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This is a discussion on generators! within the Off-Topic forums, part of the General category; OK, who has one? How many watts? What brand/model? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about ...
12-15-2008, 09:08 PM #1
OK, who has one?
How many watts?
What do you like about it?
What do you dislike about it?
Gas? Propane? Diesel/kerosene?
Would you recommend for or against this one and why?
What are your suggestions?
I was thinking I'd pick up a small one for the house. The wife got sick of bailing and said "You know that generator you've been talking about? Get it!".
Anyhow, just wondering how big I need to go, and what is a good brand for bang for the buck. I mainly NEED one for the sump pump, water well pump, and maybe lights to brush teeth by. I might WANT one to also power the Becket oil burner for the furnace (steam, no circulator pump here). I prefer something a bit on the quiet side, but not outrageously so. I imagine extra large mufflers could be fitted to most anything, right?
Homelite (saw a good one of these for $575 with Yamaha motor) at Home Depot
Pramac EG or HG 2800 or Storm5000 with Subaru motor at Home Depot
Honeywell Portable Generator — 5500 Watt, 11 HP, Gasoline, Model# HW5500
Generac GP Portable Generator — 3200 Watts, Model# 5724-0
All Power America Propane Powered Generator — 2800 Watt, Model# APG3535
Honeywell Portable Generator — 4000 Watt, 9 HP, Gasoline, Model# HW4000
Let's hear from the masses.
Last edited by Coyote33; 12-15-2008 at 10:09 PM.
12-15-2008, 09:12 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
6500 watts, gasoline, love it since Friday AM. Going to convert it to propane and get a 200-500lb tank on my front lawn.
I've been noting some flickers when the fridge kicks in, possibly because I've been using lights for the first time instead of flash lights.
12-15-2008, 09:14 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
12-15-2008, 09:18 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- Galt's Gulch
Homelite 5700 watt. Yamaha gas engine, 7gal gas tank. $599 at Home Despot.
I bought it spur-of-the-moment to get through this long term outage, because it was available, cheap, and I needed it, now.
I'm actually quite happy with it and I'm now glad that I DIDN'T spend more on a bigger whole-house genset like I had considered in the past. Seems to have plenty of power, is reasonably quiet, runs for a damn long time on a tank of gas (~12 hours), and cost less than my PC (which would be useless right now without it).
So far, the only thing I don't like about it is that it's not diesel, and it doesn't have a voltmeter or ammeter.
Now I just have to get a transfer switch and external plug wired to properly tie it into my house circuits, and we'll really be all set.
I know it won't last forever, but I'll take care of it and when it does eventually croak, I'll replace it with a somewhat more robust diesel genset of similar wattage.
12-15-2008, 09:26 PM #5
I wonder if we could do a group buy on these. If only we bought a container or a couple pallets of these, we'd be rich.
Thinking ahead, could always do this with sump pumps, leaf blowers, air conditioners, or other high-demand items.
12-15-2008, 09:29 PM #6
12-15-2008, 10:00 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
Some cautions about generators:
1) These are not DIY installs. Attempting to apply a standby genset to an installed circuit system in a house without doing it right invites lethal threats to both the occupants of the house and third-parties (i.e., occupants of other houses on the same side of the transformer and utility workers trying to restore power). I am not a fan of those circuit-by-circuit transfers (such as the one in the Amazon link); you really need a "critical circuits" panel that can function as a sub-panel under utility power and a main panel under genset; the transfer switch, in addition to switching the hot legs and the neutral, must also make the bond under genset and lift it under utility. Spending the cost of a qualified electrician is money well spent.
2) All liquid or vapor-fueled gensets emit large quantities of CO. Installs must take this into account.
3) A vapor-fueled (propane) generator requires some fairly large bottles, not simply to provide enough fuel, but to maintain vapor pressure in the cold.
4) In many, if not most, towns, gas pressure in street gas systems is inadequate to sustain even small (10-15 KW) gensets. These usually require 12-14" WC; in most towns, you'll be lucky to see 6"WC. In some towns, the gas company can increase pressure by swapping out the regulator; in many, low pressure is inherent in the system and cannot be ameliorated by any practical means.
5) Liquid-fueled gensets present a whole host of fuel management issues. It is hard (and can be dangerous) to store a useable amount of fuel, and if you do, it will likely become stale before it is used (and, in the case of diesel, is likely to gel if stored in the cold).
6) Gensets should be sized on the basis of the starting loads of critical circuits. For most folks, critical circuits are the heating plant, refrigerators and freezers, sump pumps, and (for those on well water) potable water pumps. Forget about powering lights (LED flashlights will give you all the light you need for the duration, on a handful of batteries), TVs and the like. An outdoor propane grill can supply your cooking needs.
7) Small gensets are not designed for continuous duty, and most will not handle even sustained duty at more than 50% rated capacity. The good news is that you can cycle the genset on and off to handle house heating and refrigeration chores, which are themselves cyclical.
8) A genset must always be isolated from load when started and then isolated from load before being shut down.
9) A genset must be wired with its own earth ground.
12-15-2008, 10:16 PM #8
12-15-2008, 10:17 PM #9
12-15-2008, 10:22 PM #10