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How does a power inverter work?
A power inverter converts DC power into conventional AC power allowing you to use your favorite devices when an AC outlet is not available. Simply connect an inverter to a battery source, plug your appliance into the inverter and you're set!
How do I know which inverter to buy?
Different devices require specific wattages to run correctly and efficiently. Please use this easy formula to determine the correct size inverter:
AMPS x 120 = Watts
Example: 15 Amp Cooling Unit X 120 = 1800 Watts
Please refer to our estimated watts page to help you find the inverter that is right for you.
How far can I keep my inverter from my batteries?
Keep the cables between your inverter and batteries as short as possible. This will help your batteries perform their best and keep the inverter's signal clean. The cables that come with the inverter are "rated" or good for up to six ft. If you plan on going over six ft., drop down to a larger gauge cable. Please call us if you are still unsure. This is pretty important stuff that should NOT be overlooked. If the cables between your battery and inverter get hot while under heavy load, then you should use heavier cables.
Can I use an extension cord with my inverter?
Yes, no problem. If cables need to be run, it is best to keep inverter as close as possible to batteries. Use extension cords on the output side (Vac output) rather than extending the Vdc cables. Tip: Contractors often need to mount the inverter in the back of their trucks. In a case like this it would be best to mount a secondary battery near the inverter and wire it to the primary truck battery. Vac extension cords should not exceed 200 feet or you will have signal loss
How long can I expect my devices to run?
The run time depends solely on the amount and size (capacity) of your batteries.
With an inverter installed on a truck, can the engine be idled to maintain a charge on the batteries to offset the drain by heavy powertool use?
Yes, most of our customers will leave their vehicle running while using their inverter. We recommend that only 2500 watt inverters and below be used on your truck or large vehicle. Advise your vehicle's manufacture or mechanic to make sure your alternator will keep up with the amps being used.
What is the Low Voltage Alarm & Shutdown?
The low voltage alarm will sound when the DC source falls below 10 volts and the automatic shutdown will power off the inverter. This is done to save your battery(ies) so you can restart your vehicle.
My inverter's fans won't come on
Good! On almost all of our inverters over 1000 watts, the fans are connected to a thermal switch which will only allow the fans to come on when they reach a certain temperature. This helps keep your batteries holding their charge longer, and also makes it QUIET! Hooray!
Is my inverter weatherproof?
No. Treat your inverter like you would your TV. You wouldn't put your TV outside in the rain, please don't leave your inverter there either. Be aware of lighting storms. If struck, your inverter would go into a permanent overload state and may even smoke it. If using in a marine environment, try to keep it tucked away underneath, in a dryer area.
What type of batteries do you recommend?
Most of our customers prefer to use deep cycle marine batteries with their inverters. A few advantages are:
We suggest Lifeline deep cycle batteries, they work extremely well with power inverters.
The following three paragraphs are from OPTIMA Batteries:
Connecting Batteries Together in Parallel
If your battery application requires more starting power or reserve capacity you can install multiple batteries together in parallel by connecting the like terminals together (positive to positive / negative to negative). Each time you add a battery in parallel you increase the CCA and Reserve Capacity, the voltage remains at 12 volts. For example, two OPTIMA® 34/78's in parallel will provide 1600 CCA and 208 minutes reserve. Three in parallel provides 2400 CCA and 312 minutes of reserve. If you have any questions about multiple battery installations, contact an appropriate automotive service center.
Suggestions for connecting batteries in parallel
Battery installation tips
What is the difference between a modified sine and pure sine wave inverter?
Modified sine wave power inverters are more portable than pure sine wave power inverters, lighter, and lower in cost. If your device will handle voltage fluctuations, a modified sine wave inverter should be considered.Most devices that people typically wish to power will work fine with a modified sine wave inverter, as a precaution, please contact the manufacturer of your device to determine if it is compatible.
Pure sine wave power inverters allow motors to run cooler, last longer and provide very clean power like you would receive from a power company. Devices such as laser printers, digital clocks, and most medical equipment require a pure sine wave inverter to run correctly. As noted above, as a precaution, please contact the manufacturer of your device to determine if pure sine wave power is required.
Here is a video to help explain the difference from our good friends at Go Power! By Carmanah:
Do I need a transfer switch?
Maybe. Never leave an inverter connected to a line where other power (shore, household .etc Vac) may feed into inverter. It doesn’t matter if inverter is on or off, you will most likely smoke your inverter. Need a transfer switch? CLICK HERE!
What's this hertz thing all about?
Here in the US, things run at 60Hz, in Europe and most other places around the world, things run at 50Hz. You'll most likely require a 60Hz inverter if you are running a device intended to run on US power.
We like to go camping and travel quite frequently. My spouse uses a CPAP machine, will your inverter work?
Yes, many of our customers use their inverter for that very reason. We do recommend a pure sine wave inverter though, but as always, please check your manual or contact the manufacture of your device.
OK, I received my inverter, now what?
Every inverter comes with a helpful manual, but questions may still arise. When you purchase an inverter from InvertersRus, we will walk you all the way through the installation process and make sure you're up and running!
Do you still have a question?
Please feel free to contact a customer service representative by calling 866-419-2616 or email us!