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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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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
  • 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
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience

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 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. Moreover, since it is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), its power may be doubled if linked to a second compatible unit.

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 fuel capacity of 3.4 gallons, the 4500i may run 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).

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 4 AC outlets:

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

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

Even if this Powerhorse generator isn't quite RV Ready, it still allows for an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor, thanks to its L5-30R receptacle. Besides, as it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the 4500i is transfer switch ready: in case of a power outage, you will be easily able to connect it to a breaker box and power your household.

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 generator is designed for ideal use outdoors and in rough environments.

The 4500i's dry weight of 90.4 lbs lets you use its power anywhere needed. 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

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

As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind.

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, 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 generators of similar power (between 3500 and 4500 W).

  • In terms of its dry weight, the Powerhorse 4500i stands at only 90.4 lbs, meaning that is one of the lighter devices of the 3500-4500 rated wattage category If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above mentioned power range is the WEN GN400i, with a dry weight of just 66.1 pounds.
  • At a lowest noise rating of 64 dBA, this inverter generator is one of the quieter devices of similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Cummins Onan P4500i, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 52 dBA.
  • 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. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Westinghouse WGen3600DF, which is able to run for up to 18 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 0.14 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you should look out for.

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)
  • Quiet for its power (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% loadN/A
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.

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 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

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