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pure sine inverters

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by lesmary, Dec 15, 2008.

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  1. lesmary

    lesmary New Member

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    Hi can someone tell me if you need a clean sine inverter or can you use a regular inverter. I have a Enviro Maxx.
    The books do not specify what type to use.

    Thanks for your help
    Les

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  2. rshortt

    rshortt New Member

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    Hi, have you had any insight on this matter?

    I am running a whitfield traditions stove and am having issues running it on either of my inverters, both modified sine wave. One's 400W and the other's 1500W/3000W peak.

    -Rob
  3. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Do a search on the forum and you should get all kinds of opinions on this topic. If you can get something with a pure sine wave, then there won't be any question...it should work. There have been discussions on inverters, generators, UPS, modified wave vs, pure, etc.. Lots of reading and opinions on that topic.
  4. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    My owners manual simply says you can use an " inverter" to run the stove or insert, they are not specific, and I have 2 brand new 1500 watt modified sine wave inverters that were very expensive, but have not tried either one out yet.

    Pure sine wave is the best way to power any appliance, but modified sine waves are cheaper and will work on many applications but I dont think pellet stove is one of them..


    You would think the makers of these stoves would put all the pertinent information we need to know in the manuals, such as Use only pure sine wave inverter.
  5. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    I agree with that.

    I had posed a question to my dealer to ask Harman and I could tell by the answer they gave, that they had no clue about the difference between the waves.
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    In a nutshell, every stove seems to react differently to the modified (square) sine wave output from a regular DC to AC inverter.

    Modified sine wave inverters are fine for things like electronics for the most part, but things like electric motors (of which most pellet stoves have at least 3), don't work well with them. They will heat up and possibly fail, or not work at all (buzz or hum).

    Unfortunately, to get a "pure" sine wave inverter, they are $$.

    The other alternative is a generator. While their output sine wave is not "pure" like the power company (their wave is a little "dirty"), but they ARE better than an inverter and most pellet stoves work fine on them.
  7. lesmary

    lesmary New Member

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    Thanks for your input, this web site is great to get answers for almost any question you have.
  8. Maritimer

    Maritimer New Member

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    I bought a TG3000 (ETQ) generator at Walmart Canada for $250.00. A generator can be a pure sine wave ideally (Very $$$) but these generators say they have less than 6% THD. (Total Harmonic Distortion). I ran my Englander 25-pdvc 4 weeks ago for almost 2hrs and worked like a charm. The specs on the generator also say it can run computers and all types of electronics so I am confident with it. Since its a 3000 watt I can run a few other things if the power goes out.
  9. donbryce

    donbryce Member

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    I posted a question awhile back about running my 25-PDVC from my 800W AC continuous/1000W AC maximum generator, and the consensus was that it should be OK. I haven't got around to testing it yet. I calculate that the 25-PDVC has a startup load of about 630W, a constant load of about 330W. Your experience confirms that I should have enough output.

    Meantime, I bought a 1500W Xantrex inverter, with the idea that it would power the stove for the 1/2 hour or so that it would take to set up the generator, or maybe get me through a short outage on battery backup alone. This inverter has the modified sine wave output. It does mention that "Speed controllers found in some fans, power tools...and other loads may be damaged".

    I believe the Englander's auger motors run at a set speed, but are interrupted according to the solid-state control board. The fan motors are, however, I think, speed controlled, or at least the room air blower is according to the Englander website. So, I'd like to know if the inverter will work - and more importantly, CAN IT DAMAGE THE CONTROL BOARD OR FAN MOTORS? - BEFORE I try it! Surely someone on this board has actually tried to run an Englander from a modifed sine wave inverter???

    The generator is a Genmate GG950. The inverter is a Xantrex XPower 1500. I paid $100.00 each on sale, so no huge money thing - unless of course the stove is damaged from using either.

    PS: I've searched, but as noted above, lots of opinions, few actual experiences, and very few if any for the Englander 25-PDV or PDVC. One of the best is buried in this thread http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/30894/P22/ post #32, from member eernest4, and I quote:

    "Deffy, check your inverter to see if it produces a pure sign wave. If it is a pure sign wave it probably won’t hurt the computer controls of your pellet stove.

    If your inverter produces what they “like to call” a modified sign wave, it is really a square wave inverter and can damage electric motors and computer controls such as you may have on your stove.

    The modified sine wave inverter will run electric motors and many electronic circuits, but it subjects them to unnatural strain that they dont get from a pure sign wave and this may cause early failure of what ever you run with your modified sign wave converter, which is really a square wave inverter.

    When I investigated the matter, when i was looking into which inverter to buy, I was told that the modified sign wave inverter at the very least, will shorten the life span of your appliance by 15 % to 20%

    When computer chips are concerned, a modified sine wave inverter could maybe blow them out
    or maybe only shorten their lifespan. It depends on the weakest link or weakest component in the pelletstove motere board. "
  10. Maritimer

    Maritimer New Member

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    With regard to generators in my case they are to be used only in the case of an emergency such as no power. It would not be for long term use. If I had to I would chop up my furnature into kindling in the case of an emergency. The example is an exaggeration but you get my meaning. I tested the generator on my pellet stove once and now all I do is run the generator once a week with no appliances attached and keep the oil clean.
  11. donbryce

    donbryce Member

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    Perhaps I wasn't clear, but I only want the generator for emergency backup, maximum would be a few hours. My concern with the inverter/battery is for something to cover a shorter outage of an hour or so, or to keep the stove running until I can set up and connect the generator.
    I've been researching the web, and found a Surefire SF503A that lists Englander pellet stoves as compatible with their product, but I still can't determine if they are a modified or pure sine wave. http://www.secamerica.com/pelletstoveguide.html
    Also, I found a forum member's post (catfishjack) where he said this unit works well with his Avalon Astoria Bay stove. What I can't establish is if this stove uses electronics and fans/motors similar enough to the Englander....
  12. phil san

    phil san Member

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    Ok - I've got your answer - at least for an Enviro Empress Insert. PURE Sine. I have a 5 K generator which will run the stove and whole house with no issue. My problem is our section of town gets numerous mini outages
    from a min to maybe 10 min. So, as I keep the stove going 24/7,I wanted it to continue running. When it shuts off ( 25' vertical 4" flue in masonary chimeny ) I do Not have a smoke problem.

    I went the route with 2 6vDC Golf Cart batteries 215amh from Sams club and finally settled on the $$$$ Stove Sentry for peace of mind. Seeing as Amazon has a liberal return policy,I tried a Zantrax modified sine,
    a Duracell modified + sine and some other "simulated" pure sine wave inverter. They all worked BUT - the motors were at minimal speed as though on a dimmer switch.

    Used the pure sine wave Stove sentry and tested. Got a 6 hour run with the stove on 3 and probably would have gone longer - just did not want to draw down the battery. Found later, some more inexpensive pure sine wave but you still have to spring for a charger thats effective and cost comes out the same. I would not spend the $$ unless I had a lot of mini outages and as this is depending on price of fuel a main or backup pellet power source
    I wanted it to be there running when needed. This way I know if power fails and someone is not home for several hours the house has heat.
  13. donbryce

    donbryce Member

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    Thank you for the response. In short, if I read you correctly, ON YOUR STOVE, the modified sine wave inverters worked but only ran the stove at low speed (was this the auger motor(s) and/or fan(s)?), and you have determined that the Stove Sentry is a 'pure' sine wave inverter. Could you provide the link or whatever that states this, as I couldn't find anything?
    What I'm getting at here is the Englander may work differently, but even if it runs the same, I could live with running the unit at reduced speed for a brief period, AS LONG AS NO DAMAGE WAS BEING DONE TO THE CONTROL BOARD OR MOTORS.
    I sure wish an Englander owner could read this and add his/her comments.....Mike??
  14. crausch

    crausch New Member

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  15. phil san

    phil san Member

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    The site that codebum supplied is the correct one. Click on the retail link and somewhere is a listing of which stove sentry product works with what stove. BTW - I also tried the other inverters on a variety of household fans and other motorized items.
    Some worked but most you could tell they were not getting the proper current. I guess its like putting a dimmer switch on a ceiling fan. Works, but in some cases you get a hum and the rpms are off. You buy an appropriate variable ceiling fan control and no issue -though more expensive. Chance a stove auger and fans to possible damage and to save $200 bucks you lose a lot more.
  16. rbchimp

    rbchimp Member

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    WHere'd you pickup the Xantrex XPower 1500 at?
  17. mark d fellows

    mark d fellows New Member

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    I know the title says pure sine wave inverters. However, I picked up a Champion 3500 Watt generator and a UPS Power Line Conditioner. The generator wasw 349.00 and the Line Conditioner was around 50.00.

    I haven't had a chance to use them yet though.

    Mark :)
  18. donbryce

    donbryce Member

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    Crappy Tire, currently on sale until tomorrow, Jan. 22. Based on the responses here, and from reading every thread on this forum I could find on the subject, I'm quite sure it's going back to the store for refund. I'm just waiting for a response from SECAmerica, whether their inverter/charger SF503A is pure sine wave or not. They market the only inverter I can find that lists the Englander 25-PDVC as compatible. I'm betting it's pure sine.
  19. donbryce

    donbryce Member

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    I asked and got the following reply from SEC America about the only unit on their website listed for the Englander 25-PDV and 25-PDVC:

    "The SF 503A is not a pure sine wave unit. If you need a pure sine wave for the Englander, I would suggest our Model SF 707. To read more about it, check this link:
    http://www.secamerica.com/ss_sentry2.html If you wish more particulars regarding this unit, you may download its Technical manual from here: http://www.secamerica.com/manuals/sf707manual.pdf "

    Here's the link to the product listing for this inverter, which includes others as well as Englander: http://www.secamerica.com/pelletstoveguide.html They appear to be sanctioning modified or square wave inverters for the stoves listed. This contradicts nearly everyone who has commented on this on this forum.
  20. phil san

    phil san Member

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    Hey - maybe I read too fast - but I thought we were originally speaking of an inverter for an Enviro?
  21. donbryce

    donbryce Member

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    I thought saw an Enviro on the list, but maybe not the same stove? Anyway, my apologies for highjacking the thread, if that's what you mean. I was only trying to clear up the original poster's question about pure-sine inverters, and figured the information would apply as much to his stove as mine.
  22. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    It's too bad more stoves don't have a direct DC option. It's more efficient. There is a loss associated with inverters.
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