trouble with recent emergency battery, inverter, car set up

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I had a recent power outage that lasted for 3 days. Not having a generator on hand, I decided to try using what I did have for short term power purposes. The items consisted of the car, 500 watt inverter, and I had an extra car battery available.
I hooked up the inverter directly to the car battery in the car. With the car running, I was able to run the 46" LCD TV, and a couple of CFL lights which was all I really needed to do. However, I ran into some problems. If the car wasn't running the entire time, the items connected to the inverter would start flickering on and off after a period of time. If off of the car battery inside the car, this might be within an hour, but with the separate battery, maybe 10 minutes unless it was coupled to the car battery in the car with the car running.
All in all, I was disappointed. I'm wondering why the items wouldn't operate correctly unless the car engine was running. There certainly wasn't a lot of wattage being drawn.... the TV uses like 100 watts with the lights maybe 10 watts each, and there were 2. I had hoped to just use the battery in the car to occasionally "jump" and charge the separate battery when it got too low, but never got to that point as the attached items would start flicking on and off.
I see portable power packs with internal battery and inverter at places like Walmart. The inverter is usually 400 watts or so, so I know this method should have worked. Any ideas as to why my set up didn't work well would be welcomed. If it had worked this time, I had planned on maybe a 1000 watt inverter at some point which I had hoped maybe if this happened in the future to be able to run the house refrigerator from the inverter/ car battery set up, but not if I have to have the car running the entire time.
Thanks for your help.
Pete
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On 6/28/2015 4:12 AM, pete wrote:

Are you sure your TV is only 100W? You're drawing too much current for a car battery to last long. Your extra batteries are shot.
Do the math. a 1000 watt inverter will draw 100 amps or so from a car battery. It won't last long.
A generator is WAY cheaper than the cost of a set of batteries to do what you want.
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On 06/28/2015 07:22 AM, mike wrote:

According to the manual, the TV draws 100 watts. The extra battery was brand new and was rated 525 CCA.

Perhaps not, but the idea was to get the combination working well with the 500 w inverter first which didn't happen.

Well, the brand new battery was $65 and I already had the 500 w inverter. Since generators were all sold out locally at the time, I had to do my best to make the combination work which really didn't happen. Besides, generators have to be maintained periodically as they'll sit for long periods without use, something not done for inverters and we already have regular maintenance on the car.
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pete wrote:

The only maintainance my generator sees is an oil change periodically . I DO make sure I run the carb dry when I'm done with it , and only use non-ethanol gas . But then mine is a fairly expensive 5500 watt unit , not a HF $129 2-stroke POS . YMMV ...
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On 6/28/2015 7:53 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

From my own experience with a ETQ 1200, they should not be run dry, they develop a piston rod knock, and then don't start worth a hoot after that.
With your 5500 watt unit, crank case oil. That one can run dry. The gas oil mixers should not be run dry.
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wrote:

I don't even have to drain the carb. I just plug it into the natural gas line. I also have the option of running it on 2 propane BarBQ tanks. Synthetic oil change every 50 hours of intermittent use, a few hundred hours of consistent running. (Full pressure filtered lub system)
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Mind if I ask what brand gen you have?
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CRNG wrote:

It's a B&S model 030430 , 5500 watts / 8500 surge . Retail was around a thousand , I got this one for less than half that from a remorseful buyer . It had never even been started ... this is the second one , the first was stolen out of my shed (down in Memphis) on a dark and stormy night .
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Thanks. It looks like a nice genny for emergency use.
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CRNG wrote:

It is , it will run my whole house in Memphis except for central air . Up here , we turn the water heater off , but can leave it on if I want long enough to get a hot shower . I can also run all the shop equipment but the TIG machine if needed . (not all at the same time of course)
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On Monday, June 29, 2015 at 7:22:29 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

During Sandy I was surprised at how much you can run off a generator that size. Neighbor had one that was ~5000W and we ran two houses off of it. That included at least 3 refrigerator/freezers, two furnaces, two gas fired water heaters with blowers, plus lights, radios. Even more amazing, the second house was on at least 100ft of extension cord. The neighbor was even hooking up a resistance heater first day, until I got his furnace going for him. Only thing it wouldn't run was his washing machine.... Why he would even try that, IDK. Could have killed the golden goose. Might run OK without the other loads, but even then hard to imagine you can't go a week without doing laundry. On my side I did do some load management, eg disconnecting the freezer while the furnace was on. But not sure I even needed to do that.
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On 6/30/2015 9:48 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Years ago, I did some calculations. A galon of gas provides about 4,000 watts for one hour. With a 5k genny, best to have a LOT of gasoline on hand. Cause the gas stations don't have power.
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On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 9:52:26 AM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:

You can siphon gas from your car in an emergency. Good thought though...
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On 06/30/2015 10:49 AM, bob_villa wrote:

I thought most car tanks were designed to prevent that.
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On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 10:24:39 PM UTC-4, Mark Lloyd wrote:

you can put a shrader connector on the fuel line under the hood. normally the fitting is used for pressure testing the fuel system
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Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:24:35 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

The tank is.. but.. A modern car has a friendly electric fuel pump inside the tank which is controlled by a fat relay that's usually under the hood. If you take the fuel line off of your carb/injection rail, and bypass the relay, it'll happily pump fuel at a good rate until the tank runs dry, the battery fails, or you turn it back off.
Don't try to start your car to trick into turning the pump on for you to drain gas though. Just ask the relay to do it. You don't need the car getting upset thinking it's losing a lot of fuel and shutting things down to prevent a fire.
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On Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:52:26 -0400, Stormin Mormon

That's why I spent about $300 extra to make mine run on natural gas - and another almost $100 to handle propane as well.
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On 06/30/2015 11:30 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:
[snip]

The conversion I installed is supposed to work on either propane or NG. I had some extra expense for propane (hose and regulator). NG would require the installation of an NG connection.
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wrote:

I already had the NG line for the Bar B Q - just added the 1/2" quick connect to the line - and I also had to buy the natural gas hose. That (along with the motor snorkel kit from US Carburetion) looked after the NG conversion. To run off of Propane I needed the propane regulator and the anti-backflow "T" to connect 2 tanks because one 20 or 30 lb tank cannot supply the 440cc engine for more than a few minutes in cold weather without freezing up., as well as the female quick-connect to connect the propane regulator to the natural gas hose. as well as a pair of whip hoses to connect the tanks.
All prices in Canadian Dollars - and include shipping and brokerage getting parts to Canada from USA
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On 6/30/2015 11:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Wonder what happens if you put the propane tank in front of the hot exhaust (couple inches away) and use the exhaust to warm the LP tank?
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