Author Topic: ETQ Generators at Menards  (Read 19728 times)

Offline TheMidwesterner

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ETQ Generators at Menards
« on: February 07, 2010, 05:15:48 PM »
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with these generators.  I tried searching, but came up with no matches, so I'm sorry if this has already been covered.

Menards (a regional competitor to Lowe's and Home Depot) currently has "all generators on sale" and they had quite few ETQs in stock.  Though we've been fortunate to this point (we have had really reliable power in general around here), our severe winter has really gotten me thinking about emergency power.  In addition to heavy snow and several freezing rain events this winter, we've also fairly recently experienced severe wind storms of the type that have an appetite for power lines.  Anyways, a 1750 Watt unit for USD 230 caught my eye.  I darn near bought the thing while I was there looking for a good plunger (don't ask).  Here are the specs from their website:

http://easterntools.com/product_generator_tg17m41.html

I'm curious to know if anyone has anything good or bad to say about ETQ and if this looks like a useful unit and if it looks like a good deal.  They also had a 1600 Watt Inverter model for USD 380:

http://easterntools.com/product_generator_1800i.html

and a 7250 Watt unit for USD 670:

http://easterntools.com/product_generator_tg8250.html

I just couldn't pull the trigger on the cheap unit without doing more research (the sale runs through next Sunday).  The reviews on Amazon are mixed for other ETQs, but I also find the need for a few grains of salt once I start reading them.  I'd really put more value in the input of someone in this community.  I am looking for a practical entry point that my wife, who is not completely on board with "all this prepper stuff" yet, will not kill me for dropping a little cash on.

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 05:22:02 PM »
I went to the website you supplied and found something alarming. When you hit the parts link. It said :coming soon"
Buy one you can get parts for.

Offline TheMidwesterner

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 08:08:34 PM »
Uncle Bob, thanks for the response.  Doing some more digging on their website, I found that they do provide a downloadable product manual and parts list with a toll-free number.  I also found that there are two service centers in my town and another within an hour's drive.

Does any of this mitigate their "sparse" parts page?  Perhaps the company leadership is more accustomed to "traditional" customer service interaction?

Offline Peck

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 09:12:37 PM »
I own one of these-the 4,000w model.  I have about 10 hours on it.  It starts on the first or second pull every time.  These are cheap Chinese generators, but I am very happy with my purchase so far.  It runs like a champ.

Offline bubtech

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 09:17:55 PM »
For a temporary measure these should be fine as long as the price is good enough.  Just do not expect these to do hard work for an extended amount of time. (2 weeks tops)  
Be sure to run it for an hour every month or two so that you know it is working, put a load on it for 1/2 that time.
If you have a 4 stroke pay a couple bucks and put FULL SYNTHETIC oil in it, this oil will not break down as quickly as regular oil, and with it sitting there doing nothing for a long time it isn't a bad idea.
Also make sure you have gas, they don't work well without them.
B

Offline TheMidwesterner

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 07:46:07 AM »
Thanks to all who replied.  I have done some research over the past week and am thinking I'll spend a little more for a Generac or a Subaru-powered Powermate.  Generac and Powermate each have a couple of service centers listed in my town and Subaru has about a dozen.  I am assuming that I'm more likely to need parts and service for the engine than any other component.

Peck, I also appreciate your reply as it confirms that I would probably be okay to purchase an ETQ in a pinch if something goes down before I can get one of my first choices and none are available locally.

My wife is starting to get on board with preparedness and said she'd rather spend 700 dollars once than 500 twice.  I can't argue with that.

Thanks again for the replies.

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 07:55:37 AM »
One thing the manual may not say is when you get ready to store it, run all the gas out of the carburetor. If the fuel tank has no shutoff run it till it stops. This helps with keeping the carb clean.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 08:09:44 AM »
I just looked at some at Menard's Yesterday and was dumbstruck at the pricing.  3000 watt for $365, 6000 watt for $565.

I had pretty much written off a generator until next year because I was looking at some Honda's that were in the $1200 to $1400 range for 2000 to 3000 watt, then I saw these and its back on the table.

Not being an electrician, how big a generator do I need to handle 1x 13 Cf side by side Fridge, one small 10 Cf deep freeze, Furnace and lights on a small 900 square foot 6 room home?  (I have electric stove also, but probably wouldn't use it in a disaster scenario, unless the generator could handle it easily enough).

I want as much power as needed to handle everything with a little extra in reserve, but I don't want to go overboard.  I don't have much room for fuel storage either.  so i'd probably keep 3 or 4 jerry cans and cycle fuel into the vehicles from the cans to keep it fresh.   

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 08:15:23 AM »
The 7250 watt is the one I was eyeballing.  It can run the microwave or a washer or dryer individually for short periods of time.  Might make a disaster a little more homey.

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 08:30:48 AM »
Remember the larger they are the more fuel they use per hour. Most household's can get by with a 4KW or 5KW unit, using appliances one or two at a time. Assuming your not trying to run a Heatpump or electric furnace.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 09:11:29 AM »
Would I be better off looking for something right at the 5 or 6 kw limit then or would the over-sized 7250 just be overkill or provide a little extra "Just in Case" power? 

I'd rather error larger than smaller but don't want to waste the extra potential (Not to mention if I can get by spending $400 rather than $700 i'd be happy :)). How much fuel usage difference would there be between a 5500 unit and a 7250 unit?  If its big (an extra gallon an hour) or small (an extra gallon for 6 or 10 hours) that would make a big difference.

Thanks

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 09:23:47 AM »
My train of thought was to go with a bigger unit that way it wouldnt have to work as hard as a smaller one. I bought a 6000w cont 7200w surge for my house. Also I am on a well so I need the 220v to run the pump so I have water.

Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 09:35:45 AM »
Would I be better off looking for something right at the 5 or 6 kw limit then or would the over-sized 7250 just be overkill or provide a little extra "Just in Case" power? 

I'd rather error larger than smaller but don't want to waste the extra potential (Not to mention if I can get by spending $400 rather than $700 i'd be happy :)). How much fuel usage difference would there be between a 5500 unit and a 7250 unit?  If its big (an extra gallon an hour) or small (an extra gallon for 6 or 10 hours) that would make a big difference.

Thanks

Those ratings should be on the manufactures website.
 I personally like the Generac permanently installed automatic transfer generator systems.

Offline TheMidwesterner

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 09:53:58 AM »
Even before finding the ETQs at Menards, I had been doing some sizing research and found that a 5kW (operating load) unit ought to handle what I am looking for: run a deep freeze, gas furnace fan, refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, and maybe my sump pump (I live at the top of the hill and the thing has never run - even during a 3-hr 2-in/hr storm) and perhaps a few other comfort items.  They won't all be run simultaneously.  I also wanted something portable and at a price that I could convince my wife would be worth paying.

One big potential hog that you mention is a dryer.  Is it gas or electric?  If it is electric, 7250 surge may not be enough according to the sizing charts I've found.  Many charts don't even list an electric dryer.  I am planning on line drying if we're without power.

According to the ETQ website, the difference in fuel consumption between their 5250W and 7250W is fairly small - 1.71 HPG v. 1.64 HPG @ 50% load.  Aside from parts/service availability and unknown reliabilty, the other thing that concerns me about ETQ is that their units have a relatively low surge over operating ratio compared to say a Generac or a Powermate in the 5-7kW range - 14% v. 25%.

One of the frustrating things that I have run into is that local places don't carry any of the models that I am most interested in.  Local utility power is rock solid, but seriously.  I'd like to put my hands on something like this before I buy it, especially since they have no-return policies if you mail order one (even if it is unused and they have a local outlet).

I am currently working on a battery backup project, but plan to eventually add a small inverter generator for running small items and electronics (and recharging the batteries during extended outages) while minimizing fuel consumption.  Wife approves of this because it may also be useful for camping trips.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 09:56:30 AM by TheMidwesterner »

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 10:03:42 AM »
I do like the idea of portability (Even if its a 150 lb wheeled generator).

My price range is going to be limited to about $550 to $650. (Plus about $150 for any installation or electrical work to ensure its to code with the electric company if I even need to worry about this or do I just kill the main breaker and not worry about it?).

Aside from those limits it should be good. 

I really wanted that Honda 3000 but price is just WAY to high.


Offline TheMidwesterner

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 10:37:01 AM »
While I can't tell you if these units have what you need to plug into a transfer, I do have a spreadsheet with prices.  In your price range:

Husky HU3650 (3550W/4550W) from Home Depot - $600 (a little less power than you mentioned, but quite good on fuel - 2.5 HPG according to its specs).  It looks like it might be built by Powermate (Pramac) and has a 7HP Subaru.

If you're willing to spend $50 more there are a couple of other decent looking options:
Powermate PM0435005 (5000W/6250W) with a 10HP Subaru from Home Depot or Amazon - $700.

Generac GP5000 (5000W/6250W) from Home Depot ($709) or Amazon ($700).

Amazon also lists the GP5500 (5500W/6875W) for $700.

These prices are as of last night (2010-02-14).  Yes, a romantic Valentine's evening for me is researching generators.  Of course, these are based on my research regarding service centers in my area - something you'll probably want look for in your area.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 10:40:01 AM by TheMidwesterner »

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2010, 04:30:11 PM »
Docwatmo - the big difference between the Honda eu2000iA & eu3000is and the generators being discussed above is that the others are MUCH louder units.  (from dB ratings in the 50's for the little Hondas up to nearly 80 and above for the others).  That's a really big difference.  By comparison - the 55-58 rating of the Hondas is like a regular tone of voice conversation.  For 75-80, think a constantly running garbage disposal.  After a while that might grate on some nerves.... 

I'm struggling with the same issues - I want a back-up generator (mostly to run a fridge and some lights), but I also don't want to drive myself or my neighbors nuts with the racket from a typical construction-site generator.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to go the Honda route, just deciding if I need the extra wattage of the 3000 vs. the 2000 - and then it's onto Craigs List to get one below retail and no tax.

Offline Peter Pumpkin Eater

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2010, 07:10:32 PM »
Docwatmo: in my experience as a Master Electrician typically one circuit is pretty much equal to 1500watts or that is the maximum wattage according to NEC 2008 for 20 amp circuit breakers... in all reality you can run close to 1800 watts on one 20 amp circuit without tripping the circuit breaker...so if you  do some calculating by adding up the wattages of your lightbulbs and fridge and deep freeze you can pretty much judge by the calculations what size generator you need in your 900 sqft house...I would think that a 3k-5k gen setup would be sufficient for your situation...if'n you add an electric dryer you would probably want to bump that up some.  One other thing, during the "big" Ice storm here in Central Oklahoma in 2007 I "borrowed" a Honda 3000 from my work and it pretty much ran my whole house with 1800sqft and a 200amp service...My 2 cents


Pete

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2010, 08:58:59 PM »
Docwatmo: in my experience as a Master Electrician typically one circuit is pretty much equal to 1500watts or that is the maximum wattage according to NEC 2008 for 20 amp circuit breakers... in all reality you can run close to 1800 watts on one 20 amp circuit without tripping the circuit breaker...so if you  do some calculating by adding up the wattages of your lightbulbs and fridge and deep freeze you can pretty much judge by the calculations what size generator you need in your 900 sqft house...I would think that a 3k-5k gen setup would be sufficient for your situation...if'n you add an electric dryer you would probably want to bump that up some.  One other thing, during the "big" Ice storm here in Central Oklahoma in 2007 I "borrowed" a Honda 3000 from my work and it pretty much ran my whole house with 1800sqft and a 200amp service...My 2 cents

Uh... what?  NEC limit on 120V/20A service (or any service) is 80% of the breaker ampacity, or 16A.  16A @ 120V is 1920W at unity power factor, and you can run a hell of a lot more than than without tripping the breaker.  I've personally clamped 120V/20A circuits running at 22, 23 amps without tripping, because it was slowly built up over time (thermal expansion of the parts causes the breaker to go out of tolerance; you can't shock-load it to 22A, but you can sure to hell run it up that far if you do it gradually).  Even without slowly loading it, in an emergency, you can run right up to the 20A limit and feel confident about not tripping the breaker.

Offline Peter Pumpkin Eater

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Re: ETQ Generators at Menards
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2010, 04:17:35 AM »
Atadeadrun:  Just to clarify...you are correct in saying that the NEC provides for 80% of the breaker ampacity but it also states that in residential construction all circuits need to be protected by GFCI breakers or Arc Fault breakers (bedrooms) and that the local jurisdiction has the final determination as to how the code is enforced.  IN OKLAHOMA we are allowed to put 9 devices, including light fixtures, on any one circuit and final load cannot be over the 80% of the rating for breakers ampacity...In my experience, obviously sub-par to yours, the new GFCI and Arc Fault breakers will trip long before it reaches the stated rating of 20 amps and if it doesn't then , in my opinion, your breaker is going to burn up and you run the risk of burning down your "house". 

 < In the future I will bow to your expertise Atadeadrun>

Pete