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Old 11-01-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
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Troubleshooting Lighting Circuit with Power Inverter


I'm a mechanical engineer, and I'm doing some electrical work for a club project at school. I'm setting up a circuit to run 4, 40W light bulbs off a deep-cycle battery and power inverter. To mate the inverter and existing wiring in this outdoor storage shed, I have a 3-prong extension cord plugged into the inverter and running to the existing fuse box.

Right now, I have disconnected the lead wire for the lights from the fuse box and wired it to the hot wire of the extension cord. The common wire for the extension cord is wired to a common rail in the fuse box, and that rail is connected to another common rail that is grounded. This set-up works without an issue.

Previously, I thought I also should wire the ground wire of the extension cord to the same common rail as the cord's common wire; but this cooked a resistor on the inverter circuit board. I didn't think this would be a problem because the ground prong is grounded to the circuit board of the inverter. Any ideas why this set-up would be causing a short? I appreciate your input.


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Old 11-01-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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the neutral is the electrical ground,but the raw ground is a mechanical ground and took it right to the framing by connecting both as one ground from the entension should go to the mounting hardware or into the light casing if if you meter it from the hot either neutral or the ground shows 115v


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Old 11-01-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Yes, because you can not connect Neutral & ground on a sub. They need to stay separate for a reason.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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SOME inverters use a center-tapped neutral, which is not physically connected to the ground prong.

Shorting the neutral to the ground will cause a circuit malfunction in such inverters.

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