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Old 08-17-2019, 05:27 AM
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Default Yet another inverter question.



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I did a search,got brain overload.
Don't need a BMW with bells and whistles,just a Toyota that will be reliable and get the job done.It will realistically sit on the shelf 99% of the time.

The biggest draw I need(want) is a regular house fridge,a 5000 btu window ac,and maybe a circular saw,not all at once.

From some general online charts it looks like a 1000w continous-1500 surge should cover it?

I want to avoid HF/wal-mart,but even some of the more recognized names have bad reviews if you click on enough links.

I'm able to pay"a few dollars more",but price doesn't always equal "best".

I have 2 gas generators,a dual fuel generator.also a modest solar set=up with a 500/750 invertor(harbor frieght,but it works),so just looking for a bigger back up to back ups.

Just looking for a nudge in the right direction,don't want to spend weeks trying to make a decision.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:43 AM
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I don't think that a 1000w inverter will power any of the things you mention. Or if it does it would last for very long. It is never best to operate at the max limit of a device. There is also the question of is it a pure sign inverter or a modified square wave. Since the things you are attempting to run are motors, startup current is a issue.

I would suggest you would be better off with a 2000w minimum.
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:07 AM
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So,the other question..what brand?
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:10 AM
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MattB4 is right, you don't want to run your inverter at it's capacity all the time.You will shorten the life of your inverter and the electronics you are trying to run. I also think 1000 watt continuous is too small to power your needs. I have a 1800 surge/1500 continuous watt generator that would not power my skill saw.

I know you don't want Harbor Freight, but for sizing purposes, the bare minimum...

https://www.harborfreight.com/2000-w...ter-63429.html

And if you want to run any two of your three examples at the same time this one...

https://www.harborfreight.com/3000-w...ter-63430.html

And don't forget the proper size cables to supply power to your inverter.

https://www.harborfreight.com/3-ft-i...awg-63748.html

Last edited by mark68; 08-17-2019 at 07:24 AM.. Reason: add
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:05 AM
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Most circular saws have 13-15 amp motors. 1000 watts won't work, even briefly.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cook View Post
So,the other question..what brand?
It is a good question that I have no answer for. Brands today change hands so frequently and the quality rises and falls over a product line that the best you can do is to find reviews of a particular device and make a WAG.

It helps to buy something that wherever you buy it from gives some kind of reliable Warranty.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:04 PM
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Try
Samlex
And
Go power
Get the pure sine wave
Also you can find used Xantrex prosine on eBay for cheap prices
These are all quality inverters get at least a 1500 they will surge to 3000
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:18 AM
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Instead of buying one large inverter to power all of your AC loads, you might consider buying a separate inverter for each load. If you have three loads, you could calculate the largest load and buy three inverters capable of supplying that load. If one of them goes bad or gets damaged, you can move inverters to the loads you need, when you need them. I have one connected to a small fridge with sheet metal screws, another connected to the air conditioner and a third connected to a television.
The large inverters seem to cost much more than multiples of their smaller counterparts.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cook View Post
I did a search,got brain overload.
Don't need a BMW with bells and whistles,just a Toyota that will be reliable and get the job done.It will realistically sit on the shelf 99% of the time.

The biggest draw I need(want) is a regular house fridge,a 5000 btu window ac,and maybe a circular saw,not all at once.

From some general online charts it looks like a 1000w continous-1500 surge should cover it?

I want to avoid HF/wal-mart,but even some of the more recognized names have bad reviews if you click on enough links.

I'm able to pay"a few dollars more",but price doesn't always equal "best".

I have 2 gas generators,a dual fuel generator.also a modest solar set=up with a 500/750 invertor(harbor frieght,but it works),so just looking for a bigger back up to back ups.

Just looking for a nudge in the right direction,don't want to spend weeks trying to make a decision.
If you are using generators why do you need an inverter?
Are you also using batteries?
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:31 AM
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I am going to do what I always do when we have a thread like this: encourage the OP to gather data and do calculations to determine his power requirements.

I don't know why I waste my time writing posts like this one, because the people who ask questions like the ones the OP has asked always ignore the advice about calculations or drop out of sight after calculations are mentioned. I suppose I am a glutton for punishment. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.survivalistboards.com/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/IMG]

Anyway, here goes.

cook, you've entitled this thread "Yet another inverter question," but based on your post it seems to me you are actually asking about an inverter generator fueled by gas or propane. I will proceed based on that assumption.

DO THIS:

Buy a Kill-A-Watt meter. https://www.amazon.com/P3-Internatio...29Q/ref=sr_1_5

Plug the Kill-A-Watt meter into the wall, and plug a lamp into the Kill-A-Watt meter. Play with the Kill-A-Watt meter until you understand how to use it. Use it to find out how many watts the lamp pulls.

This little exercise with the lamp and the Kill-A-Watt meter is just for learning purposes. You won't be using the data for your calculations.

Now take the Kill-A-Watt meter, plug it into the wall near your air conditioner, and plug your air conditioner into the Kill-A-Watt meter. This time, you'll need to do things a little differently than what you did with the lamp. That's because - unlike a lamp - an air conditioner typically pulls more watts when it starts up than it does after startup. The startup wattage is referred to as "surge watts," and the wattage after startup is referred to as "continuous watts." The startup surge might last only half a second, so in order to capture this measurement you'll need to watch the display on the Kill-A-Watt meter very carefully.

Next, plug the Kill-A-Watt meter into the wall near your refrigerator, plug the refrigerator into the Kill-A-Watt meter, and use the same procedure you used with the air conditioner to get the surge watts and the continuous watts.

Now you are in a position to calculate your power requirements for the air conditioner and refrigerator. Assuming your air conditioner and refrigerator will be running concurrently at least some of the time, do these calculations:

1. Surge load for air conditioner plus surge load for refrigerator.

2. Continuous load for air conditioner plus continuous load for refrigerator.

The results of these calculations will enable you to find an inverter generator that is appropriate for your requirements. You'll need a generator with a surge-load rating that is at least 30% more than the number your came up with and a continuous-load rating that is at least 30% more than the number you came up with.

Here is an example. If the surge load for your air conditioner is 2500 watts and the surge load for your refrigerator is 1200 watts, the total surge load is 3700 watts. If the continuous load for your air conditioner is 1100 watts and the continuous load for your refrigerator is 600 watts, the total continuous load is 1700 watts. You'll need a generator with a surge-load rating of at least 4810 watts and a continuous-load rating of at least 2210 watts.

Note that my recommendation of a 30% "buffer" is somewhat arbitrary. The main point is that you shouldn't plan on loading your generator close to its specified capacity.

As for your circular saw: You should now be able to understand how to do the required calculations for powering the circular saw.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:08 PM
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Ouch,that jab kind hurt,MPL..do you mind if I jab back?

I mentioned a fridge..it is listed at 6.5 amps max draw/not surge if that is the surge/startup..so I'm guessing abot 800 continous,1000 surge watts.
With a 30% overage a 1000-1500 unit I mentioned should be fine.

AC is a 5000 btu window unit,5 amp draw..well within the limits.

Circularsaw was just thrown out there as the biggest draw that I might possible need,but I have battery tools also,so no biggy.

And as far as wasting your time,how long did it take you to type all that assuming I'm asking about a generator?If you looked up 2 inches at my post,I clearly stated I already have 3 genies,a small solar system with an inverter(and 2 batterys),and I was looking for a bigger back-up.

Also,I mentioned none will be running at the same time.....you did a lot of assuming.

But on the other hand you had very good information,and I appreciate it.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
If you are using generators why do you need an inverter?
Are you also using batteries?
Fair question.I'm in SWFL on the gulf,hurricane country.Just a few hours shy of 14 days of no power for the last one.

Running a genie all the time gets old.That silence you get after hearing one run for 8 hours is deafing,ask any construction worker.
So its nice to just watch tv for a while running off my solar/battery/invertor system.Or plug in the fridge for an hour when you don't need power for anything else.
I also have a second battery in my car with an invertor.Comes in handy.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:31 PM
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Well, I have an 800 watt inverter for the living room, 1500 watt inverters for 3 rooms, a 2500 watt for for the kitchen, and a 2500 watt for the fridge and the freezer.Probably overkill.

I use "Reliable" brand of inverters.

I decided to do individual inverters instead of the whole house inverter to avoid a single point of failure.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cook View Post
Fair question.I'm in SWFL on the gulf,hurricane country.Just a few hours shy of 14 days of no power for the last one.

Running a genie all the time gets old.That silence you get after hearing one run for 8 hours is deafing,ask any construction worker.
So its nice to just watch tv for a while running off my solar/battery/invertor system.Or plug in the fridge for an hour when you don't need power for anything else.
I also have a second battery in my car with an invertor.Comes in handy.
Yeah I remember when I ran the genny to the breaker box to power the house...the silence now IS deafening, but oh so wonderful
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:04 PM
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First the 5,000 BTU window air conditioner. I have owned several of these thru the years, and have run all of them off a Honda EU 1000i generator. Also off a 1000 watt inverter (with big batteries). So I don't see that as an issue. I have also run a 22 cu foot refrigerator/freezer off the same systems. So I don't see that as an issue. The circular saw--probably an issue--not tried that, but I have battery powered hand power tools, which have both 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC battery chargers.

When you get larger in an air conditioner--then you have to go on up to over 2000 watts. There is a "solution" and it is an "Easy Start"--costs about $250, and wires in to the start circuit--that will allow a 15000 BTU air conditioner to run from 2,000 watts (Inverter generator).

For the generator side--there are alternatives to the more expensive but relatively quiet Honda and Yahama inverter generator units--but you already have the generators covered.

I have only used Magnum and Vectron pure sine wave Inverters/Chargers--and used them full time for years with out failure. Because of that I cannot give a recommendation for a cheaper inverter. I have tried several, and they did not hold up. However some friends have used PSW inverters sold by places like the Inverter Store, or places which specialize in solar systems, and have a warrantee. There you can get them in the $300 or so range for a 1500 watt inverter, which is probably the smallest I would recommend for your use. Call or write these places and ask about longevity.

Batteries. That might be a weakness in your system. You don't give the battery bank capacity--or I missed it. Currently I have 200 usable amp hours in LiFePO4 batteries. (powering an induction burner or a microwave). To get the same capacity I would need four 6 volt golf cart wired in series/ parallel. This would give a total of 400+ amp hours, but should not be discharged more than 50% which equals the 200 amp hours. I have run a 5000 watt air conditioner off six of the golf cart batteries--which was 300 amp hours usable. That happened to be a Xantrex 1500 watt inverter, but it was using the about the same current draw. Even with the 300 amp hours usable I could only get about 8 hours out of the batteries running the air conditioner. Lets say that your inverter uses 60 amps an hour at 12 volts (about 6 amps at 110 volts). 200 amp hour battery bank will last just a little over 3 hours before 50% discharge point. If the sun is shining, then you can recharge during this time--and it will last longer.

Agree with MPL about the Kill-A- watt. I carry one whenever I am checking out other's systems, as well as a clamp on amp meter--which will measure in-rush current of any large appliance starting load.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:28 PM
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Yep,batteries the weak spot,but 1 thing at a time.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
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Yep,batteries the weak spot,but 1 thing at a time.
Yeah, that's the killer part of any solar system, everything else is cheap in comparison.

My 6volt 420ah batteries were $300 each and I have 8 for a 48V bank.
I'd like to double it, but...it does well enough for now.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:33 AM
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Anything with a motor or motors like a fridge or AC unit will require an invertor with enough current to overcome the "locked rotor" surge. I think the rule of thumb is 5 x nameplate current.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:26 AM
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cook, my jab wasn't aimed at you. It was aimed at other people on this forum who have started threads similar to this one and then either ignored the advice to gather data and perform calculations or dropped out of sight altogether.

To your credit, you are at least attempting to defend your position.

RE "I mentioned none will be running at the same time"

No you didn't. What you said was "not all at once." "None would be running at the same times" is different than "not all at once." If you parse those statements, which is what I've done, you come to the understanding that "not all at once" means that either one of the three devices or two of the three devices could be running concurrently, but not all three. On the other hand, "none would be running at the same time" means that while one of the devices is running, the other two would not be. Do you see what I mean?

So, I assumed the refrigerator and air conditioner might be running at the same time because of your phrase "not all at once" and also because, in a typical air-conditioned household, a refrigerator might very well be running while an air conditioner is also running.

RE "I mentioned a fridge..it is listed at 6.5 amps max draw/not surge if that is the surge/startup..so I'm guessing abot 800 continous,1000 surge watts."

Let me just say that manufacturers' power-consumption specs aren't always clear or accurate. That's why I collect my own data whenever possible.

Also, your sentence doesn't hold together very well (the part about "max draw/not surge if that is the surge/startup"). ??? And you admit you are guessing about the 1000 surge watts for the fridge. That might or might not be anything close to accurate. For comparison purposes, let me just say that my 12 volt DC freezer pulls about 2.3 amps (28 watts) most of the time (when the compressor is running, that is), but it pulls 8.2 amps (98 watts) at startup. So, it pulls more than 3 times as much wattage at startup as it does after startup. If your refrigerator operates in a similar way, your refrigerator might draw 2400 watts at startup.

RE "I clearly stated I already have 3 genies,a small solar system with an inverter(and 2 batterys),and I was looking for a bigger back-up."

Yes, you did, but you said nothing about your plans for use of those generators and that solar-electric system. For all I know you have four big chest freezers and who knows what else.

RE "But on the other hand you had very good information,and I appreciate it."

Thank you.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyPrepperLife View Post
cook, my jab wasn't aimed at you. It was aimed at other people on this forum who have started threads similar to this one and then either ignored the advice to gather data and perform calculations or dropped out of sight altogether.

...
Got to love feisty women. Now that you and Cook have parsed out your respective posts, and traded jabs, I hope that both sides can retire to their respective corners. At least until the bell rings again.

On the subject of inverters. I bought a cheap China import Edecoa 1000w (2000 surge) pure sign wave inverter. I have been impressed with its handling for short times loads in excess of the 1000 watts. I was able to test it with my heat gun on both the 800w and 1500w settings and while it quickly indicates a overload at the higher setting it did get it going. On the lower setting of 800 there was no indications of problems.
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