Author Topic: Generator Questions  (Read 1128 times)

Offline Charlie17

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Generator Questions
« on: November 07, 2012, 01:15:10 PM »
After Sandy swept through NJ (about 2 weeks after we moved to Ohio) and a lot of our friends and family were left without power for a long time, the wife is full steam ahead on getting a generator.  I have researched a fair amount but had some questions that I thought you all could weigh in on.  First, is there any difference fuel efficiency wise or powere generation wise between a CARB Compliant model and a non-CARB compliant model of generator?  I know I don't need a CARB compliant model living in Ohio but was just curious.  Also, when using the generator, I would like to feel as little of the power outage as possible, more so for my toddler/infants so would like to have power to fridge, freezer, lights, tv/dvd, furnace/AC, laptops, etc.  Currently have an electric range but would not be using that (have propane and grill/burner for cooking) or the microwave.  Also, being military, we move a lot so I want to be able to take the genny with me.  I've narrowed my serach down to two model.  One has a 240 volt, 30 amp plug and the other has a 240 volt 30 amp and a 240 volt, 50 amp plug.  Looking for your thoughts on the need for the 50 amp.  I like the idea as bigger might turn out to be better at some point, but not sure.  Prices are about the same, within $100 of each other.  Thanks for the help.

Offline lettuceman

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 03:10:12 PM »
Keep in mind, the larger the generator, the higher the fuel consumption.

Offline endurance

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 03:18:51 PM »
How many watts are the generators you're looking at?  How many amps does your air conditioner draw?  To run an air conditioner you'll need quite a large unit.  Are you looking at gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane or tri-fuel? 

Make sure you're looking at fuel consumption rates (How long does a tank full of fuel last at 50% and full load?) and calculate how much fuel you will have to store for one week?  Two weeks?

That's one of the benefits of tri-fuel generators.  You can use natural gas which is rarely interrupted so you don't have to store 100+ gallons of gasoline.  At the same time, if you are without natural gas or propane, you still have options to operate it.
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Offline Charlie17

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 03:28:22 PM »
The generators are in the 10,000 Watts size.  I am looking at getting it converted to tri-fuel after listening to the Steve Harris show on generators.  Run times at 50% load is around 10 hours.  I'll have to look at the amperage on the AC unit.  We just moved into the house and hadn't thought about that yet.  Thanks for the idea.  Anyone with an idea about the CARB Compliant question?  Thanks.

Offline Alpha Mike

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 04:47:53 PM »
CARB (Kalifornia Air Resource Board) compliant generators have a different gas cap that does not allow gas tank fumes to escape (in theory).  Living in Cali, I have a CARB compliant generator (and gas cans as well.)  CARB compliance has no effect on the generator's performance or fuel economy (it is just more of a hassle for the user.)   There is an extra breather valve on the gas cap to open when I run the generator so a vacuum is not created in the tank.  When not in use, you are suppose to close the breather valve and prevent gas fumes from escaping.   

I believe there is some differences in the exhaust as well (spark arrester) but that does not effect your mileage either. 

CARB compliant models cost a little more.  Unless you think you will be moving out here, get the non-CARB generator.

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Offline stry67

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 05:44:43 PM »
Just a little note, when ya find the current load, multiply it by the voltage and that will give you power expressed in watts.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 06:21:15 PM »
I'm moving this thread to the Other Energy Sources board.  We've had a fair number of discussions in this board about generators and related issues, so you might want to browse through some of the earlier topics here.

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 06:35:44 PM »
Look here:   http://www.briggsandstratton.com/generators/
Under "Generators" there's a "Buyers Guide" that is helpful and informative on sizing for your needs.
Another site that I've found with the best prices is here: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/power/briggs-and-stratton-generators.html , but you would have to have  it installed or do it yourself.

Offline stry67

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Re: Generator Questions
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2012, 05:41:13 PM »
Look here:   http://www.briggsandstratton.com/generators/
Under "Generators" there's a "Buyers Guide" that is helpful and informative on sizing for your needs.
Another site that I've found with the best prices is here: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/power/briggs-and-stratton-generators.html , but you would have to have  it installed or do it yourself.

Electricgeneratorsdirect is where I bought my 10k from after Irene hit us. I had it delivered on the back of a truck in 2 days with normal delivery charge of about 50 bucks, very reasonable I thought considering it was 300lbs and on a pallet.