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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Needs are well pump (11 amps on startup, 6 running, 240 volt), fridge, and your general house circuits. For context, my normal power bill is 60$ month, every month. LED everything, heat with wood, very electric frugal. The one thing...my laptop(s) will not run on non inverter gene. Period. Will be destroyed. And I need them for work, which includes emergency response support after hours. However, this post isn’t about why a laptop gets fried on regular generators, that ship has sailed, we’re not plugging them into non inverter generators. The Wen WEN GN875i 8750-Watt RV and Transfer-Switch-Ready 120V/240V Electric Start Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant Looks like it fits the bill maybe? I like the size, I can run all my lights and outlets, some shop tools, well, and fridge and the laptops. My other need is 7 day run time, either during the 3-4 times per year PoCo screw up which usually lasts a week or when I need to deploy to the field and we don’t have time to get the genny guys to bring their cats. I mean 7 days of up to 16 hours per day, obviously gotta put fuel in it every now and then. Since this is out of my wallet, a Honda’s is not under consideration. And I could care less how loud it is. Transfer to house panel is a must, sparky can do the interlock install for parts cost only.

I can’t seem to find anything really “bad” about the wen, but you get what you pay for. Is this thing going to brick at 500 hours? My expectations are realistic at the sub 1000$. Generator market so don’t be shy, if not wen, what else gives that much juice that’s inverter.
 

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I have two Wen inverters. The big one ran for 5 days straight after Ida. Wen makes good stuff.

The GN875i is rated at 7 kw running. That's a pretty powerful inverter. I think you will be pleased with it. If you order from Wen direct, you get free shipping and no tax. That model used to be $812 earlier in the year. That was probably the best deal on a big power inverter in existence. Even at $900, it's a still a great bargain.
 

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7-day runtimes with a big gen can quickly eat up a lot of gasoline. You didn't mention natural gas, so I guess that's out. Do you have propane available?
 

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Any sensitive electronics (laptop, router, etc) can simply be isolated with a ups sinewave backup

example
Partially true. It's pure sine wave only when it's in battery mode. When it's in line power or generator power, the load/PC/laptop will see the waveform from the line/generator.

Only the double-conversion UPSs can do what you say.... does AC to DC then DC to AC (double-conversion) full-time.
 

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Champion also provides an almost identical model. From what I've read, their post-sales support is excellent, not to mention the 3-yr warranty. Though, they do cost a bit more, that is, if they're on stock.


But based on the items you want to power up, the Wen 8750 is more than what you need. It should be fine.
 

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Most import generators are very similar to each other. A 7000watt WEN will be very similar to a 7000watt champion as they share the same lot of Chinese components. Which company will quickly answer a call and respond With a replacement part in the mail plays a part. Configuration can change quite a bit though, variety of outlets, bells and whistles such as dual fuel, USB ports, 3 mode digital gauge, remote start, wheel kit, handle design… I’d say Champion and WEN are solid contenders in the “large” open frame inverter segment.

Based on your power requirements you can go with the big thirsty 7000watt units WEN GN875i or 8750-Watt Open Frame Inverter - Champion Power Equipment Or go down a size to the 5000watt versions. Dropping from a 420cc engine to 301cc engine saves a bunch of fuel as long as you don’t require all the extra headroom in wattage.
 

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also take a look at the honda eu7000is generator
it is quieter.
and good reserve power.

just remember in the lower cost units they real power out maybe lower than posted.
do some real world testing to make sure.

we have found the lower cost units lower power than rated here in the shop by 20-30%.
consult a local repair shop dealer that works on all brands and models for the real scoop.
 

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OP: Did you actually fry a laptop while using a non-inverter generator? Do you mind stating what generator it is and the make and model of the laptop?
 

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@OrlyP I found this comment on the Home Depot website about the Champion 10,000/8,000-Watt Electric Start Tri-Fuel 100416 unit. This was answered by a Champion Power Expert (I think that means Champion employee). I was told by my HVAC installer that my new high efficiency variable-speed furnace will likely be ruined by my existing 3KW Champion genset (non-inverter). He said he has replaced several control boards for customers for that very reason and they aren't cheap. I'm taking him at his word...I am not going to attempt to run my furnace with my gen!

Font Material property Parallel Screenshot Number
 

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@OrlyP I found this comment on the Home Depot website about the Champion 10,000/8,000-Watt Electric Start Tri-Fuel 100416 unit. This was answered by a Champion Power Expert (I think that means Champion employee). I was told by my HVAC installer that my new high efficiency variable-speed furnace will likely be ruined by my existing 3KW Champion genset (non-inverter). He said he has replaced several control boards for customers for that very reason and they aren't cheap. I'm taking him at his word...I am not going to attempt to run my furnace with my gen!

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Champion Power Expert aka: salesperson that has never used (or even touched) the actual unit....
FWIW: The above conclusion was drawn from my experience dealing with pro-audio sound components (power amps, speakers, etc.).
What I have found to be better has been to call tech support / repair for the actual unit to be powered and ask to speak to a bench-tech (this is not the person scheduling repairs).
The tech will tell you what he commonly sees coming in for repair and the most common reasons for failure.
 

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I think there ought to be a distinction between generators not running the appliance properly and one that is downright destructive to electronics.

The most common issues I've heard or seen is caused by the former and furnaces seems to pop up as the most problematic when running from generator power. For that, I believe that furnaces can be genuinely considered as "sensitive electronics". They are a fire hazard in their own right and so they employ multiple safeties, not the least of which is sensing if anything is out of whack enough to cause uncontrolled combustion and start a house fire. But that said, the worst thing that could happen is that the furnace wouldn't work when connected to a conventional generator but still runs fine under clean power.

As to the latter, "experts" stating that conventional generators will actually cause things to snap, crackle, and pop, seems mostly anecdotal.... a catch-all assumption to upsell more inverter gennies, IMHO.
 

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Champion Power Expert aka: salesperson that has never used (or even touched) the actual unit....
FWIW: The above conclusion was drawn from my experience dealing with pro-audio sound components (power amps, speakers, etc.).
What I have found to be better has been to call tech support / repair for the actual unit to be powered and ask to speak to a bench-tech (this is not the person scheduling repairs).
The tech will tell you what he commonly sees coming in for repair and the most common reasons for failure.
the bad news is some of the tech lines for some companies they are just call centers with a scripted person doing the phone work....
hard to get the real techs and engineers these days on the phone...
they are worth BIG bucks per hour.
most companies like to keep them in the labs.
 

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When I had to call Champion about a defective petcock, I actually got a tech guy on the line. He ended up talking to me for about a half hour. Really cool guy. He's the one who told me that the small Champion inverters can be filled with oil all the way to the cap without issues. It's impossible to overfill them. The oil level sensor is extremely sensitive and a lot of the calls they get are from people who need to add a little extra oil.

When I called Wen, on the other hand, their Tier 1 tech support was script readers with very heavy accents. I presume their Tier 2 staff is actual tech guys, but I've never had to go that far into the system. Both Wens have run well so far.
 

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I always find it funny when the OP never returns to the conversation.
Back in the day, on another board, we'd call them "drive-by posters."

I hope the OP came back at least to check the responses, even if he didn't address any of our comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Actually I've been reading the responses as they roll in. Responding hasn't been at the top of my list of things to do with no power, been a little busy hunting down firewood and water. As to what model laptop gets fried, it's the Dell 250 watt power bricks that get fried, did fry one laptop, not sure what generator, whatever the contractors bring. It's happened enough to where we modified the on-call contract to specify that the juice must meet this and that standard, etc....which of course doubled the cost, but when you're in an ICP for a big fire and have no laptops. We also have the same problem running them off so-called "inverters" that run off a vehicle battery.

Comments have been helpful (except last two, they add nothing to the conversation) to the point where I'm thinking a very small suitcase honda for the stuff that needs it, and a bigger non inverter that I can plumb to by 250 gal propane tank for everything else, which is within my budget range.
 

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We also have the same problem running them off so-called "inverters" that run off a vehicle battery.
Those vary considerably on the output quality. I have several different models and quite frankly I wouldn't run anything I valued on them after looking at the output with an o-scope.

I'm thinking a very small suitcase honda for the stuff that needs it
Probably would meet your needs and worth exploring.
 

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Comments have been helpful (except last two, they add nothing to the conversation)
The last 2 comments clearly provoked what now, is a conversation.

We also have the same problem running them off so-called "inverters" that run off a vehicle battery.
These inverters come in two flavors, sine wave and modified sine wave. The latter is very low power quality. Most likely the culprit in your situation.
 
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