AC circuit tester result on Inverter

By beaudet23 ·
I'm working on a project vehicle, an RV basically, and I just wired up the interior (AC) and installed an inverter.
Upon completion of the work, I fired up the system, and using a standard Micronta Radio Shack 22-101 tester, I checked the outlets.

Wouldn't you know, the code I got was the only one not shown: all 3 lights (2 green, 1 red) lit up. I did combine the grounds on both inverter circuits in my wiring, but I can't see this having any negative effect.
A house lamp plugged in seemed to work fine. The only additional thing I have not done yet is to check the tester right on the inverter's outlet (bypass all my wiring).
Anybody have any idea what that code could possibly mean?
Thanks in advance,

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All Answers

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Knock, Knock... Who's There...

by cmiller5400 In reply to AC circuit tester result ...

A technology forum!! I didn't know that we did RV wiring as well

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you got me..

by beaudet23 In reply to Knock, Knock... Who's Th ...

OK, I can appreciate a little humor...

It's not so much "RV Wiring" as a topic as it is inverter / AC circuits testing. I just stumbled onto this forum thinking it may provide an answer. If not, sorry for the intrusion.

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Don't worry about it...

by cmiller5400 In reply to you got me..

I'm sure that someone with knowledge will stumble by on it (hence the "Off Topic" tags). Just keep "bumping" it.

Good luck in your project!!

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Inverters and Outlet Testers

by TheChas In reply to AC circuit tester result ...

What you need is a better test method.

The plug-in AC outlet testers are just an indication that an outlet is wired correctly. It is neither a complete test, not 100% accurate.

Part of your problem is that the outlet testers all use neon lamps to indicate what circuits are connected in what order. Neon lamps are designed for specific voltage levels. AC inverters and UPS systems do not output a normal sine wave, and the peak voltages are lower than they would be on a normal AC outlet or with a generator.

Basically, the tester as simple as it is is confused by the lower peak voltage.

One way to test your outlets is with an AC volt meter or DMM. Use caution as the probes, jacks and wires will have lethal voltage levels present.

Measure the AC voltage from Hot (narrow terminal) of the outlet to both neutral (wide terminal) and ground.
Both readings should be the same, and very likely will not be the 120 VAC you would measure on a home outlet.

Next, measure the voltage from Neutral to ground. The voltage should be zero.

It is possible that the inverter produces a fully isolated voltage and the AC voltage floats in relation to ground. You would need to check with the inverter manufacture to verify this.

A quick check would be with the inverter off and disconnected from the batteries, measure the resistance from Neutral to ground. It should read near zero for a proper line outlet. If you measure more than 10 ohms, I would check with the inverter manufacture and see if you are supposed to tie the Neutral and ground connections together.

If you want to be safe and protect your insurance on your RV, you should have your wiring inspected by an electrician.

If you were to have an electrical fire, not having a documented electrical inspection could void your insurance.


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by beaudet23 In reply to Inverters and Outlet Test ...

Thanks very much Chas,
you are the wellspring of info I was looking for.
Live long and prosper.


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