Help Which generator is best?

RememberGoliad

Senior Member
The OP's Generark for ten Bens is about what I built out of scrounging around immediately pre-Harvey. Snagged the deep cycle battery off my trailer's winch, had a 400 watt inverter with clamps, had two of those light-bulb-looking solar lights that were 6v each, so wired them in series and put clamps on them for evening lighting.

The inverter sat on wife's night table with her powered up-and-down bed, her nebulizer compressor, and a 7w LED in a lamp (40w equivalent light output) plugged into the little Harbor Fright inverter. Battery sat on a table right outside the window, had the inverter, the two series lights, and a clip-on lighter plug clipped to it. Lighter plug was for charging her phone.

When she needed to up-or-down her bed or use her nebulizer, she'd flip on the inverter, do what needed doing, flip it back off. The group 27 marine battery pretty much stayed charged up with the 4 hrs twice a day I'd run the gasoline generator to keep the freezer and fridges cold. I suppose it would've stayed close to full with a couple of 100w solar panels, even drug out during the day and secured at night. A second battery would've been VERY desirable if we'd had to go that route for recharge because there were a couple of really cloudy days if I recall correctly.

I've still got the same setup, but it's been put back to its 'normal' uses in the case of what I scavenged/borrowed. Never bothered putting it together during the icepocalypse in February because she never felt the need to move her bed and was having a good piece of time re not needing the nebulizer. Gas lanterns and sub-freezing temps took care of the lighting and keeping food cold ;)

For a long-term out, I think it'll be fairly obvious when power goes out if it's going to be a transient event or one longer-term. Longer term, can the freezer quickly and eat up the fridge stuff. Shorter term, 4hr shots with genny and re-scavenge the semi-constant low power supply.

There's ways around almost all of the need for electric. If there wasn't, we humans would have gone extinct before our tails fell off.

Someone mentioned a Westinghouse dual fuel. I just got a call yesterday from a nearby retired neighbor who asked if I could come over and unbox, service up, and test their brand new unit that could be described thus. I'll report back my estimate of that particular unit when I have done this for them, sometime next week.
 

Thunderbird

Veteran Member
I live in a 1st floor apartment. I have 3 generators, A Honda EU 2200, A Generac IQ 2000, And a Generac IQ 3500.
These are all inverter generators and are quiet. To quiet them even further I will build a wooden box with a 4 inch air gap on the bottom with about a 3 foot wall height to quite them even more. When the SHTF ANY noise will become very noticeable. I intend to use them very sparingly and only at a power level necessary for the immediate need. I do not expect to have months and months of electricity available. All are broken in and ready to fuel and put to use
 

Ku Commando

Veteran Member
I've already purchased the one from Hammacher but unsure if it's my best bet.

That's a nice FANCY power bank

......like these next 2 fellas say, you'll get the most bang for your buck with DIY homebuild

See the 12:30 vid at the end to see how easy it is.

If still intimidated/unsure, there's the local computer repair guy who will put it together for you.

Recharging the battery is the wild card here....mebbe local source a handyman to hook up a manual generator to a bicycle you'll power up a few hours each day


You could also build your own power station for a fraction of the cost. Empty out a kitchen cupboard and fill it with batteries and a charger, and inverter.

Make sure its vented.

Snagged the deep cycle battery off my trailer's winch, had a 400 watt inverter with clamps, had two of those light-bulb-looking solar lights that were 6v each, so wired them in series and put clamps on them for evening lighting.

The inverter sat on wife's night table with her powered up-and-down bed, her nebulizer compressor, and a 7w LED in a lamp (40w equivalent light output) plugged into the little Harbor Fright inverter. Battery sat on a table right outside the window, had the inverter, the two series lights, and a clip-on lighter plug clipped to it. Lighter plug was for charging her phone.

 

RememberGoliad

Senior Member
That's a nice FANCY power bank

......like these next 2 fellas say, you'll get the most bang for your buck with DIY homebuild

See the 12:30 vid at the end to see how easy it is.

If still intimidated/unsure, there's the local computer repair guy who will put it together for you.

Recharging the battery is the wild card here....mebbe local source a handyman to hook up a manual generator to a bicycle you'll power up a few hours each day








Similar setup. That thing probably won't push a CPAP machine, but would definitely do the head of a bed and very likely push a nebulizer compressor. It's not a plug-in-your-window-unit and chill type setup. (I can see someone saying 'but the plug fits!' LOL)

Folks, these setups are for very light loads over time, or a little more load for less time, NOT to live life like the electric meter is still spinning. Don't think you're going to run much of anything off of one of these setups, but it will run small loads very well.
 

Double_A

TB Fanatic
Isn't it a shame that the 1970's appliance colors were so awful?

Kathleen

LOL, reminds me of that TV series "That 70's Show" ... Mrs Forman's kitchen

That kitchen's yellow wallpaper with the big Daisy like flowers, that's what I had in my kitchen when I bought my place in the 80's.
 

lanningro

Senior Member
Ok, lets look at fuel.
Natural gas, so-so BTU content for IC engine use. How does it get to your house? Its pumped. Used to be the long haul pipelines used Nat gas fired pumps at the the pumping stations. Now they are electric pumps. What if they lose power?

Gas-Diesel, highest BTU per pound and pumped in pipelines.

Propane, so-so BTU content for IC engine use. By-product of oil distillation to gas-diesel and pumped in pipelines.

Even though I have a pair of 375 gallon propane tanks, approx two years supply for us, I purchased a gas powered generator.
This one. Its sold at Northern tool.

Rule of thumb for small engine life with proper service is 100 hours per horsepower.

1637935910164.png

I have two fuel tanks that CO-OP keeps full for me one for diesel and one for gas.
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
I hear it all the time...."post-SHTF, generators will (insert standard excuse not to buy one).

You can get a decent 2000w inverter for 500bux, a honda eu2000 for about one large.

Consider the cost of your freezer contents and the value of having some power during an extended outage.

Even if there was a "Lights Out" event, it would buy you a few days to can or whatever your frozen food.


((Shrug))

People make their own choices for their own reason.
Whole heartedly agree.

This is a link to a Champion at 600.00, note the size:

Champion Power Equipment 4,250W/3,500W RV-Ready Open Frame Inverter Generator with Quiet Technology | Cabela's (cabelas.com)

While not really answering the OP with that, and suggest getting one now for Christmas, because it is important. Don't wait for a hurricane to blow Florida away, when they will be in short supply.

Along with that in support of Millwright thoughts, get some gas, treat it, and rotate it through lawn mowers etc. To have in storage for what Millwright suggested - running the freezer till you eat it all out.

BTW a case of oil should also be considered, since most of these things will use some oil, and have a low oil light to let you know.

Concerning the OP there was mention made of solar packs, so I checked them out. Nowhere near the range of the one above BUT, if you prepare for their use, it might work out.

Here is one link, runs 800.00, and you will notice it is for 500 watts and not the 3500 as the gas operated above:

Jackery Solar Generator (Jackery 500 + SolarSaga 100W)

However if living in an apt, and need something, you can prepare for this by coupling it with a dorm 'frig. Which normally runs about 100 watts.

While there is a benefit to recharging it by the sun, you can also recharge it with your car.

A couple of things to bear in mind is, bumping. don't run the genie all the time, only run it to bump up the frig. and freezer. KEEP THE DOORS CLOSED, and only open when bumping. That way you will only need to run it about 4 hours out of 24. 'Course that will depend on how big, how much, everything is.

If you're/we're going to depend on genie's for extended periods, weeks, months. You'll really be heading back to the old days, and you would benefit from knowing what they did in the old days.

They didn't keep any, or nearly any, drinks in the frig. So there was no opening and closing the door to get one out.

Water sat in a pail on a shelf mostly in the breeze way, with a dipper hanging on a nail nearby. That's what everybody drank out of all day. Iced Sweet Tea was only served at supper, from ice trays. Everybody drank the water at room temperature, granted they did change it out with fresh water when it got a bit warm, but mostly it was room temp.

The frig, was mostly used to store, store bought meat. Meat they produced themselves was kept in a smoke house.

Just giving examples of the old days and part of that is getting your head screwed on straight as to what the means.

A friend said yesterday they don't want to live like that. Which is fine then, she won't. Odd, no? They lived like that for 5000 years.
 
Champion Power Equipment 4,250W/3,500W RV-Ready Open Frame Inverter Generator with Quiet Technology | Cabela's (cabelas.com)

BTW a case of oil should also be considered, since most of these things will use some oil, and have a low oil light to let you know.
Informative post.

I would strongly suggest CHANGING the oil in any "smaller" (not full house) generators (drained and refilled with new) roughly every 30+ hours - do not exceed 50 hours between changes, generally speaking.

This oil change interval is particularly significant if these smaller generators are being run on a continuous multi-hour basis. This is an important point to understand, if you wish to keep your generator motor running years into the future.

Oil change intervals matter.

All that being said - have a sufficient stock of fresh engine oil that is rated for the generator engine, and ALSO oil filters - if applicable to that generator engine (some may have oil filters, some may not - a generator engine with an oil filter is preferable for overall generator engine longevity).

Regarding small motor generator engine oil filter types - I have a couple of well-used, much older Kohler single-cylinder gasoline industrial engines that use a "Kohler" screw-on oil filter - LONG ago, I substituted a slightly taller automotive-application (Nissan V6 gas motor 2002? IIRC) screw-on oil filter to both, that is inexpensive (compared to the Kohler-branded oil filter) and easily obtained at any auto parts store.


intothegoodnight
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
Informative post.

I would strongly suggest CHANGING the oil in any "smaller" (not full house) generators (drained and refilled with new) roughly every 30+ hours - do not exceed 50 hours between changes, generally speaking.

This oil change interval is particularly significant if these smaller generators are being run on a continuous multi-hour basis. This is an important point to understand, if you wish to keep your generator motor running years into the future.

Oil change intervals matter.

All that being said - have a sufficient stock of fresh engine oil that is rated for the generator engine, and ALSO oil filters - if applicable to that generator engine (some may have oil filters, some may not - a generator engine with an oil filter is preferable for overall generator engine longevity).

Regarding small motor generator engine oil filter types - I have a couple of well-used, much older Kohler single-cylinder gasoline industrial engines that use a "Kohler" screw-on oil filter - LONG ago, I substituted a slightly taller automotive-application (Nissan V6 gas motor 2002? IIRC) screw-on oil filter to both, that is inexpensive (compared to the Kohler-branded oil filter) and easily obtained at any auto parts store.


intothegoodnight
Don't throw that used oil away either.

You can run it through a coffee filter and then add some STP to give it sticking power and use it in your chainsaw. As chain lube.

IF worse comes to worse, or if Delta goes Nu. LOL
 

Illini Warrior

Illini Warrior
speaking of timewarp capsules - my BIL's parents had their parents home remodeled around 1965 when they inherited the 1930s capsule >>> my BIL had the phone guy in a few years ago to add & change to phone jacks - the guy was looking around in amazement - hadn't seen the old black AT& T original dial phones or the wired in connections since his training days of youth - suggested they sell the phones on EBay for antiques ....
 
Top