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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I'm a newbie so please bare with me. I'm debating which generator setup to buy, and looking for any recommendations or considerations I haven't thought of. I've also only been looking at inverter generators thus far because I understand they are safer for electronics, but the pricing is far higher and not sure it is necessary.

Key considerations:
  • I'm primarily looking for a home backup generator for when power outages occur (rarely, but I'm a prepper).
  • I like the ability to run multiple fuels just in case, especially natural gas since I have an external hookup on our patio
  • I like the ability to use a transfer switch vs. power cords
  • I like the option of portability in case we move (likely in about 5 years), help a neighbor/friend in need or buy a camper (although no present plans).
  • I mostly want to bring peace of mind and security to my wife and kids, so ease of use when I am traveling is important.
Too many choices and not sure which is best suited, since all require some sort of compromise.

Considering these potential options:

  • Generac Guardian G007043 22KW Whole home generator - About $5K at Sam Club, but I believe installs will add a few thousand. (powers whole home, works on natural gas, stays with home/not portable, only 1 fuel type, backed by Sams Club or Costco)
  • Honda EU7000is large 7000w inverter generator (reliable, quiet, pretty powerful for an inverter, 120/240v will work with a transfer switch)
  • Honda EU3000is 3000W medium inverter generator (I like the durability of Honda, nice portability, will power necessities)
  • Firman 3200W WH02942 Duel Fuel inverter generator (like that it gas or propane, Costco return policy, less confident that it will work when needed)
As you can see, I am still very torn on what route to go, and would love some input on what you would do in my shoes.

I really appreciate any advice you experts are willing to give.

Thanks,

Steve from Prosper TX
 

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I am going to touch on the 22 KW generator purchase.
First, if you have natural gas. Do you have a gas stove?
Do you have a gas hot water heater?
Do you have a gas dryer?
If you have a gas stove and hot water heater, you do not need a 22 KW generator.
Without those KW eating appliances you can easily get by on a 16 KW unit.
Cost @ Generators Direct is about $3600. plus transfer switch @ $500.
With a 16 KW, you only need a 16 breaker TS which you can find at GD.
Installing a 22 KW brings on a completely different install, and will get expensive.
I have run my 16 KW for eleven years and have never lacked for power.
Add up your power necessities an see if a 22KW is necessary.
You may be surprised......
Heat pump 10 amps.
Furnace fan 1-2 amps.
Electric hot water heater 20 amps and not needed that often.
The electric dryer is one item that you may leave off but can be rotated with the electric hot water heater if needed.
Then there are small items that may add to only a low amperage.
Not sure! Buy a clip on amp meter and get a feel for your level of need.

A note to add. I lost my Generac in a time of need.
I ran a Honda ES6500 and it provided our needs. Selecting the items you can run will surprise you when the need arrises.
You can shed load during emergencies and get by with far less than a 22 KW generator.
Some of the forum members have neat setups with tri fuel generators and they seem to work well.
 

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Never buy a gen-set, that the gen-set control board an ATS control board have to match. Buy a stand alone gen-set as well as a stand alone ATS if your going automatic. One other word of advice, never ever buy a automatic gen-set from a box store or buy a Mfg's product that sells to box stores. Buy quality up front, have it installed properly, an it will not haunt you forever on the back side.
 

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I agree with KRE.
As for Generac: I can point to the limited 3 year history my buddy has with a NG fed 22kw Gererac (down-rated to 19kw, I believe). So far, the system been dependable and reliable - and a good value for the price. It feeds the house load via a remote ATS, and has provided the max load we could apply, which was around 17KW.
Good luck with your decision.
 

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Never buy a gen-set, that the gen-set control board an ATS control board have to match. Buy a stand alone gen-set as well as a stand alone ATS if your going automatic. One other word of advice, never ever buy a automatic gen-set from a box store or buy a Mfg's product that sells to box stores. Buy quality up front, have it installed properly, an it will not haunt you forever on the back side.
I agree that the ATS must match the setup.
I bought from Generators Direct.com. They have good coustomer relations.
I did not buy the second generator ATS which required a mod to make my old ATS work.
I asked them what mod was necessary and they provided the info.
I did not want to remove my older ATS and the simple mod worked.
In our area we have two good repair shops.
The new model Generac's have a hidden program that will startle any home owner that gives a yellow fault light.
It is nothing more than a yearly battery check light that can be quickly reset.
To the average home owner it is a service a call.
Cost per home call is $130 minimum.
Yearly contract for up keep is $300.
Now if you think of that, 10 years will almost get you a new generator for the yearly upkeep.
I don't see the cost involved in an oil change and five year battery change.
I am not a fan of Generac generators although I have one.
Generac changes design too often, as much as every ten years.
That leaves the owner scrambling for parts that sometimes are not avaliable.
I like the old Onan's without electronic AVR's.
I want to add a note about Generac parts...
My 14 KW lit every light in the house to max. I quickly shut it down.
I knew it was the AVR board.
I looked every where for one. The only one avaliable was $1200.
I am thinking $1200 to repair a 10 year old generator!
Come to find out I had bought at the end of a change over in production.
Time to buy a new one and let the old one go.
 

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As has been said 22kW is a lot of power. We have gas heat, gas water heater, and gas stove. For us, the max load I was able to get going at one time was something in the 4500-5000W range, according to my load panel.

From the criteria you listed, a portable generator sounds like it fits most of them. Except for trying to be as easy-to-use as possible for other family members. It's tough to beat the ease of an automatic transfer setup, of course. But probably still reasonable, especially if you got something with electric start. Plug in one big cable to the transfer box, and that's most of what you need.

It may not be my first choice, but Briggs makes a portable 6500W inverter generator, 120/240V output, for $1000:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Briggs-Stratton-Q6500-QuietPower-Series-6-500-Watt-Gasoline-Powered-Portable-Inverter-Generator-with-Briggs-and-Stratton-Engine-030675/301871650

The Hondas have excellent resale value, if that's a consideration. The Predator inverter generators seem like a pretty good value, at under half the price of an equivalent Honda. They don't make one with 240V output, though.

I bought used Honda inverter EU2000i units, they've been great so far. Small, light, very quiet, and enough output for our needs (not remotely saying it's the solution for everyone). Though connecting the two in parallel has helped provide a little more breathing room, in terms of capacity.

But depending on what you need to run, something in the 5000W-continuous range may be sufficient. There are kits to let some of the Hondas run on multiple fuels, though I don't know if you can do that with the fuel-injected 7000W.

Part of why I went with Honda is their track record. The EU2000i has been on the market for years, and are used in many commercial applications. There's a lot of support for them, including service manuals from Honda, and knowledgeable users, if you had a problem. I test them periodically, and am comfortable relying on them during an outage. I'll confess I have less of a "warm and fuzzy" feeling relying on one from brands without a track record. Even the Briggs I referenced above seems to have something of a mix of reviews.

I would take a look at Champion generators, they've been making inverter units for a number of years, and when I was looking these (~5 years ago), people seemed happy with theirs. I see a 6250W inverter, and an 8750W inverter, both with 240V output. The 6250W:
https://www.championpowerequipment.com/product/100519-6250-watt-open-frame-inverter/
 

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Hi there,

I'm a newbie so please bare with me. I'm debating which generator setup to buy, and looking for any recommendations or considerations I haven't thought of. I've also only been looking at inverter generators thus far because I understand they are safer for electronics, but the pricing is far higher and not sure it is necessary.

Key considerations:
  • I'm primarily looking for a home backup generator for when power outages occur (rarely, but I'm a prepper).
  • I like the ability to run multiple fuels just in case, especially natural gas since I have an external hookup on our patio
  • I like the ability to use a transfer switch vs. power cords
  • I like the option of portability in case we move (likely in about 5 years), help a neighbor/friend in need or buy a camper (although no present plans).
  • I mostly want to bring peace of mind and security to my wife and kids, so ease of use when I am traveling is important.
Too many choices and not sure which is best suited, since all require some sort of compromise.

Considering these potential options:

  • Generac Guardian G007043 22KW Whole home generator - About $5K at Sam Club, but I believe installs will add a few thousand. (powers whole home, works on natural gas, stays with home/not portable, only 1 fuel type, backed by Sams Club or Costco)
  • Honda EU7000is large 7000w inverter generator (reliable, quiet, pretty powerful for an inverter, 120/240v will work with a transfer switch)
  • Honda EU3000is 3000W medium inverter generator (I like the durability of Honda, nice portability, will power necessities)
  • Firman 3200W WH02942 Duel Fuel inverter generator (like that it gas or propane, Costco return policy, less confident that it will work when needed)
As you can see, I am still very torn on what route to go, and would love some input on what you would do in my shoes.

I really appreciate any advice you experts are willing to give.

Thanks,

Steve from Prosper TX
well steve
lots of good questions!
I have a few for you!
we need your power requirements!!
are you gas or electric on heat and hot water? if so what kind of gas?
any pumps? or are you in the city?

are you in an area that has lots of outages now?

are you mechanically and electrically inclined?
some are some are not.

all of these help in your decision on what kind of gen set works best for you.

for me it was a no brainer!
honda eu series!!
clean dependable power.
and for the connections see this site
https://hondagenerator.groups.io
I have a few pix and part numbers for the self help connections.

the eu 2200i is a good choice for low noise and low fuel consumption.. and is small as well.
if you have the bucks and the room to store the gen
the eu7000is is the best in class.
and there are fuel choices right now for both gens.
I have links at https://hondagenerator.groups.io

I run as tri fuel...
primary back up gen fuel is natural gas.
but I can use gasoline for when I am remote.

fuel is the big thing on any gen choice!!

will your fuel be available for a long term run??

some natural gas areas can be shut off during an hurricane or tornado event..

as well as the issue with LP or propane you have to be able to store the fuel and have plenty on hand.
and get it refilled

same with gasoline... harder to store for long term storage...
but easy to get for when camping etc. and there are larger fuel tanks for extended run or long run systems.

I started with a gasoline only system then bought tri fuel kits later.

if you have room for storage of fuel and room for the gen.
you can go the propane route. and a eu7000is
propane does not go bad over time.. but you have to be able to store it safe.

and remember for flood zones the large propane tanks do float!!
so make a good pad area and bolt the tank down on super large tanks.

I prefer the manual transfer switch..

less parts to go bad.

and the same goes for all of this back up power..
the simple solutions are the best...

always plan and plan some more!!

and think security for you back up gen!!
the honda eu series are super quiet!!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

This topic shows my portable generator w/ a manual transfer switch that all suits my needs.

In my case, the main Zinsco circuit panel was already slated for replacement for safety reasons, so it was "easy" for me to include the interlock breaker switch and power inlet at the same time.
 

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I am deep south, E. Texas, and have an all electric house. 4 ton heat pump, and just put in a new hot water tank, resistance type About ten or twelve years ago after seeing an extended outage for a neighbor whose power fed from a different main, I purchased a big Honda EB11000. I was working at a hospital and had a friend who was an electrician and he got me a big 200 amp double throw switch, which we wired in between the meter and my electric box so I can simply switch off utility power and go to an input from my generator. I have a 20-25 foot cable for that purpose, it's been a long time since I attached the plugs, but I think it is 4 conductor 6 ga. When we need the generator I do turn off the hot water at the breaker box, and generator has no problem with the air conditioner, stove top, and lights. I also turn off the emergency heat strips in the electric "furnace" , I may not get as quick a heat, but with just the heat pump running I will not stress the generator as much. I may not have all the convenience and luxury of full power, but enough to get by relatively comfortable. Nothing is automatic, all manual, and relatively inexpensive, and probably more reliable than automatic.
 

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Take a look at some of the products Winco has to offer. Specifically their 8kw Briggs-Vanguard powered unit.
Yes, it's only 8kw, but if you're willing to shed load, it could be a decent option if you're specifically looking for reliability. They run a Deep Sea Electronics controller which is very user friendly and easy to monitor. I believe Winco also offer larger units with Honda power plants, if that's your thing..
As far as ATS's go, I highly HIGHLY recommend looking into an ASCO Series 185 ATS. They offer residential applications ranging from 100-400a, single phase 240v. Again, user friendly and extremely reliable. They also offer options for exercise modules and remote monitoring.
I've seen these setups running strong year after year, and they typically have very few problems, in comparison to Generacs.
It is also possible to trailer mount a unit with a small 100gal propane tank fuel supply, for a portable application if necessary. Obviously the ATS would be a different story. Just my two cents, from some experience in the field..
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for the help. Here are my responses.
  • I have natural gas, but an electric stovetop and electric oven.
  • We have 2 gas water heaters
  • I have an electric dryer
Leaning towards the Honda EU7000is with an interlock, so I can supply power to varying circuits rather than being limited by a manual transfer switch.

I am going to touch on the 22 KW generator purchase.
First, if you have natural gas. Do you have a gas stove?
Do you have a gas hot water heater?
Do you have a gas dryer?
If you have a gas stove and hot water heater, you do not need a 22 KW generator.
Without those KW eating appliances you can easily get by on a 16 KW unit.
Cost @ Generators Direct is about $3600. plus transfer switch @ $500.
With a 16 KW, you only need a 16 breaker TS which you can find at GD.
Installing a 22 KW brings on a completely different install, and will get expensive.
I have run my 16 KW for eleven years and have never lacked for power.
Add up your power necessities an see if a 22KW is necessary.
You may be surprised......
Heat pump 10 amps.
Furnace fan 1-2 amps.
Electric hot water heater 20 amps and not needed that often.
The electric dryer is one item that you may leave off but can be rotated with the electric hot water heater if needed.
Then there are small items that may add to only a low amperage.
Not sure! Buy a clip on amp meter and get a feel for your level of need.

A note to add. I lost my Generac in a time of need.
I ran a Honda ES6500 and it provided our needs. Selecting the items you can run will surprise you when the need arrises.
You can shed load during emergencies and get by with far less than a 22 KW generator.
Some of the forum members have neat setups with tri fuel generators and they seem to work well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for the info!

I'm located in a suburban neighborhood, so we have natural gas for water heaters and furnace, but an electric stovetop, oven and dryer. No pumps of any kind. We have very few outages, and none have been more than a few hours. I'm pretty handy, but want a solution that my wife and daughters could manage if needed.

Leaning towards the Honda EU7000is with an interlock, so I can supply power to varying circuits rather than being limited by a manual transfer switch.

well steve
lots of good questions!
I have a few for you!
we need your power requirements!!
are you gas or electric on heat and hot water? if so what kind of gas?
any pumps? or are you in the city?

are you in an area that has lots of outages now?

are you mechanically and electrically inclined?
some are some are not.

all of these help in your decision on what kind of gen set works best for you.

for me it was a no brainer!
honda eu series!!
clean dependable power.
and for the connections see this site
main groups.io Group
I have a few pix and part numbers for the self help connections.

the eu 2200i is a good choice for low noise and low fuel consumption.. and is small as well.
if you have the bucks and the room to store the gen
the eu7000is is the best in class.
and there are fuel choices right now for both gens.
I have links at main groups.io Group

I run as tri fuel...
primary back up gen fuel is natural gas.
but I can use gasoline for when I am remote.

fuel is the big thing on any gen choice!!

will your fuel be available for a long term run??

some natural gas areas can be shut off during an hurricane or tornado event..

as well as the issue with LP or propane you have to be able to store the fuel and have plenty on hand.
and get it refilled

same with gasoline... harder to store for long term storage...
but easy to get for when camping etc. and there are larger fuel tanks for extended run or long run systems.

I started with a gasoline only system then bought tri fuel kits later.

if you have room for storage of fuel and room for the gen.
you can go the propane route. and a eu7000is
propane does not go bad over time.. but you have to be able to store it safe.

and remember for flood zones the large propane tanks do float!!
so make a good pad area and bolt the tank down on super large tanks.

I prefer the manual transfer switch..

less parts to go bad.

and the same goes for all of this back up power..
the simple solutions are the best...

always plan and plan some more!!

and think security for you back up gen!!
the honda eu series are super quiet!!
 

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from outdoor guy;
I'm located in a suburban neighborhood, so we have natural gas for water heaters and furnace, but an electric stovetop, oven and dryer. No pumps of any kind. We have very few outages, and none have been more than a few hours. I'm pretty handy, but want a solution that my wife and daughters could manage if needed.
Leaning towards the Honda EU7000is with an interlock, so I can supply power to varying circuits rather than being limited by a manual transfer switch. end outdoor guy..

begin from Iowa gold;
the deals are at northern tool right now on the honda eu7000is..
us carb has a working trifuel kit for these eu7000is gens. plan on a 1 inch feed line for the natural gas up to the quick coupler.
at least a 1/2 inch hose at a min with 1/2 inch quick couplers to the demand regulator...
for my area of the country the 1/2 hose worked ok so far. at 6 foot.

they like all 3/4 hose and quick couplers from us carb and it is a bit large and pricy on those hoses.
they do not include the hose sets up to the demand regulator.
I do have private pix and updated instructions for a better cleaner looking installation on the honda gen forum.

good choice on the honda eu7000is.
end from iowa gold.
 
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