Sunday, October 11, 2009

Choosing Wire For Your 12v Power Inverter

Okay, the wiring in this picture is a bit heavy forThe type and size of wire that you use for installing your power inverter is worth taking a minute to talk about. Some power inverters come with short.  To be honest, I don't know why they even include them.  They are almost always too short for many installations.

I've seen people use all kinds of wires to install 12v power inverters.   I've even seen someone use light guage speaker wire!  I couldn't believe it and I politely informed him why his wire selection was not the right choice.

When you are installing your power inverter keep in mind that you are running large amounts of electricity through the wires.  There is a reason that your battery cables are heavy gauge wires.  When you are moving a lot of power, heat builds up due the high resistance in the wire.  Think of it like a straw.  It's very hard to suck through a thin coffee stirring straw.  Think of thin wires like the thin straw.  Electricity will have a hard time getting through the thin wires.  Chances are that they will get hot, melt the insulation off and short out.

Whenever I install a power inverter, I spend a couple of extra bucks and buy the really good stuff.  I like to use 6 or 8 gauge welding lead wire.  The insulation is thick and less likely to wear through or melt. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tips For Installing A 12v Power Inverter On A Work Truck

If you are planning to install a 12v power inverter in your work truck, this article will give you some valuable tips about doing it the right way?

A properly sized 12v power inverter is the perfect accessory to your work truck. Imagine being able to carry real power tools on the road instead of cordless ones. Maybe your favorite tools are cordless. Wouldn't it be great to be able to keep your batteries charged while on a remote job site? Every job site needs a radio. Run an extension cord from your inverter and listen to your favorite tunes while working away.

You may have noticed that I said "properly sized" 12v power inverter above. This is the first step in having a successful inverter installation. For a work truck, I would get the largest an heaviest duty inverter that you can afford. You've probably spent a lot of money on quality tools. You should plan on spending as much as it takes for a quality commercial grade 12v power inverter. It will last longer and perform better.

Step two in the installation process is choosing a suitable location for the inverter. It should be mounted somewhere that gets good ventilation and is not exposed to the elements. The back of your pickup would be a very bad location. Bad weather would quickly destroy your expensive piece of equipment. So would the dashboard. It can get pretty hot up there on the dash.

A couple of possible good locations would be behind the seat or maybe on the passenger side firewall. Make sure that wherever you mount it, that you have enough access to plug in your tools. Also make sure that it won't have other tools thrown on it or that it will be stepped on.

The next step for a good installation is choosing the proper wire gauge. Most higher end inverters won't come with cables and that is fine. Those that do often supply inadequate wires. I recommend using 4 gauge welding cables. Don't skimp on wires! If you do, you won't get the rated power out of your inverter and you might start a fire when the insulation on the wire melts.

I always use heavy duty terminals that are both crimped and soldered onto the wires. Remember, this is for a mobile application, you don't want them working loose on you. Good and solid terminal connections mean lower resistance in the wire. Therefore more current can flow through the wires.

Possibly the most important thing to consider is the battery that you use. Nothing would be more frustrating that getting in your truck at the end of your day to find out that it won't start because you used all it's "juice" running your screw gun. The best way to prevent this is to install a separate deep cycle battery that is separated from the starting battery with a battery isolator.

You then connect the inverter to the isolated deep cycle battery. This way both batteries will charge while you are running the engine but only the deep cycle battery will drain while you are using power tools.

It's important to buy a deep cycle battery as these are designed to be deeply discharged many times without suffering damage. Your starting battery is designed to start the vehicle and then immediately begin charging while the engine is running. I'm sure you've left the lights on in your car to find out that a deeply discharged starting battery is not a good thing.

Keep a window cracked a bit while running the inverter. This will promote ventilation an help prevent overheating of the 12v inverter.

The last tip that I have is to keep the inverter clean. A clean inverter will run cooler. From time to time, I blow would blow the inverter out with a can of compressed air. I don't recommend using air from your compressor. Air compressors frequently accumulate water in the tank. It wouldn't be very good to blow water onto the circuit board of your 12v inverter.

Follow these tips and you're sure to be much happier with your inverter.

NOTE: When installing any electrical equipment into your truck follow the manufactures safety warnings.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Welcome to 12v Power Inverter

I want to take a minute and welcome you to 12v power inverter. This blog will cover 12v power inverters, batteries, battery chargers, and other helpful information.

I'll try and be quite thorough in this blog but if there's anything that I haven't covered please feel free and email me at Yeah, I know, Bob Barker. Sorry to say I'm not the famous Bob Barker.

Thanks for visiting my 12v Power Inverter blog.