OT: Generator Recommendation

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I am considering a generator for my home in case of power outages. Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to what I should or should not look for or have any recommendations on brands. I am looking for something in the 5KW range.
Thanks in advance.
Ronnie
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"shooter" wrote:

---------------------------------------- For emergency use, get a standard "Contractor's Generator".
10HP, 5 KW, skid mount.
5 gal of gasoline runs 8-10 nhours under full load.
Low cost, noisy, want to run it outside, and change the oil at least once a week. (SAE 30 non detergent).
Buy whatever Sam's, Costco, etc, is sellimg this week.
It's a throw away device.
BTDT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, keep the T-Shirt.
Lew
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Frankly, I'd get something like this:
http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Generac-Guardian-5882-Standby-Generator/p4792.html
scott
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Honda
http://www.envisupply.com/rentals/support/5KWGenerator.htm
nb
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On 8/30/2010 11:35 AM, notbob wrote:

I'll second the Honda. There was a thread on another newsgroup recently. Someone bought a cheap generator. A small probably inexpensive part broke on it. He cannot find a replacement part. The generator is useless. Your chance of finding replacement parts for a Honda are a lot better than the junk products.
Someone else suggested buying a cheap disposable generator. Fine, but what if it disposes itself when you need it the most. Not a good idea for a backup generator. Pay me now or pay me later. Later could hurt big time.
I built my own generator over twenty five years ago. The engine has a cast iron block and runs at about 2200 RPM, the generator runs at 1800 RPM. It's made to run for long periods of time and it has. I've run it for over ten hours a day for weeks on end, just needs gas and oil. I don't use it much anymore but it's still running, no doubt a 3600 RPM unit would have died long ago. You can get 1800 RPM generators but the are a lot pricier than the 3600 RPM versions. The disposable guy would probably fill his pants if he saw the price of one.
I haven't paid much attention to generators for quite a few years so I'm not sure about the quality of the power they generate these days. They used to come in two varieties. A sine wave generator that produced a clean sine wave that was safe to use on electronics and a dirty sine wave that could only be used for lights and electric motors. Mine is the second variety. It can't power electronics. It will probably fry them.
LdB
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My younger sister and her family lived in the NOLA area through several hurricanes. What they learned is that generators are nice, but if you need one for longer than a few days, there's one thing to consider: where will you get the fuel to keep it running? If *I* were doing this I would look at a natural gas generator, or conversion kit. Even when electricity goes out for extended periods of time, the gas is almost always on.
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wrote:

In our case, I could borrow gasoline from my pickup, which had a 36 gallon tank, as I recall. The pickup's bed had been modified to make it a dump bed, so when the fuel filler was being modified, I just tossed away the barrier that prevented siphoning. It was also a very convenient way to "bring home" mower gas when I needed to refill a tank.
Micahah
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Living in a dangerous place as I did once - we were out 17 days one time and then 11 the other - 11 for a massive earthquake. The 17 was a Pacific Storm.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Originator & Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
On 8/30/2010 2:14 PM, Micajah wrote:

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wrote:

My younger sister and her family lived in the NOLA area through several hurricanes. What they learned is that generators are nice, but if you need one for longer than a few days, there's one thing to consider: where will you get the fuel to keep it running? If *I* were doing this I would look at a natural gas generator, or conversion kit. Even when electricity goes out for extended periods of time, the gas is almost always on.
Having recently gone through Ike two years ago and being with out electricity for 11 days, finding gasoline was the least of my worries, it was every where. NOLA was a fluke and an ill prepared city.
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When there is a blanket power outage such as that, the service stations are SOL as well. I always keep my vehicles topped up unless I am on a long highway burn, then I'll let them get down below 1/4. Seldom below 1/2 in the city.
Google 1998 Quebec ice storm and see the kind of trouble you can get into up here. Sample:
http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/images/chap07_ice_storm_picture.jpg
Midwinter power outages can make a serious mess of your house if you're not prepared. One would be a fool not to have back-up propane, and generator power in these climes. No electricity, no furnace. No furnace, busted water pipes. (Leaving them running can be a bad idea when the drains freeze.)
Some more info: http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/weather/p/icestorm.htm THE most serious weather-related event in Canadian history.
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wrote:

When there is a blanket power outage such as that, the service stations are SOL as well. I always keep my vehicles topped up unless I am on a long highway burn, then I'll let them get down below 1/4. Seldom below 1/2 in the city.
Google 1998 Quebec ice storm and see the kind of trouble you can get into up here. Sample:
http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/images/chap07_ice_storm_picture.jpg
Midwinter power outages can make a serious mess of your house if you're not prepared. One would be a fool not to have back-up propane, and generator power in these climes. No electricity, no furnace. No furnace, busted water pipes. (Leaving them running can be a bad idea when the drains freeze.)
Some more info: http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/weather/p/icestorm.htm THE most serious weather-related event in Canadian history.
But uh, how many hurricanes do you have up there. ;~) I see the need, for winter up there, but gasoline in the south has been harder to get during the 70 and 80's gas shortages than in my previous 4 hurricanes... Gas stations have generators too, they will be down longer waiting for the employees to find they way back to work than they will be from power outages. These places generally get preferential service since they are not normallly in a secluded area. Oddly the middle of my neighborhood was more secluded than across the street. Neighboras behind us and across the street from us had electricity after 5 days. We listened to the friken generators for 6 days.
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Leon wrote:

When Hurricane Yikes hit Houston, FOUR MILLION people were without power for over two weeks! That included most every gas stations for 60 miles.
We had a generator and five gallons of gas. BFD!
Now, when a hurricane hits the Gulf, I've got 60 gallons of empty gas cans that are gonna get filled.
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On Mon, 30 Aug 2010 10:14:52 -0700 (PDT), lektric dan

Unless you're certain of having a source of fuel, gasoline should be your last fuel choice. A 5KW gas generator running at half load needs about 15 gallons every 24 hours. If you do selective power generation, you can easilly reduce the generator run time to less than 8 hours a day and even lower with some effort on your part. 30 gallons of gas could last 2 days or 6 days or 10 days - you need to work out what you absolutely must power (medical equipment, refrigeration for insulin, etc) and what isn't a necessity. An alternative for low power devices (CPAP, small fridge, etc) could be some big deep cycle batteries and an inverter. Charge the batteries while the generator is running bigger loads; shut off the generator when the big loads are no longer needed and run the essential items from the inverter until the batteries reach the half-charge point; restart the generator and recharge the batteries. (sounds almost lie a solar setup ;-)
The next fuel choice is diesel, as the fuel keeps for extended periods if properly sealed, and it's not nearly as dangerous to store as gasoline. Yes, you will pay more for an 1800 rpm diesel generator (you really don't want a 3600 rpm diesel) but it will probably last 20 years.
Better than diesel is LP or natural gas. You can store 500 or 1000 gallons of LP for years and it will still be "like new" when you need to use it. The biggest difference between LP and natural gas is that you KNOW the LP gas is available but you don't know if the natural gas supplier is still functional.
John
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Something with a Honda engine is an excellent choice. Last year my brother was in the market for a genset and asked the local repair guys what they'd buy for their own use. Hands down - Honda. They also said to avoid the Subaru Robin engine - it is a good engine but it's impossible for them to get any repair parts. Likewise chinese generators.
If you are considering rolling your own take a look what these guys did. http://utterpower.com/listeroi.htm http://www.otherpower.com/fuking.html Art
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Buy at least twice what you think you'll need. Do it once, do it right.
Steve
read about heart surgery and how to prepare for it at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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That's not always good advice. A large lightly loaded genset can consume more fuel per hour than a properly sized one driving the same load. Art
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.
But figure on 5 KW. Make sure you get 220 outlets. Not all of them do. Honda is a good choice, me thinks.
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shooter wrote:

Most generators sound like the hinges on the gates of hell. They are LOUD!
One nice thing about a Honda is that it is considerably less noisy than the rest. This enables you to more clearly hear all your neighbors' generators.
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On 8/30/2010 8:36 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Bub, I think you and I must have come off the same assembly line; some of our mental wiring is nearly identical. :-)
--
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
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I would still not hesitate to buy a Honda, but I read a blog somewhere about tricks to quiet noisy or quiet generators, even further.
This guy welded a short fitting for auto exhaust pipe over the outlet of the generator's muffler. He used a piece of flex pipe to hook up a muffler mounted on the side of the generator frame with rubber mounts; just a cheap car muffler. He said the mechanical noise of the valves and camshaft and pistons and rods going about their way could be heard more loudly than the exhaust note.
He then made up a box from the fiberglass board used to make furnace trunk lines, and arranged it so any noise escaping from the enclosure had to go around a couple corners to get out. By the time it had bounced off a couple pieces of fiberglass board, the sound was pretty much absorbed. He had a good sized box fan mounted to blow cool fresh air across the generator, so it didn't overheat. He said you could stand right next to it running at full load and carry on a conversation at normal volume levels.
Pretty neat ideas out there. I guess the key is to get a large enough generator to run the house air conditioning so the windows can stay shut so you don't hear all of the neighbor's generators. If a person had a super quiet setup, perhaps they could convince the neighbors to make a quite box for their generators. (with a little help, perhaps <g>)
--
Jim in NC



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