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generator recommendation

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by turbohardtop, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. turbohardtop

    turbohardtop Monkey++

    I am gathering some stuff just in case. Could someone recommend a generator. I know it is all about KW rating and stuff but what brands are recommended? Also, manual start or electric. Thanks.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Honda, especially if quiet counts and price doesn't. I have a Sears (Briggs and Stratton) for more than any other reason because they can be serviced in any old shop if I can't do it myself. But you can hear it a long ways off. Mine is pull started, should not need electric until you get into BIG ones unless there is a physical reason why you can't pull it. (It helps to remember to turn the gas petcock to "run". I found that out (again) yesterday.)

    In the past, my contractors used DeWalt with pretty good success even when mercilessly flogged.

    I think you will find that a lot of them on the household size market are made by a very few manufacturers, re-labelled for the store selling them. For example, the local TruValue sells the same B-S machine that Sears peddles. Watch for the same machine to carry different wattage (and horsepower) ratings based on different standards.
  3. turbohardtop

    turbohardtop Monkey++

    Thanks ghrit. If the power is out, I am planning to power only the fridge to keep the food fresh. I am sure things will come up that require power for a short duration. Is 5 KVA too big? Thanks.
  4. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Don’t forget to look in the pawn shops, a wile back I bought an older Coleman 4.2 kw for $173.00. The paint was not even burned off the muffler yet I got it home and it started on the 2<SUP>nd</SUP> pull. It is very loud but I have another muffler that I can put on then plumb the exhaust up high so it will be harder to tell where the sound is coming from.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    If all you are going to power is the reefer, chances are 1KW will do. You have to check the nameplate for power draw to be sure. (And we KNOW you are going to find something else you just GOTTA have powered up.)

    FWIW, I will be powering (after a house electrical mod) the well pump, reefer, computer, furnace, and one set of wall outlets to take care of the computer and lighting. 5KW is enough for my lashup, but the gennie is a skosh bigger just in case. The only penalty you pay for "too big" is fuel consumption (minor) and first cost, which could be a big deal.

    Also FWIW, the Honda sets will autoparallel, so if you want to add more power later, you can get another small unit and wire them together. Very easy, just take out the plastic. The small sets are very portable, EZ one man carry to about a 2KW unit. Above that, look for wheels and help. My Sears is near 200 lbs without fuel or oil.
  6. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    i have a 5500 watt john deere that i use for huricanes i run a few lamps two 8000btu a/c units and a small deep freezer oh and my computer and my wifes power cord for her laptop.
  7. Akheloce

    Akheloce Monkey++

    Speaking from experience, my honda 1K will not power the fridge... the fridge draws about 600w while running, but takes about 1400 to start. It bogs down on startup, and only about 1 in 5 times will the gen recover. As a minumum, I run a 2500w when the fridge is on.

    I don't have the new expensive Honda EU series (suitcase gensets), but both Hondas I have are excellent, and quiet enough. I'm probably the third or fourth owner of each, and all they get is a synthetic oil change twice per year (they also burn some, so my guess is every 100 hours or so, they cycle through an oil change- good thing for the automatic low-oil cutoff). 2 years of almost constant usage, and they're still running strong.

    I do however keep a few recoil starter cords handy, as with a start a day, they wear out pretty quickly.

    The absolute best Genset I have is a Northern Lights 8kw. It's a diesel, which cost an arm and a leg, but it will last forever, and sips the fuel for its output.
  8. turbohardtop

    turbohardtop Monkey++

    I would love to have a diesel generator. The wife's SUV is a diesel so it would make sense to store some diesel in a 55 gallon barrel. Not sure if I can justify/afford a diesel generator though.
  9. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    i seen that post to about the 1000w running a fridge and there is no way i tryed with a little coleman and it took every bit the coleman had and it still had trouble for the compressor to start an the coleman was a 1450watt. if your gonna run a fridge you better go 2000watts or more.if your gonna buy a generator for power outages then you better buy atleast a 5000 watt trust me you will find all kinds os stuff you wanna run off it. we have a few small propane camp stoves but while i was running my generator i used my hotplates to cook or heat water on to cut back on propane use. and try to stay away from the natural gas gens because they had alot of people down here that had their houses setup with them after katrina only to be without power for gustav because they came around and shut the gas off because some trees fell on houses and gas meters so they just shut the whole streets down if your gonna go with a gen that burns another fuel get a propane but make sure you have a reliable souce to fill the tank. rememebr in a emergency there are millions of gasomine cars to get gas out of but not to many run on propane.

    i have given the propane some thought and was thinkin of getting a 100 gallon tank for my house and running a generator to see how long it would run on a tank that way i would know how long i could get by with it . i already know that if i put 5 gallons of gas in my john deere it will run for 9 hours maybe a bit more and i have two 55 gallon drums and one 25 gallon drum so that gives me roughly about 80/90 days and if i want i can fill my other cans and make it into the 100 day range now i can run it every other day if i want so that can double into 200 days not to mention the power inverter i have for my gator and a few batteries to run it . thats another thing people should look into is some power inverters and a few dep cycle batteries and get a few solar panel chargers to charge the batteries during the daytime. you can buy the little panels at academy sports or order bigger ones on line but they are alot better than relying on gas. sorry to ramble on i'll shut up now.[beat]
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Think again about propane, it is very pricey. As you say, a refilling source is an imperative; delivery bobtails run on something else, so you chance a double whammy. Either the propane costs too much or isn't available, or the delivery trucks can't fuel up.

    I take back the thought that a reefer can run on 1KW. Maybe it can, but starting it won't do well without more juice. That said two little ones (Honda suitcases) could be paralleled and when you are going to start the reefer, run them both. For the rest of the time you are powered down, run just one. Thanx to Ak and Tommy for the insights.
  11. tommy20/69

    tommy20/69 Monkey++

    i would use the propane as a second alternative i would never use it as a main source to run my generators i have given it some thought as to how long a small engine would run on a single 100 gallon tank though but my main reason for getting a 100 gallon tank is for the cooking and heating because my house is total electric and it sucks when the eletricity goes out it would be nice to have a beckup for cooking. we do have 6 or 7 20lbs bottles stored at all times in the shed plus i have 12 1lbs bottles stored in my closet and living in the seafood boiling capital of the south there is a propane filling station at every corner so it's easy to stock up on them. now after a storm thats a diferent story but before a storm you can find all you want.

    oh as for as the fridge goes if you gonna run one on a small gen turn off all extra stuff like take out the inside light/ turn the ice maker off. that way you are just running a basic fridge and nuthing else. every watt saved helps.
  12. turbohardtop

    turbohardtop Monkey++

    anyone familiar with this unit? Eastern Tools And Equipment TG4000. It seems like a fair price unit for 3250 watts and support 240V.
  13. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I am putting in a 35KW Genny powered by a Volkswagen turbo diesel engine next wee at the seacow ranch. I also have a 250KW gen for sale that our Company is taking out of a school he is redesigning. This gen is around 15 years old but has only been ran a few times during power outages and for maintenance. Yes, I did say 250 KW with a Cat engine.
  14. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    I have run home and yacht generators; diesel, gas and propane.

    My first suggestion is what is your fuel supply situation? What is the alternative fuel supply? I have a 12kw Honda on NG with a 250gal propane back up for whole house power.

    If you go diesel, go the 1,800rpm route as they have a very long service life.

    Laus Deo
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