Interesting assortment of answers...
First determine the absolutely smallest amount of amperage you can live
with; remembering that motors take a lot to start up. If you don't have an
ampmeter, you will need some help with this. It is important because gas
can be hard to find in an outage.
I only needed 16a, but many people with sump or well pumps need much more.
Second, determine your budget. The more expensive ones are quieter, use
less gas, and are more dependable. They are also less likely to damage your
First Gary learn what you are talking about before giving crap
Anyone following your lead will have screwed up equipment costing more
to fix then the gen itself.
First no gen can be converted for 100- 150. an exageration.
Second alot of cheap gens damage equipment because of over and
undervoltage. Even read Colemans Maintenance manual the one you read
AFTER you buy the machine and need it . It says if you bought a Coleman
Unregulated and want to power a TV ,Computer, or any thing with
sensitive electronics GO BY a Voltage Stabiliser. Now those usualy cost
more than 3x an upgrade price. Even Refrigerators and most new Furnaces
have such electronics. Learn about generators before you post more
www.nooutage.com Lotta Generator info
Pretty good advice, and a generator doesn't have to run everything at
once. Refrigerators will hold for hours with no power, and chest type
freezers will hold for a day or more. I bought a B&S powered 4400/5000
watt no-name generator that will just run my water heater if everything
else is turned off. After heating a tank of water, we can turn off the
water heater and kick on the well pump to take a shower. The rest of
the time, the generator loafs along running a refrigerator, freezer, a
few lights, the satellite dish and computer. At the most, it runs for
about 4 hours in the evening and an hour in the morning. We have wood
heat available, and an Aladdin lamp for reading.
I bought it in 1998, and we have had one extended power outage since
then. When not in use, I run the gas tank empty, fog the cylinder, fill
it with clean oil, bag the exhaust and intake so the bugs don't get in,
and store it in its original shipping container in a dry location. So
far, it has about 35 hours on it. At this rate, it should last another
50 years. It really is an emergency generator. When the power goes
out, I don't bother to uncrate it until the outage extends into the next
Oh yeah, I paid $279 for it, back before the Y2K panic and all that
inflation that never happened.
The quiet Honda sounds like a good idea, in that you could use it during
the summer to run a light, stereo, cooler at a party, the beach, or
something like that.
This would go a long way towards the problem of it not being ready due
You could also use it to power electrical lawn appliances, like weed
wacker, chain saw, etc. Then you have only one engine to keep running,
and can use shorter cords.
Honda or "Honda powered"[+] generators are heavily prefered by
contractors and other people who use portable units on jobsites
etc. just about everywhere. Things like Colemans are light duty
and not really suitable for long-term use.
Hondas are commercial-duty.
Kohler-powered and commercial-rated Onans are also highly thought
of by professionals.
[+] Powered with Honda motors, but the generator/whole unit
is manufactured/assembled by someone else. Northern may still
assemble their own "line" of generators, for example, using
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
No one has even mentioned Generac. I know very little about the subject,
but have been told they're excellent.
I'll vouch for the Onan units. My old emergency services unit had a
"portable" one in a truck and a big diesel unit in the station. If
there's oil in the crankcase (and of course fuel), it works perfectly.
Spammers are people who are too lazy and cowardly to rob liquor stores, but
still want to make money by stealing instead of working.
Minnie; Insufficient information to advise.
First you have to decide 'what' protection during a power outage you need
and also how long you expect the outage to be.
1) At one extreme you may have a situation where power is out for a couple
of hours during cold or hot weather and provided you don't open the door of
the freezer and minimize how often you open the fridge etc. it probably
requires no generator at all. Unless of course you have medical equipment
that must be kept going? Except in the most extreme climates, such as
Northern Canada you can usually bundle up in extra clothing, crawl into a
sleeping bag with a bottle of hot water heated on your emergency camp
stove/heater and wait for the power to come back.
2) At another extreme you may have an elderly relative who requires
essential equipment for life support. And/or several freezers of food that
must not spoil etc.
Type 1 can probably be handled by a fairly cheap AC generator into which the
freezer can temporarily be plugged via an extension cord if the outage
persist for any length of time, to avoid food spoilage.Total cost probably
well under $1000. Such a generator will be fairly lightweight and can be
also be used for camping or with an RV etc. It won't have much spare
capacity to operate much else other than the starting/stopping of the
freezer. Sometimes noisy.
For example; we have a well used 2000 watt unit, that a 70 year old male can
just manhandle, but rarely use it because outages are rare and of short
One daughter has a small 'Honda type' generator which can, if necessary,
just barely manage to operate her freezer. Normally stored with their
camping equipment it is light enough for her to handle. hook up an extension
cord and start if absolutely necessary to avoid food spoilage; by
alternating plugging in her freezer and fridge she was able to prevent food
spoilage during one fairly long 18 hour outage. But if the weather is cold
you can put some refrigerated items outside in the cold anyway!
Type 2. This requirement can range all the way up to a permanent diesel
electric automatic start installation costing many thousands of dollars.
Probably $20,000 to $100,000 for a permanently housed unit with the correct
fuel storage and fire protection equipment?
This is the kind of system that might be required to keep medical freezers,
laboratory equipment etc. operating. Also might be installed in extremely
luxurious homes where the local commercial supply is unreliable and the
wealthy owners/occupants/renters want to keep everything operating including
the swimming pool and all kitchen equipment, regardless! Some of the more
expensive RVs and boats have such electric generators. My sail boat doesn't!
If, for example it is matter of having enough energy to heat some baby food
during an emergency, a small camp stove or even the use of a barbecue
(outside of course) will suffice.
So it's all a matter of what you consider you need a 'good' generator to
The engine is more important than the make of the generator. Neither of
these are quiet.
Personally I would not own either. Gas engines tend to be more of a problem
than a diesel. Gas and diesel both go bad over time.
Try this link for some other choices.
Check out the propane powered generator on the first page, small in output
but pretty good idea.
The quietest generators on the market are Honda, and Yamaha. IMO
You do not just add a larger muffler to the small engines, it will hurt the
Build your own. You will need:
2. Auto alternator
3. Pully and belt.
4. Wire and connectors.
Here's some ideas:
This has been a great discussion thread. It got me planning ahead for
my next house (the local utility here is so reliable I don't think I
need a generator now.) With proper planning when you lay out your
breaker box, you could put all the lighting circuits, the furnace
(assuming it's gas or oil,) one kitchen circuit, the freezer, and a few
convienience outlets scattered throughout the house could all be on the
same leg, and you could run all this stuff with a little 120V generator
backfed into the main panel. Or put all of these circuits in a transfer
panel or a subpanel wired for 120V right next to the main breaker box.
Honda makes a cute little 2kW generator with a built-in inverter to
provide regulated output. Costs about $800, and small enough to
actually carry it around with you and use it occasionally. 2kW is
enough to make a big difference in an emergency, although you probably
would not want to permanently disconnect from the power grid with a
light-duty generator that small.
That Cute little red 2k watt generator is the toughest, most clean
power [ 1.2v] variance , Quitest , you cant hear it ar 25ft ,
Reliabe , Portable , Lightweight , little unit made.
U haul rents them we abuse them. A great machine and all you need if
you plan your house and have all modern low consumption apliances.
It weighs 46.3 lbs and is rated at 59 db, Normal speach is 60 db ,
thats quiet. the EU 3000 is rated at 58 db, inside of a car at 50 mph
is rated apx 80 db . Its Sine wave is equal to or better than utility
power, its also extremely efficient with a patented variable throttle-
rpm. based on power need. It costs alot more than a junk coleman but
will run and run and wont blow a Computer, Tv , Microwave , Furnace
with a circuit board or any sensitive circuited apliance as an
unregulated unit will. The 3000 is also great and more home apropriate
with its added power.
The 2000 can run up to 15 hrs on 1.1 Gallon of gas.
The Eu 3000 can run up to 20 hrs on 3.4 gallons gas.
Soon there will be a Eu 5000 out, But their other units still beat most
of the competition as well. The junk non OHV coleman may last 250- 350
hrs, the Hondas will go 3000 hrs. You get what you pay for and Honda
has a real Home Owner winner.
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.