The a-ipower generator model sua8250e

A-iPower SUA8250E Portable Generator

The A-iPower generator is a newer entry into the portable generator arena.  The established brands better take notice.  A-iPower is known for manufacturing quality portable generators, but also such power equipment as pressure washers, water/chemical/trash pumps, and tillers.  It’s unfortunate that the company name gets all sorts of mis-identified names.  The most common is ai power or ai generators, but I’ve seen a-i power and a-i generators.  A quick web search will confirm this.

They often get confused with the brand All Power Generators.  But whatever name you call it, and however you’ve found this site, you can be certain that you’ve found a make of quality portable generators.

When studying this brand, you may find their various generator models with different prefixes.  Their newest line starts with the letters SUA.  Their original line by only SU.  You may be able to find the older models at possibly a cheaper price as dealers seek to update their inventory.  The newer versions have slight modifications, but you will be pleased with either.

You can browse the pages of Amazon and see the physical differences between the SUA and the older SU models.

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The quickest way to tell which version you are looking at is the hardened steel tube cradle (frame) for the SUA models is silver/gray, where the SU models have all red.  Additionally, the power panels are on the “front” of the SUA line (width dimension) and on the “side” (length dimension) of the SU line.  The SUA models have outlet protector coverings whereas the SU models do not.

The company is headquartered in the Los Angeles area in Ontario, California with Chinese made engines.  Nearly all generator companies use the Chinese made engines in this size range and there should be no stigma associated with it.  The company can be reached via email at support@a-ipower.com and their full line of products can be viewed on their website www.a-ipower.com.

Review the comparison chart below for the popular models.  The SUA models are listed here, but the SU models will vary in features only slightly if at all.  Some of those differences will be described later.

A-iPower Generator Comparison Chart

All of the models on this page have dual 120/240 volt capability. The last few rows of the table are features listed for your benefit and are the same for all models (e.g. oil shutdown, hour meter, gasoline gauge, and wheels. Prices for these models range from just under $400 to just under $1000. You may find the discontinued SU prefix models with very similar features.
MODELSUA4000SUA5750ESUA7500ESUA8250ESUA12000E
Running Watts
3250 watts5250 watts6000 watts7250 watts9000 watts
Surge Watts3750 watts5700 watts7000 watts8250 watts12000 watts
Engine Displacement208cc389cc420cc420cc459cc
Horse Power7 HP13 HP14 HP14 HP16 HP
Tank Size4 gal7 gal7 gal7 gal7 gal
Starting
Manual/
Recoil
Electric/
Recoil
Electric/
Recoil
Electric/
Recoil
Electric/
Recoil
Outlet 120V
5-20R
(4) Two Duplex(4) Two Duplex(4) Two Duplex(4) Two Duplex(4) Two Duplex
Outlet 120V
L5-30R
01111
Outlet 120V/240V
L14-30R
11110
Outlet 120/240V
L14-50R
00001
Outlet DC
12V
NoNoNoNoYes
Run Time
@ 1/2 Load
13 Hours10.5 Hours8.5 Hours8.5 Hours7 Hours
Reported dBNA73 dB74 dB75 dBNA
Low Oil Alert/
Shutdown
YesYesYesYesYes
Run Time MeterYesYesYesYesYes
Gas GaugeYesYesYesYesYes
Wheel KitYesYesYesYesYes

A-iPower Generator Power Ratings

The first thing you notice is the ratings and naming of the particular models.  A-iPower names their models based on their surge watt ratings like DuroStar and DuroMax.  Companies like Generac and Westinghouse name their models based on their generator’s running watts.  A less ambiguous naming system is used by Champion, WEN and others who use their own system of model numbers.

the a-ipower generator model sua3500

A-iPower SUA3500 Portable Generator

To add to the confusion, the SUA4000 has a maximum watt rating of 3750 watts, not 4000 watts.  The SUA7500E has a surge rating of only 7500 watts.  The SUA8250E and SUA12000E are named consistently with their surge ratings of 8250 and 12000 watts respectively.

The available model SUA3500 is not listed on the chart, since it differs from the SUA4000 only in 250 running watts and 250 surge watts.  The 3500 model also has only one set of duplex 5-20R outlets vs. two sets for the 4000 model. The retail price difference is only about $50.  I’m guessing that one or the other will be phased out.

The SUA3500 model is pictured on the left.  If not for the power panel, it is difficult to tell the different units from one another.

 

What They Have in Common

the a-ipower generator model sua4000

A-iPower SUA4000 Portable Generator

You can see by the comparison chart that all of the models have important features standard.  They all come with a wheel kit.  Let’s face it, generators are heavy, even the smaller ones.  Thank you A-iPower for thinking of us.

Like all portable 4-cycle engine generators, we need to add oil.  It is recommended to fill the easily accessible oil reservoir with 10W-30 motor oil.  The oil comes with the units so your’re ready to go when you get it.  Just add gas, regular unleaded is fine.  These generators have the safety feature of a low oil warning light should your oil level get dangerously low.  The units will shut off before you can damage the generator due to low oil level.

Of course regular maintenance of portable generators includes changing of the oil, air filter, spark plug, etc.  The maintenance won’t rely on guesswork regarding when to do it.  Each of these generator come with a run-time meter to easily track usage.  Thank you again A-iPower for thinking of the important things to keep the unit running in tip-top condition.

What about the Engines?

You can see on the chart that the engine size varies, producing varying horsepower in their overhead valve, air cooled engines.  As you would expect, as the engine sizes increase, so does their fuel consumption.  You’ll notice that the models above 5000 watts have a 7 gallon tank (with fuel gauge).  When run at 1/2 load, their run times vary between 7 hours and 10.5 hours for the 7 gallon tank.  That’s not bad.  The 4 gallon tank on the 4000 model can run for a nice 13 hours at 1/2 load. That’s all through the night during a power outage without refueling.

The a-ipower generator model sua7500e

A-iPower SUA7500E Portable Generator

All A-iPower generators are EPA approved for emissions, and components UL approved.  These units are also CARB compliant for our friends in California.

Another side effect of engine size is engine noise.  The muffler and it’s included spark arrestor do an adequate job.  However the reported decibels for these units is a bit higher than for other similar sized brands.

Reading decibels can be subjective as you can read about on the article on this site called What is the Quietest Generator?  For example, the SUA7500 is rated at 74 dB, whereas the Westinghouse WH7500E with the same 420cc engine is rated at 70 dB.

The models that end with “E” (those above 5000watts) all have electric starts and each has it’s included starting battery.  Electric start is a comfort that I like and is a real benefit to the elderly or who may otherwise have a strength issue.

At this time I don’t know if the starter battery is charged while the unit is running.  If not, you’ll need to keep the starting battery charged with perhaps a trickle charger.The recoil starter is reported by consumers as a one-pull easy start if you can’t use the electric start for any reason.

How About the Outlets?

All generators by any company have the standard 5-20R outlets like you find in any home or office in the US.  Except for the SUA3500 which has only two, the other A-iPower models all have two duplexes, or 4 outlets of this type.

All four of the electric start models have the 120v L5-30R, the locking three prong, 30 amp receptacle.  Except for the largest model, the others have the very popular 120/240v L14-30R receptacle for extra amp delivery needs.  The large SUA12000E actually does not have that one, but it has the even larger L14-50R.  That’s right 50 amp.  That is rare in models in this range.  At 120v, you can deliver 100 amps!

The a-ipower genertor model sua12000e with 50Amp receptacle

A-iPower SUA12000E Portable Generator

Now before we get too excited, you’ll want to note that the breaker for this model is only 33amps, so you might not be able to deliver more than 8000 watts.  Remember the formula: 240volts times 33amps equals 7920 watts.

The SUA12000E is the only model in the line that offers a DC receptacle.  It’s a nice feature to have, but unless you are using the generator for other purposes, firing it up JUST to use the DC is a huge waste of energy.

a-I Power recently came out with a 2000 watt inverter.  I hope to evaluate this one soon.  You can take a peek at it on their website www.a-ipower.com.  If the rest of their line is any indication, that one should be a winner too.

For a good review of generator receptacles and the generator cords that should be used to safely and efficiently power your electrical devices, check out the article on this site, Extension Cords for Portable Generators.

Some of the differences in the introduction of the SUA line is the addition of the higher wattage SUA12000E.  Let’s hope that the introduction of DC will carry into the lower wattage models in the future.

The larger “never flat” wheels is an improvement, as is the weather covers over the electrical outlets.  Overall, A-iPower generators are here to stay and will remain a viable alternative to the big brands as long as they keep to their attention to detail and quality workmanship.

Summary

As this is a newer entry into the portable generator marketplace, there is not a great deal of consumer reviews on which to search or assign a star rating to.  The A-iPower line is however one of the most searched generators which tells you, word of mouth is a very powerful marketer.

These are beautiful, functional generators who have an eye on the competition and produce their generators accordingly.  Their customer service is better than most and very responsive.  I think the A-iPower portable generators are here to stay and will remain a viable choice for years to come.

As usual, Amazon is the most likely place to get this or any portable generator at the best price.  You can view the various models, features and pricing here.

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Filed under: A-iPowerReviews