1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Castile Won't Run On Inverter

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by DonD, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. DonD

    DonD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Wallingford, CT
    I thought I would try my Castile on inverter power as a test run in case we lose power tonight with Nemo. See link for the inverter below. It's a modified sine wave, not pure sine wave inverter - not a great one but certainly not the cheapest. I usually run it off the battery in a car and run an extension cord into the house to keep the cell phones and laptops charged and the fish filters running. I expected to try it and see if the motors made noise or if anything else unusual happened that would cause me to not rely on it during a power outage.

    What I didn't expect was for it to not work at all.No power, no lights, nuthin'. First I tried it with the surge suppressor (Isobar - see link) and the fault light on the surge suppressor lit. Then I tried the stove directly into the extension on the inverter and nuthin'.

    The battery had good voltage and the inverter has enough watts. All I can think of is that the surge suppressor and stove are both sensitive to the modified sine wave and faulted/shut down respectively. Could that be the problem? Or is there something wrong with the inverter? It works fine other wise for the charging and filters.

    I had planned to get a pure sign inverter, battery pack, charger and propane genny but I'd like to know why my current setup doesn't work so I can avoid mistakes.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NIG2FG/ref=wms_ohs_product

    http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-ULTRABLOK-Protector-Suppressor/dp/B00006B81D/ref=pd_bxgy_pc_text_y

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    514
    Loc:
    SW MA
    The CPU in the stove probably can't boot due to noisy power. Try a pure sine.
  3. relxn88

    relxn88 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    Ma.
  4. DonD

    DonD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Wallingford, CT
    Yup
  5. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    843
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Your best bet, pickup a honda inverter generator. It looks like it is the route i'm going to go. Have been researching for about 3 months now and the pure sine wave batter backup systems that can run on a generator cost upward of 650, and still deliver pure sine wave. For that money, i'll go with the honda inverter.
  6. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    514
    Loc:
    SW MA
    I believe that model has a 12v battery option.
  7. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    688
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Ive run my classic bay off of "dirty power" acted and sounded fine. Weird...

    Do you have a desktop computer? Try that if you have the same problem I suspect your inverter is doing something funky..
  8. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    542
    Loc:
    NE Pa
    You may be thinking of the Mt Vernon
  9. DonD

    DonD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Wallingford, CT
    I thought about that too but right now I'm leaning toward battery/pure sine inverter/charger/genny. The main reason is so that I don't have to run the genny 24/7 but just long enough to charge the batteries.
  10. DonD

    DonD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Wallingford, CT
    Yeah, that is what I expected...
    I'll have to experiment with the inverter. Maybe not tonight though. ;)
  11. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    843
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Well if you find a combo that works, share the knowledge. I'm at a loss. Power outages are rare where I live, but I'd like to have a backup. I currently own a generator, just a dirty one. It does have enough giddy up to run my space heaters, or the inlaws live 10 min away, and have a wood burner. But who doesn't like watching netflix during a power outage. :)
  12. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,514
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    How did you hook the battery to the inverter? Jumper cables? Gauge of the wire? Length of the wire? The biggest problem is always one or all of these. You need a LOT of current coming out of the battery to drive the inverter and if you used jumper cables or small gauge wire, your voltage drop was too much and the inverter shut down. Also, the inverter probably isn't capable of the 1100 watts either. At least on other forums, I've read that comment more than once. You also might want to disconnect the igniter, since it's the biggest consumer of electric and light the pellets manually with a torch or lighter fluid.

    With the igniter, you're talking 573 watts steady state. It will be even higher at start up of the motors. 573/.85 efficiency = 675/12 volts = 56 amps at least coming out of the battery. Better have at least 4 gauge wire if it's a very short run. And you need a good solid connection.

    NOTE: It's a real joke when they tell you that you can plug the inverter into the cigarette lighter. 1100 watts would need about 100 amps!!!!! Must be one helluva lighter socket!!!
  13. DonD

    DonD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Wallingford, CT
    Yeah, I learned that I couldn't even charge a laptop without blowing fuses when I plugged the inverter into the 12v power port. I hooked it directly to the battery with the wires that came with it - they are out in the car now and the blizzard is going strong so I'm not going out to check ;) but they seemed pretty heavy - maybe 12 inches of 8 gauge?? And just spring clips to the terminals.

    I'll check into it but I don't think the inverter shut down - at least I didn't have to reset it or anything. I'll try experimenting more tomorrow but for now I think I'll just keep my fingers crossed that the power stays on tonight.<>

    Problem is that even with the ignitor connected, I was getting nothing - no fans, no pellets dropping, nothing. Add to that, the fact that the surge suppressor had the fault light lit makes me think the inverter is flaky. But on the other hand it worked great with everything else including running my cable modem and router with the laptop charger the other day when my power was out for about 12 hours with a wind storm we had. :confused: :confused:

    I'll try it tomorrow without the ignitor - maybe it overloaded the inverter so quickly that the fans didn't even get a chance to start and maybe the surge suppressor fault light was from the inverter being shut down????

    Thanks for the feedback!!

    To be continued...
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,514
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    The spring clips are what's killing you. Too little surface area to carry all that current. You need a dedicated 4 gauge clamped terminal AND a fuse of about 100 or 150 amps.
  15. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    Don D. I was also thinking of trying to run my Castile on a small inverter. If we lost power I was thinking of opening up the side panel panel of the Castile, and disconnecting the igniter to reduce current draw, and lighting the stove with some hand sanitizer. I was first going to test using a portable car jumper. If that worked I was going to try connecting to my truck in the yard. (we think alike Don)

    Because of all the posts on this site about pure sine wave requirements I told the wife I did not dare try it unless we lost power, and we got cold. Luckily so far the power stayed on.==c
    I would prefer a generator that will do more than just my pellet stove. I have a well and would require 220v just for that. My oil fired boiler that is my backup is a System 2000 so it has a lot of electronics. So I have been procrastinating forever looking for a backup gen. set.
    The second you input that you want a pure sine wave output the price sky rockets. A whole house 8kw Generac standby gen set would cost about ~$2,000 plus installation. So I am quite surprised to see a lot of portable gen sets with pure sine wave output costing approximately the same, and some like the Hondas costing ~$4.000.

    Yesterday I E-mailed Quadrafire and specifically asked if a Castile would work with a generator supplying a modified sine wave output. Today my response was a link directing me to the Quadrafire site that stated if you lose power "Another option for lighting your stove is to plug it into a generator, if one is available" http://www.quadrafire.com/Resources/Blog/Using-Your-Fireplace-or-Stove-During-a-Power-Outage.aspx Now that was a lot of help :mad:

    Don't ask me why, but I am constantly drawn to the Generac portables GP, XG etc. (non of which have the inverter built in)

    In researching I see that Quadrafire MT Vernon AE has an internal power supply that connects with an external cable to a battery for backup. Looking at the AE parts diagram it appears that this may well be an inverter (like Don D and I was thinking of using) simply mounted inside the stove. Can anybody expound on this internal power supply or is there something special about the AE?

    Also what about running a portable generator to a transfer switch and inside the home plugging in a power supply to connect an inverter.
  16. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    542
    Loc:
    NE Pa
    Have you checked out the Generac XP series? A bit more $$$, but the stove & boiler should be fine with it.

    My understanding was that the Mt Vernon used DC motors, making running from battery a piece o' cake.
  17. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    SwineFlue I haven't looked much at them other than on the Generac web page. I understand they are more expensive along with the XG models, but are made in the USA engines (Wisconsin).
    I just checked Home Depot and the do not sell the XP just a couple of XG models the XG6500 is listed for $1,029.
    I'll have to find out what the differences are between the XP and XG models
    Are you running your Castile using this gen?
  18. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    542
    Loc:
    NE Pa
    I have not tried running it on a generator. Power around here had been very reliable until the past two Fall seasons. I'm now considering the XP8000 for the more durable engine, cleaner <5% THD power, and backup pull start (in case the battery dies!).

    To be honest, I think the XG's would suffice as long as you stay well within the load ratings.
  19. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    412
    Loc:
    W Central MO
    I tried to run mine off a cyber power 650 ups and it didn't work. It didn't even make a peep.
  20. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    Looked up the THD of the XG6500 and it's more than 5%. I have no clue what the allowable THD is for a Castile. It's apparent the XP models are nice gens, but now the price gets doubled for an XP6500.
  21. jlupi

    jlupi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    188
    Loc:
    hudson valley, ny
    Yesterday I E-mailed Quadrafire and specifically asked if a Castile would work with a generator supplying a modified sine wave output. Today my response was a link directing me to the Quadrafire site that stated if you lose power "Another option for lighting your stove is to plug it into a generator, if one is available"http://www.quadrafire.com/Resources/Blog/Using-Your-Fireplace-or-Stove-During-a-Power-Outage.aspx Now that was a lot of help :mad:>>>>>

    Ive run my castile on a cheap dirty gen. Little funky on startup but ran fine after
  22. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    544
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, Alaska.

Share This Page