Get the best out of your inverter

David and his family finally get comfortable in front of the TV to watch their favourite show on Netflix.
That’s when load shedding strikes.
Everyone sighs.
“Honey, do we still have the mobile inverter?” asks David’s wife.
David nods excitedly and soon has the inverter all set up.
He switches it on. It BEEPS and then shuts down.
David Frowns frowns and tries again. Nothing.
“It’s not working.” He frowns.

What could have gone wrong?
David experienced what happens when your inverter’s batteries are flat or possibly damaged.

Taking proper care of your inverter and batteries will ensure good performance and a longer lifespan. Here are some great tips to prevent a powerless experience like David has.

When do you need to charge the batteries?
When batteries are left unused for long periods of time they simply discharge until there is no power left in them. It’s recommended to keep the inverter connected most of the time, this ensures the batteries stay ‘topped’ up and they will last longer.

It is good practice to “lightly exercise” your inverter if it hasn’t been used for a month or longer. Charge it fully. Switch off the mains and then run a small load using about 15% of your inverter’s battery capacity.
Using for example; a load of 120W for 1 hour, 300W for 20 minutes or 500W for 10 minutes. Switch the mains power back on to ensure that your inverter receives power again.

Important to remember that the more frequently you run your inverter completely flat, that this will shorten the batteries charging life cycles.

When do you need to replace the batteries?
A number of causes can determine that your inverter’s batteries need replacement.
The real cost of batteries lies in the need to place them periodically. Every 3-5 years depending on the quality of the batteries and the way they were treated and or if they have reached the end of their life.

Where do you need to keep the inverter?
The inverter produces heat while working. Ensure to place it in a well-ventilated area. Keep the ventilation openings clear of obstructions and that at least 20cm of space is maintained on all sides of the inverter trolley.

For safety, keep it away from materials that may be affected by high temperatures as it will shorten the lifespan of the batteries. The cooler the area, the better.

Which appliances should you NOT connect to the inverter?
You should never plug in appliances such as kettles, irons, heaters, washing machines, tumble dryers, air conditioners and fridges. These will surely damage the inverter.

Smaller rechargeable battery-operated products such as flashlights, shavers and night-lights that plugs in directly to the mains socket to recharge is not good for your inverter too.

Always ensure that your inverter is plugged in independently from other appliances.

Do you need to keep it clean?
Dust settles everywhere and can eventually clog up ventilation openings and cooling fans. Regularly wipe your inverter with a cloth and ensure the openings are dust free. It can lead to hydrogen gas accumulation which may lead the battery to burst.