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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 for the Powerhorse 4500i
Latest updates:
  • $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: $799.99 - September 12, 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 summary, the Powerhorse 4500i is a compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • 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

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

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. 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 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a normal conversation). Its starting mechanism is based on 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).

Delicate electronics can be plugged in an AC outlets safely, as the 4500i generates a clean sine wave, reaching 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

It also sports 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 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 device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

As the 4500i's weight is only 90.4 lbs, it can follow you and your power needs anywhere. Additionally, the generator’s mobility is also improved by its open frame design, as it can be easily grabbed and shifted.

Features

Panel of the Powerhorse 4500i

The 4500i's control panel

When the generator is ready, the generator is overloaded and the oil level is too low, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.

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.

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.

Emissions

The Powerhorse 4500i is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 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).

  • Weight-wise, the Powerhorse 4500i has only 90.4 lbs, which renders it one of the lighter generators which produce 3500 to 4500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN400i with only 66.1 pounds.
  • This inverter generator has a somewhat average expected noise for its power range, rated at 64 dBA. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Cummins Onan P4500i, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 52 dBA.
  • As for its autonomy, the 4500i, with an autonomy of up to 14 hours at a 25% 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 Champion 200954, reaching up to 22 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. In fact, this inverter generator is not among the most fuel efficient, within the aforementioned wattage range : its estimated gasoline consumption at 25% load is around 0.24 GPH. 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)
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.

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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