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Narrowjack

Sterling 1800w inverter failure

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Hi all,

Just canvassing opinion before I replace @ £300.

Had this inverter for last seven years with no issues, but yesterday the wife was using a small travel hair drier off the mains circuit and the power went out, so she checked the inverter which was indicating overload, so she switched it off, left it for 5mins and switched on again (hair dryer disconnected) Green light came on, but then she got a blue flash and a pop from the inverter. So she called me & I isolated the supply to the unit. There was a noticeable electrical hot smell.

Anybody had a similar experience with one of these? If so what burned out & is it replaceable.

Realise this is somewhat general, but any steer appreciated.

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I don't think ANY inverter is fail-proof, having lost 2 top-end ones in 6 years, and a £70 one in a week. Phone Sterling - if Charles is in a good mood and you talk to him nicely, he might get it fixed for you.

 

If he's in a bad mood, and tells you to eff off and buy another one, then tell him you'll post that all over the boating forums (including the yachting ones)!

Edited by Loafer

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Always worth having an expensive piece of equipment checked out before deciding to bin. Could be as simple as an on board fuse that has let go or a cheap to replace capacitor.

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Using a hairdryer on low power is a very quick way to terminate an inverter.

High power usually not a problem.

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Using a hairdryer on low power is a very quick way to terminate an inverter.

High power usually not a problem.

Care to explain why? So that I can extrapolate.

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Care to explain why? So that I can extrapolate.

Not good at explaining but:

Most hair dryers use a diode across the mains to reduce the power this efectively shorts out half the waveform. OK on a house supply but inverters don't like being shorted so it normally takes out one side of the power devices.

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Not good at explaining but:

Most hair dryers use a diode across the mains to reduce the power this efectively shorts out half the waveform. OK on a house supply but inverters don't like being shorted so it normally takes out one side of the power devices.

Seems like a bit of an oversight by the inverter manufacturer if the above (assuming I've understood properly) is not taken into account?

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Not good at explaining but:

Most hair dryers use a diode across the mains to reduce the power this efectively shorts out half the waveform. OK on a house supply but inverters don't like being shorted so it normally takes out one side of the power devices.

Actually I'd say it's the opposite, it doesn't short out half the wave it blocks half the wave. But the effect is the same it destroys cheap inverters such as Sterling's

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Actually I'd say it's the opposite, it doesn't short out half the wave it blocks half the wave. But the effect is the same it destroys cheap inverters such as Sterling's

 

I'd love you to say that to Charles Sterling. Could you film the result and post it here!!

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I'd love you to say that to Charles Sterling. Could you film the result and post it here!!

I'd juat love to! Last year I had 4 Sterling sine inverters replaced under guarantee before they said I'd found a software fault that they had no intention of fixing so they replaced it with a quasi sine that destroyed my chargers and gas cooker. That inverter went on eBay and I bought a better one.

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I'd juat love to! Last year I had 4 Sterling sine inverters replaced under guarantee before they said I'd found a software fault that they had no intention of fixing so they replaced it with a quasi sine that destroyed my chargers and gas cooker. That inverter went on eBay and I bought a better one.

 

Blimey. I thought Sterling stuff was better than that, I must admit. I've never had one of his inverters though, but use his battery chargers. Never a fault there in 10 years of different boats.

 

I don't trust inverters of any quality, unless I'm on board. We have installed a smoke alarm directly above it, under the engine room floor!

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Not good at explaining but:

Most hair dryers use a diode across the mains to reduce the power this efectively shorts out half the waveform. OK on a house supply but inverters don't like being shorted so it normally takes out one side of the power devices.

 

Thankfully only the cheaper ones employ this crude form of power reduction which household mains supplies can cope with. The effect on the inverter though with this perfectly mis-matched load is a very loud buzzing. Although most inverters have full short circuit protection, they cannot cope with this kind of load for more than a few seconds.

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I've just had a sterling inverter go on me too. Went dead short and blew it's internal fuse. Only a small 350W 24 volt sine wave type, they don't seem to like reactive loads either.that's the second one now. I was using it on a central heating pump, as 24v brushless pumps are so expensive. The expensive inverters don't offer better warranties than cheaper ones either as I discovered recently.

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Surprised to hear these things about modern Sterling inverters. Ours is about 12 years old now and has had all manner of electrical items plugged into it. Only thing i have noticed is that my current laptop takes much longer to charge from the inverter than when plugged into mains at home. Other laptops have been fine. Perhaps it is Linux to blame ;)

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