Prepper, Survival, Homesteading Forum > Homesteading > Energy & Electricity > Opinions on Costco Smarter Tools dual fuel 7500W generator?


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Old 02-06-2013, 03:33 AM   #1
Dakine
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Default Opinions on Costco Smarter Tools dual fuel 7500W generator?

Hi all, I was at Costco today and saw they have a 7500W genny that is $700 and has some interesting features.

It's dual fuel, it can burn gasoline or LPG! I could use either BBQ barrels or buy/lease a full sized tank after I buy a place of my own.

It's 70db which is quiet enough to be "good enough" for the price.

It's also got some negatives...

it's not UL listed
it does not have GFI outlets
it does not have SINE inverter to filter the output

Also... the only retailers I found that had it were Sears and Home Depot, HD had 18 customer reviews and it averaged 4 stars but that still doesn't convince me, but neither do the 1 star reviews dissuade me. (in addition, the models that Sears/HD carry are GAS ONLY, not the dual fuel and I have NO IDEA what that does to the technology and build QA that this model goes through compared to the gas only model)

the 1 star guys ordered online and had it delivered, and they got machines that were obviously shipped upside down and who knows what else. Any internal liquids became external fluids... it wasn't a good experience for them!

by that same token...

several of the 5 star guys bought them, took it out of the box, put in a quart of oil and a quart of gas and fired it up, yep it works and called it a day.

IMO... that's a big mistake, as one of the other reviews pointed out, he lives in the south, bought it for emergency power use because they are subject to hurricanes and tornadoes I think he said, and after like 7 hours it puked on him. thats completely UNSAT!!!!


So I'm wondering... does anyone have one of these? this exact model? the gas only model?

what are your opinions? your experiences?

My thoughts are that I could buy this, go through a full 48 hour burn in period to test it, and if it passes then I'm good to go, and if I have any problems... well, costco customer service and return policy is pretty much drop it off and get your money back. Piece of cake!

$700 is a lot of money to invest in a generator, but Costco's return policy is a big incentive, it's VERY close to home and work for me. I have other things I'd like to buy with this money, but power on demand is something easier to fix now when things are good than later when things are... not so good.



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Old 02-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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Let me start out by saying I do not own one of these units so anything I say is speculation on my part. This unit appears to be the standard offering you can find on Alibaba from china. The engine is a copy of someone elses and the generator head will be sub par at best. With that said I do own 1 Chinese generator out of my three and it works great. I care for it meticulously and it cares for me. For what you are getting you are probably paying about $250 to much but unless you find a direct importer you are stuck. If you do the burn in as you suggested and care for it you will probably be fine using it for emergency use.



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Old 02-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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I can't find the details online but in general, I agree with slobbertooth.

Ponder the propane for a bit. I don't have details but believe it's a lot more costly to operate compared to gas. I'm thinking that generator would go through a 20# propane tank (like what's on your grill) in about 5-8 hours. Personally, if the power was out, I'd be saving the propane for cooking or heat.

I picked up the same size Honeywell generator with a Honda engine at Costco for nearly the same price. I trust those two brands more then a Chinese knock-off.

BTW, what all do you plan on running? I can pretty much run my whole house off that size genset (minus furnace and we don't use the electric stove/oven). I keep a smaller generator around for times when I only need lights and small appliances which saves a lot of fuel.

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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When I purchase prepping equipment I always go higher end. Remember this stuff is not for everyday use. It’s for a SHTF situation and reliability is paramount. Generators are expensive for a good one, no doubt. I purchased a Yamaha 2000is and it was a whopping $998.00 and yes that hurt.

However it is small enough to be quite, will run all I need to run in an emergency, and is light on fuel consumption. My firearms are Glocks, Remington, and Armalite. My pressure canner is the American Pressure Canner 931. The point I’m making is save money up and but things you are confident in.

Because when you need them, THEY MUST LAST A LONG TIME!

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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As for the LP gas generator, that is what I use for my main house backup. I picked LP so that I did not need to worry about gas rotation. With that said ZZ is right that LP gas has about 20% less energy per volume then gasoline.

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
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STT - Are you using a 1000# propane tank? That (or at least a 500#) is the way to go so you do have plenty of LPG without having to swap and refill tanks constantly.

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Not to contradict ZoomZoom, we all have different opinions and experiences but we use gasoline generators a lot for various reasons and I believe propane is a much better fuel for this purpose.
Dual fuel or preferably (for me) trifuel generators give you more options which is good, the only problems with these setups are when configured wrong, which often happens when people install kits themselves. Natural gas, at least here is much cheaper and often available when power is not, at least in short term emergencies but having an exclusively natgas powered generator won't help you in a true grid down situation.
If you get one I would recommend leaving the gas tank dry and running on propane for as long as you can, avoiding the problems of stabilizing gasoline in a small engine. Propane may be priced a bit higher, depending on markets, but the unlimited storage and clean burning is a big plus. Make sure you get propane that doesn't have road tax on it.
I am also partial to smaller generators after experience with ones ranging from tiny, to eight cylinder diesels. Unlike an inverter or most electronics I would recommend getting a generator just a bit bigger than what you need because peak efficiency (fuel/watt) is at near capacity. You might be able to afford two smaller ones and have redundancy.

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoomZoom View Post
STT - Are you using a 1000# propane tank? That (or at least a 500#) is the way to go so you do have plenty of LPG without having to swap and refill tanks constantly.
My home is in a very tightly controlled residential area (think Nazi HOA) and so I cannot install a large LP tank. What I have done is buy a bunch of the 40# LP cylinders (weigh about 70#s full) and connect two of them to the genset at a time. With my genset and average load I get about 24hours per tank set. That is actually cool for me as I want to shut down every 24 hours and change the oil. I have never had an outage of more than 2 days so I plan for 4 days worth of fuel. I also have all of the propane filling stations marked out in a 100 mile radius. Grin.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlobberToofTigger View Post
My home is in a very tightly controlled residential area (think Nazi HOA) and so I cannot install a large LP tank. What I have done is buy a bunch of the 40# LP cylinders (weigh about 70#s full) and connect two of them to the genset at a time. With my genset and average load I get about 24hours per tank set. That is actually cool for me as I want to shut down every 24 hours and change the oil. I have never had an outage of more than 2 days so I plan for 4 days worth of fuel. I also have all of the propane filling stations marked out in a 100 mile radius. Grin.
If the power is out, propane filling-stations will also be out as they use electricity to pump the propane into the portable containers. If you really need propane, maybe see if you can make good friends with a propane service truck-driver ...
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #10
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4 days doesn't sound like much to me but better than most people I am sure and as long as you feel comfortable. That is a big plus with dual fuel, 5 gallons from the car can help a lot. Am guessing if it looked real bad you would not be running it 24hrs a day, that could stretch your supply as well. The smaller bottles might make rationing it more manageable.




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