Portable emergency generator recommendations?

Considering buying about a 5KW portable generator for emergency use. So it needs to be reliable but does not have to endure long use over it's lifetime. Around here it might get used 5 hours every 5 years. Worst outage was the hurricane where power was out 3 days. Even then I'd only run it maybe 8 hours a day max.
So, any recommendations? Particularly interested in any issues with quality of the power. From what I can gather generators with brushless design are better in that regard. But many generator manufacturers don't even spec if they are brushless or not. There are generators that one would think would be better, eg Honda, but they are expensive. At the other end are the Chinese ones from Harbor Freight and similar. Again, since I don't need long hours of longevity, would one of the Chinese ones be OK. Experiences?
Also would buy one that can be converted to NG. Looks like you can get kits for many engines for about $200 that do that. Anyone using one of those?
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wrote:

I use a cheap one. Have for 15 years. If you want to save money probably better to buy it already setup for your fuel source. Unless you want multiple sources. I stuck with gasoline as it allows me to carry the generator somewhere else if I need it there. Like down to the lake to build my dock.
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On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 07:18:17 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

I ended up with a Briggs 5.5kw 8 peak. It was mostly because I got it cheap, pre-owned and never used. I put a tri fuel kit on it and it runs on propane or gasoline OK as far as I can tell. I haven't really run it that long on either. I am using a back fed breaker in my panel and a main breaker interlock device to be safe and legal.
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wrote:

We bought a Briggs 5,000 / 6,200 generator last year for about $500 (on sale). This spring I ordered a Reliance six-circuit manual transfer switch and installed it myself. The generator will not quite handle all of the demands of the six circuits so we know when to off- load (example: if we are going to run the microwave, we might need to shut off the furnace blower or other circuit for a few minutes).
Then I wrote up a simple, illustrated instruction manual explaining how to: hook up the generator to the house plug; start the generator; set the power switch on the generator control panel; set the three main switches on the transfer panel for sump, fridge and freezer; shut down the generator including fuel control; and reset the transfer switches to line power. The instructions also advise the user of a couple of nuisance beeps from the sump control and our computer backup supply that can be ignored until we get home. A couple of trusted neighbors have keys to the house; and a quick briefing on the book and system operation. That way we can leave town and not worry about freezers and sumps (We do have a battery back-up sump system too).
The main caution I have heard, regarding generators, is fuel quality. A generator sales and installation guy told us the world is full of nice, shiny new generators that won't start when the emergency occurs. Bad Fuel. We have adopted a 90 day calendar procedure that includes: Draining the generator into a gas can; refilling the tank with fresh gas and a small amount of fuel stabilizer (usually Stabil of Sea Foam); putting the drained fuel into a partial tank of gas in our car. We try to keep three 5 gallon gas cans fairly full and rotate through the mowers, garden tractor and trimmer during the season. During the winter fuel exchange cycle, I drain the generator tank, start the engine and run it dry before refilling. During the winter, the car gets a little more 2-3 month old gas but it hasn't complained yet. Sounds like a hassle but with it scheduled on the calendar it just happens and the entire ceremony lasts 20-30 minutes if the gas is already bought and available.
By the way, we live in SE Kansas inside of the tornado alley stripe (50 miles from Joplin). Our juice was off for 21 hours about 1-1/2 weeks ago while we were on vacation. It is dry enough that the neighbor didn't have to worry about the sump and the freezers held up OK until power was restored.
A genset, transfer switch and some basic planning an prep can take some of the concern out of how you will use the generator.
RonB
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wrote:

The best way to store the generator is dry. My Briggs has a drain valve in the hose from the tank, just for this purpose. Drain it and run the carb dry. Store your gas separately and be sure you keep it turned over. I have a boat, so that part is easy. (12 month boating season). For us, the concern is hurricanes so we usually have enough warning to be sure the tanks are full. I can store about 60 gallons of gasoline. I also have a 150 gallon propane tank and the propane kit on the generator. All this means I will probably never have a real long term power outage ;-)
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On Sep 16, 1:12pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Never thought of that - pretty good idea. But I am not sure when to "store" ours. Here in the SE corner of Kansas we get thunderstorms during spring and early autumn (and occasionally winter). Then winter ice storms.
Maybe August..... Hmmmmm. :^)
RonB
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I put stabilizer in mine. Run it occasionally. If it goes a year withhout being needed I drain the gas and put it in my truck. Then next time I go to run it I add a gallon or so of stabilized gas. We never know when we will need it, hurricanes, ice storms, once we lost power for the day because a dump truck went off the road along the line and took a pole completely off at the ground. They had to replace the pole and restring the wire.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

If you usually have advance warning (i.e., hurricane) get lots of gas cans. Fill them in advance.
It's possible that every gas station within reach will ALSO be without power.
If the hurricane flakes out and goes to New Orleans (also known as the 'rinse cycle') you can put the gas in your truck.
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wrote:

Florida passed a law that says any gas station on an evacuation route is required to have a generator. Whether they can get it started is still the question.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Yep. And Texas passed a law requiring gas stations in the hurricane's past to have their storage tanks at least half full before the storm's onset.
As to generators: For the next hurricane, I'm considering hauling mine to my local gas station and offering to power-up his pumps for $50/hour. Five thousand watts should be sufficient to run a few (like three) pumps.
In addition to the generator and some gas (I know where to get the gas), I'd need a few tools (screwdriver, pliers, beer) to break into the circuit breaker box and a modest length cable to tie in the generator.
Cha-ching!
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I'm not an expert, but I did look at the generators Northern Tool has. Some specify they can be used with sensitive electronics. That is what I would buy. Even formerly mundane appliances like refrigerators and gas ranges now often have electronics in them.
They do have some Natural Gas powered Generac models, but they are $1800 and up. They do have a propane powered one for $600 on sale http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200480463_200480463 No mention of clean power though. I'd still want that or at least a power supply that will work with it to clean it up.
A local appliance dealer was on the radio last week. He siad his shop was very busy repairing refrigerators that wee damaged by generators and power spikes.
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