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I have been thinking for quite some time that I need to purchase a generator (probably used). We get some pretty violent storms in this neck of the woods and it isn't unheard of for folks to lose power for multiple days while lines are down.

I am inexperienced in knowledge regarding generators. One thing I am pretty sure of though, my wife would likely kick my in the beans if I went out and spent $1000+ on one.

What size of generator would you suggest to be able to run a fridge, freezer, and maybe a light or two?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Well, I live totally off the grid on solar/wind with 3 different gas gennies as emerg. back ups, which do to the monsoons all day, (no sun for the solar) we will be firing up one of them soon. House is complete with all of the above and then some. I have no problem running my little 6.5 k gennie. It runs all of the above plus our water pump, two computers, large old fashioned tv and fans. You could maybe get by with about a decent (all china) 5k. Keep in mind gas doesn't store well. You would need to run the gennie at min. 1 hour per month, keep stabil in the gas and change the oil more often if not run. But would do the trick. Once you have one, then go to the local home depot or whatever and get a 20amp "construction" Extension cord that you can plug your refer/freezer into. Do NOT try and " jump wire" your gennie into your house service box or breaker box. If you do, and the power were to come back on, you would almost certainly have a really bad fire. Also, you may have killed some lineman down the road who grabs a wire expecting it to be non active and opps.
 

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I have several generators here. My favorite is a Honda inverter generator for summertime use. It has enough omph to power 1 fridge, battery charger at one time. Then I run the freezer and another battery charger, then the second freezer and one small appliance (usually at this point I need a cocktail so it would be my ice shaver). My TV, computer, chargers love the inverter power. The need for the sump pump is typically not needed in the summer.

If I need to run the well (220V) then I move up to my 5K generator, This genny is wired,through a transfer box, into the main wiring system in the house. This generator is rather noisy so I try to avoid using it during the summer except for short periods of time.

For Fall, Winter and Spring this is my go to generator(5K). It powers my furnace, sump pump, freezers and fridge(3 circuits) with one circuit dedicated to the family room entertainment center. The setup is wired through a transfer panel. I can tolerate the noise only because my windows are typically closed.

What are your needs? Only 120V then a 1-2K with a lot of manual plug changing. 220V then at least a 5K to provide the juice to several circuits. If I were rich (I was born good looking rather than rich) I would get the "stackable Honda". This set up is 2 3K units run tied together. I can only dream.

Consider your needs carefully. These things are very expensive. But, on the flip side; how much will it cost you to replace the contents of your freezer? How much damage to the house if a pipe freezes in the winter?

My spare generators are 5K and a 12.5K. The 12.5 is a diesel and the other one is set up for propane. I have used the 12.5K several times at the church during power outages but the darn thing is too noisy and smelly to run around the house. If I could this would be my main unit but the boss says no way. The propane unit is very old and on its' last legs. Only used as a loaner during widespread outages.
 

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I have a 4kw. It will run the fridge, 3.5 cuft freezer(small one), 8000 btu ac, tv and lights for 2 rooms no sweat.

The freezer would only be run once a day till it cycles. The fridge once every 2 hours till it cycles several times. The ac only gets run at nite.

It will use only about 4 gals in 10 hrs. Get as much as you need, but not too much more than you need....

$500 new

Jimmy
 

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Of all places, we got one at Aldi's; a $300 King Craft, 5000 or 6000 watt..it starts every month for us---so far.
 

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performing monkey
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Do NOT try and " jump wire" your gennie into your house service box or breaker box. If you do, and the power were to come back on, you would almost certainly have a really bad fire. Also, you may have killed some lineman down the road who grabs a wire expecting it to be non active and opps.
ooooooooor... you could just install a disconnect that automatically switches to emergency when the power goes out (personally not a big fan of things that are 'automatic' tho) or pull the main line when you run the generator ;)

P.S. if you don't know the terms I've used, then you definitely don't want to do what I suggest
 

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performing monkey
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The 12.5 is a diesel and the other one is set up for propane. I have used the 12.5K several times at the church during power outages but the darn thing is too noisy and smelly to run around the house. If I could this would be my main unit but the boss says no way.
you could always convert it to run WVO (not as smelly) WMO (kinda stinky) :2thumb:

I like to use WMO because I have a near limitless supply of waste motor oil from all the oil changes I do, and if I need more it's not that hard to do more of them. I have 50 55 gallon drums, 35 or so are full of waste oil of one type or another.
 

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It sounds like your generator is a crucial item. It may be wise to sit down with the wife and discuss the benefits/needs. Quality may be desired and afforded. I'd be grateful for anything I could afford in a time of need. But having dealt with the cheap Chinese engines in the past, I don't like the idea of planning to trust them.

To minimize cost you can reduce your footprint/load. One or two rooms, power strips for only the necessary items, LED lights, etc.

Propane is an interesting option; you can cook, heat and generate. Propane stove or grill, Mr. Buddy heaters, ready-to-run factory warranteed generators. And all of those functions are portable should you have to move to a different location. Propane also burns cleaner for better engine life and reduced dangerous emissions.

I would stick with Honda and Yamaha for reliable portables in your price range. Or at least a Hon/Yam/Subaru engine in the 5-6k size.

Your local big box hardware store may have some nice, non-Chinese motor options. Also keep an eye on craigslist and othe classifieds in your nearest metro area. I saw a nice, barely used Yamaha 3k inverter gen for under $1k in a Cabela's Bargain Basement.

Oil changes and cooling are very important considerations for the small generators. Don't neglect.
 

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Seeking The Truth
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Well, I live totally off the grid on solar/wind with 3 different gas gennies as emerg. back ups, which do to the monsoons all day, (no sun for the solar) we will be firing up one of them soon. House is complete with all of the above and then some. I have no problem running my little 6.5 k gennie. It runs all of the above plus our water pump, two computers, large old fashioned tv and fans. You could maybe get by with about a decent (all china) 5k. Keep in mind gas doesn't store well. You would need to run the gennie at min. 1 hour per month, keep stabil in the gas and change the oil more often if not run. But would do the trick. Once you have one, then go to the local home depot or whatever and get a 20amp "construction" Extension cord that you can plug your refer/freezer into. Do NOT try and " jump wire" your gennie into your house service box or breaker box. If you do, and the power were to come back on, you would almost certainly have a really bad fire. Also, you may have killed some lineman down the road who grabs a wire expecting it to be non active and opps.
Ours won't start,we bought it 6 years ago used it once and did'nt start it up again.Now it turns over and starts up but then dies out in seconds.
He thinks its not getting gas,but who knows. :scratch
 

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Ours won't start,we bought it 6 years ago used it once and did'nt start it up again.Now it turns over and starts up but then dies out in seconds.
He thinks its not getting gas,but who knows. :scratch
I suspect that your gas has long ago turned into varnish. If that is the case, you will need to pull and dump your gas tank , then clean it very very good. Next would be to pull your carb and do the same thing, then you should replace the fuel lines and your plugs. Also, your oil may have turned into sludge.
 

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We have a 7500 and it runs on gasoline. We are looking for one that size that uses propane.
Depending on your type of gennie, most of them are fairly easily converted to run on propane. The kit can be from about $150.00 to about $300.00 depending on your carb type. Also, on propane figure about a 10% loss on the top end power. But won't hurt it at all.
 

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I suspect that your gas has long ago turned into varnish. If that is the case, you will need to pull and dump your gas tank , then clean it very very good. Next would be to pull your carb and do the same thing, then you should replace the fuel lines and your plugs. Also, your oil may have turned into sludge.
LOL,thanks for imput.I think he has done some of what you said already.Cleaned out carburator,fuel lines,but not tank or had mony to buy parts.Maybe we can buy them since we sold our car if not too much.:)
 

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performing monkey
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if you don't run the genny that often you might want to look into getting some avgas, it already has a superior stabilizer added to it that lasts years (IMO anything under 500 gallons is small ;) )

good luck with it

P.S. you probably won't have to actually replace anything except the plugs...

do you have a 'cold tank' (solvent bucket) for washing parts?
 

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if you don't run the genny that often you might want to look into getting some avgas, it already has a superior stabilizer added to it that lasts years (IMO anything under 500 gallons is small ;) )

good luck with it

P.S. you probably won't have to actually replace anything except the plugs...

do you have a 'cold tank' (solvent bucket) for washing parts?
Thanks Blob,I'll pass it to him.he just got back from a long journy on a short trip.He locked himself out of the van.:(.And it was storming 'thank goodness for the rain'so he came home wet and mad.
The idiot forgot to put the chips in the order,so he went in Sonnys to get them,LOCKED!!.A woman went in to eat,ate then came out of the restaurant while he was working over our van.She said"theres plenty of thieves in there,get one of them &*@&^ to unlock it for you.'
 

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Ours won't start,we bought it 6 years ago used it once and did'nt start it up again.Now it turns over and starts up but then dies out in seconds.
He thinks its not getting gas,but who knows. :scratch
Which is why we start ours every month--read on this forum or another, a guy gave his horror story of his not starting in rain season--flooded basement...NUFF said for me!!
 

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Do NOT try and " jump wire" your gennie into your house service box or breaker box. If you do, and the power were to come back on, you would almost certainly have a really bad fire. Also, you may have killed some lineman down the road who grabs a wire expecting it to be non active and opps.
Actually when we work wire hot we use rubber gloves. When we work it as dead, it is tested and grounded before we touch it. I have killed two gensets when grounding.....But still a very good idea to pull your meter and only plug appilance into genset.

Jimmy
 

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Best way to store any small gas engine is to run engine dry. Put it up with no fuel.

You will not any issues in future if you practice this. Only use enough fuel to run for 15-30 minutes under load.

Jimmy
 
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