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Old 10-27-2012, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1500 Watt Power Inverter - How to hook up?

So I'm looking to hook up a 1500 Watt Power Inverter (3000 peak) to my truck battery.

It would just be used for emergency situations, maybe 1000 watt items max.

How do I hook this up? I have done a lot of research...but I am still confused.

On the back of the inverter it has a red and black for the batteries, and a ground wire. So I researched and found out I should use 1/0 wire, with a 150-200 amp inline fuse.

Since I do not want this permanately installed, can I use alligator clips on the end of the wire? And then what size wire do I need to run for the ground on the inverter?

I will be running the motor whenever I am using this inverter.

Thanks!
Austin
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would use something a little bigger than alligator clips. But yes, if you want a temp install that would be the way to go.

I would go to dollar general, dollar store etc and get a cheap bag to keep it under the seat in as well.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick response.

One more question..i have snow plow wiring on the front of the truck that power my plow in the winter. Can i hook the inverter to those wires? Its a hot and a ground wire, very thick.

Thanks
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Probably. If it blows the fuse, you know you over loaded it.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Read the number on the existing wiring to be able to decide if you should tie into it. 'Very thick' is relative... to me 6/0AWG is what I call very thick but to a transmission utility lineman that's probably nothing. Preferably just home run straight to the battery. '

For the ground, just run a little jumper cable from the negative post on the inverter to its ground pin. This is not normally a current carrying line and used just for bonding. Should it become current carrying for whatever reason, the inverter will shut down first.

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Old 10-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The wire for the plow is 4 gauge, so I guess that would not be thick enough?

The wire runs from the front of the truck, to a relay, into the fuse box, then to the battery.

Thanks

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Old 10-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dothedeww View Post
The wire for the plow is 4 gauge, so I guess that would not be thick enough?

The wire runs from the front of the truck, to a relay, into the fuse box, then to the battery.

Thanks

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Just run your own 4 or 2AWG wire to the battery separately. Without seeing what this snowplow setup looks like it's hard for me to just recommend using it. You can make your judgement call though.

Are you mounting this inverter somewhere in the cab of your truck or are you just going to wrap up the cable and plug it in whenever you need it, when stopped? If you're going to install it, do it right; but if you really use it very rarely then you can almost get away with taking some 4 or 2 AWG booster cables, chopping the other end off, crimping on some lugs and bolting that to the inverter as a very temporary solution. This would be the workable version of your alligator clip idea.

I used 4AWG thermoset welding cable for my actual run, since most of the current that it will deal with is surge current and not sustained. The welding cable is rated for very high temperatures so they will handle 100+ amps without breaking down the sheathing, and the wire is not run in enclosed conduit which would derate ampacity. If I were to run constant maximum power on the system for 100% duty cycle, I would have definitely sized it with a fair margin. For example when I set up whole-building UPS systems (rectifier > battery string > inverter) which are running 24x7/365 I would do that. (But those run at more than 12V to reduce current)
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Its very temporary.

With the hurricane about to hit me in MD..i want a small source of power.

It will rarely be used. I like your booster cable idea. Do I need to put an inline fuse in the hot wire?

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Old 10-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thanks!

So If I only do a 5' wire then a 4 gauge would be fine.

Do I need to put an inline fuse in between the inverter and the battery?

Thanks!!
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Anytime you are doing an install like this you definitely want fuses, the inverter most likely has a fuse but I'd rather have one in the wiring somewhere before it gets to the inverter. The 1500 watt inverter should run just fine off of 4-6 gauge wiring. Those quick disconnects shown on the back of the inverter in one of the pictures above would be your best solution for temporary connection, and gives you a way to connect other equipment later on if you wanted to. Those connectors are usually found on a lot of winch setups on trucks and are pretty heavy duty and will withstand pretty harsh conditions where as normal battery clips will come lose or not give a very good connection to begin with and cause power loss and if not careful can cause arcing.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you.

I have a 200amp fuse for a sub, can i use that to put inline the hot wire?

Thanks
Austin

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Old 10-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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that should be plenty enough at 200 amps.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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that should be plenty enough at 200 amps.
Thanks a ton. I will do that tomorrow ahead of the hurricane!

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Old 10-27-2012, 10:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This year I ran my campers 110 power off a 1750 watt inverter temporarily hooked to my trucks battery with a set of booster cables and it worked ok but when under heavier draws the truck had to be running or the batteries voltage would drop too much and the low voltage alarm on the inverter would sound.

It used quite a bit of fuel too.

A new Honda/Yamaha generator is on the books for next year.
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