Help Which generator is best?

DoomBuggy

Veteran Member
Hi...I'm trying to prepare for power outages, rolling blackouts, etc. and I am SO out of my element; if you're familiar with generators, could you please help?

I live in an apartment so solar panels won't work; gasoline generators give off noxious fumes; concerned that I'll run out of propane and won't be able to find/afford more if I were to purchase that type; are there any other options anyone knows about?

I've already purchased the one from Hammacher but unsure if it's my best bet. Anyone know anything about Generark products? Any help would be so appreciated, thanks in advance!

https://generark.com/products/homepower-one?variant=40698021281983&utm_source=criteo&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=Web Conversion - Feb 9, 2021



The Gasless Portable Power Generator - Hammacher Schlemmer
 

tech

Veteran Member
What are you trying to power, and how many watts for how long?

Without knowing these, all bets are off...

BTW, those are not generators. They are battery packs with inverters, but in an apartment where solar or an actual generator cannot be utilized, may be your best option.
 
Last edited:

Publius

TB Fanatic
I was looking into getting a Westinghouse dual fuel generator.

I did some research quite a few years back and noticed that many of the generators had the same engines on them but looked slightly different using different paint color and changing how the control panel looked.
So that Westinghouse is no different than say the Chinese made Duro-Star or Duro-Max that you can find on the internet as they are all made in the same factory in china.
 

mostlyharmless

Veteran Member
I just picked up an inverter-based Champion generator... runs on propane or gasoline. The gas cap has a switch at the top that seals the tank when it's not running. I've run it several times on gasoline and propane, and leave it in the camper when not in use ... there is NO gasoline or ANY OTHER smell whatsoever. I'm sure it's a matter of time until I make a mess filling it, but if you're careful....
 

db cooper

The Other Resident Spook
Anyone know anything about Generark products?
Yes! Oh yes. We bought a new Generac 12 KW last year. Ran it 24 hours steady to see if it would carry all of the days load, such as water heater, well pump, etc. It worked to absolute perfection. We also give it a one hour load test each month, and all is OK.

Now for the bad news. These generators are setup for a two week automatic startup which is programmed into them. All they do is start automatically and then stop automatically after a few minutes. They do not connect to the house. The problem is about half of these auto starts fail. When these auto starts fail the unit shuts down, so if there is a power outage and you are gone you are screwed. The code for the failure is 1300, which is low oil pressure. There's nothing wrong with the oil level, it's up to the top mark. Once the code is cleared, the unit can be manually started and always runs OK.

We had our first power outage a couple days ago, my CPAP machine stopped working at 2:30 AM and the power was off. We had a blizzard, high winds, snow and temps about 5 degrees above zero. I got dressed, went outside, cleared the code, it took off on its own and worked to perfection.

I called service to learn the nearest authorized warranty service was 160 miles away and Generac only pays for the first 60 miles. It would cost me over a hundred dollars travel time just to get someone to look at it.

My point is, if you live in the sticks, far away from an authorized service dealer, DO NOT BUY GENERAC.
 

somewherepress

Veteran Member
Though it was pricey, I love my Bluetti 2000W with 6 200W solar panels. Charges quickly from home power, your car's cig lighter and from solar. It runs just about anything from power saws to well pumps...and hold a charge for a long time.
 

db cooper

The Other Resident Spook
I'd like to offer advice regarding buying a whole house generator. There are two ways to size it, one way is to have it carry the full load of your house plus a little extra. This is for the convenience of having everything working, such as the AC and all other high draw appliances at the same time. This is for people that think fuel will always be available, even if the country goes to hell.

The other way is to size the generator for only necessary things like refrigeration equipment, the furnace, well pump, water heater and whatever else that is actually needed. We purposely sized ours this way to exclude the AC from being wired into the generator. We sized it at 12 KW because this size uses only 1 gallon of propane per hour.

The larger the size, the greater the fuel consumption is. The idea was to stretch out our fuel to last longer in case the SHTF and fuel deliveries are scarce. If we ration the generator use to let's say 6 hours per day, that's only 6 gallons of propane at max load. With a 500 gallon tank (400 gallons when full) it should last two months. We have wood heat, so the furnace would not have to run.
 

night driver

ESFP adrift in INTJ sea
PRETTY SURE the question was about these rather than Generac...

The Generark Solar Generator is a backup power system for your home that can provide power for up to 99 percent of your home appliances via a 2,200-watt supply. It is built to offer critical power to your home appliances, medical devices, lighting, personal electronics and other devices for up to 7 days.
Generark Solar Generator: Emergency power supply for the ...
www.startupselfie.net/2021/06/18/generark-solar-generator-emergency-power-supp…
 

Nich1

Veteran Member
If using a whole-house gen., like the Generac, is it possible to just switch off the breakers for the non-essential items to conserve fuel when the gen. is running?
 

Millwright

Knuckle Dragger
_______________
The one that says “1955”, or thereabouts, (stamped near the serial number)......for which you have a handful of crucial spare parts.

Warning.....it will be very heavy, and worth the trouble of every ounce.
Parts are hard to find on units older than about the 90s.

I keep a few old dogs patched up and running, but it takes some retrofitting and head scratching.
 

wab54

Veteran Member
What are you trying to power, and how many watts for how long?

Without knowing these, all bets are off...

BTW, those are not generators. They are battery packs with inverters, but in an apartment where solar or an actual generator cannot be utilized, may be your best option.
How would you charge them back up? IMHO, these are useless for long term power outages.

WAB
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
I just picked up an inverter-based Champion generator... runs on propane or gasoline. The gas cap has a switch at the top that seals the tank when it's not running. I've run it several times on gasoline and propane, and leave it in the camper when not in use ... there is NO gasoline or ANY OTHER smell whatsoever. I'm sure it's a matter of time until I make a mess filling it, but if you're careful....
I also have the inverter-based Champion generator 2000 watt. Not duel, but they are available in duel fuel.

The Champion, Honda (high priced) and Kawasaki (also high priced) in 2000 to 3000 watt I think now come in duel fuel, and are extremely quite. They are made that way to be used in RV parks.

Mine runs on the back deck, and you can't hear it while standing on the front porch. IN the house it will be heard, but probably not all around the neighborhood.

The main problem with using a genie indoors with a gas powered one is the exhaust fumes. Probably not with a propane one. Since they use propane lift trucks indoors. However there is still the problem with air, and a cracked window will be needed.

I would also note that nowhere does anyone recommend using a genie INDOORS. Living in an apt. is rough for survival.

Depending on what floor, and how close to your car you are, you might consider an inverter of big enough size to use with your car, and an extension cord.

In survival mode about the only thing you will need a genie for, is your refrigerator, forget TV and AC's. So have other sub's available like candles, flashlights, etc.

BTW you can get a smaller inverter for your car, so as to not have to run an extention cord for charging phones, and changing batteries for flashlights, etc....

Just some thoughts that I hope helps.
 

changed

Back to Eden Gardener
I did some research quite a few years back and noticed that many of the generators had the same engines on them but looked slightly different using different paint color and changing how the control panel looked.
So that Westinghouse is no different than say the Chinese made Duro-Star or Duro-Max that you can find on the internet as they are all made in the same factory in china.
I figured Westinghouse would be a good brand since Westinghouse has been around since the invention of electricity. I think Westinghouse even hired Tesla at one point.
 

tech

Veteran Member
The main problem with using a genie indoors with a gas powered one is the exhaust fumes. Probably not with a propane one. Since they use propane lift trucks indoors. However there is still the problem with air, and a crack
WTF????!!!!
NEVER EVER USE A GENERATOR INSIDE!!!
Propane produces carbon monoxide, just as gasoline or diesel.
 

tech

Veteran Member
How would you charge them back up? IMHO, these are useless for long term power outages.

WAB
I concur, but if solar is out and they can't run a generator one might have a bit of power for a short outage. Perhaps to run a cpap machine for a few hours, or somesuch necessity.
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
WTF????!!!!
NEVER EVER USE A GENERATOR INSIDE!!!
Propane produces carbon monoxide, just as gasoline or diesel.
While I agree to not using a genie in your home or apt. The following should be noted:

Is Propane Toxic? Facts & What to Do | Propane.com
Propane vapor is not toxic, but it is an asphyxiating gas. That means propane will displace the oxygen in your lungs, making it difficult or impossible to breathe if exposed to high concentrations. If you suspect you have inhaled a significant amount of propane, call 911. If you smell propane, or suspect a propane leak, call your propane supplier or 911 right away.
 

fi103r

Veteran Member
Hi...I'm trying to prepare for power outages, rolling blackouts, etc. and I am SO out of my element; if you're familiar with generators, could you please help?

I live in an apartment so solar panels won't work; gasoline generators give off noxious fumes; concerned that I'll run out of propane and won't be able to find/afford more if I were to purchase that type; are there any other options anyone knows about?

I've already purchased the one from Hammacher but unsure if it's my best bet. Anyone know anything about Generark products? Any help would be so appreciated, thanks in advance!
I went on craigslist and found an old 4kw Coleman powermate which is tough as an old boot
changed oil and fueled with nonethanol gas it fires right off still sourcing air filter and new sparkplugs but there are not any ‘integrated circuits/electronics’ on this boat anchor
so check craigslist and find a running or repairable gas genny
reason for gas genny is if necessary you can adapt it to run on everything from alcohol to production gas (look up wood burning ‘car’ or production gas’)
do find nonethonol gas source (mine is Tractor Supply and Buckees)

r
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
Propane isn't the problem....the resultant combustion gasses ARE.
A little knowledge will kill someone.
You said:

Propane produces carbon monoxide, just as gasoline or diesel.
I just noted they do not, and you don't like my post. Notice the difference?

An asphyxiant gas, also known as a simple asphyxiant, is a nontoxic or minimally toxic gas which reduces or displaces the normal oxygen concentration in breathing air. Breathing of oxygen-depleted air can lead to death by asphyxiation (suffocation). Because asphyxiant gases are relatively inert and odorless, their presence in high concentration may not be noticed, except in the case of carbon dioxide (hypercapnia).

Toxic gases, by contrast, cause death by other mechanisms, such as competing with oxygen on the cellular level (e.g. carbon monoxide) or directly damaging the respiratory system (e.g. phosgene). Far smaller quantities of these are deadly.

Notable examples of asphyxiant gases are methane,[1] nitrogen, argon, helium, butane and propane. Along with trace gases such as carbon dioxide and ozone, these compose 79% of Earth's atmosphere.


Also:


Propane Toxicity, Contamination and Spills
Propane is non-toxic, non-caustic and will not create an environmental hazard if released as a liquid or vapor into water or soil. If spilled in large quantity, the only environmental damage that may occur is freezing any organism or plant life in the immediate area. There are no long term effects following a propane spill even if the quantities are excessively large. The only damage and potential danger exists if the vapor is ignited following a spill. And even then, there are no long term effects of ignited propane that can be damaging to the environment. Propane liquid and vapor are environmentally sound and friendly in their unused states (prior to combustion) if released.

  • Propane is not considered a greenhouse gas.
  • Propane is not damaging to freshwater or saltwater ecosystems, underwater plant or marine life.
  • Propane is not harmful to soil if spilled on the ground.
  • Propane will not cause harm to drinking water supplies.
  • Propane vapor will not cause air pollution. Propane vapor is not considered air pollution.
  • Propane vapor is not harmful if accidentally inhaled by birds, animals or people.
  • Propane will only cause bodily harm if liquid propane comes in contact with skin (boiling point -44°F).
Although the physical characteristics of propane may cause harm to living things, the chemical makeup of propane will not harm anything. Then again, drinking water is harmless but who would attempt to chew on an ice cube that is 45 degrees below zero or take a 450 degree steam bath. The point is propane will not harm people or the environment and while its harmless attributes are eco-friendly, its temperature characteristics can and will cause harm when handled with carelessness.

Propane Gas Emissions
Combustion is the process of a fuel being burned in a chemical reaction that produces energy. The energy produced during combustion is in the form of heat, light or both. Examples of fuel are wood, paper, coal, gas, oil and of course, propane. Following combustion (after the fuel has burned), byproducts are produced that move into the atmosphere. These byproducts are called greenhouse gases and although emissions from propane combustion are greenhouse gases, the level of damaging emissions following LP Gas combustion is far below that of any readily available carbon based fuel used in vehicles and engines today. Propane is clean burning and environmentally friendly.

In fact, propane is listed as an approved clean fuel by U.S. Government energy policy makers and energy administrative bodies. The Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, TX has conducted numerous studies on propane emissions and determined that using propane cuts smog producing exhaust by as much as 70 percent. Propane engine exhaust is so clean and friendly to the environment that propane powered forklifts operate inside warehouses throughout the world. Think about the last time you saw a diesel powered forklift inside a warehouse. Additionally, many propane fueled vehicles are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as meeting the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard. Propane is a very clean burning fuel, without a doubt.

However having said that, I personally would never use one inside my home. Even though I do have a propane heater as back up to my wood heater.
 

Normallguy

"just a human bein'"
OK, here's my rebuild in the truck, thus portable, heh.
2 group 31 marine deep cycle batteries. Each rated at 2520 WA, for a total just over 5000WA. $400
Weight about 70lbs each, portable is relative.
Alternator on the truck is rated at 110 A. Wiring and isolator to batteries $250. 80A breaker inline.
1000W pure sinewave inverter $170.
1 160W solar panels $160.
1 300W solar panels $300, should be here soon.
An 1100W gas generator $350. 11 hr run at 50%.

Also a 300W inverter connected to the truck battery.

I have also picked up appliances within that power level.
Air fryer 700W
Microwave 700W
Rice cooker 300W
Ice maker 250W, what can I say I like my comforts.:xpmp:
Freezer, 19 liter, 40W when running
Cooler 40W

Lots of possibilities.
Laptop does just fine.

There's my input.

Jeff
 

Jeff B.

Don’t let the Piss Ants get you down…
Parts are hard to find on units older than about the 90s.

I keep a few old dogs patched up and running, but it takes some retrofitting and head scratching.
Mill,

Do you remember the 4.2 Kw (I think) gennies that we had in the basket at the front of the M577’s?

It would take a lot of changing to get me away from thinking those were among the worst generators ever made.

After screwing around with ours for months, trips to DS & GS Maint, we local purchased a couple of Honda’s. Kept the 4.2 on the track, ran it occasional for PMCS and show downs, but NEVER relied on it.

I used to look at them and get pissed. Next in line we’re the pumps that we used for water and fuel. Parts were essentially interchangeable. We had a couple too many down which was pushing our ERC rating below acceptable (USR) and I found that out Maint Chief was waiting on parts… It turned out that by moving some around we could get back to where we needed to be. Chief was adamant that “cannibalization” was against regs. We had a serious and animated discussion that ended with an order to move the parts as “controlled substitution” in the next hour and to get his head in the game. Turns out he needed a trip to the “drying out” place to get his stuff together. I don’t think he ever thought of me the same way after that visit.

Jeff B.
 

Millwright

Knuckle Dragger
_______________
Mill,

Do you remember the 4.2 Kw (I think) gennies that we had in the basket at the front of the M577’s?

It would take a lot of changing to get me away from thinking those were among the worst generators ever made.

After screwing around with ours for months, trips to DS & GS Maint, we local purchased a couple of Honda’s. Kept the 4.2 on the track, ran it occasional for PMCS and show downs, but NEVER relied on it.

I used to look at them and get pissed. Next in line we’re the pumps that we used for water and fuel. Parts were essentially interchangeable. We had a couple too many down which was pushing our ERC rating below acceptable (USR) and I found that out Maint Chief was waiting on parts… It turned out that by moving some around we could get back to where we needed to be. Chief was adamant that “cannibalization” was against regs. We had a serious and animated discussion that ended with an order to move the parts as “controlled substitution” in the next hour and to get his head in the game. Turns out he needed a trip to the “drying out” place to get his stuff together. I don’t think he ever thought of me the same way after that visit.

Jeff B.
Yeah, we had one of those pigs on the TOC.

Even worse were the itty-bitty units on the Vulcans.

Our generator guy stayed busy.
 

billet

Veteran Member
Noise will be a huge problem if the SHTF. A running generator will be like a loud speaker telling people "We've got electricity, come on over and help yourselves".
Absolutely. But the problem I see with solar is, it's hard to hide the panels. Taking that into consideration, I still prefer the solar over the drone of a generator.
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
Yeah, we had one of those pigs on the TOC.

Even worse were the itty-bitty units on the Vulcans.

Our generator guy stayed busy.
Many ages ago in a galaxy far far away........

I joined the National Guard as a Radio Teletype Operator (RAT).

We had a 24 volt diesel Chevy 5/4 hauling the RAT Rig, and pulling two 5k genie's.

You could hear those genie's running in Moscow. You/we could run the RAT offen the 5/4 engine which was very quite for then.

Had a talk with the Captain, telling him you could hear those things running in a 5 mile radius and we needed to stop using them, because like we would be ground zero for mortars. He agreed (phew) so we started leaving the genie's at the motor pool from then on.

'Course it didn't hurt anything that the RAT's were posted close to TOC for communication purposes.

And they didn't use us much anymore since they were switching over to encrypted phones.
 
Top