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  #1  
Old 30 July 2018, 22:08
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KimberChick KimberChick is offline
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Portable Generator Recommendations

So...I am getting a divorce and am now in the process of moving into a rental house until I can buy my own place. The house is out in the middle of nowhere, so I am worried about power outages. I want to buy a decent portable generator, the owner wired the house for it, but I have no clue about the best one to suit my needs.
I will take any suggestions. Thanks in advance!
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Old 30 July 2018, 22:20
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Figure out what you want to have power to, add all the wattage together, add 10%, then buy two generators that size... When you buy them, buy the stuff required for oil changes as a well as spark plugs at the same time...

Go with a dual fuel, or just propane, and kiss carb repairs goodbye :)
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Old 30 July 2018, 22:21
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Look at the Generacs, The elderly couples that live around me have those for when the power drops. Theirs are the propane backups that are wired to the house. I have 2 for my travel trailers but they are not good enough to run a complete house. I ran my travel trailer on one of them for a week and the only time it was off was when i was fueling it. The next one I get will be propane.
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Last edited by pavegnr; 30 July 2018 at 22:24. Reason: line jump.
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Old 30 July 2018, 22:52
8654maine 8654maine is offline
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Sorry to hear about the divorce.

I second what was said above.

For us, I NEED power for water pump for well, 2 freezers, 1 fridge, and furnace. Maybe also computer.

I have a Honda 8500 watt, dual fuel. Always starts (knock on wood).

Also, make sure you have TREATED fuel handy to last at least several days. Power outage can involved gas stations, so ALWAYS have extra fuel.

I have 10 gallon minimum ready to go.

You could get a fixed generator that's propane powered or go portable.
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Old 30 July 2018, 22:55
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Longrifle Longrifle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberChick View Post
I want to buy a decent portable generator, the owner wired the house for it, but I have no clue about the best one to suit my needs.
I will take any suggestions.
Check with the power company about home generator code requirements for your state. You don’t want to kill a lineman during a power outage. My home was wired for a generator by the previous owner, too, but when I had the power company look at it, it didn’t have a mandatory safety device on the power pole. I don’t use a generator for that reason.
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Old 30 July 2018, 22:57
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litepath litepath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberChick View Post
So...I am getting a divorce and am now in the process of moving into a rental house until I can buy my own place. The house is out in the middle of nowhere, so I am worried about power outages. I want to buy a decent portable generator, the owner wired the house for it, but I have no clue about the best one to suit my needs.
I will take any suggestions. Thanks in advance!
If you're talking about a transfer switch , it'll basically tell anyone here what your generator size needs to be. So, if that's what you're speaking to, then post a photo. Otherwise explain/expound on the bolded part if you would.

On the Gas/vs. Propane thing, I disagree. I'd go Gas or Diesel. Convenience may point you to propane or LP gas. But both are more complex systems and are more prone to failure than gas/diesel.
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Old 30 July 2018, 23:05
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1RiserSlip 1RiserSlip is offline
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Since your in a rental you don't want nothing permanent. I agree with 8654 on the 8500 watt. I got a couple of 5500 watt generators. Honda is hard to beat for a portable. Also agree on fuel storage. During outages gas stations and atms don't work either. My 5 gal tank runs up to 12 hrs depending on how much power I'm pulling from it.

Sorry to hear about the divorce.
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Old 30 July 2018, 23:54
wowzers wowzers is offline
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It's pretty hard to beat Hondas. My Dad swears my the military surplus MEP-002a. He finds them on your side of the country with under a hundred hours on them for around 1200-1500. If I can find one for that I'll be adding it to my place but it may be a little over kill for a temporary situation. Harbor Freight sales basically a Honda clone if you want to save money.
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  #9  
Old 31 July 2018, 00:31
Akheloce Akheloce is offline
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I have an off grid property.

I have 3 generators. 1st is a Northern Lights diesel 6500 watt. https://www.northern-lights.com/nl673l4e65-kw/ It is rock solid. When the world ends and only cockroaches and Keith Richards are left, this generator will be there chugging away.

The other 2 are Honda EU2000i's (one is a companion).

Fuel flows are as follows:

Northern Lights 6500- .33 gal diesel per hour

Each Honda EU2000i- .15 gal gas per hour.

99% of the time, I run 1 Honda. It runs a freezer, a few lights, and my TV just fine.

Sometimes, I run both Honda's to run an air compressor and some heavy tools.

Very rarely, I run the Northern Lights- mostly to verify it runs for a few hours.

It's mainly a backup that I bought when I had lots of $$. It's awesome, but overkill for most of my needs.
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  #10  
Old 31 July 2018, 00:42
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If you are going to treat your own fuel try to find a station that sells non ethanol recreational gas. I haven’t had nearly as much trouble with my boat or anything else I treat since I started buying it.
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Old 31 July 2018, 06:28
Gsniper Gsniper is offline
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If this is temporary I wouldn't go high end. If you plan to stay for years here, spend the money. Go dual fuel. I'll never have another gas only generator. Buy a couple of 100lb propane bottles and forget about it until you need it.
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Old 31 July 2018, 06:34
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A lot depends on what type circuit grid you live off of, or near...meaning if your place is tapped off a main line, chances are if your lights do go out, they won't be out for long. I agree with Gsniper...take it all in for now, see where everything is headed, and then decide.
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Old 31 July 2018, 07:16
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Stopp700 Stopp700 is offline
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If you decide to use a gasoline generator and cannot find that non-ethanol fuel try using an Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment & Stabilizer that will protect your engine against the corrosive effects of ethanol and maintain fuel stability for up to 3 years. I use Sta-Bil fuel treatment. I even use it in my lawnmower. Keeps the small carburetors from getting sticky. For a generator I have a 7700cc gas banger. I have had it for 5 years now and had to only run it once for an hour. I think I just jinxed myself...
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Old 31 July 2018, 07:31
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Ole crusty bastard Ole crusty bastard is offline
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On a portable generator, keep the battery charged. A cheap trickle charge unit clipped to the battery is better than the 'well shit' that I have myself once uttered.
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Old 31 July 2018, 08:56
Durable Durable is offline
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If I may ask what do you want the generator to do? How long do you want it to supply power for the tasks?
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  #16  
Old 31 July 2018, 15:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litepath View Post
On the Gas/vs. Propane thing, I disagree. I'd go Gas or Diesel. Convenience may point you to propane or LP gas. But both are more complex systems and are more prone to failure than gas/diesel.
Not in my nearly 60 years of experience...

I've never had a gummed up carb on a propane motor - ever.

I've got propane gensets, a truck that runs on propane, and two water pumps that are propane run. I've torn the carbs down on each and after a few times of that, and finding nothing, I went to a 5 year schedule of teardown for PMCS... Clean as a whistle

Additionally, propane has no shelf life, needs no fuel stabilizer. Fill bottles and store with the genset...
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Old 31 July 2018, 16:06
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EchoFiveMike EchoFiveMike is offline
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BLUF: Given that it's not a permanent setup, figure your load and buy according; any mainstream brand should be more than adequate. Slightly favoring anything that uses non-Chinesium engine like Briggs and Stratton, Subaru or Honda.

Propane stores well, as does diesel, but both types are going to be more expensive than super common gasoline units. Propane and LNG are tough on engines, and I'd be suspect of cheap units. This is from a durability perspective, so if you're not concerned with long life, I wouldn't worry. (OCD alert) I've rebuilt a few propane forklifts that use automotive engines, and they had bad valve seat recession, which required hardened valve seat installation, which a LNG/propane engine should have in the first place. This is of no real concern to incidental use gensets, which will never see these sorts of running hours. (OCD alert off)

If you plan on running computers and electronics, you'll want a clean power genset. The old stuff, particularly .mil surplus, is awful in that regard. The Honda inverter units are great, and the Harbor Freight rip offs aren't half bad either; significantly quieter than conventional units, and you can piggyback them for 2x capacity.

VP makes "small engine" fuel that's pure gasoline for long term storage, or you can use 100LL avgas if the unit is carbureted, but that has TEL in it, so don't breath that shit. Diesel stores well when sealed, I just fired up my diesel welder that was sitting for 18 months, hit right off. Something to strongly consider is simply storing the genset "dry" and adding fuel when you need to use it. It's a slight hassle, but ensures no carb/seal issues. S/F....Ken M
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  #18  
Old 31 July 2018, 17:35
wowzers wowzers is offline
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E5M I thought those older 1800rpm mil gensets produced pretty clean power with little voltage spiking?
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Old 31 July 2018, 17:39
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I am in the process of wiring my folks house up for a generator. We have a few power outages a year here in the country, mostly lightning and drunks hitting power poles! I bought them a honda 4500 watt gas operated. It goes on the front porch and powers two fridge/freezers, well, sump pump, two tv's and a couple of computers , no problem. 5 years now , so far so good!
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Old 31 July 2018, 18:05
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EchoFiveMike EchoFiveMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wowzers View Post
E5M I thought those older 1800rpm mil gensets produced pretty clean power with little voltage spiking?
I wouldn't swear to it, but back in the middle 90's I worked on a research project powered by .mil gensets with civvie engineering staff and they were bitching about the power being awful for their computers.

Was pretty cool project, we had the Pioneer UAV guys out and were looking for landmines from various platforms. S/F....Ken M
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“The consolidation of the states into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it.”
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