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Old 01-18-2019, 02:08 PM   #1
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Tripplite, inverter, magnum

Hereís what happened. I left my Tripplite inverter on after using it to plug in a standard 120v coffee maker.
I then put the coffee maker away and forgot to switch the inverter back to line charge only. I then drove for 4 hours with no issues till I stopped for 5 minutes. I came back to my van and found it smoke filled and smelling like an electrical fire. I quickly went to the inverter panel and switched it off to line charge only. I then inspected all connections and batteries and found no obvious damage. I then drove the rest of the way home with no issues. I called Sportsmobile north and they said it should have only drained my batteries and not caused a smoke issue of fire hazard. Sportsmobile north suggested a new magnum inverter or a call to Tripplite. I told Tripplite what happened and they opened a call ticket and requested pics. Has anyone had a similiar occurrence? I would appreciate any advice or suggestions. I own a 2008 ford e350 6.0 diesel, SMB, quigley conversion.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:21 PM   #2
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Try to isolate where the smoke came from. If your cabin was full of smoke something fried. Sniff around the inverter, panel,wiring. Does the inverter power up? Is there output? Were there any fuses blown or breakers tripped?
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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I gotta beleive it’s the inverter. No wires or connections or fuses blown. Also, as soon as I shut off the inverter it stopped and did not do it again. Yes the inverter still works but I’m afraid to use it.
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:10 PM   #4
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I gotta beleive itís the inverter. No wires or connections or fuses blown. Also, as soon as I shut off the inverter it stopped and did not do it again. Yes the inverter still works but Iím afraid to use it.
i did make a cup of coffee and it worked fine but this time I remembered to turn the inverter off and switch to line charge
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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I would start at the main battery connection and work your way to the inverter. If the wire gauge wasn’t sufficient the wire can overheat lots of things it is touching.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:35 PM   #6
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I would start at the main battery connection and work your way to the inverter. If the wire gauge wasnít sufficient the wire can overheat lots of things it is touching.
Thank you for offering youíre help and suggestions. I certainly will give that a try
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:46 PM   #7
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I have seen inverters that dont have a low voltage shutdown feature burn up due to low voltage, voltage goes down current goes up. The inverter definately put up a cloud of smoke. It would still power up and work but it didnt have its full output. Turned out it blew 4 of the 6 power transistors. So instead of 600w output it was only putting out 200w. If you have some old style 100w lightbulbs around connect them one at a time adding them together until you get to the output wattage of the inverter to see if it has full output. Check batt connectors and leads as KTM suggested first.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestion but, I don’t have any bulbs. I do appreciate the insight and will mention that to Tripp lite technical support when they get back to. I did have a full battery charge from driving for 4 hours when I stopped and had this incident.
Thanks so much for trying to help out.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #9
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Not sure what happened but something did! I would figure it out before I used it again or went on another trip.

I used to be a big fan of Tripplite inverters. I've bought several and installed them in rigs.

Unfortunately, I've heard too many bad stories about them in the past few years. My latest one is an Aimes Power 2500 PSW and it handles everything I can throw at it in my work truck. Microwave, laser printer, Keurig, AC refrigerator, many chargers and often a couple or 3 of these of these at once. The price, construction, etc. are all better than Tripplite IMO.

Just food for thought if you have to replace your Tripplite.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:36 AM   #10
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In general nothing that you did should have caused a problem, worse case is if you had an actual load applied to the 110 circuit you would have been using up power and (either alternator power or battery). If nothing was plugged in or turned on than at most you would have a minimal level of power from the inverter. The trip-lite does have a load sense function, it is dial that sets up the minimal load needed for the inverter to come on. So you could have it on and actually not be inverting any power. The yellow invert LED will be blinking if the inverter is on but not met the load sense threshold.

Given that it appears that you have a problem, most things at the chip level don't really emit a lot of smoke, it will smell but only produce a small puff of smoke. Burning the etching or PCB material would create a lot of smoke, and it would be easy to see, unfortunately opening up the trip-lite for a quick glance is not an option.

Another thing that creates a lot of smoke is wire insulation. The only thing I would add to the help you have already received would be to also look at the AC output wires, and the breaker box. It sounds like you normally don't use your inverter while driving, and sense this happened after while or right after driving and connections that are affected by road vibration would also be an area that I would look.

-greg
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