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Generator question
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 03, 2022 04:28AM
Thanks to Ian, the power went out at 6:30 Friday evening. Finally came back Sunday night. So I got to really stretch my generator's legs this weekend. Have not used it since we got it.

Anyway, it performed great. Apparently, when I shut everything off except essentials, I can get almost 18 hours out of 8 gallons of gas. Some weirdness ensued when I kicked it on though. All my UPS's went nuts and my LEDs flickered. I did notice that the flickering stopped the more load I put on the generator. Which I thought was weird. But I know nothing of generators, so I thought I'd ask here. Especially the UPS's. That was weird. ALL of them either just refused to work, emitting a constant alarm, OR they would constantly switch to battery and back every 10 to 20 seconds.



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Re: Generator question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 03, 2022 04:37AM
Can't help with your question but just wanted to mention storing a generator after use.

You should add some gas stabilizer, then run it for at least thirty minutes to get it through the fuel line and carburetor. Then once a year, repeat the process. That will keep everything ready to go when you need to use it again.



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Re: Generator question
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 03, 2022 04:45AM
Quote
Ombligo
Can't help with your question but just wanted to mention storing a generator after use.

You should add some gas stabilizer, then run it for at least thirty minutes to get it through the fuel line and carburetor. Then once a year, repeat the process. That will keep everything ready to go when you need to use it again.

Yep. Done. I usually test it every other week or so. Just to keep it ready.



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Re: Generator question
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 03, 2022 06:13AM
Most generators produce “dirty power”. Not a good sine wave, not the right frequency, etc. inverter generators are better at it. Your electronics don’t like the weird power.

Glad you made it okay ! Don’t forget to change the oil in the generator after running it for several days, if the manual requires it.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: gadje
Date: October 03, 2022 06:14AM
A generator generates very "dirty" power.

You need an Inverter to generate clean power. Then your UPS will not complain, and lights will not flicker.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 03, 2022 06:23AM
Can you get an inverter FOR a generator? Or do you have to buy an inverter generator?



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Re: Generator question
Posted by: gadje
Date: October 03, 2022 06:47AM
option 2
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 03, 2022 06:50AM
Quote
gadje
option 2

Ok. Thats great. But what if you've already bought and paid for an actual generator?



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Re: Generator question
Posted by: gadje
Date: October 03, 2022 07:03AM
Quote
bazookaman
Quote
gadje
option 2

Ok. Thats great. But what if you've already bought and paid for an actual generator?

sell it and buy an inverter
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: mikebw
Date: October 03, 2022 08:12AM
Quote
bazookaman
Quote
gadje
option 2

Ok. Thats great. But what if you've already bought and paid for an actual generator?

There is an Option 1 - Buy a separate regulator. APC makes two models:
[www.apc.com]

I have an older one connected to my TV setup, and you can hear it kick in every so often, especially when the voltage drops when my laser printer starts up.
It looks just like this one on eBay-

[www.ebay.com]

The newer models are a bit more sleek, but also less rugged IMO. You would probably want the 1200VA model.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: gadje
Date: October 03, 2022 08:22AM
That will regulate the voltage, but it probably won't clean the dirty power (the non sine wave) and also won't correct for frequency. But it is definitely worth a try, much much cheaper than option 2.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 03, 2022 08:41AM
Power conditioning is an issue in many countries where power is irregular and dirty. Simple generators are designed to produce basic electricity for electric motors (compressors, fans, etc..) As devices become more intelligent they demand cleaner power. Your grandma's freezer works fine with dirty power. Your modern freezer may freak out and break.

Generators produce power with an internal combustion engine that rotates a shaft. That shaft is then connected to an AC generator, which will generate basic AC power IF it is running at the designed load and designed speed.

Inverter generators are even weirder devices.... An Internal combustion motor drives a DC generator. The DC voltage then runs into a circuit that uses high power semiconductor devices to create a clean(ish) sine wave AC power. Inverters have come a long way in the last 40 years since I worked on them for a gun turret motor control. Good quality inverters produce good quality power. Inverters made of the finest Chinesium may produce suspect power.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: btfc
Date: October 03, 2022 09:40AM
If your generator has DC out you could attach an inverter to that, but depending on your setup this might not be practical.


Make sure you change your generator’s oil.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: October 03, 2022 09:46AM
This is our go to model at half the price of the Honda...

[www.harborfreight.com]



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 03, 2022 10:26AM
Quote
Markintosh
This is our go to model at half the price of the Honda...

[www.harborfreight.com]

The one I got will run my whole house (if I'm careful). I had the electricians install a 50 amp receptacle outside to plug it in.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2022 10:26AM by bazookaman.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: btfc
Date: October 03, 2022 11:59AM
Also, my Honda generator has a feature called Eco Throttle that tries to adjust the motor speed for the setup’s load.

If yours has a similar feature, try turning it off on startup and experiment with turning it back on a little later.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: testcase
Date: October 03, 2022 12:05PM
"made of the finest Chinesium"


ROTFL


I haven't heard that one before. It's GREAT (and VERY appropriate).


Generally speaking, I have NOT seen "DUTY CYCLE" mentioned on ANY of the boxes / crates even on "high quality" models (think Honda & Yamaha here) BUT, Duty Cycle can be critical in regard to the reliability & longevity of a generator or inverter generator.

Honda & Yamaha models can SAFELY be run just about 24 hours a day and will still provide many YEARS of reliable service with only routine maintenance. The "Chinesium" units generally do NOT have the same Duty Cycle capabilities and, WILL crap out er, fail MUCH sooner.

Bottom line; if your needs are temporary, a Chinesium built unit may get the job done. Just don't expect that it will stand the test time (ie: YEARS) if used heavily. Buy one of the PREMIUM brands and, don't be surprised if you kids are still using it when they grow up.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: rz
Date: October 03, 2022 04:00PM
Quote
Ombligo
Can't help with your question but just wanted to mention storing a generator after use.

You should add some gas stabilizer, then run it for at least thirty minutes to get it through the fuel line and carburetor. Then once a year, repeat the process. That will keep everything ready to go when you need to use it again.

Or just run it til it’s empty. We’ve had our generator since 2004. Used it a lot that year, then sparingly til 2018. In 2018, we lost power and I went and got some gas. It would run, but only on choke. Had it serviced after that, then didn’t use it til last week. Added gas, fired up on first pull.
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Re: Generator question
Posted by: Michael
Date: October 03, 2022 04:04PM
Quote
rz
Or just run it til it’s empty. We’ve had our generator since 2004. Used it a lot that year, then sparingly til 2018. In 2018, we lost power and I went and got some gas. It would run, but only on choke. Had it serviced after that, then didn’t use it til last week. Added gas, fired up on first pull.

That's what I've done each of the 3 times I hooked our up when we had a power outage. It starts on a couple of pulls. I do put some stabilizer in it when I run it dry. I figure it can't hurt.
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