Generator

Joined
Dec 19, 2003
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2,301
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Chicago IL
Hope I'm in the right section. Shopping for a portable generator to provide power for a home during power outages. Sump pumps (3), refrigerator, ... Any models or specific items to include or avoid? Thx.
 
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Mar 14, 2003
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8,711
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Nothern USA
I have a Coleman 6250 Powermate. Very noisy. Investigate wiring it it. Expensive to be legal. Maybe more expensive not to be.
 
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Sep 23, 2008
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Ontario, Canada
Maybe overkill for just a backup generator but I have a Yamaha EF2800i, 51 db running and 57 db at full load, 20 hr run time on 2.5 gal @ 1/4 load average. 60 db is average conversation level. We used it building our house and were thinking about going off grid so we didn't get a cheap one. Now its just a back up but we've used it a couple times every year. Ian
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
125
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Ohio
Picked up a Harbor Freight 3500W generator a couple years ago. Not a bad little unit. Ran it once for four days continuous except for the oil change every 24 hours or so and for adding gas. Nice little generator with a Chonda motor on it. Fairly quiet compared to others. I've been happy with it. Has a voltage regulator that will output around 125V at 62Hz under light load and drops to 115-118V at 59-60Hz near full load. HF has it for $299 every once in a while. HF 3500W Generator
 Originally Posted By: ChiTDI
Hope I'm in the right section. Shopping for a portable generator to provide power for a home during power outages. Sump pumps (3), refrigerator, ... Any models or specific items to include or avoid? Thx.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,795
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ME
Are the sump pumps all 120V? What is the total amps of all of them, plus the fridge? Do you really need all sump pumps running? I have to guess yes; storms bring out the worst. Consider whether you want an inverter generator (like the excellent honda EU series, knockoffs abound) which will idle down under light load. Otherwise, a cheap generator will spin 3600 RPM to give the required 60Hz AC even under light electrical load... and that sounds obnoxious and adds wear. I got my in-laws a $200 4 cycle 2500 watt chinese special and it's really quiet and works well. Has a several gallon gas tank, low oil shutoff, nice for unattended use. They do make 2-stroke gennies for as little as $100 but they would be short-lived and obnoxiously buzzy. My own generator is a 1977 8 hp briggs tied to a mcculloch "mit-e-lite"... very heavy, very loud, somewhat finicky due to age and neglect. It does start every time though, in subzero temps with 30 weight oil...
 

ChiTDI

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Dec 19, 2003
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2,301
Location
Chicago IL
All pumps are 120v, two could run simultaneously and with the fridge kicking on the wattage needed would be right around 5k. I found a Briggs and Stratton w/5.5k for around $800 and I'm leaning that way. The Hondas are really nice, quiet, etc.; but for the infrequent use (hopefully) I don't think I'll spend the cash for them. Subaru had a nice one too.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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Dec 14, 2002
Messages
46,813
Location
New Jersey
honda gx or robin-subaru based. Nothing else is worth it, unless you have the potential to run with really low-grade, sub-par fuels for long periods of time - in which case a flathead B&S is the best choice! I have a 1700W Robin Subaru inverter generator, which puts out AC and DC... I love it, and it is super-quiet. I dont have sump pumps, but this is a good unit to run the refrigerator, freezer, and a few lights. My inlaws deal with a LOT of outages, as well as hurricane risk. Ga$oline generators were just too inefficient. They have kubota (IIRC) diesel gensets, and they love them!
 
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