deals900 watts peak/800 running watts, 2 hp (63cc) gas…

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It might be OK for a real emergency, and you can't knock the price. But I wouldn't want to run this regularly... 91dB is really loud!

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Agreed. I wouldn't take it camping, but at home, it's outside, you're inside. On a 100ft extension cord, I can barely hear it when I am outside with it.

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It isn't that great for an emergency. For one, where will you store the gas? And on emergencies or blackouts, will the gas stations be able to give you gas? Gas needs spacial storage since it will vaporize away.

A better solution is to get a propane generator. Then you can store propane tanks safely for long periods of time then use them when necessary or use them for your barbecue.

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does anyone make a gas/diesel generator?

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It is priced cheap but I can't think of anything at Harbor Freight that would give me "piece of mind" - especially in an "emergency" situation like power out.

I've learned the hard way (several times) - you go cheap on tools and you buy them over and over again. And the cheap tools don't typically work as well either.

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If this is for your house HF has a much bigger unit for about $300 that is also a lot quieter. I own a lot of HF stuff but the only reason for one of these is if you need something really portable and an inverter for you car isn't practical. The bigger unit gives you about 4x the power, bigger fuel tank, etc.

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I have to laugh at the obviously staged comment at the top that says she runs her AC and Fridge off of this generator which is physically impossible!

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@stephen6789: unless that 100 ft extension cord is at least 12 gauge, preferably shorter length as well, you risk burning out your fridge compressor due to low voltage line loss. It won't necessarily manifest itself right away - the compressor just won't last as long.

I'd never run any important (expensive) electric motor (A/C, furnace, freezer, fridge, etc...) on a long extension cord unless the device is designed for it. Lights or perhaps cheap fans would be fine tho.

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@da5id: not aware of any combo gasoline (if that's what you mean) / diesel generators.

Combo natural gas/propane/gasoline generators are readily available. I think our local Lowes even sells one.

Diesel generators are prohibitively expensive for a homeowner.

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@benjaminholder: good point about this genset not being able to run a fridge (at least full size) or A/C! Here's a handy wattage demand table from Honda, note that many things need more wattage to start than to run.

http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-wattage-estimation-guide

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@benjaminholder: This would choke on a hairdryer.

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@bluemaple: I recently had a chance to look into this. If you want to go truly off the grid, you invest in a diesel genset, build a special shed to hold the diesel, and have it delivered so you don't have to pay road tax, which is a significant portion of the price of diesel. Tons of things can go wrong with gasoline engines. You can't run them 24/7 without constant maintenance. Bottom line – high upfront price with diesel, make it back in the long run. Also went to blah blah blah about peak versus constant output.

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@bluemaple: That's what I thought.. That's all my research indicated. I recently read a novel by a "geek" and he posits a generator hanging out the window that runs on gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc. [eyes roll>

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I've seen these generators in operation. They use a small 2-cycle engine very similar to those used on chainsaws and leaf blowers. VERY noisy, high pitched and annoying. Fuel must be gas/oil mix adding to cost. Exhaust is smelly. Did I say noisy? For all that, you only get 800 watts with poorly regulated voltage and frequency. Not recommended for most electric motors nor any electronics.

For low cost home backup, spend a bit more on a 4-cycle regulated generator in the 3500-4000 watt range. If you must operate electronics (TV, computer, etc.) run them through a UPS first.

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@jameskatt2: If only there existed some sort of storage container for gasoline... preferably one which was available in 3, 5, and 10 gallon increments... :sigh: if only.

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@da5id: actually, if you want to go off the grid, generators only make sense for temporarily heavy needs since they are expensive to operate.

I am no tree hugger but recent electrical devices have become so much more efficient that the latest more efficient and lower cost solar panels have become very interesting for this purpose. Power storage for cloudy days and night is still a bit of a challenge tho. And our wonderful govt (us) even subsidizes solar panels!

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Natural gas whole house generators are the way to go. Fuel delivery and quality is a non-issue and you never run out. You can live a normal life for weeks while everyone else lives in the dark w/o heat or air conditioning. Shop wisely and $4000 to $5000 will do it. Basically the price of AC or heating systems. This generator is more suited to supplying power on a job site for lighting or small electric tools, vacuum, etc. IMO.

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Stephen said A/C "or" fridge, not "and". I actually used one of these HF generators for about a week to run my full sized fridge when we had that east coast power outage a few years ago. It also ran my window a/c unit at the same time but I was worried about overloading it so I just ran the fridge. But they were both working at the same time, so it's not impossible, bro. I only put a better spark plug in it and it still runs like a champ. No problem. A 1 quart bottle of 2stroke oil lasts me about a year ($7) for the generator, weed whacker and backpack leaf blower. Not really that much trouble to mix up a gallon at a time. The generator cost me less than the food in the fridge, so it was a no brainer.

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@bluemaple: " Power storage for cloudy days and night is still a bit of a challenge tho. " Dealbreaker?

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@da5id: solar power storage isn't a deal breaker - but it is still a challenge with today's battery technology.

We dry camp with a portable solar panel and deep cycle battery storage. But the capacity isn't useful for much more than minimal lighting, watching DVDs and charging mobile devices.

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@miko1: your fridge and AC must have been either very efficient or very small to start on 900 watts. The starting wattage demand of either of those devices would typically exceed 900 watts. Good for you.

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@thomasr: Our backup generators at work are natural gas, and you're right, they're never a problem.
7 or 8 years ago, following a near-perfect storm of bad winter events(yes, it's Texas, where anything below 45 we durn near panic) I'd pulled the inoperable A/C compressor from my old Mercedes diesel wagon and bolted on a 6000 watt generator head off eBay for $300. No need for an engine when you already own a bulletproof, proven powerplant. 2 winters later, finally got to use it, and those old cars could run for days on a full tank of diesel or strained waste veggie oil.
Ah, good times.
I can't imagine having any use for a 900 watt generator.

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I bought a similar generator to charge a battery when 'dry' camping. As luck would have it, I had it and gas when we lost power for a week in the winter in New Hampshire. It provided enough power to feed me and keep the house warm -- warm enough to keep things from freezing. I ruined the generator running it 24x7 during that outage, but we learned about generators and probably saved the insurance company some money.

We replaced that generator with a 5000 watt portable model and installed a transfer switch. It is much better suited for the task and there are no more extension. Instead of warming with quartz heaters, we have hot showers and warm rooms courtesy of my well and furnace. We power the kitchen, master bedroom, and a set of lights/outlets that snakes through the house. With an antenna in the attic, we have plenty of news and entertainment. All of that cost around $800. Well worth it. Gas stations are open during outages.

I recommend a generator, but not this one.

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@benjaminholder: no one said they could run an AC AND fridge at the same time. my full sized fridge is 5.5 amps, and my window AC is less than that.

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@reverendc: Usually those coupons say that generators are excluded. if not then yes, you can usually use them together.

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@benjaminholder: I have a full size side by side Frigidaire refrigerator and a Whirlpool 5000BTU window air conditioner that I have run with this generator, but not at the same time. It may not be ideal or recommended, but if your power is out for a long time, you would be happy to possibly stress the compressor a little to keep your beer cold and keep the sweat from trickling down between your manboobs. Many newer appliances don't take near the starting watts they did when they used the larger, more inefficient compressors.

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@benjaminholder: I hear you, but they put OR not and.

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NEVER BUY! ANY POWER TOOLS FROM Harbor Freight! YOU MIGHT AS WELL THROW YOUR MONEY AWAY OR GIVE IT TO ME. The only good thing about this store is the price on gloves, little hand tools, tape, Tool bags, Wires, Ect...

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If you are going to get it, get the warranty with it. It's 10 bucks for a 2 year warranty. Their 90 day warranty comes free, and I have had to use that option many times, but after the first time per generator, you will have to use the warranty for any replacements. I have bought about a dozen of these generators for work purposes, and the constantly had issues where the line would unravel or it would fail to start for one reason or another. This was with more than regular daily usage of course, so issues were bound to come up.

Every time I have returned it, the only issue I had with them was that there could be absolutely no gasoline inside upon exchanging it, which is more difficult than it seems if you don't have a pump to suck it all out.

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@jameskatt2: Propane isn't that great for an emergency. For one, where will you store the propane? And on emergencies or blackouts, will the propane stations be able to give you propane and propane accessories?

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@nazumis: first mistake - you expected to use the Harbor Freight generator. HF stuff is meant to sit on the shelf and give you "peace of mind". Your downtime is worth something even if you are retired. Go ahead, down rate this comment but it won't magically make Harbor Freight tools a good investment if you actually want to use the stuff. And yes, I've been to HF, tried various tools, and each time concluded there are very very few tools there that are worth even those low prices. We've become a throw away society. And their stuff lingers on Craigslist for months after owners learn the same lesson.

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This "emergency power - off the grid" thread has become interesting. Of course there is no good, inexpensive, solution unless you assume some reasonably finite time limit.

In general, a generator with a fuel supply is less expensive than a bank of batteries to provide an equivalent number of kilowatt-hours. Batteries might operate a laptop, some LED lights, etc., but for the biggest loads (heating, cooling, refrigeration) they become prohibitively expensive.

Large propane tanks are available (you often see them beside mobile homes, where they provide fuel for a cooking range or even for home heating). Large oil storage tanks are available (275, 500, and 1,000 gallon sizes are common) and are often used for home heating fuel or kerosene. Storing large quantities of gasoline is more problematic because of safety issues.

I've seen gasoline stations shut down when there was no electricity to run the gas pumps.

Will piped-in natural gas always be available? How big is the disaster?

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This thing screams at 91 db! To give you a reference of how loud that is; Your smoke detector beeps at 85 db. Noooooo thanks!