Recommendations for best quiet portable generator

DaveEv Posted By DaveEv, Jul 26, 2017 at 12:00 AM

  1. timfromohio

    timfromohio
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    Aug 20, 2007
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    Do you guys run synthetic oil in your generators? I have thought to switching over, though I've only changed the oil 2x - just don't use the generator that much. I think it has just under 12 hours of total operation on it.
     
  2. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Jun 23, 2014
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    I love fixing stuff. And if I can't do it, I bring it into work and we troubleshoot it for fun. Different work keeps the mind active.

    I'm certainly NOT normal! :)
     
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  3. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Jun 23, 2014
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    I run syn on everything. It uses so little and if it can add any protection...why not?
     
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  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Dec 28, 2006
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    Yes, synthetic in everything. My generator, splitter, mower, tiller, and big diesel truck all use Rotella T6 synthetic 5w-40. All of the little engines like the generator get their oil changed once per year regardless of hours. Little engines usually take some trivial amount like .7 quarts compared to 15 quarts in my pickup. I like to use the same oil in everything and since the little engines usually want a heavier oil, the 5w40 covers the range well.
     
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  5. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Rotella is good stuff.
     
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  6. moey

    moey
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    Jul 12, 2012
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    I have called champion support for a leaking valve and they overnighted me a new part no charge. They did look up a repair place but it was about 45 minutes away and I said it would be a pain for me to take it there given how simple a fix it was. Very quick and painless dont even remember having to wait on hold more then a minute or two.

    I just ran my champion generators last weekend they had been sitting for a couple months both started no problems. Hooked the space heater up to them for 30 minutes.
     
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  7. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Of course I did. And I didn't see anything refuting my statement. Even those touting other brands compare them primarily to Honda, again endorsing their position as the vanguard. The best most had said in any post predating mine was, "almost as good, for less money", when discussing any other brand.

    Even you, when discussing other brands, seem to imply they're good because they're clones of Yamaha or Honda.

    I'm not saying anything bad at all about Champion, I've never touched one myself. But I'll be sticking with my Honda engine, thank you.
     
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  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Oh no, just as good, for half or 30% of the money. The red and blue are pioneers in the inverter market, they make great stuff to which all must be compared. That is not to say that they are any better or that they are still the champions of the market. You would be a fool to assume that the red and blue are still better than the rest after decades of other companies playing catch up.

    I think what you're saying, and I agree, is that if cost were not an issue the red and blue gens are still a great choice. What I'm saying is that they are not the only choice and that equal or better products are available at significantly lower cost.
     
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  9. ShelleyWeals

    ShelleyWeals
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    Sep 23, 2017
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    My experience is that people want (a) easy and (b) cheap.so I'll focus on portable units.
    Where are you going to (1) store your diesel generator (2) set up the generator to use it? Remember, it may be severe weather so, where could you put it to keep it safe and be able to refuel it easily? If you're using power cords, will they be dry and as far out of the way as possible?
    Small generators (less than 5500 watts) can only do so much. If you overload the unit and damage it, you won't have any power at all. So be smart! Portable units are made up to almost 20k watts but they're not for people on budgets.
    The bottom line is to add up the load (watts) you plan to connect and size your generator at least 25% higher. When motors like the compressor in the refrigerator start up there is a sudden draw of power higher than the normal running load and you want to compensate for that.
    Small appliances will have the wattage marked on them. Lighting circuits will be less than 1200 watts each. Water heater is 4500 watts alone.
    Also,you'll truly get what you pay for...unless you buy from one of those guys selling from the back of their pick-up truck (don't do that). Don't wait till the last minute or you'll be stuck with whatever is left in the stores.
    Oh, and the "trick" with connecting the generator to the dryer outlet to backfeed the house? DON'T YOU DARE!! It will result in damage and/or injury...
    Hope that helped a little...sorry it's so wordy
     
  10. esengi

    esengi
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    May 8, 2018
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    Most lower priced non-inverter generators produce 60 cycle AC current directly by turning at a very specific speed. This means the engine on a non-inverter genny must run at full speed all the time- even if there is nothing connected to it. This makes more noise and burns more fuel. Some higher priced inverter generators produce DC current which is electronically inverted to 60 cycle AC power. This means the engine does not have to run at a specific speed. For this reason, when the generator is under light load the engine can run at a lower speed. This is often quieter and more fuel efficient. NOTE: Honda calls this eco mode or something. I'm not sure that all inverter genny have the low speed under light load option so you might want to check before you purchase one. Also, this more expensive inverter genny typically have better mufflers. They are pretty quiet but I disagree with folks who say they can't hear them run!! I CAN HEAR A HONDA https://mechanicguides.com/best-portable-generator/ from across the road no problem! They ARE quieter than most others tho.... Finally, some campgrounds don't allow generators during certain hours. Even the quiet ones are not allowed in some areas.
     
  11. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Good point, but perhaps over-stated. Let’s not ignore that an old synchronous generator’s fuel usage is going to vary substantially with load, even though it is running at full speed all day long. It’s normal to see more than 3x variation in fuel usage, between 1/4 load and full load, despite the engine running at a constant RPM.
     
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  12. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    I had a lovely Honda 3000i. Quiet, economical, reliable. Then we moved to a house with a well pump and seasonal power outages. Sold the Honda, am torn between picking up a larger inverter with 220 or going to a standby generator (I can't picture my wife rolling out a portable, hooking it up and starting it if I'm out of town...)
     
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  13. maple1

    maple1
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    Sep 15, 2011
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    Our well pump is 120v, so our 3000w inverter can handle it.

    If it was 240v, I would likely get a cheap 240v generator for the well, and have an inverter for everything else. With a generously sized cushion tank, the well pump would only have to run a couple times a day. Except for maybe showering if the outage gets longer. I haven't looked, but I think a 240v inverter would be kind of pricey?
     
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  14. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Jul 11, 2008
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    There high efficiency options for well pumps, most well pumps are sized for fast recovery with not that great efficiency. A positive displacement pump has a higher efficiency but slower recovery. If folks are off grid and need a well pump they go with something like these https://us.grundfos.com/products/find-product/sqflex.html. The usual approach is put in a low flow positive displacement pump down the hole pumping into a big gravity tank in the basement and then have high flow low head pump to deal with household demand (preferably with variable speed drive so there is no start up surge.
     
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