View Full Version : Question: Any Portable Generator Recommendations

07-19-15, 06:37 PM
First off, I haven't been on here for a while. Retired at the beginning of the year and have been busier than heck with family and things around the house. I thought I'd have more time but working on the house and family seems to eat up all my time. I need to go back to work so I have more time to check out CAC!

Anyway I could use some recommendations on a portable generator. I just stuck the equivalent of a nice C7 in finishing off my basement plus new furniture and and carpeting upstairs. Last thing I need is to have a flooded basement. I do have a sump pump and battery backup but I'm still nervous about getting water when the power goes out. I have never had water in the basement yet but now would not be the right time to find out the hard way. My Mom had a sump pump with battery backup but after 12 hours without power the battery gave out and she still got water.

Any pros or cons are appreciated. And if you do have a generator, did you get a transfer switch or just use extension cords? Maybe I'm just being overly cautious since we rarely lose power for a long time but it's something I've considered purchasing for several years now.

Thanks in advance for any responses.


vett boy
07-19-15, 07:14 PM
I use a Lincoln 250 welder /generator pumps out 7000 watts .I leave in the shop so no fumes in the house and I have it set up that I can feed the shop and house .The big bargain is that it's a welder .

07-23-15, 11:23 PM
It sorta depends on just how much you want or need to power. Just a sump pump or do you need to power lights and a refrigerator, too. For years, I used a Honda EU2000I to power just a few things during power outages. I'd set it outside near a window, snake a couple of extension cords in and power up a few things. Almost an 8 hour run time using the eco mode and very quiet. And, it had a 12V DC output on the panel too. Great for recharging a vehicle or camper battery while out camping. Another nice thing is that it is an inverter generator so it it safe to use with electronic devices (laptops, tv's). Now days I have a Generac 11,000 watt whole house system and don't worry about power outages.

Hib Halverson
07-24-15, 11:44 AM
If all you want to do is power a sump pump, you don't need a transfer switch and you don't need a big generator. Just find out what the current draw of the pump is, ad 25 or 30% then convert to wattage and look for a generator that makes that much wattage continuous power.

You want to use an HD extension cord long enough to get the generator outdoors.

On the other hand, if you want to power not only the pump but other key household devices such as a refrigerator, important lighting, radio, etc then, obviously you need a bigger unit. Some generator makers have features on their web sites which help you determine how powerful a unit you need.

Also, a transfer switch is necessary if you're powering a lot of devices and lights. An electrician should be consulted before installing a transfer switch.

07-26-15, 03:51 PM
if you go the generator route, pay close attention to the line in Hib's post, "HD" extension cord. Buy a good cord rated for outside use. Don't buy cheap cords. Minimum 12 ga three conductor. And depending on what you plan on powering, remember the longer the cord, the more voltage drop there is. probably would never bother just a sump pump but if you use a splitter on the house end and add more cords to power other things, it could become an issue. I used a 50 foot, 10 ga three conductor with an indicator on the house end showing that power was on. This is my little baby. About eight years old now, switched to synthetic oil after the first ten hours of run time and it starts first or second pull every time. 2000 watt surge, 1600 watt continuous. Since moving to Michigan (and experiencing waaaay to many power issues) and wanting to power more than the Honda could handle, we did go with a whole house Generac system. When the power goes out, fifteen seconds later it kicks in and everything is back up and running. Amazing how many "friends" one has when the power is out for five days and I'm in the only house that's lit up at night....


07-26-15, 07:37 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still undecided on how much I want to power but I know I don't want a whole house generator system. Brother-in-law has one only because his basement got flooded 3 times during power outages. Something I didn't think about was the use of a good power cord. I'll keep that in mind when I decide which way to go. I'm kind of leaning on something big enough to power more than the sump pump but haven't had time to do much research. Getting new carpeting this week so the wife has me boxing things up and moving furniture.

I like the comment about finding out who all your friends are. Friend in Alabama was without power for 10 days after a tornado. Hooked his generator up and ran some things with power cords. Said he met all his neighbors during that time and since many didn't have and couldn't get a generator they ate steak and lobster all the 10 days because everything was thawing in the neighbor's house. :)


07-27-15, 12:37 PM
I have e whole house Generac, but had a portable in the past. To my mind, it makes no sense to get a unit that won't power the fridge/freezer in addition to anything else you might really need, like a sump pump. If your basement is dry, and your food is safe, candles and LEDs can take care of the rest. IMHO