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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New London County, CT

    Default Re: recommendation for portable generator

    Great info in this thread.

    I have a 6kw propane generator that is stored in the basement and on a battery maintainer. When a power failure occurs I wheel it out the back door onto the covered concrete deck. From there I have created a wall pass thru to snake my cables through. I need 220 for the well pump and use the 110 for all the other needed devices. I power the freezer, refrigerator and boiler (1 zone 1400 sq ft with indirect DHW). I have measured all of these and the generator will easily handle it.

    The stove and fireplace are propane. The fireplace fan is hooked to a charger inverter that will run 8 hours.

    I keep 3 propane 20lb bottles on hand. During the longest and first use of the generator I clocked 9.5 hours on 1 propane bottle.

    In the almost 3 years we have been in this house we have used the generator 3 times, storm Irene was 40 hours with no power. I do not run it all the time. On for 2 hours then off for 3 or 4. When the storm is over any noted issues are logged in the generator document I use to track storms and usage.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Columbiana, Alabama

    Default Re: recommendation for portable generator

    Bunch of good info.


    1) Either get a transfer panel or a less expensive main breaker interlock kit installed by an electrician to prevent being connected to the power company, when power is restored.

    2) During very cold weather Butane, which is often sold as Propane will not provide enough vapor pressure to operate gas appliances (or generators) below 25 deg F.

    3) If you have a heat pump that has been sitting idle due to a power outage in freezing temperatures be sure to turn you thermostat to the off position. Don't demand heat for several hours after power is restored, the oil in the sump has to heat up, or your system could be destroyed.

    4) If power has been off for a long period turn expensive appliances off until power is stabilized. All homes will be demanding power at the same time, expect costly low voltage and high voltage surges.

    5) Invest in a 1000W inverter which can run off a deep cycle marine battery. At various times during the day and night run light loads off it and turn off the generator, to reduce noise and save fuel. When the generator is on, recharge the battery.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: recommendation for portable generator

    All good so far, but if you choose a gasoline generator also use a fuel stabilizer and feed it only non-ethanol gas. Gas stored over 3 months (even with stabilizer) goes in the car- today's gas does not store well at all. Small engine carbs and fuel systems have tiny orifices that clog or gum up easily, and ethanol-enriched fuels attract water, of which one single drop in the wrong place will stop a small engine cold. Cars have larger holes and can still use relatively old fuel safely. Start and run your gasoline generator at least every couple months with a load on it until the engine reaches full operating temperature, then switch off. Do not kill it by shutting off the fuel or you will exacerbate gumming from the wet fuel deposits left behind that dry out. Old leaded fuels didn't gum up like this, which is why that bit of advice is different these days. Once shut down, then close the fuel valve to protect against leaks during storage. And having a load applied during the standby run time will keep the coils properly saturated and magnetized so that full output will be maintained (no 'flashing' will ever be needed). When running a generator, always keep a load on it (even just a 100 watt light bulb) as this will help keep the voltage output more stable, the biggest variations always occur when going from no-load to load.

    Of the gasoline models, Honda stands head and shoulders above all the rest, well worth the extra cost and then some. Cheaper brands are better than nothing but many aren't well regulated and acquiring parts (if ever needed) can be a problem. I'm happy with my 'no-name cheapo' but I know what to expect from it and how to keep it on top condition, plus parts are available locally- the distributor for my brand in this area is about ten miles from here and they keep most parts in stock plus they do warranty and repair work onsite. Otherwise I'd have a Honda too!


  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    New England

    Default Re: recommendation for portable generator

    thanx for all the great advise .... think we've narrowed choice down to a Honda EM5000s

    • 5000 watts, 120/240V
    • Provides 7,000 watts for 10 sec to start larger equipment
    • Powers fridge, furnace, well pump, and much more
    • Long run time - up to 11.2 hrs
    • Powerful Honda iGX commercial engine
    • Electric start (battery included) with recoil back-up

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