View Full Version : Generator

Kevin Arceneaux
08-31-2008, 5:36 PM
What size would work for a few days -

Need to run
fan or 2
computer - if my ISP stays up

Mods - if you feel this should be in the open, please move it

I have lived on the coast for the last 28 years and never thought about getting one. But I have a bad feeling that we could be out of power for more than a day or two. And of course my freezer is packed, most of a hind quarter is in it, plus other things.


Jim Becker
08-31-2008, 5:39 PM
Honestly, I can't help you with sizing, but I suspect that the "supply" is going to be constrained. Get as large a portable as you can and prioritize the loads. The first two items obviously are most critical.

Stay safe!

Jerry Bittner
08-31-2008, 6:18 PM
The "standard" size (Hme Depot, Sam's etc) -- 5000 KV -- should do fine. That's what I have and they normally come with a loading list advisng you of what the typically load is for various applainaces.

Hope you don't need it.

Von Bickley
08-31-2008, 6:19 PM

I have a 4000 watt unit that will run my lights, 2 refrigerators, and my 1 HP well pump.

I got a 4000 watt unit from HF with the Subaru engine & electric start. Works fine for me.

I don't know if I would operate an expensive nice TV on a generator because of the output of the generator. I run older TV's on mine O.K.

Someone else may be able to comment of this.

Kevin Arceneaux
08-31-2008, 6:22 PM
Thanks, I found a couple of things to help, but I want to get it right thee first time, and experience is important to me.

Tom Veatch
08-31-2008, 6:43 PM
Conventional wisdom is to check the wattage of the appliances that are going to be running simultaneously and buy accordingly. Now since that's the absolute minimum load you'll see, I'd lean toward increasing that wattage by 25 to 50% and get the next larger "standard" size.

Here's (https://www.ch.cutler-hammer.com/generatorCalc/wattshow.jsp) a generator sizing checklist that might be of use to you.

rob mason
08-31-2008, 6:47 PM
I live in Southwest MS and got a Coleman 6250 Generator from HD *after* Katrina. We were without power for 15 days after that storm. I vowed I will never go through that again.

My 6250 will run:
Computer (450w PS)
2 fridges
1 freezer

I could probably wire in one of my central A/C units, but havent gotten that far just yet.

The 6250 is a great portable generator. It cranks on the first pull everytime. I usually test it every month or two just to make sure it's running well. The gas tank will run for 10 hours at 1/2 load. I just filled up gas cans, 4-wheeler, both riding lawnmowers and all cars. I figure if I need more gas, I can tap all of these for more.

Stay safe in Lafayette...


Pete Simmons
08-31-2008, 7:04 PM
If you could find one, a Honda EU 3000 would run all that

The 2000 EU could maybe run those items also.

Remember more watts are nice but it also takes more gas to make more watts and gas may be difficult to find after a bad storm

The Honda is very quite and they have a smooth sine wave outout so it is OK with modern electronics.

The bad news is a Honda generator is a premium priced piece of equipment.

Check out the 53-59 db Honda EU generator listed below and remember normal speech is around 60 db!

Below are the specs for the Honda EU2000 which is a top of the line example of this new class of portable generator.

* 2,000 watts max.
* 1,600 watts rated
* Engine: 3.5 HP, 4 stroke, Single cylinder, overhead cam, air cooled
* Starter: Recoil
* Noise level: 53-59 dB (1/4 load & Rated load) 60dB is normal speech!
* Weight: 46.3 lbs. Dry
* tank size: 1.0 gallons
* Run time: 15.0/4.0 hrs. (1/4 load & Rated load)
* DC output (Requires optional cable)
* 20" x 11.4" x 16.7" Dimensions (LxWxH)
* Eco-Throttle - Engine RPM adjusts to amperage draw. (Scroll Down for More Information)
* Low oil shut down
* Ac and DC breaker
* Honda inverter technology provides a pure sine wave allowing computers and other sensitive testing equipment to be run with confidence

David G Baker
08-31-2008, 7:55 PM
I have the portable Honda 6500 watt inverter generator. It cost me $3000, expensive, but I would do it again in a minute. I am not sure if the average generator is compatible with the electronics in a standard computer. It can be used to charge lap top batteries though.
I have my house wired so that I can run my 220 volt well pump, furnace, freezer, refrigerator, two plugs in my kitchen to power a portable light and the microwave and one plug in my living room for the TV and one plug in my basement for my cable telephone modem plus a light to illuminate my breakers. I have used the generator several times and it runs everything with out any problems. It is so quite that the LOML can't hear it when she is inside the house.

Joe Pelonio
09-01-2008, 12:55 AM
I have a Generac, 5000 watts, 10hp engine. Our power go outs 1-3 times a year in windstorms for as long as 3 -4 days, but most 24 hours or less. I can run the fridge or freezer, gas furnace (fan), some lights, TV & Cable. I will alternate every 2 hours between the fridge and our big freezer, though I can run both, it's pushing it. The one thing I don't run is the 1200 watt microwave. Though the generator seems able to handle it, the cord gets hot which can't be a good sign.

Eric Larsen
09-01-2008, 2:00 AM
You'll find that the freezer is less of a priority than the fridge. People don't open the freezer as often.

You can increase your efficiency by freezing salt water in containers to minimize empty space in your freezer. (If you're concerned about potable water, fresh water is a better but less efficient choice.)

If your freezer is packed (with little airspace), then it goes to the bottom of your priority list. I'd rather have fans running all the time than the freezer. Usually, I was good with 30 minutes of freezer charging every 12 hours. After the storm, I poured the salt water back into the ocean.

Do listen to everyone suggesting fuel efficiency. Gas pumps don't work without power. So your generator is only as good as your fuel supply. Once you ask a neighbor to siphon his gas tank, you're in trouble. A sedan holds 15 gallons of gas, which will last you two days if you're conservative. And that neighbor has a freezer, too. And he didn't freeze containers of salt water to try to save his (non-existant) generator.

Eventually, you're powering the block, and they have refrigerators that contain ONE GALLON OF MILK, some butter, and 5 year old chinese takeout. (Been there, done that. )

Al Willits
09-01-2008, 11:43 AM
Not much to add other than make sure your generator has a good voltage regulation, spikes, to high, to low a voltage will do a number on todays electronic boards many appliances have.

Also remember you earely need to run all these at the same time, a freezer left closed will stay cold for quite a bit, same with the fridge, don't buy more than ya need.

We've got a older 5k unit and it kept use going for the 4-5 days we were with out power 2 years ago, even with the wife's hairdryer.. :)


Peter Luch
09-01-2008, 12:53 PM
I have had a Honda 3500 since 1990 when I built my house in San Diego.

We used it as power to build the entire house, all day almost every day and it would run for a day and half on one tank of gas.

We would have power outages all the time in SD and the genarator never let us down.

Brought it with us to Hawaii and sort of forgot it for three years (:() until the earthquake we had and it fired right up. It ran the whole day till power came back on.
Afterwards I decided to take it in for the second service it ever had and found the gas tank was rusted badly on the inside. Replaced it and its like new again.

I will never buy anything but a Honda generator.

Aloha, Pete