Jump to content

Portable Generators


Recommended Posts

Does anyone have any advice on a good portable generator?  Thinking about something to keep the fridge going and maybe a couple lights, maybe the TV. Am thinking about earthquake or brownout interuption situations.

  • Thank You 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Everyone thinks that the more you pay for a generator, the more power you get. I’ve learned that what you are really paying for is quiet.  You can get a solid 6kw generator for $550, but it’s LOUD. A quiet 3kw generator will be at least $2,000.   
 

for what you are wanting (the same reason I have a generator btw), quiet isn’t really that important. I have a 7kw unit with a Subaru engine, and it’s saved my frozen goods more than a couple times over the years, including a 4-day outage In August in MT. 

Edited by Daddyjt
  • Thank You 1
  • That Rocks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahahahaha. I have this 20 year old beast and f___, is it loud. I got it 20 years ago, tested it once about 10 years ago, drained the gas and haven't touched it since. Today I put some gas in it, choked it and it started on the first pull!!!! But I wonder about its age and if it will be dependable when I really need it. 

20220529_165202_compress60.jpg

  • Thank You 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doubt that the juice that this beast produces is Carver audio grade. Which brings up the use of a power filter if one is really jonsin' for some tunes during a power outage. 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Receiver2000 said:

But I wonder about its age and if it will be dependable when I really need it. 

These things cost less and get better, (more power, quieter, more features...) every year.  I've got a five-year rotation plan..., after five years, replace it, with a newer model, quieter, and whatever features fit in the budget.  The old one becomes the backup.  On the third cycle, I sell the older one, as "nearly new and unused" to someone on Craigslist who can't afford a new one.

 

Just my strategy, YMMV.

  • Thank You 1
  • That Rocks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many kw do you need to keep the frig-freezer,ac/heat pump going and can you shut down some of those to bring up the TV or even the stove?

  • That Rocks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

During the 2017 California fire power outages we went with candles and a 1,200 watt two stroke generator and plugged one refrigerator and one aquarium in for four hours then swapped to the other refrigerator and aquarium for four hours. It was loud and needed fuel often.

 

During the 2019 fires we used a friend's 4,000 watt Predator. It kept our two refrigerators, two aquariums, and the tv going, I think. We may have had to unplug a refrigerator to watch the news. It was super loud and heavy. We turned it off from 10:00pm to 8:00am and used battery bubblers for the aquariums at night.

 

After the fires we bought the Honda EU2200i and the EU2200i companion. My thinking was we could use one for  camping or tandem them for trailer camping with the 30amp plug and then install a manual 30amp generator switch on the house so I don't have to run extension cords everywhere.

 

We haven't had a power outage since buying these and between insurance companies buying trailers for people who lost their homes in fires instead of putting them up in hotels while their houses are being rebuilt and the government funding trailer villages as a pretent solution to the vagrancy crisis, the cost for travel trailers in California has almost doubled.

 

So I cannot report on sustained use of these guys but they are crazy light and ridiculously quite.

 

https://powerequipment.honda.com/generators

 

Screenshot_20220530-060714_DuckDuckGo.thumb.jpg.d499a20d2c21a422a5cb2f9a7d91b198.jpgScreenshot_20220530-060641_DuckDuckGo.thumb.jpg.32019e087e4ba7a6ca8b1fc5abb301c6.jpg

 

 

 

  • Thank You 1
  • That Rocks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, oldtexasdog said:

How many kw do you need to keep the frig-freezer,ac/heat pump going and can you shut down some of those to bring up the TV or even the stove?

Fridge only takes a couple kW a day. That is really all that I would be concerned maintaining but would like some clean juice for my Carver gear!!!! Kidding. I guess a TV would be nice and a couple light bulbs. So a 2000W unit would probably do it.

  • That Rocks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 What I see here are two important considerations. One would be wattage, but right behind it would be duration. Sure, the unit can produce say 2,000 watts, but for how long? A few hours, days? Of course your load will vary because of appliances only needing power when they are running. So if all of the appliances cycled at the same time, that is what you need to support in terms of wattage. An electric stove? Better get a really big generator!

 I don't know the ins and outs of these units, but I am betting that some are made to higher standards than others. Maybe just looking at the bearings or the windings, might give a more complete picture of the product. This is the kind of product that damned well better produce what is stated when needed. And a warranty really doesn't mean shit after the fact/loss.

Edited by 4krow
  • That Rocks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your thoughts. I have had the same question of how long it can run re-filling the gas periodically.  It might need to run constantly for a few days. Some sound a hell of a lot smoother than others. I have been on construction sites where they ran all day and didn't seem to sound any different at the end of the day. Unfortunately I never noticed what brand they were.

  • Thank You 1
  • That Rocks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 We bought a generator for my wife's family in the Philippines. Let them pick it out. They knew what they needed. Turns out, it was the fuel costs that became the biggest problem. I'm not sure but I think gas is $6-7 gallon.

  • Thank You 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Receiver2000

 

For determining the rating that is required for a generator there are a few things that must be determined.
First, what are the appliances and their load that will be connected to the generator?

 

For example, I’ve put together this list.

 

Running and starting/surge watts will vary depending on where you source the data.
                                            Running watts          Starting/surge watts
Toaster                                  850 W                              850 W
Refrigerator / Freezer           700 W                           2,200 W

Hot Plate                             1,200 W                            1,725 W

Laptop                                     50 W                                   0 W
Lamp (2 Light bulbs)              150W                                  0 W
Window AC (10,000 BTU)    1,200 W                         3,600 W

 

Total Running Watts = 4,150 W
Total Starting watts = 8,375 W


For this case I need to source a generator that has the capability of providing at minimum of 8,375 surge watts and 4,150 running watts. Also not taken into account is what is my safety factor? It is recommended to maintain a load at or below 90% of the rated output to ensure steady voltage output and to prolong the generator’s lifespan.

 

So based on this I would look at a unit that has 4615 running watts and 9310 surge watts at a minimum.


If it’s a dual fuel unit that allows the user to switch between Gas and propane one will need to check out the surge and running watts for each. Also one spec that they give sometimes is what the half load runtime is for a full tank of gas. Don’t know what the equivalent is for when you are on propane or some alternate fuel.

 

Some manufactures have different methods of calculating the starting/surge watts.

 

 

  • Thank You 3
  • Love this! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I would like to add one thing from my experience with electrical machinery. When I bought my first welder, I started from the bottom up. I quickly learned about duty cycle and how important it could be to most welding. What I ended up with was too much welder for the job. My point here is that the machine never seemed to care about what I was doing, as it idled along, rather than full bore but still can't hack it machine #1. 

 Remember the Chinese girl rebuilding those motors. Every single one had burnt coils from trying to do too much. Or maybe it was a quality issue. Again, this is a really important purchase where cutting corners would not be advised.

  • Thank You 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I switched to a stanby generac run on natural gas 11kw installed it myself.

 

I also had a Duromax portable duel fuel I ran it on propane and back fed 240  from garage at the time it was 350$$ for a 4kw electric start. Trust me in the cold MI winters its a pain to pull start but the propane setup was easier to start.  The Duromax was lot quieter than my first generator and my brother still has it now and still runs great. Propane doesn't gum up the carb like gas when it sits.

Edited by Retriever
  • Love this! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 My head spins a little here. Just how much can this truck put out and for how long? Not against thinking outside the box. That may propel us into a better future.

 

 Also, the generators that will run on propane and natural gas seem to be the best idea that I have heard so far. I don't EVER remember the natural gas going out in my home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, 4krow said:

 My head spins a little here. Just how much can this truck put out and for how long? Not against thinking outside the box. That may propel us into a better future.

 

 Also, the generators that will run on propane and natural gas seem to be the best idea that I have heard so far. I don't EVER remember the natural gas going out in my home.

 

During the last two fires our utility provider (PG&E) turned our town's natural gas off "just in case", even though the fires were in the foot hills.... of the next town... on the other side of the freeway... across the river.... on the other side of the valley.

Edited by ZappaPatton
  • Sad 1
  • FacePalm 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Receiver2000 said:

I think that it said 80A. I suppose how long depends on the load.

 

As per Ford’s estimates — taking into account the fact that an average U.S. home consumes 30 kWh per day, the F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery can provide full home power for up to three days, When used in conjunction with solar power or rationing, the F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery is capable of providing power for up to 10 days. Of course, the duration depends on the home’s actual power usage.

Source: Ford

  • Thank You 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Greg buys the truck pulls up to his shop, plugs it in, starts welding. Don't worry, when I am done I will plug it into the house. I want coffee.

 

 Knock on door. Its the neighbor. "My house is dead, can you give me a jump?"

Edited by 4krow
  • Love this! 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...