Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I don't know much about generators, but I was thinking of purchasing one in case the power grid fails during the winter months ahead. I don't want to spend to much, but I would like one that could keep power to my computer and some lights and a few electric heaters. I do have a home depot card with a no interest for two years option on a purchase of $200.00 or more. Could you recommend one? these are a few I was looking at.
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100637533&N=10000003+90401+524798

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100628628&N=10000003+90401+524798
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,817 Posts
https://www.ch.cutler-hammer.com/generatorCalc/wattshow.jsp

This site has a wattage calculator for generator sizing.

I would not recommend anything less than a 5500 watt generator. Electric heaters pull a lot of power. Also for running a computer you want a really clean sine wave from your genset. So you might want to look into an inverter generator so you do not fry your motherboard.
 

·
Warning: EXPLOSIVE!
Joined
·
249 Posts
Just about all new mfg small engines are good for a long time with good maint.
They dont list the maker's of the genset(There are actually very few mfg's of these). Stay away from voltmaster genset, Also a Home grade generator is rated on cold surge power, while industrial generators are rated on a 24hr duty cycle. I recomend a brushless genset and keep spare diodes on hand...

I live in an area where a generator is a must...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
According to the specs 2000 is the surge watts, 1500 is the full load watts. That is roughly 12.5 amps. That is enough to run a few lights, your computer and maybe your fridge too. The plug in heaters are energy hogs. Even though this generator would likely run one with nothing else plugged in, it would be far more efficient to use a kerosene/propane heater for warmth.

Also, I know nothing about this unit, but at this price I wouldn't plan on this unit lasting more than 100-200 running hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,376 Posts
https://www.ch.cutler-hammer.com/generatorCalc/wattshow.jsp

This site has a wattage calculator for generator sizing.

I would not recommend anything less than a 5500 watt generator. Electric heaters pull a lot of power. Also for running a computer you want a really clean sine wave from your genset. So you might want to look into an inverter generator so you do not fry your motherboard.
I agree here. Do your homework. BOth units appear to be too small. Also always check to be sure you have an overhead valve engine with steel sleave in the cylinder. Low oil shut off is also a big issue. Dont' plan to run any generator non stop. You have to let them cool off for a couple of hours after a run. I have been offered 3 generators from IKE survivors and all three were burned up.

ALso remember you will need to plug your appliances into the generator directly unless you have an electrician put in a circuit bypass panel to the circuits you want to power. Northern Tool has the systems for this in stock.

Good luck. Also remember do not put the generator in your garage. It needs to be outside with plenty of ventilation. Your have a bunch of people die from Carbon monoxide poisoning just by placing the generator in the wrong place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
We've scoped one out but have decided that reducing our load is an important part of the process. We got rid of our CRT monitors for starters, and plan on reducing load further as we cycle out older equipment and target which things we really need to keep running.

So far, the list is lights, gas furnace blower [no blower, no heat], fridge, freezer, and if there's any left over, computers. Space heaters just pull too much power.

We're looking at either propane, natural gas [plumbed in] or a dual fuel if we can get one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
We've scoped one out but have decided that reducing our load is an important part of the process. We got rid of our CRT monitors for starters, and plan on reducing load further as we cycle out older equipment and target which things we really need to keep running.

So far, the list is lights, gas furnace blower [no blower, no heat], fridge, freezer, and if there's any left over, computers. Space heaters just pull too much power.

We're looking at either propane, natural gas [plumbed in] or a dual fuel if we can get one.
 

·
I am whatever I say I am
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
IMO, when buying emergency backup equipment, the only option is to scrape up (or borrow) and buy the best. Because you don't want your emergency backup equipment to fail on you in the middle of an emergency. And to me, Honda is the best, that is why I own a Honda EB3000. My reasoning behind selecting this particular generator is as follows:
1) I need to be able to power my furnace (about 2kW), or chainsaw (1200W), or fridge (1300 W). Obviously not all at the same time.
2) I need to be able to move this generator around, in case I need to take to my inlaws or parents, or move it from the ground level (flood, security, etc).
3) It is within my price range.


Now, you don't have to buy Honda branded, check out Northern Tool and Equipment for a selection of gennys that are powered by Honda engines but branded as something else: they are priced very competitively compare to Honda-branded stuff. Check it out, you may find something that fits your needs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
https://www.ch.cutler-hammer.com/generatorCalc/wattshow.jsp

This site has a wattage calculator for generator sizing.

I would not recommend anything less than a 5500 watt generator. Electric heaters pull a lot of power. Also for running a computer you want a really clean sine wave from your genset. So you might want to look into an inverter generator so you do not fry your motherboard.
Absolutely good point here.

You can buffer the feed and clean it up a little by running it off of a good UPS (Uninterpretable Power Supply). Plug the UPS into the gen set then your computer into the UPS. Spikes and brown outs should all be by-passed. This is still not 100% so use this technique with caution.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,794 Posts
The dual 8KW Briggs powered system we have has served us well for many years. We lose power all the time, sometimes for weeks. When I worked as a small engine mechanic (part time) one of the tasks I always seemed to be doing is removing a Briggs engine from its load. The device it was running was shot but the engine would still be running well. The other engines mentioned are also good but are they worth 3 times the cost? In my opinion, no. Most small engines (in my experience) seemed to die from neglect and stupidity on the part of the owner rather than poor manufacturing or design.
 

·
Forum Administrator
Joined
·
16,730 Posts
The Champion 3500 Watt Generator is too small, and the 2000 is really too small to run a heater along with other stuff.

If you have to, go with the 3,500 and a kerosene space heater. Some kerosene space heaters can heat 1,300 square foot areas with no problem. But putting that kind of load on a genny is going to coast you a lot of money with gasoline.

Plus, if the genny goes out you have no heat.

And personally, I would go with a craftsman genny - because they offer on site service.
 

·
I'll fix it
Joined
·
2,548 Posts
If you buy a big overkill generator your going to run out of gas.
The better quality Honda's & Yamaha's idle down when loads decrease. They are gas sippers and aren't near as loud as the Home Depot stuff. Plus they have pure sinewave outputs so you can power your sensitive electronics. The Yamaha I have has a power boost to compensate for surges in current draw when motors or fridge compressors start up. I think it was well worth the cost.:thumb:
 

·
trois pour cent
Joined
·
5,942 Posts
As far as costs, my Honda EU2000iA's have been worth every penny. Though they cost around $1,000 retail, the fuel economy is impressive. During the last storm I was on gen power for 12 days. My neighbors were burning 5-8 gallons of gas per 8 hours. My Honda's ran for 11.5 hours on it's 1.1 gallon tank.
Not only do you make up the price in fuel consumption, they are so quiet you can't hear them from down the street. A good thing in some situations. And it has a built in inverter.
Honda EU2000iA
 

·
Jack of all trades
Joined
·
228 Posts
Absolutely good point here.

You can buffer the feed and clean it up a little by running it off of a good UPS (Uninterpretable Power Supply). Plug the UPS into the gen set then your computer into the UPS. Spikes and brown outs should all be by-passed. This is still not 100% so use this technique with caution.
I've tried to run APC brand UPS units on modified sine wave power and they won't work. It detects the 'bad' power and switches to battery. I've also ran many computers with a cheap inverter and never had any problems with them. Once the modified sine wave power hits a transformer, it is basically filtered. Your power supply 'fixes' the 'bad' power and your mobo never has t deal with it.

Roger
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top