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think its generator time?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by sterlingworth, Aug 29, 2011.

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  1. sterlingworth

    sterlingworth Active Member

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    I think its time to consider getting a generator for the house.The power goes ofabout 2-4 times a year,and never at a good time.Does anyone have any suggestions as to what brand to buy?I was thinking about a 5-7 thousand watt unit.Iam a first time buyer,so any feed back will be welcomed,also what will i need to install? HELP!!!..Ray
     
  2. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    Look at the various web sites they can help you choose the right size. What you use for heat, hot water , cooking? Do you want to run washer? Water pump???
     
  3. skidrowe7

    skidrowe7 Member

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    Try to stay away from anything made in China. The engines are OK but I've heard many complaints on the generators failing after 50-60 hours of use. Check out the Honda's. While a bit on the steep side price wise they usually last a life time and you have dealers that will back them up. Wouldn't get anything less than 4500 watts - that should operate a basic home including the frig but not any air conditioning.
     
  4. twopipe

    twopipe Member

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    you need a transfer switch, or better yet, a transfer panel, which has some breakers in it already. You can get auto-trnsfer switch, you don't even have to be there, works with ntuaral gas, propane, diesel. Depends how fancy you can afford/need.
     
  5. Harv Shell

    Harv Shell TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    You have a PM Ray. Harv
     
  6. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I have a 5000 watt Porter Cable generator. It always starts on the first pull. Not enough generator to run my hot water heater. It will power my DSL modem, laptop computer, Big screen LCD TV, Dish TV box, the blower on my wood burner, and a few lights. Just big enough to get me by for the 1 to 4 hours that the power is regularly out. It will power my freezer and refrigerator (but not much else) if the power is out for an extended period. I have city water so no need to power a water pump.

    I put all the citcuits I want to power in a sub-panel and powered the sib-panel via a manual transfer switch. When the power goes out I roll the generator to the front of the garage, open the garage door, roll it outside, hook up the cable to the generator receptacle in the garage, fire up the generator, go to the basement, flip the transfer switch and turn on the just the breakers in the sub-panel that I want to power.

    Jim Skeel
     
  7. FalconSprint

    FalconSprint TS Member

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    I have a Generac 7550, push the button, electric start. 10 years old, original battery. Trickle charger came with it. You can pull start it iffin you have arms like a go-rilla. I start it and run it 30 minutes every other month. Keep Sta-bill and Sea Foam in the gas tank always, oil is Mobil 1 Syn. It's never failed me. On power out's we run 1 fridge, 1 Plasma TV, 2 house lamps, and a microwave if needed. It's all I need, plus I can put it in my truck and take it to deer camp if needed. Lowe's had the best price I could find. Bought one of those Tupperware plastic sheds to keep it in on the back deck. Big snow storm 3 years ago, had the wood stove cooking for heat. We were out of power for 2 days, could have cared less. If I altered for what I wanted to use, I could run my well pump and water heater, but never needed to. I can flush a toilet with a bucket of water, and keep 50 gallons on hand at all times in 2 plastic trash cans. F/S.
     
  8. BROWNST100

    BROWNST100 Member

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    About 5 years ago we bought a Honda E5000S, 5kw. We bought it right before a tropical storm came thru. It ran for 3 days stopping only to refill it with gas. I have used it numerous times since during bad thunder storms or snow and ice knocked out the electric. We used it from 3am on Sunday morning till 3am Monday morning during Irene. Stopping only to refill the gas. No problems with it at all..normal oil change and spark plug and run it for a little while once a month.

    We powered a standup freezer, 2 refrig/freezers, tv, 2 sump pumps, several lamps, home theater system, satellite tv box, and the satellite box power system. We stayed cozy, well fed and dry.

    I like to turn mine on by myself. I feel queezy about it running automatically if I'm not at home.

    Vern
     
  9. kriegart

    kriegart Member

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    I'd get one no smaller than 4500. Also dual fuel. Propane and gas.
     
  10. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Jim Skeel has the way to go. It sure is nice when you are watching a program or doing something that requires power during a storm and the power goes out. You go out in the garage and wheel the generator (8750 Watts) over by the service door plug into the special wall socket, give it one pull(honda), go downstairs and switch the panel, and go back to doing what you where doing. When the clocks all start blinking you know the power is back. You have to be home to switch the power, but if your not the only things you really have to worry about are sump pumps and refrigerators. Refreigerators and freezers can hold there temps. pretty long if you do not open them. Sump pumps can be rigged to city water pressure for pumping. If you are on a well, you might want to keep your things off the floor.
     
  11. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    a generator is like a safe: you'll outgrow it. right now, you just want to keep the house and the beer cool for a few days. and she just wants to be able to wash and dry and cook and clean for a few days. you'll want to watch sports for a few days. she'll want to watch movies for a few days. you'll be sitting there watching some stupid movie and wishing that you had bought a generator big enough to run your arc welder! anyway, whatever you do, get one that runs quietly. some sound like a mack truck idling outside your bedroom window while others you can't even hear running! good luck with it
     
  12. GRUMPN

    GRUMPN TS Member

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    If you loose power that often its time to fix it right. I am on a well and septic system and have sump pumps in the basement that have to run. I got a Generac 14Kw generator 3 years ago. My next door neighbor did the same. I no longer worry about my wife being at home without power when I'm away at a shoot. Its battery self start and runs on our natural gas. Power goes out - 20 seconds later the generator fires up and we have power. When power returns system swithes back to grid and shuts down the generator. Generator fires up once a week and runs for 15 minutes to charge the cranking battery and run diagnostics on the system. Generator was $3000 and pro hookup was 1400. Glansing out the window while watching my satalite fed TV with a bowl of microwave popcorn at a totally dark subdivision after a windy storm --- Priceless!!!!!!!!! The pease of mind has been worth every nickle Ric
     
  13. DONNE

    DONNE Member

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    I've worked in the generation division of an IPP for 40 yrs now , and believe me it is time to get a back-up power supply ! The state of the grid , the age and state of repair of the equipment used to generate power and the people who are attempting to run / repair the plants leave a lot to be desired ! Do yourself a favor and get a generator .

    P.S. NO I am not a portable generator salesman :)
     
  14. GrubbyJack

    GrubbyJack Member

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    Cummins Onan or Honda Generators, you can't go wrong... the Honda has the ability to add or tie 2 to make more power with just a cable.... also believe what is said "a generator is like a safe: you'll outgrow it" VERY TRUE.. I like my Onan, but I like 8's over 7.5..... Grubby
     
  15. sterlingworth

    sterlingworth Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input.I think iam leaning to a 7000watt unit.Like i said ,I need to run a freezer,frige,coffee pot,and a light or two,also a cpap for my sleep apena.I have a 220 well pump and a ejector pump in the septic tank.As they dont all run together,i think i would be o.k. What brand is recomended as the best for the buck?I was told to stay away from generic units.Who has the best support,for there units?I know there not cheap,and you get what you pay for.Thanks again for all your help...Ray
     
  16. ctreay

    ctreay Member

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    Did the person telling you to avoid Generacs have good info? I know several people who have had Generacs for some time with no problems. I have a 7000 but it is not Generac.

    ctreay
     
  17. sterlingworth

    sterlingworth Active Member

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    what i see with generic generators,its hard to find someone to work on them,no tech support.I want to find a brand that has a dealers network for support.
     
  18. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    I was also looking at getting generator after the last mess with no power.

    How are the Briggs & Stratton Elite 8000W or Pro 8000W?

    I see a lot of complains about Generac online.

    Seems Honda is nice, but pricey. Biggest problem with Honda is that they max out at 5500w continuous. I run a large well pump and need basic house appliances so I am afraid that 5500w is not enough.
     
  19. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    Ray, Problem with most generators is the storage while not using them. Gas turns into varnish in carbs and now with the 10% corn additive in the gas its even more of a problem. Natural Gas/ propane/ butane maybe is the way to go as there are no long term storage problems with these fuels. Listen to Grumpn and get a unit that you don't have to mess with. What is she going to do if your not home and your basement floods out. Or maybe a portable unit that runs on Propane gas??? Storage of gasoline with additives is alot more dangerous and expensive. The 25 pound propane tanks are easy to store/fill for long periods with less danger,less cost no additives, and softer sounding running motors. Just some food for thought. Break-em all. Jeff
     
  20. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    I have a 30 Kw that runs off the tractor's pto, we always have about 1,000 gallons of diesel on hand

    Or if all else fails use the welder it puts our 10,000 watts, but it is the only thing on the farm that runs on gas so might run out of gas
     
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