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Cat INV4000E Spec Review

The Cat INV4000E is a quiet and compact inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3200 W and a starting wattage of 4000 W.

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Cat INV4000ECat INV4000ECat INV4000E

Get this unit while stocks last, because Caterpillar discontinued its production.

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Description

Take your outdoor adventures to the next level with the Cat® INV4000 E portable inverter generator. Inverter technology provides a high-quality power that's safe for your sensitive electronics. Cat® CO DEFENSE™Carbon Monoxide Sensing & Shutdown technology keeps you, your family, and friends safe. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Cat INV4000E

In summary, the Cat INV4000E is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Cat INV4000E in use

The Cat INV4000E

The Cat INV4000E is powered by a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3200W as well as a peak wattage of 4000W. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

The inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 51 dBA (just slightly more noisy than rainfall).

The fuel capacity of 2.1 gallons allows the INV4000E to operate for around 8 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.26 GPH).

The INV4000E generates a clean sine wave: providing <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), delicate electronics can be plugged in its AC outlets safely.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 3 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy and two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

This Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, but it features an L5-30R receptacle, allowing a simple RV connection through an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor.

Portability

Since the Cat INV4000E is an inverter generator, its closed design (L25.4 x W18.5 x H20.4 in) has an esthetical advantage over conventional, open frame devices. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.

Since the generator weighs 103.6 lbs, it will be incredibly difficult to manually lift it and transport it, even though it is technically considered to 'be portable' (in the sense that it is movable). Nevertheless, thanks to its set of 2 wheels and its folding handle (a decent solution to its lack of maneuverability), the generator can be easily moved, once placed the ground.

Features

Panel of the Cat INV4000E

The INV4000E's control panel

On the top of the unit, a handy compartment allows for an easy and convenient onboard storage of maintenance-related tools.

Monitoring of the INV4000E's status and activity is made possible by a digital data center, which provides information on the remaining run time, lifetime run hours, power output, fuel level and voltage and is one of the features of its control panel. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

In addition to this info, when the generator is on overload, the oil level is too low and the generator is ready, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.

Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the inverter generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.

As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind.

The INV4000E also benefits from CAT’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cat INV4000E, the following accessories are also included: battery charging cables, funnel, battery charger, oil and tool kit.

Emissions

The Cat INV4000E is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, making it usable in forested areas.

Product Videos

The Cat INV4000E versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV4000E compare to generators of similar power (between 2500 and 3500 W).

  • With a dry weight of 103.6 pounds, the Cat INV4000E finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 2500 and 3500 rated watts. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the Generac GP3300i, with a dry weight of just 59.5 pounds.
  • Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 51 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Honda EU3000iS, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 50 dBA.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the INV4000E, reaching around 8 hours at a 50% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other products of a roughly equal output. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Predator 4375, reaching around 16 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. With an estimated gasoline consumption of 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this inverter generator is among the more fuel efficient of the products in the above-mentioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse iGen4200, with a fuel consumption of 0.17 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 2500-3500W generators, the Cat INV4000E is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Onboard storage for maintenance tools
  • Illuminated control panel
  • CO DEFENSE™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Electric start
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Quiet for its power (51 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (103.6 lbs)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No remote start
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the Cat INV4000E and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts3200 W
Starting watts4000 W
Running amps26.7 amps
Peak amps33.3 amps
Run time @50% load8 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A receptacle
2x 5V USB port
Data centerPower output, fuel level, lifetime run hours, remaining run time and voltage
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankPlastic, 2.1 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight103.6 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)25.4 x 18.5 x 20.4 in
Noise (lower limit)51 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, battery charger, battery charging cables, and battery
Warranty3 years
Other model numbers501-5454

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

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About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. CAT portable generators are engineered and designed in Mossville, Illinois, and Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, their production is outsourced to China.

Warranty Information

The Cat INV4000E is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizing calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Hair dryer18001900
Blender400850
Laptop150150
Total2542 W3542 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2545 W3135 W
For workGrinder14002500
Belt sander11502400
Total2550 W3800 W
What does relatively low run time mean in the negative column? (Asked May 02, 2020)

It refers to its comparison with other generators of similar power. When compared to other generators of similar power, this unit has a relatively low run time.

How does this generator compare with Cat 4000inv E CO, in terms of durability and specs? (Asked June 23, 2020)

This model is the INV4000E with CO DEFENSE.

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