Low voltage warning while using heater

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Low voltage warning while using heater

Postby CobyF on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:03 pm

While running with a small, 1500 Watt electric heater going in the cabin, I got a low voltage warning on my Garmin. My R23 has an inverter to power the 110 outlets while underway. What is the best way to avoid this issue? Is the outboard not charging the house battery while underway?
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Re: Low voltage warning while using heater

Postby NorthernFocus on Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:44 pm

How long was the heater running? If the heater is pulling 1500W the alternator would have to put out over 100 amps to keep up with it. And that doesn't include any additional load from electronics etc. The best way to solve the issue is to use a fuel fired source of heat.
Dan

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Re: Low voltage warning while using heater

Postby ixlr8 on Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:18 pm

The max alternator output at full throttle is 44 amps on the F200 Yamaha. You are pulling 125 amps for your heater, if you are running it at the full rated 1500 watts. You are draining your battery. You need to either get a liquid fueled heater or get a generator capable of running the heater.
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Re: Low voltage warning while using heater

Postby JamesTXSD on Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:55 pm

Some appliances are designed to be used when you are plugged into shore power, or while using a generator. I am impressed with the inverter, if it is allowing that load with the electric heater. Of course, that is what is drawing the battery down: you are using amps faster than you can replenish them. You may want to do an electrical "inventory" to see how many amps each of your appliances actually use. With the 30 amp system we had in our boat, we could not run the water heater and an electric heater at the same time. You have to learn to prioritize what electric draws you can use at the same time, according to whether you are on shore power or the inverter. Going to run the microwave? Turn off the electric heater, even when plugged in. Water heater? Yep, unplug the electric heater. Your wife is going to use a hair dryer? Well, you get the idea.

The R23 is a very capable boat with a lot of amenities. If you haven't had to adjust to "power management," this is a good time to learn. Same is true with many RVs. Or, homes that are off the grid. It isn't a problem with the boat, just something that needs to be learned and put into practice.
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Re: Low voltage warning while using heater

Postby Maggie Anne on Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:02 am

I think the actual amperage would be 12.5 amps
1500 watts @ 120V = 12.5 amps (1500/120)

I had a somewhat similar problem on my R27OB where the inverter was not connected properly to ground.
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Re: Low voltage warning while using heater

Postby NorthernFocus on Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:45 am

Maggie Anne wrote:I think the actual amperage would be 12.5 amps
1500 watts @ 120V = 12.5 amps (1500/120)

I had a somewhat similar problem on my R27OB where the inverter was not connected properly to ground.

That's amps coming out of the inverter. Multiply by ten for 12V going into the inverter. That's the amps that the alternator has to make up.
Dan

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