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Old 09-22-2017, 06:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbronston View Post
I was wondering about that. I've seen a kit for $200 but I wonder if it is more or less cost effective. With the kit, you can use either fuel so that sounds good but, either way, fuel storage is an issue. If I had to, I could take fuel from a car tank.

Question: What happens if you plug in stuff that draws more power than the generator can produce? Does a circuit breaker trip? Does the generator shut down?
From my experience with the inverters, once you get above the running watts (1,600 for a 2,000 watt generator), it will keep up for a few minutes, and eventually light up as an overload and the circuit breaker will trip.

For my 1,000w (900 running watts), I use a Kill-A-Watt meter to show how much I'm drawing.

BTW, it's not easy to take fuel from a car tank these days, they have anti-siphon valves. Note that on a light load (1/4), an EF2000iSv2 Yamaha will run for around 10 hours on about a gallon of gas. So a few 5 gallon gas cans will last days. Contrast that with my big 11,800 running watt generator that burns around a gallon an hour.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
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Markjames68....I appreciate your help. Does the generator's inverter work as a regular inverter when the engine is off? IOW, could I run the gen during the day to power the fridge while also charging a battery and then turn off the generator, unplug the fridge, and use the battery with the gen's inverter to power a small fan and some LED lights at night?
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:20 PM
 
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No, the inverter is locked to the generator. What it does is convert variable AC to DC to clean 120V AC again. The reason non-inverter generators run at 3600 RPM is that the alternator produces 120V/60Hz only at that speed.

I would get a stand-alone cheap inverter for what you’re looking for. Or, as these generators are so quiet, run it all night.

Lastly, there ARE cheaper inverters that run around $400-500 for a 2000 watt generator. Resist the temptation if you want to rely on it for power, unless it’s a backup. There is a reason why Honda and Yamaha are the standards.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
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I know I can run the inverter off a car but I still keep running into the same problem. Nothing seems to solve all 24 hours of need. I think I can run a quiet generator during the daylight hours (even in my condo) without running afoul of my neighbors during the day but then I have night time (i.e. running a portable fan in a bedroom, some lights, and maybe a TV) when I can't and shouldn't run a generator. So, I think I need to have some combination of a generator for daytime and a deep cycle battery & inverter for night. The generator would have to recharge the battery each day, though.

I came across the Harbor Freight Predator 3500. It is $699, 3500w, quieter than the EU2000i, and surprisingly well built by almost all accounts. Ever heard or researched that one? I'm leaning toward an insulated enclosure that will house the generator on my lanai (and muffle the sound further) which will have an intake fan and an outflow duct that extends away from the lanai. Not sure if that is safe enough for the CO issue but I'd certainly have a detector, too, in the house.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:02 PM
 
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Unless you are literally on top of your neighbors, don’t worry about running an inverter generator overnight. They are quieter than most AC units. And if you are very close, offer to share some power.

Harbor Freight and Northern Tools are known for cheap Chinese tools at great prices. I’d say that there’s a 80-90% chance you will be fine - who fixes them if it breaks though? Is there a dealer network to service them?

One negative review - “Just bought one last week, ran it for about 3 hours at 25% load. Just ran my mini split AC unit that pulls 1900 W at surge, but idles calmly afterward.........This crappy generator, surges, cycles, no output on screen, etc....the AC powered up and ran, but clicked on/off every tie the Predator surges.....Thought my new mini split was broken ??? Nope,Went into my garage and pulled out my Honda 3000i, and boom, room is cold in 10 minutes........I will be returning this thing ASAP”

Of course, you could buy 2 for the price of one Honda...

Be careful about enclosures - as hot as FL gets during hurricane season you don’t want to make it worse by restricting airflow.

If you haven’t heard an inverter generator run in eco mode, don’t overthink sound reduction until you realize how quiet they are.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
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Thanks...I’ve heard them compared to other gens on video which gives me a comparative understanding of the difference but you may be right that it could run at night without upsetting anyone. Repairs could be an issue but, as you said, the HF is almost half the price and we are rarely going to need it. In fact, that’s probably the most important consideration. It’s going to sit unused for years, potentially. One good thing...there are far more positive reviews by people who appeared to be surprised at the quality considering its HF.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:21 AM
 
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A few rules of thumb with respect to any generator -

DO NOT keep it in the box until the next storm comes, do not leave it full of gas, or never start it for months or years at a time.

DO test it on a regular basis, with fresh gas, with something plugged in to ensure it is generating AC.

Inverters seem to be sensitive to stale fuel. If you get it, run it and run it dry so you don’t gum up the carburetor.

A final thought - a Honda or Yamaha holds its value, so if you sold it in a few years you would get the majority of your investment back. Unsure about HF. But if the initial outlay is a concern the HF looks like a great buy.
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
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Thanks, markjames68. Good advice all around.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:07 PM
 
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Your options are limited in a condo. The best generators are whole-house standby units that run on propane. They go on and off automatically and run between $2K-$5K plus installation. They will run microwave, lights, tv, satellite, AC, hot water heater, well.....basically everything if your budget allows.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logybogy View Post
Your options are limited in a condo. The best generators are whole-house standby units that run on propane. They go on and off automatically and run between $2K-$5K plus installation. They will run microwave, lights, tv, satellite, AC, hot water heater, well.....basically everything if your budget allows.
Your price is a bit off...for a 20kw Koehler I was looking at $14K+ including 500 gallon buried propane tank.
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