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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator


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  #1  
Old 04-04-2018, 10:31:57 AM
GeneratorNewb GeneratorNewb is offline
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Default Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

I just wanted to get your personal opinions on a situation I'm currently faced with. I'll start by saying that I live in an area where power outages are extremely rare and when they do occur, they are normally hours, not days. I actually just got a report from my electric company saying that there were 3 outages in the last 5 years. 2 that were 2 hours and 1 that was 4 hours. I live in Climate Zone 5 (upstate NY) and normally have a wife and a 1 year old at home. I work approximately 1.5hrs from where I live. We also have all natural gas appliances. Lastly, there is already an interlock kit installed in the main panel with a 30A inlet.

With all that being said, I'm contemplating either buying a Honda Eu7000is inverter generator or a 22kw Generac automatic home standby generator. I understand this is not an apples to apples comparison but I was winde what you guys would do in my particular situation.

The eu7000is costs $4.5k with accessories while the Generac costs $11k installed and approximately $500/yr between maintenance, online monitoring, and slight increase in property tax.

I love how quiet the Honda is but obviously I will need to keep gas on hand since it runs 6-18hrs on a 5.1 gallon tank. However, the Generac is nice if I'm not home as there's no way my wife would be able to set up the generator and tend to my son etc.

Lastly, I will say that I have a gentent so the Honda would be able to run in bad weather.

I greatly appreciate all of your opinions! Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:03:32 AM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

I don't generally stumble into this area, so the generator guys will have much better opinions, but I maybe I can help you answer your question with an easy question to ask yourself:

Of what are you concerned? e.g. data storage or communication - or maybe just keeping cold things cold and hot things hot? After that, it's pretty easy to decide what capacity/reliability/ease of use etc. you need, then further what that combination is worth too you.

A few years ago, I was away at work when an ice storm both took out power for several days and safe travel for at least a day. We just had a little generator at the time. That generator just wouldn't cooperate for her; I was able to get it going when I got home, but shall we say "....no fury like the wrath...." Anyway she was wise enough not to open the fridge or freezer, and just cuddled up with a couple blankets & used an oil lamp for some reading before going to bed early, so our food stayed frozen and she stayed thawed.

So it wouldn't have been worth a fancy system to us, but my burning ears were worth a small upgrade that I think she can get going a little easier if the scenario ever happens again.
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:03:36 PM
Power Power is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Research generac homeowner size units on this site.
Lots of info.
In my opinion, you will pay a lot for something that may not be there,or will not be there for long when you need it.

If you want to use your outage history as a guide, it is such that food will not spoil or house get very cold.

If you are concerned about a widespread longer duration outage, remember, NG may not be available in the unlikely event that the utility gas compressors loose power, or the infrastructure is damaged.
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:11:16 PM
GeneratorNewb GeneratorNewb is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Concerned about keeping the heat on, freezers, well, etc.

The conundrum is whether it's worth it to spend 40% of the price of a standby on a portable or just go the distance. But the $500/yr for the standby is definitely a factor.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:13:28 PM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

I'm fortunate enough that my wife can flip the incoming power, start the tractor [our current solution is PTO driven], and plug in an adaptor, so we may not be the best example.

But for the infrequent needs, and low worry things in your concerns, I can sure think of many places I'd rather spend that maintenance fee, not to mention initial investment.

It can get quite cold in SD, but we've done 24hours without heat before worrying about pipes freezing. Likewise the fridge and freezer(assuming enough food in there to worry about - the cold mass does matter) have been plenty cold after that duration. We always keep a case of bottled water on hand, and it stays in fresh rotation just grabbing a bottle for the road etc.

I'm going to take a wild guess that a standby system would lose more money on resale, if that is any consideration.

Regardless, a portable is portable too! The only downside there being if you have friends or family that like to borrow things at inopportune times.

If going portable, I'd still want to start it a couple times a year, maybe give it a test load, and run it long enough to get up to temperature. Also if gasoline, I'd run ethanol free (I like ethanol gas for daily driving, but my experience is that it doesn't store as well), treat it with your favorite stabilizer, and still drain it (the 6month old stuff can go in your car) spring and fall. Better yet, do the test run after swapping fuel for fresh gas throughout, unless it is supposed to be stored with the lines drained.
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Old 04-04-2018, 02:26:25 PM
GeneratorNewb GeneratorNewb is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

I appreciate the insight. The portable is also less than half the volume. Just can't operate the central air obviously but could easily handle a window ac.

I suppose my family could always rough it out for a few hours until I get back from work if necessary for such a rare event.

I usually store about 17 gallons of gas. If I wind up. Going portable, I should probably start stocking more gas as that's roughly 2 days of fuel with the Honda.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:03:25 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

From the impression that I have gotten, Honda is a very reputable, high quality brand, and Generjunk is the opposite.

7 kw is already a huge generator for an all gas house, so anything bigger is just throwing away fuel.

So if the choice is limited to just those two, I'd spend my money on the Honda, even if the Generjunk were free.

7 kw Honda? Add a start capacitor or some kind of soft start device to the central A/C, and you just may be surprised.

There is no reason that any reasonably competent person cannot be trained in the relatively easy set up and operation of such a system.

As they say, just my two cents worth.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:12:32 PM
GeneratorNewb GeneratorNewb is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

For the record, 7kw is the surge wattage. It's 5.5kw continuous.
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Old 04-04-2018, 03:38:54 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Read this thread with interest because I found in my experience with infrequent but long term outages around here, the average load on a home standby generator over a 24 hour period is very very low, in the neighborhood of maybe 1000 watts. So, unless your situation is unique, go with a reliable small, 1800 RPM unit and not a humongous 22 KW Generac that comes with a hefty, recurring maintenance fee.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:15:56 PM
GeneratorNewb GeneratorNewb is offline
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Default Re: Portable Inverter Generator vs Standby Generator

Noted. I need 240v for my well pump so the eu7000is is really the only portable I'd consider.
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