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Cat INV4000E Spec Review

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

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Cat INV4000ECat INV4000ECat INV4000E
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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 a nutshell, the Cat INV4000E is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • Professionals who want to ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working

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's core is the 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120V, it provides a running wattage of 3200W and a peak wattage of 4000W. In addition, the device is parallel capable (parallel kit not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.

At a noise rating of 51 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a refrigerator), this inverter generator can be started via a conventional pull-start mechanism, or a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included).

With a full tank, the INV4000E can operate for around 8 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.26 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 2.1 gallons.

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the INV4000E produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

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 allowing you to easily charge your batteries and two 5V USB ports with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.

Even though this Cat generator isn't quite RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle allows an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor.

Portability

The Cat INV4000E's characteristic encased inverter generator design (L25.4 x W18.5 x H20.4 in), provides an esthetical advantage over any ordinary, open frame product. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating 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). Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.

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.

One of the many INV4000E's features is the data center, included in its control panel, which conveniently provides information on the fuel level, lifetime run hours, power output, voltage and remaining run time and thus, helps you monitor its activity and status. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

In addition to this info, some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is on overload, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is ready.

The inverter generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

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).

Besides the classic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, the Cat INV4000E also comes with some accessories: battery charging cables, oil, battery charger, tool kit and funnel are included.

Emissions

The Cat INV4000E is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

Product Video

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).

  • Having a dry weight of 103.6 lbs, the Cat INV4000E belongs in the expected weight range for generators which produce 2500 to 3500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN400i with only 66.1 pounds.
  • At a lowest noise rating of 51 dBA, this inverter generator is one of the quieter devices of similar power. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Honda EU3000iS. With just 50 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • As for its autonomy, the INV4000E, with an autonomy of around 8 hours at a 50% load, is placed on the low end among the generators of its kind. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Honda EB4000X, 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. This inverter generator, with an estimated fuel consumption of just 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, is one of the more fuel efficient generators, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Westinghouse iGen4200, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.17 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

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
Peaks 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 wattage 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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