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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
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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 wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • 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 able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source
  • Professionals who want to ensure that a power failure will not prevent them from working

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

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. 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.

The inverter generator is rated for a noise of 51 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a conversation at home). Its starting mechanisms include a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included).

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).

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 features the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

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

In addition, it provides 3 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries 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

Thanks to its closed inverter generator design (L25.4 x W18.5 x H20.4 in), the Cat INV4000E, is more esthetical than a typical, open frame generator. The featured design follows the latest trends and is ideal for easy and recreational use.

As the generator's weight is 103.6 pounds, manually moving it or transporting it may be challenging, despite the fact that it is technically considered 'portable' (movable). However, this lack of maneuverability is compensated by its set of 2 wheels and its folding handle, with which you can conveniently shift it, once it's on 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.

The control panel of the INV4000E includes a digital data center, which assists you in monitoring its status and activity, as it provides information on the fuel level, lifetime run hours, power output, voltage and remaining run time. To offer you even more control and easy operation during night time, the panel is LED-lit.

In addition to this info, the device’s light indicators will display if the generator is ready, the generator is on overload and the oil level is too low.

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 far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker).

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, tool kit, funnel, battery charger and oil 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).

  • Since the generator weighs in at a dry weight of 103.6 lbs, the Cat INV4000E belongs in the expected weight range for devices which can 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.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 51 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering 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.
  • 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.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. This inverter generator can be considered as fuel efficient, due to its low estimated fuel consumption of only 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, within the aforementioned wattage range. If fuel consumption is your top priority, we suggest to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200, which has a fuel consumption of only 0.17 GPH and thus, is one of the most efficient devices in our database.

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 size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeElectric fry pan15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Freezer8101750
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2557 W3557 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Radiant heater13001300
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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