How to Use an Inverter

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Power inverters help you change direct current (DC) power from a battery to alternating current (AC) power so you can operate appliances. You can use your car battery and an inverter to power appliances in your house during an emergency power outage. A small inverter can plug in to the car's cigarette lighter and power small electronic devices while in your car.

  • Turn off the inverter and place it close to the battery.

  • Attach a battery cable from the negative terminal of the battery to the negative DC connector on the inverter.

  • Attach a second battery cable from the positive terminal of the battery to the positive DC connector on the inverter. A spark can be expected so keep both the battery and inverter away from flammable gases or fumes. Keep the inverter and battery away from water.

  • Turn on the inverter and check any LED indicators or gauges to make sure the voltage of the power source matches that in the inverter.

  • Turn off the inverter.

  • Plug in your appliance to the inverter's AC outlet. Make sure your appliance uses fewer watts and amps than what's provided by the battery and inverter. For instance, 120 watts is equivalent to 1 amp of AC power.

  • Turn on the inverter and your appliance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the car on to charge your battery if you want to use your appliance for an extended period of time.
  • Use a pure sine wave inverter for sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, rechargeable devices, sound systems and digital clocks. A pure sine wave inverter does not produce electrical noise interference and works similarly to a building's wall plug. Using other types of inverters with these devices can ruin them.

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