Problems With Modified Sine Wave Inverters

A modified sine wave inverter helps to power many appliances by changing direct current to alternating current. Since these inverters are also inexpensive, they're widely used in many households. While they're useful in many instances, there are still four main problems associated with using a modified sine wave inverter.

Not Always Compatible

Although most appliances can be powered via a modified sine wave inverter, there are a few appliances that are incompatible. Most of the time it's sensitive electrical devices like laser printers that have problems. As a result, some of those sensitive devices can occasionally become damaged by power surges. Using a modified sine wave inverter to power medical equipment is also a problem and could be potentially dangerous if the equipment malfunctions.


Another disadvantage is the noise level that's often produced when using one of these devices. When compared to a true sine wave inverter, a modified sine wave inverter usually creates a buzzing sound in electrical equipment. While this isn't dangerous, many people find the sound to be irritating.

High Temperatures

A modified sine wave inverter can also create high temperatures in some appliances. This is due to the fact that this type of inverter uses more power than a true sine wave inverter, which often reduces the lifespan of many electrical devices. Although a modified sine wave inverter is inexpensive, it can potentially cost more in long run if new devices need to be purchased.

Aberrant Behavior

Another problem is that using a modified sine wave inverter often results in aberrant behavior in appliances. This typically happens in cheaper appliances that are unable to regulate their power intake. In turn, those devices sometimes behave unpredictably and can experience power surges.

About the Author

Nick Mann has been a writer since 2005, focusing on home-and-garden topics. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.