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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Portable Generators - advice requested

    I'm considering investing in a portable generator to be used as an emergency backup. The main reason for getting a generator is to run my sump pump in the case of a power failure (summer storms). I am currently in the process of installing a Watchdog battery backup sump pump, but the generator would be used in case the power outage lasts longer than the battery.

    Can anyone please recommend a decent generator (under $1,000)? Also, where would I run the generator during a rainstorm if the power fails? I heard you cannot run them in the garage AND they cannot be run in the rain. Since those are the only 2 choices available, where can you run it?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Portable Generators - advice requested

    A word to the wise, you get what you pay for when purchasing a generator. I would recommend a Honda generator because they put out a cleaner power, particularly the quiet versions. The size (output rating ) of the generator will determine it's cost. You will need to determine what your maximum running load will be on the generator to determine how large a unit you need. The cheap generators you'll find at the typical auto parts store are built with cheap components that cause voltage sag and spikes as multiple loads are applied. This noise can damage the equipment being powered by the generator.

    There are two numbers associated with generator output, a "running" load and a "surge" load. The running load is 80% of it's maximum rated output with the surge rating being 100% maximum output. When you calculate your load, that figure should NOT exceed the 80% rating of the generator, if it does, then you need to step up to the next size generator.

    A little water isn't going to hurt the generator, the concern is having it sit in a puddle or the user standing in a puddle and dealing with wet cords while working with the generator. So to answer your question, you can shelter the generator with a piece of plywood, leave it under an overhang, or even operate it in the garage WITH the doors open for adequate ventilation. The concern of operating the generator in a confined space is the build up of carbon monoxide - a colorless/odorless toxic gas. Just don't run it in a confined space.
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 03-10-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Portable Generators - advice requested

    Honda Spruce? How odd......... I gave someone the same advice a while back............ Good advice........ lol!

    As far as generator protection in the rain maybe just make a "dog house" with plenty of metal fabric ventilation under the roof.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Fayette County, Ohio

    Default Re: Portable Generators - advice requested

    Honda is probably the most reliable. If you don't buy Honda stick with a well known brand.
    I would never run a generator in a garage even with the door open, if the wind happens to be blowing into the garage the CO ends up inside the house. We lost a family near by this past winter running a generator in the garage.

    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Truckee, Calif.

    Default Re: Portable Generators - advice requested

    As was stated before, just be sure you read the ratings. Some are rated "peak watts" and others are "continuous". The starting current of the pump motor may stall out a unit that's too small.
    Just because you can, it doesn't mean you should!

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