We've been thinking about buying a generator for back up power for some time. As is typical with emergency preparedness, we fell into the trap of not thinking too much about it until needing it. That, and there was always something else to spend the money on. After the most recent storm took our power down we figured we had pushed our luck long enough. It was only out for four hours, but as remote as we are we had to acknowledge the fact that it just as easily could have been four days. An unexpected and eerily timed...and HUGELY appreciated bonus from work removed the money issue.
After thinking about what we want to keep powered, the whole house or just the necessities, we decided on keeping it to just the basics.
- well pump
- sump pump
- boiler pumps (winter time)
- freezer (summer time)
- limited power outlets for light/weather radio/computer
To power the above, and to give us some cushion, we needed to go with a 5,000 watt unit as a minimum. That took care of the size. Now we needed to decide on the type...hard wired stationary, or portable. We opted to go with a portable generator so that it can pull double duty for providing power around the property, in addition to back up power. Power tools for building deer blinds? Yep...we can do that. :)
With size and type decided we needed only to decide on a manufacturer. I was absolutely stunned at the volume of generator manufacturers out there. In the end we decided to go with a proven brand name, and opted for Generac. We found the unit we were looking for at the TSC in Alpena. We bought a Generac GP5500. At 5,500 watts it gives us more than our decided minimum. The well pump, sump pump, and one of the boiler pumps are on-demand units, powering on and off as needed. With a start up/surge rating of 6,875 watts it'll handle the various pumps' start up draw, even if they all fire up simultaneously.
There are far fancier units out there...electric start, digital readouts, on board inverters, etc... We need power...this unit provides power. No frills power. We still need to wire in a transfer switch for powering the household devices we need to power in an outage. We're also going to buy a small UPS/inverter, to make sure we're providing clean power for electronics. Even with that not done, though, we're feeling far more prepared for whatever mother nature might throw at us.
|That's ours...fully assembled, oiled, fueled, and tested. :)|
Until next time!