similar system, so it is not safe to assume all generators and inverters are the same,

 

The simple answer is to read and digest the instructions and follow any safety notes to the letter

 

Even the output from an inverter can be deadly, it takes as little as a 50v shock to stop the heart .

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  • 2 months later...
To answer one or two points made above,

 

The inverter is a stand alone device, it has its own internal earth connection, so it no way relies on any external earth path for safety,

 

The use of an earth rod will add nothing to enhance safety if the inverter is connected directly to an appliance,

 

New regulations now require EXTERNAL generators / inverters to have an earth rod connected to the generator/ inverter, and also an earth rod connected to the main earth terminal in the portable building ( caravan )

 

There are many designs of inverter / generator with various methods of deriving the earth connection

 

I have a 300w inverter, just for laptop use, and in this the output is centre tapped, so the output is 120v above and below earth, I also have an early Honda generator with a similar system, so it is not safe to assume all generators and inverters are the same,

 

The simple answer is to read and digest the instructions and follow any safety notes to the letter

 

Even the output from an inverter can be deadly, it takes as little as a 50v shock to stop the heart .

 

And on the subject of safety don't interfere with anything electrical be it 12 volt or 230, ac or dc. All can kill given the wrong set of circumstances. If you have been trained then by all means do your own thing, if not, leave well alone.

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I bought one a couple of years ago and the instructions were very vauge so I rang the company and spoke to one of thier Electrical engineers who told me that for safety the Inverter should be earthed but a connection to the caravan chasis would be sufficient but an earth rod would be preferable but not essential

Dave.

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