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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Oregon
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    JD 770, Yanmar 180D, JD 420 (not running), had a Kubota B6200

    Default Upgrading generator, need info

    Looking for a 7000-7500W generator, rated for about 9000W surge. Noise level and harmonic distortion would be nice to know--I'd like to be able sleep with it running or watch the tube or get on the computer.

    So, how do I get the specs for THD & loudness? Generac, Honeywell, Powermate & Champion are all carried by Costco, but none of their websites list those specs, except Champion lists loudness. I shop Costco because their prices are generally a lot lower than HD or Lowes. However HD does have an ETQ brand unit that sounds good and they do list both specs, 70 dB and less than 5% THD.

    Also, what other info is worthwhile knowing?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Mid. Coast Maine
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    7610 hst

  3. #3
    Silver Member genusCastor's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    East Texas prairie
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    Mahindra 3510 w/FEL

    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    Looking for a 7000-7500W generator, rated for about 9000W surge. Noise level and harmonic distortion would be nice to know...
    I just did my own research on portable generators and decided on the 8kW Ridgid. (Ridgid rates theirs differently, it's 8kW continuous, 10kW peak.) First off, customer service from Home Depot was top notch. I ordered it one evening, got an email that it shipped the next day, and on the third day, a semi was at my driveway with the generator. And I live in a rural area. The purchase required me to make several calls to customer service (credit card issue), and each time, within a minute or two, I was talking to an English speaking person in Dallas. So I was impressed with the purchase end of the deal.

    As for choosing Ridgid, their generators have decent reviews, and are not over priced. Generacs are expensive, have dismal reviews (look somewhere other than the Generac website), and my local small engine shop told me he could not get parts for a Generac. I'd have to go through a Generac dealer. The Ridgids have Yamaha (6.8 kW) and Subaru (8 kW) engines, easy to get parts for anywhere.

    As for noise levels, I have a feeling whatever numbers you find may be questionable. (For starters, where is the meter reading taken? etc.) Ridgid says this 8kW is rated at 79.7 dB. I've had it running, have not made any noise level readings, but I'd say it's average noise level. Whatever average is...it's what noise I'd expect a generator this size to make. Not super loud, or super quiet, IMO. If you're really concerned about noise, I'd look into retro-fitting whatever you get with a secondary muffler(?)

    I haven't had it hooked up to the house yet, but plan to soon.

    Good luck, and have fun shopping.

    - djb
    The best things in life aren't things.

    2003 Mahindra 3510 with front end loader
    2010 Dixie Chopper 2550 ZTM: 25 hp Kohler, 50" cut

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    N.E. PA
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    BX22

    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    You should first decide what fuel you want, gas, NG/LP or diesel. Next what is the requirement, occasional backup, longer backup demands, portable or fixed ?

    These are more critical in your decision than THD and sometimes noise. I started with a 7KW V twin gas generator. After I bought my kubota tractor, I no longer needed gas on a regular basis at home, so I traded up to an 8 KW, air cooled, 3600 RPM diesel generator powered by a Deutz engine. I used it quite a few times with outages. A few years ago I upgraded to a 9.8 KW Kubota powered water cooled, 1800 RPM generator. Main reason was noise, reliability and lower fuel consumption.

    Paul

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    Lived with my Troy-bilt 7550 watt for 6 days last year after Irene. Ran the whole house just fine but would not run the washing machine. The washing machine would wash, but not spin. Later reading showed that others have had the same issue if the power was not real clean. Ran my old rear projection TV but I don't know if I would take the chance on my new 49" plasma.
    Noise was not an issue, abeit it was at the other end of the house. I knew it was there but not overly so.
    I picked up a Champion 2000 watt inverter that I would use for the new TV or extended lower demand appliances, like the fridge or freezer. (only takes a gallon for 10 hours)

  6. #6
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Powhatan Va.
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    2000 Power Trac 422

    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg H View Post
    Lived with my Troy-bilt 7550 watt for 6 days last year after Irene. Ran the whole house just fine but would not run the washing machine. The washing machine would wash, but not spin. Later reading showed that others have had the same issue if the power was not real clean. Ran my old rear projection TV but I don't know if I would take the chance on my new 49" plasma.
    Noise was not an issue, abeit it was at the other end of the house. I knew it was there but not overly so.
    I picked up a Champion 2000 watt inverter that I would use for the new TV or extended lower demand appliances, like the fridge or freezer. (only takes a gallon for 10 hours)
    I second the Champion small generator. That means use it as your second generator during low load. It will very unlikely starts your well, but will keep your refrigerator running, tv, a few lights and save you a lot of gas. It is also extremely quiet since the engine slows down under light load.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    Not to hijack Pilots thread, but I'll expand a little.
    I wired my wood burning furnace, circ pumps, controls and a couple of lights to a single circut then installed male/female plugs in line. This way I can plug into the little Champion generator and it will keep my furnace running for 10 hours before refueling. More than enough to get through the night or go to work and back. And it is very quite, at 100 ft (nearest neighbour) its almost below your hearing threshold.
    That keeps all of your neighbours from showing up wanting to use your facilities.

    I run the big genset while taking showers, cooking and so forth.
    Troy-bilt 7550 takes 7.5 gallons for 10 hours, Champion takes 1.0 gallons for 10 hours.

    Greg H

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Raspy's Avatar
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    Northern Nevada
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    NH TC29DA Bolens G14 Skytrac 5028 Dodge Cummins Jeep Rubicon Grizzly 700

    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    I've looked casually into this myself. One option that makes sense is a PTO generator that runs from your tractor.

    The noise would probably be less.

    You get a lot of watts without having to buy an engine.

    It can sit for a very long time and be ready to go because there are no long term storage issues as there are with gas engines and starting batteries.

    You can easily move it to other locations for use there. This might be better than a portable genny that had to be lifted into a truck to go to your neighbors or out into the field, etc.

    If you do go with a stand alone portable one, diesel is nice because the fuel can sit for long periods and be fine. Gas is a real problem. Right now I have a small kubota diesel genny that's big enough to run my well or the fridge and some lights. But since it's diesel, starting it in the winter can be a challenge. My wife would never be able to do it if I was gone. But if she only had to start the tractor and plug in, no problem.
    John

    I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Oregon
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    JD 770, Yanmar 180D, JD 420 (not running), had a Kubota B6200

    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    OP here. To clarify, I already have a Porter Cable generator which has a Briggs engine. Imagine running a car with no muffler--it's almost that loud. And the circuit panel is about 30 feet from our bedroom. We lose power 2 or 3 times a year (usually in the evenings, don't ask me why, I don't know) and every second year or so the outage lasts for a day or two, sometimes 4 or 5 days. Always in the winter and usually it's blowing and raining. Knowing those factors you can understand why noise is an issue and being able to run the TV while cooped up would be good.

    I am considering LP, but will probably go with gas. I can get zero ethanol gas and as for storage, I just use it in the log splitter or my airplane to use it up & replace it with fresh (yes, it's OK to use in the plane and works better than avgas).

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: Upgrading generator, need info

    I've got a generac that is in that size. It was a cheap generator, and while it's ok I'm not in love with it. Its had multiple problems (stupid stuff, but still problems) and doesn't even have 10 hours on it yet. It does do the job though, but is quite loud. Previously I had a 30+ year old honda, which was way more reliable and extremely quiet (could have a conversation next to it if you wanted), but was a tad too small. I'm looking at saving up and buying a honda in a larger size again, but they're 2 - 3x the price. Be careful of the DB ratings in the specs, they don't all rate them the same and some measure from a distance away, which isn't that accurate. Other specs I'd take a look at are the rated RPMS and whether it runs full speed all the time (loud, inefficient and wears quicker), or if it adjusts speed with demand (more expensive). You also can look at the specs for output voltage, ones with inverters will produce 'cleaner' power, which is better for computers and other sensitive equipment, though you can just buy a UPS and that'll make it safe for the computer. If you get one with a batter start make sure to get one that has a built in charger or alternator, the ones that you have to go and plug in every week for a few minutes aren't great and without careful diligence you have to replace the battery quickly.

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