Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

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smitcat
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by smitcat » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:52 pm

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:42 pm
smitcat wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:53 pm
GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:40 pm
smitcat wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:22 pm
GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:05 pm


I've read some bad stuff about the B&S inverter and the Yamaha is close to the price of the Honda but no fuel I injection. So if I go the portable route it's going to be Honda.

Sounds good in this review....
https://shedheads.net/honda-eu7000is-generator-review/
There's no doubting that the Honda Eu7000is is a phenomenal machine. That's why it's the only portable I would consider buying.

I'm just having a hard time deciding between the Honda or the standby. Part of me finds it hard to justify spending 40% of the price of the standby on a portable unit I have to hook up and risk not being around when my family needs it.

Another part of me thinks it's a shame to have a permanently installed unit that will see virtually no action. However, when it will be used I have an infinite fuel supply. Gasoline became pretty scarce during Hurricane Sandy.
I guess it depends upon your use and goals - during hurricane Sandy we were out for 12 days. The natural gas lines around here were fouled at day 2, propane was mostly unavialable as well. We had 30 gallons in gas cans, 2.5 in the genset and about 100g in the boat in our driveway. I do not have the genset folder here but I think we used about 35 gallons in the genset over 12 days , we used more of the gas we had stored to put in our cars/truck at the time. We even 'donated' 2-3 gallons to the insurance adjuster who visited our property to assess the damage, he was from NC if I remember correctly.
Gas stations were mostly restored to use by about day 6 at our location.
All good points. I lived on long Island for sandy and remember some folks losing NG service. However, I now live in orange county, ny and they apparently have never had a disruption in their NG service.

As for the power lines in my development, they are all underground but once you leave the development they are all above ground and run beside lots of trees. Oddly enough there haven't been many outages.
Interestingly my portable genset has run many hours near you like New City, MSMC, Hudson and Kingston to name a few.
It sits in the back of my pickup most of the time we are 'portable' and onsite remotely.

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:06 pm

Small world. I previously owned a Westinghouse portable generator but wanted a higher grade unit that is more reliable. Just can't decide if I wanna go for the Honda which seems like a pretty fantastic generator or spend 3x the money for 3x the power and automatic capability.

I guess with electric cars becoming more prevalent a more powerful generator may be needed 1 day.

Nyc10036
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Nyc10036 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:26 pm

After Sandy, I bought a 100 foot long electrical cord and a Duracell 800W DC to AC power inverter.
The power inverter will be connected to the car battery.
I hope to run the inverter a few hours a day long enough to give me hot water.
The water heater is gas, but it is power vented so it needs electricity.

I have a gas stove so I bought a long butane lighter so I could cook.

I have a small 22" TV that I can use.
small fans if the power goes out in summer.

Mr. Buddy propane heater for heat in one room if the power goes out in winter.
Battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors.

Not sure what to do about the refrigerator.

Barebones survival.

.

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:35 pm

Nyc10036 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:26 pm
After Sandy, I bought a 100 foot long electrical cord and a Duracell 800W DC to AC power inverter.
The power inverter will be connected to the car battery.
I hope to run the inverter a few hours a day long enough to give me hot water.
The water heater is gas, but it is power vented so it needs electricity.

I have a gas stove so I bought a long butane lighter so I could cook.

I have a small 22" TV that I can use.
small fans if the power goes out in summer.

Mr. Buddy propane heater for heat in one room if the power goes out in winter.
Battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors.

Not sure what to do about the refrigerator.

Barebones survival.

.
Fortunately I already have a 30A inlet on the side of the house so I wouldn't need extension cords if I went with a portable over a standby.

Not Law
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Not Law » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:50 pm

Portable generator tips:
1. If you buy a made in China model, it will likely require premium gasoline (at least 90 octane).
2. Make sure the fuel tank will last for eight hours (My first was a two hour tank, and it was a pain to get up every two hours to fill it over a 5 day power outage in the winter, with sump pump issues).

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:27 pm

Not Law wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:50 pm
Portable generator tips:
1. If you buy a made in China model, it will likely require premium gasoline (at least 90 octane).
2. Make sure the fuel tank will last for eight hours (My first was a two hour tank, and it was a pain to get up every two hours to fill it over a 5 day power outage in the winter, with sump pump issues).
The only portable I'd consider is the eu7000is which runs for 6-18hrs on 5 gallons of gas. I'm sure I'd be in the 12-18hr range.

I'm still sort of leaning towards the standby as we usually go away for a week in the winter and losing power without anyone around for a week could be problematic. I always shut the well pump off before I go on vacation but water lines and traps could still freeze. However, if the generator were to run for a long time in my absence, it would likely run low on oil.

Not Law
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Not Law » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:37 pm

Shutting off the water and leaving taps open will avoid freezing pipes. My biggest issue is sump pump operation. Then furnace (boiler with small pump to circulate hot water heat). And the ability to make coffee in the morning!

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:01 pm

Not Law wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:37 pm
Shutting off the water and leaving taps open will avoid freezing pipes. My biggest issue is sump pump operation. Then furnace (boiler with small pump to circulate hot water heat). And the ability to make coffee in the morning!
No sump pump here fortunately, just a well pump. It seems most of you are advising to go for the $4k 5.5/7kw honda inverter vs the $11k 22kw Generac standby.

ddurrett896
Posts: 874
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:17 pm

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:00 am
Unfortunately Harbor Freight doesn't have a model comparable to the eu7000is.
https://m.harborfreight.com/engines-gen ... 63085.html

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:05 am

ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:17 pm
GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:00 am
Unfortunately Harbor Freight doesn't have a model comparable to the eu7000is.
https://m.harborfreight.com/engines-gen ... 63085.html
That's not the inverter model.

Ron
Posts: 6376
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Ron » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:08 am

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:01 pm
It seems most of you are advising to go for the $4k 5.5/7kw honda inverter vs the $11k 22kw Generac standby.
When I could only afford a portable unit, that's what I had (and still do, for miscellaneous outdoor work where I don't want to string a long extension cord).

As I aged (currently 70) and I could afford it, I went for the 20Kw Generac unit, five years ago.

With our travel (two Viking Ocean/River cruses this year alone) I know that I'll at least have a couple of days backup with all the electrical systems running when I'm not here. Yes, it might shut down after an extended time due to low oil pressure (as it did during our last 45 hour outage, two weeks ago - but that was my fault for not checking the oil level since it's last maintenance change last May), but more importantly, we have full utility backup when we're here.

I've run the portable, with all the extension cords, and I could get by with a minimum of usage. However, with the larger system there is no fuss (nor having to hook it up in a rain/snowstorm) or even decide if I want to go through the hassle of hooking it up and still not having heat/AC (we're all electric).

As far as fuel, our 45 hour outage coverage moved the gauge 10% on our 500 gal. underground propane tank - most times "loafing" at a 50% output draw.

You pay more, you get more service. You pay less, you get less service. It's as simple as that.

- Ron

smitcat
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by smitcat » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:28 am

Ron wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:08 am
GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:01 pm
It seems most of you are advising to go for the $4k 5.5/7kw honda inverter vs the $11k 22kw Generac standby.
When I could only afford a portable unit, that's what I had (and still do, for miscellaneous outdoor work where I don't want to string a long extension cord).

As I aged (currently 70) and I could afford it, I went for the 20Kw Generac unit, five years ago.

With our travel (two Viking Ocean/River cruses this year alone) I know that I'll at least have a couple of days backup with all the electrical systems running when I'm not here. Yes, it might shut down after an extended time due to low oil pressure (as it did during our last 45 hour outage, two weeks ago - but that was my fault for not checking the oil level since it's last maintenance change last May), but more importantly, we have full utility backup when we're here.

I've run the portable, with all the extension cords, and I could get by with a minimum of usage. However, with the larger system there is no fuss (nor having to hook it up in a rain/snowstorm) or even decide if I want to go through the hassle of hooking it up and still not having heat/AC (we're all electric).

As far as fuel, our 45 hour outage coverage moved the gauge 10% on our 500 gal. underground propane tank - most times "loafing" at a 50% output draw.

You pay more, you get more service. You pay less, you get less service. It's as simple as that.

- Ron
For planning purposes....
20 KW propane @ 50% load is 2 gph - 500 gallon tank with head space and mimimal pressure at low level is 80% - 80% of 500 gallons is 400 gallons.
So assuming a completly 'full' tank your run time should be 200 hrs. at 1/2 load. At full load that would be less than 120 hrs.

craimund
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:39 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by craimund » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:36 am

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:05 am
ddurrett896 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:17 pm
GeneratorNewb wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:00 am
Unfortunately Harbor Freight doesn't have a model comparable to the eu7000is.
https://m.harborfreight.com/engines-gen ... 63085.html
That's not the inverter model.
In my opinion, you're paying too much for whatever benefits the inverter technology will provide. $4000.00 for the Honda Inverter vs. $600.00 for the equivalent non-inverter generator. Why not just plug sensitive equipment into a surge protector?
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:56 am

More concerned about the furnace control board. These seem to be sensitive to generator power. These variable speed fans need to be pretty close to 60hz at all times.

Ron
Posts: 6376
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Ron » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:07 am

smitcat wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:28 am
For planning purposes....
20 KW propane @ 50% load is 2 gph - 500 gallon tank with head space and minimal pressure at low level is 80% - 80% of 500 gallons is 400 gallons.
So assuming a completely 'full' tank your run time should be 200 hrs. at 1/2 load. At full load that would be less than 120 hrs.
When I had the system spec'ed out by my HVAC contractor, my goal was to run it a minimum of 5 days without a tank refill/top off. Why 5 days? Simply since that was a bit more than the outage time (for us) during the 2011 Halloween nor'easter and the 2012 Super-storm Sandy outages, when we were out 3+ days.

120 hours? That's 5 days, meeting my specifications. At half-load (which it runs at most of the time), it exceeds my specs. Anyway, that would be on the outside of my goal, since I can have a refill done at any time (assuming the roads are clear for my propane supplier).

- Ron

craimund
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:39 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by craimund » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:31 am

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:56 am
More concerned about the furnace control board. These seem to be sensitive to generator power. These variable speed fans need to be pretty close to 60hz at all times.
Small gas engines that aren't used regularly tend to crap out after a few years. Just had to replace my portable generator after 5 years. Bought one that runs on propane. Hopefully, it will last longer. Would rather replace a $600 generator that a $4000 generator.

You may want to look into a line conditioner for the furnace. May be a cheaper option and offer protection regardless of power source. The following thread discusses running a furnace off of a cheap Harbor Freight generator using a line conditioner.

https://www.justanswer.com/electrical/8 ... ditor.html
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

whomever
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Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by whomever » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:39 am

In my opinion, you're paying too much for whatever benefits the inverter technology will provide. $4000.00 for the Honda Inverter vs. $600.00 for the equivalent non-inverter generator. Why not just plug sensitive equipment into a surge protector?
My sense is that the inverter models offer dramatically better fuel consumption at light load.

We had one of the Briggs & Stratton or whatever 3500W or so models. It has to turn at 3600 RPM to produce 60 cycle current, whether the load is 1 watt or 3500 watts. I never kept records, but running it with the furnace and fridge as the only load burned gallons of gas per day. When neither the furnace or fridge was running, it was idling, but idling at close to 3600 RPM.

We replaced it with a 2000W inverter Honda. It uses maybe a quart or two of gas for the same load (it's small enough I don't really track it). That's because when neither the fridge or furnace is running (i.e. most of the time) the motor throttles way, way back; it's just barely ticking over.

I'm no expert, and claim no broad knowledge, but in my limited experience the difference in fuel consumption is night and day.

At two quarts a day, two 5 gallon gas cans last three weeks, which would be a pretty wicked storm. With the one that used 5+ gallons a day, I have to either store massive quantities of gasoline or join the post-storm fuel search right when everyone else is doing the same.

The weight and noise are also dramatically lower, although that might reflect the general quality of engineering as much as the inverter part - but, IIUC, the inverter part is what decouples the engine RPM from the output frequency, and that is what gives the good fuel consumption at partial load.

Yooper
Posts: 331
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Location: Nothern Michigan

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Yooper » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:56 am

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:56 am
More concerned about the furnace control board. These seem to be sensitive to generator power. These variable speed fans need to be pretty close to 60hz at all times.
Just as a data point, I've run my Trane high efficiency natural gas furnace on a Briggs and Stratton 7,500 watt (non inverter) generator without issues. I too needed the 240 volt ability for my well, everything else runs 120 volts.

craimund
Posts: 69
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Location: Virginia

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by craimund » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:10 pm

whomever wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:39 am
In my opinion, you're paying too much for whatever benefits the inverter technology will provide. $4000.00 for the Honda Inverter vs. $600.00 for the equivalent non-inverter generator. Why not just plug sensitive equipment into a surge protector?
My sense is that the inverter models offer dramatically better fuel consumption at light load.

We had one of the Briggs & Stratton or whatever 3500W or so models. It has to turn at 3600 RPM to produce 60 cycle current, whether the load is 1 watt or 3500 watts. I never kept records, but running it with the furnace and fridge as the only load burned gallons of gas per day. When neither the furnace or fridge was running, it was idling, but idling at close to 3600 RPM.

We replaced it with a 2000W inverter Honda. It uses maybe a quart or two of gas for the same load (it's small enough I don't really track it). That's because when neither the fridge or furnace is running (i.e. most of the time) the motor throttles way, way back; it's just barely ticking over.

I'm no expert, and claim no broad knowledge, but in my limited experience the difference in fuel consumption is night and day.

At two quarts a day, two 5 gallon gas cans last three weeks, which would be a pretty wicked storm. With the one that used 5+ gallons a day, I have to either store massive quantities of gasoline or join the post-storm fuel search right when everyone else is doing the same.

The weight and noise are also dramatically lower, although that might reflect the general quality of engineering as much as the inverter part - but, IIUC, the inverter part is what decouples the engine RPM from the output frequency, and that is what gives the good fuel consumption at partial load.
It sounds like really cool technology - lower gas consumption and much quieter. I just had a variable speed compressor type heat pump installed which uses inverter technology (Bosch). Replace a 4 ton Trane. I am looking forward to lower electric bills. Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it. Maybe the inverter type generators will also a lot longer than the cheap non-inverter types.
"When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan 1965. "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more"-Dylan 1997

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:22 pm

craimund wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:10 pm
whomever wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:39 am
In my opinion, you're paying too much for whatever benefits the inverter technology will provide. $4000.00 for the Honda Inverter vs. $600.00 for the equivalent non-inverter generator. Why not just plug sensitive equipment into a surge protector?
My sense is that the inverter models offer dramatically better fuel consumption at light load.

We had one of the Briggs & Stratton or whatever 3500W or so models. It has to turn at 3600 RPM to produce 60 cycle current, whether the load is 1 watt or 3500 watts. I never kept records, but running it with the furnace and fridge as the only load burned gallons of gas per day. When neither the furnace or fridge was running, it was idling, but idling at close to 3600 RPM.

We replaced it with a 2000W inverter Honda. It uses maybe a quart or two of gas for the same load (it's small enough I don't really track it). That's because when neither the fridge or furnace is running (i.e. most of the time) the motor throttles way, way back; it's just barely ticking over.

I'm no expert, and claim no broad knowledge, but in my limited experience the difference in fuel consumption is night and day.

At two quarts a day, two 5 gallon gas cans last three weeks, which would be a pretty wicked storm. With the one that used 5+ gallons a day, I have to either store massive quantities of gasoline or join the post-storm fuel search right when everyone else is doing the same.

The weight and noise are also dramatically lower, although that might reflect the general quality of engineering as much as the inverter part - but, IIUC, the inverter part is what decouples the engine RPM from the output frequency, and that is what gives the good fuel consumption at partial load.
It sounds like really cool technology - lower gas consumption and much quieter. I just had a variable speed compressor type heat pump installed which uses inverter technology (Bosch). Replace a 4 ton Trane. I am looking forward to lower electric bills. Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it. Maybe the inverter type generators will also a lot longer than the cheap non-inverter types.
The eu7000is is fuel injected which I believe will last longer as there is no carb to get screwed up from gas with ethanol in it.

Still no closer to deciding between 22kw standby or the 5.5kw/7kw Honda eu7000is. I just hate having such a high capacity standby when it's only needed for the starting wattage of the ac compressor. However, if I go standby I can't justify spending $9k to power everything but the ac when the cooling season is roughly 1/3 of the year here. However, I do have a window ac I could always put in a specific room for the duration of the power outage I guess. The 11kw unit consumes half the natural gas and is 6 decibels lower (63 vs 69).

Nyc10036
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:29 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by Nyc10036 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:31 pm

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:22 pm
owever, I do have a window ac I could always put in a specific room for the duration of the power outage I guess.
That is what I would do.

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:46 pm

Nyc10036 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:31 pm
GeneratorNewb wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:22 pm
owever, I do have a window ac I could always put in a specific room for the duration of the power outage I guess.
That is what I would do.
For sure but I'll most likely just go the portable route if I decide to power a portion of the house.

CurlyDave
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:37 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by CurlyDave » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:03 pm

If the eu7000is is what floats your boat, go for it.

I have no qualms at all about powering my entire house from an old Generac contractor-grade generator which i converted to a whole-house unit with some wiring and a kit to let it run from my propane tank. It is 12 or 15 kw and cost $1800 in 2007. It does not power my well, which is too far from the house for that to work.

Computers, refrigerators, freezers, TVs, router, you name it.

These days, if I wanted a new one I would look into Champion generators. I don't own one, but a lot of the guys I hunt with bring that brand up to deer and elk camp, run them for two weeks or so and then store them for a year. Every last one of them does well in that kind of service. They sit outside in the rain and snow and never complain about it.

I don't have a special tent for my camping generator, but I usually put a one of those white plastic folding tables from Costco (about $50) over it as sort of a roof.

The Champions are loud, but in a power outage no one is going to complain about that.

Why do you need your well in an outage? I can drink and cook with bottled water and even take sponge baths with it. 50 gallons costs about $50 in convenient plastic bottles, and is hard to beat for emergency use. That is enough for a family of 4 for 12 days.

If you limit your power outage needs to heat, light, refrigeration and entertainment, a much smaller 120 volt generator works. And your wife can start it while you are gone.

whomever
Posts: 782
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by whomever » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:04 am

Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it.
That's an eye of the beholder thing, of course.

To me, it was dramatically worth it. The classic contractor one weighed, I dunno, a couple hundred pounds. Dragging it uphill from the shed, especially through snow, was a workout. It was enough of a PITA I wouldn't even get it out unless the pipes were going to freeze. It was loud enough to rattle your fillings. IIRC those cost $400 or so.

The inverter weighs ??40 pounds?? or so - you just carry it like a suitcase. You can have a normal voice conversation standing right next to it. It cost $1000.

In fairness, the old one was 3500 watts and 220v (which was as small as they came), while the new one is 2000 watts and 110v, but 2000 watts and 110v is all we need.

I gave the old one away.

lazydavid
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Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by lazydavid » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:17 am

whomever wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:04 am
Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it.
That's an eye of the beholder thing, of course.

To me, it was dramatically worth it. The classic contractor one weighed, I dunno, a couple hundred pounds. Dragging it uphill from the shed, especially through snow, was a workout. It was enough of a PITA I wouldn't even get it out unless the pipes were going to freeze. It was loud enough to rattle your fillings. IIRC those cost $400 or so.

The inverter weighs ??40 pounds?? or so - you just carry it like a suitcase. You can have a normal voice conversation standing right next to it. It cost $1000.

In fairness, the old one was 3500 watts and 220v (which was as small as they came), while the new one is 2000 watts and 110v, but 2000 watts and 110v is all we need.

I gave the old one away.
I'm addressing nearly all of the concerns about the cheap generators by permanently installing mine in a generator shed. I have an 8,000 watt running (10k watt peak) generator that my wife bought from Sam's for well under $500. It's going into a large outdoor storage box (6'W x 4'H x 3' D), which I'm modifying to add forced air ventilation via a pair of 20x20 return grates ($13 each) and a $30 box fan. There will be plenty of additional storage in there for fuel (to be removed during use) and the inlet cable, and it's close enough to the house (about 25' away) that I could also choose to feed it natural gas if I decided to convert it. The enclosure and its distance from the house should address most of the noise issues, and there's always the option of adding an automotive-style muffler if it requires further quieting. I'm guessing it won't.

In the event of an outage, the process would be:
1. Open shed door, remove gas cans
2. Push generator start button
3. Attach extension cable to generator and power inlet on the side of the house, close shed door
4. Turn off all breakers including main (generator one is already off due to interlock)
5. Slide interlock and turn generator breaker on
6. Turn on all breakers marked with a green dot, one at a time. Turn on those marked with a yellow dot as needed. Leave those marked with a red dot off.

For my situation at least, this gets me 80-85% of the utility of a $12k standby generator, for about a grand. True, it likely won't run everything, but will easily handle everything that matters. Breakers that will be red-dotted will be things like the 220V circuits for the air compressor in the garage, the pool pump, the brewhouse, and the steam oven. We can easily live without those for a few hours or days. Things like the AC, basement beverage chiller and small appliance counter in the kitchen will be yellow-dotted. All the lights, major appliances, TV/computer/internet stuff will be just fine, and all the sensitive electronics are protected via UPS.

ResearchMed
Posts: 7467
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:26 am

lazydavid wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:17 am
whomever wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:04 am
Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it.
That's an eye of the beholder thing, of course.

To me, it was dramatically worth it. The classic contractor one weighed, I dunno, a couple hundred pounds. Dragging it uphill from the shed, especially through snow, was a workout. It was enough of a PITA I wouldn't even get it out unless the pipes were going to freeze. It was loud enough to rattle your fillings. IIRC those cost $400 or so.

The inverter weighs ??40 pounds?? or so - you just carry it like a suitcase. You can have a normal voice conversation standing right next to it. It cost $1000.

In fairness, the old one was 3500 watts and 220v (which was as small as they came), while the new one is 2000 watts and 110v, but 2000 watts and 110v is all we need.

I gave the old one away.
I'm addressing nearly all of the concerns about the cheap generators by permanently installing mine in a generator shed. I have an 8,000 watt running (10k watt peak) generator that my wife bought from Sam's for well under $500. It's going into a large outdoor storage box (6'W x 4'H x 3' D), which I'm modifying to add forced air ventilation via a pair of 20x20 return grates ($13 each) and a $30 box fan. There will be plenty of additional storage in there for fuel (to be removed during use) and the inlet cable, and it's close enough to the house (about 25' away) that I could also choose to feed it natural gas if I decided to convert it. The enclosure and its distance from the house should address most of the noise issues, and there's always the option of adding an automotive-style muffler if it requires further quieting. I'm guessing it won't.

In the event of an outage, the process would be:
1. Open shed door, remove gas cans
2. Push generator start button
3. Attach extension cable to generator and power inlet on the side of the house, close shed door
4. Turn off all breakers including main (generator one is already off due to interlock)
5. Slide interlock and turn generator breaker on
6. Turn on all breakers marked with a green dot, one at a time. Turn on those marked with a yellow dot as needed. Leave those marked with a red dot off.

For my situation at least, this gets me 80-85% of the utility of a $12k standby generator, for about a grand. True, it likely won't run everything, but will easily handle everything that matters. Breakers that will be red-dotted will be things like the 220V circuits for the air compressor in the garage, the pool pump, the brewhouse, and the steam oven. We can easily live without those for a few hours or days. Things like the AC, basement beverage chiller and small appliance counter in the kitchen will be yellow-dotted. All the lights, major appliances, TV/computer/internet stuff will be just fine, and all the sensitive electronics are protected via UPS.
That sounds fine if it's okay for you (or any family members who may need to cover), as long as there is always someone at home.

Our decision was easy... we just travel too much, and Mother Nature wasn't willing to agree to cooperate...

The "Sleep Well At Night" - and all day, too, especially when DH is not home... or neither of us are home - is "priceless".

There were certainly years past when there was little traveling, and also homes with much less risk (especially that sump pump!).

There are so many personal factors that go into this type of decision. What is important is that someone appropriately weigh the costs/benefits of the choices.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:39 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:17 am
whomever wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:04 am
Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it.
That's an eye of the beholder thing, of course.

To me, it was dramatically worth it. The classic contractor one weighed, I dunno, a couple hundred pounds. Dragging it uphill from the shed, especially through snow, was a workout. It was enough of a PITA I wouldn't even get it out unless the pipes were going to freeze. It was loud enough to rattle your fillings. IIRC those cost $400 or so.

The inverter weighs ??40 pounds?? or so - you just carry it like a suitcase. You can have a normal voice conversation standing right next to it. It cost $1000.

In fairness, the old one was 3500 watts and 220v (which was as small as they came), while the new one is 2000 watts and 110v, but 2000 watts and 110v is all we need.

I gave the old one away.
I'm addressing nearly all of the concerns about the cheap generators by permanently installing mine in a generator shed. I have an 8,000 watt running (10k watt peak) generator that my wife bought from Sam's for well under $500. It's going into a large outdoor storage box (6'W x 4'H x 3' D), which I'm modifying to add forced air ventilation via a pair of 20x20 return grates ($13 each) and a $30 box fan. There will be plenty of additional storage in there for fuel (to be removed during use) and the inlet cable, and it's close enough to the house (about 25' away) that I could also choose to feed it natural gas if I decided to convert it. The enclosure and its distance from the house should address most of the noise issues, and there's always the option of adding an automotive-style muffler if it requires further quieting. I'm guessing it won't.

In the event of an outage, the process would be:
1. Open shed door, remove gas cans
2. Push generator start button
3. Attach extension cable to generator and power inlet on the side of the house, close shed door
4. Turn off all breakers including main (generator one is already off due to interlock)
5. Slide interlock and turn generator breaker on
6. Turn on all breakers marked with a green dot, one at a time. Turn on those marked with a yellow dot as needed. Leave those marked with a red dot off.

For my situation at least, this gets me 80-85% of the utility of a $12k standby generator, for about a grand. True, it likely won't run everything, but will easily handle everything that matters. Breakers that will be red-dotted will be things like the 220V circuits for the air compressor in the garage, the pool pump, the brewhouse, and the steam oven. We can easily live without those for a few hours or days. Things like the AC, basement beverage chiller and small appliance counter in the kitchen will be yellow-dotted. All the lights, major appliances, TV/computer/internet stuff will be just fine, and all the sensitive electronics are protected via UPS.
I guess going this route all depends on being home and have ample access to gasoline. I remember during Sandy it was impossible to get gas unless you waited on some pretty long lines.

Even though power outages are pretty rare by me, I'm starting to lean towards the standby so I don't have to worry about my wife and son if I'm not home to start the generator. Furthermore, our home will always have heat in the event we're on vacation.

I guess it's the same as an $11k insurance policy with a roughly $500 annual premium. Steep price for peace of mind.

ResearchMed
Posts: 7467
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:04 pm

GeneratorNewb wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:39 pm
lazydavid wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:17 am
whomever wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:04 am
Just wondering if the price differential for the inverter type generators is worth it.
That's an eye of the beholder thing, of course.

To me, it was dramatically worth it. The classic contractor one weighed, I dunno, a couple hundred pounds. Dragging it uphill from the shed, especially through snow, was a workout. It was enough of a PITA I wouldn't even get it out unless the pipes were going to freeze. It was loud enough to rattle your fillings. IIRC those cost $400 or so.

The inverter weighs ??40 pounds?? or so - you just carry it like a suitcase. You can have a normal voice conversation standing right next to it. It cost $1000.

In fairness, the old one was 3500 watts and 220v (which was as small as they came), while the new one is 2000 watts and 110v, but 2000 watts and 110v is all we need.

I gave the old one away.
I'm addressing nearly all of the concerns about the cheap generators by permanently installing mine in a generator shed. I have an 8,000 watt running (10k watt peak) generator that my wife bought from Sam's for well under $500. It's going into a large outdoor storage box (6'W x 4'H x 3' D), which I'm modifying to add forced air ventilation via a pair of 20x20 return grates ($13 each) and a $30 box fan. There will be plenty of additional storage in there for fuel (to be removed during use) and the inlet cable, and it's close enough to the house (about 25' away) that I could also choose to feed it natural gas if I decided to convert it. The enclosure and its distance from the house should address most of the noise issues, and there's always the option of adding an automotive-style muffler if it requires further quieting. I'm guessing it won't.

In the event of an outage, the process would be:
1. Open shed door, remove gas cans
2. Push generator start button
3. Attach extension cable to generator and power inlet on the side of the house, close shed door
4. Turn off all breakers including main (generator one is already off due to interlock)
5. Slide interlock and turn generator breaker on
6. Turn on all breakers marked with a green dot, one at a time. Turn on those marked with a yellow dot as needed. Leave those marked with a red dot off.

For my situation at least, this gets me 80-85% of the utility of a $12k standby generator, for about a grand. True, it likely won't run everything, but will easily handle everything that matters. Breakers that will be red-dotted will be things like the 220V circuits for the air compressor in the garage, the pool pump, the brewhouse, and the steam oven. We can easily live without those for a few hours or days. Things like the AC, basement beverage chiller and small appliance counter in the kitchen will be yellow-dotted. All the lights, major appliances, TV/computer/internet stuff will be just fine, and all the sensitive electronics are protected via UPS.
I guess going this route all depends on being home and have ample access to gasoline. I remember during Sandy it was impossible to get gas unless you waited on some pretty long lines.

Even though power outages are pretty rare by me, I'm starting to lean towards the standby so I don't have to worry about my wife and son if I'm not home to start the generator. Furthermore, our home will always have heat in the event we're on vacation.

I guess it's the same as an $11k insurance policy with a roughly $500 annual premium. Steep price for peace of mind.
You might want to take into account the deductible on your homeowner's policy, if things like sump pump or frozen pipes might have been affected by a power outage.
And that would be per-episode.

That's one way we looked at it.
And we have a high deductible...

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

GeneratorNewb
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Post by GeneratorNewb » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:37 pm

We don't have a sump pump fortunately but our deductible is $1k per event.

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