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Inverter Question

Posts: 508
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Anyone out there have experience with an inverter?

I want to be able to run a fan and watch a movie should the power go out.

Any advice?

Posted : August 16, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

it depends on the wattage of the inverter. the TV and the DVD don't use much power and the fan probably has a rating plate.

Posted : August 16, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 508
Honorable Member
Topic starter

800 watt inverter. 40 amp fan

Posted : August 16, 2009 1:51 pm
Posts: 264
Reputable Member

What kind of battery are you using? and how are you going to charge it?

Posted : August 16, 2009 1:56 pm
Posts: 508
Honorable Member
Topic starter

I am going to charge it off the PU truck battery, a regular truck battery. Should I just run a cord from the vehicle to the house?

Posted : August 16, 2009 1:59 pm
Posts: 328
Reputable Member

Ask a sailboater about inverters8-)

Can you get any O2 Cool fans on island? They run on DC - batteries even and draw very little power. Wonderful!

Believe it r not we had a hurricane in Ohio last year and power was down for a week. I ran the refrigerator, TV and DVR off the truck battery for a week running the truck a few hours a day.

Like Bombi says. Add up the wattage and read the inverter for for start-up power and continuous output.
It is very damaging to use a car battery in this manner. Grab a deep cycle battery at K-mart if you can and a little solar panel too.

May we all be OK!

Posted : August 16, 2009 2:00 pm
Posts: 2104
Noble Member

an 800 watt inverter should be enough plus a little. Keep the inverter near the source and run an extension cord

Posted : August 16, 2009 2:25 pm
Posts: 508
Honorable Member
Topic starter

Thanks Bombi, your answer was exactly what I was looking for.

I hear inverters work great, I just have never used one.

Let's hope WAPA doesn't go down!

Posted : August 16, 2009 2:31 pm
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

For poeple who haven't been here before -- if the wind is expected to be strong enough (don't know what the speed has to be) WAPA will turn off the power during the worst of the storm. If the storm is scheduled to come through at 2 tomorrow afternoon, I would expect the power to go off sometime before noon.

Posted : August 16, 2009 2:54 pm
Posts: 812
Prominent Member

Wow, great information!
Yes, boaters would be well acquainted with inverters!
A deep cycle battery is best(you don`t want to kill the battery that starts the charging)....right!
Keep d.c. cables short, a.c. long...Great(as since VXA=W, in the perfect world the current would be 10X that on d.c. as the ac!

BTW, I sell & service Marine inverters, modified, & pure sine wave.
Much of what most would need/purchase, are cheap Chinese units such as Price smart, or Western auto would have.
Inverters can be used with a generator in extended power outages to save fuel, noise, & generator wear & tear.
I have covered this topic extensively before.
Again great advise has been given here by the posters before me.

Posted : August 17, 2009 1:54 am
Posts: 470
Reputable Member

This might be a little late... but hope it helps:
- watts = volts x amps
---- volts = 120
---- therefore, a 40 amp fan, with 120 volts = 4800 watts!
- a 40 amp fan would be a monster... I mean bigger than would fit in a house
- I'm guessing it's a 4.0 amp fan... that would be 4 amps x 120 volts = 480 watts. So, your 800 watt inverter should be able to handle that.

Some other things to keep in mind:
- things with motors (fans, refrigerators, water pumps, etc) often need a substantial amount of surge power to get them going at start up. An inverter may not be able to supply this surge power; therefore often when a motor kicks on, the inverter kicks offline (it shuts down). So, you want to be careful if you have something like a computer connected, and at the same time have something with a motor connected. Back up your computer work often in this case.

- most inverters, these days, will just innocently shutdown if you overload them... you won't melt them into a blob. So, as long as you don't have anything expensive and finicky (like a computer), you can just keep adding things if you really can't find the wattage requirements of a device. However, the math is so simple, and usually the info (wattage or amps) is readily available, so best to try to find the info and do the math before plugging in.

- many inverters do not output "clean" power. Most devices don't really care, but they show their discomfort in heat. For example, a charger for a laptop or cordless phone might get much hotter than usual. Be careful to watch for this and turn these devices off if they are getting hot. That extra heat is just prematurely aging the charger (and perhaps significantly aging it).

Posted : August 17, 2009 1:39 pm
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