Car inverter risk?

How likely is it that your car's electrical system can be damaged by using a 100w power inverter which plugs into your cig lighter?
Such as this item: (Amazon.com product link shortened)R0FX412W1BDT&tagalt14850-20&linkCode=asn
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Emulemul wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)R0FX412W1BDT&tagalt14850-20&linkCode=asn
Not very likely and the worst that should happen is that a fuse will blow and require replacement.
-- Sue
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Palindrome wrote:

Or it will be left running when the car is parked, running down (and reducing the life of) the battery.
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Paul Hovnanian P.E. wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)R0FX412W1BDT&tagalt14850-20&linkCode=asn
Ignition = off cuts power to cigarette lighter on my buggy.
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The AC output is from an h-bridge.... so there are two 'hots' out of phase... no neutral, no ground. If you plug a strip into the inverter, and something like a lamp or an appliance with some exposed metal on it, and that metal has a 60v square wave on it and it hits some metal in the car, there will be sparks. I think.
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.invalid says...

(Amazon.com product link shortened)R0FX412W1BDT&tagalt14850-20&linkCode=asn
It's an implementation thing. Neither of mine (both cars, neither AUX outlets on each) are switched.
--
Keith

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Paul Hovnanian P.E. wrote:

But of course, that depends on whether or not the car cigarette port still has power when the car is off. I've had cars that it was still powered, and I've had cars that it was not powered when the car was off. I'm glad that my cell phone charger has a little light on it when it's plugged in.
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Anthony Guzzi wrote:

Yes. And you'd be surprised at how many people are unaware of how their particular car's system works. Until they've gone through a couple of batteries, that is.
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1) Most of those little buggers run a little on the "warm" side. With a load of a small laptop (60 watts nominal) they get too hot to comfortable touch in about an hour. The tiny fan likely just barely keep it from catching fire!
2) Most folks (like us) pull out the inverted when we shut down the laptop. We certainly don't leave laptops in the open in a parked car.
3) Even at full load, 10 amps is on the order of leaving the inside lights on. I agree it's hard on the battery but the odds are good at still being able to start next morning.
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On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 18:56:53 -0700, Anthony Guzzi

The charger on my geezer phone (jitterbug) is smart enough to figure out the car is running and won't do anything when it is off. I assume it looks for something more than 12 volts.
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Paul Hovnanian P.E. wrote:

All of the plug-in inverters that I have encountered (admittedly UK-only) have had very conservative low-voltage cut-outs. Well, coming back to a car with insufficient battery energy left to start wouldn't be much of a selling point...
So conservative that I had to abandon the idea of using one as part of a portable power source, with a battery that I wanted to be able to discharge more deeply..
-- Sue
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(Amazon.com product link shortened)R0FX412W1BDT&tagalt14850-20&linkCode=asn
Problem I've had with them is that the lighter sockets are crap for high current connections and often overheat. After all, getting hot was not an issue for their original intended purpose. However, most of the appliance plugs which fit them are not designed to get very hot, but do.
Where I wanted to regularly run an inverter, I fitted insulated binding posts and spade terminals instead of the lighter plug. I couldn't find any low voltage plug and socket which could handle 25A (in my case) without getting wastefully (and possibly dangerously) hot. This would mean choosing an inverter with a flying lead inlet rather than a built-in plug.
--
Andrew Gabriel
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