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Do you have a generator to keep things running when SHTF?

lumpOgold

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#1
I saw this deal on ebay and wondered if anyone has a generator and is this a good one?
Durostar DS4400EHF a hybrid portable generator that runs on gasoline or LPG for $299 with free shipping.

Reviews on Amazon are generally good, not many though, even though the amazon price is about $200 higher.
 

glockngold

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#2
I can't speak for the quality, but for 3 hundred bucks with free shipping, I wouldn't expect it.

The idea of dual fuel is good. I have a 5K Briggs gas powered that is just a little less that what I need to be comfortable during an outage.
For SHTF, small would be better.
You'll learn to live with less comfort, & fuel use will be critical.
 

itsamess

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#3
I too have a Briggs 6500/5500 with a trifuel kit. I think you will find the 3500 constant is a little low. I also have a Chonda from Pep Boys which is a 3500, but it is weird in that it is actually two 1750s, hard to explain. Not a good unit.
 

lumpOgold

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#4
The price is great, but I think I might pass and get a name-brand that might be more solidly built and last for many years. I think this would be a great for desert camping since the dust is so destructive.
 

mtnman

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#5
That price is $1000 below the competition. You get what you pay for.
 

ArkWv

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#6
Yup, got a breaker box set up for the genny and outlets in the house just for it.
Unplug the fridges from the grid into the genny, same for the well pump.
It comes in handy when its 95* outside and the a/c is cranking with the grid down.
 

nickndfl

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#7
Need at least 8000w to run a window unit a/c and some kind of refrigerator. The problem with Chinese units is they warp, leak oil and then the electronics get twitchy and fail from engine vibration and heat. This unit has a cast iron sleeve instead of typical alloy by major manufacturers. This sale unit would be better than going without, but I doubt it would last in extended use or function properly after one use and put away.

It's probably worth $300 delivered where you would pay a bit more for a better brand, but it might be throwing $300 away if you are thinking long term reliability.
 

CrufflerJJ

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#8
In looking at pics of the Durostar unit, it's built in China, and is one of the many gensets sold under different names.

I've got a 3500-4000 watt unit I bought from PepBoys back in 2006. It came in VERY handy in 2008, when Hurricane Ike-related winds killed power to our home for 10 days. It's NOT a huge generator, but it was enough to power our fridges/freezers, some fluorescent lights, fans, battery chargers, and the all-important coffee maker.

I just picked up a "broken" generator on Craigslist for $50. It was listed as having an engine that started right up & ran well, but wasn't making any electricity. I looked online for troubleshooting info and spent an hour or so figuring out what was wrong (a dead "AVR" automatic voltage regulator module). $17 for a replacement part off eBay, and it runs like a champ. Now I have a backup to my backup electrical generator.

Be CAREFUL believing the manufacturer's propaganda on the multi-fuel gensets. The eBay listing for the genset you mentioned claims "Avg. Fuel Consumption: 20 Hours on Propane & 8 Hours depending on load." Hmmmm....I guess they must have a 27 gallon LPG tank attached to that puppy. LPG energy density is only about 73% as much as gasoline. I'd need about 1 and a quarter 5 gal tanks of LPG to equal the energy/run time of a 5 gal can of gasoline.

With any generator, plan ahead on fuel storage. I like 5 gal STEEL jerry cans, with added PRI-G fuel stabilizer. Plastic gas cans allow more oxygen to penetrate the walls of the container, shortening your shelf life. Too bad that our Most Benevolent Govt has F'd up the availability of mil-surplus jerry cans. With you being out in CA, I'm not sure what containers are available for you to buy.

Also note that these small Chinese gensets to not have any sort of fuel filter between the tank & the carb. I had one problem with the carb getting plugged, so I got to tear down the carb (first time I'd ever done that!) to get it fixed up. Now I have a baby riding mower fuel filter in the fuel line to catch crud that would otherwise nuke your carb.

Plan on getting some decent weight extension cords (12 or 14 gauge) if you don't already have them. Very handy when feeding electric motors (as in freezers/fridges) from your generator.

Enjoy!
 

hoarder

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#9
I would stay away from any generator that's made in China or is high RPM. The best value is an older used Onan RV generator with the 1800 RPM horizontally opposed engine. They can be had for $400 to $600 and will run many hours.
 

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lumpOgold

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#10
Alright, I'm convinced by all of the experts here! I'll look around for a really good used one on craigslist/garage sales and go for a long term solution. The plan with the generator is to put it out in the boonies where I have a couple acres in a redwood forest (no utilities), using it during each of the construction phases. There may be long breaks between uses and there will be some wild weather so I should plan to get a much better generator.
 

GOLDZILLA

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#11
I have a cheap Chinese one that has worked for me every time I needed it, but as a backup I have a relic American made from the 60's that still starts on the first pull and an onan in the rv that could be used if ever necessary.
 

Cigarlover

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#12
If TSHTF I will do without. Really it will be the least of my worries. Talking long term here not just for a week or 2. However for just a week or 2 I can also do without.
I use gas for cooking and wood for heat. Summers I rarely if ever use ac. I would lose a little in the fridge but not much. If you eat meat and have a freezer full I can understand the generator.
For long term there probably wont be any gas anyway if TSHTF.
 

oldgaranddad

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#13
One thing to consider about a generator is the condition of the power coming off of it. The cheap generators are fine for lights and appliances that can handle voltage spikes but if you are going to run that computer or flat screen TV for any length of time I suggest you get yourself at least a pro-consumer grade power conditioner or a voltage conditioned generator. I have a Winco HPS12000E (http://www.wincogen.com/HPS12000HE/) that runs on propane, natural gas and gasoline.

If you have a generator head and are looking for a used engine to power it then consider a boat engine since they are engineered for high hours at steady RPMs. The Honda GX630 that powers my generator is a good choice. Harbor Freight sells a good Chinese knock off of the Honda GX630 engine as their 22 HP Predator 670cc V-twin 4-stroke if a Honda is too pricey for you.
 

itsamess

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#14

Thecrensh

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#15
If you're worried about poewr for when TSHTF, shouldn't you consider solar instead of a generator? At some point, you'll run out of fuel...then what?
 

southfork

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#16
Guess this makes a good argument for a solar system with battery backup doesn't it
 

Thecrensh

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#17
Yes...but the problem is when TSHTF, the roving hordes of looters/rapists are going to try to demolish your place anyway. They'll pick up guns as they go (to augment the ones they have already!) and unless you have a small militia backing you up, they're going to overwhelm you.

Guess this makes a good argument for a solar system with battery backup doesn't it
 

itsamess

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#18
I saw this deal on ebay and wondered if anyone has a generator and is this a good one?
Durostar DS4400EHF a hybrid portable generator that runs on gasoline or LPG for $299 with free shipping.

Reviews on Amazon are generally good, not many though, even though the amazon price is about $200 higher.
The funny thing about this listing is that they are in CA, but they will not ship to CA. Probably not CA compliant.

Specifications

Max AC Output: 4,400 watts.
Rated AC Output: 3,500 watts.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4 gallon.
7 HP DuroStar Air Cooled OHV Engine.
Low Oil Indicator lamp & shutoff.
EPA approved engine.
Quiet exhaust w/ built-in Spark Arrestor.
Electric Key and EZ-Pull Recoil start.
Run-Time [ @ 50% Maximum Output ]: 8.0 hrs.
EPA Approved For Safe Use In National Parks.
Cannot be sold in or shipped to California.
 

hoarder

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#20
Welding machines are usually inefficient as 120 VAC generators, mine has a transformer that used to put out 120 before it got rusty and quit. Light plants are usually pretty well made with efficient air cooled diesel engines. They only drink about 4/10 of a gallon an hour. I looked at a few at an auction a few years back but they went too high for me. You want to make sure of the output as there are some which use odd voltages.
 

D-FENZ

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#21
Sometimes GSA has smaller diesel units. They have a 10k diesel unit (need forklift) never activated at facility in Davis, CA current bid ~$500
Link for this auction
Search for gens on GSA
These are generally good generators but like so many things military, you will need a parts unit because the parts are somewhat difficult to find and expensive. The saying that 2=1 and 1=none is especially true with these generators. The spare parts generally needed are starters, hertz gauges, 24v voltage regulators and fuel pumps/filters. The engines will run many thousands of hours with little maintenance but must be properly loaded/worked. If you are not mechanically inclined, avoid these generators, they always have some sort of issue. And they are LOUD. It is said that they are very efficient at turning diesel into decibels. They only sip diesel. Military generators are derated about 50% and will outperform any civilian "peak" rated unit hands down. The nice thing about a diesel generator is that the fuel can be stored indefinitely.


I have 2 complete, and 1 scavenged/parts MEP-002A, 5Kw units which are nearly identical to these 10K MEP-003A units except they have 2 cylinders instead of 4. One of them easily powers my house and machine shed with deep well pump, all furnace fans, lights and shop compressor, freezers running (but not starting) simultaneously. I have no electric water heater or electric range. When running the generators I just do without the central air. I live in the country with no neighbors. The generator is in the machine shed 500 feet from my house and is backfed through the subpanel there so the noise is no issue for me. Every couple of months I run the place for a day just to keep the generator conditioned.

My favorite generator is a little Honda 2000EUI I think it is. It carries like a suitcase and is whisper quiet. It really sips fuel. I pack it in my diesel pickup in the winter and power the block heater. It also will power a couple of freezers and a refrigerator or furnace fan in a bind. That one I keep stored in a faraday cage.
 

hoarder

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#22
The military generators usually have great engines and generator heads that will last many thousand hours, but the military ruined them by making them 24 volt and putting miles of wiring on them. If I had one I'd be looking for ways to bypass all that unnecessary junk wiring and simplifying it. True that parts machines are useless when the same few parts break on all of them. You can live without a hertz meter and have a starter repaired at an auto electric shop, maybe convert to 12 volt.

One thing about military generators is the ratings. If it claims 5KW it will put out as much as a 6.5KW from a big box store.
There are no military bases near me so I don't get the opportunity to pick them up cheap. Resale ones show up in craigslist but the prices are up there.
 

<===Foolsgold

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#23

CopperSilverGold

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#24
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I am in the market for a generator. We lost power about a week ago during the middle of the day due to a transformer blowing in the area. I work from home, so this was a huge inconvenience. We are not going to have power Monday during the day while the local utility company makes some repairs (not sure if related to recent outage, but either way will be without power for up to 7 hours).

I've read that an inverter generator is the best bet for electronics, so I plan to buy one of those. I am thinking that a 2200watt generator will be sufficient to power my laptop, modem, router, and probably a light. From what I've also read, it's a good idea to plug a surge protector into the generator to protect from power spikes, but that those should be minimal with an inverter generator.

This is all new to me, so any helpful hints would be much appreciated.
 

hoarder

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#25
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I am in the market for a generator. We lost power about a week ago during the middle of the day due to a transformer blowing in the area. I work from home, so this was a huge inconvenience. We are not going to have power Monday during the day while the local utility company makes some repairs (not sure if related to recent outage, but either way will be without power for up to 7 hours).

I've read that an inverter generator is the best bet for electronics, so I plan to buy one of those. I am thinking that a 2200watt generator will be sufficient to power my laptop, modem, router, and probably a light. From what I've also read, it's a good idea to plug a surge protector into the generator to protect from power spikes, but that those should be minimal with an inverter generator.

This is all new to me, so any helpful hints would be much appreciated.
I've got a Honda 2000i and I think it would carry that load just fine in the summer. Hondas run very lean and are therefore very cantankerous in cold weather (below 25 degrees).
 

oldgaranddad

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#26
For about $100 you can buy a whole house power conditioner and build an in-line conditioner box to front a cheaper generator as a more economical solution.
 

newmisty

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#27
I would stay away from any generator that's made in China or is high RPM. The best value is an older used Onan RV generator with the 1800 RPM horizontally opposed engine. They can be had for $400 to $600 and will run many hours.
That looks like a stout unit.
 

TAEZZAR

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#28
If you're worried about poewr for when TSHTF, shouldn't you consider solar instead of a generator? At some point, you'll run out of fuel...then what?
No solar here in our rain forest, maybe stream power through a pelton wheel,
I have a 5KW Honda generator that starts on the 3rd pull after months of non use. Buy a top of the line generator or go without. Honda is best !
We lose power regularly (we are the last tit on the hog) & if it lasts more than a day I start it up for well water, stove top & a little household electricity,
The pussy's will die when TSHTF, oh well.
 

lumpOgold

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#29
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I am in the market for a generator. We lost power about a week ago during the middle of the day due to a transformer blowing in the area. I work from home, so this was a huge inconvenience. We are not going to have power Monday during the day while the local utility company makes some repairs (not sure if related to recent outage, but either way will be without power for up to 7 hours).

I've read that an inverter generator is the best bet for electronics, so I plan to buy one of those. I am thinking that a 2200watt generator will be sufficient to power my laptop, modem, router, and probably a light. From what I've also read, it's a good idea to plug a surge protector into the generator to protect from power spikes, but that those should be minimal with an inverter generator.

This is all new to me, so any helpful hints would be much appreciated.
I ended up getting a Honda EU3000iS inverter generator. It has always started, from around freezing to 90° summer days it starts with 2 seconds on the started or 2 pulls of the cord when the starter battery is dead. The inverter technology is great because the engine isn't running full speed all the time, and just revs up when the draw goes up. The EU3000iS runs for at least 24 hours on ECO mode.
 

Silver

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#30
No solar here in our rain forest, maybe stream power through a pelton wheel,
I have a 5KW Honda generator that starts on the 3rd pull after months of non use. Buy a top of the line generator or go without. Honda is best !
We lose power regularly (we are the last tit on the hog) & if it lasts more than a day I start it up for well water, stove top & a little household electricity,
The pussy's will die when TSHTF, oh well.
I've got 3 Onan's (and a little 1k Honda) - gas, propane, and diesel. I seem to good deal myself to death when I'm on the hunt. The only one that gets any use is the propane genny in the RV.
 

southfork

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#31
I have two, just wired panel for unit to run central air, also my old 6k one and I bought a portable ac in case the big one breaks down, cant take the Fl heat anymore , have to pick up another portable ac. I also added a hard start kit to the ac so I wouldnt need a larger compressor. Big difference in start up amps, generator doesnt even burb when ac comes on. Did a test run for 2 hours. Now that im prepared I doubt we will see another hurricane but its well worth the effort.
 

ttazzman

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#33
I have just about all styles of genny's .......for what you want to do .......go with what Hoarder mentioned the Honda inverter 2000i or larger ..get a extended run fuel tank ....Hoarder,Taez.LumpOG and I are all giving you the same advice ..."honda" "Inverter"

if you want to do MORE than what you mentioned or Different ussage profile then further discussion would be needed
 

CopperSilverGold

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#34
Thanks for the info guys. I plan to go with an inverter model, just have to decide on what size I want to get and what brand. Harbor Freight makes a clone model - the Predator 2000 that seems to have good reviews at a much lower price point. I am always hesitant, though, as the old saying goes "you get what you pay for." But to play devil's advocate, the guy at Home Depot warned me that the Honda 2200 has a recall:

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/a...table-generators-due-to-fire-and-burn-hazards

I plan to keep researching and probably will decide on something today.
 

ttazzman

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#35
One thing on the little hondas is around here they bring good $ used usually $7-800.......one of mine is a early clone (not hf) that has always done great......had at one time a kipor that crapped out a control board....never had any issues with the hondas so far.....around here they buy n sell at pawn shops all the time around hunting and gigging seasons