Time for a new portable generator

   #1  

TheMan419

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So it is time for a new portable generator. Wife wants one for her barn. It has a separate well and its own electical panel. Electrician will be out this month to install the proper transfer switch and 30 amp plug in.

I currently have a 6500 watt running (8500 watt surge) portable that I will be "donating" to the barn for use there. She can then have water and lights if the power is out.

For the house I want to get an inverter generator, but I need the 220v and wattage to run the well, fridge and some lights. I am willing to do load management to not run all the things at the same time. I want the inverter so I can run the router for internet and a TV while the power is out.

The house already has a transfer switch and a 30 amp plug.

I am not interested in Harbor Freight junk.

One that has caught my eye is Champion 100520 - 7000 Watt Digital Hybrid Open-Frame Electric Start Inverter Generator w/ Quiet Technology CARB

Also looking for other options. That generator would just about max out the 30 amp plug at 220v so don't really need more power. Looking for good reliability.

Generally it appears we are having about 2 power outages a year lasting about 20 hours each. Electric start is a must have for me as the Mrs. is not going to be able to pull start something that big..... heck I would struggle with it given my back.

Thanks for the input as always.
 
   #3  

Thomas

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I have Generac wish I got Honda battery start also quieter.
 
  
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TheMan419

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HF gensets are made in china, aren't the champion gensets from china too?

SR
Yes but three year warantee and lifetime tech support from Champion.
 
   #5  

i7win7

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Purhased this at Menards to run our well, working on wiring mods for pump

I also don't trust HF. Inverter systems are nice in that they convert DC to AC. This allows engine to run at various RPM's depending on load. A true RMS inverter is more expensive but more desirable for sensitive electronics. The old school generators produce the correct sinewave, 60hz if engine is governed at 3600rpm, voltage could drop some at max load.

I choose old school to avoid extra electronics that could fail when generator most needed.
 
   #6  

Sawyer Rob

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Yes but three year warantee and lifetime tech support from Champion.
How will that help you if it doesn't work properly when you need it?

I keep hearing that it's a coin toss with generators from china, so I think it's worth the money to spend more, you know......buy once, cry once......

SR
 
   #8  

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Yeah, adding in an inverter just gives something else that can go wrong with the machine. The only advantage of the inverter generator is fuel economy at low usage. If only used occasionaly or used at higher power draw when it is used, the regular old plain generator seems wiser. And at very high power draws the inverter gen will actually use "more" fuel because of the added inversion losses!
 
   #10  

kirkawilson

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   #11  

grsthegreat

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the honda 7000 inverter is a great, quiet unit. i have used several that the Idaho Dept of Lands have, and cant be beat. problem is their so dang spendy. i can buy a generac 22,000 watt unit for the same cost
 
   #12  

Rebeldad1

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We use our Honda EU1000 mostly for our 4hr or less power outages. Runs internet, some lights, Sat TV and 65" big screen without coming off economy low idle.
The EU2000 if needed for coffee pot and refer and freezers.

Have a Champion 7500W electric start dual fuel. Has never seen gasoline. For when everything is needed including well.

Could buy 5 of these for what it"s Honda comparable costs.
 
   #15  

sea2summit

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How will that help you if it doesn't work properly when you need it?

I keep hearing that it's a coin toss with generators from china, so I think it's worth the money to spend more, you know......buy once, cry once......

SR
Especially when, when you need it you really don’t want to have to fix it.
 
   #16  

Root Cause

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I think there are several good options. For lack of any recent experience, I did some research and kept seeing Westinghouse.

Not a name that comes to my mind when thinking about generators.
But the reviews and options won me over.

-Dual fuel (just went thru a gas shortage last May on East coat
-Remote start (for wife)
-9500 running watts, 12500 startup
-50 amp plug
-transfer switch ready, transfer switch available to autostart a few things if you don't mind extension cords running to the frig etc.

$999 at Sam's Club

So my expertise is zero. I don't even have it yet but that is what I bought.
 
   #17  

BravoXray

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If you would be interested in a good BlackMax 7000 watt unit, I have one I'm going to list on CL soon. Honda GX390 ngine was overhauled two years ago, has about 20-30 hours on it since then. Have used it twice for power outages, works great.
PM me if interested.
 
   #18  

check

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I think there are several good options. For lack of any recent experience, I did some research and kept seeing Westinghouse.

Not a name that comes to my mind when thinking about generators.
But the reviews and options won me over.

-Dual fuel (just went thru a gas shortage last May on East coat
-Remote start (for wife)
-9500 running watts, 12500 startup
-50 amp plug
-transfer switch ready, transfer switch available to autostart a few things if you don't mind extension cords running to the frig etc.

$999 at Sam's Club

So my expertise is zero. I don't even have it yet but that is what I bought.

I have that one model, and so does Daugen. Very happy with mine.
 

shooterdon

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We use our Honda EU1000 mostly for our 4hr or less power outages. Runs internet, some lights, Sat TV and 65" big screen without coming off economy low idle.
The EU2000 if needed for coffee pot and refer and freezers.

Have a Champion 7500W electric start dual fuel. Has never seen gasoline. For when everything is needed including well.

Could buy 5 of these for what it"s Honda comparable costs.

It is a smart option. No need for inverter technology for most uses so you can get a less expensive main generator,and a smaller inverter type for sensitive stuff.

And dual fuel propane/gas makes a lot of sense for the main generator.
 
  
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TheMan419

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It is a smart option. No need for inverter technology for most uses so you can get a less expensive main generator,and a smaller inverter type for sensitive stuff.

And dual fuel propane/gas makes a lot of sense for the main generator.

Yes but the wife will not want to think that she needs to switch generators when she wants to run the well or microwave and coffee pot together etc.

If they were not so spendy I would simply put in a standby generator with some load shedding and be done with it. But given the lack of poweroutages (knocking hard on wood now) it is not an investment I want to make at this point.

I can get a new genset and wire the barn with an interlock and plug for a couple thou and be good.
 

fried1765

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We've had a 2000 inverter type Honda for years. Its a tool that works when needed and built to last.
I have a Yamaha YG2800i.
Sweet little 2800 watt inverter unit.
A bit more power than the 2000W Honda unit.

I also have a nearly new, but 30 year old, 6500W Honda conventional generator.
 

Root Cause

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So it is time for a new portable generator. Wife wants one for her barn. It has a separate well and its own electical panel. Electrician will be out this month to install the proper transfer switch and 30 amp plug in.

I currently have a 6500 watt running (8500 watt surge) portable that I will be "donating" to the barn for use there. She can then have water and lights if the power is out.

For the house I want to get an inverter generator, but I need the 220v and wattage to run the well, fridge and some lights. I am willing to do load management to not run all the things at the same time. I want the inverter so I can run the router for internet and a TV while the power is out.

The house already has a transfer switch and a 30 amp plug.

I am not interested in Harbor Freight junk.

One that has caught my eye is Champion 100520 - 7000 Watt Digital Hybrid Open-Frame Electric Start Inverter Generator w/ Quiet Technology CARB

Also looking for other options. That generator would just about max out the 30 amp plug at 220v so don't really need more power. Looking for good reliability.

Generally it appears we are having about 2 power outages a year lasting about 20 hours each. Electric start is a must have for me as the Mrs. is not going to be able to pull start something that big..... heck I would struggle with it given my back.

Thanks for the input as always.
So what did you decide?
 

masscity

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Champion generators are made in China, in the Zhejiang province. The champion generator company is an American Company and operated by Americans, but its manufacturing and assembling occur in China. They are based in America, California but they do manufacturing in China.

I have a Champion 4000/3500, the only problem I have had with it is regular gas with ethanol in it. Cleaned it good with Sea Foam and now use Hi Test gas without

ethanol.
 

fried1765

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Champion generators are made in China, in the Zhejiang province. The champion generator company is an American Company and operated by Americans, but its manufacturing and assembling occur in China. They are based in America, California but they do manufacturing in China.

I have a Champion 4000/3500, the only problem I have had with it is regular gas with ethanol in it. Cleaned it good with Sea Foam and now use Hi Test gas without

ethanol.
Be aware: Just because gas may be "Hi Test" gas, it may or may not be ethanol free!
 

EddieWalker

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If you are going with gasoline to power the generator, Honda is the gold standard that all other generators compare to for a very good reason. They are better then all the other brands out there.

I spent money on other brands and they all work great the first year, but then they become harder to start, and harder to keep running pretty quickly.

I did not want to spend that much money on a generator. I decided that I was only going to buy a Honda, and after dealing with the shock of what they cost, I rethought what I needed it for. I do not have to power a well. I'm on city water. We lose power all year round, but the longer periods are during winter when we get snow and ice. Those have been as long as 5 days without power.

I went with a Honda 2000 to power the TV, internet, charge our cell phones and keep the lights on. We can get by without anything else.

My long term goal is to connect my house to Natural Gas. I have already had them install the line into the land and it's about 50 feet away from where I'm going to build my 3 car attached garage. When I have that done, I'll get a natural gas generator that's a little bigger, but not really a lot bigger, since we really don't need very much more power. We will use it if we have it, but we can survive just fine off of the stove for heat and warming water to bath.

I do not know what brand to buy for natural gas. I'm not looking right now, but my parents are wanting one for their house and it's become a challenge to figure out what is junk and what is worth the money. Sadly, Honda does not seem to make natural gas generators.
 

TractorGuy

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The whole inverter thing is over emphasized.

I have an old military MEP 803A diesel that will run at 10KW plus continuous.

I bought a Duromax for my daughter on one of the $500 ebay sales. It is a dual fuel that will run at 8KW. It has to be the cheapest of the cheap you can get. I was surprised to hear it came out of their shed and fired right up the second season.

Both units have been run non stop for 5 days on two different occasions with nary a hiccup on any of our computers or tvs.

Just saying.
 

Root Cause

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I have no doubt Honda is king.
However, I have a troy built with a Briggs 6500/5000.
I have had it for years, keep up the maintenance, and use the fuel, shut-off valve to stop it when I am done with it.
I let it set for months and it always starts before I can count to 2.

I almost bought the HF inverter 9000/7000 that just came out but I am not sure I really need it for just emergencies. Frankly, 7000 watts didn't impress me either for the cost with my needs.

The Westinghouse 12500/9500 has a hertz meter built-in and I have a hertz plug-in meter to verify it at the house plug. I am not an electrician but I am not convinced I need to pay the additional cost to run TV and laptop for 20-40 hours / year. I may be wrong but somehow have managed all these years with just a genny. Someone prove me wrong: I would like to hear why.
 

Peace

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Have you considered the military MEP gen sets? They are big and bulky but you can run them 24 hrs a day if needed. When I was a kid my dad bought many of these from surplus auction and rebuilt the engines for resale. He said the generators would last thousands of hours. I did a quick eBay check and this one popped up 1st with only 82 hrs.
 

Peace

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I have no doubt Honda is king.
However, I have a troy built with a Briggs 6500/5000.
I have had it for years, keep up the maintenance, and use the fuel, shut-off valve to stop it when I am done with it.
I let it set for months and it always starts before I can count to 2.

I almost bought the HF inverter 9000/7000 that just came out but I am not sure I really need it for just emergencies. Frankly, 7000 watts didn't impress me either for the cost with my needs.

The Westinghouse 12500/9500 has a hertz meter built-in and I have a hertz plug-in meter to verify it at the house plug. I am not an electrician but I am not convinced I need to pay the additional cost to run TV and laptop for 20-40 hours / year. I may be wrong but somehow have managed all these years with just a genny. Someone prove me wrong: I would like to hear why.
The whole inverter thing is over emphasized.

I have an old military MEP 803A diesel that will run at 10KW plus continuous.
lol! You must have posted as I was typing. MEP’s are great! I believe they are converted to LPG by simply buying a forklift conversion kit.
edit: for the gas engines
 

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TractorGuy

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I've been tempted, any wet stacking problems? It's been my experience with the 10k's if not loaded...
No wet stacking. I built a load bank using four 5400W dryer elements. I connected two in series to half the load. I run it under a 40A load for an hour every month. It is divided up in three circuits so I can apply the load in increments.
IMG_1368.JPG


IMG_1371.JPG


During the two 5 day straight runs I used it it never started smoking or anything. We did turn on the stove breaker and bake cookies a couple of times just to load it when we didn't need AC running. Both of the hurricane outage we had the weather was mild so we didn't need AC. I would also run the hot water heater for an hour each morning so that would give it a good daily load.

All that said I probably would not consider a MEP now. They became so popular that they are selling within a few thousand of a brand new Perkins from Hardy. I bought mine before people started buying them up and shipping them to Puerto Rico. I was all in, hooked to the house with an interlock, and load bank built for $2000.
 

kenmbz

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I have a Champion 9000 Starting Watts-gas- about 15 years old.
Use it 2-5 times per year with ethanol High test and Stabil
Runs for days on end, not fuel efficient, but works.
I use the electric start and run carb dry after each use.
Change oil and it keeps going.
 

nyone

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If your going to spend honda money and own a diesel tractor I would seriously look at what kubota, cummins and yanmar offer for a 1800rpm diesel generator.
 

Peace

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If your going to spend honda money and own a diesel tractor I would seriously look at what kubota, cummins and yanmar offer for a 1800rpm diesel generator.
Kubota has the Loboy series. They are a bit pricey. They seem to be popular as a backup on Mobil solar setups around here in the desert.
 
  
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TheMan419

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Ok so new question.... is the need for a inverter type hype as some have posited in this thread? I want to run the router for internet and the tv. Since we live in an area prone to tornados keeping up on those issues is important. I do have a place I can keep the generator out of the weather and still running and hooked up to the house.
 

fried1765

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Ok so new question.... is the need for a inverter type hype as some have posited in this thread? I want to run the router for internet and the tv. Since we live in an area prone to tornados keeping up on those issues is important. I do have a place I can keep the generator out of the weather and still running and hooked up to the house.
If you plan to run electronic devices, and are going to buy a NEW generator, you definitely should buy an inverter style generator.
 
  
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TheMan419

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If you plan to run electronic devices, and are going to buy a NEW generator, you definitely should buy an inverter style generator.
that is what I was thinking, but several in this thread have poo pooed that need.

The plan is to buy NEW (not new to me but new new). Mainly want to run the well, pumps on the boiler and the fridge/freezer. But since you are running a generator you might as well have some creature comforts. Especially since I need a generator big enough to run the well in the first place.

The Champion I posted about in the first post ticks all my desires.
Inverter
Size
Electric Start

The only thing it does not have is a dual fuel option. Although the generator I do have is gasoline only. We have had it for about 8 years. The only time it did not start was when I forgot to plug the battery minder in. It started on the third pull, but man the recoil start on that thing is a bear with a bad back.
 

Root Cause

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I too would like some information on the need for an inverter. My simplistic understanding is that you want 60 hertz at all times or it could damage sensitive equipment.
So far, my 2 generators seem to be doing just that. There may be more I don't understand or maybe my sample size it way too small.

I just bought a 12500-watt dual fuel for $999 to run the house.
We just went through a gas shortage that affected the entire southwest. It lasted a couple of weeks without a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. For that reason, dual fuel was my #1 priority.
If I really do need an inverter genny, then I will go buy a small one and isolate the tv and laptops to one room.
 

fried1765

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that is what I was thinking, but several in this thread have poo pooed that need.

The plan is to buy NEW (not new to me but new new). Mainly want to run the well, pumps on the boiler and the fridge/freezer. But since you are running a generator you might as well have some creature comforts. Especially since I need a generator big enough to run the well in the first place.

The Champion I posted about in the first post ticks all my desires.
Inverter
Size
Electric Start

The only thing it does not have is a dual fuel option. Although the generator I do have is gasoline only. We have had it for about 8 years. The only time it did not start was when I forgot to plug the battery minder in. It started on the third pull, but man the recoil start on that thing is a bear with a bad back.
You could also buy a very small (1,000W) inverter generator for the equipment that needs precise voltage/frequency, and a larger non inverter generator for everything else.
That is what I have done.
 

grsthegreat

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OMG. Ive been running generators to power my house for 25 years, and none were inverter. One was even a chepo unit purchased used from rental yard at auction.

just use the standard surge suppressor that i normally use for electronics, and computers are fed thru UPS sources. I have never burnt out an electronic device except for an oven that went during a lightning strike on my ground mount transformer. Since that strike, i installed a whole house surge suppressor and no further issues.
 

Sawyer Rob

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I have two Honda inverter generators, I love them for clean power, but mostly because they run a long time on a gallon of gas and they are quiet!!

IF I want to run my whole house, I MUCH prefer my pto generator, as my tractor is always ready to go and it works perfectly!

SR
 

i7win7

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Ok so new question.... is the need for a inverter type hype as some have posited in this thread? I want to run the router for internet and the tv. Since we live in an area prone to tornados keeping up on those issues is important. I do have a place I can keep the generator out of the weather and still running and hooked up to the house.
SPECS, it's about AC specs, equipment is designed to run according to power grid specs. Power Companies can not buy, sell, transfer power between companies without being synchronized. This is why wind turbines and solar farms go down if purchasing utility has a power or substation failure.

60Hz is the US standard, at 58Hz A/C motors run a little slower, at 62Hz A/C motors run a little faster - power can't be sold if out of sync.

Sine wave - the voltage switches between -170 volts and +170 volts 60 times per second. Regular generators and true sine wave inverters will generate this waveform.
Simple_sine_wave.svg.png
RMS - root mean square is the average of the voltage swing. Usually 120 volts, inside of a power plant I have measured 140-145 volts at their outlets.


Typical inverters generate a stair stepped wave form. The more steps, the better the inversion waveform.

320px-Sqarish_wave,_5_level.png


My pellet stove is plugged into a UPS for computers. On power failure it beeps and provides about 10 min. of runtime. The motors will run on the stepped wave form but makes more noise, motor speeds up & slows down because of the stepped voltage. Kind of like driving a car with a vibrator on the bottom of your shoe.

Any generator producing between 110-130 volts should be fine. Dedicated generators with own motor will do best job of maintaining 60Hz. My main concern is waveform. AC power is a sine wave, a true sine wave or a highly stepped wave form waveform is the best.
 

Root Cause

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It's raining here so I did some research and found that inverter generators typically run the motor based on need. Therefore, quieter and more fuel-efficient. In turn, they invert the power to AC as Win7 describes above giving you 'clean' sine wave electricity. This conversion does incur some loss of power so that is why they provide fewer watts and cost more.

I don't think there is a choice that fits all.
I have a digital, plug-in hertz/voltage meter so I am going to stick with that and my cheap genny.

Thanks i7win7, that was helpful.
 

TBone

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I too would like some information on the need for an inverter. My simplistic understanding is that you want 60 hertz at all times or it could damage sensitive equipment.
So far, my 2 generators seem to be doing just that. There may be more I don't understand or maybe my sample size it way too small.

I just bought a 12500-watt dual fuel for $999 to run the house.
We just went through a gas shortage that affected the entire southwest. It lasted a couple of weeks without a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. For that reason, dual fuel was my #1 priority.
If I really do need an inverter genny, then I will go buy a small one and isolate the tv and laptops to one room.
I've got two gas powered generators mainly because of hurricane season here on the gulf coast. I've never considered dual fuel because during the only major hurricane I've had to suffer through (Katrina),
propane was harder to find than gasoline. I wouldn't mind one that ran off of natural gas but I've only got one accessible gas line that used to feed a gas grill and I can't find anybody that knows if it will be suitable for a large generator. I don't want to buy one only to find out it won't run on the little 3/8" line.
 

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Bay Area, CA
Tractor
Power Trac PT1445
Inverter generators have a lower total harmonic distortion (THD) compared with some non-inverter generators. Whether that is important for your equipment is a "it depends" issue. As @grsthegreat points out there are lots of generators out there that produce quality power and something close to 60Hz. Much of the quality has to do with the design of the generator head and how the voltage regulation is done. There are some cheap ones that put out electricity with lots of extra electronic "noise", I.e. electricity at frequencies other than 60Hz. (Lots of examples on YouTube, if you are curious.) If you run that "noisy" power into a motor, it turns up as some additional heat. If you run it into electronics, well, it depends on the design of the internal power supply. The power supply may filter the noise out and it may not, depending on the design. It may be harmful, and it may not be, depending on the design. A $2. charger is going to have fewer features or protections compared to a $100 one. Surge suppressors can cut much of the noise out, and the more of them you have the more energy that can be absorbed in a spike, and the more the noise gets soaked up around the house, improving the power quality- but that isn't their primary function.

To me, the big plus to inverter generators is that they can throttle way down to meet low loads at low rpm, which saves fuel, and reduces noise. Those may or may not matter to other folks.

Finally, while it is true that inverter generators stair step the voltage levels, they do it 40-100,000 times per second, so the resulting power is basically indistinguishable from a sine wave except with an oscilloscope. I.e. It is round off error.

All the best,

Peter
 

LittleBill21

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
1,472
Location
PA
Tractor
Mahindra Max 26XL, White
inverters are needed for random things, electric heating blankets, cheap ups's, and some electronic controls on boilers, are about the only place i have seen them as a requirement.

anything that uses switching power supplies (wall wart devices) which have 100-240 range labeled on them, could careless about clean power.

inverter generators are quieter and generally use less fuel then non inverter generators, that's about it.

inverter generators can also be parallel to increase their total wattage (not voltage)


at the end of the day you need to figure out how much you plan to use it.

if your up in the 10's of thousands of hours, your looking at something "prime" rated

otherwise, most people if they are lucky will put 100 hours on a generator,

I have off brand inverters and a regular HF generator, they are all over 10 years old, they all work fine.


to OP you might want to be careful with the HF junk comment, the Non inverter series, were HIGHLY rated by Consumer Reports for years, I have one and it works great.
 
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