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Posted: 4/27/2011 7:53:08 PM EDT
I am new to prepping. I feel SOOOO behind the curve.
I live in a 800sq ft apt with my fiance and 2 large dogs. No garage, 1 level. Potentially moving to a place in August with a detached 1 car garage.
What do I need in a generator?
I was talking to a buddy of mine at home depot today about the husky 3750
I don't even know what all I should or shouldn't be powering....
I jumped into this head first and I feel like i'm drowning
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 8:37:38 PM EDT
Welcome to the SF



What do you need a generator for?  If you think you need a generator because all the cool survivalists have one then you really do not need a generator.  



I lived in that small of space until a couple months ago. In the small space you have you would be better to use what space you have for other preparations that will be more important.  




Link Posted: 4/27/2011 9:03:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2011 9:08:25 PM EDT by Skibane]
Originally Posted By bradpierson26:
I don't even know what all I should or shouldn't be powering....


Well, then, there's your Step One: Figure out which lights, appliances, tools and other electrical devices really NEED to be operated during a power outage.

Step Two is finding out how much power (watts) each of these essential devices consumes. Note that some devices consume a lot more power during their first few seconds of operation, so you need to know both the start-up and running watts of each device.

Step Three is figuring out which combination of devices will be operated simultaneously, and which devices only need to be operated occasionally. For best fuel economy, you want to run combinations of devices that keep the generator well-loaded (i.e., running at 40-80 percent of its rated power output).

Step Four is selecting a generator that is capable of producing more power than your biggest load (or combination of simultaneous loads), including any start-up power surges.
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 9:15:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PA22-400:
Welcome to the SF

What do you need a generator for?  If you think you need a generator because all the cool survivalists have one then you really do not need a generator.  

I lived in that small of space until a couple months ago. In the small space you have you would be better to use what space you have for other preparations that will be more important.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_w7cIXgZzg


haha. Thanks for the warm welcome.
Maybe a generator is down the list but I guess I still need help developing my list.

I basically have nothing prepped right now.
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 9:16:57 PM EDT

Step Two is finding out how much power (watts) each of these essential devices consumes. Note that some devices consume a lot more power during their first few seconds of operation, so you need to know both the start-up and running watts of each device..


maybe this is a dumb question, but how do I figure that out? will it be marked on the items?
Link Posted: 4/27/2011 9:50:47 PM EDT
bradpierson26,  Skibane gave you a direct answer to your question.  CJan_NH can also tell you how to run a home on a generator.



Here is the PA22-400 quick and clean, no math generator plan

~get a quiet generator––you need the stealth for security.

~get a fuel efficient generator––you need to reduce the quantity of fuel that you have to transport and store.

~2000W surge with 1600W run generator will get almost everything done in a home, but not all at once.

The Honda  EU2000i and Yamaha are the quietest.  Champion sells one that is not as quiet, but a little less expensive.



NOW what are the threats that face you?  I'm going to make an estimate.  In order of probability:

Vehicle breakdown, or crash.

Job loss.

Health issues.

Severe weather; snow/blizzard, thunderstorm/hail, wind/tornado, and lastly flood.



You can plan around doing without electricity for all of these threats.



You need to be able to feed your family for 3 days.  more may be better, but 3 days will give you time to develop other solutions if utility service is disrupted for longer.



Being a survivalist is not all about collecting cool toys.  We collect the cool tools because we have a plan to use the tool.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 12:01:25 AM EDT
Welcome, brad.  You don't need a generator, you need a PLAN.  What are you going to do in the event of a weather emergency?  How about job loss?  Social unrest for whatever reason?  You and your family need to sit down and write out the 6 most common threats  to you and yours and develop (there's that word again) PLAN.

You need:

Shelter

Water

Food

Defense

You are in CO.  Weather threats for you include winter storms.  How will yo respond?  Does one of you have a 4x4?  Etc.  This is a customized plan b/c your response will be different than your neighbors.  I'd be whole lot more worried about job loss if you are renting.

Get the basics first.  Star with a three day supply, then two weeks, then 3 months, etc. until you start storing grains and a grinder for 1 to 3 years.  Don't try to catch up to some of the old farts here overnight, we've been prepping longer than most of the folks on this board have been standing up to pee.

Welcome, and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Ops
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 12:53:30 AM EDT
Lurk around for a while, everything is discussed over and over here. We don't get bored easily of stuff like GD. I lurked for a long time and even then, I mostly chime in on discussions I have a specific knowledge base about, in my case it's emergency medicine and general medical practice. I worked as a country doc for a while. If you see a discussion you have good info about, jump right in. If you have specific questions about something you haven't seen discussed, jump right in. Otherwise, have a look around the threads. You'll find a wealth of info.



Don't panic and stick around. SF always delivers.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 1:02:09 AM EDT
I have a 3500W/4000W Champion I got from Tractor Supply Co. for $299.00 delivered.

It works great and will run 2 fridges, some lights, fans, the microwave, and a TV. It is also good for running battery chargers and other small electronics.

It's handy for home emergencies, and really good for outdoor activities.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 2:30:34 AM EDT
I was wondering about the champion generators. Not to hijack, but any other feedback on them?

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 4:07:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 4:09:15 AM EDT by Skibane]
Originally Posted By bradpierson26:

Step Two is finding out how much power (watts) each of these essential devices consumes. Note that some devices consume a lot more power during their first few seconds of operation, so you need to know both the start-up and running watts of each device..


maybe this is a dumb question, but how do I figure that out? will it be marked on the items?


Some devices will have the power requirements marked on them. Some show the Amps requirement instead, which you can convert to watts by multiplying the amps by the AC voltage (either 120 or 240 volts). Example: A 120 volt device that uses 8 amps draws 960 watts of power.

You can also use a Generator Sizing Chart. However, some of the wattages shown on the chart tend to be worst-case assumptions, which may be significantly larger than the amounts your particular devices consume.

Or, you can buy a Kill-A-Watt on ebay for around 20 bucks, and actually measure the continuous power consumption of your devices.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 4:21:01 AM EDT
Small, quiet, efficent.

Go with inverter style, or wait until you can.  Trim what you expect to run down to fit a Honda 2000, 3000, or a pair of 2000's linked together.
Storing, maintaining, & acquiring gas will be the limiting factor on what you can do with your gen. Spending 4 hours in town to get a ration of 10 gallons is not the way to stay secure.
After a couple weeks on a generator; you'll gain a lot of respect for the price of grid electricity.  

Get a chain & lock. Lots of generators walked off after the hurricanes.  

Make sure the SO can start it by herself.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 4:28:23 AM EDT



Originally Posted By ishoot2live:


I have a 3500W/4000W Champion I got from Tractor Supply Co. for $299.00 delivered.



It works great and will run 2 fridges, some lights, fans, the microwave, and a TV. It is also good for running battery chargers and other small electronics.



It's handy for home emergencies, and really good for outdoor activities.


I too have this gen, it can run my well.



 
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 4:43:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hootch13:
I was wondering about the champion generators. Not to hijack, but any other feedback on them?

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


No direct experience. I have Honda EUs and love them. But I continue to hear good things about Champion , and many say they are the  best bang for the buck.

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:12:52 AM EDT
i grabbed 2 honda 3500's , eb,eg  off craigslist for $560 total. if i see a small 2000 honda or honeywell inverter, ill grab it too. i did some research by calling a few small engine repair guys, the hondas are real dependable.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:15:57 AM EDT
I got into propane for greater stability of the storage of fuel, very expensive storage tanks, but they last a very long time. They do make smaller portable ones, check out generatordepot.us, well actually just search the web. Just my 2cents worth, gas goes bad so fast. But you may want to consider diesel too, I don't know but I think it or fuel oil store better long term than regular old gasoline.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:20:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ishoot2live:
I have a 3500W/4000W Champion I got from Tractor Supply Co. for $299.00 delivered.

It works great and will run 2 fridges, some lights, fans, the microwave, and a TV. It is also good for running battery chargers and other small electronics.

It's handy for home emergencies, and really good for outdoor activities.


thats 1 hell of a deal, i was going that rout till i found my hondas. blaines i think had those @ $289. + tax.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 2:13:32 PM EDT
official post

Welcome to the SF

Do you have a plan for;
fire?
severe weather?
pregnancy?
job loss?
vehicle loss?

Making a plan will only cost the time and paper to write it on.  A plan will enable you to organize your actions and purchases in the future

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Prepare for the most likely first and the least likely last.


So you ask; what is the most likely event?

Originally Posted By ilbob:
Start by thinking back over the last 20 years of your life and what emergencies you faced. Things like:

flood
loss of employment
fire
tornado
blizzard
loss of electricity
car died out on the road (happened to me tonight 15 miles out of town - 15 degrees and very windy out)
etc.

these are things that will probably happen again. take steps to deal with those problems first.


SF History—has been posted in SF since I joined the SF:
3 SF members that are recovering from job loss
homes lost to fire posted here in SF
5 or more BOVs totaled by accident
5 now 7 now probably more new little SFers born
1 SF family has suffered the loss of a child to illness.
Visits to the ER due to infection, injury, and insect sting allergy
5 or more hurricanes
1 SFer had to stay a week in the hospital


How should you live your life now that you are a survivalist?
Originally Posted By LoneWolf30:
Live like "it" will never happen, prep like "it" will.



Who’s who of the SF (please forgive me if I don’t spell all the names perfectly)
Frank Squid—posts occasionally one of the founders or the founder of SF
TomJefferson(TJ)—top moderator of SF and poster SF family.  TJ is a great source of wisdom and stories.
Paul—suburban SFing and expedition offroading.
Halffast—author of some well known fiction
Feral—homesteading or farming.
frozenny—financial survival.
Protus—apartment survivalism and outdoor skills
die-tryin(dt or DT)—poster BOV of  SF
Ops—lived SF for decades, poster SF family
1bigbunker—builds houses
Ferfal308—he’s living through a collapse in another country
biere—general knowledge
donne3—mom to a bunch of SFers
CJan_NH—generator use and the poster AR15 spare parts kit
Wolfcri—has some good welding skills
Skibane—knows something about EMP and flashlights
shibumiseeker—modern homesteading, off grid living, and BOVs

There are others, but I have not caught the above posters posting trash or foolishness.

Acronym translator;
SF—this survival forum
BOB—Bug Out Bag; also BHB—Bug Home Bag
BOV—Bug Out vehicle
IMHO—In My Humble Opinion
YMMV—Your Mileage May Vary
WttSFp—this post

Link Posted: 4/28/2011 3:31:15 PM EDT
small gen to run basic appliances even if one at a time.
food, water....get more than you think you need.
first aid kit, good one
guns, whatever your preference is, even if it is cheap its better than nothing. I would rather have a small .38 than nothing.
TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!!! Learn learn learn....

Read this forum. you will learn, mostly from others mistakes.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:34:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 5:35:14 PM EDT by ColtRifle]
OP

What kind of appliances do you have.  What is their fuel source?  

Do you have a well or public water?

Post some specifics on what you have and I can give you a rough estimate of what you probably need.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 5:53:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 5:54:37 PM EDT by survivorman]
you need something small and quiet.......for your size place a honda EU200i will be more than enough......around 45lbs extremely quiet and sips gas......wise generator sales has them for a little over $800 delivered.  Great thing is if you later want more power you buy whats called a parallel kit(a wire that connects one genny to the other must be another EU2000i) and you up yourself to 4000 watts.  I  bought 2 honda EU2000s off craigslist cheap....and pretty much powered everything in my home accept the big things of course(AC, dishwasher, stove, dryer)  but this is what they powered all at once....home is 2000 sq ft

fridge
wine cooler
62in tv
kitchen lights
laundry room lights
fan in living room with lights
fans in all bedrooms with lights(3)
lights in spare bath
lights in masterbath

all running at same time.........sort of gives you an idea of what they can do.





now that said......the Champion gennys have been getting great reviews.....they now make a inverter(quiet) type genny just like the hondas....and are the same size and weight.  Great thing about them is they are stackable, and when you buy one it comes with the parallel wire(honda you buy that extra)  they are sold at your local SAMS and cost a little over $400 new.....so for the price of one honda  you can have (2) champion inverters that are ready to go......2 may be overkill for your size place but think of it like this, you got it just in case.....spare parts......(2) is one, and one is none.
Link Posted: 4/28/2011 6:00:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/28/2011 6:02:12 PM EDT by machinisttx]





Originally Posted By PA22-400:






1bigbunker—builds houses








I haven't seen him around in a while. What happened to his monolithic dome thread?



ETA: just saw the thread. he hasn't logged in for over a year.





 
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 3:37:15 PM EDT
It sounds like you need to develop a plan for your preparedness and if a generator is on that list then you need to evaluate your power requirements.  If you are wanting something that is usable in almost any rental situation and is very portable I will agree with what everyone else says...."If you want a good quality unit that is quiet, sips gas, doesn't break, lasts forever, and has good resale (think economic SHTF) then buy a Honda EU2000.  

There are other cheaper alternatives but none better IMO.  Some people like myself can't listen to people who have BTDT and must learn the hard way.  The first unit I bought was a POS Chinese "Cummings" (not to be confused with Cummins) 6000w.  We had 3 of these going and 1 of the 3 lasted longer than 3 days (yes I changed the oil and broke them in).  I then graduated to Briggs 5500 screaming gas suckers because they were less expensive than the Honda's and more powerful.......stupid mistake I have 3 of these and they are the least used generators that I have.  I currently own about 15 different generators ranging from 850 watts to 60,000.  My favorites are the Honda EUs and my big Caterpillar diesel.  

Buy Once Cry Once!

Grove
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 4:20:40 PM EDT
everyone seems to be getting off topic.

Buy a generator that you can afford, you can pay anywhere from $80 to $1000+ on a generator. What ever your budget, buy one...a little bit of power is certainly better than no power at all. In my opinion the generators main purpose is to save food, and run a few small appliances to provide a better quality of life when the power goes out.

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:09:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 9:02:18 PM EDT by PA22-400]
I made a bad post
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:30:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hootch13:
I was wondering about the champion generators. Not to hijack, but any other feedback on them?


There's a 941 page thread on the 3-4 KW Champion models here - and a 112 page thread on the 2KW Champion Inverter model here. Happy reading!

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:47:25 PM EDT
May I ask what happens if you turn on too much while running a generator
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:57:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By modernwarfare:
May I ask what happens if you turn on too much while running a generator


Usually: The genny's breaker trips or it stalls.
Sometimes: Refrigerators and other motors may not start correctly if the power is too low.
They get "stuck" in "start mode" and it can't get out of it.  That can burn up your fridge/air compressor/etc...

Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:21:47 PM EDT
If you are starting, I would save a little cash, then work on easy to do items. A little extra food and water. A car kit is a great inexpensive way to start prepping. Backup power generator is a big ticket item that will come down the road. Start small. Things like a multi tool and flashlight in the door of your car. Extra TP and other toiletries don't cost much and don't take up much space. An extra five gallons of gas and spare tank of propane for the bbq is only a little money set aside to save for. I have been prepping slowly for a few years and just now have a dedicated generator for house power.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 9:48:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CLICKBANGBANG:
If you are starting, I would save a little cash, then work on easy to do items. A little extra food and water. A car kit is a great inexpensive way to start prepping. Backup power generator is a big ticket item that will come down the road. Start small. Things like a multi tool and flashlight in the door of your car. Extra TP and other toiletries don't cost much and don't take up much space. An extra five gallons of gas and spare tank of propane for the bbq is only a little money set aside to save for. I have been prepping slowly for a few years and just now have a dedicated generator for house power.


good post

I've been into survivalism for some decades now, and a generator is still just a want to me.  I want one, but do not need one.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 10:09:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 10:18:47 PM EDT by Skibane]
Originally Posted By CLICKBANGBANG:
If you are starting, I would save a little cash, then work on easy to do items. A little extra food and water. A car kit is a great inexpensive way to start prepping. Backup power generator is a big ticket item that will come down the road. Start small. Things like a multi tool and flashlight in the door of your car. Extra TP and other toiletries don't cost much and don't take up much space. An extra five gallons of gas and spare tank of propane for the bbq is only a little money set aside to save for.


Yep, this is good advice.

You don't even need to buy anything to improve your preparedness - Save up a little bit of cash, tuck it in some unused corner of your wallet, and resist the temptation to spend it unless the shit has truly hit the fan. In a world of fragile credit card processing networks and failure-prone electronic banking, having a stack of cash on hand is the ultimate survival tool.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 1:14:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By hootch13:
I was wondering about the champion generators. Not to hijack, but any other feedback on them?


There's a 941 page thread on the 3-4 KW Champion models here - and a 112 page thread on the 2KW Champion Inverter model here. Happy reading!



thanks
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:25:39 AM EDT
Another thing you may want to consider is to go into your breaker panel and figure out which breakers are powering which circuits. If you plan on running your generator directly into your panel, you'll want to know what all it is running and where the juice is going to. It's not very important in that you can just unplug or turn off anything that may draw power that doesn't need to be, but it will help you strategize a plan for your power needs and get you thinking about your power usage in general.

Also, come up with a secure way to have your generator running outside so it wont get stolen. Everytime we have storms around here that knock out the power for any substancial time, we have to use dozens of generators at work to run our systems. Lots of times they have gone to check a signal problem during a power outage only to find the cut chain where the generator used to be. Cages would be a much better solution, imo.
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