Generator suggestions?

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Oct 23, 2006
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Location
Illinois
Coming to the masters. I am looking to get a portable generator. Really haven’t had the need in our current house in the ten years we’ve been here, but want to be prepared.

Really would use it to power my kitchen fridge, charge electronics, maybe power a few small fans. Not going to run the ac and don’t want to go through the time and money to run a transfer panel or anything.

So, I’m looking for something to do that, all while not spending a ton of money. If I use it once every few years that might be a lot.

Looking forward to seeing your suggestions.
 
Not heard of a bad one in a while, even the Chinese Honda clones are pretty good from all I've read here.
One thing that's important is that it's an Inverter design for clean sine wave power output.
Plenty of info if you do a search on this board.
 
Coming to the masters. I am looking to get a portable generator. Really haven’t had the need in our current house in the ten years we’ve been here, but want to be prepared.

Really would use it to power my kitchen fridge, charge electronics, maybe power a few small fans. Not going to run the ac and don’t want to go through the time and money to run a transfer panel or anything.

So, I’m looking for something to do that, all while not spending a ton of money. If I use it once every few years that might be a lot.

Looking forward to seeing your suggestions.
Sounds like a 3500/4000 is what you had in mind ?
 
I have both Honda and Yamaha 2Ks and have a Yamaha 3000(with boost). Although all are good machines, all have hundreds of issue free hours on them, I prefer the Yamahas to the Hondas, unless you need that extra 200 watts the Honda 2K will provide over the Yamaha 2K(sometimes that is important).
Any of the 2K or 3K inverter gensets will do what you want and the eco modes, combined with the extended run time fueling kits(for the 2Ks) will let you run them all night if desired.
 
Champion generators offer the best bang for the bucks and have a wide service and parts network...unlike many of the generic Chinese Honda clones. Not as nice as a Honda or Yamaha unit, but less than half the price with 90% of the performance and reliability.

Champion 2500 Peak Wattage Inverter

Best current price is at BJ's Wholesale, but always available at Tractor Supply Company. This is capable of running a full size refrigerator, internet, TV, lights and fans. Not enough surge capacity to run a portable A/C unit. Champion generators are the favorite of the R/V camping crowd (read the reviews).
 
Get something used off facebook marketplace, clean the carb, use a stabilizer, run it out of gas, and you're all set.


Get a Kill-a-Watt meter (you can borrow from libraries) and see what the startup surge from your fridge actually is. People go off the nameplate amps, and over-buy generating capacity. The smaller your generator, the less your gas consumption and noise pollution will be.
 
We got a champion 5500w with electric start. It only has 21 hours on it so far but I'm extremely impressed with the build quality and how easy they made it to drain the fuel, or just the water that sits at the bottom. Oil changes are also really easy, it has a rubber flex hose attached to drain engine oil.
The only thing I don't like is how loud it is and how heavy it is (because of the electric starter and battery). The only upside to this option is if my wife or others need to start it....or if the recoil fails in the long run, then we have a backup. If it was just me I'd probably prefer less weight as it cannot be lifted single handedly into a truck.
 
So probably about 600-800 watts of draw and it's good to run them at no more than half load. So a 2000w would be the minimum. If you want it to always work i might just get a honda 2200i. The electronics of the cheaper no name brand inverter generators are kinda junk long term, short term with moderate usage they're ok, but stuff just breaks when it's only used once a year or less.

The predator from what i see is surprisingly reliable for not being a first tier brand and both parts availability and troubleshooting is great in comparison to its competition price and performance wise. I'd get the Honda if i was willing to spend and the predator as it's still gonna be good but don't wanna spend as much. They're a great value, you can buy another one 5 years later and still spend the same. I'm thinking about buying the predator this year but later when it's on sale to replace my old no name non inverter generator that's leaking oil and having other minor issues but still works fine.
 
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When we bought a portable a few years back, Homelight 5000W, we tried the extension cord method. What a pain in the neck, almost literally. Shortly thereafter, we had an electrician hook up an outside receptacle for the generator to power our breaker panel. We turn off a few breakers and unplug a second fridge, freezer, etc. but basically it powers the whole house as far as lighting and even the furnace. During Hurricane Sandy we had no power for 7 days straight and we got through it pretty good. We'd shut it down once in a while and at bedtime to let it cool down and rest. Actually felt a little guilty at night when every house on the block was dark with the faint flicker of candlelight and we were burning bright. The biggest problem we had during that time was finding gasoline but the generator performed flawlessly.
 
My son ordered a Duromax 12,000 Dual Fuel XP12000EH through Amazon. It was damaged in shipping. He attempted to send it back-exchange it but they sent a replacement unit and told him to dispose of the damaged one. He was using the best one yesterday due to a power outage and the generator died after 45 minutes of use. He will try the damaged one to see if it will run or cannilbalize parts from one to the other to get one operating. He called their tech line and was told that his 3 month old non-ethanol Stabil treated fuel is the problem. Overall I’m not impressed with this brand of generator or the support.
 
Honda 2200.
I have both Honda and Yamaha 2Ks and have a Yamaha 3000(with boost). Although all are good machines, all have hundreds of issue free hours on them, I prefer the Yamahas to the Hondas, unless you need that extra 200 watts the Honda 2K will provide over the Yamaha 2K(sometimes that is important).
Any of the 2K or 3K inverter gensets will do what you want and the eco modes, combined with the extended run time fueling kits(for the 2Ks) will let you run them all night if desired.
I’d normally recommend the Honda 2200 inverter, but looked up Yamaha just because.

This seems like a good buy assuming it’s not a scam. The Honda equivalent is $1000 more. https://theeverythingsdepot.com/pro...MI1vT0yt_BgwMVqdTCBB23vAQbEAQYASABEgLFevD_BwE
 
Honda 2200.

I’d normally recommend the Honda 2200 inverter, but looked up Yamaha just because.

This seems like a good buy assuming it’s not a scam. The Honda equivalent is $1000 more. https://theeverythingsdepot.com/product/yamaha-ef2800i-2800-watt-inverter-generator/?variant=15162&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google Shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1vT0yt_BgwMVqdTCBB23vAQbEAQYASABEgLFevD_BwE
I think that site is a scam.

I think Yamaha dropped the 2800 from their line up when they started making a 2200W one. I have the older 2K ones(which are actually 1600W), then I have a 3000ISEB(can use the onboard battery to boost for starting loads).
 

I have the slightly larger version of this to power our camper as well as the baby 1000-watt version that I've had for years which we used to take to softball tournaments.

Both have been solid and priced right.
 
I searched around the web forever a couple years ago before buying mine - RV sites, power tool sites, etc. My conclusion - if you need it every day buy a Honda or Yamaha. If not, Champion is the next best, followed by WEN. After that - its inconsistent by model - some say brand X was great, some say the same brand failed twice in warranty?

I ended up getting a WEN because they were so much cheaper at the time, otherwise I would have bought a Champion. Been happy with it. I have ordered a bunch of spare parts to have around - directly from WEN. No next day delivery after a hurricane LOL.

I was going to get a suitcase type, but after measuring the surge current on all my loads using a rigged up extension cord with individual conductors and a clamp on meter, I found my furnace on startup surges up to 17A on fan start, while it uses less than 6A to run. So I went up to a small 212cc open frame. The suitcase might have done it, but the open frame definitely will, and was about the same price.
 
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