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Hey all, long time lurker first time poster here :)

I've started some research on generators, as our current 14yr old Briggs powerboss (5600/8600) is approaching being out stripped by our power needs during outages. It's been a great machine and runs like a top, but i think i want a little more wattage. Ive settled on the 8000w running bracket, and have been researching models.

In terms of brands im staying away from any brand that rates their generator by starting watts vs running, as i feel that's disingenuous. Plus it feels like many of those brands are a "second tier" type of manufacturer and i worry about parts availability long term.

Here are the models i've found so far:


I think the CAT and generac may be relatives; on looking at them in the store, there seem to be some common components shared between the two. For example, the carbs seem to be identical, and seem to also be shared with some champion models. This leads me to wonder if perhaps the generator market has been commoditized to the point that LCD panels have been, where pretty much there's only a few actual makers and everyone else just oems a certain level of product based on what price they want to sell for. It looks like alot of these machines use a derivative of a subaru or honda engine design, but i can't tell for sure.

If the forum could grant me some insight into this id appreciate it, and any commentary on these models as well. I've been given pause on the generac recently, as i've discovered that they seem to have customer service issues.

Thanks!

--chris
 

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I vote for the DeWalt. Because of 7 1/2 gallons. AND, most important to me...the Idle Control. I have a Generac XP8000E. No idle control. My kingdom for idle control. Know that Generac has (or had) an 8000watt generator on their website ON CLEARANCE for $899, possibly more features that the Generac you reference. Don't know if it is still available, but IF YOU MUST go Generac (and I hope you don't), check out their website first.
 

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Hey all, long time lurker first time poster here :)

I've started some research on generators, as our current 14yr old Briggs powerboss (5600/8600) is approaching being out stripped by our power needs during outages. It's been a great machine and runs like a top, but i think i want a little more wattage. Ive settled on the 8000w running bracket, and have been researching models.

In terms of brands im staying away from any brand that rates their generator by starting watts vs running, as i feel that's disingenuous. Plus it feels like many of those brands are a "second tier" type of manufacturer and i worry about parts availability long term.

Here are the models i've found so far:

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I think the CAT and generac may be relatives; on looking at them in the store, there seem to be some common components shared between the two. For example, the carbs seem to be identical, and seem to also be shared with some champion models. This leads me to wonder if perhaps the generator market has been commoditized to the point that LCD panels have been, where pretty much there's only a few actual makers and everyone else just oems a certain level of product based on what price they want to sell for. It looks like alot of these machines use a derivative of a subaru or honda engine design, but i can't tell for sure.

If the forum could grant me some insight into this id appreciate it, and any commentary on these models as well. I've been given pause on the generac recently, as i've discovered that they seem to have customer service issues.

Thanks!

--chris
I can't speak to the Generac portable generators but I had such a bad experience with a Generac pressure washer I'll never buy anything else again with their name on it. I've been pleased with DeWalt stuff, but again I can't speak for their generators. I've had an old Briggs and Stratton like yours since Hurricane Katrina and it's been bullet proof. I also have a couple of Champion inverters (3400 watt) that I've been extremely pleased with. They are well made and extremely well engineered. If I were looking for a larger generator I would definitely check out the Champions. Good luck with your search!
 

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yea avoid the gene wreck..
look at the cat units

most of the Chonda (chinese honda clones) engines have real close looking carbs.
cat has some good stuff on the way.

watch the gallons per hour on these gens..
most of those contractor gens burn fuel fast.

look at the inverter gens.
but select one that has a good wave form.
I like the honda eu gens...
and they are worth the extra money!

and they best thing they are real good on fuel!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all-- i appreciate the feedback. One of the big concerns i have is long term parts availability. I've had my briggs for over 10 years, and i know i can still get parts for it. Generac seems to be iffy, and they seem to change alot, so different year generators dont share that many parts, and getting those parts from generac seems to be a large problem for alot of folks. I lean towards CAT because, well they're CAT. I also have a local dealer. I actually think champion might a good choice too in this regard. they seem to have fairly good parts availability.

On the inverter route, with the wattage i need they are simply too cost prohibitive. I could probably buy 3 or 4 8000w alternator generators for what 1 7000w inverter would cost. Given that this is a home backup situation, both the noise and fuel economy points are fairly low on my list.

Im going to keep watching and do a little more research, thanks for the input!

--chris
 

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but with that said..
you could buy a good quality gen once...
and never have to look back..
with all the issues with over rated alt gens...
i would stay out of the generic gens...

stick with the good brands like the cat or the honda for the real deal.

one thing to think on if you went the basic alt route.
a power conditioner is a good idea.
and or ups units.

i went the apc ups units route they have power conditioner as well as line correction.
and surge protection.
you are looking at batteries every 5-10 years...
but for super short outage they keep things live like the computers, modems, routers.
I even have one for some of the house led lights!
pretty cool!
and yes you can by pass the alarm feature so when an outage happens it will not drive you nutz with all the beeping.
 

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On the inverter route, with the wattage i need they are simply too cost prohibitive. I could probably buy 3 or 4 8000w alternator generators for what 1 7000w inverter would cost. Given that this is a home backup situation, both the noise and fuel economy points are fairly low on my list. Im going to keep watching and do a little more research, thanks for the input! --chris
Here I could not agree with you more. When I was generator shopping, the inverter units simply did not put out enough power to suit my needs. Not even close. Not to mention they're extremely cost prohibitive on a dollar per watt basis. And I would have had to buy 3 or more of them to get the amount of power I'm getting from both of my Westinghouse 9,500 watt units.

So inverter units were out of the question. Everyone likes and wants quality. But there comes a point where it just doesn't pay off financially. And this whole, "buy once, cry once" attitude doesn't hold water either, when you have to buy 3 or 4 of them, in order to get the power you require. That's far too much "crying" for me to put up with.

Another thing that is way overblown as far as I have proven to myself, is this emphasis so many put on low THD and "clean power". Yes, inverter generators produce very "clean power", as they say. But how necessary is that? I've proven to myself it really isn't. First off, most every whole house, high output generator is of the non inverter type. They have to be or they wouldn't put out enough power to run your house. (We're back to having to buy 3 of them).

And these whole house systems are just that. They're designed to run your entire home, and everything in it. From lights to refrigerators, to big central A/C units, to televisions and computers. Most do that very well. So then the question becomes, do you really need to spend 3 times as much per watt for this so called "clean power". Again I have proven to myself the answer is no. I've run everything in my home on my two large output, non inverter units successfully. Freezers, TV's, computers, name it. All run fine on the supposed "dirty power" my Westinghouse units make.

China everything continues to get a bad rap today. They're political scoundrels for sure over there. But their industrial manufacturing quality has improved by leaps and bounds today. Much like Japanese quality did in the 80's and 90's. Today the Japanese are world class manufacturers of most everything from cars to electronics, to heavy industrial items.... China is quickly following in their footsteps. Regardless of what we think of them. And the separation of quality of their goods from everyone else's, is diminishing more each and every day. To suggest otherwise is just being ignorant of reality.
 

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To better emphasize the point I'm trying to make... One of the largest inverter generators you can buy today is the Honda EU 7000 is. This unit runs around $4,600.00 give or take, depending where you live, and who you buy it from. It's a very nice, well made, quality unit. But it ONLY puts out 5,500 continuous RUNNING WATTS. Why Honda sells it as a 7,000 watt unit is beyond me, and it borders on false advertising. 7,000 is plastered everywhere on it, and you have to hunt, and read the fine print in order to find the actual running watts. (Which is 5,500).

So if it takes 18 KW to run your home, you're going to have to buy 3 of the things, and you're still going to come up short on wattage. And that will cost you a minimum of $13,800.00 for 16.5 KW of power, when you need 18 KW to achieve your goal of whole house power.

Now, in contrast, both of my 9,500 CONTINUOUS watt Westinghouse units were less than $2,000.00 for both. That's a full 19 KW of power for under $2 grand.... As opposed to to almost $14 grand for 16.5 KW from no less than 3 Honda's. Is Honda the better quality unit? I would sure hope so, considering you're going to be spending 7 times as much for it. Are the 3 Honda's going to last 7 times longer? I sincerely doubt it. Twice as long?... Possibly, but even that's pushing it.

So when you do the arithmetic, there is no possible way you can justify the cost of the high end inverter generators like the Honda, to power your entire home. Now, if you only require 5,000 watts of portable power from a single unit, then run out, buy the Honda, and dance. But for large applications, where a LOT of power is required, they're simply not powerful enough to do the job. And I don't care how well they're made. A quality shoe that doesn't fit your foot, is no better than walking around barefoot.
 

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To better emphasize the point I'm trying to make... One of the largest inverter generators you can buy today is the Honda EU 7000 is. This unit runs around $4,600.00 give or take, depending where you live, and who you buy it from. It's a very nice, well made, quality unit. But it ONLY puts out 5,500 continuous RUNNING WATTS. Why Honda sells it as a 7,000 watt unit is beyond me, and it borders on false advertising. 7,000 is plastered everywhere on it, and you have to hunt, and read the fine print in order to find the actual running watts. (Which is 5,500).

So if it takes 18 KW to run your home, you're going to have to buy 3 of the things, and you're still going to come up short on wattage. And that will cost you a minimum of $13,800.00 for 16.5 KW of power, when you need 18 KW to achieve your goal of whole house power.

Now, in contrast, both of my 9,500 CONTINUOUS watt Westinghouse units were less than $2,000.00 for both. That's a full 19 KW of power for under $2 grand.... As opposed to to almost $14 grand for 16.5 KW from no less than 3 Honda's. Is Honda the better quality unit? I would sure hope so, considering you're going to be spending 7 times as much for it. Are the 3 Honda's going to last 7 times longer? I sincerely doubt it. Twice as long?... Possibly, but even that's pushing it.

So when you do the arithmetic, there is no possible way you can justify the cost of the high end inverter generators like the Honda, to power your entire home. Now, if you only require 5,000 watts of portable power from a single unit, then run out, buy the Honda, and dance. But for large applications, where a LOT of power is required, they're simply not powerful enough to do the job. And I don't care how well they're made. A quality shoe that doesn't fit your foot, is no better than walking around barefoot.
You could get three or four of these for the price of a Honda.
Amazon.com: Champion Power Equipment 100520 8750-Watt DH Series Open Frame Inverter, Electric Start: Garden & Outdoor
 

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OK...I'll bite:

I purchased the Honda EU7000is for a number of reasons:

1. I like the brand. For something as important as backup power, I wanted a quality generator.
2. I like the fact that this generator is one of the quietest on the market, changing it's RPM from 3600 to 2400 when loads are lower.
3. I like the clean, perfect sine wave output from the inverter for my sensitive electronics.
4. I like the fact that this generator is fuel injected and doesn't have a carburetor.
5. I like the fact that it can run up to 18 hours in ECO mode so I don't have to worry about fueling it in the middle of the night.
6. I like the resale value of Honda power equipment. I have used the generator for a year, and could probably sell it right now for what I paid for it.
7. I like all of the features offered in this genset, including electric and pull start options and LCD display with output VA, hours, RPM, battery voltage, low oil error notifications, etc.
8. It has excellent wheels and handles for moving it around.
9. It has a fuel gauge that help you to determine when the tank will need refueling.
10. Ease of servicing. Awesome design for oil changes, etc.
11. The 5500 Watt output meets my needs.

What I don't like about the generator:
1. Cost - This generator is expensive, but since the resale value is extremely good, I don't see it as a huge problem as an investment/insurance. Buying this generator, when compared to a whole house unit, was half the price fully installed.

Everyone has their own priorities and budget. No single generator is the best choice for everyone in every scenario. If I had a house that required 18KW of power, I would invest the $20k and get a water cooled, 1800 RPM, natural gas fueled Cummins RS25 or RS30 fully installed. I would not mess around with numerous cheap portable units, but this is a personal preference and I'm not budget constrained.
 
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