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Posted: 5/20/2005 4:08:23 PM EST
Since it is hurricane season once again, what would be a good generator to buy under 300 dollars. ( for my father who just wants one to run a lightbulb and a fan).

Who has one of these things? which are good? where is the best place to buy one?
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:12:41 PM EST
Tag.

Want one to run the sump pump.

G23c
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:14:48 PM EST
If you are going to buy a small one make it a Honda. Or at least a Honda engine. They make a damn quiet generator. Make sure he has plenty of gas, funny how people will spend the money on a gen. only to forget the gasoline to run it.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:19:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Tag.

Want one to run the sump pump.

G23c


You need one that will carry the START load amps, not the run load, very different, do you have city water? If you do, I suggest a water pressure sump pump, no juice needed. I would probably never go under a 2500watt generator, that to me is the minimum needed for a few lights and a fan, I run a 6500W. Big enough for anything I want to run but still reasonably portable.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:34:41 PM EST
So to run a 75 watt light bulb and a 200 watt fan you would need a 2500 watt generator? I don't understand. I thought you just added up the watts of what you wanted to use, but I am probrobly wrong. Can anyone explain this for me?
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:38:29 PM EST
Not sure there is a worth while generator for $300.

Expect to pay $700-$1000.

And if you wait to buy one DUE to a hurricane FEMA will pay for it. Of course it will be hard work trying to find one.
If you buy one in preparation for a hurricane you have to pay for it yourself.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:40:28 PM EST
This one's a thousand, seems reasonable for peace of mind:

Coleman Powermate
7000 WATT Generator, HONDA 13HP OHV Engine
Model PM0647000
$999

Plenty of watts, Honda engine, Coleman usually builds good stuff, right? What do you guys think?

I could run a pump and light or two?

G23c
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:41:06 PM EST
Try the survival forum, tacked thread in there.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:41:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By fxntime:

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Tag.

Want one to run the sump pump.

G23c


You need one that will carry the START load amps, not the run load, very different, do you have city water? If you do, I suggest a water pressure sump pump, no juice needed. I would probably never go under a 2500watt generator, that to me is the minimum needed for a few lights and a fan, I run a 6500W. Big enough for anything I want to run but still reasonably portable.



Water was out last time too. Hurricanes are a bitch, friend. But thanks for the suggestion. I've got $10,000 in redoing the basement so far.

G23c
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:57:08 PM EST
I had a 5500W. Craftsman w/Briggs and Stratton. Life saver after Ivan. Sold it to the wife's restaurant after our power was restored. I intend to replace it on 1 June (no sales tax). I think i was about $675.

Something else to consider is HPG (hours per gallon). Gas was hard to come by the first week or so after the storm. The key is to buy a generator that will run everything you need, but not consume a gallon per hour. I ran the fridge, a few lights, a couple of fans, the big screen and DVD player and the stereo. Five gallons would buy me about nine or ten hours. I have six five gallon fuel containers. I plan to add four more very soon.

Change the oil often.

Eddie
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 5:56:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By JThompson:

And if you wait to buy one DUE to a hurricane FEMA will pay for it. Of course it will be hard work trying to find one.
If you buy one in preparation for a hurricane you have to pay for it yourself.



So true. If you plan ahead, you are on your own.

If you wait, the government will bail you out. Of course it is you and your fellow citizens who pay for that.

As to the original question - I’m not sure you can find what you want for under 300 bucks.

I hope you can, but be leery of anything that seems too inexpensive. When you need a genset you really need a genset.

Gals. per hour is important. You want the genset to be able to run all night without refueling.

The advice given above by "ed" about changing the oil is right on.

My neighborhood went 22 days w/o power last Aug./Sept..

Those who took care of their equipment did ok. Those who did not went without.

For me it was an oil change every 24 hours.

Mike
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 6:16:56 PM EST
If you buy a 5000W generator, you can run the whole house TV & all. My uncle was the only one on his block with power for 3 days in Bloomington, MN in 1997 when it flooded. don't buy a real cheap one. You want a generator with a new designed OHV (over head valve motor) They can go twice the hrs on a tank of gas than a cheep unit.

Sawed off
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 6:36:45 PM EST
I got a 5,000 W generator a few years ago when we had a major ice storm. Ran it for 6 days while the power was out. I wouldn't plan on running your whole house with it. Like others have stated, the "turn on" of refrigerators, freezers, pumps, furnace blowers requires more than the rated wattage. And I don't really think you want to run computers or TV's with them if you have other things on. The power draw could damage them, and it's not very clean power either. I would turn off certain breakers on our panel, so I knew what could possibly come on when I was running it.

And when you're not using it, make sure to mix in some stabilizer in the fuel tank, and run it for 15-20 minutes every month. You would be amazed at how many people shut them off, put them in the shed, then can't understand why 3 years later it won't run when they need it!
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 7:25:56 PM EST
I have 2 EU2000 Honda gensets that I can link up to make 4000 watts of power for my RV.

They weigh 46 lb each dry. They'll run for 12 houre under light load, and 5 hrs under full load on 1 gallon of gasoline each.

And you cannot hear them in the woods 100 yards away while running a load.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 7:26:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By JThompson:


Not sure there is a worth while generator for $300.

Expect to pay $700-$1000.

And if you wait to buy one DUE to a hurricane FEMA will pay for it. Of course it will be hard work trying to find one.
If you buy one in preparation for a hurricane you have to pay for it yourself.




+1
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 3:56:02 AM EST
I have a Generac 8500watt. To answer the questions about required power needs, you'll need up to 5 times the rated wattage for an electric motor. A 1hp motor is typilcally 500 watts, however to get it started may take up to 2500 watts, this is where reserve power comes into play. Many motors will have a capacitor to assist with start up demands. without a reserve, you take the risk of browning out the motor.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:23:41 AM EST
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:36:16 AM EST
PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!!
Get a quiet one for the sake of your neighbors, unless your 500 feet or more away. The constant RUUNNG...RUUNNG...RUUNNG of a cheap generator causes people to perform various acts of sabatage on it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:50:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 7:53:31 AM EST by choad33]

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.




DO NOT USE A SUICIDE CORD EITHER PAY THE MONEY AND BUY PROPER CORDS OR SPEND THE MONEY AND HAVE A TRANSFER SWITCH PUT IN


A friend of mine use to be a lineman till he got zaped by an asshat back feeding the house. Now all he does is push paperwork and his wheelchair


I have two gens One small for and one large run the proper one when needed. FYI Most gens runtime is listed at 1/2 load.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:19:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By choad33:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.




DO NOT USE A SUICIDE CORD EITHER PAY THE MONEY AND BUY PROPER CORDS OR SPEND THE MONEY AND HAVE A TRANSFER SWITCH PUT IN


A friend of mine use to be a lineman till he got zaped by an asshat back feeding the house. Now all he does is push paperwork and his wheelchair


I have two gens One small for and one large run the proper one when needed. FYI Most gens runtime is listed at 1/2 load.





Whaddya a moron? Simply turn off the main switch! Jeez, some people. No need to have any kind of specialized switching equipment.

BTW your buddy is an idiot for not checking the line prior to working on it. Its kinda like someone handing you a gun and telling you its unloaded. You are a fool if you believe them. Stupid people often pay a serious price for their avoidable mistakes.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:27:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 11:34:16 AM EST by dvr9]

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
This one's a thousand, seems reasonable for peace of mind:

Coleman Powermate
7000 WATT Generator, HONDA 13HP OHV Engine
Model PM0647000
$999

Plenty of watts, Honda engine, Coleman usually builds good stuff, right? What do you guys think?

I could run a pump and light or two?

G23c



Personally, I would stay away from Coleman. There was a time when Coleman was the shit when it came to camping gear etc...but now it is made mostly in China and other third wold nations very cheaply.

During the last bout of hurricanes in FL last year, many of the Coleman generators caught on fire because of a faulty wiring harness and a leaky fuel shut off valve in close proximity. Caused many deadly fires during the storms.

I would go with Honda. They are small, portable, quite and excellent on fuel. Perfect for what you need. But take into consideration size. You say that you want to run a light bulb and a few other appliances...bigger can be better. A 4.5k or 5.5k generator can run what you need plus a frige and a deep freeze. No sense losing your perishables and frozen foods. The cost difference between a good 2000W and a 5500W generator isn't that much.

ETA: Many have mentioned the need to change the oil regularly and the scarcity of gas after major storms. I am in the process of purchasing a 4 way converter that will allow my generator to run on propane, natural gas, gasoline or deisel. Costs about $100, but makes it so much easier to find a viable fuel. Propane and Natural Gas run VERY CLEAN as apposed to gas and deisel. With hardly any contaminants as a byproduct of combustion, PROPANE and LP barely foul and dirty the oil. This will extend your running time and make your generator last much longer.

My .02
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:30:18 AM EST
SNIPER1AZ has the best idea I have seen yet. You get 2 small high tech generators and a serial cable to connect them for much less than 1 big honda generator. This adds portability and you got 2 generators. ALso, they are real quite. As good as it gets. Didn't he mention that they are real light to boot.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:35:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By FlyingBrass:
SNIPER1AZ has the best idea I have seen yet. You get 2 small high tech generators and a serial cable to connect them for much less than 1 big honda generator. This adds portability and you got 2 generators. ALso, they are real quite. As good as it gets. Didn't he mention that they are real light to boot.



Be careful doing this as the amperage generated by each generator may differ and cause fluctuations in the power level being sent down the line. Can fry appliances very easily.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:39:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.



This works great if you have a main power breaker. Older homes do not have this. If you plan on doing this and live in an older home, remove the meter on the outside of the house and be sure to cover it carefully. That way it is impossible for power from your generator to run back to the main lines and will stop power coming from the main line energizing your house when it is restored.

Yes I know....FPL (or your local power utility frowns on this,) but there is nothing they can do as it is not illegal.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:46:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By FatCobra:

Originally Posted By choad33:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.




DO NOT USE A SUICIDE CORD EITHER PAY THE MONEY AND BUY PROPER CORDS OR SPEND THE MONEY AND HAVE A TRANSFER SWITCH PUT IN


A friend of mine use to be a lineman till he got zaped by an asshat back feeding the house. Now all he does is push paperwork and his wheelchair


I have two gens One small for and one large run the proper one when needed. FYI Most gens runtime is listed at 1/2 load.





Whaddya a moron? Simply turn off the main switch! Jeez, some people. No need to have any kind of specialized switching equipment.



Maybe not a moron, but turning off the main breaker could be an easily overlooked step under duress or haste. Or by another family member trying get the lights back on but not completely familiar with your jerry rigged setup. A decent transfer switch doesn't really cost much and isn't difficult to install.

Do you have safeties on your firearms? Why?



BTW your buddy is an idiot for not checking the line prior to working on it. Its kinda like someone handing you a gun and telling you its unloaded. You are a fool if you believe them. Stupid people often pay a serious price for their avoidable mistakes.



Or he could have checked first and was subsequently in the middle of working on the line when Joe Fucktard fired up his generator and backfed/energized the line.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:50:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By dvr9:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.



This works great if you have a main power breaker. Older homes do not have this. If you plan on doing this and live in an older home, remove the meter on the outside of the house and be sure to cover it carefully. That way it is impossible for power from your generator to run back to the main lines and will stop power coming from the main line energizing your house when it is restored.

Yes I know....FPL (or your local power utility frowns on this,) but there is nothing they can do as it is not illegal.



God, the lengths people will go to avoid just doing it right in the first place. If you can afford a generator, you should be able to afford the $250-300 for a transfer switch or just use extension cords.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 11:57:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
This one's a thousand, seems reasonable for peace of mind:

Coleman Powermate
7000 WATT Generator, HONDA 13HP OHV Engine
Model PM0647000
$999

Plenty of watts, Honda engine, Coleman usually builds good stuff, right? What do you guys think?

I could run a pump and light or two?

G23c



I have a Coleman contractor grade 6500w (continuous) generator. It has the 13hp Honda motor with electric start. Starts easy, relatively quiet, reliable, decent on the gas. It's been good for me and I really can't complain about it. But I've also read articles about Coleman using plastic pieces in some of their powerheads that can fail, so that sort of sticks in the back of my mind. I think the higher end Coleman generators are probaly on par with Generacs and would be an affordable, good enough choice for the typical homeowner. If you want the best, you'll need to step up $$$ to something like a Honda or Northstar generator.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 12:16:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 12:19:51 PM EST by dvr9]

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By dvr9:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.



This works great if you have a main power breaker. Older homes do not have this. If you plan on doing this and live in an older home, remove the meter on the outside of the house and be sure to cover it carefully. That way it is impossible for power from your generator to run back to the main lines and will stop power coming from the main line energizing your house when it is restored.

Yes I know....FPL (or your local power utility frowns on this,) but there is nothing they can do as it is not illegal.



God, the lengths people will go to avoid just doing it right in the first place. If you can afford a generator, you should be able to afford the $250-300 for a transfer switch or just use extension cords.



Boomer,

A few points. During or after a major hurricane (like the 4 we experienced last year) generators that were normally $1000 were going for $2000+. Up until last year, there hadn't been a hurricane landing above Ft. Lauderdale area in over 100 years. Not many people were prepared for one storm let alone 4. We have 1000 people moving into FL per day. Many of whom know nothing of hot weather let alone Hurricanes.

Wiring and transfer switches were rarer than hens teeth. If you did find what you needed, finding an electrician to do the work was even more difficult. Paying for it is another problem. Many people are out of work after a storm...no power, no job unfortunately. Banks are closed and ATM don't work. Credit card machines no worky either. Cash is king. I usually don't carry a few grand for emergencies...do you?

You mentioned running extension cords. Not a brilliant idea. Most americans don't know the difference between a low end household cord and a contractor grade cord that can handle the load from a TV or a refrigerator. In the Daytona area alone, I know of at least a dozen fires that were caused by improper electical cord usage.

Other than the suicide of Kurt Cobain and the constant rain, how many natural disasters does your part of the country get anyway?

ETA: I don't recomment people mess with their electrical systems, but in an emergency, people do stupid things. Hopefully my advice will steer a few of the mindless sheeple away from an early grave.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 12:44:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By dvr9:

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By dvr9:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.



This works great if you have a main power breaker. Older homes do not have this. If you plan on doing this and live in an older home, remove the meter on the outside of the house and be sure to cover it carefully. That way it is impossible for power from your generator to run back to the main lines and will stop power coming from the main line energizing your house when it is restored.

Yes I know....FPL (or your local power utility frowns on this,) but there is nothing they can do as it is not illegal.



God, the lengths people will go to avoid just doing it right in the first place. If you can afford a generator, you should be able to afford the $250-300 for a transfer switch or just use extension cords.



Boomer,

A few points. During or after a major hurricane (like the 4 we experienced last year) generators that were normally $1000 were going for $2000+. Up until last year, there hadn't been a hurricane landing above Ft. Lauderdale area in over 100 years. Not many people were prepared for one storm let alone 4. We have 1000 people moving into FL per day. Many of whom know nothing of hot weather let alone Hurricanes.

Wiring and transfer switches were rarer than hens teeth. If you did find what you needed, finding an electrician to do the work was even more difficult. Paying for it is another problem. Many people are out of work after a storm...no power, no job unfortunately. Banks are closed and ATM don't work. Credit card machines no worky either. Cash is king. I usually don't carry a few grand for emergencies...do you?



Hey, I can appreciate having to do what you have to at the time just to get by in a pinch. I can see using the previously mentioned methods of isolating a home's electrical system from the grid as a last ditch solution.

But this guy is trying use a little foresight and plan ahead. Making jerry rigged, half assed methods part of your emergency plans just doesn't seem like a wise idea. Why not just do it the correct way from the beginning so he doesn't have to mess around later, likely in a more stressful situation, trying to remember to pull meters or flip this breaker and that one and hoping he's not putting some lineman at risk?



You mentioned running extension cords. Not a brilliant idea. Most americans don't know the difference between a low end household cord and a contractor grade cord that can handle the load from a TV or a refrigerator. In the Daytona area alone, I know of at least a dozen fires that were caused by improper electical cord usage.



Well, to be honest, I'm not sure I want someone who can't figure out how to use extension cords having to depend on remembering to turn off circuit breakers or pull meteres, either.



Other than the suicide of Kurt Cobain and the constant rain, how many natural disasters does your part of the country get anyway?



Floods, windstorms, earthquakes. Have you ever heard about Mt St Helens?



ETA: I don't recomment people mess with their electrical systems, but in an emergency, people do stupid things. Hopefully my advice will steer a few of the mindless sheeple away from an early grave.



I can live with that.

Preparation beforehand would be better, however.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 12:53:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By dvr9:

Originally Posted By Boomer:
Originally Posted By dvr9:
Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.


Other than the suicide of Kurt Cobain and the constant rain, how many natural disasters does your part of the country get anyway?



Floods, windstorms, earthquakes. Have you ever heard about Mt St Helens?







Preparation beforehand would be better, however.



G

I forgot about that little incedent. You are right, the 6 P's is key. Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. But like most sheeple, prior planning means getting to the store just before the water, batteries and shitter paper runs out.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:01:19 PM EST
consider a ac/dc converter for your truck/automobile rather than a generator.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:08:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By 6731HBAR:
consider a ac/dc converter for your truck/automobile rather than a generator.



I know a few people who did that, but ran into problems with having to keep the vehicle running all night and the converters couldn't produce enough wattage to run the refrigerator. If all you need is a light or two during the evening along with a couple of fans, then this is a great idea.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:41:18 PM EST
May I guy who is in the generator business throw his 2 cents in.

1. 2 types of power plants: Generators and Alternators. Generators have brushes and put out dirty power. Alternators have no brushes and have cleaner power, longer life on the power out put end and will run sensitive electrical equipment.

2. Remember amps X volts = watts

3. Buy with a Honda, Yamaha or Kohler engine. Quieter and more fuel-efficient.

4. I am pro transfer switch, but is you do back feed…TURN THE MAIN OFF.

5. Read the manual and SAFETY manual that will come with your purchase.

6. Cords, use only grounded contractor grade.

7. Use surge protectors when running multiple appliances from a cord.

8. Check and add oil each time you shut down to refuel.

9. Spend the money and get a premium brand, ie Honda, Kohler, Yamaha, Pramac, Kat-O-Light, etc…

10. For longer run time consider a diesel.

11. To run lights, fridge, freezer, pump and fans 5000 watts should work. To run whole house you may need 10kw to 25kw.

12. If you have natural gas or a large propane tank, conversions are an option.

13. Any more questions you may e-mail me at ACB567@AOL.COM
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:52:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By FatCobra:

Originally Posted By choad33:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.




DO NOT USE A SUICIDE CORD EITHER PAY THE MONEY AND BUY PROPER CORDS OR SPEND THE MONEY AND HAVE A TRANSFER SWITCH PUT IN


A friend of mine use to be a lineman till he got zaped by an asshat back feeding the house. Now all he does is push paperwork and his wheelchair


I have two gens One small for and one large run the proper one when needed. FYI Most gens runtime is listed at 1/2 load.





Whaddya a moron? Simply turn off the main switch! Jeez, some people. No need to have any kind of specialized switching equipment.



Maybe not a moron, but turning off the main breaker could be an easily overlooked step under duress or haste. Or by another family member trying get the lights back on but not completely familiar with your jerry rigged setup. A decent transfer switch doesn't really cost much and isn't difficult to install.

Do you have safeties on your firearms? Why?



BTW your buddy is an idiot for not checking the line prior to working on it. Its kinda like someone handing you a gun and telling you its unloaded. You are a fool if you believe them. Stupid people often pay a serious price for their avoidable mistakes.



Or he could have checked first and was subsequently in the middle of working on the line when Joe Fucktard fired up his generator and backfed/energized the line.




That is what had happened, 9,000 volts the generator was about 1/4 of a mile away.



Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:52:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 2:09:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Flashman:

Gals. per hour is important. You want the genset to be able to run all night without refueling.



Given a large enough gas tank, you could run ANY generator all night!

In all seriousness, running a generator all night (or even all day) rarely makes much sense. In most situations, it'll spend most of its time powering only a small load - a HUGE waste of fuel and engine life expectancy.

Your fridge doesn't run all the time.
Your freezer doesn't run all the time.
Your water pump doesn't run all the time.

So, why should your generator?

The ideal situation is to run the generator for a couple of hours several times a day, and then rely on lanterns and battery-powered devices the rest of the time. Two hours, three times a day is sufficient to keep the fridge/freezer cold and pump water, but can easily make your fuel supply last 4 times longer.

A couple of essential generator accessories are a gas can and a fuel siphon hose that works. Test the siphon hose beforehand - You'd be surprised at how many vehicles have filler necks that are too constricted to get a hose far enough down them.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 5:35:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By THEBAUMER:
May I guy who is in the generator business throw his 2 cents in.

1. 2 types of power plants: Generators and Alternators. Generators have brushes and put out dirty power. Alternators have no brushes and have cleaner power, longer life on the power out put end and will run sensitive electrical equipment.

2. Remember amps X volts = watts

3. Buy with a Honda, Yamaha or Kohler engine. Quieter and more fuel-efficient.

4. I am pro transfer switch, but is you do back feed…TURN THE MAIN OFF.

5. Read the manual and SAFETY manual that will come with your purchase.

6. Cords, use only grounded contractor grade.

7. Use surge protectors when running multiple appliances from a cord.

8. Check and add oil each time you shut down to refuel.

9. Spend the money and get a premium brand, ie Honda, Kohler, Yamaha, Pramac, Kat-O-Light, etc…

10. For longer run time consider a diesel.

11. To run lights, fridge, freezer, pump and fans 5000 watts should work. To run whole house you may need 10kw to 25kw.

12. If you have natural gas or a large propane tank, conversions are an option.

13. Any more questions you may e-mail me at ACB567@AOL.COM



Yeah...What he said!

Thanks for the good advice. Oh yeah, what do you know about PowerTrain Generators? I have a PowerTrain 6.5k. I need to know who makes the motor so that I can buy a Propane conversion kit. (I would just go look, but it is in my storage unit in the next town over.)
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 6:22:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By THEBAUMER:

2 types of power plants: Generators and Alternators. Generators have brushes and put out dirty power. Alternators have no brushes and have cleaner power, longer life on the power out put end and will run sensitive electrical equipment.



Actually, many alternators also have brushes. Open up the alternator in your automobile, and you'll find brushes.

Plenty of top-quality gensets also have brushes - Onan, Kohler, and Generac for example - yet still produce clean power.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 6:29:19 PM EST
One of the things to consider is the quality of the inverter. You guys that run cheap generators will not notice the difference with just a light bulb but if want to run anything sensitive you should get a generator with a good inverter that will give you a pure sine wave. The cheap ones have a lot of interference and surges and dips in the power flow and you will damage sensitive electronics.

Honda makes quality stuff but you pay for it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:22:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By choad33:

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By FatCobra:

Originally Posted By choad33:

Originally Posted By PanzerOfDoom:
Sam's Club in Jax has a butt ton of 5 and 5.5K generators for around $500.

It is very easy to make a 220v adapter to plug into your dryer outlet and power your whole 110v bus; kill your main breaker to keep line power from the panel if it is restored and there you have it. No extention cords just plug and play.




DO NOT USE A SUICIDE CORD EITHER PAY THE MONEY AND BUY PROPER CORDS OR SPEND THE MONEY AND HAVE A TRANSFER SWITCH PUT IN


A friend of mine use to be a lineman till he got zaped by an asshat back feeding the house. Now all he does is push paperwork and his wheelchair


I have two gens One small for and one large run the proper one when needed. FYI Most gens runtime is listed at 1/2 load.





Whaddya a moron? Simply turn off the main switch! Jeez, some people. No need to have any kind of specialized switching equipment.



Maybe not a moron, but turning off the main breaker could be an easily overlooked step under duress or haste. Or by another family member trying get the lights back on but not completely familiar with your jerry rigged setup. A decent transfer switch doesn't really cost much and isn't difficult to install.

Do you have safeties on your firearms? Why?



BTW your buddy is an idiot for not checking the line prior to working on it. Its kinda like someone handing you a gun and telling you its unloaded. You are a fool if you believe them. Stupid people often pay a serious price for their avoidable mistakes.



Or he could have checked first and was subsequently in the middle of working on the line when Joe Fucktard fired up his generator and backfed/energized the line.




That is what had happened, 9,000 volts the generator was about 1/4 of a mile away.




I've heard of cautions like this, but what you mentioned does not seem right at first. You are imply that the regular line transformers are acting like a step-up transformer converter the 220v or 120v from the generator into 9KV. What I find hard to believe is the sink of these line transformers and 1/4 mile of resistance load did not cause the breaker on the consumer generator to pop immediately.

If this indeed happened, that generator must have been a large, commerial ONAN or the like. A Honda EU2000 would have no hope of powering that load you described (or implied).
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:43:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 8:19:25 PM EST by Skibane]

Originally Posted By stator:
What I find hard to believe is the sink of these line transformers and 1/4 mile of resistance load did not cause the breaker on the consumer generator to pop immediately.



Interesting point. If you forgot to open the main breaker, your generator would be connected to every other home and business on that phase. The resulting several hundred KW of unanticipated load would disable even a large generator in a matter of seconds - which doesn't leave much opportunity for a utility worker to accidentally come in contact with the live wire.

EDIT: As I recall, it is common safety practise for line crews to attach shorting wires across each "dead" phase before working on it. This provides an additional layer of safety, just in case someone de-energizes the wrong wire, or fails to break all the connections in a line that is being fed from several points. This would provide additional protection against a line that was being back-fed from a customer's generator.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 7:45:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 7:48:09 PM EST by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By choad33:


DO NOT USE A SUICIDE CORD EITHER PAY THE MONEY AND BUY PROPER CORDS OR SPEND THE MONEY AND HAVE A TRANSFER SWITCH PUT IN


A friend of mine use to be a lineman till he got zaped by an asshat back feeding the house. Now all he does is push paperwork and his wheelchair .




Okay, asshat should be doing it right, but...........


- why doesn't the power company put a one way box to prevent your house from feeding the lines??

- why don't the repair guys check the lines before working on them??


Not excusing asshat, but they will always be around.......




Originally Posted By dvr9:

God, the lengths people will go to avoid just doing it right in the first place. If you can afford a generator, you should be able to afford the $250-300 for a transfer switch or just use extension cords.


Paying for it is another problem. Many people are out of work after a storm...no power, no job unfortunately. Banks are closed and ATM don't work. Credit card machines no worky either. Cash is king. I usually don't carry a few grand for emergencies...do you? .


Yes, I do. After seeing the results of Hurricane Andrew and the LA Riots, I realized how important some emergency cash in the safe could be.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 4:39:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By stator:
What I find hard to believe is the sink of these line transformers and 1/4 mile of resistance load did not cause the breaker on the consumer generator to pop immediately.



Interesting point. If you forgot to open the main breaker, your generator would be connected to every other home and business on that phase. The resulting several hundred KW of unanticipated load would disable even a large generator in a matter of seconds - which doesn't leave much opportunity for a utility worker to accidentally come in contact with the live wire.

EDIT: As I recall, it is common safety practise for line crews to attach shorting wires across each "dead" phase before working on it. This provides an additional layer of safety, just in case someone de-energizes the wrong wire, or fails to break all the connections in a line that is being fed from several points. This would provide additional protection against a line that was being back-fed from a customer's generator.



A standard Honda generator just cannot load the first transformer that would be acting as the step-up transformer. It will not be able to handle the amperage draw of that transformer. The only energy of any sufficiency would be the 220V phase shared with the neighbors. And, that would be for a short duration.

Although I'm not condoning not using a transfer switch, I suspect the story about the lineworker is not entirely true. I suspect that there are financial/insurance reasons to blame a homeowner with a generator.

It just doesn't add up that a consumer generator like the Honda EU2000i could energize a 9KV grid. That grid and all of the transformers on it are going to "waste" far more energy than any Honda can hope to put out. It would take a super-conducting grid to do so.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 10:24:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By stator:
It just doesn't add up that a consumer generator like the Honda EU2000i could energize a 9KV grid. That grid and all of the transformers on it are going to "waste" far more energy than any Honda can hope to put out. It would take a super-conducting grid to do so.



The power required to energize the transformers, compensate for wiring losses, stray capacitance, etc. would pale in comparison to all the customer loads connected to that phase. Unless the line happened to be broken immediately outside your home (and you were the last customer served at the end of that line), there would be other homes attempting to draw power from that same phase - probably hundreds, maybe thousands of them. Virtually all of these homes would have warm refrigerators and freezers, lights left on, air conditioner compressors waiting to start, etc. It would look like one huge short circuit to your generator.
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