I just recently got a 1200 watt power inverter as a temporary backup for my 1/3 horsepower sump pump. The sump pump is rated 8 amps at 105 volts so I believe the max power it uses is 960 watts. I used a kill-a-watt meter on it and found that when it is running it is using on average 580 watts although I'm sure its much more when it is starting momentarily.

I was wondering, would I be able to use a pair of jumper cables to connect the power inverter to my deep cycle marine battery? I mistakenly believed that this power inverter would come with a pair of cables but it did not.

Edit: Also, I see that there is a voltage and overload protection built into this power inverter so I was wondering would I still need another fuse or would that not be necessary since the sump pump will be the only thing connected to this inverter and it would only be used temporarily in the case that I lose power.

  • you are looking at around 100A, so the jumper cables should work .... or even cable that you would use for the main breaker panel in your house
    – jsotola
    Mar 13, 2018 at 1:04
  • Where in the world are you, and is this intended to be a lash-together to just last you a few minutes/hours, or a more permanent setup? Mar 13, 2018 at 1:21
  • United States, I misread the cap on the sump pump. Its 115VAC. and I intend on using this setup only while we lose power which historically has only been for 45 minutes at most. Mar 13, 2018 at 1:23
  • 2
    Instead of putting all this money into a Rube Goldberg, have you looked at sump pumps actually made to run on 12/24V DC? Then, you attach it to 1-2 marine deep-cycle batteries and a charger and you're done. Mar 13, 2018 at 1:46
  • You need a sump pump within 45 minutes? Mar 13, 2018 at 7:55

2 Answers 2


You shall want to determine the quality of your jumper cables. Inexpensive jumper cables are going to be constructed poorly at the crimps and will certainly have smaller gauge wire than a more expensive, higher quality set.

Disregarding conversion loss internal to the inverter and using simple numbers, you could say that the inverter will draw 80 amperes at 12 volts to provide the 960 watts you specify. Even if those numbers are inaccurate, it's reasonable to believe that they will serve the purpose of this calculation.

A quick check with The Google shows that starting an automobile will draw 250 amperes and higher, depending on temperature and condition of the vehicle. This gives you a factor of 3 or better when considering if the cables will tolerate such current loads.

More information about jumper cables can be found on a sister site: https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/10985/how-do-i-determine-what-type-of-jumper-cable-i-should-carry

You would want to ensure you have a solid grip on both ends of the cable and watch them carefully for signs of heating. Testing the temperature of the connections with an IR non-contact thermometer, an IR camera accessory to your phone or even your hands on an insulated section will give you an indication of pending doom (or not.)

If your battery is flooded lead acid, eye protection and other suitable precautions are encouraged. Batteries explode when hydrogen gas is generated during charging, but not when discharging, reducing the danger for your project.


We don't know where you are in the world, and having something rated for 105VAC is not normal for anywhere, so it's impossible to do more than ASSume. So ASSuming this is 115VAC and you made a typo, plus the fact that you used the term "HP" instead of kW, that means you are likely in North America somewhere.

I don't know the Canadian Electric Code, but in the US, the NEC would not permit you to use any "portable" cord as permanent wiring, so "jumper cables" would be considered such. You would have to use approved wiring methods that follow the NEC, which is why your inverter did not come with jumper cables. I'm fairly sure the CEC will be similar if not the same.

  • My apologies I did make a typo it is 115VAC and yes I am in North America in the United States Mar 13, 2018 at 1:20

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