New member
Username: Dontknownoting

Woodlands , TX US

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-08
I was just looking up about inverters and came across this forum and there is a member glass or grass something. Now I can't find the person who sounds like he knows or has been involved in the invert from battery voltage to the house amps for power.
I do not know a thing about electricity nor how its works.
But just went through Hurricane Ike. And just before the storm, four days before, couldn't even find a generator.
But Friday night the 12th went in the last minute, to the local corner store, that sell small stuff and was looking for D batteries and saw a case, and I said what is this, and it was a 500W inverter that hooks either up to the cigarette lighter or the battery.
My family and I got real lucky, it could charge up our cell phones which we couldn't use anyway, and run a 20" fan.
I have 15k in a salt water tank. It couldn't run the 1325gph(gallon per hour) external pump, but could run the small 1200gph power heads inside of the tank, two of them. THANK GOD, my tank didn't crash.
Question in mind is, I've been researching these inverters and can't seem to found and answer on the exact volts to amps. The inverter I bought said, 500WATT but only 4.3 amps.
Ok if I buy a 2500W inverter, how many amps is that?
See my big external pump on my tank says on the pump 1.3 amps, but 115V. But it wouldn't work. I did though have only a 16 gage 100FT. extension cord. Would a home made standard electric 110 wire with three prong plugs on it worked? If I know I can only spend 200 dollars on a 2500W inverter and just either run it on my battery on my car while running or buy another Optima dry cell battery which are maybe from 200 to 400 dollars, well thats 600 dollars, but no noise like you would hear from a 6000W generator. Unless you buy one of those Honda's, which around the 2500 to 3000 dollars range that are quite.

New member
Username: Dontknownoting

Woodlands , TX US

Post Number: 2
Registered: Sep-08
Ok me again, and just saw the Colemen 3000W Inverter and it said 12V to 120V with 25 continuous amps and 50 amp peek.
Ok forgot to ask main question. Would the size of the alternator on my care make a difference too? Like I know cars range from 50 amp to 75. And big utility trucks use 100 amp or bigger. What would be the strain on a mid size car with a alternator of 50 to 65 amp continuous charge with the Colemen 3000W inverter hooked up to it?

New member
Username: Dontknownoting

Woodlands , TX US

Post Number: 3
Registered: Sep-08
oops. alternator on my care was suppose to be car, sorry, my fingers or a little tore up from the clean up from Ike.

New member
Username: Macbeth1

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-10
Thanks for the opinion and is really important to have knowledge regarding that and I am also in search of the inquiry regarding that as it is an important factor

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 2080
Registered: Oct-07
Any inverter more than about 200 or 250 watts should NOT plug into the cigarette lighter. They should go directly to the battery using heavy wire and the big 'alligator clips'.

Most inverters put out a square wave or modified square wave. Your power company supplies sine wave power...the nice round waves.
Some equipment doesn't like square waves and may rebel in some fashion....IOW, it won't work right, if at all. That may have been the problem with the fish tank gear.
Stereo? TV? I wouldn't try 'em...but anything with a 'wall wart' should be OK, as should lights and fans.
Refrigerators? They'll have a pretty big bump in power when they start so get a bigger inverter than the couple amps is says on the back plate.
For your house / solar? They better come with sine wave inverters. Especially in states where you can hook up to the grid and sell your power BACK.

Inverters are quite the drain. 1 amp at 120v is about 10 amps at 12 volts. Boat guys like to talk about 'amps' but everything in a boat is at the same voltage. You really need to worry about power, which is in watts. So, if you just plug an inverter to your battery and try to run a fridge, TV and DVD player.....say 500 watts total, you'll kill a good car battery in a couple hours. OOOPS!
You may want to get a cheap-o DVM (30$ radio shack or so) to keep an eye on battery voltage. Stop using it when the voltage drops below maybe......12v or so. 11.5 would be pushing it and a pretty discharged battery. New / perfect battery is what....12.6v? close?

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