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Generator

 
Posts: 47
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I've been looking at generators and I'm not sure what to buy it seems Honda makes a good product although expensive but then again some of their models have issues I don't want to deal with when purchasing new. Whats the best brands and models?
 
pollinator
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Location: Nomadic
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Hi Susan,
Can you be a little more specific about what size generator you require?. How much will it be used? That’s called “duty cycle”. Do you need 120 or 240 volts?
Do you need it to portable or not? Thanks
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 47
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I'm assuming 120
I will need it for a fridge and 2 freezers limited electronics and of course power tools been doing without light during dark hours for sometime now so don't need it for lighting. My understanding is an inverter type is best for electronics.
Probably best to have one of both for backup
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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A total of 4000W (Two 2000W generator in parallel) should be fine if you don't mind disconnecting the fridge/freezer while you run the power tool for an hour a day. Do you see yourself running the powertool alot or just an hour or so a day.

House run on two legs of 120v (split-phase 240v), so if you get a split phase 240v generator rated for 10,000W. You could just connect it in directly into your house electrical wiring vs a 4000W system which would only have an extension cord that you can run into either the kitchen(fridge) or the garage(power tool)

As for brands: Honda or Generac
https://www.generac.com/all-products/generators/home-backup-generators#?cat=6&cat=214&cat=217&cat=249
 
gardener
Posts: 3867
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Harbor Freight Predator 3500 watt inverter - generator , can be stacked  IF you need a double.
Can be converted to propane and can be converted to be a stationary remote start.
Catch a sale and they are under $700
 
Jeremy Baker
pollinator
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Location: Nomadic
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I sold my Yamaha inverter suitcase generator because it was 1600 watt continuous duty and bought the new Honda eu2200i because it is 1800 watt continuous duty. 200 watts can make a difference sometimes. Ive never tried linking two of them together but it gives you option of running only one or both.
I like Japanese made equipment but the Chinese clones are getting better and better. A friend has been running a Predator form Harbor Freight hard for a year now charging at full power and it’s still going. However I met someone who ran a Honda eu2000i hard for 11 years off grid.  
I’d consider a bigger inverter generator with 240 output and connect it to a breaker panel so you can balance the 120 volt loads on each side of the panel. Dunno which is best. I’d look at the eu3000i if it was my call.
 My friend with the Predator bought the extended warranty on the Generator and plans on just taking it in for a new one every year. Even if it still runs. I’m not going to comment on the ethics of this approach.
 
thomas rubino
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That is the exact thing that I do with the predator. The harbor freight employees suggested it.
Ethics aside.  When you live off grid, you work a generator hard.  I can't tell you how many I've bought over the years.
I learned that a $3000 onan lasts no longer than a $900 champion. So a $700 predator that I pay 850-900 for with extended warranty that I turn in after a year... I have no remorse about at all.
I know that those generators will be resold "AS IS" to some lucky person. And I get a brand new one for less than $200 (Cost of new extended warranty)
The predator is quiet , has an idle down feature , As I said, for extra you can buy a propane conversion kit. I run mine off the 250 gallon house propane tank.  Never run out of fuel in the dark... never pour gasoline on your foot...
 
Jeremy Baker
pollinator
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Now that’s stretching your dollar and testing the utility of the generator. At my current location I haven’t needed my generator enough to really test its limits. But I hope to move somewhere beautiful where my solar and generators prove themselves.
To the OP: a generator has moving parts and is relatively high maintenance. I’d suggest looking into solar so you can run a generator as little as possible. Or micro hydro if you have a stream. It’s like a generator powered by water.
 
thomas rubino
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Ayup;  I have solar and micro hydro.  Still need a genny for those high draw items, saves on the battery's.
Things like the cloths dryer, or the big shop vac, occasionally the microwave.
The longer you live off grid the better you treat  your battery's!  
They are the most often replaced item in an off grid home and boy howdy do they cost bunches!
 
Jeremy Baker
pollinator
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Yep, the experimental solid state batteries might be a game changer. But it took 14 years for Lithium to come out if the lab to the market. So it might be a while.
 
master gardener
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Honda makes great engines.  If you will be using it a great deal, this might be a good idea.

There are trade offs with generator size. Smaller generators will do less but consume less fuel.  That said, I went with something larger.

If I had it to do again, I would buy a multi fuel generator to keep my options open.  Both gas and lp have benefits .....  so why not both.
 
Jeremy Baker
pollinator
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Yes, using propane as fuel makes great sense IMHO. Worth taking into consideration when shopping for a generator.
 
thomas rubino
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US Carberation makes the Motor Snorkel.  Just about any genset out there can be converted to propane.  
Spark plug gap is less for propane and any kind of choke is removed or disabled.
So you kind of run propane or you convert it back to use gas.
Motor snorkel can be removed and installed on a different genset of similar size.

Customer service is outstanding and all parts are warranted for life.

 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 47
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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There is a lot to think about..what size..what brand..what type and I'm in my infancy stages of learning
Thank you for the responses and any other info is appreciated
gift
 
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