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Author Topic: Need a new generator.  (Read 1873 times)

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Offline Patrick NC

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Need a new generator.
« on: February 20, 2021, 10:05:27 PM »
After many years of making due without, I find myself needing a generator. My mill is too far from the house to run grid power to and it'd pretty inconvenient at times not having electricity. Id like to be able to run lights and basic power tools such as a skilsaw, tablesaw, etc. I have a lot of building to do around here that's too for to run an extension cord to. Also would like to have backup power for the house. Don't need to run everything, just freezers and lights and such. I'm thinking about 6000 watts or so. I've been looking at predator generators from harbor freight. Does anyone have one that can give me an opinion on them? Thanks.  
Norwood HD36, Husky 372xp xtorq, 550xp mk2 , 460 rancher, Kubota l2501, Case 1845 skid steer,

Offline John Mc

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 10:33:58 PM »
Much as I hate to admit it, I've heard good things about them. They're no Honda as far as reliability goes, but they do seem to work well. The best advice I've heard is to run the heck out of them for the first 90 days, or whatever the warranty period is. There are a few that seem to crap out early on. You want to find out if yours is one of them while still under warranty, not leave it sitting doing nothing in your garage all that time.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Southside

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 10:43:18 PM »
A lot of generators are rated for backup use only, add in Chinese quality control, and you have something that may not last as long as you would like if you use it on a regular basis.  Spent the past 8 days helping several neighbors with issues from running these units, some we were able to come up with creative ways to keep them going, one was KIA and there was nothing I could do.  One even has the fuel tank from my LT35 ratchet strapped to a ladder feeding it fuel at the moment, Macgyver would be proud. 

For a bit more money I would look at something like a Miller generator / welder combo, this way you get a usable tool and something that is 100% duty rated, still not considered primary power, but they will run for extended periods of time without issue.  10KW will keep you comfortable and you won't be running the unit up against the wall all the time which will keep it cooler and living longer.  
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
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Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 05:13:47 AM »
Honda, but Generac is a reliable one. Lots of electricians around here recommend Generac because they are cheaper than Honda. I see no other reason. I have a 7000 watt Honda. I have lights, wood furnace fan, water pump, water softener, fridge, freezer, some outlets, internet, washer (not dryer).  Electricians won't hook up an electric range because some folks forget that is not enough juice for the oven, we use a hot plate. I've run table saw (110 V) it does have 220 v outlets but saw is wired 110, drills, and small shop planer off it. I've had plenty of opportunity to use it. Probably 10 times in 3 years. :D

Like Southside says, the bigger the better. Like we say, buy as big as you can afford. But even 10,000 w won't run a 20,000 w electric furnace. ;D Also, don't be like most, that think you have to run a generator all day, in case you want to turn on a light in the basement. A freezer will keep cold for at least 3 days and a fridge at least 24 hrs. Don't stand there with the door open, thinking on what you're going to eat for dinner. :D A well sized water tank will hold enough water and pressure for awhile when you are in 'conserve mode' in your thinking. Common sense. ;D

I take good care of my Honda and it don't sit out in the weather when in use, mine's under the porch when in use and I keep it in basement where I control humidity. Take care of it and it takes care of you, that's my philosophy. ;)
ďNo amount of belief makes something a fact.Ē James Randi

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2020 Polaris Ranger 570 to forward firewood, Husqvarna 555 XT Pro, Stihl FS560 clearing saw and continuously thinning my ground, on the side. Grow them trees. (((o)))

Offline Magicman

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 07:51:58 AM »
I have a (2) Hondas and (2) Champions which are excellent, but if I were buying today it would be a Predator.  My Son, Marty has a Predator.  We are still "digging out" of last week's ice storm when all 5 of them were supplying power somewhere to homes without power.  There are still one of each running.

The Predator was cheaper and held it's own with the best of them.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Patrick NC

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 08:33:48 AM »
I have a (2) Hondas and (2) Champions which are excellent, but if I were buying today it would be a Predator.  My Son, Marty has a Predator.  We are still "digging out" of last week's ice storm when all 5 of them were supplying power somewhere to homes without power.  There are still one of each running.

The Predator was cheaper and held it's own with the best of them.
I've heard good things about the Predator also. That's why I'm considering one. I don't have a huge power need for my house. We heat with a pot burner fuel oil stove that only needs power for the fan. The well pump is 120v /15amp. Other than that it's just refrigerator/ freezers and lights. I'm wanting something that I can easily put in the back of the truck and take wherever I need it. I was initially considering a gen/ welder it even a PTO powered unit, but I think a 6000w portable will do the job for me. 
Norwood HD36, Husky 372xp xtorq, 550xp mk2 , 460 rancher, Kubota l2501, Case 1845 skid steer,

Offline Magicman

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 08:52:07 AM »
Actually from your list of usages, the 3500 should serve you well.  Marty's usage is almost identical you yours and the 3500 did it's job.  Electric start and 2 people can easily load it in the back of the truck.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline DMax82

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 09:06:26 AM »
I have two. One is 4350w and the other is 8000w, I believe. I bought them in a bind because I was getting a house framed and temp power wasn't set up yet. Unboxed them, added oil and no ethanol gas, and they cranked right up. Have started on one or two pulls every time since, often having sat for weeks or months at a time. I have no other generator experience to compare them to, but I love mine. I bought the sizes I did because that's what I had coupons for. Thinking about a 3500w invertor now.

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 09:52:21 AM »
I have a predator motor on our troy built horse that had replaced the factory one. runs well. with that said, i typically don't buy anything harbor freight that i am thinking or planning on it being around a long time. typically they don't last. they have gotten better, but. 


On the generator side we have a generac with a subaru motor. 10k. runs wonders.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2021, 10:27:38 AM »
Have 3 portable generators, 2 are 2200 and one is 2500 W. The 25 is a Whacker Newson with Honda engine. The old 22 is from the 70's and has served me well, a Honda. The new 22 is an inverter Honda.  You can buy the same spec. no real name for less then half the $. I just can't do it.  Anyhow in 120 V that 2500 watt will run a worm drive [a big one] off an extension cord while the salamander is running also. A 6000 would be way overkill for me.  The old 22 has run 2 freezers and one refrigerator plus lights for a week or more in power outages here on very little gas.

Offline coalsmok

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 10:32:36 AM »
I have a Honda black max going on 12 yrs old. The only thing it has needed other than gas and oil is the commutator got corrosion on it one time. Light sanding and it was good to go. That was my fault as I left it out in the weather for awhile (year or more) without use.  
 Still starts with the 1st or 2nd pull and will run everything in the house but the dryer, water heater and ac

Offline Magicman

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 10:35:20 AM »
Personally I would not consider anything other than an "inverter" genny.  They adjust the throttle to fit the power demand and sip gas.
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 12:44:47 PM »
And they are QUIET! I have sold and serviced a lot of generators, I strongly recommend the best you can afford not necessarily the largest. The HF specials have their place but don't expect miracles. This past weeks storm is no place to be fighting with them.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 12:54:11 PM »
I have two generators.  One is a 7500 watt Generac with electric start.  I caught it on clearance at Tractor Supply in the spring a few years ago.  It replaced a Coleman with 8hp Tecumseh. That was a piece of junk but we were desperate for a generator when we bought that.  The Generac is a great machine.  The only issue has been my fault by letting gas go bad in it.  The Generac doesnít charge its own battery when running so it requires periodic charging or a battery tender.  It does have pull start and cranks easily. 

The other is a dual fuel Champion 3600 watts inverter.  We use it mainly for the camper.  It is a very good machine.  Iíve only run it on propane and it does fine.  It is electric start and pull start as well.  They have a remote start Champion of similar size that for a job site might be really convenient.  We have used the Champion more hours than the Generac and it has held up well.

As MM says an inverter generator will idle down when power demand goes down and throttle up to meet demand.  The Champion cost about $200 more than the Generac.  My buddy just bought a dual fuel 7500 watt Champion because it will run on propane.  Of course propane doesnít have the same problems as gasoline, ethanol etc. and propane is convenient for us anyway.  The only drawback to propane is the reduced power output.  I believe my 3600 w Champion is rated running on gas and is something like 3400 watts on propane.

I have read good reviews on the Predator generators but I my experience with HF stuff hasnít been very good. Iíve not been able to get parts or repairs on some HF stuff Iíve owned.  Mostly people buy the extended warranty and exchange defective stuff. My experience with HF is dated so maybe theyíve improved their quality.  Others have had good experiences.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline Patrick NC

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2021, 06:52:56 PM »
 

 Found this on Craigslist really cheap. It will do the job for now. A friend of mine has an old Ingersoll Rand light tower/ generator that has a 3 cylinder diesel engine on it. I think it's 15kw. He said it needs a fuel pump. We are going to try to get it running next time I go over there. I can probably get it for $1500.  
Norwood HD36, Husky 372xp xtorq, 550xp mk2 , 460 rancher, Kubota l2501, Case 1845 skid steer,

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2021, 07:12:20 PM »
for years i used a miller bobcat when the power went out. it worked very well. till someone just had to have one that came on by itself. so she bought a 13k Generac it works fine burns lots of propane. and having the tanks set and plumbed in was pricy. they are not ment to run steady for days on end so says the dealer. was talking to someone today his pal priced a 10k for $13000 over twice what i paid. there is a 6 month waiting list. maybe this dealer tried to make a little extra? so last week we bought stock in generac

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2021, 07:27:24 PM »
   I don't know about the portable ones but I have natural gas here and put in a Generac 17KW standby genset that powers about 2/3 of the house including the essentials like fridges, freezer, pump, lights in the most used area and it also runs the oven and the fan and thermostats on the gas furnace. It ran for 11 days in a big Derecho 8 years ago. ATS for it fires up 10 seconds after prime power goes off and cranks and runs about 10 minutes once a week to keep the battery charged. We usually do not even notice when it cranks as it is very quiet.
Howard Green
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Offline Southside

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2021, 07:35:20 PM »
I bought this last week, need to go get it this week. 35KW, single and three phase, 3 cyl JD diesel with 600 hours on it. 

Not playing around again. 



 

 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2021, 07:42:40 PM »
No doubt that will keep the lights on!
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline Southside

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Re: Need a new generator.
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2021, 08:11:57 PM »
You have seen what I need to keep on. They have a 250 KW unit too, thought about opening my own Power and Light Company.  :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows


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