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Powerhorse 4500i Spec Review

The Powerhorse 4500i is a compact open frame portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3700 W and a starting wattage of 4500 W.

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Price History
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Price history for the Powerhorse 4500i
Latest updates:
  • $819.99 - February 4, 2021
  • $719.99 - December 23, 2020
  • $819.99 - November 24, 2020
  • $799.99 - September 12, 2020
Data source: northerntool.com
Since: September 12, 2020
  • Highest Price: $819.99 - November 24, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $719.99 - December 23, 2020

Description

This Powerhorse Open Frame Inverter Generator delivers plenty of power, fuel efficiency and less than 2% distortion, making it perfect for operating computers, appliances, TVs and other sensitive electronics. It features a parallel-ready design for connecting two units together for up to twice the power.

Zoom on the Powerhorse 4500i

In a nutshell, the Powerhorse 4500i is a compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go

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 Powerhorse 4500i's engine, 224 cc (7.5 hp) OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120/240V. It provides a running wattage of 3700W and reaches a peak wattage of 4500W. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

With a noise rating of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a normal conversation), the inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

The 4500i can operate for up to 14 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.24 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 3.4 gallons.

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the 4500i produces a clean sine wave, with a <2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel features the following 4 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

Furthermore, it has 3 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle with which you may charge your batteries with ease and two 5V USB ports allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

While this Powerhorse generator is not RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle can be used for a simple RV connection with an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, as the 4500i holds a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: you'll easily be able to connect it to your breaker box to power your home during a power outage.

Portability

The Powerhorse 4500i has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L21 x W20.5 x H21.5 in, which offers support and allows it to be raised above ground level. The generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

As the 4500i's weight is only 90.4 lbs, it can follow you and your power needs anywhere. Moreover, grabbing and moving this product is made even easier by its open frame design.

Features

Panel of the Powerhorse 4500i

The 4500i's control panel

The device’s light indicators will display if the generator is ready, the generator is on overload and the oil level is too low.

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.

Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Powerhorse 4500i's package also includes these accessories: tool kit and funnel.

Emissions

The Powerhorse 4500i 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 therefore, can be used in forested areas.

The Powerhorse 4500i versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Powerhorse 4500i compare to generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • Regarding its weight, the Powerhorse 4500i only weighs in at 90.4 pounds, which means it's one of the lighter generators in the 3500-4500 rated wattage range. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN400i with only 66.1 pounds.
  • Because this inverter generator emits noise as low as 64 dBA, it can be considered to have a pretty average expected noise rating for a device of its power. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Cummins Onan P4500i. With just 52 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the 4500i, reaching up to 14 hours at a 25% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other products of a roughly equal output. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Champion 200954, boasting with up to 22 hours.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. Compared to its peers, this inverter generator is not exactly fuel efficient, compared to similarly powerful devices, with an estimated fuel consumption of 0.24 GPH at a 25% load. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Westinghouse iGen4200. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.14 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W generators, the Powerhorse 4500i 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
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight for its kind (90.4 lbs)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (64 dBA)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • No electric start
  • Relatively low run time
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Powerhorse 4500i 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
Engine224 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts3700 W
Starting watts4500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)30.8/15.4 amps
Peaks amps (@120/240V)37.5/18.8 amps
Run time @50% loadUnknown
Run time @25% load14 h
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style)
2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank3.4 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight90.4 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)21 x 20.5 x 21.5 in
Noise (lower limit)64 dBA
THD< 2%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedFunnel and tool kit
Warranty2 years
Other model numbers83171

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 Powerhorse

Powerhorse is a trademarked brand name of gas-powered outdoor products owned and distributed by the Northern Tool & Equipment Company Inc. through their store locations and online. Powerhorse outdoor products include gas- and electric-powered tools including pressure washers, wood chippers/shredders, log splitters, electric generators and inverters. The product line also offers engines and water pumps. The brand's motto is "Power You Can Depend On".

Warranty Information

The Powerhorse 4500i is covered under a warranty for up to 2 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Powerhorse generators, please contact the Powerhorse Customer Support: 1-866-443-2576.

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 homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Freezer8101750
Cell phone charger2020
Total2947 W4422 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Blender400850
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2945 W3535 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Drain cleaner250250
Total2910 W4010 W

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