How about spending the money on a modern solar array on
your roof. You'll never have to depend 100% on the energy company
anymore, in addition the extra juice gets put into the electrical grid
that can make you money!
Missed the "Pacific NW" part, didja? :-)
On a more serious note, though, a generator is a *lot* cheaper than a solar
array with an equivalent output. And a generator works in cloudy weather,
and at night.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
We lived off of ours for 2 weeks (Honda 3500). A freak storm domino-ed
the power poles on our street, for like 2 miles and even with crews
working around the clock it took a long time to get power back. One
thing to keep in mind is feeding it, it easily used 5 gal of gas per
day, probably more, likely I am understating this. The power company
had crews fueling everyones generator, at no cost, around the clock,
you might not be so fortunate. If I was buying again it would be
diesel, much better run time per tank. It was around memorial day, so
no heating was needed or A/C for that matter. I was able to run 2 full
sized double door refrigerators, a chest freezer, a few lights a couple
of box fans, and occasionally we booted up the computer to check email
and just get an internet fix. I would power down a refrigerator or 2
for that. We just used extension cords for all that, but a hard wire is
possible, you just need a way to insure the main is off to be legal not
to mention safe. The power company collected all the meters, so I could
have hard wired, but I took that as an opportunity to upgrade my main
panel to 200 amp.
You're much better off to run the furnace (typically about 800
watts) than a couple space heaters (1500 watts each). The furnace
heats the entire house, the space heaters maybe a room, if you're
lucky. Gasoline will be unavailable until the power comes back.
The furnace will also use less gas than the space heater. An
electrician, or a HVAC guy can show you how to wire a generator
into the furnace. Just needs an electrical cord cut off something
or other, a screw driver, and a couple wire nuts.
Any brand of generator will work several dozen times. Honda has a
reputation of being the quietest, and longest lasting and most
dependable. If you're comfortable with mixing gas and oil, you
can get a small two cycle generator off Ebay for about $150 or
so. I bought an ETQ, and it runs a 700 watt toaster with no
problem at all. That was my test, for the generator. See if I
could run a toaster. Should run a furnace.
My Dad's Coleman 5,000 watt is noisy enough to need ear plugs if
you're standing next to it for more than a minute or two. The
ETQ, I could tell it was running, but it really amazed me how
quiet. Hondas also tend to be very very quiet.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
I would recommend either getting the Generac Quietpact 55-G (5500W) or
the Honda EU3000is (2800W). The Generac is actually built for RV use,
but is relatively quiet and should work well for emergency home use
also. Both of them cost about $2000.00. I have the Honda EU3000is and
I'm very happy with it.
If you don't care about noise and you don't want to spend that much
money then I would buy something like the Generac 5550 WheelHouse
There is this rather good webpage about generators ....
by a guy called Steve Dunlop which may be useful. I considered a Honda
Generator but in the end ended up with a bigger Onan one.
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