Please Share Your Wisdom On Portable Generators - Page 2

Please Share Your Wisdom On Portable Generators

This is a discussion on Please Share Your Wisdom On Portable Generators within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by QKShooter Interesting related but, obscure factoid. Did you know that if the entire U.S. power grid goes out due to an Electro ...

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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Interesting related but, obscure factoid.

    Did you know that if the entire U.S. power grid goes out due to an Electro Magnetic Pulse/multiple pulses or a coronal mass ejection from good old Mr. Sun that it will take about a decade (or more) to get it the entire grid back up again from a dead start?

    For those of you that got your public school education in San Francisco...a "decade" is equal to 10 years.
    10 years is almost always one more than 9.

    Some areas with Hydroelectric power generation will get up and running quicker than that.
    You are the second person to point the EMP/CME scenario to me in the past week or so. The other guy mentioned to me that some believe we are due for another Carrington event next year.


  2. #17
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    "You are the second person to point the EMP/CME scenario to me in the past week or so."

    The 11 year Solar Cycle "normal" Maximum/Minimum has been all spastic this newest cycle & the past one.


    OK back on topic.

    This forum is so great for this exact reason. Much appreciated folks.

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    5000W Coleman, is what I have.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
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  5. #20
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    Well, I'm very fortunate in my area w/ regard to the lack of tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, tsunamis, but, we did experience a couple of power outages this past winter due to wind gusts AKA trees/branches knocking down power lines.

    I do very well temporarily without power but, my elderly M. In Law is with us in her attached M. In Law apartment and she has some needs that require power and so does the fridge & the freezer.

    Also...Mrs QK gets depressed without her blow dryer.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Also...Mrs QK gets depressed without her blow dryer.
    AHA, the purchase of a generator is imminent.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  7. #22
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    I wouldn't eat if it weren't for a can opener and the microwave.
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    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
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  8. #23
    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert. But I did look into these once. If you can find one, a natural-gas generator has some benefit in that you don't have to worry about the fuel going bad or clogging anything up since it is a gas and not a liquid.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

  9. #24
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    I have a 15kw generator for my all electric house. It's a gas hog with its 1000 cc twin V engine, but if I manage the breakers well enough, I can make a tank of gas last at least 24 to 36 hours.

    I think its a Generac model. I ordered it online, and paid no shipping or sales tax. I also had the Power Company hook it up to the breaker box, so I didn't have to fool around with getting permits.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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  10. #25
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    I did a lot of research on generators before purchasing a Honda 6.5 EU. First of all let me tell you that I have 40 plus yrs. experience as an auto mechanic rebuilding all types of engines. As has already been mentioned, any liquid fueled gen-set if not used on a regular basis or exercised at least once a month will not be reliable when you need it, especially with the quality of gasoline we have been getting. Therefore I too would recommend natural gas or LP. That being said, Honda does not make a multi-fuel version but there is an after-market company that makes a tri-fuel conversion kit for Hondas that will allow it to run on gas, natural gas or LP. The bad news is, Honda claims it will void their warranty. Diesel keeps much longer than gas, but diesel powered gen-sets are considerably more expensive, heavier and louder than the others and Honda doesn't make one. I've had mine for about a yr. and one half now with no issues. Even the electric start battery, about the size of a small motorcycle battery, has worked every time. I try and run it, under load, at least once a month. I keep it in the bed of my truck with the Honda cover on it. It weighs about 250 lbs. but has fold-up handles and 2 wheels if you have to move it around. I have 2 heavy duty cable locks securing it so it doesn't roll and with it's weight, no one has tried to steal it. It will run everything in my 5th-wheel including the up-graded A/C unit and larger ref. It sits right below and slightly forward of the bed and I can't hear it run. Of course, I have to carry a spare 5 gal. gas can because my truck is a diesel, but the tank holds about 5 gal also which should give at least 24 hrs. run time under full load.

    You can buy the same or higher output ones from China for a fraction of the price of the Honda, but if noise is an issue or quality and reliability and if you have any sensitive electronic equipment which includes any computer controlled stuff, buy the Honda. If all you need to run are lights and power tools, buy the Chinese crap.

  11. #26
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    I have a portable Black Max generator bought from Sam's Club on the last night of power outage due to an ice storm in January 2009. The generator has a Honda motor and advertises to start 8750 watts and run 7000 watts. I had an electrician wire a Cutler-Hammer manual transfer switch into the breaker box and I have enough heavy wire to take the generator outside away from the house. We had a couple of outages since I got the generator but it was warm weather and had service restored soon. It will run a electric hot water heater that uses 4500 watts plus deep freeze, refrigerator and lights. I have a wood buck stove insert for auxillary heat. Sea Foam or other fuel stabilizer is your friend if you use gasoline. MY total cost in the unit and wiring is about 2K. Manual trasfer switch was around $500.

    I would prefer a Honda Generator rather than the Black Max but they are pricey. If I had more outages I would consider a permanent unit to run on natural gas.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Just a few thoughts & observations to consider - ...

    Honda clearly has the small, portable gen market taken care of. For higher outputs, say 5 kW or more, Onan, Koehler and Lincoln (the welder people) are pretty much the industry standards. ...


    ... Last tip: make sure you're set up to use your generator! Either a full-blown transfer switch at your service entry (pricey, but the simplest to use), ....
    Pay close attention to the highlighted portion above. I have known many unhappy generator owners who failed to install switches. If the power comes back on while you are tied into the house wiring with no switch, you are going to be in deep doo doo.

    I also second the Lincoln welder remark. If push comes to shove (which it did for a friend of ours) and you can't find a generator in time, an AC welder does a fine job as a generator, and you still have a welder when you are done.
    "If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."

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  13. #28
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    There are a bunch of ways to go with a genset. If you are looking to get through a few days due to power outage from storms...etc... You should get at least a 5000 watt (5KW) gasoline. Diesels ones are much more expensive & usually larger. You can get a 5500w set for around $500-600. That size will run your refrigerator(s) & even your hot water heater (if electric). It can also run a well pump if you're not on public water. It isn't big enough to run a whole house, but you can run most needs if you manage it.

    The plus to a gasoline genset ...gas is easier to find. You can always siphon some out of your car if needed.

    I have set up a few generators for family & friends. I have a 12kw at home that will run everything & has a welder built into it. The others I have done recently were a Honda 6kw for my parents & a couple of 5500watt sets for some friends.

    As someone mentioned, you don't want to hook it up while utility is connected (even if it is down/OFF). All you have to do is open your input main breaker & hook the genset up to your panel board with it's own breaker. You can also use a transfer switch which costs a little more money, but is safer.

    The good thing about a 5-6kw gen is it's portable, so you can move it around to help someone else...You can't do that if it's permanently installed.

    There are companies who can install permanent sets that even run off of natural gas or propane.

    The best type you could get are the multi-fuel ones...they run on gasoline, propane or natural gas. They run the most efficiently on gasoline. The down side is they are expensive.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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  14. #29
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    I have powered up for extended periods with a generator. I have two 6500 watt units. It takes 5 gallons of gas every 12 hours for me. Gas doesn't store well and is hard to get during emergencies. Oil needs to be changed in my generators every 12-24 hours. If you must pour gas into a hot generator make sure you drag the generator away from your home before refueling. A small air cooled engine that has been running under a load for 12 hours can get pretty hot. You can run a home with a generator and extentsions cords if you have good enough extension cords. You can make some pretty nice extension cords with number 12 Romex cheaper than you can buy junk extension cords. A couple of 120 volt window air conditioners can mean the difference between surving and and enjoying life.
    Arejay likes this.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  15. #30
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    Two of my neighbors run the natural gas generators. When the power kicks off for more than I think 2 minutes the gen kicks on and runs the entire house, no problem. I would love to have one myself. I think they ran around $5500 or so and then the install was under a thousand. I don't know the name or anything but they are sweet. Pretty quiet too. Hope it helps. They are permanently mounted outside though.

    Jason
    "Put on the whole armor of God..."

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