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Powerhorse 4500i Spec Review

The Powerhorse 4500i is a compact open frame 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:
  • $839.99 - June 5, 2021
  • $819.99 - February 4, 2021
Data source: northerntool.com
Since: February 4, 2021
  • Highest Price: $839.99 - June 5, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $819.99 - February 4, 2021

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 summary, the Powerhorse 4500i is a compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience

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 in use

The Powerhorse 4500i

The Powerhorse 4500i is powered by a 224 cc (7.5 hp) OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120/240V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 3700W as well as a peak wattage of 4500W. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.

Enjoying a noise rating of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than background music), this inverter generator gets running thanks to a conventional pull-start mechanism.

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

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

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

It also sports 3 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) 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.

This Powerhorse 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. 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

With its dimensions of L21 x W20.5 x H21.5 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Powerhorse 4500i offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

The 4500i can be taken anywhere with you, thanks to its weight of 90.4 lbs. Moreover, its open frame design makes it incredibly easy to grab the frame in order to change its location.

Features

Panel of the Powerhorse 4500i

The 4500i's control panel

Several light indicators serve to show you when its oil levels are insufficient, the generator is ready and the generator is on overload.

From a security point of view, the generator is equipped with an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, giving you a peace of mind during use.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Powerhorse 4500i also is packed along with the following 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, so it is adequate 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 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 is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the WEN GN400i, weighing just 66.1 pounds.
  • As this inverter generator can emit noise as low as 64 dBA, it finds itself in the average expected noise for this kind of 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.
  • The 4500i's autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its 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 Champion 200954, with up to 22 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. 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
Peak 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". Powerhorse generators are engineered, developed and tested in Minnesota, but manufactured in China.

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 homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Mixer200200
Total2942 W4042 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Electric grill16501650
Radio100100
Total2940 W3530 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Drain cleaner250250
Total2910 W4010 W

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

Powerhorse 4500i
9 Total Score
1 review
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Price
8
Value
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Quality
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Performance
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1 Review
  1. 4.5
    Price
    80
    Value
    90
    Quality
    90
    Performance
    100

    This generator will power anything you would need during a power outage..
    It will power most necessities for around 15 hrs.+ per tankful ..and is very
    quiet in case you have close neighbors.

    + PROS:
    • Very quiet
    • Long runtime
    • 120/240 for full house backup
    • Variety of outlet types
    - CONS:
    • No fuel gauge
    • No wheel/handle kit available
    Helpful(2) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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