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Invertor or not #5463507 06/26/20 04:26 PM
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Eddie Offline OP
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Considering buying a small 3,500 watt generator for power outages here. I would be running a box fan, 60 inch TV, my desktop computer and maybe a refrigerator. Inverter generators are ~ 35% higher price according to the Harbor Freight lineup. Is a inverter required or just nice to have? Ed


2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463509 06/26/20 04:30 PM
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eljefino Offline
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You don't need 3500 watts. 2000 would be enough, including the starting load of that fridge.

None of your stuff needs particularly clean power, either. Computers and TVs have switching power supplies that take 90-250V at 50-60Hz.

That all said, saving gas is important because in the middle of an outage you don't know when the end is.

Look into propane options too.

Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463517 06/26/20 04:39 PM
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Dave Sherman Offline
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Inverters do have cleaner and somewhat better regulated power. I have run my laptop and refrigerator off a conventional generator with no trouble, but I use a surge protector. Ejefino is correct, consumption is better with inverters, especially with relatively light loads. A 2000 watt inverter would work for your needs, unless you're thinking of adding more at some point in the future. The Predator 3500 inverter is a nice unit, but kind of pricey if that's all you're planning on operating.


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Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463585 06/26/20 06:22 PM
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madRiver Offline
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An advantage of invertor is they are significantly quieter at lower loads and use less fuel. A generator has to run at same speed/rpm whether you draw 40w or 3500 watts.

Fuel can become scare of course when generators are needed.

Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463599 06/26/20 06:40 PM
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A_Spruce Offline
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I would vote for an inverter generator, they're definitely a lot quieter! My experience was back in 08 with conventional, run-of-the-mill whatever brand you like vs Honda inverter models. Dealership took one of each with similar capacities outside and fired them up, and the noise difference was night and day! Inverter gennies are much quieter, and they're much more affordable these days then 12 years ago. Still pricier than conventional models, but IMHO worth not frying electronics is well worth it, and EVERYTHING these days has electronics in it, whether it's a fridge, computer, battery charger, whatever.


'03 Suburban
Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463624 06/26/20 07:18 PM
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Saabist Offline
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When looking at prices bear in mind that Harbor Freight generators only come with a 90-day warranty. If you want more than that you have to buy an extended warranty from them (they'll "recommend" it when you buy), which is basically pre-paying for a replacement at a reduced price, probably close to their wholesale cost.

Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463628 06/26/20 07:25 PM
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MadAmos Offline
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Inverter generators are also more fuel efficient.


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Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5463769 06/27/20 12:25 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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If you are going to use it for an extended length of time , fuel economy becomes of increasing importance . For more than one reason .


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God bless
Re: Invertor or not [Re: eljefino] #5463849 06/27/20 06:01 AM
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Lubener Offline
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Originally Posted by eljefino
You don't need 3500 watts. 2000 would be enough, including the starting load of that fridge.

None of your stuff needs particularly clean power, either. Computers and TVs have switching power supplies that take 90-250V at 50-60Hz.

That all said, saving gas is important because in the middle of an outage you don't know when the end is.

Look into propane options too.

It is always a good idea to "exceed the need".


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Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5464025 06/27/20 10:29 AM
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Eddie Offline OP
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I did run all the equipment I mentioned in my thread with a 2000 watt Honda inverter gen. Thank you all for the information. Ed

Last edited by Eddie; 06/27/20 10:31 AM. Reason: Add comment

2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Invertor or not [Re: Eddie] #5464302 06/27/20 04:40 PM
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Eddie Offline OP
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I added up all the items that I want to run and the wattage is 900 watts continuous or 1,500 watts intermittently so a 2000/1800 Inverter gen is good as most of you stated. I made a spreadsheet with five units sold at Lowe's, Home depot and Harbor freight. At first look it appears that the CHAMPION AT $479 (2500/1850watts) or the Predator ($499 or ~$450 sale) 2000/1600 HF are worth a store visit. Does anyone have personal experience with 2000-2500 watt inverters? I would be interested in hearing your experience. Ed Hayes


2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
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