generators, esp. Aldi & B&Q

Hi,
I have thought about buying a generator to keep the boiler going if the power goes out; especially at this time of year. I can't remember when the power last did go out, so it's probably a boys and their toys thing rather than a definite need! So I can't really justify spending more on a bigger or inverter generator.
Earlier this year Aldi sold a 2-stroke model http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/offers/58_8781.htm
I've searched the old posts here and they say that all 2 stroke machines are the same; it's just the colour of the paint that is different. I've looked at other 2 strokes and it is true: the do look the same. So what is puzzling me is why does the Aldi description say it runs for ten hours, whereas other sellers of 2 stroke generators only quote four hours or so?
Whilst in B&Q today I saw some pro power (IIRC, could be wrong though) generators. I didn't see the price of the 2 stroke but there was a four stroke about 110GBP. I think it was rated 1kW. I wonder whether that would be more useful as it could run more things? I think it said it would last for eight hours but I don't know how big the fuel tank was: it may have run as long as the Aldi model but it may have used twice as much fuel in the process.
Are these run times based on minimum load? Do they use more fuel when under heavy load? I read post saying that the 2 strokes run rough if not loaded. Are 4 strokes better in this regard: do they adjust according to load?
Does anyone know the B&Q model I am talking about and is it any good? I cannot find it on the diy.com web site.
There seems to be some controversy over which needs more maintenance: 2 or 4 stroke?
TIA
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On Tue, 29 Dec 2009 19:22:57 +0000, Fred wrote:

There doesn't appear to be a standard load for runtimes on generators. 1/2 load is common though. The two main variables for runtime are the load and the size of the fuel tank. A very rough guide for small (2kVA) 4 stroke generators seems to be about 1l per hr per kw of load .

Er, the energy has to come from somewhere, the only place is the fuel.

Most sets like a load if the power is off you'll probably be wanting some light a 100W or so of tungsten will provide a suitable "base load" for the genny, to stop it hunting.

They throttle up and down automagically to keep the engine revs constant(ish) thus the frequency of their output constant(ish). With small cheap genset there will be dips in voltage and frequency when loads are applied and spikes when loads are removed.

Six of one half a dozen of the other. 4 strokes have a sump with oil etc that needs changing after n hours of operation, normally easy to start, weigh a bit. 2 stokes need oil mixed with the fuel and can be hard to start (you need to get to know your 2 stroke), lightweight.
For your use to keep the CH running, possibly the fridge or freezers and a light or two one of the small 750W 2 stroke jobbies will suffice. They are small and light. Mix the oil with fuel just before you fill the tank then run it until it runs out of fuel or drain the tank afterwards. Don't leave the fuel/oil mix in the tank or the chances are the fuel will evaporate and leave deposits in the carb that will make starting and some times running difficult.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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but dont hotwire it into the mains, have extension leads ready. And dont run it indoors - Carbon monoxide etc.
[g]
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On Tue, 29 Dec 2009 21:25:21 +0000, george [dicegeorge] wrote:

JOOI, what's the legal hard-wiring solution in the UK for residential use? You can buy transfer switches off the shelf this side of the Pond that ensure no back-feeding into the domestic AC can occur, and the more expensive switches will flip from domestic to generator (and/or start the genny if it has a starter) if the power fails.
From what I remember in the UK though it's a lot harder to DIY wiring legally. I don't think I've ever known anyone in a residential setting who has one; I've seen a few commercial setups, but they're doubtless a bit fanicer and more 'industrial' than something for the home...
cheers
Jules
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Jules has brought this to us :

There is very little that the average DIYer is still permitted to do officially with the home electrics, due to Part P.
--
Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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wibbled on Tuesday 29 December 2009 21:46

... without notifying Building Control.
In the general case, you can DIY build an entire house from scratch (people do occasionally).
Although I think the councils would be better off collecting my rubbish properly and gritting the roads and pavements instead of buggering about in these areas, it is still one up on Oz, amongst others places, where there is no route to DIY electrical installations.
--
Tim Watts

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On Tue, 29 Dec 2009 15:41:30 -0600, Jules wrote:

Legally pretty difficult as it would no doubt require "new circuits" which only recognised sparkies can install.

The Briggs & Stratten switch is available over here. It's not so much the power side that is the real problem but the fault protection and provision of a reliable low impedance earth. Under grid power fail conditions you can not rely on the any of the supply to be what it is supposed to be, earth included.
The easy solution is to fit an RCD at the generator, bond one of the generator phases to the generator chassis and earth pin of the output connector(s) *before* the RCD, and run everything from extension leads not using the house wiring at all.

Not many people have generators, the grid power supply is pretty reliable on the whole.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On 29 Dec 2009, 22:49, "Dave Liquorice" wrote:

... unless done under a Building Regs application

Also AIUI you're supposed to have some means of load shedding so the generator isn't overloaded.
Owain
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On Fri, 1 Jan 2010 13:47:15 -0800 (PST), Owain wrote:

Automatic load shedding or manual? The change over switch goes before a CU so the MCBs in the CU can be used to shed load... Not that I have heard of that requirement either. The generator will have it's own overload protection anyway.
--
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Dave.




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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember "Dave Liquorice"

Smoke release, as it's known.
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On Sun, 03 Jan 2010 01:51:29 +0000, Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

B-) Mine has a blue, rather than red, handled DP isolator. I think that is also overload but I ought to check sometime. There is certainly a fuse but that might be on the 12v out.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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On Tue, 29 Dec 2009 20:25:08 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

Do you think Aldi's ten hour claim is based on no load because looking at the photo, it doesn't seem any different to all the other 2 strokes that only last half that time.
I've also read that you should allow them to cool before refueling. I can understand not wanting to spill petrol on a hot engine but it must be inconvenient to have to have the lights go off for an hour whilst the engine cools down. How does refueling work in practice?
TIA
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<http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/asd/air5402/images/A330%20MRTT%20refuellin g%20A330%20MRTT_lg.jpg>
--
geoff

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Plant auction, S/H 2kW, four-stroke, Honda engine
Although it now seems that even Honda have abandoned spares support for older engines 8-(
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wrote:

If you could point me towards such an auction I would be very grateful :-) Not had much luck locating second hand Honda generators. They are one of the better options for use with motor homes. The cheap ones without the advanced electrickery are not suitable for plugging into an expensive set of electrics.
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Local copy of Farmer's Guardian and check the ads. Many market-town auctioneers hold one for "bring and buy" every month or so at the same location, then there are the farm sales themselves.
These tend to be "site" generators though: tough, but noisy. OK for blackouts, but not so much for holidaying.
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember Andy Dingley

And beware of the pikeys selling Chinese 'Honda' lookalikes that claim to be 5kVA but are actually 3.5kVA, complete with Honda badges and everything else.
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I'd watch out for anyone with an oirish accent over there, if I was you
--
geoff

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