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Emergency Generator.

Old 11-04-2011, 05:50 AM
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Default Emergency Generator.

oK my 5 or 10 yr. old B and S 5500 w (8500 peakW) Generator worked fine again. I noticed that there is white foam at the very top of the long plastic spout where you add/check oil. This looks like the water in oil stuff you see in a car with a blown gasket. This is air cooled - I am guessing its either normal condensation as the gases are cooled at the top of this spout or possible the crankcase ventilation is faulty. It doesn't burn oil and there is not water or foam in the oil. Does this sound normal? Its been in the 30's/40's in the am and hi 50's during the day.

As I am considering getting a second back-up generator, just curious what you all have and do you like it. I see the new version of mine and in fact most 5500 w systems now seem to have 6500 and not 8500 peak. Is this just a new standard rating system or something. It does slow down a bit when the well pump start surge kicks in.

Any comments welcomed.

BTW Congrats and thanks to all the CL and P linemen and others who helped us out and are still working around the clock here. Considering the scope of this damage its amazing it can be all cleared up in a week.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:56 AM
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1st how old is the oil ?
2nd I have a honeywell 7.5kw genset, starts every time, my ol man had an older generac, we replaced a blown capacitor on it this year before the hurricane. That was used light duty twice in its 8 year lifetime, so really shouldn't have popped a cap.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:58 AM
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Run that generator and the moisture will burn off. Pumps can load a generator because most are capacitive start. I'm not sure if this will work for you but this is what I have...

Name:  PTO generator.png
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It's a PTO generator... works great with my tractor.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jerseysportfisher View Post
1st how old is the oil ?
2nd I have a honeywell 7.5kw genset, starts every time, my ol man had an older generac, we replaced a blown capacitor on it this year before the hurricane. That was used light duty twice in its 8 year lifetime, so really shouldn't have popped a cap.
Changed it 2 months ago after Irene and I will do it again today. The more I think about it, My guess is its just the configuration of the spout about a foot above the engine and the vapors cool off. Is that capacitor easy to change. My buddy had an old coleman that crapped out during the storm for that same reason. He could only gte the part form the factory and is still waiting. Maybe I should get a spare - I assume I have one somewhere..?

Originally Posted by DavenFla View Post
Run that generator and the moisture will burn off. Pumps can load a generator because most are capacitive start. I'm not sure if this will work for you but this is what I have...

Attachment 201336

It's a PTO generator... works great with my tractor.
Yep - I have to size the generator around the well pump draw and I know this one works. I do have wheels so that helps to move it to neighbors and stuff - the tow attachment would be good too but I can easily ramp this up into the pick-up.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:27 AM
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it took 3 weeks to get from a local distributor, it was under 100 bucks, and we soldered it on in 10 minutes, it was on the back of the outlet panel, with a big burn hole in it.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:28 AM
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is it battery start by any chance ? is the batt sulfating ?
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jerseysportfisher View Post
it took 3 weeks to get from a local distributor, it was under 100 bucks, and we soldered it on in 10 minutes, it was on the back of the outlet panel, with a big burn hole in it.
Gonna read the manual and get on ejust in case....

Originally Posted by jerseysportfisher View Post
is it battery start by any chance ? is the batt sulfating ?
Nope just pull start - actually starts amazingly easy for a 10 hp motor.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:18 AM
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White foam...

I had that in my motorcycle when I was in college. I'm pretty sure one of the neighborhoods kids was being mischievious... It took a few oil changes to get it all.

Many portable generators are not designed to be exposed to the weather. Something like and A-frame of p/w 2X4 and plywood should be sufficient to protect your asset. You could probably hinge it at the top to reduce its size for storage.

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
oK my 5 or 10 yr. old B and S 5500 w (8500 peakW) Generator worked fine again. I noticed that there is white foam at the very top of the long plastic spout where you add/check oil. This looks like the water in oil stuff you see in a car with a blown gasket. This is air cooled - I am guessing its either normal condensation as the gases are cooled at the top of this spout or possible the crankcase ventilation is faulty. It doesn't burn oil and there is not water or foam in the oil. Does this sound normal? Its been in the 30's/40's in the am and hi 50's during the day.

As I am considering getting a second back-up generator, just curious what you all have and do you like it. I see the new version of mine and in fact most 5500 w systems now seem to have 6500 and not 8500 peak. Is this just a new standard rating system or something. It does slow down a bit when the well pump start surge kicks in.

Any comments welcomed.

BTW Congrats and thanks to all the CL and P linemen and others who helped us out and are still working around the clock here. Considering the scope of this damage its amazing it can be all cleared up in a week.
Our whole-house generator is a Kohler. (Propane)

Comes with a B&S V-Twin engine.

No problems.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:36 AM
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Tractor Supply Store has a 4000w start- 3500w run generator for $330.

Not exactly what you were talking about, but for a back up to the back up.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:31 AM
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If it gets left out in the rain it can fill up the cylinder with water threw the muffler then leak past the rings into the oil. Happened to my FIL. Crankcase was full of water/oil.

Also I bought my parents a Honda EU6500is a couple years ago. Plan on picking one up for myself sooner or later. Extremely quite and great on fuel. Got it so that my mom can get it going. Key start and will run just about everything in the house.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:49 AM
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Are most people paying to have their generator wired to to house system, or
just running a few extension cords into the house? About how much does it cost
to properly wire it to the house electric panel?

Is it possible (or wise) to have a generator in the garage, and run the exhaust through the wall?
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by evensen View Post
Are most people paying to have their generator wired to to house system, or
just running a few extension cords into the house? About how much does it cost
to properly wire it to the house electric panel?

Is it possible (or wise) to have a generator in the garage, and run the exhaust through the wall?

Personnally I run the cords, not much in the house that I have to run, fridge, freezer, TV and a small window AC. For a longterm outage I just move it all into the great room.

Not me, I'd leave that generator out in the wide open spaces. i don't even like it under an open front porch or open carporch.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by evensen View Post
Are most people paying to have their generator wired to to house system, or
just running a few extension cords into the house? About how much does it cost
to properly wire it to the house electric panel?

Is it possible (or wise) to have a generator in the garage, and run the exhaust through the wall?
There's a few basic ways to do it.
1) Run a few extension cords into the house to plug things into. Easy, not too dangerous assuming you don't overload it, and low cost. Temporary. Doesn't touch your current wiring.

2) Suicide cord. Cut the main power to the house, plug the genny into your dryer outlet, and backfeed your whole panel. You can run more things, it ties into your existing wiring temporarily, easy to set up. If you don't shut off the main, you may very well kill a lineman somewhere.

3) Transfer switch. transfer switch chooses between street power and generator power to feed your main panel. Can be automatic or manual. Expensive, permanent, and requires an electrician. You are looking at a few hundred for the transfer switch plus installation.

I prefer either #1 for a temporary setup (with a small generator sitting outside on the deck, route the extension cords in the window, duct tape window opening to minimize heat loss) or # 3 for a permanent setup (hopefully tied into natural gas, using whole house genny).
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by evensen View Post
Are most people paying to have their generator wired to to house system, or
just running a few extension cords into the house? About how much does it cost
to properly wire it to the house electric panel?

Is it possible (or wise) to have a generator in the garage, and run the exhaust through the wall?
Mine will be installed with a transfer switch to the electrical panel. Plenty of people just use extension cords.
As far as cost it would be best to talk to an electrician, because every house is different.Generator would need to be connected to your electrical panel by means of a heavy guage wire/ transfer switch.
Its probably not wise to install in your garage if it is attached to your house. It will be noisy and dangerous.

Forgot to mention that the generator can be easily disconnected from the transfer switch set-up allowing the generator to be stored away in a garage or shed

Last edited by Mine Now; 11-08-2011 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:20 PM
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My dad did a manual transfer switch. He wired it himself, it wasn't that hard to do.

I don't understand the suicide cord killing anyone unless they are working on your house. I don't understand electricity as much as I would like, but I would think you would feed power to every house near you immediately overloading your generator and killing it instantly.

Is that wrong?
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:21 PM
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I am running extension cords right now, BTW, but will install a transfer switch as soon as I get a bigger generator.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:31 PM
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I bought a Briggs and Stratton generator just before Irene. Couldn't get the house wired in time so ran extension cords. Then, had electrician order and install (parts and labor was $600 bucks) the relay panel and when the recent storm hit and was out of power for 3 days, threw a handful of breakers on the new panel, started generator, and had heat, 2 refrigerators running, sump pump, and some base house lighting...
I know others have gone real expensive but when I'm in an emergency, throwing a few breakers and push button start the generator doesn't seem like a lot to me...
Now... If these type of events continue to happen more regularly then the added expense might be worth it ie gas fired generator with automatic kick over after loss of power but I hope the recent events are not an indication of whats to come...
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by buck3 View Post
My dad did a manual transfer switch. He wired it himself, it wasn't that hard to do.

I don't understand the suicide cord killing anyone unless they are working on your house. I don't understand electricity as much as I would like, but I would think you would feed power to every house near you immediately overloading your generator and killing it instantly.

Is that wrong?
Who knows where the break is, how many houses are still connected to you, and how many people left things running without switching them off? I'd rather not take the chance. I doubt it would run for long, as you tried to power up other houses, but I'm sure the first jolt would get a lineman's attention.

They do make some close to idiot proof transfer switches for moving over just a few circuits. Pretty straightforward to wire.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
oK my 5 or 10 yr. old B and S 5500 w (8500 peakW)

As I am considering getting a second back-up generator, just curious what you all have and do you like it. I see the new version of mine and in fact most 5500 w systems now seem to have 6500 and not 8500 peak. Is this just a new standard rating system or something. It does slow down a bit when the well pump start surge kicks in.
Keep an eye on Craigslist. I bought a Titan 8500/7500 watt electric start generator for ($600)?, they list for $3400 ($1200 on ebay + shipping). The newer version isn't electric start http://titanindustrial.net/8500.html , but that's the one. Most portable generators are barely used unless it's from a contractor. The one I bought looked like new and ran flat out for 6 days after Irene.
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