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Sizing a backup generator

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Scott, Jan 2, 2004.

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  1. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Is there a good website that can walk a novice through the process of
    sizing, selecting and installing a home backup generator?

  2. SQLit

    SQLit Guest

    Look around your home, what do you need/want to run. If it has a motor,
    refer/ freezer, washer add 30% of the full load for starting current. If
    your getting into A/C equipment then double it. Compressors really hate
    being starved when starting.

    Try the generac web site, or home depot. They have packages that contain
    pretty much everything you need. Air cooled are typically noiser, than water
    cooled. Get one with an oil filter. They last longer. Check out the noise
    most are not all that quiet with out spending more money.
  3. _jj_

    _jj_ Guest

    I think that the Honda and Generac websites both have links to
    online " calcuators " for typical household loads.
    The real question, for each individual person, is ...
    " What devices MUST have emergency power ? "
    .. vs
    " What would BE NICE to have emergency power for ?"
    My 5000 watt Honda provides my household needs, during
    an outage ... but it will not power everything at once.
    I must turn most everything else off when I run a supply of water -
    the well pump has quite a starting draw. But once I have a supply of
    water, the Honda will provide nicely for the freezer, sump pump,
    propane furnace, propane water heater, lights, microwave, TV &
    computer. As long as everything isn't starting up at the same time -
    hasn't happened yet.
    You need to keep fresh fuel on hand and test-run the generator
    every month or so.
    Good luck.
    John T.
  4. Robert Bates

    Robert Bates Guest

    As a Honda dealer I would recommend the Honda and that is not because I am
    trying to sell you one as the new '04 rules no longer allow a dealer to
    price and sell on the net or through email. The Hondas are very quiet
    compared to the other generators on the market and have a very long life
    when treated properly. In order to size your generator, look at the tags on
    what your would like to run and calculate the wattage using the formula:
    Watts = volts X amps. Be sure to remember that electric motors draw up to 3
    times their running wattage at start up so that fan that runs at 1000 watts
    takes 3000 to start so that eliminates the generators that produce less than
    3000 watts.
  5. Eric Tonks

    Eric Tonks Guest

    It sounds like the home electronics manufacturers of a few years ago, where
    they tried to stop e-commerce and keep all equipment sales within the
    territories of "brick and mortar" dealers. Unfortunately for them, it became
    impossible to police, and the internet won in most cases but not yet in all

    To change the pattern of commerce once it has been allowed out of the bag is
    impossible. The manufacturers cannot keep business frozen in a time period
    that they found best for their own bottom line. Internet sales will happen
    because people demand it.

  6. Bob Peterson

    Bob Peterson Guest

    can you sell out of a catalog by mail?
  7. Robert Bates

    Robert Bates Guest

    I believe that that is still OK. What has been happening is a few online
    retailers have been selling generators at just over cost which has made it
    impossible for a brick and mortar dealer to compete with the higher costs of
    doing business. Then, when there is a problem with the machine, the brick
    and mortar dealer who didn't get to sell the machine to begin with is stuck
    with the warranty repair and believe me, some of these manufacturers don't
    pay anything for warranty. In my state, manufacturers are required to pay
    the posted shop rate by law but when they pay 15 minutes for a 2 hour job
    you lose money. Honda has also worried about essentially not having a
    salesperson to sell the machine and help the customer make an informed
    purchasing decision based on his needs.

  8. Scott

    Scott Guest

    In that case, one would think Honda would take pains to make sure
    their salesmen know what the hell they're talking about. I dropped by
    a local Honda dealer today....

    Me: Hi, I'm looking for a generator around 5 kilowatts.
    He: Oh, our generators are rated in watts. Here's a 3,000 watt....

    Honda's web site was a lot more useful than their dealer as far as
    selecting an appropriate generator. (No, my salesman is probably not
    representative, but a gaffe of that sort is just plain stupid.)

  9. Robert Bates

    Robert Bates Guest

    That's pretty bad and I hope not a representation of Honda dealer salesmen.
    Maybe he missed the day in the third grade when they talked about kilo being
    1000. My father enjoys stupid salespeople. He was a buyer for a local
    lumber distributor at one time and would have a guy like that running around
    like a chicken with his head cut off.
  10. Bob Peterson

    Bob Peterson Guest

    I wonder how many people really need the help deciding. Most that would go
    with a specific brand probably already know what they want. If they are so
    awful on paying for warranty work, why waste your time with such a
    manufacturer? My guess is that you make it up elsewhere or wouldn't bother
    with them.
  11. Bob Peterson

    Bob Peterson Guest

    A lot of businesses sell things at just about what their costs are,
    sometimes below costs. Its called a loss leader, to drive customers into
    thir stores. its quite effective. most manufacturers actually assist their
    retailers in such things because they want to sell more stff too.
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