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Any Harman Owners Using Portable Generators?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Rokal, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. lbcynya

    lbcynya Feeling the Heat

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    Since the concensus is that dirty power is good for your stove, run her till she blows! Or, maybe expensive electronics miraculously clean up the power, so plug in every expensive device you have. While your at it, don't bother changing the oil in your car either...it's a waste of cash.
    Finally, forget about cleaning your stove...that's a waste of time...cleaning is overrated.

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  2. RKS130

    RKS130 Feeling the Heat

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    Looks like its time to just scratch my b**t and drink beer. Isn't life grand?!
  3. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    millinocket, north central maine
    just ordered my genny. powerhorse 2200
    2200 surge watts 1800 running watts.
    these have inverters, well reviewed engines, and less than 5% thd. seller is northern tools. they have stores and service in my state and there is a two year warranty.
    http://www.amazon.com/Powerhorse-Po...E6D0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320858582&sr=8-1

    glad i waited a bit. the powerhorse gennys are on sale on amazon right now.
    the 2200 was down from $299 to $279. their other models are on sale too.

    $76 shipping. and at $356 delivered, i still spent almost $100 less than the cheapie generac ix1600 (chinese) i almost bought.
    the powerhorse is made in china too. but the engine was developed and tested in the u.s. . and it gets way better reviews than the generac ix series.
    it also has a much bigger gas tank.

    change/fill the oil religiously. and run with a load monthly to semi monthly.
    use premium gas.(gonna put the regular i got into the subie outback)
    i hear gas additives like seafoam are also recommended.
  4. celticsgreen

    celticsgreen New Member

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    SNH
    I have a 13500 surge, 8000 constant Briggs and Stratton generator.
    [​IMG]

    We just had 3 days of outage which is not uncommon in NH. In 2008 we had 8 days. If you are a homeowner in NH and you don't have a generator it is borderline irresponsible since you can count on power outages and most NH residents depend on well water. The Harman P61 runs ok on the generator, and we stayed warm, but not as well as off the grid. You can actually hear the difference in the fans. They are nosier and the fire color seems like it is tending more orange. There is definitely a difference. Since I did not want to run the generator 24/7 we only used the stove during the day. Although the cheap Chinese generators are tempting you are screwed if you need a part....you will not find it locally or maybe not at all. If I need a part I can get it locally, same day, in several different locations. When you lose power for 8 days like we did in 2008, you soon realize that once you are depending on your generator you no longer have a backup source. I would buy a Chinese generator as a backup to my Briggs, or if I wanted to use a Chinese generator as my primary backup power I would buy 2.
  5. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    So... Why the nasty response to RKS130? He was just asking a valid question.
  6. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the heads up. I was just looking at the 9000. Says "5% total harmonic distortion at full load, is safe for sensitive electronics"
    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200419025_200419025
  7. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    yeah. i hope we both have good luck with them.
    from all i've read, that >5% number is pretty decent. briggs and stratton list their units at from 3% to 6% thd

    i simply couldn't spend for a honda. and even a briggs and stratton 1800 at $649 was too dear with all the money we are laying out as new homeowners.
    i guess just keep the oil fresh and use good gas all the time.
    and run it periodically with a load to keep it ready.
    a friend in n.j. told us of lots of folks in his block busting out their gennys only to find that they had sat idle too long and didn't work.

    been hearing about this as superior to stabil and other gas additives-

    http://www.seafoamsales.com/tech-info-gas-engines/

    http://www.seafoamsales.com/

    at 1 oz. per gallon, and a 16 oz can costing $9.95, it isn't as costly as i had expected it to be.
    barring constant outages, this should last me several seasons even using the fuel for the mower too.
  8. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    I just ordered the Champion 2000 watt inverter Generator Sunday from Cabellas (want to be able to return to the store) It will be in tomorrow i will be posting a full review.

    I was borrowing the neighbors Honda 2000 Watt inverter generator for a few hours to run the stove and keep the fridge cold, that thing is awesome but i had to see if i could get a similar quality generator for a few bucks cheaper. Paid $607 w/ free shipping for the Champion, if it doesn't work i will bite the bullet and buy the honda. They are $950 at either electricgeneratorsdirect.com or wisesales.com forgot which one

    Edit:
    on the Eco mode on the Honda we were seeing run times or 8-10 hours on the 1.1 gallon of gas it holds. Loads varied from the pellet stove running on high constantly, fridge cycling as needed, and the coffee pot for about 10 minutes to brew a pot of coffee. I was impressed the generator was able to power the stove on high and the coffee maker at the same time, you could tell that was the upper limit though.

    I will need 2 generators to power the house successfully, i want the smaller inverter generator that sips gas to run 8-10 hours a day for the stove, fridge and tv/ computer. I will buy a larger 5000 watt 120/240 volt that i can run the whole house on. I need the 240 volts to power the well pump. I will only run the large one as needed to power the well pump etc so i can save fuel
  9. lbcynya

    lbcynya Feeling the Heat

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    Technically, it wasn't aimed at RKS130, just this tread in general. People are spending thousands on stoves and splitting hairs over hundreds. Since dirty power doesn't cause your electronics to spontaneously explode, somehow that makes dirty power ok? Cheap Chinese generators are for inductive loads. If you choose to power electronics with them, then you will shorten their lifespan. If we can all accept that fact, then what you choose to power your stove with is YOUR CHOICE. I also understand that a grand for a Honda generator is more than some can justify and THAT'S OK. I'm simply trying to help people make and informed decision.

    Also remember that the thread is specifically pointed to Harman users, so other stove manufacturers might have different requirements. The owners manual for my Harman XXV DOES NOT specify that an inverter generator is necessary. So, for Harman XXV owners (other Harmans will have to verify), it's prudent to buy the lowest THD generator you can afford and roll with it.

    Everything has a price. Even if you pay less now, you might pay more later, whether it be fuel, noise, reduction in electronics life, or failure of the generator itself forcing you to go without or replace under duress.

    Buy what you can afford (or a little bit more) and go forward with the understanding that you do get what you pay for and low price doesn't always mean low cost.
  10. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    well. the generac ix series are chinese. they are inverter generators. they aren't as cheap as they should be though because they trade on the generac name.
  11. lbcynya

    lbcynya Feeling the Heat

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    It's all about how the unit is specified. I'm sure there are good generators that are made in China, but specification is everything. And I would hope that Generac spec's higher grade components since their brand is very important to them. I'm not going to attempt to define cheap, that really has to do more with an individuals budget and their needs.

    But, if Honda (Yamaha's too) is considered the gold standard (best engine, best components, steep price) and they are around $950 for 2000 watts, then the cost per watt is 47.5 cents.

    The OP asked if a 3500 watt $299 buck generator was ok. That equals 8.5 cents per watt.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    I spent over 5 years mulling around a generator purchase, but I was always turned off by just not knowing what I was getting. So much of products nowadays is marketing and manipulation, it's a shame. Remember when there was only a few choices out there. There's probably 10,000 different generators you can buy, all want you to think they are A-ok. Just like everyone else, I work hard for my $$$ and I want to insure I get the best value. I was browsing at snowmobiles (something else I really don't need) and my dealer had the Honda's on sale for $850. Took about 12 seconds for me to put my decision to rest. :)
  12. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    I bought a cheap Chinese inverter generator and only used it so far about 11 hours to test it out. Way to early to speak of quality. When I was looking at them the Generac,Briggs,Honeywell and mine all look identical. All different prices and I would not be surprised in the least if they were for all intents and purposes identical on the inside. But, ultimately why I bought this model was because I have never lost power for any length of time and in the event that I do I would hope this generator would do the job. Now if my intentions were to use it for camping or everyday use I would reconsider and probably pay the money for a top of the line Honda or Yamaha.
  13. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    I stumbled onto SeaFoam a couple of years ago. I use it as a fuel treatment in nearly everthing I own with an engine including my boat, truck, sleds, golf carts, generator, chainsaws, weed wackers and so on. The stuff is amazing. As a fuel treatment, it compares to the "magic" of what Marvel Mystery Oil does in a crankcase.
  14. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Feeling the Heat

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    Seige101, Do you have any feedback on the Champion? Which Cabellas? Hartford?
    I just bought one from a guy in East Hartford who got his at the end of the storm, only had one tank of gas through it.
    He paid $799 and I got it for $400. Looks like a sweet unit, and is advertised as a "true sine wave" (TSW)

    I also have a cheapo 2 stroke "inverter" but the kill-o-watt meter read "dc", so I'm assuming its a modified sine wave, (MSW) while the Champion reads 59.9 hz.
    Similarly, my cheap inverter reads "dc" while my pure sine inverter reads 59.9 hz. I guess its all about the quality of the inverter.

    I'm looking for the same set up: small economy unit (1700 watt Champion) to run for 8-9 hours to power the TARM and few lights, bigger unit (7550 watt Troy-bilt) to run the whole house for 4-5 hours at a time.
  15. 76brian

    76brian Feeling the Heat

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    I have a Champion Model CSA400032. It's your basic 4000w peak output, cheap chinese synchronous genset.

    I also have a recently calibrated Fluke oscilloscope on my bench... and yes, I have seen the output on the scope.

    How's it look? Surprising. Lets put it this way... the genny is 4 years old, has at least 150 hours on it, starts on the first or second pull every time, and runs for 16 hours on a tank with a decent load on it. It's been used every year for ARRL field day to run very expensive radio communications gear, and I still use it.

    You won't have any problem running modern electronics off of any modern decently made generator. Your computer, your TV, your DVD player, whatever, all use switching mode power supplies, which are built to handle large variances in voltage and frequency. They HAVE to, not every part of the world has a grid as stable as we do in North America.

    The only REAL advantage to inverter generators are you get more power from a given engine size, thus less weight per watt, more fuel efficient, and quieter running.

    If you're that worried about it, use a decent power conditioner/surge arrestor... which you should be using anyways.
  16. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    It came in last thursday as soon as ups pulled out of the drive way i was ripping the box open on that sucker. Filled it up with oil, gas and let it rip. It would not stay running after i turned the choke off after 5 minutes and it was warm. Called tech support they said the main jet needed to be cleaned, found a local service center 10 minutes away and brought it there friday. They no longer are a champion dealer or service center. Called cabelas up Saturday explained the situation. Drove down to the hartford store (was planning on going down with dad anyways) exchanged it no questions asked.

    Got home and filled it up with oil and gas and it started right up. After warming up for barely a minute i shut the choke off, waited barely another minute and put it into econo mode. Boy is this thing quiet. Plugged a 300 watt drop light in, the motor barely ramped up speed. Plugged a 1500 watt heater in and turned it to low, the generator ramped up a little more, cranked it up to high and the motor ramped up all the way. The over load light flickered a few times until the heater was warmed up(300 watt droplight and heater both plugged in). Ran it that way for 30 minutes with no problems.

    I used it Sunday for 4 hours running the drop light and it burned about 1/4 gallon of fuel while i was doing a service change somewhere.

    This unit is QUIET i would say as quiet as a Honda Ei2000 while on eco mode and ever so slightly louder while running at full speed.

    This Saturday will be the real test, plan on running the pellet stove and fridge on it until it runs out of gas.

    Right now i am very happy with the purchase. I feel it is a quality generator with almost equal quality to other units costing $1000+. I just ordered another one for my mom. She will be using it for the same purpose pellet stove, fridge and a few lights.

    Full review coming soon! and pictures too
  17. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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  18. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    You were able to run the pellet stove and fridge at the same time? I am worried my 1600/1800 might not be able. Although it ran a 1/2 hourse sump pump fine. But everything I see online says you need 2100+ on surge.
  19. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, i would plug in the fridge and let it start up and get running then fire up the stove and let it rip. I also turned off the eco mode until the fridge was running, i wanted that sucker to be at full power for when the fridge kicked in.
  20. Rokal

    Rokal Member

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    Long Island, NY
    I contacted Harman to see if they had any input regarding the use of conventional generators vs. inverter generators.

    Below is their not suprising response:

    In case anyone is interested, Costco just listed a new 1000 watt Duracell Inverter Generator for $199 with free shipping. This supposedly has <3% THD.

    $70 OFF Duracell 1000 Watt Running / 1200 Starting Watt Invertor Generator
  21. cdodge04

    cdodge04 Member

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    Loc:
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    Sorry to bump an old thread but just wanted to do some follow up. From this thread I picked up on these units:

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...P_PARENT_ID&storeId=10051&Ntpr=1&ddkey=Search

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200419022_200419022

    http://www.amazon.com/Champion-Equipment-4-Stroke-Generator-Compliant/dp/B0041K09D8
    http://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Stratton-Portable-Inverter-Generator/dp/B0037C18U4

    I'm just wondering, those of you who bought these units, what was the outcome? Did you test to see how clean the power coming out actually was? I'm in an area where we almost never lose power, but I'm going to pick up a generator to use on those certain occasions when we do lose power.

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