backup generator suggestions?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fmkjr, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. fmkjr

    fmkjr Member

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    We are looking to purchase a backup generator. We have a few items I would like to have "covered". Sump pump for interior french drains, well, fridge, general lights, (oil) furnace, and hot plate... other items we can do without for some time.

    Any suggestions on the type, size, or brand?

    Thanks for any ideas...
    frank
     
  2. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    I have a coleman 6800 watt with 11.0 hp honda and it runs my whole house.
    we loose power in the winter from ice storms and I have it hooked to the main box. I just shut off the main breaker and fire it up. We run a 220 well pump, elec. oven, lights Tv, fridge, freezer, never had to change our lifestyle when the power went out. we have been out for 3 days at a time with 10 degree weather. it uses about 5 gallon a day and we do not conserve at all.
    bake cookies wash clothes etc. Arnie
    600.00 at home depot
     

  3. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll not comment on size because I haven't a clue. However, for us our only concern is the sump pump. We have alternate sources of light, heat and cooking. Cheaper to do the alternatives than to buy a generator large enough for everything. The freezer would probably stay cold a couple days and we'd just clean out the fridge and put stuff into coolers in the basement. I saw a post from someone in FL that running their generator an hour twice a day was enough to keep everything frozen. My freezer is in a basement so would not defrost as fast as one in FL, but would float if the sump pump quit running. Generators are expensive, noisy and require fuel. I personally think it is wiser to limit their usage to absolute necessity rather than trying to maintain your regular comfort level.
     
  4. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I want a honda eu2000 watt generator,super quiet(like you can barely hear it run,stand next to it and talk in a normal voice,they are QUIET!) :dance: .But I just cant go the 1000 bucks or so.I would use it to keep my battery backup system charged during extended outages.Also the EU series has super clean pure sinewave output,usually cleaner than grid tied! Very important to get all your appliances to work at grid level effiency.AND you can tie 2 together to double the output,ONLY the EU does this.So if you decide you need more power,you can upgrade toa second unit,use one,fire the second if you need it.Only drawback is price,very expensive.

    http://www.wisesales.com/SuperQuiet.html
    http://www.smallenginewarehouse.com/product.asp?PN=HHG-EU2000
    http://www.epinions.com/search/?sub...me=&dyn_nav=0&dyn_nav_id=&search_vertical=all

    BooBoo
     
  5. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    A 7500 watt would be plenty big enough for what you want. maybe a propane fueled one for around $1200 for electric start
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I bought for $700 a used 6000 watt dual voltage Kubota engine diesel fueled generator. It is the type generator used to power the light towers used in night time road construction. Previously I had a gas fueled 4500 watt unit that could barely start my submersible well pump. The 6000 watt unit does a fine job and since it was designed to run unattended it has all the safety shutdown features and has a large enough fuel tank to run a couple of days if necessary. The generator came mounted on a trailer and works duel duty as a portable generator on the farm. I particularly like the diesel fuel as the unit can sit for months and not have a clogged fuel system. On the gas unit I would always drain the fuel or let it run dry to prevent gum formation in the carb. I suggest that you get not less than 6000 watts.
     
  7. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I may have asked you before,where did you get this? I cant find one at anywhere near that price.

    BooBoo
     
  8. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    Here is a shameless plug for my son-in-law, he is a generator business and has been doing it for a little more than a year. Has Honda, Yamaha, and a couple of others.

    http://www.huntsvillegenerator.com/default.html
    His name is Greg Greaves.

    He will treat you fair... He has the little ones, and the ones that radio stations use for back up and is selling to state government...

    Angie
     
  9. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I recommend Sears due to their service contract. My friend in Missouri has one for his whole house. They lose power frequently due to storms, and his generator has saved their freezers, etc., more than once.
     
  10. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Agmantoo.

    BooBoo
     
  12. fmkjr

    fmkjr Member

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    Thank you for the tips...

    Along the same lines... would it be wise to purchase one that would run on diesel (thus I could run it off the same tank as my furnace) or would that not work?

    thanks
    frank
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    here in the sunny south the number 2 home heating oil and diesel fuel are one and the same. In very cold climates the fuel is formulated differently as I understand. I would much prefer to have a diesel generator unless I had a gas well.
     
  14. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Probably the best genset made is a Lister Petter Hawkpower unit. The engine should go 20,000 to 30,000 hours before a rebuild. That's comparable to running the machine for three years continuously. The smallest unit is a 6kw, 1 cyl. unit. Listers are diesels fueled by, diesel of course, or modified to run on propane or natural gas. If you can imagine a diesel block with cast iron heads running on propane or natural gas you can get an idea of how long one would last compared to a aluminum gas engine.

    None of the gensets you'll find at a box stores will last as long and some will cost you as much. The Lister Petter units are so reliable they're used to run the refrigeration units on shrimpers. A genset on those boats is called a Lister. That tells you something.
     
  15. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I doubt your furnace runs on diesel, Fuel oil maybe but they are NOT the same as diesel, close but not the same. Unless you can get confirmation that the genset will run on fuel oil I wouldnt do it.

    Diesel is ok if you normally have diesel around. Diesel gensets usually last longer, no because its a diesel but because they are higher end units, and they usually cost more to purchase.
     
  16. Momo

    Momo Well-Known Member

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    We have a gas powered Honda. Just big enough to keep the fridge and some lights going. It is dependable and easy to start. We got it for y2k but it is handy when the power goes out.
     
  17. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I bought a Ingersoll Rand light tower two weeks ago. It is 8500 watt. Has the light trees in place and working plus it has outletts for 120 and 240. has a d950 dg1 kubota diesel and a 25 gallon tank on it. It had a little over 900 hours on it and is in perfect running order. Best thing about it is it is a 1800 rpm model. The 3600 rpms are too noisy and have about 1/3rd the life span as the 1800's. Mine had been in a wreck and the tin was a little banged up but she was runs smooth as glass. I found mine in a heavy equipment trader kinda like auto trader. I gave 600 bucks for it. Even if the motor wasnt any good the gen head is worht more than what I paid for it.
     
  18. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    be carefull with those light tower generators, The frequency may not be standard. They also may not regulate the freq very well. This can cause issues with electronic devices.
     
  19. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    I can't talk as an expert cause I just don't understand these things but we have a rebuilt 8KW diesel Kiroskar (I think that's the spelling) wired up to the house. It is set up to run manually, so we can control what we want power to. We figure with the 220 well pump, blowers for heat, frig, freezers, etc., we'd need something dependable.

    We're told the military has used these to "drop" from aircraft for power in the middle of nowhere. We have a diesel tractor and it runs for hours on a gal of fuel. We've never yet HAD to use the generator, because we've only had short power outtages, but right before we moved out here, there was a terrible ice storm which hit the state hard. People out here told us they were without power for 3 weeks! The power companies have to tend to areas with higher populations first, of course.

    We have it anchored to a cement slab in our barn.
     
  20. irish_mark

    irish_mark Member

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    we got a 3500 w genny from pepboys for 300$ itll run pumps and fridge and small stuff ... theyre doing a 5500 w for 400$ i think maybe cheaper check their web site ,,their not bad gennys for chineese knock off hondas ??..