Generator experts talk to me....

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Bruce Spiegelman, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Sacramento seems to have somewhat frequent short term power outages. What size generator should I have as a back up for 24 hours use?
  2. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Why is that? PGE fire prevention? Not enough power bc no Rancho Seco? I think you are SMUD not PGE
  3. I think it's fire prevention.
  4. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    You need to calculate how many watts or even kilowatt per hour does your home consume?

    Mine on average was consuming 2.5 kilowatt hour. This of course does not include AC use. With AC, my kilowatt bourse use became over 6.5. Therefore, if I get a generator I would need to get one that is closer to 7 kilowatt/per hour to ensure my family is convertible during any outage. If AC is not a concern, i would get 3 Kilowatt hour generator.

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  5. Don't care about home -- it's just for the aquarium.
    tankguy likes this.
  6. scuba71

    scuba71 Supporting Member

    For a tank, you can get something under 2000 watts peak. Costco has pretty decent generators and reasonably priced.

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  7. Awesome .. thanks!
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Look at total running time, if you can get one thats propane then it can be converted to natural gas with a flow regulator and then use a virtually limitless fuel supply. It is a bit less efficient power wise than gasoline but wont smell as bad and best of all dont need to worry about storing fuel and the problems associated with that.

    That is assuming you have natural gas available which may not be the case. Either way I would still go that way because a bbq grill propane tank can double as a fuel source
    scuba71 likes this.
  9. JVU


    You may need a huge chiller if your backup plan is to let the AC be off in the summer during an outage.
  10. Got one.
  11. ddrueckh

    ddrueckh Guest

    Make sure to get an inverter generator. They cost a lot more but are much quieter and put out a true sine wave. Not everything will run on a non inverter generator that puts out a modified sine wave which also isn’t as good for your equipment. Did I mention the inverter is quiet? The Champion Duel Fuel 3,000 watt from Costco is nice. It can run on
    Propane which won’t gum up the carb. like gas can if not used all the time. It also runs on gas.
  12. jccaclimber

    jccaclimber Supporting Member

    On the gasoline side (limited experience in all cases) I've used cheap $300 generators with crummy output form as well as the cute little Honda units which seem to cost ~$1,200 for the same output.
    The Honda ones are a lot quieter as well as a lot easier to pull start, plus they put out a good clean sine wave in comparison. Not sure how fuel use compares, I was only borrowing it for a few hours. May not be needed for something only occasionally used, but easy to start and quiet are good if you expect to use it frequently.

    You might consider your refrigerator/freezer in your power consumption calculations.
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    Do they make any that automatically start up if it senses a power outage?
  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

  15. JVU


  16. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Yes. There are conversion kits for the Honda 3kw as well as others.

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  17. Apon

    Apon Supporting Member

    Bruce do you have a large open area because generators can have alot of exhaust and be noisy. If its just pumps you want to run go battery backup. If its lights and chiller - maybe 3000w might better. then you can run other items too. fridge, tv, etc. don't use microwave ( high draw) Also don't forget about storing oil and Gas if you go that route.
  18. rygh

    rygh BOD

    * Consider propane.
    You will almost never use it, and a generator stored with gas in it for a long time often does not start.

    * Check the run time.
    You likely need very few watts for your tank, but the smaller ones have small gas tanks, and you
    do not want to get up in the middle of the night to refuel.

    For frequent short term blackouts, I would really recommend just getting a LARGE battery backup on your pumps and powerheads.
    If you spend the same as you would have on a generator, it will likely last a long time.
  19. musclebenz

    musclebenz Supporting Member

    I was thinking of getting this one from Costco...
  20. ddrueckh

    ddrueckh Guest

    That’s the one... I plan to get one soon. I’m a bit worried about PGE power outages due to high wind events.

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