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Power Inverters : A simple explanation (how-to understand the package)

Wagan Tech4/ 4/23

by: Justin Gray

You're interested in power inverters, but don't want to read my lengthy blogs detailing all of the nuances... I get it. This blog will break-down the points and specifications of the inverter's box.

Deciphering "the code"

Let's take a look at one of our inverter boxes and break-down what each point means (I removed the French and Spanish translations from the packaging to make this lesson clearer).

power inverter numbers meaning


Section A: Parts of the Inverter 

Inverter labels
  1. Shows whether the unit is ON/OFF
  2. Illuminates if there is a grounding error
  3. Fault LED: Shows an error like overload/overheat
  4. Turns the unit On/Off
  5. 3 plugs like you find in your house
  6. These allow you to hard-wire the inverter to an appliance to get the full 2000 watts
  7. allows the optional remote control to be used
  8. USB port for charging electronics
  9. "Feet" used to securely mount inverter to solid surface
  10. This is where you plug in the positive battery cable
  11. This is where you plug in the negative battery cable
  12. When the inverter heats up or is under= load, these fans automatically turn on
  13. Ground terminal is used as a safety feature in case of short-circuit


Section B: Inverter Features

inverter features - GFC truerated conformal coating

  • Ground Fault Protection: The unit protects itself in case of short-circuit
  • TrueRated Power: TrueRated Power is Wagan Tech’s coined term for truth in advertising and performance. Our inverters will run the stated wattage continuously for over 24 hours, guaranteed. Learn more about this: Click here
  • Conformal Coating: Our PureLine inverters are protected to resist dust, dirt, and water. Learn more about this: Click here
  • Optional Remote Control: Includes an On/Off switch and LEDs to show power status and faults


Section C: Inverter Specifications

Inverter labels
  1. Continuous power is the max sustained power the inverter can provide for at least 24 hours straight
  2. Surge/Peak/Start-up/in-rush power is the max power the inverter can provide in a short burst (usually less than 1 second)
  3. Input (range) is the allowable incoming DC voltage that the inverter can work off of
  4. Output (range) is the volt range the inverter can provide to power your electronics
  5. Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is how "messy" the sine wave gets while under load. "3% or less" means it is very clean
  6. Frequency is the "speed" at which the electrical motor operates at. The frequency is determined by the region of the world you live in. Here in the USA, our power grid is on the 60Hz frequency.
  7. Max power efficiency is the maximum efficiency that the power can provide during the conversion of the input DC voltage into output AC voltage. The conversion of DC to AC power creates heat which is lost power and lowers the efficiency. 90% and up is considered high-efficiency in power inverters.
  8. This inverter protects itself during over-load and over-heat occurrences
  9. NEMA 5-15 is the standard 2-pole, 3-wire AC power receptacle here in the USA and Canada; our inverter features 3 of them
  10. This inverter provides a 2.1A USB power port for charging phones, tablets, or powering USB devices

 Hopefully this blog made it more clear what each specification means. If you have questions or comments, I hope that you'll leave them below. Also, feel free to email our customer service team or call 1.800.231.5806.


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