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Keeowee

Inverter

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Keeowee

My lot/dock has no electricty and have had to lug around a small generator to operate my 6000# lift...it's been somewhat problematic. :Frustrated:

My question is could I use an inverter off the boat battery, to use the lift? Typical timeframe to fully lift the boat is about 2-3 minutes with the generator.

Any thoughts or help would be appreciated

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Lance B. Johnson

My lot/dock has no electricty and have had to lug around a small generator to operate my 6000# lift...it's been somewhat problematic. :Frustrated:

My question is could I use an inverter off the boat battery, to use the lift? Typical timeframe to fully lift the boat is about 2-3 minutes with the generator.

Any thoughts or help would be appreciated

Look to see what the amperage requirements are of the dock and compare that to the output of the inverter. This is the only way to know for sure. Anything else is just a guess.

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Keeowee

Look to see what the amperage requirements are of the dock and compare that to the output of the inverter. This is the only way to know for sure. Anything else is just a guess.

I'm trying to find the specs now on the lift...

You think if the amps match up it's a go? What about the watts? I've been reading about truesine or modified sine wave...any thoughts here?

Thanks for all thoughts...I'd really like to stop lugging the generator around, and all the nuisance that comes with it

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Lance B. Johnson

I'm trying to find the specs now on the lift...

You think if the amps match up it's a go? What about the watts? I've been reading about truesine or modified sine wave...any thoughts here?

Thanks for all thoughts...I'd really like to stop lugging the generator around, and all the nuisance that comes with it

I think if there is enough amps it should be a go. Watts = Volts x Amps. We know your inverter will produce enough voltage so the question becomes does it produce enough amps.

I really am more of a DC guy (automotive tech) but a guy named Electric John might know. Pretty sharp fellow, hope he chimes in here.

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JeffS

I don't know much about these things, but have had inverters on my big boats to power regular AC items in the galley, air conditioning, televisions and the like.

A 1500W True Sine inverter is roughly equivalent to one 15amp circuit. If the spec on your lift is for a 15amp circuit - that's what you need. They are expensive. And they are hard on batteries. We ran a bank of 4 8D batteries for our inverter - which were charged by a pair of big alternators on big 454's. Like I said, I don't know much, but when one of the air conditioning units cycled on, it pulled hard on that inverter. And that was on 8D batteries with huge thick plates. If you are pulling hard on a battery that also starts your boat, with the thin high-draw plate design needed for a starter motor, you're going to kill you battery in a heart beat. The cost to buy the inverter, plus the short life of your boat batteries, so that you don't have to carry a generator - my hunch is you will not have a very good system. One last time - I don't know much about this stuff and it all depends on how much that motor draws.

A better solution in my opinion, might be to swap out the AC lift motor for a nice DC motor. It may lift slower, but can be run off a DC boat battery. It may also be a lot cheaper.

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Keeowee

I don't know much about these things, but have had inverters on my big boats to power regular AC items in the galley, air conditioning, televisions and the like.

A 1500W True Sine inverter is roughly equivalent to one 15amp circuit. If the spec on your lift is for a 15amp circuit - that's what you need. They are expensive. And they are hard on batteries. We ran a bank of 4 8D batteries for our inverter - which were charged by a pair of big alternators on big 454's. Like I said, I don't know much, but when one of the air conditioning units cycled on, it pulled hard on that inverter. And that was on 8D batteries with huge thick plates. If you are pulling hard on a battery that also starts your boat, with the thin high-draw plate design needed for a starter motor, you're going to kill you battery in a heart beat. The cost to buy the inverter, plus the short life of your boat batteries, so that you don't have to carry a generator - my hunch is you will not have a very good system. One last time - I don't know much about this stuff and it all depends on how much that motor draws.

A better solution in my opinion, might be to swap out the AC lift motor for a nice DC motor. It may lift slower, but can be run off a DC boat battery. It may also be a lot cheaper.

Thanks Ruff and Jeff...interesting thoughts. Discouraged by the possibility of blowing through the battery...I was hoping a quick lift would not drain the battery and the next run of the boat would replenish the use of the inverter.

I was also hope John would pop on this thread as he looks to be well versed for this type of discussion

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Pistol Pete

I may be a former master tech., with lots of super-high end diagnostic equipment in my garage (like a dual trace oscilloscope) but, I've found that this thing is worth it's weight in gold. Don't buy it from R.S. BTW, you can find them on line and on ebay for waaaay cheaper.

For the DIY guy, this thing will tell you how many watts and amps your lift is pulling off the generator. That will be your baseline to find out how you are going to go about remedying this dilemma. Aside from this one task, that thing works great to tell you how much current other household appliances are pulling.

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electricjohn

What you really need to know is the nameplate load (amperage draw) for the lift. I am quessing your lift is a 120 volt model, so therefore your 12 volt battery(s) would have to put out a tad over 10 amps for every 1 amp that the lift draws. Most inverters are rated in watts, so you can use the formula posted above to calculate the wattage needed. The wattage must be continuous rated, not peak. Peak is what will be needed to initially start (overcome 0 inertia) the motor in the lift. I have no idea what the power requirements of a lift is, but if it takes 2-3 minutes to raise your boat, it can't be too high. But putting that large (10 times what the lift draws) of a draw on your battery for that long will leave you with a weak battery.

Another thing to consider, would you have to repeat this operation to lower the boat again before you could start your boat to recharge the battery?

Edited by electricjohn

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Keeowee

What you really need to know is the nameplate load (amperage draw) for the lift. I am quessing your lift is a 120 volt model, so therefore your 12 volt battery(s) would have to put out a tad over 10 amps for every 1 amp that the lift draws. Most inverters are rated in watts, so you can use the formula posted above to calculate the wattage needed. The wattage must be continuous rated, not peak. Peak is what will be needed to initially start (overcome 0 inertia) the motor in the lift. I have no idea what the power requirements of a lift is, but if it takes 2-3 minutes to raise your boat, it can't be too high. But putting that large (10 times what the lift draws) of a draw on your battery for that long will leave you with a weak battery.

Another thing to consider, would you have to repeat this operation to lower the boat again before you could start your boat to recharge the battery?

Thanks John...the lift does not require power to lower. Have to collect the specs on the lift....

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Keeowee

I may be a former master tech., with lots of super-high end diagnostic equipment in my garage (like a dual trace oscilloscope) but, I've found that this thing is worth it's weight in gold. Don't buy it from R.S. BTW, you can find them on line and on ebay for waaaay cheaper.

For the DIY guy, this thing will tell you how many watts and amps your lift is pulling off the generator. That will be your baseline to find out how you are going to go about remedying this dilemma. Aside from this one task, that thing works great to tell you how much current other household appliances are pulling.

Seems like a need for this type of thing comes along often enough (considering the price) to warrant one...even for a non-electrical guy

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Malibuzer

Seems like a need for this type of thing comes along often enough (considering the price) to warrant one...even for a non-electrical guy

A multimeter is an absolute must, even if you are not an electrician. I am dual ticketed instrument mechanic/electrician and I used my meter almost daily even before I ventured into the electrical trades. It takes the place of a voltage light (12v) and can tell you so much more about any electrical problem. The only thing to be cautious of is the amperage rating of the meter and the source you are trying to measure. Most meters are only god for 10 amps or so. I am sure that John can chime in on a recommended meter for all around use.

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Wakes

Can you get a solar power thing for the lift? Many powered lifts are run solar these days I think?

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JeffS

The solar charger lifts I've seen charge a battery that powers a DC motor. Going back to my post - if it were me - that's the solution I'd be researching most. Switching the motor to a capable DC motor.

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Keeowee

The solar charger lifts I've seen charge a battery that powers a DC motor. Going back to my post - if it were me - that's the solution I'd be researching most. Switching the motor to a capable DC motor.

Thanks again for all the thoughts...I'm still waiting for the lift specs, but am open to all the ideas above and any new ones still to come.

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Pistol Pete

A multimeter is an absolute must, even if you are not an electrician. I am dual ticketed instrument mechanic/electrician and I used my meter almost daily even before I ventured into the electrical trades. It takes the place of a voltage light (12v) and can tell you so much more about any electrical problem. The only thing to be cautious of is the amperage rating of the meter and the source you are trying to measure. Most meters are only god for 10 amps or so. I am sure that John can chime in on a recommended meter for all around use.

A multimeter is a good thing to have if you know how to use one.

As for this application, trying to measure the amp draw using a multimeter for this AC circuit is tricky at best.

Especially if Keeowee is a novice with electricity. The Kill a Watt that I linked will be the easiest way for him to find the current draw.

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electricjohn

I have a Fluke model 87a multi meter along with a 400 amp AC/DC (hall effect)clamp around amprobe. Any digital multi meter from sears or radio shack would be fine for general use, but remember, electricity is not a hobby item. Leave it to the licensed professionals.

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Keeowee

A multimeter is a good thing to have if you know how to use one.

As for this application, trying to measure the amp draw using a multimeter for this AC circuit is tricky at best.

Especially if Keeowee is a novice with electricity. The Kill a Watt that I linked will be the easiest way for him to find the current draw.

Ok...the lift manufacturer says I'll need 15 amps with 110V draw...although it won't draw that much, but that's what they recommend.

Any thoughts from the electrical pros here...?

Thanks

Brad

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Pistol Pete

That's 1650 watts. That's quite a bit of power and at start up, it's gonna draw more.

I think you should re-read post #5.

Unless you switch to a DC motor, I think you're stuck with the generator. Anyway to leave it near the dock secured?

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electricjohn

Ok...the lift manufacturer says I'll need 15 amps with 110V draw...although it won't draw that much, but that's what they recommend.

Any thoughts from the electrical pros here...?

Thanks

Brad

Brad, the manufacturer is saying that because that is pretty much the smallest circuit you can buy (install), in other words, they don't circuit breakers any smaller than 15 amp (for normal use). Get the nameplate full load amperage (FLA) and we'll take from there.

Edited by electricjohn

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Keeowee

Brad, the manufacturer is saying that because that is pretty much the smallest circuit you can buy (install), Get the nameplate full load amperage (FLA) and we'll take from there.

Thanks John...will do. I have to go down in a week or so

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Keeowee

That's 1650 watts. That's quite a bit of power and at start up, it's gonna draw more.

I think you should re-read post #5.

Unless you switch to a DC motor, I think you're stuck with the generator. Anyway to leave it near the dock secured?

Wow, I'm restricted on posting too quick...never seeen anything like that before

Anyway, Pete...definitely going to take things slow

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cyoda44

A multimeter is a good thing to have if you know how to use one.

As for this application, trying to measure the amp draw using a multimeter for this AC circuit is tricky at best.

Especially if Keeowee is a novice with electricity. The Kill a Watt that I linked will be the easiest way for him to find the current draw.

:plus1: I use my Kill a Watt all the time at work. Much easier that putting your self in danger trying to hook up an ohm meter in series to measure current.

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