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Thread: The PF generator thread

  1. #11
    Site Supporter GuanoLoco's Avatar
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    I recently sprung for the Honda E2000, also got a 6 gallon extended gas tank and a primable, quick-disconnect (low spash) hose kit. That plus a bunch of extension cords, one is a 100’ 10 guage plus several 100’ 14 guage that were on clearance for $8.

    I let it run for an afternoon with 2 x 1000 watt dehydrators turning randomly on and off. Worked like a champ. Stupid easy to pull start and has been 100% on 1-pull starts.

    Stockpiled some no-ethanol gas and treated it with a double dose of PRI-G. I think it’s enough to keep the essentials running - multiple fridges, chest freezers, coffee makers, etc. I haven’t tried hooking of up to the house and running a gaspack furnace on it yet.

    Interesting idea. I don’t have a transfer switch but I guess you can just pull the manual cut-off in a pinch.
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  2. #12
    Just a reminder to not guess on size when it comes to gensets. I remember an electrician friend said he'd done a lot of work to burnt-up stuff that people were running with underpowered generators after the derecho came through here a few years back. Check your labels for peak amp draws and running amps, and manage your loads properly.

    Another thing -- on the gasoline-powered gensets, rather than constantly store fuel with all sorts of stabilizers in it, it can be easier and cheaper to keep a couple of 5 gallon cans filled at all times, and empty them monthly into your vehicle just before you fill it with gas. Then fill your cans back up at the same time you top off your vehicle. Rotating your supply like this will ensure that your different small engines always have fresh gas in storage.

  3. #13
    Brigham Jung pls schüler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayrevolver View Post
    I have a red Kipor 2000w (Honda clone) that is pretty quiet. We used them for tire warmers on motorcycles. Four of us bought them and 3 failed after a year.

    What about a power/signal conditioner post-genny? That way you can keep your current unit or upgrade to a 10kw unit for much cheaper than the Yamaha/Honda clones.

    As an aside, can anyone speak to building a battery bank that you can keep charged, as opposed to just running a genny? And maybe that way you can run a cheaper/bigger unit without worrying about clean power.

    Batteries are expensive, but maybe have enough for a few hours vice a few days, since you will be charging them anyways.
    Everyone's intended use is different. Every single cheap inverter generator is an Athlon scope, TruGlo red dot, etc. Use accordingly.

    Power conditioners are not efficient. Especially if they have high quality output. They still require current to compensate for voltage fluctuations, so they can put a similarly sized gen set in surge oscillation which affects fuel economy. The only true power conditioner is a "true online" or "double conversion" UPS. Not cheap but they are extra insurance against damaging a sensitive load plus offer limited battery backup - as long as the input voltage doesn't go catastrophically out of range.

    Battery banks or "plants" are indeed expensive. Especially for long life, low maintenance types. And they only last that long when in optimum temperature. Heat kills battery life. The charging cycle is not efficient but doesn't require much to keep topped off. Inverters have come a long way but you still have to account for efficiency loss. Two-is-one is true with charger and inverter; a large system may be worth choosing a modular/redundant N+1 type of rectifier (charger) or inverter.

    I serviced UPS/standby power for 9 years. Everything from personal computer size to complete multi-story buildings.

    I like the smaller generators. Something any able-bodied teen can move around or can be taken with me (wildfire, hurricane, whatever). As Wm Aprill's friend says, we're all "temporarily able".
    Last edited by schüler; 10-15-2017 at 07:11 AM.

  4. #14
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    Just a quick note on TBone's comment re: rotating gas. If you are running non-ethanol gas on the genny, do NOT mix that with ethanol gas in your car. You will experience problems. If you are going to run/store ethanol gas, keep the container as full as possible and sealed to cut down on water absorption. The PRI-G or Marine Sta-bil helps too. Lastly, if you start experiencing hard starting or surging, try some Sea Foam. That stuff has "fixed" more outboard motors than I can count.

  5. #15
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    One of the best resources I've seen for emergency home power and preparedness in general is the info put out by a guy named Steven Harris. He has some free podcast interviews and also videos available for purchase that give detailed information on generators, fuel storage, inverters, battery banks, and more. I purchased his videos when he had a discount running (he often does; sign up for his email list if you're interested in the videos) and I recommend them for anyone looking for step-by-step instructions and tips for understanding and generating emergency power.

    http://www.steven1234.com - all his stuff is here. The website design sucks, but the info is good.

    Note: I am in no way affiliated with Mr. Harris and derive no benefit from posting this information
    Last edited by zuplex; 10-15-2017 at 07:43 AM. Reason: No affiliation

  6. #16
    Site Supporter GuanoLoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuanoLoco View Post
    I haven’t tried hooking of up to the house and running a gaspack furnace on it yet.

    Interesting idea. I don’t have a transfer switch but I guess you can just pull the manual cut-off in a pinch.
    Warning: Brief research indicates that this is a VERY bad idea for yourself and others. Do your homework BEFORE you lose power and internet connection. Research transfer switches for the right way to do it.
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  7. #17
    Site Supporter Alembic's Avatar
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    Fuel: If I remember correctly. Propane is not as fuel-efficient as diesel, which is not as fuel-efficient as gasoline, but propane ofcourse has almost unlimited storage time.
    A duel fuel model seemed like a interesting option, but I'm not an expert.
    Thoughts?
    "If you like the moon landing, the interstate highway system or plan on cashing a social security check, you are a progressive."

  8. #18
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    Alembic - yeah, all of that sounds right to me. Fuel storage seems to be the bane/achilles heel of emergency generators. When you need them the most, fuel is the least accessible and expensive to get. I live on the gulf coast. I run non-ethanol in all of me small engines except the generator. This under the theory that when the local infrastructure gets stomped flat by a storm, I will be doing good to get gas at all, much less non-ethanol. That said, there are stories of people doing well with diesel, propane, and even LNG (I think) - because the demand for those fuels post-disaster is not as great as for gasoline. As an aside, I also remember hearing of folks who, after Ivan and Katrina, just kicked over to the whole house generator and continued to live like they were still hooked to the grid. This lasted for a week or 10 days. When the LNG/propane bill came due, they were not happy campers.

    I keep a small window unit in the shed - still in the original box. The idea here is that when the power goes out, we will all pile into one small room where the window unit has been installed and at least have a cool place to sleep. Actually have done this once - when the central AC took a dump late one afternoon and it was going to be the next day before my AC guy could come out. It worked fine.

  9. #19
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    I have a 11kw generac with a automatic transfer switch and runs off propane. It’s not big enough to run the whole house so I manage the use of electricity from the panel. It will keep the refrigerator and freezer, fans, tv and a window unit going. I have a 500 gallon propane tank and that’s supposed to power it for a week (don’t really want to know for sure). The electricity occasionally goes out here and since my wife is handicapped and uses a lift chair the generator is very handy.


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  10. #20
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    I know its annecdotal, but down where I work there are a lot of food trucks/taco trucks around at lunch time and just about all of them have either a Honda or the HF knockoff. Those things are running hours and hours daily and there's one old eu2000 that's almost faded white. Never talked to the guys to get the scoop but I'd imagine that most of those generators have been run hard. Also, I don't recall where I heard about it or read it, but there was some information floating around that the HF inverter generators were such a close clone of the Honda EU engines that lawyers were involved. Some here are saying Yamaha, so who knows for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by zuplex View Post
    One of the best resources I've seen for emergency home power and preparedness in general is the info put out by a guy named Steven Harris. He has some free podcast interviews and also videos available for purchase that give detailed information on generators, fuel storage, inverters, battery banks, and more. I purchased his videos when he had a discount running (he often does; sign up for his email list if you're interested in the videos) and I recommend them for anyone looking for step-by-step instructions and tips for understanding and generating emergency power.

    http://www.steven1234.com - all his stuff is here. The website design sucks, but the info is good.

    Note: I am in no way affiliated with Mr. Harris and derive no benefit from posting this information
    I was first exposed to Mr. Harris a few years ago via TSP. I'm a big fan of his work. While I don't agree with everything he says (I'm not a fan of ethanol gas, he insists that it's perfectly okay), but I cannot disagree with the work he puts in to his stuff and he's got a solid background for the work. I've implemented a lot of things from his shows with Jack Spirko/TSP and will be doing more as resources allow. Right now, I'm building up one of his battery banks with some group 31 marine batteries and a couple inverters (800W & 1600W) as a backup power solution. Also looking at getting a EU2000 to supplement my old 5kw Techumseh/Generac generator. I love the ability of the 5kw generator, but damn is it loud and thirsty. I'm watching a few sites as someone said they had picked up a EU2000 for under $800 here, so I'm watching for sales there again.

    Quote Originally Posted by TBone550 View Post
    Don't forget about the option of used, brand name gensets. I picked up an EU3000is a few years ago for $700 off CL. Heck of a machine for peanuts price tag. Obviously the std used-equip buying caveats apply, but a ton of stuff on the used market is near pristine.
    I'm going to be watching Craigslist for some deals. I would imagine that once hurricane season passes, there will be a lot of people selling theirs because they didn't use them and would rather have the cash.
    Last edited by ragnar_d; 10-15-2017 at 03:03 PM.

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