Portable Generator for temp power outages.

   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #1  


Veteran Member
Apr 10, 2014
Perry Cty, Pennsylvania
Kioti 2014 CK2510 TLB
Looking for advice on Generators. We don't lose power for any length of time here; in 3+ years it's never been out for longer than 3-4 hrs and my neighbor who has lived here for 40 years said it's never been out as far as he can recall more than a day. (We moved from N Jersey where it's not unusual to lose power for days. After Sandy we didn't have power for 10 days. After Irene (I think) we were w/out for 1 week)

I searched the threads and found nothing recent.

I have a Porter Cable 5350w unit that is starting to show it's age. It has a 10HP B&S.

All the units I've been seeing are made in China and I trust their engines as far as I can throw them. While their design is fine (as they stole it from honda) their QC is +/-.

I'm thinking about 5-7kW would be sufficient as I'm looking to run my well pump and some refrigerators, fans and lights. As my home is all electric (except the cook top) I'd never be able to run the whole house w/out enormous expense.

Any experience or advice is appreciated.
   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #2  
My old Honda EM5000 has been a real trouper... zero issues in 30 years...

I also have new Honda Inverter Models that sip fuel...

Not saying Honda is the best just that they build a good product for a price... a 6500 non inverter under 3k and a 7000 investor is about $1500 more...

Honda Generators - Electric Generators Direct

Northern has rebates from time to time as discounts don't happen so much.

65 Watt Max Starting Gas Powered Generator - EPA III

Some have been very happy with Harbor Freight Preditor Line and a 6500 is $550... I have never tried one but you could buy 5 for the price of one Honda.

I do like the quiet with fuel thrifty operation... nothing more annoying than hearing "Lawn Mowers" for hours on end during an outage.

One recommendation is to make sure it is secure... they are known to walk around here... I use a heavy chain that will at least slow down the casual thief...
   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #3  
Here's another vote for Honda, mine (i have two) have been very good.

It's not the motors I don't trust in the china cheapo's, it's the rest of the generator! Some folks have good luck with them, others don't, but if it does need parts/service, every repair person I've talked to has said they are pretty much built with "get by junk", inside!

Buy a Honda, at least you are getting quality, low fuel usage and quiet!

   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #4  
I'm thinking about 5-7kW would be sufficient as I'm looking to run my well pump and some refrigerators, fans and lights. As my home is all electric (except the cook top) I'd never be able to run the whole house w/out enormous expense.

What do you consider 'enormous expense'? I'm thinking you should be looking at a 10K unit minimum. A decent one from a US manufacturer could run $1000 to 1500, even going as low as a 7.5K unit. Those can be dual fuel so you can use either gasoline or propane.

I'm in the process of installing a 16K whole house standby unit and I'll be in the $4500 range. To go whole house for an all electric house, you'd probably need at least a 22Kw unit.

Do you have natural gas? LP?
   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #5  
I have a Generac GP7000e and it works good for me it does my well pump , oil burner , lights, tv , freezer and a refrigerator... Its the older model with a oil filter....
   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #7  
We picked up a 7kw champion dual fuel from costc o when the porter cable 5500 blew its guts during a prolonged outage. No complaints. Since finally getting the 22kw whole house the champion got relegated to tractor shed duty & only gets run on L.P. these days which is less fuss than keeping a stock of gas that has to be managed for freshness. When used for The house, the 7kw was plenty to run the well pump & furnace (but not the 5 ton heat pump). It has < 5% THD so no problems with any electronics, etc. Champion also has decent customer support for parts, etc.
   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #9  
In the world of small gasoline engines, Honda is king. It's the brand that all the others compare themselves to. It's the brand that the other brands claim to be as good as, or almost as good as.

The same can be said about Kubota for small diesel engines.

I have a small Honda generator that starts every time I want to use it. At first I wanted something big enough to do a lot of things, but when I started pricing them, and what it costs for all that power, I decided to figure out just how much power I really needed, and it turns out that I really don't need very much power at all. When I lose power, it's because of ice storms, or sever thunder storms. If it's an ice issue, it's cold enough outside that I don't have to worry about my freezers. It it's a thunder storm issue, I know the power will be on in a day or two and if I do not open the doors to my freezers, they will be fine. No need to power them. I heat my place with a wood stove, so no need for power to heat or cook on. All I really need power for is my entertainment while it's off and it's dark outside. I have a LED flashlight that will run all night off of a 18 volt battery for my cordless tools. I have ten of those batteries in my truck all of the time. So that leaves the TV, the Computer and keeping our cell phones charged. The Honda does all this easily. I'm on city water, so I can't speak for needing to run a well for water. If you have to keep the well working, that would mean a bigger generator, but I wouldn't spend the money on anything bigger then that one task. The well doesn't have to run constantly, so you can turn off the TV if you need to run the well if you have to.

If I was buying a whole house generator system, which I can't think of any reason to do so, it would probably be diesel or propane. I think propane, or natural gas, will be cleaner, which would be more reliable over the long term. I think Onan is one of the best name brands for something like this, but also the most expensive. My dad had a very nice Onan diesel generator in his RV that had a Kubota engine. He actually bought parts for it from the local Kubota tractor dealer!!!
   / Portable Generator for temp power outages. #10  
I just game my daughter my Coleman 5KW gas generator and bought a Firman 7500W tri fuel unit (electric start) that Costco had on for $800. I went trifuel as I don't have to worry about keeping the fuel in it fresh as I intend to run it on propane. I figure a 30lb tank will run me minimum 6+ hours and if it's longer than that I do keep gas on hand for my other things so I can use that if it's any amount of time.
The longest power outage I've had out where I'm living now has been 12 hours or so but I got stung when white Jaun went thru a while ago for 3 days.....never again......Mike