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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am in the process of looking for a portable generator that I could use for backup power. I am planning on having an electrician set up an interlock on my panel to hook up. I have been looking at a lot of sites and the more I learn about generators, the more my head spins.

My wish list is:
  • Rated running power > 7000 W
  • Low THD
  • Duel fuel
  • Cost lest than 1500
  • Fuel consumption at .75 Gal / hour or less
My house has a 5 Ton AC unit, so I think it is out of the question to get that running. So I would probably get at least 2 portable AC units to run. I would also want to run lights, refrigerator, hopefully use one stove burner to cook, and occasionally turn on water heater for shower.

So far I have not really been have been having a hard time finding anything. I have found the Pulsar and Ford models that I think fit this, but from the reviews, I have some concerns on their reliability. The next one I am thinking about is the Westinghouse WPro 8500, which is gas only.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Hello,

I am in the process of looking for a portable generator that I could use for backup power. I am planning on having an electrician set up an interlock on my panel to hook up. I have been looking at a lot of sites and the more I learn about generators, the more my head spins.

My wish list is:
  • Rated running power > 7000 W
  • Low THD
  • Duel fuel
  • Cost lest than 1500
  • Fuel consumption at .75 Gal / hour or less
My house has a 5 Ton AC unit, so I think it is out of the question to get that running. So I would probably get at least 2 portable AC units to run. I would also want to run lights, refrigerator, hopefully use one stove burner to cook, and occasionally turn on water heater for shower.

So far I have not really been have been having a hard time finding anything. I have found the Pulsar and Ford models that I think fit this, but from the reviews, I have some concerns on their reliability. The next one I am thinking about is the Westinghouse WPro 8500, which is gas only.

Thanks for any advice.
well not for that low of budget...
you are looking at at the least a 12kw gen set...

a few questions first!!
what is your location? in town in the country etc.
how old is the house?
do you have natural gas in the house?

do you have a smart meter for the electric utility meter?

if you have natural gas to the house.
switch over the stove, hot water heater to natural gas..
way cheaper and changes your energy demand when the electric grid is down.

location plays in to this as if you are in the sticks it could be weeks before you get power back on during a real bad outage.
climate also plays in there too on location...
south has extreme humidity, south west has extreme heat in the summer..
heck even Iowa has both for a few months!!
air so thick you cannot breath..

so do you want a full automatic system??
those cost at least $10k to $15k by the time you are done...

you do have a good idea on the portable ac units.you will spend $500.00 to $800.00 each on those...
just watch the brand and get a good unit!

look in to mini split inverter ac units... they run way less power than the standard ac units..
and yes some are even 125 volt ac!!
I am looking in those for my next phase here!

just the electrician bucks or bill can run at least $3000.00 to $6000.00 depending on how far they have to run things.
and any updates you might need.

for me I started small with the ability to ramp up to a real generator!
and I advise all of my clients to do the same!

the first tip is to run a real hd 50 amp generator inlet with 6/4 wire to the breaker panel.
this will allow you to expand later.
you can see some parts at
poust usa
and go in to the generator connection section to see some ideas.
on of the better in class generators is the honda eu7000is... yea it is real money.
BUT! they work and are real good on fuel. and now there is a natural gas and liquid propane conversion kit for them as well.
but the power you get off this generator is real good, and it is electric push button start.

you also need to take and do a power inventory.
the smart meter does help on this as the reports from some of the grid utility company's now have hourly reports.
that is cool to get an idea of your peak consumption of your real usage.
for me I did a meter setup for the breaker panel
this also helps to balance the box as well. you can see live numbers for your power demand
here is the link for the meter panel
the best advice.....
plan plan plan!! then plan some more!!
and if you get a chance... go see some real working systems!!
my personal system is still a work in progress...
always adding on more each month.
I decided tri fuel was the best plan for me.
that way I can use gasoline, Natural gas, or Liquid Propane for my fuel...
cost per KW gasoline is the cheapest. but storing larger quantities of gasoline for long outages of over a week is an issue.
so now I can use natural gas for my primary fuel... and gasoline if the natural gas grid is down.

so start small is ok, but plan for expansion!
and buy good quality generator...
the cheap Jina generator units are just that... and are an issue for parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello thanks for the reply. A lot in there...

I live in South Florida, and this is mainly something to have for a backup if I loose power. Last hurricane, I think my house was out for about 3 days. It is in a suburban area.

My utility company, FPL, does have a smart meter and I saw that for the last few days, and I generally use between 2 - 7 kw/hr.

No, I do not have a natural gas line coming into my house. If I did, I would probably consider looking at the standby Generac. But without it, I would also need to get a large propane tank buried underground and there isn't much space for it in my yard...


well not for that low of budget...
you are looking at at the least a 12kw gen set...

a few questions first!!
what is your location? in town in the country etc.
how old is the house?
do you have natural gas in the house?

do you have a smart meter for the electric utility meter?

if you have natural gas to the house.
switch over the stove, hot water heater to natural gas..
way cheaper and changes your energy demand when the electric grid is down.

location plays in to this as if you are in the sticks it could be weeks before you get power back on during a real bad outage.
climate also plays in there too on location...
south has extreme humidity, south west has extreme heat in the summer..
heck even Iowa has both for a few months!!
air so thick you cannot breath..

so do you want a full automatic system??
those cost at least $10k to $15k by the time you are done...

you do have a good idea on the portable ac units.you will spend $500.00 to $800.00 each on those...
just watch the brand and get a good unit!

look in to mini split inverter ac units... they run way less power than the standard ac units..
and yes some are even 125 volt ac!!
I am looking in those for my next phase here!

just the electrician bucks or bill can run at least $3000.00 to $6000.00 depending on how far they have to run things.
and any updates you might need.

for me I started small with the ability to ramp up to a real generator!
and I advise all of my clients to do the same!

the first tip is to run a real hd 50 amp generator inlet with 6/4 wire to the breaker panel.
this will allow you to expand later.
you can see some parts at
poust usa
and go in to the generator connection section to see some ideas.
on of the better in class generators is the honda eu7000is... yea it is real money.
BUT! they work and are real good on fuel. and now there is a natural gas and liquid propane conversion kit for them as well.
but the power you get off this generator is real good, and it is electric push button start.

you also need to take and do a power inventory.
the smart meter does help on this as the reports from some of the grid utility company's now have hourly reports.
that is cool to get an idea of your peak consumption of your real usage.
for me I did a meter setup for the breaker panel
this also helps to balance the box as well. you can see live numbers for your power demand
here is the link for the meter panel
the best advice.....
plan plan plan!! then plan some more!!
and if you get a chance... go see some real working systems!!
my personal system is still a work in progress...
always adding on more each month.
I decided tri fuel was the best plan for me.
that way I can use gasoline, Natural gas, or Liquid Propane for my fuel...
cost per KW gasoline is the cheapest. but storing larger quantities of gasoline for long outages of over a week is an issue.
so now I can use natural gas for my primary fuel... and gasoline if the natural gas grid is down.

so start small is ok, but plan for expansion!
and buy good quality generator...
the cheap Jina generator units are just that... and are an issue for parts.
 

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Unfortunatly that 5ton unit would require a large, expensive, and gas guzzling generator. Based on your criteria there are plenty of options for under $1500. Unfortunatly you'll be limited to only chinese lower tier options but they will get the job done.

Anything with a 420cc engine or larger should do the trick of handling 7000watts... I wouldnt count on it to do it for hours on end though. But with some simple load management and you'll be fine.

The Westinghouse generators seem to be very popular as a bunch of people have inquired about them recently. In my opinion the ratings look to be a bit inflated, so just don't load the bejesus out of it. You should contact westinghouse about the Rated THD, I'm welling to bet it isnt very low.

I owned a champion 7000/9000 generator for years and I felt it was a great value, maybe look into their offerings as well. I never measured a westinghouse gen with my oscilliscope but my old champion had a very clean waveform considering its price point.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Do you have any experience with Briggs & Stratton generators. This one doesn't support propane, but meet my other wishes.

In the Q&A they say THD is 3 - 6.

Unfortunatly that 5ton unit would require a large, expensive, and gas guzzling generator. Based on your criteria there are plenty of options for under $1500. Unfortunatly you'll be limited to only chinese lower tier options but they will get the job done.

Anything with a 420cc engine or larger should do the trick of handling 7000watts... I wouldnt count on it to do it for hours on end though. But with some simple load management and you'll be fine.

The Westinghouse generators seem to be very popular as a bunch of people have inquired about them recently. In my opinion the ratings look to be a bit inflated, so just don't load the bejesus out of it. You should contact westinghouse about the Rated THD, I'm welling to bet it isnt very low.

I owned a champion 7000/9000 generator for years and I felt it was a great value, maybe look into their offerings as well. I never measured a westinghouse gen with my oscilliscope but my old champion had a very clean waveform considering its price point.
 

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I haven't encountered that unit, but you can always install your own tri-fuel kit. All said and done it'll be $350-$500 to convert depending on propane or natural gas. The good thing about a briggs and stratton product is parts availability and repairability in the long haul. Though by the time major service is required, you'll likely be more inclined to purchase an upgraded unit.

Over the past year I've seen lots of claims of 5% THD or less. I've now noticed lots of descriptions omitting such info. I basically do not trust any of these numbers unless its a VERY reputable manufacture.

Honda inverter gens claim less then 5% THD yet lots of inexpensive inverter gens claim Less the 3%... its a game. There is no standardized metric that advertised numbers needs to follow, so lots of embellished numbers.

If you want to guarantee clean power, spend a bit more and buy an inverter gen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, this is really tough. If I had a normal use for a good generator, I could see splurging and going for that Honda EU7000iS. But for something that I may never need, that $5000 price tag is a little hard to swallow.

I guess there is the Champion 100520, which is the next highest power inverter I have seen.

I haven't encountered that unit, but you can always install your own tri-fuel kit. All said and done it'll be $350-$500 to convert depending on propane or natural gas. The good thing about a briggs and stratton product is parts availability and repairability in the long haul. Though by the time major service is required, you'll likely be more inclined to purchase an upgraded unit.

Over the past year I've seen lots of claims of 5% THD or less. I've now noticed lots of descriptions omitting such info. I basically do not trust any of these numbers unless its a VERY reputable manufacture.

Honda inverter gens claim less then 5% THD yet lots of inexpensive inverter gens claim Less the 3%... its a game. There is no standardized metric that advertised numbers needs to follow, so lots of embellished numbers.

If you want to guarantee clean power, spend a bit more and buy an inverter gen.
 

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the best argument for the eu7000is is the fuel economy..
then there is the resale value!
honda does hold value better than any thing else out there..
it is an investment...
peace of mind as well as bucks...
for me ...
well I have several of them in the fleet.
as well as the eu2000i and the eu2200i
the best advice on all of the small engines is to use a magnetic dip stick and if it has a drain plug use a magnetic drain plug.
it pulls out the magnetic carbon our of the oil..
kinda cool!
i have pictures over on the hondagenerator forum
click here for the honda generator forum
 

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yup, magnetic black carbon chunks
back in the day I was scratching my head on this too!!
I even sent them off for $500.00 oil analysis...
carbon chunks with enough metal in it to stick to a magnet!
super abrasive too!

pretty cool!
the magnetic dip stick, or drain plug or magnetic band on a spin filter, picks up this trash and holds it.
I first ran into this from the corvette club bunch back in the early 1970's.

it started me on the tribology quest.
all that cool pointy head science stuff.
 

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At your price point, I'd be looking at the Champion 100530. 8750-Watt Open Frame Inverter - Champion Power Equipment

It's an inverter gen with rated at 7000 running and 8750 surge. It's NOT dual fuel and I have no idea if it meets any of the other specs you're looking for. But it is 120/240v, so if it's hooked to your house with an interlock, you be able to power most anything, but your AC. It won't run everything at once, but it's powerful enough that it should be able to run an electric range or a electric clothe dryer.
 
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