portable electric generator questions

I am think about buying a portable electric generator for emergency use during power outages. (Power outages are few and short in my area) I am thinking a 3000 watt rated (3500 max) unit that ought to be able to power my fridge, a few lights, 3 computers, and a microwave (only for a few minutes to heat up food). At night while the computers and the lights are off, and if needed, I would turn on a fan and the sump pump.
I want one with circuit breaker, and with at least 20 amp receptacles (25 amp is preferred).
The unit will in the back yard of my house underneath my deck.
Question 1: is it better to get one with electronic ignition plus recoil pull start?
Question 2: is using 14 gauge extension cords good enough? cord 1 (25 feet) from generator to fist floor kitchen to power the fridge, a light, and the micrwave (again for only a few minutes) cord 2 (100 feet) from generator to the second floor to power 3 computers, a TV and DVD player, a light or two...
Thanks for any info, Ted
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If power outages are ver infrequent and short, why would you want to waste money on a backup generator?
And I'd use a heavier gauge extension cord if I were going to try to power a refrigerator and a microwave on the same circuit, espically if it's going to me a longer cord.
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Agree. Most of the need for a generator comes when you have extended outages and major concerns, like needing to run a furnace to keep warm or to keep the house from freezing. A freezer or frig will easily go 18 to 24 hours without losing food, as long as you leave it closed.
Also curious about the plan to turn on the sump pump at night. If you need backup power for a sump pump, you generally need it available all the time.
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On Apr 30, 1:24 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

We normally have only a few outages a year. We normally would get the power back within a few hours. But during hurricane Isabel and hurricane katrina for a couple of days each. You never know when a big storm strike. Having a portable generator is just like having a spare tire in my car, or fire extinguishers in house. I have not had a flat tire for over 10 years now, and I have never had a fire in the house. It is a peace of mind to know that you have it when you need it.
A small generator cost only about $400.00. I have been wanting to have one for a long time....
I really want to be able to get online (I sometime telecommute from home by getting online and logging on to my company's network system), or watch TV, be able to cook/heat up a simple meal while the power is out.

My sump pump does not kick in often, even during heavy rain. If I only have a small wattage generator, I may be able to get by just plugging in the sump pump while I dont need the generator to supply power for power for other usage (e.g. computers, lightings, etc.)
I am still looking for the answers to my questions, especially the one about electric switch. Is it that important to have one?
Thanks
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zzyzzx wrote:

Have you ever gone for an hour without internet access?
It hurts.
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on 4/30/2008 3:18 PM HeyBub said the following:

Not to mention lights, well water, heat, AC, microwave, range, oven, cordless phones, and all power tools. I live in a rural area. When a wire goes down, it may takes hours to send out a crew and fix it. That's why I have a generator.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On Apr 30, 11:28am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I would keep it inside somewhere, outside under a porch if its sealed only, 14 ga is way to small 8-10 is about it. best is a transfer panel and exterior box, Lowes sometimes has a deal with free pre wired generac transfer panel on a 5500w Generac. Surge load of a pump and frige can be near 1000w each, to do it without a transfer switch is completely wrong when using multiple apliances. Also the cheaper the unit the less stabil it out will be, maybe going from 90-135v on loading. Honda inverter series is the best, there is alot to learn before you buy.
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On Apr 30, 12:28�pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

first you need to have enough fuel to run the generator in a emergency,
gas stations use electric to pump gas, unless they have power you are out of business.
smaller generators equal lower fuel used. a large generator gulps lots of fuel even running without a load.
generators are noisey,,,,,,,, espically cheaper ones.
you can elminate complaints by buying a little larger and running extension cords to close by neighbors, to say power a light, and fridge occasionally. neighbors wouldnt complain if they are benefiting too:)
by rotating what your powering you can supply a few fridges etc in your area.
another option is a inverter, gets power right from cars battery which can be left idiling... 100 bucks gets you about a 1000 watts.........
nice for night time.
me and wife got home from trip right after major storm.
we wanted to watch tv, so i connected light and tv to inverter, and had things up and running in 10 minutes.
we watched big brother on schedule.......
you need to decide exactly what you want. 4 computers are a lot, might be better to have one in a emergency.....
if you live where summers are real hot a small window AC unit is a good investment, everyone can pile in one room if the outage is long.
in areas that freeze, powering a furnace is a good idea
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On Apr 30, 12:28�pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

use no smaller than 12 gauge cords
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Why not get a 5 or 6 kw and tie it into your service panel and be done with it. Switch over to generator when the power is out and you can use anything in the house without extension cords going all over the place. Just don't run the heavy stuff all at once like stove, oven, washer and dryer-and electric water heater.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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