Recommendations for a generator?

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As many of you have probably heard on the news, the Pacific NW was recently hit by huge long-lasting power outages due to weather. I was one of those affected. To be prepared for next time, I want to buy a generator that can power either my furnace or a couple of space heaters, and four 23 watt compact fluorescent lights.
I'll figure out the exact capacity I need later, but I was wondering about brands for now. Which are the good ones to look at?
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Use the "waste heat."
Nick
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Details?
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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buffalo ny: on 10-13-2006 we lost power 9 days. we learned on local wben radio that gasoline generators in large numbers in suburban backyards were setting off the CO detector alarms in the homes and testing same high CO levels outdoors when the wind was calm. unfortunately for the pocketbook, a natural gas automatic generator which you pay for with a home improvement loan is the best dependable choice. or, use LED lights and millivolt gas non-electrical VENTED space heaters, plus the gas water heater. see also pilot light gas stoves.
Abe wrote:

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Un-vented heaters are quite safe and are less likely to kill you with CO poisoning than a vented space heater. The reason is that the un-vented heaters but with grossly excess air and don't produce any CO in the first place. A vented heater is adjusted to use only slightly more air than is necessary to burn the gas (excess air results in extra stack losses) and almost always produce some CO. Often they produce quite a bit.
But ANYONE who uses LPG or natural gas should have a battery operated CO detector.
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I keep my generator in my garage. I had a CO detector next to it for 4 days and it didn't go off.
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Toller wrote:

Wow .... Are you sure your CO detector was not defective? It seems sort of a dangerous thing to do run a generator in a garage.
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Space heaters?
For heat, I suggest you get a ventless LPG portable heater. These run on those squat cylinders sold at camping supply stores for about $2.50 each. The gas cans only last a few hours so you can also consider getting a hose assemply that will permit your heater to run from a 20# LPG tank.
Alternatively, get a kerosene fueled heater.
I use the LPG ventless heater to warm my feet sometimes.
We have a 5 kW generator we picked up from Wally World for about $500. The generator is a coleman and the engin is a tecumson. As soon as you get a unit you should plan on where you will keep it when not in use and when you will place it when it's operating. The best place is near the service entrance when you can tap the ground connection for your entrance panel. You definitely need to have the frame of your generator grounded to "ground" and to the service entrance ground. I put in another ground rod and tied everything together with #6 bare copper cable. You also have to decide from the start where you store the gas and how much you keep around.
You add all this together and you discover why some folks just go ahead and spend $8000 (plus) to have a professional installation of a "whole house" automatic generator run from a BIG LPG tank.
You will have to decide how you will get the power from the generator to your loads.
If you "do it right" you need a transfer switch. A 5 kW generator is enough to power a LOT of stuff. I run the water pump, the ice box, and most of the "small stuff" (TV, computers, lights, dishwasher). If I want to use the electric stove or heat water, I have to shut off most of the other stuff.
If you don't have enough power to keep the ice box running at least an hour or two both morning and night, you will lose all your food.
?
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Why did you do that? The generator frame will be connected to ground when you connect the generator to your panel.
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wrote:

If the neutral at the generator is bonded to the generator frame, yes. Otherwise, no.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

My generator neutral is connected to the panel neutral (and hence to the ground) and my generator ground is connected to the panel ground. The neutral is not bonded at the generator. That is how it is supposed to be. If it is bonded you must be sure the neutral is not connected at the panel; as the neutral and ground can only be connected once..
Didn't we just have this discussion.
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tied
Call it "Belt & Suspenders."
I KNEW for a fact that my new ground was properly installed.

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Abe wrote:

I posted this in a similar thread in this ng about a week ago:
http://www.dol.net/~frank.logullo/generate.jpg
Power-Boss from HD is noisy but does the job. Hondas are said to be best but cost about twice as much. Colemans are cheaper but Honda dealer told me that parts are hard to find.
I can power furnace, refrigerator, freezer, well and a few lights and TV at the same time. Transfer box is necessary inless you want to drag a lot of cords around and have plugs for items, like furnace, that normally don't have plugs. Someone in thread mentioned that you can get a single whole house switch a lot cheaper than transfer box.
If you have natural gas, it is probably better to get a natural gas generator as you will avoid gasoline storage and need to stabilize and inventory gasoline. Full use of my generator takes 10 gal gasoline/day.
Frank
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So can I. But my generator uses 2 gallons of gas a day. (well, except for the well...)

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Toller wrote:

Peak load becomes important. Then you have to manage a smaller unit by taking things off line or making sure several things do not come on at once. My neighbor gets by with a generator half the size of mine but wishes he bought a bigger one.
Frank
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Nope, I run them all simultaneously, for days at a time. No problem with a Honda EU2000. When you can't buy gas during a power outage, you will envy your neighbor.
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Toller wrote:

Fortunately, living 65 miles from nearest coast, we don't get hurricanes that knock out everything, i.e. I've never seen the gas stations off line. We all know the gas lines in Florida were not for cars, but for generators.
Our problem is living off a valley with old tree lined roads and cut back in tree trimming by power company to save money. Plus the conglomerate company is in no rush to restore power. Day outage that prompted me to buy generator was when Atlantic City Electric came to restore service - two hour drive to get here. We have never had as many outages as in recent years and they last longer. Homeowners forced to buy generators.
Frank
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hey area outage means n more gasoline, florida gas stations have been forced to add generators so they can pump gas during a outage. state law. good move.
when terrorists hit gasoline will be like gold
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I had a drum pump with several pipe extensions and a foot valve to pump gasoline from the underground tanks at powerless gas stations. I didn't have it after hurricane Isabelle came through though because the first gas station I went to bought it from me for twice what it cost me to make up and provided my gasoline for free.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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In 91 I was without power for 12 days because of an ice storm. I had to drive 45 miles to buy gas. It happens, and when it does...
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