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Thread: Master thread for disasters and generators.

  1. #541

    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Fridges take special consideration as the startup for the compressor exceeds the operating current and large electric motors have similar issues. Radiant heaters can take 10+A which alone can tax a 100A alternators output and if efficiency of the inverter isn't very high you could end up slowly draining your battery. Now you could get a larger alternator and dual batteries to accommodate it but after that expense you may end up getting more in the range of a generator itself which may actually be more efficient than a car engine.
    Well, thank you for all the info! That saved me a lot of money time and frustration.

  2. #542
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    Dad's use case accounts for 100s hours per year of usage between performing work on his >5 acre property and somewhat regular power outages to the point that he may never need to run it ~quarterly just to prevent atrophy. I may well end up with that generator in another decade or two.

    My usage will perhaps be 10s of hours per year, the bulk being atrophy prevention, and for less than the cost of one Honda I can get a pair of the also well rated ~2kw Predator models or the ~3kW model and some accessories.
    Agreed, yes you can. I'd look into parts availability for any machine you purchase... Please advise here when and what you decide on. I'm always looking for first hand reviews. 👍🏻
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    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    +

    very good discussions & info

  4. #544
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    Agreed, yes you can. I'd look into parts availability for any machine you purchase... Please advise here when and what you decide on. I'm always looking for first hand reviews. 👍🏻
    Spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters (if any), hoses for sure. Anything else? All these can be provisioned for years of service in advance for modest sums of money.

    Longer-term I could see seals, the carb coming into play but at some point, however, bench time and small-engine repair skills I don't have will be needed. Of course I could acquire some of these skills vis-à-vis the languishing lawnmower and chipper-shredder I have in inventory.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  5. #545
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    At least you'd have the parts. Just pay for the labor to install if/when needed.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

  6. #546
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    If you want parts availability... just buy whatever's most popular I guess.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
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  7. #547
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    So after doing a sampling of inverter generator makes and models of interest based on top-level manufacturer stats, the picture is murkier. I gathered Watts (starting/running), 25%/50% load runtime, fuel capacity, weight, noise, price. I composed some synthetic metrics from these data then ranked them, weighted as follows:

    Prioritizing by the following:
    1. Noise
    2. Endurance @ 50%, Running Watts/$
    3. Efficiency @ 50%
    4. Endurance @ 25%, Efficiency @ 25%, Weight, Starting Watts/$


    Top 5 contenders were:
    • Champion 200950 (1850/2500) $480 / Wally World
    • Champion 100892 (3650/4500) $500 / Tractor Supply
    • Wen 56225I (1800/2250) $460 / 'Zon
    • Westinghouse IGEN4500 (3700/4500) $949 / 'Zon
    • Champion 100574 (3500/4000) $700 / 'Zon


    The Westinghouse IGEN4500 could run my home office and some other circuits all day on a tank of fuel. Ignoring the pricing metrics skewing things a little, the related Westinghouse IGEN4500DF is substantially similar while offering OEM support for propane operation (which will admittedly come at some cost to rated wattage), making it also attractive.

    Conversely, a pair of the Wen units could put in about half a day while being handier to shuffle around if needed.

    The 2000W Harbor Freight generator wasn't too far off the top 5, however the 3000W unit ended up in the bottom of the pack. Ah well.

    Still some pondering to do on this matter.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  8. #548
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    +

    Like the idea of (2) WEN 56380i units & a 50A parallel kit.
    For around $1550 purchased through WEN, you can have a very strong setup paralleled & not too hard to move around if needed.
    agility & big combined power

    Nice bridge between the two small unit idea & one gigantic immovable unit.

    For me, I just need to not have frozen pipes in the winter,, that's a huge xxxxing problem for anyone.
    Last edited by orbital; 09-29-2020 at 08:59 AM. Reason: price

  9. #549
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    Like the idea of (2) WEN 56380i units & a 50A parallel kit.
    For around $1700, you can have a very strong setup paralleled & not too hard to move around if needed.
    agility & big combined power

    Nice bridge between the two small unit idea & one gigantic immovable unit.
    That's a lot more Wheaties than my current and potential future use cases call for, but if you want to run nearly all the 120V circuits in your house and still have decent capabilities on one unit that looks like a solid option.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    For me, I just need to not have frozen pipes in the winter,, that's a huge xxxxing problem for anyone.
    Winter, frozen pipes - as a resident of the sunbelt these are academic - even alien - concepts. Because there aren't four seasons here - just the burning season and the respite from it.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  10. #550
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    I had heard decent things about ryobi... but they are a 'private' brand which must be considered.

    I would also compare actual engine displacements. All else equal, a larger engine should provide better surge capacity due to physical inertia.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    That's a lot more Wheaties than my current and potential future use cases call for, but if you want to run nearly all the 120V circuits in your house and still have decent capabilities on one unit that looks like a solid option.



    Winter, frozen pipes - as a resident of the sunbelt these are academic - even alien - concepts. Because there aren't four seasons here - just the burning season and the respite from it.
    If I were in the sun-belt, being able to run AC would be a huge consideration for me.
    My 10HP 5K Coleman was very loud but it would run my central AC if needed.
    My friend has a 3500 watt 220V Champion, which is significantly more quiet than my Coleman, but not nearly as quiet as the small inverter units. It however can also run a small central AC unit.

    If your house windows won't accept a window AC (so that you could run it on 110V) you might consider trading some noise for comfort.
    Just a thought.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  12. #552
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    If I were in the sun-belt, being able to run AC would be a huge consideration for me.
    My 10HP 5K Coleman was very loud but it would run my central AC if needed.
    My friend has a 3500 watt 220V Champion, which is significantly more quiet than my Coleman, but not nearly as quiet as the small inverter units. It however can also run a small central AC unit.

    If your house windows won't accept a window AC (so that you could run it on 110V) you might consider trading some noise for comfort.
    Just a thought.
    The breaker for the AC is 50A x 240V or 12kW. If power outages were more frequent and WFH was critical I'd be pondering the 5-figure cost of a ~20kW whole-house generator piped to the gas meter.

    However, neither is the case and I can always go the office if necessary, thus the plan for any WFH day where the power fails during the workday would be to hope my terrible portable AC unit can simply keep office temperatures below 'sweltering'. I'd love to swap it for a window unit, but that window is odd-sized, faces the street, and I'm not aware of any low-profile external flushmount window units on the market. If power is out the next day, odds are I'll be trekking into work and reserve whatever is left of my fuel supply for a few hours' evening use each day (running among other things an infrequently-used window unit in the master bedroom) until power is restored.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  13. #553
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    That's a lot more Wheaties than my current and potential future use cases call for, but if you want to run nearly all the 120V circuits in your house and still have decent capabilities on one unit that looks like a solid option.



    Winter, frozen pipes - as a resident of the sunbelt these are academic - even alien - concepts. Because there aren't four seasons here - just the burning season and the respite from it.

    +

    more Wheaties

    Frozen pipes:
    1. Our pipes froze & burst as a kid.

    2. Several years ago, my immediate neighbor was out of town & his power went out in a bit way. He left his water system turned On and he had a huge disaster.
    Water must have been flowing a long time from burst pipes, it literally flooded his house from the inside out.
    He had construction crews over there for weeks.

    Not interested in contacting my insurance on a inside/out flood headache.


    If I can keep my water system & furnace fan juiced w/ electrons during a winter storm outage, I'll sleep ok

  14. #554
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    more Wheaties

    Frozen pipes:
    1. Our pipes froze & burst as a kid.

    2. Several years ago, my immediate neighbor was out of town & his power went out in a bit way. He left his water system turned On and he had a huge disaster.
    Water must have been flowing a long time from burst pipes, it literally flooded his house from the inside out.
    He had construction crews over there for weeks.

    Not interested in contacting my insurance on a inside/out flood headache.


    If I can keep my water system & furnace fan juiced w/ electrons during a winter storm outage, I'll sleep ok
    Completely different use case (winter structural safety) from mine (occasional backup power), thus quite understandable.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  15. #555
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    The breaker for the AC is 50A x 240V or 12kW. If power outages were more frequent and WFH was critical I'd be pondering the 5-figure cost of a ~20kW whole-house generator piped to the gas meter.

    However, neither is the case and I can always go the office if necessary, thus the plan for any WFH day where the power fails during the workday would be to hope my terrible portable AC unit can simply keep office temperatures below 'sweltering'. I'd love to swap it for a window unit, but that window is odd-sized, faces the street, and I'm not aware of any low-profile external flushmount window units on the market. If power is out the next day, odds are I'll be trekking into work and reserve whatever is left of my fuel supply for a few hours' evening use each day (running among other things an infrequently-used window unit in the master bedroom) until power is restored.
    Ouch, that's a lot of watts!

    There are "over the sill" AC units.
    https://www.hammacher.com/product/ov...QaAgvoEALw_wcB

    I think we already discussed portable AC units. It is imperative that it is a dual hose style.
    The single hose styles, create a vacuum in the house, and suck in the replacement HOT air from outside.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  16. #556
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    Ouch, that's a lot of watts!
    That's the story of central AC when your house was grudgingly built to 90s code at a phoned-in level of effort and you've got a 4-ton compressor ... in the sunbelt. I'm sure the operating current is markedly less than 50A, but that startup surge has to be accounted for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    There are "over the sill" AC units.
    https://www.hammacher.com/product/ov...QaAgvoEALw_wcB
    I'm familiar with that new style of unit however it still projects considerably out the window.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    I think we already discussed portable AC units. It is imperative that it is a dual hose style.
    The single hose styles, create a vacuum in the house, and suck in the replacement HOT air from outside.
    Oh I'm well familiar with the impact that negative pressure has - the hallway outside the office is several degrees warmer whenever it's been running. The previous dual-hose unit was more effective but it is presently out of commission - I'll clear off the workbench at some point and take it apart to see if there's something obviously wrong with it.

    Of course, some 48 square feet of west-facing window do the room's thermodynamics no favors. The temptation to simply plaster the window with rigid foam insulation remains strong since middle-of-the-road dual hung glass is ~R1.5 and almost anything would be a huge improvement.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  17. #557
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    +

    Notable typo in my last post:

    it should say, my immediate neighbor was out of town & his power went out in a big way.
    (not bit way)

    btw: finally received my Reliance Transfer Switch Kit 306CRK, it was shipped directly from the factory.

  18. #558
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    One way mirror reflective film can make a significant difference.
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  19. #559
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    The 50a is to protect the wiring itself. Unit, even surging, draws considerably less. I run a 4 ton a/c as well as a lot of other stuff on a 12kw nat gas unit. Unit barely registers the load for the a/c starting up. I would guess that a 4-5kw unit would run it just fine.
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Just for reference, my Trane 4-ton compressor is tagged for a starting current of 122 Amps and it, does in fact draw an inrush current of 122 Amps - or did. I installed the Hyper Engineering hard start kit and after the 6 learning starts, it now draws only 51 Amps to start. These kits make it a lot more feasible to run AC with smaller generators.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

  21. #561
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    I installed the Hyper Engineering hard start kit and after the 6 learning starts, it now draws only 51 Amps to start. These kits make it a lot more feasible to run AC with smaller generators.
    Motor soft starters definitely have their place flattening that curve on inductive loads. An intriguing possibility for my compressor since it's a bit noisy on startup.

    In a previous career we did some locked rotor testing on a ~1kW direct drive blower motor and I recall the first several milliseconds registering some 600 amps under normal conditions ... and ultimately some five 20A circuits later it stopped popping breakers so we could test to destruction (it ultimately caught fire, necessitating an additional ~dollar per unit in thermal protection). We also assessed some early switched-reluctance blower motors which could offered fine control over 'throttle' that could serve as either soft start or fine-tune air delivery which made for some interesting possibilities for our applications.
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  22. #562
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    Just for reference, my Trane 4-ton compressor is tagged for a starting current of 122 Amps and it, does in fact draw an inrush current of 122 Amps - or did. I installed the Hyper Engineering hard start kit and after the 6 learning starts, it now draws only 51 Amps to start. These kits make it a lot more feasible to run AC with smaller generators.
    I think 122 amps is firmly on the side of theory and not in the practical world. That's 25kw. If that's the case, my 12kw genset would crater yet it has little trouble starting/running a 4 ton unit... with it barely registering an increase in load.

    As idle said... locked rotor amps... and a timing on the order of milliseconds.

    Matter of fact... I have more trouble running a 30a air compressor than a 4 ton ac.
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  23. #563
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I think 122 amps is firmly on the side of theory and not in the practical world. That's 25kw. If that's the case, my 12kw genset would crater yet it has little trouble starting/running a 4 ton unit... with it barely registering an increase in load.

    As idle said... locked rotor amps... and a timing on the order of milliseconds.
    It's been going on 20 years since I looked at those scope traces during a normal startup cycle, but I recall the peak inrush current did last but milliseconds and was so narrow that it took some tinkering with the logged file to see it. Over a second or so the current was well over the nominal ~8.3A one would expect from 1kW @ 120V; I want to say it averaged out to 50A - and we specified a nominal 20A slow-blow breaker for those units. I recall the locked rotor cycle was different - similar initial spike (energizing the magnetic field I assume) but the current remained extremely high since the motor was generating maximum torque against an immovable object.

    In BVH's case, 122A could be something that a fast logging current meter can detect as a peak value for similarly brief periods. Could be brief enough that a generator could be asked to deliver ~double its rating for less than a second - at the expense of a sudden loss of RPMs and largely dumping the residual 'buffer' in the electronics (magnetic field, capacitors) - but otherwise chug along happily.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  24. #564
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Well if it helps anyone, a 12kw nat gas unit will start/run a 4 ton a/c, while running any 1-2 of: oven, cooktop element, elec dryer. In short other than NOT using the double oven or double clothes dryers at the same time we can conduct business as usual. As far as 120v loads go... unless you have 10 space heaters they are so low as to not matter.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
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  25. #565
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Tonight I got to put my generator to use. It is a Coleman powermate 2000i. Enough power for some lights, a television and the amplifier for the antenna. At least I can watch television and keep some lights on in the dark. I bought it 5 years ago and only needed it 3 times but it is handy. I can fall back to led lights if I need to run the refrigerator to keep food safe.
    Life is all about having the very best lights.

  26. #566
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Devildude- My friends in Richfield Springs are running on generator right now. He said they had a big hail storm come through this afternoon. Wires down locally, etc. He had a transfer switch installed just last month. I'll have to ask which machine he has.
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    Yes, still no power outside of Cooperstown, still on generator run refrigerator then freezer. After that bed. They will hold overnight. At least I have enough to run the important stuff. Richfield Springs got hit pretty hard, I went through there to go work for the last 11 years. Really scenic from here to there. I have a scanner and it was insane around 3:30pm. Almost as bad as the floods of 2006. Generators are almost mandatory in upstate New York.
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  28. #568
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    One of the most important things you can do during a power outage is to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

    I always thought that a refrigerator would keep food cold for 8 hours, but...

    According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in a power outage, a closed refrigerator will stay cold for up to four hours and a closed freezer will keep its temperature for 24 hours if it is half-full and 48 hours if it's full.

    Apparently the CDC agrees with these numbers.
    Last edited by Poppy; 10-12-2020 at 07:47 AM. Reason: sentence order
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  29. #569
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    Default Re: Master thread for disasters and generators.

    On the Associated Press NewsApp seems like the deaths recorded from this latest hurricane to push Louisiana around, was from generators; either giving people the wrong kind of oxygen, or one person burnt up trying to refill a hot generator. Years ago we had a house burn down about a 1/3 mile from our place; piece of plywood next to a generator lit up (is what we were told). You all be careful out there.

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