Just want to make a NOTE, Here.....
With all the interest in Gensets that this thread has generated, it
would seem that a bit of Term Definition would be in order....
1. Prime Power Generator: A Generator that was designed and built to
provide power 24/7/365, for its life, with periodic Maintainance being
done at OEM prescribed intervals. Typically these turn 1800 Rpms OR Less
and usually are bigger than 5 Kw, and can be as big as 5000 Kw. Design
Lifetime is "Indefinant" with OEM Spec'd Periodic Rebuilds, usually in
the 10-20K Hour range for Topends and 20-40k Hour IN-Frames.
2. Standby Power Generator: Similar to Prime Power Generator but rated
to provide power 24/7 for anywhere from a few Hours, Days, or Weeks.
Again with periodic Maintainance being done at the OEM prescribed
intervals. Usually in the 5 Kw to 1000 Kw Range. Lifetime is
"Indefinant" with OEM Spec'd Periodic Rebuilds, usually in the 10-20K
Hour range for Topends and 20-40k Hour IN-Frames.
3. Contractor Grade Generator: These are much less robust than either
of the two above, but the are designed to provide power for 18/6 for
there operating life. Maybe 1800 Rpm, or 3600 Rpm, depending on their
Design Lifetime, and usually are rebuild-able which can extend their
useful life, out 3-5 times. Usually will have a Pressure Lubeoil system
and LubeOil Filter. Design Lifetimes, with OEM Spec'd Maintainance, in
the 10-20K Hour Range.
4. Consumer Grade Generator: These are typically what is found in
Hardware Stores, and Discount Houses. Mostly 3600 Rpm Units, and Splash
Lubed with No Oil Filter. Come is various quality Grades from "Superb",
all the way down to "Cheap Junk, even when New of the Shelf" Design
Lifetime, with OEM Periodic Maintainance, will vary from 500 Hours to
maybe 10K Hours, for one of the "Superb" Grade Units. Most of these type
units, are built in limited Factory Runs, with limited Parts
availability, and this severely limits there rebuild-ability, due to
lack of parts after just a few years.
From the discussions seen on this thread so far, we are not talking
about either of the first two categories, and mostly about Consumer
If one REALLY wants a GOOD Genset, then it will cost a lot more than
what Costco is charging, and basically the Old Adage, "You get what you
pay for", applies here. I have had a couple of Prime Power Generators
in the 20Kw Range, that were both in the 66K Hour Operational Range when
they were replaced, and that only happened because they were 20 years
old, and InFrame Parts were no longer available from the OEM in Japan.
Replacement costs were in the $6K range, and if you figure in how many
Contractor Grade Gensets one would have to buy to do the same job, they
were cheap, at twice the price. I also have a Fairbanks/Morse 45B/3Kw
that is over 60 years old, was last InFramed 5 years ago, and will not
need another, in my lifetime... It runs a neighbors operation, 16/7/180
each summer, and turns at 1200 Rpm. I sold a Lister 12 Kw last summer,
that came from a Mountaintop Telco Microwave Site, that had 120K
Operational Hours on it, with InFrames every 40K Hours. It had just 120
Hours on it after the last InFrame, and the only reason they replaced
it, was they added more load at the site, and had to put in a bigger
Genset. It went to a neighbor for $1.5KUS....
Bruce in alaska
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