1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Hammered with snow (need a generator)

Post in 'The Gear' started by jumpink, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. jumpink

    jumpink Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Northern New Jersey
    We got hammered with about 14 inches here in nj. Power is out and will be for days. I borrowed a generator from a generator from a friend but I see that I need my own. Searched the forum but came up empty. Can you guys recommend a good generator that will power my pellet stove, refrigerator for around $800, thanks.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. FireManDan

    FireManDan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    Scotland,CT
    I bought the briggs and Stratton from tractor supply for 800. Its called Storm Responder 5500 its doing the stove ,frig, and currently the tv with dish network. Has 4 120volt 20a circuits and a 240volt circuit.
  3. bbone

    bbone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Loc:
    Buchanan, New York
    Powerhorse from Northern Tool
    7000w $550
    safe for sensitive electronics
  4. wannabegreener

    wannabegreener Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    246
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    I also have an old generator and looking for a new one. I like the northern tool generators with the honda engine. They look real nice. I would also recommend a electric start. I tried to start my snowblower with just the pull start like I do every year, but couldn't do it this year. Hooked up the battery and started after a few minutes. Now it will start by hand. Since the generator is not used too often, the electric start may help.
  5. jumpink

    jumpink Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Northern New Jersey
    My main concerns are the safety of the pellet stove and fridge and the size of the gas tank. The generator I borrowed only runs for 3 hours a tankful.
  6. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,874
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    I don't know how well this works, but I've seen several "DIYs" online about adding an auxiliary marine gas tank to a generator for when you need the extended run times. After our last extended outage I decided that was my biggest complaint with my gennies.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2323144_add-aux-fuel-tank-generator.html
  7. jumpink

    jumpink Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Northern New Jersey
    Thanks for all the great responses. All of the local retailers are sold out.
    I checked Northern tools generators. The powerhorse 9000 is $799 with electric start. Do you think its worth the extra cash for 2000 more Watts with electric start?
  8. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,874
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    For me, an electric start means one more battery to maintain. That looks like a decent generator at that price.
  9. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Central Ma
    That sounded like way too good of a deal, so I just checked it out. What I'm seeing is a #166113 for $599, but the 7000 is surge watts - it's a 5500 running watt unit. Sort of an average price for that level unit. Are you seeing a different genset with that price? A lot of these things say "safe for sensitive electronics", but be very aware of what you are plugging into it, and what the replacement costs might be. Unless it's a more expensive inverter model, you won't be getting power company quality feed. Most of our stuff works ok, but the wood boiler has a VERY sensitive controller, and the generator feed makes the temp sensor jump around. I hate to use oil, but also don't want to fry that expensive controller - fortunately we don't very many of these outages. I also noticed the oil burner motor change pitch when the microwave is started-up, so we don't let that combination happen. I would not be really surprised if a TV or computer was fried by the gen, but I they're all fairly old, and I can live with that. Bottom line is pay close attention to how everything you plug in functions and sounds.
  10. muss

    muss Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Loc:
    Embden, Maine
    Go online to electric generators . Got a 6500w for $779 & free shipping & no tax in 4 days. It's a generac & backed with a great warranty . They have the best selection & prices . Muss
  11. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Loc:
    Ozarks
    Check Home Depot. If they do not have any, there is a tractor trailer load on its way. I bought my generator at HD a couple of days after a monumental ice storm. It was about 30% less than I had seen one (I had been shopping) or have seen since.

    I happened to be there for something or another, and there on the floor were three of the exact unit I had been shopping for - all three with "SOLD" signs. I grabbed some guy with an orange apron and asked if they had more. He flipped a couple of pages on his clipboard and said, "According to this we still have 83." !

    I am not a big HD fan, but I have to respect them for not only NOT using the opportunity to jack up prices, but actually trying to buy good will by providing both a great price and plenty of them.
  12. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    567
    Loc:
    Shingletown, Northern California (elev. 4000 ft.)
    Speaking to the issue of wattage, I have 2 generators. The first is a 3000 watt Honda EU3000is with electric start. It is a beautiful small, quiet generator, the only downside is it doesn't do 220v. The second is a 5500 watt (brand escapes me) with a 10 hp Briggs and Stratton pull start. When we have extended outages, I connect the Honda and use it to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold. I run it three times a day. In the morning it makes the coffee, allows me to watch a little TV, check my email, etc., all the while running the fridge and freezer. When they have both kicked off, I turn off the generator until noon, when I repeat the process. Again in the evening, but longer while we have dinner and maybe a movie. We can't run the microwave or hair dryer without turning some things off, but that's a minor problem. All this on 3000 watts. I only run the big gen when I need to pump more water (that 220v. thing). At 10 hp, it's groan to pull, I can't start it without starter fluid. It is also noisy, even though it's out at the pump house, it is still worse than the Honda. Heidi has been trained with the Honda and can make it happen. No chance of that with the 5500 watt.

    The point of this is:
    1. You probably don't need huge wattage, though you may not be able run the water heater
    2. Get the electric start, your GF may have to start the thing
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Your well pump should be 240v not 220v.
  14. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,449
    Loc:
    Yukon Canada

    Why not. 110v single phase times 2 = 220v
    110/ 220 was the common known universal voltage in Canada and US.


    Edit: Yes todays standard is 120/240
    Still lots of older stuff out there.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    120v/240v.

    110v hasn't existed in the US for about 100 years.
  16. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    567
    Loc:
    Shingletown, Northern California (elev. 4000 ft.)
    You are, of course, correct. Old habits die hard.
  17. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    724
    Loc:
    media, pa
    for safety of electronics, get a inverter generator. There are lots out there. if you buy new, I suggest a champion inverter generator. Get 2000watts to make sure you have lots of headroom.

    I am about 45 min from Philly and have a honeywell 2000 watt inverter generator. Its a bit hard to start, but starts. Expect 30 pulls to get it going, but you can always get it going. Once running it does an awesome job. I always suggest buying new small engines, just because you never really know what the previous owner did. but I am probably going to sell this one soon as I have another.... which is needing help.... but thats another story.

    I think almost all inverter generators are 120v. Most are way more than 4 hours on a tank. At the loads of a pellet stove and the fridge, you are probably way more than that.

    PM me if interested.
  18. burnout

    burnout Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Loc:
    Westchester, New York
    I am going through a similar situation. We have been without power for three days now. I had a Coleman 5000w Maxxa generator with tecumsa engine that really did a fine job until it was needed. It took a while to get up and running but did an ok job after that. It was bought at home depot for about $450 and used less than a total of 100 hours. And man was it LOUD! I had it wired to the house through an outdoor 240 outlet and it ran everything (water, boiler, installed lights) except the A/C units. Then the day before yesterday, it just crapped out and the generator burned itself up. Engine still works though. My buddy had power and he lent me his generator, so I am good for now.

    I have spoken with an electrician since then and have decided that the best course of action is to install a permanent 6500w generac generator that runs off of propane. Total electrical installation will be about $3000 plus the propane tank and set up ($300 more or so). It comes with an automatic switch that will normal seek grid power and shut itself down automatically when power comes back. It also runs periodically to exercise itself and find problems before you need it, and is very quiet.

    I work 12 hour shifts. Getting calls from my wife about how the generator isn't working and not being able to get home to help is a pain in the butt. $3k for me is a little insurance policy to keep the family safe and warm when I am away, and is a small price to pay to keep the wife happy. I would consider this option over lugging and maintaining a portable generator, depending on how many times and how long you lose power. We lose it at least 3 or 4 times a year and for 4 days at a shot.

    The cost of a hotel is 100 to 125 a night. The availabilty is subject of severity, but no rooms were available this storm. 4 nights this time, $500 or so. Four nights last time and the time before, it adds up. Being able to tell your neighbors they can come over and shower at your place is a real nice feeling. Not lugging jerry cans of gas is also nice, or stinking of it.
  19. smoke eater

    smoke eater Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    hudson valley, ny
    i have a craftsman/briggs 6300/9300 with wheels and elect start. its around 8-9 years old but still works like new. came with a plug to trickle charge the battery, the original battery. before in Mahopac, ny and now in Patterson, ny, we lose power if someone farts too hard. really, about 8-10 times a year. half of those are extended times of more than 24 hrs. yep, i just lost power this storm, too. 20" of wet snow. FUN. went out on saturday at 3:30pm and came back yesterday around 4pm- 48.5 hrs. a few pointers to you new guys with gennys.

    1- start it up every 1st of the month for 20-30 minutes. this keeps the carb nice and clean. i've been doing this the whole time with mine. i do that with all my toys. never any problems with starting. some may say overkill. maybe. bottom line. all my stuff (old and new) starts when i need it.

    2- use fuel stabilizer, like sta-bil.

    3- keep your machines covered when not used, even indoors. its amazing how dusty my garage gets.

    4- trickle charge your battery if you have one. need one, buy a battery tender jr, online. they work great.

    5- get a 4 or 6 circuit transfer switch to hook up your genny when needed. i got one from lowes -reliance- came with instructions i couldn't understand, but also came with a dvd to install it. very easy. my six circuits are 1-kitchen lights and micro, 2- boiler, hot water, 3&4-well pump, 5- garage, family room, 6- kids room and computer room. we have a spare fridge in the garage and use the micro or weber to cook anything. we run an extension cord for anything else thats "needed". this has made connecting the genny idiot proof. you can't make a mistake. used to backfeed the dryer plug. thats dangerous.

    6- bought a 15 gallon refueling container from tractor supply-$99. its heavy when full, so i keep it in the back of my pickup during long outages and makes fueling up simple. also, my genny runs for over 12 hours on partial loads, so, fill it at night before bed and fill it when i wake up in the morning.

    7- i use a 4' x 4' piece of plywood with weights on top to cover the genny in rain or snow. the manual says do not let it get wet.

    8- tune it up and change the oil once a year. i use synthetic 10w30. using this makes the engine "use" a little oil. every now and then, it shuts off because of low oil. add a few ounces and its good to go.

    hope this helps. i'm also open to new tips and ideas

    i can't see being without one.
  20. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    567
    Loc:
    Shingletown, Northern California (elev. 4000 ft.)
    One lesson I have learned:
    When shutting down any gas engine that may sit for a while, turn off the fuel supply and let the engine run until it dies. This uses up the fuel in the carb, preventing gummy deposits from fouling it.
  21. smoke eater

    smoke eater Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Loc:
    hudson valley, ny
    i forgot to mention that. thats how i always shut mine down. keeps the valve from binding up also.
  22. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    Western CT
    I have a Briggs Storm Rssponder 5500 like the gent above. 5500W is great. Maybe if I went bigger i could have run everything, including hot tub. That generator powers everything in my house except for the Electirc Hot Water Htr, Range, Hot tub and dryer. It powers my DirecTV, water, frig, freezer, beer frig, pellet stove and everything else. I charge batteries for my neighbors so they can use them with their inverters to run their pellet stoves. Once every day or two I turn everything off and run only the Hot Water Heater for a few hours.
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Sounds like if you had a bigger gen-set you would power the city...lol Looks like your doing very well with a 5500.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    15,033
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I just pull this out of the shed and hit the button. Starts EVERY time. It is a 1942 with a newer generator head that I fabbed up. 10,000 watts and will burn .6 gal per hour at half load. It was an old military generator. It is a liquid cooled 4 cylinder that is of low HP. It just sits and chugs. Designed for 24/7 operation if needed.

    Attached Files:

  25. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,408
    I have a 4500W/7.5 HP Generac/Craftsman. I really need to get a manual on it so I can really learn the specs, but it sounds like I'm basically maxed out. If you're doing all of that with a 5500, my chest freezer, fridge, two sump pumps, the furnace blower, and the TV would probably be the max right? I have an 80 gallon electric HWH (unsure of the wattage)-do you think it could power that by itself?

Share This Page