Inverter generator Do I need that?

I'm considering buying a generator. Just a portable that would keep the refrigerator going, maybe the TV or internet. Nothing of higher power demand and only for a few hours a day if power goes out after a hurricane. AFAIK, this is not a really bad area for that and out lines are underground so that help. But stuff happens. I'm in Florida now and they do get hurricanes.
The inverters run a couple of hundred more from what I've seen. I'd like to keep it down to less than $1k. I'm thinking 2,000 to 3000 watts should handle my needs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/19 7:09 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Thing I wonder about is you need to keep enough gas on hand to run the thing, possibly for a good while.
The gas gotta stay fresh- and storing a lot of it isn't safe. I know there are stabilizers you can add to help keep fresh- but I wonder how well they actually work- and how long they last.
If you don't have a supply of gas stored and the problem/outage is widespread, local gas stations won't be able to pump gas and/or you may not be able to drive to one due to road conditions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/19 6:22 PM, Wade Garrett wrote:

Dual fuel might not be a bad idea.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/2019 7:22 PM, Wade Garrett wrote:

My stabilized gas will last over 2 years. If can is not sealed or gas exposed at length to air the stabilizer will not last as long.
It is a pain to store gas but if I had natural gas service I would run the generator on that.
When I got my generator I put in a transfer panel to handle circuits I needed like the well, furnace, refrigerator and freezer. I believe they have smart systems today that can handle the whole house as long as everything is not on at once so they manage it as such.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/2019 8:09 PM, Frank wrote:

I do have natural gas but I've not seen any small generators that use it. Well, one, but it had terrible reviews. I have a gas line on the lanai for the grill so it would be easy to use a connector for a generator.
I'd keep minimal gas on hand for the occasional outage but for a big storm, there is enough notice to stock up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/2019 9:15 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I don't know anything about those that use natural gas but do know a guy that has one but his whole house is connected and it is a big house.
Might also mention that mine is pretty noisy and if I bought another would look for something quieter.
Someone told me that if you want to save money you go to the store after a big storm and get a returned generator.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/25/19 6:24 AM, Frank wrote:
[snip]

Here, 2000 would have been a good year to buy a generator. There were a lot of never-used "used" ones around after Y2K.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/25/2019 3:08 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

You are right about that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/19 8:15 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
[snip]

I've seen a few. IIRC, most can be converted for natural gas or propane. However, I don't know about installing this on a inverter generator. A small generator (3kw?) can use a 20 pound propane tank. Larger ones can take 2 or more tanks (or a larger tank).

--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

My 7kw will freeze a single 20 lb tank at full load on a cold day - I run it on 2 - plan to run on NG if a long outage and I run out of both gasoline and propane.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/19 7:09 PM, Frank wrote:
[snip]

If it runs on natural gas, it should run on propane as well. You can store that much longer than you can gasoline.
[snip]
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The problem in the long term is not having the gasoline in the ground. The generator law is more about evacuation, not living after the storm. Going into a storm I make sure I have 50 gallons of gas in cans and that the boat and all of the cars/trucks are full. I also have a 125 gallon propane tank I keep full. That 50 gallons of gas and 125 gallons of propane is still less than 2 weeks on a 5.5 KW generator. After Irma gas stations were coming back online in about 5-6 days and we had a direct hit that pretty much when straight up I-75.
For the OP. the advantage of the inverter is if you really do have a modest load, the generator can throttle down to handle the actual load and not have to turn 3600 RPM no matter what the load is. With light loads, gasoline lasts a lot longer. I was burning 0.5 GPH gasoline and 0.8 GPH on Propane. with my old school generator. Inverter guys were bragging about a couple gallons a day with their 2kw Honda..
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Everyone has different needs - if I could get by on 110 v 3000 watts - I certainly have an inverter generator. I need 230 volts and about 5 kw and I haven't yet stumbled across one that I can afford - so I'll hang in there with my 20 year old Honda EM5000 ... .. not sure if the inverter output wave-form has any affect on electronics ? John T.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[snip]

It's also a lot quieter at low speed. I knew someone who bought a Honda (EU2000i IIRC), usually just to run a couple of fans. It was hard to hear it running 40 feet away.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

ANd there is a difference between inverter and non-inverter in that respect??? Don't think so.
My non-inverter unit runs on gasoline, propane, or natural gas. You can get tri-fuelinverter units too.
contact these guys:
https://www.motorsnorkel.com/generators.html
They handle Yamaha inverter units that run on tri-fuel. They alsomade the conversion kit that's on my Champion.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is best to rotate the gas out. I quit using the gas that has ethanol in it. That sutff is death on small engines if left in the tank very long. Using the ethanol free stuff and I do add the Stabil to it, I have keptit for about 4 to 5 months in sealed gas cans over the winter. No problems. My mowing season stops from about the last of Novermber to around March. The ethanol free wwith the stabil in it is fine. If it was the ethanol stuff I would have to clean out the carborator. Have had to do that several times for being lazy.
As I mow for about half the year, I have 3 of the 5 gallon cans and a 2 gallon can. When I get two of the 5 gallon cans empty, I fill them. It usually takes me about 1 1/2 gallons per week to mow the yard. Over the winter I do try to have at least 2 full cans. We usually just have mild winters, but some have been without power for a week or more. That seldom hapens. I have only been out for about 2 days one time and a day the other. I have been without for 3 or 4 hours a few times.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/24/19 10:06 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
[snip]

I keep gas for no more than a year, then use it in my car (mixed with fresh gas).

Also, I've been stopping the generator by shutting off the fuel (with no electrical load) so it stops within 2 minutes when it uses up the fuel in the carb.

Here, no mowing from around Thanksgiving until April (March is a time to let the wildflowers bloom).

About like that here, although there have been a couple of 5-day outages. Usually they're in good weather (no air conditioning needed). Once it did get how, but a small window AC was enough and the small generator was enough.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

An inverter generator can be a lot quieter than a regular one because it does not need to run at full speed under light load. Don't know about in Florida, but up here you don't get a decent inverter unit for under a grand. For your use you don't NEED an inverter unit - but they sure are nice for camping etc where you want things quiet. GOOD inverters are also better for sensitive electronics.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:16:17 PM UTC-4, Clare Snyder wrote:

In addition to running quieter most of the time, an inverter one should use less fuel too. But they are more expensive and have more electronics that can fail too. I'd probably go with a regular type, but the noise factor is worth considering. That also depends on how close you are to neighbors, if you care, what they have, etc.
Since Ed has nat gas available, I would get one that will run on that. There are companies that sell conversion kits for the common engines, ones that will make it tri-fuel, so it will run on gas, nat gas or propane and you can even switch back and forth. That way if you want to take it elsewhere and run it on gasoline, you can. For ~$1000 should be able to get a 5KW gen and conversion kit.
I would also do it right, get an Interlockit or better yet similar from the maker of your panel, if available and an inlet. That way you can very easily connect the generator when needed and power anything in the house you choose, without cords and all that goes with that. 5KW should be fine for typical house, as long as you don't expect to run big loads like AC, electric ovens, WH, etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 25 May 2019 05:54:39 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

More like $100. I got mine from US Carburetion and it was a tad over $100. Installing it is easy. You remove the carb, swap out the studs for longer ones, put the venturi plate in for the gas, replace the carb and mount the regulator. I probably spent close top an hour doing it but I could do another one in 15 minutes now that I understand what needs to be done. The kits for the little inverters mount the regulator remotely since there is no good place to put it on the generator. There are actually 2 regulators, the demand regulator for the engine itself and another one on the supply line to get the input pressure right but you might not need that one on a natural gas setup. I actually bought 2 of them for propane. One is on the big built in tank line and I have another one so I can run off a 20# portable tank. All in I was closer to $200 with all of the extra regulators and hoses. It is handy to have the portable capability tho if I want to use the generator away from the house and still not screw with gasoline. Once you use propane, you will wonder why you ever messed with gas. It starts easier and you do not need to worry about getting every last drop of gas out of the system when you put it away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.