Generators


#1

Does anybody have experience with china made diesel generators (5-6kw) for occasional use during countryside power outtages (that sometimes last all day)?


#2

It may seem strange, but for something like a generator that I might need only on occasion, I suggest getting a better quality rather than cheap.

Stand by use is hard on a combustion engine as well as many other parts. Since you will want it to work after maybe a year of not needing it and not servicing or running it, I believe you want quality, or don’t bother. The frustration of a cheap product in this situation is not worth it.


#3

Not automotive related…but for occasional use, a diesel is over kill. With the compression, I think you are forced into electric start (w/0 easy pull cord back up). I’ve used inexpensive Colemans and Expensive Yamahas for years and find little difference with gas, all reliable…save your money unless you are a contractor. Besides, a lighter gas gen can be transported more easily to and from other sites. Problems with stabilizing fuel and long term fuel storage where you can dump fuel into a car and burn it off is easier with gasoline. Diesel is for continuous hard use that most are better off W/O regardless of how cool it is to have one.

Car question ?


#4

I just got done with a 36+ hour stint on generator power. I am always thankful when the need arises and it works as expected. It was worth every penny. And, as always, I take great care when putting it away so it’ll be there again when I need it most.

To your point, generators are in great demand during the recent ice storm in these parts. I know one person who pulled theirs out and the engine started just fine but did not produce any electrical output. Took it in for emergency service and saw a row of the same model sitting on the shop floor. Seems they had a bad run of control boards. You get what you pay for. Hard lesson to swallow while freezing your heiny off in the dark.


#5

Agreed on the quality versus price issue. I have a relative that has a generator that runs off their natural gas line. I don’t really recall the exact details, but it does do a self check once a month or so to keep in running order and I believe it will kick on automatically when electricity goes out. I think they paid something like 3 grand for the unit, but since they have family close by that’s always coming over, they’re very grateful for the generator


#6

I know the unit you talk about…for that wattage (7500) it’s $3K installed and an excellent set up. We have them in this area too. You gave up portability only for much more convenience and security of nat. gas. Again diesel is over kill and specialized.


#7

Cost not a consideration we can get a natural gas generator that kicks in from the local utility, for about $3500. I have a 3400 watt generator but you need to make sure you have a cutoff so you don’t electrocute the electricians repairing the lines, from use it appears to use about a half gallon of gas per hour, but I have a siphon cable to drain gas from the cars if needed,


#8

The better generators (alternators, really) have 4 poles and run at 1800 rpm. These are quiet and designed for long-term use. Cheaper units are 2 pole and run at 3600RPM. They are noisy, vibrate a lot and are not designed for long-term use. Honda makes some belt-driven models which are a compromise, allowing the engine to run at lower RPM but still providing 60 cycle AC. If you have natural gas available, that fuel makes a good standby generator. Out west, electric utility wires have been buried for decades…And we don’t have ice storms and hurricanes. It’s time to upgrade the 1920 method of stringing utility wires on wooden poles through the trees…Much cheaper than everyone buying a generator…


#9

“And we don’t have ice storms and hurricanes. It’s time to upgrade the 1920 method of stringing utility wires on wooden poles through the trees…Much cheaper than everyone buying a generator…”

I hear you, but so much depends upon the cost of burial. In NE, there is so much ledge in many parts, it’s prohibitive. What few lines we do bury are usually on private property. As far as generator under discussion, long term use was not even an important factor. Intermittent use reliability is. That’s why Stabil is more important than an initial high investment.


#10

It’s time to upgrade the 1920 method of stringing utility wires on wooden poles through the trees…Much cheaper than everyone buying a generator…

I got a chuckle out of that. If you’ve ever had a house built in this area and wanted a basement, you’d know better. All bets are off if they hit ledge. Hope you have deep pockets because those blasting guys aren’t cheap and it takes a long time to get the job done. It’s gonna cost a heckuva lot more than any generator just to dig a trench to the house let alone a continuous trench alongside the road.


#11

Only the fools bast ledge around here to bury a house if the don’t have to…radon is too big a problem…bring in the fill.


#12

Well, the OP didn’t say if portability was an issue or not, so I offered an alternative. One that might not need fuel physically poured into it every so often to stay running.


#13

Is the generator in question a Yan-Mar? The Chinese seem to have acquired the Perkins Engine manufacturing facility and moved it, renaming it Yan-Mar. The engines seem as sturdy and reliable as ever but parts can be expensive. They are used on portable welding generators, air compressors, water pumps, boats and small tractors, including John Deere. If properly maintained they seem to last as long as other similar(diesel) engines.