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Posted: 6/6/2013 10:16:17 AM EST
I'm sure this topic has been covered here before, but I searched and came up empty. I even went through all 22 pages of the subforum looking for the word "generator".

Hurricane season is here. I have about $400-450 to spend on a generator to power some basic necessities and pump water from our well. We have a natural gas furnace, water heater, and dryer. All other appliances are electric. I should emphasize I don't expect to power the whole house with it, just the bare minimum.

Right now I'm looking at some Chinese brands on Amazon. There's not a lot of information on the web about these generators. I get the impression that Arf is not fond of Chinese stuff, but my situation is what it is and I'm not likely to have the budget for a nice Honda this season. I think I know what I should be getting but I can't afford it.

So assuming I get one of these Shanghai Specials, how much heartache am I going to endure down the road? What are some of the major sticking points? Has anyone used one recently, like maybe for Sandy?

Thanks guys...
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Posted: 6/6/2013 10:19:22 AM EST
Sounds like you're looking for a Champion.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 10:27:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2013 10:30:57 AM EST by zirkdog]
Originally Posted By LCDR_Data:
I'm sure this topic has been covered here before, but I searched and came up empty. I even went through all 22 pages of the subforum looking for the word "generator".

Hurricane season is here. I have about $400-450 to spend on a generator to power some basic necessities and pump water from our well. We have a natural gas furnace, water heater, and dryer. All other appliances are electric. I should emphasize I don't expect to power the whole house with it, just the bare minimum.

Right now I'm looking at some Chinese brands on Amazon. There's not a lot of information on the web about these generators. I get the impression that Arf is not fond of Chinese stuff, but my situation is what it is and I'm not likely to have the budget for a nice Honda this season. I think I know what I should be getting but I can't afford it.

So assuming I get one of these Shanghai Specials, how much heartache am I going to endure down the road? What are some of the major sticking points? Has anyone used one recently, like maybe for Sandy?

Thanks guys...


Not a lot of info you say???

Here's 986 pages of info on Chinese generators- namely the Champion.
RV.net Mega Generator Thread

While the chinese models may all appear the same or similar on the surface, what you are paying for is the customer service after the fact. Many brands come and go or disappear after purchase.
Champion is known for low cost, but excellent English speaking customer service, which is based here in the US. They sell their spare parts direct to you and have a solid reputation for helping out customers.
Check Cabela's and Tractor Supply for various deals. Cabela's just put the Champion back on sale with remote electric start and the wheel kit for $429.

I bought one of the 3500 generators and am now saving the spare pennies for a transfer switch to get it hard-wired into the house.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 10:30:53 AM EST
I've got one of these:

Powermate 5000 Watt Generator

... that has served me well, through several multiple-day power outages - I think the longest was 4 days, and this genny ran continuously. It's listed at $649, or $577 after rebate if you pick it up at the store instead of shipped to your house. So a *little* above your budget level, but maybe worth consideration. I can't really think of anything bad to say about it. The last outage was during 0-10° F temps, and I think it started on the second pull.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 10:40:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By zirkdog:
Originally Posted By LCDR_Data:
I'm sure this topic has been covered here before, but I searched and came up empty. I even went through all 22 pages of the subforum looking for the word "generator".

Hurricane season is here. I have about $400-450 to spend on a generator to power some basic necessities and pump water from our well. We have a natural gas furnace, water heater, and dryer. All other appliances are electric. I should emphasize I don't expect to power the whole house with it, just the bare minimum.

Right now I'm looking at some Chinese brands on Amazon. There's not a lot of information on the web about these generators. I get the impression that Arf is not fond of Chinese stuff, but my situation is what it is and I'm not likely to have the budget for a nice Honda this season. I think I know what I should be getting but I can't afford it.

So assuming I get one of these Shanghai Specials, how much heartache am I going to endure down the road? What are some of the major sticking points? Has anyone used one recently, like maybe for Sandy?

Thanks guys...


Not a lot of info you say???

Here's 986 pages of info on Chinese generators- namely the Champion.
RV.net Mega Generator Thread

While the chinese models may all appear the same or similar on the surface, what you are paying for is the customer service after the fact. Many brands come and go or disappear after purchase.
Champion is known for low cost, but excellent English speaking customer service, which is based here in the US. They sell their spare parts direct to you and have a solid reputation for helping out customers.
Check Cabela's and Tractor Supply for various deals. Cabela's just put the Champion back on sale with remote electric start and the wheel kit for $429.

I bought one of the 3500 generators and am now saving the spare pennies for a transfer switch to get it hard-wired into the house.


I probably should have said "I haven't found much info..."

Thanks, I will give Champion another look and wade into that huge thread later tonight.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 10:40:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By alphabavo:
Sounds like you're looking for a Champion.


Lowes and Tractor Supply are local dealers,can find on sale sometimes.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 11:25:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By alphabavo:
Sounds like you're looking for a Champion.


This.

The Champions that are 3,000-4,000 watts are usually in that price range. They have a very good reputation. Depending on your power needs, consider the Champion Inverter/Generator. It's 2kw and usually around $600 or so. Less power output but it offers potentially better fuel economy.

I have one of these from B&S. It has a little brother. I got mine from Tractor Supply as it was about $100 cheaper than anywhere else.

Oh, be sure to budget some $$$ for fuel storage. I tried utility jugs but the caps do not hold up to the pressures that build up during hot-weather storage. Now I have a set of these. Get a Super Siphon to make filling easy.

You'll also need to budget for heavy gauge extension cords, spare filters and plugs, etc.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 11:46:56 AM EST
For fuel storage I've been looking at getting a few of these:

http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com/Nato-Jerry-Cans.html
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Posted: 6/6/2013 12:03:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2013 12:04:20 PM EST by PugglePod9000]
Originally Posted By LCDR_Data:
For fuel storage I've been looking at getting a few of these:

http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com/Nato-Jerry-Cans.html




If you fill them up "full" you can keep gasoline stored for years without having to add any snake oil.

I'm still opening cans I sealed up I bought at at $1.99 a gallon and no varnish, smells fine, works just like gas I bought last week.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 12:13:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By LCDR_Data:
For fuel storage I've been looking at getting a few of these:

http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com/Nato-Jerry-Cans.html




If you fill them up "full" you can keep gasoline stored for years without having to add any snake oil.

I'm still opening cans I sealed up I bought at at $1.99 a gallon and no varnish, smells fine, works just like gas I bought last week.




Amazing!




I see us collectively as a country bumpkin, sitting on a log with a rifle, having no understanding what's going on beyond a few trees away, about to be enslaved with no interest by whom or what.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 4:02:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Amazing!






How so? (...is that something you've preached for/against? )
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Posted: 6/6/2013 4:28:48 PM EST
Well pumps can require a surprising amount of power to start and run. Much greater than you might expect. Do you happen to know the specs on yours? You will probably need to size the generator based on that.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 5:00:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2013 5:02:43 PM EST by pedaler]
Another source for cans:

http://store.oldgrouch.biz/

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Posted: 6/6/2013 5:45:52 PM EST
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Posted: 6/6/2013 7:04:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Amazing!






How so? (...is that something you've preached for/against? )



Uh, maybe....

I see us collectively as a country bumpkin, sitting on a log with a rifle, having no understanding what's going on beyond a few trees away, about to be enslaved with no interest by whom or what.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 8:11:43 PM EST
Originally Posted By alphabavo:
Sounds like you're looking for a Champion.


Concur.

And sadly, Northern Tool had a 5000W discontinued model for $249 this AM, but now sold out.

The 4000/3500's are usually pretty reasonably priced, though.
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Posted: 6/6/2013 9:12:43 PM EST
Originally Posted By ASUsax:
Originally Posted By alphabavo:
Sounds like you're looking for a Champion.


Concur.

And sadly, Northern Tool had a 5000W discontinued model for $249 this AM, but now sold out.

The 4000/3500's are usually pretty reasonably priced, though.

Shit! I need one in that size!


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Posted: 6/7/2013 1:24:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/7/2013 1:24:50 AM EST by phillyd2]
Sorry but I'm not understanding the premise. There are many places where you could save money but in a all important genny to actually run your house? Seems silly to me. Instead I wold cancel my Internet for 6 months, phone data plan or about 100 other ways before this.

Not in your budget? Change your budget
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Posted: 6/7/2013 3:03:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By phillyd2:
Sorry but I'm not understanding the premise. There are many places where you could save money but in a all important genny to actually run your house? Seems silly to me. Instead I wold cancel my Internet for 6 months, phone data plan or about 100 other ways before this.

Not in your budget? Change your budget


I think he means he doesn't want to spend $4,000 on a Honda when a $500 something-else will fit his needs while also being reliable.
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Posted: 6/7/2013 11:17:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By EXPY37:
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Amazing!






How so? (...is that something you've preached for/against? )



Uh, maybe....



Maybe for? Or maybe against?

My thought is if you keep it full to seal out oxygen, what little is in there will "react out", do it's damage, and be gone.
There is no loss of "light ends" due to evaporation, and no condensation problems due to "breathing".

So it just sits there until you open it.
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Posted: 6/8/2013 8:58:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By LCDR_Data:
For fuel storage I've been looking at getting a few of these:

http://www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com/Nato-Jerry-Cans.html




If you fill them up "full" you can keep gasoline stored for years without having to add any snake oil.

I'm still opening cans I sealed up I bought at at $1.99 a gallon and no varnish, smells fine, works just like gas I bought last week.


I've gone a year with same result .Mandated ethanol blend.Plastic cans are incapable.
Blissfully ignorant Colt KoolAid drinker...
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Posted: 6/8/2013 9:38:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/8/2013 9:40:30 AM EST by CJan_NH]
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Amazing!






How so? (...is that something you've preached for/against? )

EXPY opened my eyes about this a couple of years ago...and I hated him for it

Since I wanted so badly for him to be wrong I did some testing of my own. I "discovered" that gasoline stored in an airtight container will keep just fine, without any fancy additives. My backup gasoline is kept in NATO steel jerrycans, and I've tested fuel that is two years old and counting with zero issues.

Fuel that I keep in generators, pumps, chainsaws etc still gets treated with pri-g or seafoam, but that is primarily a holdover for my peace of mind.

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Posted: 6/8/2013 2:03:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By EXPY37:

Amazing!






How so? (...is that something you've preached for/against? )

EXPY opened my eyes about this a couple of years ago...and I hated him for it

Since I wanted so badly for him to be wrong I did some testing of my own. I "discovered" that gasoline stored in an airtight container will keep just fine, without any fancy additives. My backup gasoline is kept in NATO steel jerrycans, and I've tested fuel that is two years old and counting with zero issues.

Fuel that I keep in generators, pumps, chainsaws etc still gets treated with pri-g or seafoam, but that is primarily a holdover for my peace of mind.

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I didn't know that. Thanks.
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