Time for a new portable generator

ponytug

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@check that sounds like a perfectly wired whole house surge suppression.

Moving all of your home circuits to a new panel is not a trivial amount of work. Putting a surge suppressor in the now empty main panel next to the main breaker is electronically exactly what one wants to do.

Time is everything with surge suppression, and given the basically fixed speed of electrons in wires, time is distance. So putting the whole house surge suppressor as close to the incoming power as possible, and moving all of the other circuits into a separate panel, beyond a transfer switch puts them far away and gives the surge suppressor as much time as possible to react and clamp the voltage spike by shorting the surge to ground. The greater amount of electrical surge (energy) that the suppressor can short to ground, the more likely it is that your man breaker will open, putting up an even larger barrier to the surge. (Which it did in your case)

(y)(y) Thanks for sharing.

All the best,

Peter
 

TractorGuy

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For some reason Honda continues to use bare steel float bowls on their carbs. Left sitting with ethanol in them will rust inside and mess up the whole works.

I haven't stayed in touch with newer small engine stuff but fuel injection with components made to withstand ethanol would be preferred.

I even had an issue with my old 99 Ford Mustang that I need to get out and drive more often. I let it sit for over a year one time and it rusted the fuel pump armature. When I dumped the fuel filter from the inlet side it was full of rust. The tank was spotless inside and has a coating on it. The fuel pump was dead so I assume all the rust came from it and maybe the inside of the filter. Thankfully all the rust was trapped between the pump and filter so replacing those two parts got it going again.
 

ericm979

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I believe this applies to all small gasoline engines. Both my log splitter and my generator are Honda engines. I always run them until they are empty. With the log splitter, that's when I call it a day for splitting wood. If I have just a few rounds left and I run out of gas, I just put a little bit of gas in the tank and then let it run until it's empty after I run out of round. With my Honda generator, if I have gas in it, I drain the gas out and then run it until it dies.

My Honda generator and Kohler-engined log splitter both have fuel valves. When I shut them off I turn off the fuel and let the engine run the carburetor dry. No need to drain the tank or use non-ethanol fuel that's hard to find and very expensive here. I do use fuel stabilizer though. And they don't sit unused for more than about 8 months.
 

grsthegreat

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I have had customers generators taken out by lightning strikes on their own property, but usually a set of mags and a control panel takes care of damage. Most of the times just rebooting the control panel fixes issues.

I placed a siemens 140,000 A surge suppressor on my house. Hopefully it will protect the gen also, but not sure it would.

we get occasional lightning storms, but no huge ones, so im not too worried. I once looked into a protection system for generator power and control wires, but as usual i never followed thru with it.
 

ericm979

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(We use a whole house battery/solar system now, no generator - yet. I'm considering adding a generator for winter power failures to top up the batteries...)

Solar + battery + generator to keep the battery topped up would be a good solution for us. We have frequent and often long power outages, especially in winter. But I can't find anyone who makes that. It seems like something you'd have to piece together.
 

ning

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Enphase's units support this now. Can use any sort of 240v generator - manual start or electric (two different methods) automatic start driven from the main switch ("Enpower").

A benefit I see to the generator+battery system is that besides the security of topping the batteries in winter when solar production may be lower than usage (though we don't use a lot of power in the winter in general, a long dark storm in December or January can result in almost no solar), you can program the system to avoid the generator until some set percentage of battery, so most of the time the generator is off and then it's only on full-blast until it charges - and you can program allowed times to run it too (for quiet times - obviously programming assumes automatic start, and there's an override of the quiet time if the batteries get too low).

Something that really bugged me about running on generator is that it's out there chugging away even if you're only using 400W of power; my batteries can do that all day quietly.
 

orezok

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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.
If all you are concerned about is our router and computer, don’t waste your money on an inverter generator. Buy a robust UPS instead. The generator only charge the batteries, and they don’t care about dirty electric and then the batteries run an inverter which puts out clean wave form electric.
 
  
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TheMan419

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Note that while many smaller non-inverter generators have a 240v outlet (my old 3300W Generac did), few inverter generators of any size do - that few that I've seen with a 240v outlet were (like 7000W+).

I used that Generac here and there for three years to cover our well, two refrigerators, one freezer, and occasional other small loads... and no, it didn't run all of that at once; if we needed to run the water, I'd have to disconnect the fridge/freezer loads and let the well run on its own - flush all the toilets as necessary, refill the dish tub in the sink, and a big drinking water jar, then wait a couple minutes for the well to turn off, and reconnect the fridge loads. It was cumbersome but it worked, and the 3300W unit was much less thirsty than a larger unit that would've run it all together.

(We use a whole house battery/solar system now, no generator - yet. I'm considering adding a generator for winter power failures to top up the batteries...)
Yes most of the inverter generators will not produce 240v until you get up to a larger size.

I want the larger size anyway. My thought process is if I am home shutting off the fridge to run the well is no big deal. The wife does not want to have to mess with that. She wants to just fire up the generator and know that she can run the basics of the house with no problem. Making sure you are not running the well, microwave and coffee pot all at the same time will be an easy sell.

I want the inverter type because when I get home at the end of the day I want to be able to watch TV or play on the net. Also for 90% of the day the load on the generator will be minimal so the ability of the inverter to consume less fuel will be good.

Given the lack of options for an inverter of the size I am wanting.... the Honda is out. At that price I might as well go whole house.

The Champion and HF units are basically at the same price point. So I would go Champion due to the longer warranty. Given I will then have two generators I will have a back up to the back up.

Around here if the power goes out it is generally not a wide area event. It is due to a storm. So you can get gasoline. You might have to go further than the station 3 miles away, but you are not going to have to go 30 miles.

Before a storm I make sure I have 15 gallons in the jerry cans and the 6 gallon tank on the generator is full. At 6 months I siphon off what is in the generator tank and run it through the car or lawnmower. Then refill with fresh stabiled gas. That system has kept the current generator running well for around 8 years. Knock on wood.
 

fried1765

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Yes most of the inverter generators will not produce 240v until you get up to a larger size.

I want the larger size anyway. My thought process is if I am home shutting off the fridge to run the well is no big deal. The wife does not want to have to mess with that. She wants to just fire up the generator and know that she can run the basics of the house with no problem. Making sure you are not running the well, microwave and coffee pot all at the same time will be an easy sell.

I want the inverter type because when I get home at the end of the day I want to be able to watch TV or play on the net. Also for 90% of the day the load on the generator will be minimal so the ability of the inverter to consume less fuel will be good.

Given the lack of options for an inverter of the size I am wanting.... the Honda is out. At that price I might as well go whole house.

The Champion and HF units are basically at the same price point. So I would go Champion due to the longer warranty. Given I will then have two generators I will have a back up to the back up.

Around here if the power goes out it is generally not a wide area event. It is due to a storm. So you can get gasoline. You might have to go further than the station 3 miles away, but you are not going to have to go 30 miles.

Before a storm I make sure I have 15 gallons in the jerry cans and the 6 gallon tank on the generator is full. At 6 months I siphon off what is in the generator tank and run it through the car or lawnmower. Then refill with fresh stabiled gas. That system has kept the current generator running well for around 8 years. Knock on wood.
If you can buy ethanol free gas, or aviation 100LL, you can go much longer before siphoning.
 

kenmbz

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I have my router , NAS and WiFi on UPS, so Generator type doesn't matter.
TV etc. are fine on the Champion without issues.
 
 
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