Zoom on the Powerhorse 4500i
In a nutshell, the Powerhorse 4500i is a compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:
- RV travellers looking for even more independence
- Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
- Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
- Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.
Power & Run Time
The Powerhorse 4500i's design includes a gasoline-fueled 224 cc (7.5 hp) OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120/240V output, it gives a running wattage of 3700W and also a peak wattage of 4500W. In addition, as it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), this power can be increased when linked to another similar or compatible unit.
With a noise rating of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than an office), the inverter generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.
Thanks to a fuel capacity of 3.4 gallons, the 4500i can operate for up to 14 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.24 GPH).
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).
The control panel provides the upcoming 4 AC outlets:
It also sports 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.
This Powerhorse generator features an L5-30R receptacle, enabling an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. However, it is still not quite RV ready. Besides, because the 4500i is equipped with a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it can power your home during a power outage, as it can be easily connected to your breaker box to power your household.
The design of the Powerhorse 4500i is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L21 x W20.5 x H21.5 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The design is ideal for rough environments and demanding outdoor use.
With a dry weight of 90.4 lbs, the 4500i can easily follow you wherever your power needs are. Moreover, grabbing and moving this product is made even easier by its open frame design.
Some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is overloaded, the oil level is too low and the generator is ready.
Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.
While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Powerhorse 4500i, the following accessories are also included: funnel and tool kit.
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, which makes it suitable for use 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 inverter generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).
- As far as its dry weight is concerned, the Powerhorse 4500i weighs just 90.4 pounds and thus, it is one of the lighter 3500 to 4500 rated wattage inverter generators. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 66.1 pounds.
- This inverter generator, with its lowest possible noise rated at 64 dBA falls into the more noisy category, compared to other devices of a similar running wattage. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the Cummins Onan P4500i, whose lowest noise levels reach just 52 dBA.
- The 4500i's autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its type and power range, as it reaches only up to 14 hours at 25% load on a full tank. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Firman W03661OF, with up to 25 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. This inverter generator is rather wasteful, compared to other devices within the aforementioned output range, when it comes to gasoline consumption, as it reaches roughly 0.24 GPH at a 25% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.16 GPH, the Champion 200988 is a device you could look out for.
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3500-4500W inverter 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
- In the expected price range
- Several accessories included
- Parallel capable
- Lightweight for its kind (90.4 lbs)
- No data center
- No electric start
- On the noisy side (64 dBA)
- Relatively low run time
- Low fuel efficiency
Features and Specifications
|Parallel capable||Yes, cable not included|
|Engine||224 cc OHV 4-stroke|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V|
|Running watts||3700 W|
|Starting watts||4500 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||30.8/15.4 amps|
|Peak amps (@120/240V)||37.5/18.8 amps|
|Run time @50% load||Unknown|
|Run time @25% load||14 h|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||Inverter|
|AC outlets|| |
|DC outlets||1x 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) |
2x 5V USB port
|Indicators||Low oil, overload and output ready|
|Fuel tank||3.4 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||21 x 20.5 x 21.5 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||64 dBA|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection|
|Accessories included||Funnel and tool kit|
|Other model numbers||83171|
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.
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". Powerhorse generators are engineered, developed and tested in Minnesota, but manufactured in China.
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?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||AC (10,000 BTU)||1500||2200|
|Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||2942 W||4042 W|
|For camping||RV AC (11,000 BTU)||1010||1600|
|Total||2940 W||3530 W|
|Electric fence (25 miles)||250||250|
|Total||2910 W||4010 W|
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