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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 04-03-2013, 7:59 AM
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Default School me on generators plz.

What is a good wattage that will power common household items during a natural disaster event? I'm not talking about zombie outbreak or alien invasion, just a big earthquake that would likely take out power. I was looking at the portable ones from Home Depot. 7,500 5,000 Or 2500 watt. I'm not limited to these but cash is a factor. Something under 1k. Thx

Last edited by weber_2; 04-03-2013 at 8:01 AM..
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2013, 8:12 AM
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Honda EU2000i, it will power refrigeration and charge batteries while sipping fuel and can be adapted to tri-fuel. Propane does not need to be rotated like gasoline and safer to store.
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Old 04-03-2013, 8:24 AM
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^^^ This...for around $1K, these are incredible generators. If you can afford a little more, I have the 3000i version in my race trailer that has on occasion powered three pits at the races at the same time. It's 14 years old and going strong. I also use it to power my house during power outages. I went through three Onans the 8 years prior to buying the Honda.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:05 AM
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Around 8 years ago I was able to buy a reconditioned 6000 watt from Home Depot they had for $475, was like new. I like having the 220v and plenty of power.

Sure they suck the gas but you can also run your neighbors refers Have them kick in some fuel. Oh and turn the TV and washer on, wifey will love you. Nothing wrong with a Briggs motor, they are proven. You don't need to run them full time for the refer, just don't let the kids open the door every 10 minutes, they will stay cold running a few hours a day. You're probably looking at 1/2 gallon per hour.
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Old 04-03-2013, 1:29 PM
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I m cheap and HF is working fine. Little loud but disaster doesn't really matter.
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Old 04-03-2013, 1:39 PM
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Here's a calculator to give you some ideas of wattage needs:

http://www.briggsandstratton.com/gen...s-101/wattage/
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Old 04-03-2013, 3:25 PM
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Something around 5000watt w/240v output if you want to back feed your panel.
You can use most of your appliances and will be livin large. Honda EU2000 if you just want to have some convenience outlets and keep your fridge cold.
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Old 04-04-2013, 1:26 PM
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OK, there are basically two kinds of generators, cheap-arse Chinese crap that are LOUD and reliable for a short time---but cheap. Then there are generators from Honda or Yamaha---cost more---much less noise---reliable for the long run---will WORK when you need 'em---you choose!
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Old 04-04-2013, 1:32 PM
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How hard is it or is it possible to have a generator plug directly into a household current panel and power your home like normal in the case of a power outage?

In other words, instead having to plug in all your appliances is there a way to direct reverse plug into your homes electrical panel?

Triple
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Old 04-04-2013, 1:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleThreat View Post
How hard is it or is it possible to have a generator plug directly into a household current panel and power your home like normal in the case of a power outage?

In other words, instead having to plug in all your appliances is there a way to direct reverse plug into your homes electrical panel?

Triple
This can be legally/safely done with a Transfer Switch
https://www.google.com/search?q=gene...ransfer+switch
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2013, 2:23 PM
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Default I have 2 generators and an 1800 Watt Inverter

I run my small house at night on the inverter, it makes zero noise and runs my interior lights, entertainment center and refrig/freezer. It will run this all for days.

I run my 3600 Watt generator during the day to run larger stuff and recharge the batteries. It has 220 VAC with 14.5 Amps per 120 leg. I can run almost everything, less my spa, microwave and pool. It sips gas but is a little loud.

I also have a 9000 Watt generator that allows me to run the entire house to include the toaster and microwave.

I do not run the AC, spa or pool on the EG. I lock out the breakers.

If purchasing a large generator keep in mind fuel consumption. They drink fuel.
Some folks up here run them off their 250 gallon propane tanks. Again they suck fuel but you don't have to worry about handling gas or spoilage.

I like quiet, so I run the little genny mostly and have a dog house I built for it.

If the power goes off like it does I shut off my 28 IR outside lights and other non neccesary circuits.

I heat with wood and cook with Propane so I do not need a large genny.

Small is better, IMO. You cannot go wrong with the 3 Honda EU series. You need to ID your load, add 10% and buy that sized genny.
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Old 04-04-2013, 2:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin63 View Post
^^^ This...for around $1K, these are incredible generators. If you can afford a little more, I have the 3000i version in my race trailer that has on occasion powered three pits at the races at the same time. It's 14 years old and going strong. I also use it to power my house during power outages. I went through three Onans the 8 years prior to buying the Honda.
Sorry but the Honda's in many respects are a waste of money unless you use it on a regular basis for camping, etc. I can see the use case you're talking about with the race trailer, etc...but that comes with a $2000 price tag. The 3,200 watt genny from harbor freight will run you $289 with the coupon and can be converted to run on Propane/CNG for around $200 http://www.pngtechnologies.com/Gener...sion-Kits.html

Yes, this generator is much louder, its made in China and comes from Harbor Freight...but I also race and have used mine in the pits for 3 years without issues, I don't treat the gas and it sits for months sometimes without running and starts right up without issue. In normal day to day use, if it did break down I could buy 6 for the same price as the Honda...but its simple to work on and has been stone cold reliable so I wouldn't worry about using it during an emergency, etc (plenty of Honda's end up in repair shops as well).

Consider what you want to use the Generator for, where you plan to use it and then decide how much you're willing to spend. If you want to drop 2k on one, get the Honda and don't look back. If your budget isnt there buy two of the Harbor Freight genny's and leave one in the box in case the other one craps out
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2013, 2:46 PM
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Default Yep, x2

Both mine are Champions made in you know where. But they start, run 120VAC at 61HZ, so WTF.

I bought my 3600w Champion for $300 and it included a $100 rebate. So for $200 I have a 3600W EG. Loud but I built a dog house for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeon2whls View Post
Sorry but the Honda's in many respects are a waste of money unless you use it on a regular basis for camping, etc. I can see the use case you're talking about with the race trailer, etc...but that comes with a $2000 price tag. The 3,200 watt genny from harbor freight will run you $289 with the coupon and can be converted to run on Propane/CNG for around $200 http://www.pngtechnologies.com/Gener...sion-Kits.html

Yes, this generator is much louder, its made in China and comes from Harbor Freight...but I also race and have used mine in the pits for 3 years without issues, I don't treat the gas and it sits for months sometimes without running and starts right up without issue. In normal day to day use, if it did break down I could buy 6 for the same price as the Honda...but its simple to work on and has been stone cold reliable so I wouldn't worry about using it during an emergency, etc (plenty of Honda's end up in repair shops as well).

Consider what you want to use the Generator for, where you plan to use it and then decide how much you're willing to spend. If you want to drop 2k on one, get the Honda and don't look back. If your budget isnt there buy two of the Harbor Freight genny's and leave one in the box in case the other one craps out
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2013, 3:17 PM
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Also invest in some 10 gauge extension cords. One big problem is that the longer you need the power to travel, the more you will loose with a crappy extension cord. They sell some nice 10 gauge 50' extension cords that should have minimal loss of power and have three outlets at the end. Just make sure to have more than one so you can spread the load (depending on what you plan to hook up).

Last edited by Lifeon2whls; 04-04-2013 at 3:29 PM..
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Old 04-04-2013, 3:48 PM
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If you can afford them the Honda gen will also hook up in series so 2 2k watt gen will give you 4k watts when needed. They are quiet and your neighbors will have no problems. If my neighbors tried to run a loud genny all night long it wouldn't run all night long I assure you that. I will ask nice that they plan their use and not run it all night long then if they persist I wont ask again I will fix it so it doesn't run at all.
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Old 04-05-2013, 3:48 AM
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I had my power go out few weeks ago and forgot to post my video. Heres my set up

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Old 04-05-2013, 4:19 AM
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Running a generator when utility power is available is foolish. Especially in the evening/night when rates are lowest. The cost is at least double what you are paying the power company.

They are only designed for standby use. get a cheap one and only use it when the power is out. you need, heat, frig, a couple of lights, and a microwave. that's it. 4000 watts is plenty.
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Old 04-05-2013, 6:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeon2whls View Post
Sorry but the Honda's in many respects are a waste of money unless you use it on a regular basis for camping, etc. I can see the use case you're talking about with the race trailer, etc...but that comes with a $2000 price tag. The 3,200 watt genny from harbor freight will run you $289 with the coupon and can be converted to run on Propane/CNG for around $200 http://www.pngtechnologies.com/Gener...sion-Kits.html

Yes, this generator is much louder, its made in China and comes from Harbor Freight...but I also race and have used mine in the pits for 3 years without issues, I don't treat the gas and it sits for months sometimes without running and starts right up without issue. In normal day to day use, if it did break down I could buy 6 for the same price as the Honda...but its simple to work on and has been stone cold reliable so I wouldn't worry about using it during an emergency, etc (plenty of Honda's end up in repair shops as well).

Consider what you want to use the Generator for, where you plan to use it and then decide how much you're willing to spend. If you want to drop 2k on one, get the Honda and don't look back. If your budget isnt there buy two of the Harbor Freight genny's and leave one in the box in case the other one craps out
Thanks for the link. I will get a NG conversion kit.
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Old 04-05-2013, 7:04 AM
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also note that cheaper generators will not have a good sin wave on the 60hz or may run high or low on 120v. a lot of junk dose not matter but compressor in your frig dose and it can make the over heat and die. if you can check the hz and volts before you buy one. i have seen them way off and it is not easy to fix if you do not know what you are doing. i also have seen them where the plugs on the gen where not wired right and when plugged up burned things up, i had to rewire the whole set to make it right.

the best thing to making one last is maintenance, keep new oil in it good fuel clear air filter. this will make it last longer and start easier.

do you need a pull start are electric start? can your wife start a pull if you are gone? this all has to be looked at.

just my 0.02 the cheaper the set the fast the magnetic field dies in the head, seen it many times where a gen set for 8 months then they would not make power and the head would have to be light off to make it work.

Last edited by 1snakedoc; 04-05-2013 at 7:07 AM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 7:36 AM
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What do you guys think about diesel generators?
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Old 04-05-2013, 8:30 AM
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that is what i have, witch i love diesel anything so for me having both my trucks and gen us the same fuel is right for me. it uses a kubota engine with a 17.5wk head
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Old 04-05-2013, 9:01 AM
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Besides a gas generator, I also have a solar powered 1500 watt I got at Costco. It's a box on wheels, that has a built in inverter, battery, and solar panels. Fridge wise, the internal battery will only run a fridge for one hour. It's expandable, so I went to harbor frieght, maxed out the solar panels and maxed out battery capacity by purchasing a add on battery. Total expenditure, $1000. Would run a fridge at least two hours. Then gas generator at night. Batteries are gel, so maybe 10 year life?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:10 AM
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Default For anyone interested

Here is what consumer reports had to say. It only looks at 13 generators so other options are out there but provides a good place to start.
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File Type: jpg generator.jpg (18.9 KB, 145 views)
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:53 AM
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I have a 6500w 240v that i use to backfeed a 50a 240v outlet in my garage. I can run anything in the house. I can run washer AND dryer-or- furnace and dishwasher etc. I keep 50 gallons of treated fuel on hand at all times. I also have a yamaha 2000w inverter generator, this would be for long term use to keep the freezers frozen. I suffer weather related power outages in the winter and use the 6500 to keep life normal but fuel consumption is about 0.5 to 0.75 GPH. outages are usually only a few hours. the little yamaha is a miser and would be used in instances where it could be a long term outage. But you need to have the fuel on hand ahead of time and treat it as soon as you buy it. It will be good for a year, then rotate it into a car or truck.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:44 AM
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There is No Substitute for Cubic Inches.

Give me a 10hp Briggs any day over a 3 1/2 hp Honda. My Briggs still starts on one pull after 8 years, but I let it run dry on fuel in the carb if I don't intend to use it for a couple weeks. I've burned out a few generators in my life, not from misuse but from use. I once had a cheapo 2000 watt Generac that ran almost 5 days a week on a job for 2 years. It went through hell and back, drop it and it still ran like a champ.

Get a Honda/Yammy if you want quiet, get a Briggs and some HP if you want to be the man on the block to power up your neighbors welder to make an armored vehicle. I do own a 13 HP Honda motor on a pressure washer that is over 20 years old, dang Honda makes a sweet motor !
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mej16489 View Post
This can be legally/safely done with a Transfer Switch
https://www.google.com/search?q=gene...ransfer+switch
And, if only this time, do it legally and safely, thinking about that line person trying to get your juice back, working on a line he thinks isn't energized, just as you power up.
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Old 04-06-2013, 2:18 PM
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FYI Costco is selling a Champion 7000 Watt Remote Start Generator, Model Number: 41532 for I think 699 right now. I know nothing of its quality but thought I'd pass on the info.
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Old 04-06-2013, 8:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn folk View Post
I have a 6500w 240v that i use to backfeed a 50a 240v outlet in my garage. I can run anything in the house. I can run washer AND dryer-or- furnace and dishwasher etc. I keep 50 gallons of treated fuel on hand at all times. I also have a yamaha 2000w inverter generator, this would be for long term use to keep the freezers frozen. I suffer weather related power outages in the winter and use the 6500 to keep life normal but fuel consumption is about 0.5 to 0.75 GPH. outages are usually only a few hours. the little yamaha is a miser and would be used in instances where it could be a long term outage. But you need to have the fuel on hand ahead of time and treat it as soon as you buy it. It will be good for a year, then rotate it into a car or truck.
I think a lot of people miss considering fuel storage when making their decision. As Mtn-folk pointed out above, big generators require you to store lots of fuel. Buy only as big a generator that you can safely store fuel for. Bigger doesn't matter if you run out of fuel after a few hours during a disaster. If you are preparing, prepare for the possibility that gas will not be available for purchase after a disaster and what you store is all you are going to have.

For me, I ended up getting a Honda 2000i largely due to it's fuel efficiency. I store 10gal, which should hopefully last me a week. This with just running it 8-10hours a day to maintain the fridge temp and small electronics. It's expensive insurance, and hopefully as reliable as what people say. Now that I think about it, maybe I should store another 5gal.
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Old 04-07-2013, 2:07 PM
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Power out, no gas for your generator at gas stations, guess what? No power for the grocery stores chillers to run either. No need for cold food at that point except what you have in the refrigerator at the time. Which if your like most is only a few days and you don't have to run the refer that long on a generator to keep stuff cool when you leave the door shut. The gas argument is moot imo.
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Old 04-08-2013, 8:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixoclockhold View Post
Power out, no gas for your generator at gas stations, guess what? No power for the grocery stores chillers to run either. No need for cold food at that point except what you have in the refrigerator at the time. Which if your like most is only a few days and you don't have to run the refer that long on a generator to keep stuff cool when you leave the door shut. The gas argument is moot imo.
maybe moot for some, but in the area i live wildfires are common. depending on where the fires are you may need to evacuate via the long route. I keep enough on hand for the kids to put in their tanks to get to safety. a nasty snow storm, mud/rock slides, a bad earthquake can leave roads damaged or closed where fuel trucks and delivery trucks to the grocery store are unable to get to their destination.
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Old 04-08-2013, 6:34 PM
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I personally think power generators perpetuates the need for things you really don't need in a survival situation. It doesn't hurt to have a small one as a backup power source.

The noise will attract people you may not want to meet.

I would like into solar panels and batteries. That's what I did.
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Old 04-09-2013, 9:59 AM
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I recently bought a Honda 750 generator ($1100.00) with 9375 watt peak output. Then I converted it to propane or gas with a kit purchased on line. This was done after extensive research on the pros/cons, cost, reliability, etc. For starters, PROPANE is much safer to store and use and the large tanks rent for $55.00 a year. I have mine chained to a huge pine tree, in the shade and easily accessible. It is not practical to put in a direct generator plug-in to your entire house since you will never need to run EVERYTHING anyway. 10 guage extension cords strung over saw horses do the job, keep them dry, visible, etc. Remember to use a steel grounding stake with a copper wire to your generator to avoid a wet ground shock. I will soon build a vented sheet metal shed to cover the generator which will sit on some paving stones.

With this much electrical power you can run ALL your applicances and not worry about food spoilage and you can operate electrical power tools at the same time. I can also assist one or more of my elderly neighbors. After a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or man-made disaster your house may very well have damaged areas. With a Saws-all type tool it is easy to cut an access into the damaged area to reach necessities, make repairs, etc. It may be weeks/months before the electricity, gas and water is available. With electrical power you can still cook, boil water, stay warm and be safe. I stored water in four (4) 55 gallon drums with handpump, hose, etc. and stocked some dehydrated food.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeon2whls View Post
Sorry but the Honda's in many respects are a waste of money unless you use it on a regular basis for camping, etc. I can see the use case you're talking about with the race trailer, etc...but that comes with a $2000 price tag. The 3,200 watt genny from harbor freight will run you $289 with the coupon and can be converted to run on Propane/CNG for around $200 http://www.pngtechnologies.com/Gener...sion-Kits.html

Yes, this generator is much louder, its made in China and comes from Harbor Freight...but I also race and have used mine in the pits for 3 years without issues, I don't treat the gas and it sits for months sometimes without running and starts right up without issue. In normal day to day use, if it did break down I could buy 6 for the same price as the Honda...but its simple to work on and has been stone cold reliable so I wouldn't worry about using it during an emergency, etc (plenty of Honda's end up in repair shops as well).

Consider what you want to use the Generator for, where you plan to use it and then decide how much you're willing to spend. If you want to drop 2k on one, get the Honda and don't look back. If your budget isnt there buy two of the Harbor Freight genny's and leave one in the box in case the other one craps out
Apples and Oranges

All generators have an application but saying it’s a waste of money for the Honda or Yamaha version (which I have) is silly. You are making a price comparison on two completely different technologies of generators.

The Honda Yamaha are pure sine wave output inverter driven generators. That alone is a huge feature if you plan on running sensitive equipment like a nice ham radio setup or computers or certain types or motors. If you need to protect your equipment or have equipment that may suffer from dirty powder it’s well worth its price.

Take a look at DC to AC inverters, and the cost difference between standard and pure sine wave inverters… Everything in those 1000-3000 watt Honda/Yamaha inverter generates are top notch and they sip fuel and being quiet is just icing on the cake.

Honda even makes much larger generators which are pure sine wave inverter, and they are priced accordingly.

Last edited by ExtremeX; 04-09-2013 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:59 PM
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Lifeon2whls Lifeon2whls is offline
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Originally Posted by ExtremeX View Post
Apples and Oranges
Take a look at DC to AC inverters, and the cost difference between standard and pure sine wave inverters… Everything in those 1000-3000 watt Honda/Yamaha inverter generates are top notch and they sip fuel and being quiet is just icing on the cake.
You can pick those inverters up at Harbor freight for a few hundred which still doesn't get close to the 3k watt Honda/Yamaha range. But again, I agree that it comes down to what you are using this for. I said it was a waste of money for someone who is strictly buying this as a backup genny. For someone like who uses this in a race paddock, camping, etc on a regular basis...their reliability, quietness and fuel economy make perfect sense.
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Old 04-09-2013, 1:15 PM
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I'm currently looking at adding an emergency generator at my place.
I'm on a well, and mainly want it to power the well pump (it'll still be used in the home though). In the event there's an extended outage.... my main concern is having water. Far more important than what's in the fridge.
My main concern has been deciding on the fuel source. Seems that propane would be the best way to go for long term storage. No need to rotate your supply to keep it fresh. Just fill a big tank and let it sit.


Am I wrong in this assumption?
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Old 04-09-2013, 1:21 PM
Mtn folk Mtn folk is offline
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I have a harbor freight inverter in my boat. 1000w. It is a square wave inverter. It is perfect to pump up towables and mattresses, or to run a $25 blender or small shop vac. I definitely wouldn't plug anything valuable into it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 1:44 PM
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My opinion on generator size is buy a small one and you will always wish it was bigger. Buy a big one and you will want a little one.

Here is a rule of thumb I share with people

If the thing you are trying to power is "electric". Harbor freight other cheap gennys are fine. If you want to run something "Electronic". Probably better spring for something high quality like an inverter generator.
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Old 04-09-2013, 1:45 PM
Mr. Beretta Mr. Beretta is offline
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Over the years, I've been thru lots of generators.

Did my homework and finally purchased a new Honda EU2000i. Best money I ever spent. Super quiet, slips gas.

With this generator and cases of "TruFuel", I have no problems powering my refrigerator and a couple of basic need items for a long, long time.

With a custom shelter built box, it can't be heard off my property.


Couldn't be happier.

P.S..................Check this link to find out how much power you really need.

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/StartH...owerTable.html

Last edited by Mr. Beretta; 04-09-2013 at 1:50 PM..
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Old 04-09-2013, 2:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sdnative13 View Post
What do you guys think about diesel generators?
I like mine because it's pretty quiet and has decent fuel efficiency. And it runs happily on a diet that includes quite a bit of used cooking oil.
It's not very portable, but neither is it easy to steal.



There may be other options out there as well.
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Old 04-09-2013, 2:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeon2whls View Post
You can pick those inverters up at Harbor freight for a few hundred which still doesn't get close to the 3k watt Honda/Yamaha range. But again, I agree that it comes down to what you are using this for. I said it was a waste of money for someone who is strictly buying this as a backup genny. For someone like who uses this in a race paddock, camping, etc on a regular basis...their reliability, quietness and fuel economy make perfect sense.
As much as I love Harbor Freight... there are a lot of things I just won’t buy from them... and inverters are one of them.

Most of my inverters are from Go Power, which makes a great inverter. It’s not to best of the best, but it’s also not cheap. I can tell you now Honda or Yamaha aren’t using Chicago Electric grade inverters.

3000 Watt pure sine wave inverter cost about $1000-1100
http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-GP-SW...power+inverter

The standard option (modified sine wave) being significantly cheaper @ about $350 bucks.
http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-GP-30...power+inverter

Getting back to the point... application... there is a premium for the gennys similar to the Honda / Yamaha options but I still think it’s worth it even as a backup emergency generator.

If the rest of the neighborhood is out of powder, last thing I need is mine droning for all my neighbors to hear. When there is no powder in the city it’s pretty easy to hear generators, and I think keeping a low profile is pretty nice.

I remember an article / thread posted last big powder outrage we had here in SD where one neighbor assaulted another because one would not shut his generator off when he was trying to sleep.

I’m all for quiet, fuel efficient, and clean powder.

Last edited by ExtremeX; 04-09-2013 at 2:41 PM..
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