Will Electrical Outage Inverter Work?

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  #1  
Old 12-31-04, 05:34 PM
jvwill
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Wink Will Electrical Outage Inverter Work?

Question: Should I buy a 1200 watt sine wave power inverter (2400 watts peak rating) with a polarized 110V A/C outlet, and a 25 feet 12 guage extension cord to provide emergency power for 15 minutes from my car's 12 volt outlet to my small 10cf freezer in my garage during an electrical outage? How about my 25 cf 700 watt refrigerator? and my gas furnace 3/4 hp 11amp air circulating fan? Of course, I would only connect one appliance at a time for about 15 minutes each during an outage. Harbor Freight sells the inverter for $140. It seems much cheaper than spending $550 for a gas powered generator, and my car always has at least 10 gallons of gas. Of course, I would leave the garage door open so I would not die
John
 
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  #2  
Old 12-31-04, 05:52 PM
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Only 15 minutes? 15 minutes of power won't do you any good.
 
  #3  
Old 12-31-04, 06:58 PM
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It would run the fridge and freezer. I doubt it would run the 3/4hp furnace. The start surge of the motor would overload the inverter.

It could run forever if you kept the car running or started it up at regular time intervals to recharge the battery.
 
  #4  
Old 12-31-04, 07:55 PM
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I doubt it would run the fridge or freezer since the startup load would be too high. 1200 watts? You'd probably only get 15 minutes before the battery in the car would need charging. Food isn't going to spoil in 15 minutes. In fact the fridge and freezer will probably stay cool up to 24 hours if doors are not opened. A generater is the only real solution to a long term electrical outage.

Doug M.
 
  #5  
Old 12-31-04, 08:36 PM
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Most car battery's are 55 amp hours.
55 amps X 12 volts = 660 watts.( you only will get about 600 watts to the inverter)
In 20 minuets you may not be able to start your car. (or need charging as dougm stated in post #4)

Car battery's are not made to be discharged and charged at a hi rate.
Doing that all day may kill your battery in a very-very short time (just one point, you will boil the water in the battery).

If your alternator is rated at 55 amps at 3000 RPM
your car will need to be running at 3000 RPM just to supply 660 watts.
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I have an older 3000 W generator, it may use 1 gal of gas per hour for 1000 watts.( I just know it eats gas)
maybe the new ones use less gas.

An inverter may be good if you need to run some power tools for a short time.(cutting up a fallen tree or fire wood)

Your best Bet is, get a large freezer fill it with ice and food, put the ice in thick plastic bags.
Ice does not melt as fast in plastic bags.
Or get ice from the store. may be dry Ice.

I think the Ice can last 3 or more days in a good freezer without power.
 
  #6  
Old 12-31-04, 09:03 PM
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Great information GWIZ. It provides a lot more data to go on. Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 12-31-04, 10:28 PM
jvwill
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Thanks to everyone for the information about my planning for an extended electrical outage. I was thinking maybe I could run the car engine on fast idle with the garage door open, connect an inverter between the car battery and the refrigerator, and get it back down to 40 degrees in about 15 minutes. Then I would switch over to the freezer for maybe half an hour; all the time running the car engine for maximum battery output. Then repeat it every 12 hours or so until the outage was over.

During a winter electrical outage I thought maybe the inverter might keep the gas furnace operational by running the 3/4 hp fan. I will forget that idea based on your answers of the limited wattage in the battery.

Likewise with the freezer and refrigerator, I think it best that I buy a separate generator and store 5 gallons of gas in my lawnmower shed. I'm trying to plan for an electrical outage of 4 or 5 days, both in the summer and in the winter and not lose frozen food in the summer, or freeze my house in the winter.
Thanks, jvwill
 
  #8  
Old 01-01-05, 08:42 AM
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Use a flanged inlet to connect furnace.

Use a flanged inlet and a Double pole, double throw, switch to connect your furance. You plug in the regular extension cord from the generator and throw the switch to connect the heating plant to the flanged inlet rather than the houses wiring.
--
Tom H
 
  #9  
Old 01-01-05, 10:44 AM
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Tom,
Good suggestion. Just as a side note, the Leviton product you referenced is single pole, double throw, like a three way switch (except yours had a center off position)
 
  #10  
Old 01-01-05, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by HandyRon
Tom,
Good suggestion. Just as a side note, the Leviton product you referenced is single pole, double throw, like a three way switch (except yours had a center off position)
I looked again and that description has the S2 and double-pole right underneath the series number 1286. What am I missing?
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Tom H
 
  #11  
Old 01-01-05, 01:37 PM
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A 1200 watt inverter would need 100 amps from the 12 volt battery. You would need welding cables for the connector, and your cigarett lighter socket would melt in a matter of seconds.
 
  #12  
Old 01-01-05, 02:51 PM
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Tom,
Sorry, the spec said 120/277 Volt. I didn't see the wiring diagram.
 
  #13  
Old 01-04-05, 08:17 AM
rugerman
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This doesn't have a lot to do with the electrical problem but as a past resident of hurricaine prone areas I learned (from my father) that as you take food out of your freezer to fill the space with ice (in ziploc or other bags or in gallon or 2 liter bottles) then as you add food take the ice out. The goal is to keep the freezer as full as possible which makes the freezer more efficent (less air space to cool) and in the event of a prolonged power outage your food will stay safe longer and usually the water supply contaminated and not fit to drink so the jugs of water give you something cold to drink while you wait for the power to come back on. Also you should not open the freezer anymore than you have to. rugerman
 
  #14  
Old 01-04-05, 08:25 AM
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Just buy an old fashioned manual defrost freezer and the empty space will fill up with frost automatically.

Actually, rugerman's father was a very intelligent man.

Doug M.
 
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