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Questions about gas generator

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #628389
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    Hi folks,

    I have a question for the brain trust. I bought a generator from Harbor Freight (8750 max wattage/7000 running watts Predator) to operate as a backup in the event of an extended power outage. I had an electrician wire up my panel so that I could simply plug it in to an exterior twist lock receptacle and it would power the important circuits in the house (sump, fridges, some lights, etc). My questions are:

    1. The unit says it needs a battery (12V, 9Ah, lead acid) for electric start. There is also a pull start on the unit. Do I need a battery? It’s sold separately. I’m thinking I can just use the pull start when needed. On such a battery, what maintenance is necessary? Do I need to refill it with acid periodically? Leave it on a trickle charge?

    2. The manual suggests 5W-30 oil for temps lower than freezing, and 10W-30 above freezing. I am in Massachusetts, and I envision needing this more often in cold weather (power outages due to blizzards, etc). Power rarely cuts out during the summer but it’s possible at that time as well. Am I okay running it in the summer with 5W-30? If so, then I’ll just fill it with 5W-30 continually. If not, then I guess I’ll have to switch back and forth, but I’m not sure if that’s healthy for the engine or not.

    Any guidance on either or both of these questions is appreciated. Thank you fellas.

    #628391
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    Also, do you all recommend synthetic oil or regular oil for this application?

    #628392
    RonW
    Moderator
    Holladay, Tn

    The battery is only for electric start up. So if you don’t mind pull starting it don’t buy one.
    As far as oil. I would just run 5w-30. Your not going to run it that much in high heat in your area.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #628397
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    Just stick with the 5 weight oil. I’m pretty sure that is what I am running in my geni, with no issues and it’s 3 years old.

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #628400
    RonW
    Moderator
    Holladay, Tn

    Most owners manuals will specify what type of oil to run. If not I would stick with regular oil. Some small engines will leak or burn the thinner synthetic oil’s.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #628404
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Hi folks,

    I have a question for the brain trust. I bought a generator from Harbor Freight (8750 max wattage/7000 running watts Predator) to operate as a backup in the event of an extended power outage. I had an electrician wire up my panel so that I could simply plug it in to an exterior twist lock receptacle and it would power the important circuits in the house (sump, fridges, some lights, etc). My questions are:

    1. The unit says it needs a battery (12V, 9Ah, lead acid) for electric start. There is also a pull start on the unit. Do I need a battery? It’s sold separately. I’m thinking I can just use the pull start when needed. On such a battery, what maintenance is necessary? Do I need to refill it with acid periodically? Leave it on a trickle charge?

    2. The manual suggests 5W-30 oil for temps lower than freezing, and 10W-30 above freezing. I am in Massachusetts, and I envision needing this more often in cold weather (power outages due to blizzards, etc). Power rarely cuts out during the summer but it’s possible at that time as well. Am I okay running it in the summer with 5W-30? If so, then I’ll just fill it with 5W-30 continually. If not, then I guess I’ll have to switch back and forth, but I’m not sure if that’s healthy for the engine or not.

    Any guidance on either or both of these questions is appreciated. Thank you fellas.

    Sounds like a good plan for backup power. My only comment would be cold weather starting. Maybe wait until winter and see how difficult it is to pull start at temps below freezing. If it is easy start; you could get by without the battery, for sure.

    A small solar panel could look after maintenance charging and keep it ready for use if you decide a battery is required.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #628408
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    Sounds like a good plan for backup power. My only comment would be cold weather starting. Maybe wait until winter and see how difficult it is to pull start at temps below freezing. If it is easy start; you could get by without the battery, for sure.

    A small solar panel could look after maintenance charging and keep it ready for use if you decide a battery is required.

    Makes sense to me. Thanks for all the help everyone. I think I’ll go with the snowblower oil (5W-30). Any suggestions on what type of solar panel I should look into to maintain a trickle charger if I decide to go that route? Asking more out of curiosity than a practical need since I likely won’t be getting a battery anytime soon.

    #628409
    58Chev
    Pro
    Etobicoke, ON

    Coleman has a variety of solar chargers out there for maintain a 12V batery.

    http://sunforceproducts.com/product-category/coleman-solar-panels/

    “If you don’t pass on the knowledge you have to others, it Dies with you”
    — Glenn Botting

    #628410
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    Coleman has a variety of solar chargers out there for maintain a 12V batery.

    Awesome thanks!!

    #628424
    hojo04
    Pro
    Burton, Michigan

    Great questions since I am also thinking of getting a generator sometime down the line.

    #628430
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    If it is going to sit a lot, I would go with the Synthetic 5W – 30. Also only use premium fuel without ethanol and use a fuel stabilizer like Sat-Bil I would fire it up every couple of months or so for a few minutes to keep the fuel circulated and to keep varnish from settling in the carbs.

    The solar panel to trickle charge your battery will only work if stored in front of a window or outside.

    #628441
    monman1
    Pro

    I have always run 10w30 oil in my generators, but mine are running all day long in the summer time heat.

    Member since April 4, 2014

    doer of all , master of none.

    #628460
    Sprokitz
    Pro
    Eastern shore of, Pa

    I’ve used full synthetic in my snow blower and compressor forever without issues. I also use a stabilizer, I prefer Sea Foam and also use that in all my small engines

    #628505
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    If it is going to sit a lot, I would go with the Synthetic 5W – 30. Also only use premium fuel without ethanol and use a fuel stabilizer like Sat-Bil I would fire it up every couple of months or so for a few minutes to keep the fuel circulated and to keep varnish from settling in the carbs.

    The solar panel to trickle charge your battery will only work if stored in front of a window or outside.

    I am hoping that it will sit the vast majority of the time. I definitely plan on letting it run for a few minutes periodically. The manufacturer recommends 15-20 mins every three months.

    Thanks I think I will go with a synthetic 5W-30. Any risk of burning with a full sythetic? Not an oil expert if you couldn’t tell. 🙂

    #628599
    Doobie
    Moderator

    I’m hoping to do what you’ve done except with a NG unit instead. Question though, do they also need oil like a gas run unit?

    #628635
    Sprokitz
    Pro
    Eastern shore of, Pa

    I’m hoping to do what you’ve done except with a NG unit instead. Question though, do they also need oil like a gas run unit?

    Yes Doobie, fuel type doesn’t dismiss need for engine lubrication

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