Modern Homesteading, Rural Living, Off-Grid, Generators
In this section, you will find all what you need to know about generators. We will help you determine what kind to consider for your particular situation. We have extensive knowledge from working with generators and have tried all the top-selling brands. With our extensive experience, you will be able to make a confident decision.
What is your interest? You will learn about home backup generators, standby generators, those for recreational activities, a generator for businesses, including commercial and contractors, ones for the backyard, and those for use in extreme weather conditions. Perhaps you are looking into getting a portable generator or solar generator. With our help, you can expand your knowledge about power requirements for your home generator. You will find all the information you are looking for.
We offer an extensive generator guide as well as specific articles with detailed information about specific brands, including:
Many more well-known brands
We will help you determine if you need a home backup one or a standby model. They are critical in many situations as they provide a secondary source of electricity to homes, businesses, hospitals, restaurants and similar establishments. A generator is also an essential device if you are planning as a survivalist or for prepping.
They ensure that if something does occur with your appliance, you’ll have a way to get it repaired or replaced without having to foot the bill for a brand new model.
Are All Generator Extended Warranty Companies the Same?
Let’s make this as clear as possible – no.
There’s plenty that could go wrong if you choose a poor warranty provider.
Some warranty companies have prohibitive exclusions that might mean even though you’ve paid for the protection, they won’t cover your generator.
Yet others may require that you use a specific repair center that’s located far from you, or they might be difficult to get a hold of when you need to file a claim.
Other companies may not be around when you need them.
It’s sad to say, but warranty companies can lack stability and if they’ve closed their doors after you buy, there is really no way to get your money back or to have your generator repaired or replaced.
That begs the question – how do you ensure you’re working with a reputable warranty provider?
What sets one generator warranty insurer apart from another?
There When You Need Them: Make sure that any insurers you’re considering have a reputation for outstanding customer support and service. They must be there when you need them.
Exclusions: Take a long, hard look at any exclusions before signing on the dotted line.
Cost: The cost should not be exorbitant, and the fee structure should not be set up to charge you multiple times for the same repair.
With a little research and some time spent comparing your options, it’s entirely possible to find a reputable warranty company that will protect your investment and give you peace of mind.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 is about the size of a small cooler.
The device’s dimensions are 10.1 inches by 15.3 inches by 10.4 inches.
It weighs approximately 45 pounds.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 also has large metallic handles to help you move it.
This portable device can be charged in many ways and can power any electric device in your home.
You can stash it in the basement just in case of a power outage or use it for a camping trip.
FEMA declares that September is National Preparedness Month
Goal Zero Yeti Design
Although the Goal Zero Yeti is one of the largest lithium power generators in the market, its design is not different from the other models.
On the right side, it has two 120V outlets, four 2.4A USB ports, and a 12V electrical port which is similar to the ones found in cars.
You also have an option of wiring your devices directly to the connectors, which comes in handy for running most 12V appliances.
All Yetis are manufactured with the highest quality materials, including their pure-sine wave inverters.
Which is why I highly recommend Goal Zero Solar Generators.
The Yeti also has a large backlit LCD which uses very little power.
The screen provides you with useful information like the amount of energy used, charging and the estimated time before the battery goes off.
When there’s little power remaining, this option will help you use it responsibly.
Goal Zero Durability
The Yeti is a durable device for both outdoor and indoor use.
The device has a plastic casing that lasts longer than most battery packs available in the market today.
Its feet are also made of rubber to absorb any ground impact.
The Yeti also has got durable rigged plastic bumpers that protect the corners, and two metallic handles for moving it around.
Charging Goal Zero Yeti Lithium Battery
Before you start using this device, you need to charge it.
The devices manufacturers ensured that you could charge the device in almost all circumstances by providing some charging options.
The fastest and simplest way to charge it is plugging it in the standard 120v outlet.
The battery will take up to 25 hours to become fully charged.
For those who cannot access AC power, the battery comes with a built in solar charge controller.
The rate at which the battery will be charged depends on how much sun you will get on that day and the number of solar panels you have.
With just one solar panel, you will need several days to charge the unit fully.
Ideally, you can use the solar panel to simply replace the power used in a day if your consumption is low.
If you have no intentions of buying a solar panel, you can use your vehicle to charge the battery.
The battery has a chargeable adapter that can be plugged into your cigarette lighter.
The best thing about this charger is that the power passes through a separate charge controller.
Most cars produce approximately 13.7V when running which is used by this controller thus efficiently charging the Yeti.
Other controllers usually restrict current flow to 12V.
The charging rate will depend on your vehicle’s alternator.
Battery capacity of the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Battery
The Goal Zero Yeti 1400 lithium solar generator has a 1425 watts lithium battery which can power up to 10 devices at the same time.
This battery power is more than enough for your hungriest devices.
With up to 118 hours of charge time for USB devices, 16 recharge times for laptops and a continuous 10 days of lighting a LED strip, this is one of the best devices on the market.
The Yeti also has a pure sine wave inverter included which can supply up to 3000 watts of surge power and up to 1500 watts of continuous power.
The sine inverter will help you to use heavy appliances like heaters, microwaves, coffee pots, and fridges.
The power can sustain a full-sized fridge for a whole day.
Goal Zero Solar Inverter Generator
If the power supplied by these portable solar generators is not enough, there’s an extra expansion port under the lid.
The port can connect several Yeti 1400 batteries.
If you need a serious power supply, these ports will allow you to expand your power supply as much as you like.
According to Wikipedia, another outstanding feature about this lithium battery is the fact that it doesn’t discharge even if it stays for a long time without being used.
Also, no power is wasted for small loads and the batteries last ten times much longer than the standard backup batteries.
Goal Zero Demerits
Lithium technology is still very new which makes it quite expensive.
While the batteries have some significant benefits, they are available at steep prices, but the more people embrace technology, the more the market prices drop, so you can expect the prices to drop after some time.
Goal Zero solar generator
With the Goal Zero Lithium solar generator, you won’t need inverters, converters and other fancy controllers to power up your devices.
This power station comes with everything included, and for new users, the led display will provide all the necessary information they require when using the device.
And for those who need portable energy in large amounts, this is just what they need.
You can also watch the video to get a more technical review of the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 lithium solar generator.
This generator will, however, provide you with plenty of power to keep your most essential appliances running without pause.
If you’re looking for more power, you could opt for the Honda EU3000iS which will give you 3,000 watts of power.
Or you can purchase a second EU2000i and run them together with a customized kit.
This will double your output to about 4,000 watts.
With the Honda EU2000i, we all need to watch the surge current on the eu series.
One thing I found is the idle screw is not set right from the factory on my Honda generator.
The idle was set too low by specification by the factory.
What the result I experienced was that it messes with the recovery of the speed control time and current demand.
In other words if the idle speed is set according to specifications, or 50-100 rpm above spec, it will recover ok to an 50 amp draw on 125 volts AC, but if the fridge is an older one it can draw as high as 100-125 amps.
I know my old 1985 fridge did.
The newer refrigerators of today is only 10 amps draw on startup and drops back to 1.5 amps running.
Newer freezers are even better 4.5 amp draw on startup and 1.1 amps running.
It has to do with the compressors starting up. The newer units free wheel the compressor until it is full speed then the valve to the refrigerant to the system.
If and when the power drops out it resets to the free wheel, so not much of a rotor lock.
Honda 2000 generator options to keep the unit running longer
One of the main limitations of any generator is how long it’ll keep going on a single tank of fuel.
The Honda Generator EU2000i will keep running for about 4 hours consecutively with a full tank, running at full load capacity.
If you run it at 25% load capacity, it’ll keep running for nine or more hours.
These time limitations can be eliminated with the addition of an external fuel tank.
In the generator industry, external fuel tanks are most commonly known as “extended run generator systems.”
Any small business that could suffer loss due to power failure could benefit from a portable inverter generator.
Such businesses include those that provide internet-based services or any type of private patient care.
And of course, any food services like restaurants and small markets are surely in need of backup power.
You could lose costly inventory without backup power available.
Most people think of storms or natural events like earthquakes causes for power outages.
For those living in severe climates, however, even a brief power outage could be harmful, if not deadly.
The double generator could run a furnace or power an air conditioner.
The elderly are especially vulnerable.
Electricity for recreational activities
Any of your outdoor activities can include a few amenities with a small generator, such as lights, a coffee maker, an electronic bug zapper, or any other small device for those who prefer to supplement nature with a few luxuries from home.
Electrical supply for work site contractors
Contractors often need a power source for their tools, spray guns, or compressors.
For smaller jobs, one of the Honda generators is ideal.
For those longer jobs where no electricity is available, you can double up with the companion generator.
They’re one of the biggest names in the industry for a reason.
Kohler Generator Engine
When it comes to engine life, the two brands both have options that are designed to last for as long as possible.
In fact, Kohler offers a 2,000 hour, or five-year, warranty on all of their standalone models.
However, what’s especially interesting about Kohler’s generators is that they are commercial-grade.
Kohler Generators automatically sense and switch on in the event of a power loss.
This means that, in the event of an outage, it will only be a few seconds before power is restored.
Unlike with a portable generator, this means you won’t have to brave going out into a dangerous storm just to switch on your generator.
If you’re concerned about safety, this is a huge plus.
Kohler generators know to automatically switch on because their standby generator models are installed permanently next to your home, and are always monitoring your power supply.
Additionally, Kohler engines are a bit sturdier than Generac engines.
Therefore, if you live in a harsh environment, this is likely the option to go with.
Kohler Generator Enclosure
When it comes to enclosures, Kohler has more options than Generac does.
You can choose between plastic, aluminum, and steel enclosures.
Unless otherwise specified, Kohler’s standard enclosure material is the plastic option.
Of course, since plastic can easily burn, you can’t place it as close to your home as you could a Generac generator (Of course, you could always choose another material.)
However, the plastic option is immune to corrosion.
So, if you live in a place with plenty of salt in the air, this will likely be the better choice for you.
Kohler Generator’s history
Sometimes, no matter how good an offer from a new company sounds, you just feel more comfortable going with the brand that has a proven track record.
The same can certainly be said of generators.
Kohler has the resources to conduct serious quality testing, throughout both the design and the manufacturing process.
Plus, they’ve been in business for nearly 100 years.
This means that their products have withstood the test of time.
Additionally, it means that it’s much easier to get instant support when you need it.
If you’re having problems with your generator, you can easily get in touch with a representative of Kohler, to quickly get the problem solved.
Finally, the company’s size and influence mean that it has lots of local representatives in many different areas.
This means you can meet with a specialist in person, should you ever want to.
This kind of advice can be invaluable.
Honeywell Standby Generator
Powerful, reliable and versatile, this Honeywell Standby Generator is a fantastic way to ensure a constant stream of electric energy for your home, work site, camping site or anywhere else.
This purpose-built pressure-lubricated engine is capable of producing enough energy to power several appliances and machines at the same time.
Largely, this has to do with its 200-amp transfer switch, a device that converts fuel into electricity smoothly and at a consistent pace.
Due to its PrecisionPower technology, the Honeywell generator is capable of delivering power with less than five percent harmonic distortion, ensuring that your most sensitive electronics and appliances will not be negatively affected by its use.
Additionally, the device uses a series of fail-safes and security devices to guarantee a constant stream of electric power without dangerous sudden rises or inconsistencies.
Despite being remarkably stable and safe, Honeywell generators is capable of operating in the most rigorous conditions without missing a beat.
Its flexible fuel line connector delivers a steady stream of either natural gas or LP gas to the internal combustion engine.
There, the natural fuel is converted into energy that is sucked into the alternator.
In turn, this device takes the energy from the combustion and transforms it into high-quality electric power that is consistently fed to whatever appliances and electronic you need to operate.
Even though it’s remarkably powerful and consistent, Honeywell standby generators require less maintenance than most generators of its kind.
Without a doubt, this has a lot to do with its expert construction and the high-quality materials it uses.
Both the combustion and the electricity-generating sections of the machine function fluently and stably.
Even better, they operate in perfect synchronicity, resulting in a continuous flow of electricity that allows several appliances and electronics to work seamlessly and at the same time.
You want to have a good amount of it readily available, so make sure to purchase a generator that uses a fuel type that you can easily access.
Gas, for example, is typically the easiest and most common type, though generators can also use propane and diesel and even solar as well.
Generator Run time
Run time depends on how big your generator’s fuel tank is.
This dictates just how long your generator is capable of running before your fuel will become depleted.
You should keep in mind the more appliances you have plugged into the generator, the faster the fuel will be drained.
Other generator factors to consider
These can be completely varied from brand to brand or from one generator type to another.
These are generally not entirely necessary to how well the generator will run, but these added features can sometimes make the experience a little easier.
These features can include: an hour meter to help you plan fuel refills, an idle control that lets the generator run in a lower power when not being in use, a low fuel gauge, an auto-start feature, and more.
Generator Reviews: Generac Generator vs Ariens Generator
Now that we have a better idea of what to look for in these brands, we’ll begin by doing a small overview of each before diving into more of the details.
Generac Generator Running Wattage: 10,000 watts
Generac Generator Weight: 300 pounds
Generac Generator Dimensions: 28 x 25.5 x 31.5 inches
Fuel Type: Gas
Fuel Tank Capacity: 10 gallons
Ariens Generator Running Wattage: 7,500 watts
Ariens Generator Weight: 221 pounds
Ariens Generator Dimensions: 31 x 20.5 x 24 inches
Fuel Type: Gas
Fuel Tank Capacity: 8 gallons
Recommended Generator uses
Each of these generators works great for any setting. It’s all in your own choice as the consumer.
However, they are recommended for certain types of situations which would be good to keep in mind when going through generator reviews.
The Generac is said to be best used for as both a work and a home backup power source.
The Ariens generator is more recommended for emergency usage, specifically to power a few appliances.
It also does well for those who enjoy camping.
Generator Noise factor
The Generac, due to its larger size and high wattage output, is fairly loud.
Because of this, it may not be a great choice for a family with small children or animals that react to louder sounds.
The Ariens generator has a very quiet operation, and the noise will be much less of an issue.
Refilling Generator fuel
Both of these generators come with their own way of alerting you when more fuel is needed.
The Generac comes equipped with a power bar display which will allow you to monitor the amount of power available for use as well as allow you to know when more fuel is needed to be added to keep the power running properly.
The Ariens generators doesn’t have quite the same detailed feature, but it does have a light that will turn on to alert you when the fuel starts to get too low.
Because running out of fuel can be disastrous, having these sorts of warning mechanisms can help ensure that you won’t cause unnecessary damage to your equipment.
Both generators come enclosed in a steel frame.
This frame does add on to the weight of the two generators, making them both over 200 pounds.
But it also aids in giving the generator extra support as well as protection.
Both frames have been added in a way that gives that support without getting in the way when you need to access to the machine for general maintenance or other kinds of operations.
Additional Generator features
These are the kinds of features that make these two generators stand out from one another in all generator reviews.
They truly make the two generators unique.
Generac comes with an easy start-up that makes getting it up and running a breeze.
It also comes with a plug-in battery as well as a battery charging pack that allows you to make use of these extra bits of power without draining from the generator itself.
Honda EU1000i generator- Whether you’re going camping, preparing for rough weather, or just want a backup power source, finding the right generator is important, especially since it can be critical to help your family.
Honda is known for their quality and their reliability.
So while this generator would be great for backup power for specific electronics and appliances during short outages or during camping/outdoor trips, you would be better off getting a larger, more powerful generator if you’re looking to run large appliances or provide a true backup power source for your house.
Honda 1000 generator Eco-Throttle
The Eco-Throttle technology is exclusive to the EU series of generators by Honda.
It adds to the noise reduction and the fuel efficiency of the Honda 1000 generator.
It basically works to make the engine of the generator run slower in certain situations.
For example, when it’s not using the maximum amount of power, or when the generator is connected to only a couple of things.
This helps with reduce noise levels as well as with fuel efficiency.
Specifically, it can reduce fuel consumption by a whopping 40%.
Another benefit of this generator is you can turn off the Eco-Throttle feature.
You would want to turn it off when you are starting something that has an electric motor.
You would also want to turn it off when you are connected to a car battery.
Honda EU1000i generator Compact in Size
The measurements for this small generator are 19.8 inches by 13.25 inches with a height of 22.31 inches.
This is definitely a compact little machine compared to other generators, especially conventional and silenced generators.
Some mentioned the cost, but in a way to say it’s worth it even though it may be more than other generators.
Here’s what reviewers love about this generator: Super quiet, Electronic fuel injection makes fuel efficient, Produces power steadily, Robust and can power multiple appliances, Portable and easy to maneuver (though heavy to lift as are most all generators), Handles and wheels fold in for storing and Electric start with a pull-cord option
Customers cite reduced noise as one of the most attractive things about this generator.
In fact, many people report that it cannot be heard when standing just 50-100 feet away.