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

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2015, 7:22 PM
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Default Best portable generator for a smallish house?

What is the best portable generator for a smallish About 1300 sq feet. house?

What kind of generator do I need to keep the refrigerator/freezer running and the power on? for a week? 2 weeks? 4 weeks?

How to I connect it to my homes power system?

Whats the best kind of portable generator to have?

What the best value least expensive portable generator?

This is one are of prepping I have not addresses--can anyone offer books/suggestions/websites, etc? Thanking you in advance.
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Old 12-21-2015, 7:33 PM
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Honda eu3000is.


End thread.
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Old 12-21-2015, 7:48 PM
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^^^^^^^ this ^^^^^^^^^ or bigger.
If you want to power the house without extension cords you need to add a transfer switch to the electrical panel. ( electrican )

Where I live here in social I have a EU2000. I have already figured out where I need to run extension cords. I wired a box with a switch so I can power the fridge and central heating . I can switch the power as needed. The EU 2000 won't handle the power surge from both at the same time.
I keep 15 gallons of gas. I just rotated the fuel. I do this every year around Xmas so I don't forget.
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Old 12-21-2015, 7:54 PM
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To use a 120v generator, you would have to know how to wire a 120v source to a 240v plug, and you could "hot up" an entire 240v panel. Your mains would have to be "open", so that the generator would not backfeed into the system that feeds your house panel. Also, you would have to open ALL the breakers to any 240v appliance.
Depending on the load, you might get by for some time on a EU3000is.
Off the grid, RV owners do it all the time, but most RV's are fed by higher amperage, single leg 120v feeds. Your house, is most likely a 240v feed.
Have any electrician friends? This is not something you should do if you are not savvy with electrical work.
*Disclaimer*, Not a lawyer, just an Electrician.
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Old 12-21-2015, 7:58 PM
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There are a lot of variables just in your fuel choice. Corn gas which we have in California can start breaking down in as little as 3 months without a stabilizer and even then one year in a can is iffy. Do you have a natural gas tank or service to your house? Do you have ability to emplace a diesel storage tank with access to ag diesel? Are you limited to jerry cans? Start with the fuel and work your way to the house
Short term anything is better than nothing so keep an eye on Craigslist and govliquidation for a deal. Determine if you will need a pure sine wave or if you can get by without, maybe a line conditioner is in your future. Or if you really want to kill some time ask what's a better defense round...


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Old 12-21-2015, 7:59 PM
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Pat you looking for any side work in the south bay area?


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Old 12-21-2015, 8:16 PM
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Hahaha....Sorry, off for the Holidays!

Don't I know it


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Old 12-21-2015, 10:09 PM
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My 2 cents would be the Honda EU7000i. The very best to power your house quietly without the neighbors making a stink about a loud generator or having them line up to use your power when shtf. Not cheap to purchase but worth every penny spent on it when you need it like after the 8.0-9.0 quake we will have sometime here in So Cal.

I need to find an electrician around Simi Valley to wire the panel so we can plug in our 7k watt gen into the house if needed. We have a dual fuel so we can start on the gas the run propane when the gas is gone in an emergency.
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Old 12-22-2015, 6:47 AM
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We have the Honda EU2000i models. One, by itself, powers the fridge, central heat, washer and dryer (heat and dryer are gas, of course). We keep 80-100 gallons of treated fuel and run the gens about 45 mins under load twice a year to keep them ready to rock. They can be linked to produce 30 amp power using the tandem kit. I just run extension cords as infrequently as we need backup power here.
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Old 12-22-2015, 8:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bruss01 View Post
We have the Honda EU2000i models. One, by itself, powers the fridge, central heat, washer and dryer (heat and dryer are gas, of course). We keep 80-100 gallons of treated fuel and run the gens about 45 mins under load twice a year to keep them ready to rock. They can be linked to produce 30 amp power using the tandem kit. I just run extension cords as infrequently as we need backup power here.
What kind of cords do you run? I.e. what gauge and max run length?

Also, how did you setup your HVAC blower to be plugged into the generator? Did you put in an inline plug or a transfer switch?
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Old 12-22-2015, 9:41 AM
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T Or if you really want to kill some time ask what's a better defense round...
Haha I like Winchester Ranger JHP in 9mm and .45
Winchester PDX1 Defender in 38 Special
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Old 12-22-2015, 9:51 AM
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I keep 2 generators, make sure they are the pull start type, don't waste your cash on the electric starts because the battery will be dead when you need them.

Run them once a month, I fire them up then turn the fuel off and let it run until the carbs are dry. about 50 gallons of gas will work and just rotate it in your car.

I use one to power the main house power panel, had an electrician wire the panel for me, JUST TURN THE MAIN OFF !!! This give you power for house lights (you should upgrade to LED). The other generator pugs into an outlet in my home office, this gives me plenty of juice for modem, router, security cameras without overtaxing the main generator.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:55 AM
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What kind of cords do you run? I.e. what gauge and max run length?

Also, how did you setup your HVAC blower to be plugged into the generator? Did you put in an inline plug or a transfer switch?
As thick as possible and as short as possible. We have some ginormous yellow ones used for construction, they're pretty thick. They were the thickest I could find at the hardware store. From the back porch to the furnace room is about 25-30 feet. From the back porch to the fridge, about the same. Laundry room, maybe another 10 feet. The only hiccup is starting the dryer. You have to take all the other loads offline for that, but once the dryer is running, the others will run just fine plugged in at the same time. The cords never get warm in the slightest.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by InsanePropane View Post
Honda eu3000is.


End thread.

I agree
End thread+2
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mike415stone View Post
I keep 2 generators, make sure they are the pull start type, don't waste your cash on the electric starts because the battery will be dead when you need them.

Run them once a month, I fire them up then turn the fuel off and let it run until the carbs are dry. about 50 gallons of gas will work and just rotate it in your car.

I use one to power the main house power panel, had an electrician wire the panel for me, JUST TURN THE MAIN OFF !!! This give you power for house lights (you should upgrade to LED). The other generator pugs into an outlet in my home office, this gives me plenty of juice for modem, router, security cameras without overtaxing the main generator.
I agree with you about the battery unless you are going to have it hooked up to a Battery Tender trickle charge full time when not in use.

I don't run mine once a month. I run them twice a year... usually, in the spring just ahead of rolling-blackout season, then again in the fall just ahead of stormy weather season. I ONLY run treated gas in them (Sta-Bil) except when we are camping off grid and will run several tanks of fuel through them on the trip... and I try to run them dry before storage. I've had them about 10 years and only this past spring did I need to run a bottle of carb cleaner through one of them... ran it through both, just as preventive maintenance. Ran them both again in November this year and they started right up with no further attention needed.

You really can't just put a generator away somewhere for ten years and expect it to start on the first pull after sitting all that time. Just add it to your seasonal maintenance routine, it doesn't take a lot of effort. I know I would not keep up on "once a month" starting but I can manage "twice a year" and so far, it seems to be working for me. Just keep a bottle of carb cleaner on hand and do the oil and air filter changes at the recommended intervals. Treat it right, it'll be there when you need it.
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TheChief View Post
What kind of cords do you run? I.e. what gauge and max run length?

Also, how did you setup your HVAC blower to be plugged into the generator? Did you put in an inline plug or a transfer switch?
Cord length is almost irrelevant for the distances from a Genset to a house, it's the gauge you care about. Easy rule of thumb: take generator max current, double it, you have minimum wire ampacity. Breakers should be 1.25 to 1.5 times max current, wires must exceed that rating. If the calculated ampacity is lower than the breaker size, go over breaker size by at least 50%. This prevents the wires from being a fuse/ignition source and allows it to meet NEC/NFPA requirements.

I'm currently re-wiring my house to meet current code with arc fault breakers and a transfer switch for my kitchen, HVAC, well pump and some lighting. All other circuits will run off the main panel board. You can get an auto transfer switch if you want a standby genset for a few hundred dollars. A manual transfer switch with circuit panel.board can be had from Lowe's for a couple hundred. With a portable generator, I'd go manual transfer with a panel board for critical circuits. I'd also get either a diesel or dual fuel. I'm getting a dual fuel unit because we have a 500 gallon propane tank.
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2015, 11:29 AM
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"Best portable generator for a smallish house?"
The one you already have at your house that works when the power goes out !

See if you can find a used Honda on craigslist in good shape. They last a long time. Get one sooner than later.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:26 PM
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OP
Here's a thread that may help.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=921409

Power cords are very important. Don't use the wrong dia/length cords. Choose wisely.
http://buyextensioncord.com/info_voltage_drop.shtml
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:44 PM
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My set up.


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Old 12-22-2015, 2:52 PM
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Nice set up MF. Did you install that transfer with yourself? What did you pay for the unit?
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Old 12-22-2015, 3:23 PM
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Nice set up MF. Did you install that transfer with yourself? What did you pay for the unit?
Had professional electrician add the transfer switch while they also upgraded electrical panel to 200 amp service, kill two one stone etc. They had to pull permits, inspections the whole nine yards.

That particular unit (ProTran 30310B) is no longer made, paid around $360. I guess this is the replacement.

http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....0A/p61743.html

If your elec panel is inside a garage you would not need an outdoor rated GTS.

More info here: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....er-Switch.html

Adapter to connect Honda 3 prong to 4 prong:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/30A-NEMA-L5-...-/251152799519

Power cord from adapter to GTS:

http://www.amazon.com/Conntek-20603-.../dp/B00DTLKZ52

.
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Last edited by Maltese Falcon; 12-22-2015 at 3:48 PM.. Reason: More info.
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Old 12-22-2015, 6:51 PM
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Im curious to hear more about the maintenance cycles/intervals everyone does to keep their generator ready to go. One article I read not too long ago recommended putting synthetic oil instead of regular.
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Old 12-22-2015, 7:03 PM
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We have over a dozen different Honda generators from 2000 to 11000 at my work and have them on a 6-month pm cycle wether used or not. They always run great. I have a 5000 at my house that wasn't used for quite a while and still started right up on the 3rd pull. I want to downgrade to the 2000 parallel setup I think though. I go camping a lot and the 5000 is way too big for that.
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Old 12-22-2015, 8:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pitbull30 View Post
Im curious to hear more about the maintenance cycles/intervals everyone does to keep their generator ready to go. One article I read not too long ago recommended putting synthetic oil instead of regular.
I put Mobil 1 in both my generators. EU 1000 & EU 2000. I used one quart and it filled both generators. They don't take much.
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Old 12-22-2015, 9:14 PM
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From what I have heard, temperature swings enable condensation to collect inside the crankcase of engines, in general. Over time, oil drains due to gravity, and these exposed areas of the engine begin to degrade due to the water and oxygen present. Starting and running the engine helps to burn off/evaporate the water in the crankcase, and coat/lubricate the internals which prevents this occurrence.

Whether this is true or not, I have generators, water pumps, chainsaws, ATVs, as well as other large engines(vehicles) and small engines(equipment) that I start and run routinely for about 10mins once per month. I run stabil in all the 4 stroke gasoline engines, 91 octane or higher, B-12 Chemtool once per year; diesel engines run once per week, from my own personal experience, these dont like sitting.

This is not a pain by any stretch, I literally start the generators first, move to the ATVs, then the chainsaws, then shutdown the generators and ATVs, then on to the waterpump. The pump takes longer to setup and run then all the others combined. Yard equipment gets run routinely, so its not usually on the same schedule. Oil changes on the generators and waterpumps borderline on fun, I always run full synthetic Valvoline, change oil yearly or 100 hours use. ATV's get changed after each trip (usually consists of entire weekend use). Chainsaws are two stroke, so I only keep a small amount of fuel premixed, top off the bar oil reservoirs, and I am pretty much done. I have been on this type of schedule for around 20 years, and have had very good luck with every engine on this program.
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Old 12-22-2015, 9:26 PM
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Yep, start all generators, quads, brush chipper, ride on mower, chain saw, blower, rototiller and tractor the first week end of each month. I have fuel shut offs on almost everyone so let them run for 5 - 10 minutes shut off fuel so carb is left empty. Also use Hi-octane gas with Sea-Foam added.
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Old 12-23-2015, 8:24 AM
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Installing a generator breaker interlock may be a less invasive / expensive alternative to a transfer switch.

I am using an 'official' Square D interlock in my panel, but there are 3rd party units available if you have a compatible panel.

http://www.interlockkit.com/
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:40 AM
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For you guys with Honda 2000s, get this set up saves spilling oil when adding or draining and added protection of magnetic plug.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...HZ1FDSQRQR5Q6Y

.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbikindad393 View Post
My 2 cents would be the Honda EU7000i. The very best to power your house quietly without the neighbors making a stink about a loud generator or having them line up to use your power when shtf. Not cheap to purchase but worth every penny spent on it when you need it like after the 8.0-9.0 quake we will have sometime here in So Cal.

I need to find an electrician around Simi Valley to wire the panel so we can plug in our 7k watt gen into the house if needed. We have a dual fuel so we can start on the gas the run propane when the gas is gone in an emergency.
Best advice by far. Get a gen set that will plug into your power panel and run the whole house. Everything else is a poor compromise.

Get your panel professionally installed and don't cut corners.

Having a propane powered generator takes care of all the stale fuel problems.
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Old 12-23-2015, 6:39 PM
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I have a Yamaha 2000 watt that I can run most of our 2500 sq. ft. house with.
Fridge and freezer with the Tv and a few lights are no problem. No AC. FAU has a big start up that knocks out the TV, but it's nice to know we can run the heater. Any thing bigger like the microwave or coffee pot is one at a time but totally doable. YMMV
Not the best but pretty impressive for a small genny...

Last edited by SoCalJ; 12-23-2015 at 6:44 PM..
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:44 AM
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All the Honda Eu series generators are excellent. HOWEVER!.!........

Fuel status is always going to be an issue. If you are considering a generator, you NEED to convert it to Tri-Fuel.

http://www.propane-generators.com/

That way you can use propane, natural gas, or gasoline. You have roughly 80% the power in propane that you have in gasoline.

By converting, you can store several propane bottles without the hassle of dealing with rotating gasoline in storage. You can power your house via the natural gas line until that goes out. And then covert to propane, and at last resort, gasoline.

Do some research on the run times on the generator you want, then figure out how long you want to run it 'vs' how much fuel you want to store at your house.

The last thing that you want to do is "stand in line" with 100 other swinging d!ck$ waiting for your allotment of gasoline.



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Last edited by Jongage; 12-24-2015 at 11:47 AM.. Reason: grammer
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:04 PM
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Fuel trumps just about everything else can't work without it


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Old 12-25-2015, 8:22 PM
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Northstar 5kw with Honda engine. Happy with mine.
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Old 12-31-2015, 6:08 PM
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Originally Posted by njineermike View Post
I'd also get either a diesel or dual fuel. I'm getting a dual fuel unit because we have a 500 gallon propane tank.
What is the advantage of diesel?
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Old 12-31-2015, 9:50 PM
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What is the advantage of diesel?
If SHTF, you won't find any gas. You can make a diesel run on damn near anything.
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Old 01-01-2016, 9:48 AM
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What is the advantage of diesel?

This should explain it in a nutshell.
http://www.dieselserviceandsupply.co...enerators.aspx


Sent using a long string & 2 cans.
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Old 01-01-2016, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Jongage View Post
All the Honda Eu series generators are excellent. HOWEVER!.!........

Fuel status is always going to be an issue. If you are considering a generator, you NEED to convert it to Tri-Fuel.

http://www.propane-generators.com/

That way you can use propane, natural gas, or gasoline. You have roughly 80% the power in propane that you have in gasoline.

By converting, you can store several propane bottles without the hassle of dealing with rotating gasoline in storage. You can power your house via the natural gas line until that goes out. And then covert to propane, and at last resort, gasoline.
Nice Link .
Thanks

Might get one for my Honda ,

Or if they make one for my Ryobi 2,200 Gen/invert
Really like that quite little guy
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  #38  
Old 01-01-2016, 10:42 AM
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EU2000 is on sale for $899 at HD until 1/25. I might buy another.
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Old 01-01-2016, 4:39 PM
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Depends on your loads. You really need to measure your steady and peak (startup) loads to size the genny appropriately for your needs.

I like the Honda EU's for their quietness and efficiency. Especially if you need it for more than a couple of days, you are going to want the most efficient thing you can find. If you are burning 10 gallons of gas a day, you won't have power for long.

I also like the EU2000, because it is small and light enough to pick up with one hand if I need to take it with me. Once you go bigger, you start to need 2 people to lift them.

As others mentioned, a tri-fuel kit is a big bonus. If you still have your gas line to the house intact, you can run straight from it and save your precious stored fuel for later or something else. You can also store propane for more extended periods than gas if necessary, without additives and stabilizers.

All that being said, if you are planning for stationary backup power at the house, why not a small solar array with batteries? That way you are not dependent on storing fuel.

Better yet, have a small genny to back up a small solar array...."1 is none, 2 is 1" mentality....not that you have to run out and buy it all at once, maybe as a long-term goal?
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Old 01-01-2016, 4:45 PM
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Originally Posted by InsanePropane View Post
Honda eu3000is.


End thread.
FYI, echo/bearcat has just introduced generators to the US market as they've been selling them in Canada for a few years. Three year warranty and you can get a 3500w inverter for like $1400. We sell both Honda and echo/bearcat products. People are drooling over the price difference. Plus the smaller echoes come with the parallel and charging cord where with Honduh that is extra. Also with the smaller ones, with Honduh you need one companion model and one standard model to parallel them. Echo units are all the same and parallel just fine and come with the parallel and charging cords.
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