Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2005
As an engineer, I'm obsessed with numbers and choosing a generator presents the perfect opportunity to play with them. I won't bother you with a lot of technical details, but this is the generator I chose after 4 months of deep, deep researching.

First criteria: my needs. I wanted to power a 3 bedroom home with a finished basement through the harsh winters in Maine. Here are the devices I setup as an absolute necessity to power up during an emergency:

1) Water well pump, 2) Furnace blower, 3) Basement Sump Pump, and 4) Refrigerator. Here are the "good-to-haves": 5) lights in the kitchen and main living room, 6) pellet stove, 7) oven range. And, finally, just the "nice-to-haves": 8) TV, 9) microwave oven, 10) computer. And here's what gets excluded: all the 2nd floor in the house, garage door opener, bedroom lights, everything else not listed above.

By adding the must-haves and nice-to-haves, a 5500 W generator takes care of business. One of my concerns: since I have a lot of electric motors to start (well & sump pumps, refrigerator, furnace blower) this requires a good surge capacity from the generator. In case you don't know, a motor takes a lot of electricity to start up, between 3 to 5 times (!) over their normal running wattage. Here's the caveat: not all motors should start at the same time, so then determining what your surge wattage is becomes an "art". Consumer Reports simply tells you to ignore the surge wattage, since all the generators they tested started their appliances with no problem. Well, the thing is, they don't mention what appliances they tested and how they started them (manual selective start or just regular use?). So, their point is taken, but surge wattage can't be simply ignored (it shouldn't be the only criteria to buy a bigger generator, though).

Well, this generator, with a 9000 W surge, is the biggest I've seen in all 5500 models -- it beats them all. So, this model is perfect for me, as it meets the criteria I've selected above. It even powers my computer and TV (with surge protector) if the oven range is turned off.

This is very important: if you turn your generator on, you're in "emergency mode". This means, you lose some comfort, some conveniences. You just try to keep the inconveniences at a minimum. Well, if you don't agree with my assessment above, you're looking for the wrong type of generator. If you want to power your entire house and live as if power wasn't lost, you need a stand-by generator, not a portable one. Of course, they cost a lot more money (good and powerful ones start at over 10,000 bucks). That's a lot of money to pay not to be inconvenienced. Now, since you're looking for portable ones (I assume so since you read this review so far), you'll have to give up something. Basically, you can't throw a pot roast party for 20 guests if you lose power; like I've said, you're in emergency mode. Cooking a gourmet meal shouldn't be a priority, order out, get pizzas. You get my point. So, decide what you want to power in an emergency situation.

Second criteria: fuel consumption. I was just about to purchase a 7500 W model with 13000 W surge, for about $1,400 bucks! Have you seen the fuel consumption for these generators? Only 8 hours, tops, at half load. This ones rates at 13.5 hours. Well, with gasoline prices hovering at around 2 bucks a gallon, do the math if you run a larger generator for 2 weeks (a possibility over hurricanes and severe winter storms): it may cost you over $500 dollars in gas! Of course, with this generator the cost drops significantly and you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to refuel it. This is very important to me, especially during cold winter nights.

Third criteria: quality of parts and components. I wanted a good engine and a good quality brand name generator. This one meets my criteria. It's not a Honda, but they're overpriced anyway and most home-owners and occasional users won't benefit as much from them. Construction workers, electricians and contractors may benefit some from their cleaner electrical output and "quietness", but no generator is really quiet. I ran a Honda once at my house and, sincerely, they're loud too. You just have to work around their noise, it's one of the inconveniences of being in emergency mode. Compare the noise of a generator to 5 kids screaming at the top of their lungs. With a Honda, you have 4 kids screaming at the top of their lungs. My point: 4 or 5, it doesn't matter, they're still loud.

Finally, here's what I mean for "less is better". If all you want is to power your house during an emergency, there's a good chance you'll be wasting your money if you buy a 10,000 W generator or bigger. First, 10,000 Watts is a lot of juice to deliver and you'll need 50 Amp plugs, cables, and a big transfer switch box if you want to use all that juice. They're ALL more expensive when you talk 50 Amps. The regular 30 Amp already costs money, about $100 for cable (depends on the length you want), $300 bucks for the transfer switch with 8 to 10 breakers (a bit less with <6 breakers, but then you can't power as many appliances), and then installation labor. With my generator, I paid less than $1,500 for everything: generator, transfer switch box (required by law or you're liable, the risk is all yours if you chose to back feed to your house), cable, and labor. With a bigger unit (50 amps), good luck, you're talking a lot more money (I stopped adding up when it approached $3,000, including generator).

All in all, this generator is a winner; it powers my house (what I want), it has good fuel consumption, it's also "lighter" (160 lbs, compared to 250+ lbs for 7500W ones), and the price is good. I hit literally dozens of generator sellers on the Internet and locally for many weeks, and this one at Amazon.com beats them all. This may change, of course, but I'd still pick this model.

Some drawbacks: 1) no electric start. Well, they're notorious for not working anyway, especially in cold winters. I borrowed a generator from my brother-in-law and the electric start rarely works, we always end up pulling the cord to get it started anyway (both his and my generator start at most on the second pull, 100% of the time). 2) No Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). This means the voltage output can vary quite a bit and may damage sensitive equipments. The manufacturers' manual requires that you use UL listed surge protectors for TV's, stereos and computers. I do that and so far, no problem. Only more expensive generators have AVR's and I didn't feel it was justifiable to pay hundreds of dollars more for one (then you have the fuel consumption issue if you buy bigger! Remember, in this case: less is better!).

Like insurance, you hope you don't have to use a generator, but when you need it, you will be glad you have it.

I hope you have good luck choosing and buying your generator. This one works really well for me. If your needs are similar to mine, picking this one is a no-brainer.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2002
The shipping of this generator was good. The shipper was ABF Trucking. Their local agent coordinated with me before delivery, which took place two days early.
The generator was shipped with the portability kit in the same box. The instructions for assembly were clear and understandable, but did not help me attach the foot brackets to the generator frame. The frame was drilled but not tapped, so I could not get the screws that were provided started. I used a 1/4-20 tap to thread the holes. Assembly time was about two hours.
After following the preparation instructions, putting fuel in the tank and oil in the engine, and reading the starting instructions on the top of the fuel tank, I pulled the starting cord once, and the engine started. This generator provides enough electricity to run my water pump (1 HP), start my oil burner and run the circulating pumps, run the refrigerator, TV, and provide 1500 watts of lighting. It still had capacity left over, since it handled the startup load of the water pump very well. At $679 this generator is a great backup power source for the average size household. A voltmeter and loadmeter on the control panel would be nice, but at this price I think that is too much to ask.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2002
I received this generator on 12-03-02. I purchased it to supply electricity to my home during power outages. I installed a transfer switch beside my main electrical panel and tried it out. It worked better than I had anticipated, running my 220 volt artesian well pump, my oil fired furnace, my refrigerator freezer, TV and many lights. I made sure the refrigerator's compressor was on, the furnace was running and the well pump was cycling so that I would be sure it would work during a real power outage. This generator started on the first pull and ran great. On the same day I received it, I saw the same generator at Lowes for eighty two dollars less, but customer service would not give me back one red cent.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2003
I bought this generator after we had a bad ice storm here and our power was out for 4 days. After I received it I had an electrician come to my house and install a cutover box. The electrician wound up putting most of my house on it. We tested it, started on the first pull, and it ran everything I needed fine (fridge, freezer, furnace, sump pump, bedrooms, bathrooms, big screen, entertainment center, kitchen, etc.)
Along comes the "Blackout of 2003". THIS THING PERFORMED FLAWLESSLY!!! Except for my not having gas on hand to run it (Borrowed some from the neighbors to get it going) it did great!!! It ran what I needed in my house, plus I ran extension cords to TWO of my neighbor's to run their refridgerators and freezers. On average it was getting 13 hours of runtime on a tank of gas.
Nothing like fans on hi and smoothies to keep you cool while the power is out!
If you are not sure about getting this thing, stop and buy it right now, it is worth every penny!!! (I see it has gone up...) But like everyone else, I didn't really like the ABF shipping, not as 'user friendly' as UPS.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2002
We just went through a power outage and ended up having water in the basement! Our battery back up sump pump was working hard, but the battery went dead. The solution and savior is this portable generator. We bought a Porter-Cable BSI550-W 5,500 Watt Generator with 10 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine. This generator is easy to move with the wheel kit included! Also the OHV engine and electronic ignition make it a breeze to start up! Every time it has started on the first pull! My wife can move the unit and start it up just as easy as me! Never again will we be caught off guard without power! This unit has enough power to run the sump pump, space heater and other small household appliances. Be prepared and get yourself one of these! It is one of the best priced units with good power ratings, engine and a wheel kit! Thank you to Porter Cable and Briggs and Stratton!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2004
Verified Purchase
I purchased the Porter-Cable BSI550-W 5,500 Watt Generator with 10 HP Engine because I had to have portable power for residential construction. I bought it so I could run 13 - 15 amp circular saws and a 15 amp, 5 h.p. electric air compressor. It would not kick the compressor on when the air was at 100 lbs. so a serviceman set the rpm at 3700 rpm instead of the factory set 3600 rpm, which generates at 140 volts, no load. It runs great and runs super good. The negative side is having to idle it above the recommeded rpm and the extremely loud noise it makes even with the quiet muffler that it came with. There is also a loud rattling sound in the lower part of the 10 hp B and S engine. I don't know if that's a defect that can be fixed or something that you have to live with. It seems to come from the engine connecting rod to the piston. Other than that it is a great generator for the price. A person who uses it occasionally might not even be bothered by the rattling noise.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2003
The Porter Cable 5500 watt generator is an excellent buy. Comparable models sell for much more. The generator came assembled except for the wheels and handles which were easy to assemble in 30 minutes. After filling the engine with motor oil and the gas tank with gasoline I was able to start the engine with one pull of the starter rope. The motor and generator operated flawless. The only problem I experienced was with the shipping of the generator. The generator was shipped on March 3, 2003 and did not arrive at its destination until March 17, 2003. Thats 11 working days to travel from North Dakota to Louisiana! The initial shipper was ABF freight. When contacted ABF was not sure where the generator was. It took a couple of days for them to find it. It was in Nebraska.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2005
I bought this model in September 2003 as a back up generator to run through a generator transfer station. After repeated failures, a replacement generator and exceptionally bad warranty service, I think I finally have a generator that works. My first generator would not power anything from half of the outlets and the large outlet used for a generator transfer station (a station equipped with wattage meters and was tested with a neighbor's less powerful generator- his generator was able handle regular and full surge test needs). Unable to get a real person on the Porter-Cable customer service number, I took my generator to the closest listed warranty service shop...after several months of excuses, including no one at Porter-Cable would call the mechanic to tell them how to fix it, and very poor customer service, I attempted to contact a real person at Porter-Cable...next to impossible. I then contacted Amazon by email to see if they could contact Porter-Cable. Instead, Amazon arranged to ship me a new unit and take the old one back, with no charge to me....incredible! Kudos to Amazon! The second generator operated for three hours (during a power outage) and started to die. Two different warranty service shops, another few months and several pick-ups/drop offs later (during the work day, naturally), I am told it will finally run properly. I hope so, as it is now out of warranty. So, in over two years, my generator has been able to run properly for a total of four hours and I was unable to get the attention of Porter-Cable to help fix either of these two poorly-made products. I even took the time to write a letter to the president of Porter-Cable detailing every issue and problem...no answer in two months. I hesitate to write a bad review for any products (and have not done so up to this point), but in this case, I feel I need to share "after sale" issues for anyone who receives a poorly-made generator that they are going to trust to provide power in an emergency situation...with all the service trips and time spent, it would have been cheaper to pay twice as much (I paid $700) and have a generator I could trust (I don't trust this one anymore, not a great feeling to have about an emergency back-up generator). The only shining star in this tale is Amazon, who went well beyond the call of duty to help me.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2008
Verified Purchase
Like one of the other reviewers I'm a mechanical engineer. I purchased this generator because I live along the east coast, though not in an area with many hurricanes, so I had time to conduct quite a bit of research before purchasing it. I work in the generator industry, though with larger generators, so I came into my search knowing more than many, but I was seriously disappointed in the amount of information available on the small gas engine generators. Most of these manufacturers are not using the web to provide enough information to differentiate their products from their competition or to really sell their products.

My main criteria was: 1) Low fuel consumption 2) Good voltage regulation 3) High surge capacity. 4) Good engine with cast iron sleeves. 5) Potential reliability. Each of these is important for the following reasons.

1) Fuel consumption - Generator burn quite a bit of fuel. This generator burns a little more than ½ gallon per hour at ½ load. If a hurricane knocked out my power and I ran my generator set for 10 hours a day, in a week I would need 35 gallons of fuel, or 7 five gallon cans. If you check FEMA and other sites they suggest planning for weeks without power and water after major hurricanes. This equates to quite a bit of fuel to store (fire hazard) and keep fresh (fuel should be cycled from storage every 3-6 months, maybe 9-12 if you use a fuel stabilizer/preservative) and quite an expense. This porter cable was more fuel efficient than most generators in its size range, but still consumes quite a bit of fuel. The only way to reduce fuel consumption would be to purchase a smaller generator set, purchase a diesel generator set or switch to a natural gas powered set hoping gas service can be restored faster than electrical service. Natural gas and diesel powered generators of the same capacity are both significantly more expensive than this generator (2 to 3 times) and its troublesome to cycle diesel fuel unless you have a diesel vehicle. I looked over Briggs and Stratton's (B&S) website for technical data on engine efficiency and there was none, but I did find data on the web that said the most efficient load for gasoline engines is in the 75% range. Diesels are a little higher, so this number seems reasonable. Pick a generator set size about 33% larger than your average load for optimal fuel efficiency. If fuel or efficiency is less of a concern, there are a variety of guides that help a consumer determine what they might want to power, how much power is required, and thus the set size.

2) I was looking for a Brushless (brushes wear over time) generator set that used a voltage regulator to control the voltage. I couldn't find one. Voltage regulation is important because high or low voltage can damage electronics and other loads. The voltage also must be constantly adjusted as the load on the generator changes. If your refrigerator compressor kicks on the voltage will drop until the regulation system raises the voltage and the voltage increases when loads are removed from the generator set. This generator set does not have good voltage regulation. In my initial tests the voltage ranged from 131 volts at no load to 119 volts at 60 % load. Your utility aims for 120 VAC, so the 131 is high. Use a surge protector if you plan to power any devise with electronics in it. In my market research many of the generators advertised a brushless design, but didn't provide details. I even called the Porter Cable factory support personnel looking for technical information on how this alternator works, but they couldn't answer my questions. After examining the generator set, parts breakdowns on line, and a textbook on revolving motors I now believe most of the consumer generators are using a brushless capacitor excitation system. I don't fully understand the electromagnetics of how it works, but it is a simple design and thus cheaper to manufacture than alternatives, fairly reliable since there are no brushes or a voltage regulator, and not very effective at providing precise voltage regulation consistent with Porter Cables recommendation to use a surge suppressor and my voltage readings. If you want to run sensitive electronics with the consumer generators you can reduce your risk by using a surge protector and not running heavy inductive loads (like pumps, refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces) while running the electronics. Porter Cable's recommendation to turn on the heavy loads before turning on the electronics will help some, but those loads switching off could cause voltage spikes and the steady state voltage to change. Most heavy loads cycle on and off. Other options include using inverters (a solution that has its own hurdles and disadvantages) or purchase a more expensive commercial generator. My generators at work have a voltage regulator that keeps the voltage output at close to or better than utility grade level variations, and 4 sets of windings instead of the two in this PC generator. The extra windings and voltage regulator can produce very clean power when properly designed. Expect to pay at least a couple thousand for this type of generator and make sure it has an external voltage regulator, but it will produce the best power. I'm not sure if the standby generators in a box use this type of alternator/excitation system, but a good generator shop should be able to tell you how their alternators work.

3) Surge capacity is important because induction motors have very high starting currents. Starting currents can be 5-9 times operating current. My father experienced this problem when he purchased a smaller generator without consulting me and it wouldn't even run his refrigerator. He later purchased a larger set with a good surge rating and was able to power his refrigerator, freezer, furnace and sump simultaneously without a problem. My work generators will actually put out 400% of rated power for short durations to provide motor starting capability. I haven't had a chance to test the PC starting capability yet, but the advertised capability to steady state capacity ratio is one of the best I found it this price range. Intuition suggests PC tweaked the alternator design to increase the surge capacity and some of the literature I found suggests the engine was designed for generators, so it may also contribute to the surge capability.

4) Engine. The engine has cast iron sleeves which should improve long term wear. I've talked with small engine manufacturers and they provided expected lives from 500 to 1500 hours for standard Briggs and Stratton or Honda engines. For a lawn mower, 500 hours is a long time, for a generator one hurricane/power outage could put 100 hours on the set. This engine also has overhead valves which help with pollution but also make the engine more fuel efficient. The engines in this size range have a mechanical governor that keeps the engine at 3600 RPM at the different loads maintaining the 60 Hz output. This engine appears to be designed for generator applications so I suspect it has a better governor to more closely regulate the engine RPM and thus generator output frequency. I couldn't verify this on B&S's website. This engine will run on standard engine oil (vs. non detergent in my chipper and power washer) so I can change the oil with car oil already found in the garage. The Owner's Manual did recommend synthetic oil for low temperature applications, no problem for me as I run my car with synthetic anyway.

5) Reliability. I wanted a name brand generator to improve my reliability odds, the long term availability of spare parts and the potential quality of the generator set. It doesn't do me any good to purchase a cheap off brand generator that fails during my first power failure, leaving me again without power. Harbor Freight and other stores sell generators for significantly less money that appear to be manufactured in China. Though China produces some high quality products, the standards and specifications to which these cheaper sets were manufactured will not be as high as those that PC placed on its vendors. If the B&S engine fails, they have a large dealer network to obtain service or parts from. Not so with the off brands.

My generator came with a bottle of synthetic blend oil, but no twist lock plug ($21 at LOWES). The fit was good and finish looked good. Assembly was no problem for me, maybe 60-90 minutes with a bunch of trips to my basement shop. I didn't like the locknuts they used so I substituted my own washers and nylon lock nuts. Most of the bolts were English, though a couple required a metric socket.

I've done some testing and plan to do more after I assembly the twist lock plug with some outlets. The generator set ran fine with 2 electric heaters drawing about 3000 watts. Frequency was maybe 61.4 Hz at no load and down to 59.9 Hz at 3000 W. I noticed it blew quite a bit of hot air out the side with the outlets and muffler. I'm not sure if this is out of the engine or alternator yet, or warmed by the muffler. It was a little disturbing if out of the alternator. I need to do additional tests with my IR temperature gun. Voltage dropped as I turned on one heater and then the other. Heaters are a simple load for a generator to power (purely resistive). Before I'm done I'll hook up two more heaters and push the load up to 5500W. I also plan to test it with some of my inductive motors (refrigerator, air compressors, maybe my dust collector if it handles the compressors well). The accuracy of the 5500 W rated and 9,000 W surge is unknown. Consumer Reports tested a small sample of generators and found actual output to vary wildly from advertised capacities. I haven't read their test procedures, but I assume they used the same procedure to test each, so the inaccuracy of rated outputs is supported. Last time I checked there is no industry specification or set of test procedures to rate generator set performance, so the manufacturers are free to test using tests procedures that produce favorable test results which they can use to advertise their generators. The Department of Defense has a set of standard test procedures that yield repeatable results between different testers and repeatable performance between different manufacturer's generator sets, but I don't think these have been adopted by the closest to an applicable professional standards association, the Electrical Generating Systems Association (EGSA) yet. I don't have access to the test equipment to follow the DOD tests, but I have some idea how to find real world loads and I have some ideas and equipment to measure how the generator will perform with inductive loads. I'll update this post later after I complete my testing.

In the past I've wanted to ask questions of some of the reviewers, so I'm going to include an email address if Amazon will let me. I don't have that much time to answer mail, but I really love working with and talking about generators. I can be reached at AM999901@aol.com.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2007
As an engineer, I'm obsessed with numbers and choosing a generator presents the perfect opportunity to play with them. I won't bother you with a lot of technical details, but this is the generator I chose after 4 months of deep, deep researching.

First criteria: my needs. I wanted to power a 3 bedroom home with a finished basement through the harsh winters in Maine. Here are the devices I setup as an absolute necessity to power up during an emergency:

1) Water well pump, 2) Furnace blower, 3) Basement Sump Pump, and 4) Refrigerator. Here are the "good-to-haves": 5) lights in the kitchen and main living room, 6) pellet stove, 7) oven range. And, finally, just the "nice-to-haves": 8) TV, 9) microwave oven, 10) computer. And here's what gets excluded: all the 2nd floor in the house, garage door opener, bedroom lights, everything else not listed above.

By adding the must-haves and nice-to-haves, a 5500 W generator takes care of business. One of my concerns: since I have a lot of electric motors to start (well & sump pumps, refrigerator, furnace blower) this requires a good surge capacity from the generator. In case you don't know, a motor takes a lot of electricity to start up, between 3 to 5 times (!) over their normal running wattage. Here's the caveat: not all motors should start at the same time, so then determining what your surge wattage is becomes an "art". Consumer Reports simply tells you to ignore the surge wattage, since all the generators they tested started their appliances with no problem. Well, the thing is, they don't mention what appliances they tested and how they started them (manual selective start or just regular use?). So, their point is taken, but surge wattage can't be simply ignored (it shouldn't be the only criteria to buy a bigger generator, though).

Well, this generator, with a 9000 W surge, is the biggest I've seen in all 5500 models -- it beats them all. So, this model is perfect for me, as it meets the criteria I've selected above. It even powers my computer and TV (with surge protector) if the oven range is turned off.

This is very important: if you turn your generator on, you're in "emergency mode". This means, you lose some comfort, some conveniences. You just try to keep the inconveniences at a minimum. Well, if you don't agree with my assessment above, you're looking for the wrong type of generator. If you want to power your entire house and live as if power wasn't lost, you need a stand-by generator, not a portable one. Of course, they cost a lot more money (good and powerful ones start at over 10,000 bucks). That's a lot of money to pay not to be inconvenienced. Now, since you're looking for portable ones (I assume so since you read this review so far), you'll have to give up something. Basically, you can't throw a pot roast party for 20 guests if you lose power; like I've said, you're in emergency mode. Cooking a gourmet meal shouldn't be a priority, order out, get pizzas. You get my point. So, decide what you want to power in an emergency situation.

Second criteria: fuel consumption. I was just about to purchase a 7500 W model with 13000 W surge, for about $1,400 bucks! Have you seen the fuel consumption for these generators? Only 8 hours, tops, at half load. This ones rates at 13.5 hours. Well, with gasoline prices hovering at around 2 bucks a gallon, do the math if you run a larger generator for 2 weeks (a possibility over hurricanes and severe winter storms): it may cost you over $500 dollars in gas! Of course, with this generator the cost drops significantly and you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to refuel it. This is very important to me, especially during cold winter nights.

Third criteria: quality of parts and components. I wanted a good engine and a good quality brand name generator. This one meets my criteria. It's not a Honda, but they're overpriced anyway and most home-owners and occasional users won't benefit as much from them. Construction workers, electricians and contractors may benefit some from their cleaner electrical output and "quietness", but no generator is really quiet. I ran a Honda once at my house and, sincerely, they're loud too. You just have to work around their noise, it's one of the inconveniences of being in emergency mode. Compare the noise of a generator to 5 kids screaming at the top of their lungs. With a Honda, you have 4 kids screaming at the top of their lungs. My point: 4 or 5, it doesn't matter, they're still loud.

Finally, here's what I mean for "less is better". If all you want is to power your house during an emergency, there's a good chance you'll be wasting your money if you buy a 10,000 W generator or bigger. First, 10,000 Watts is a lot of juice to deliver and you'll need 50 Amp plugs, cables, and a big transfer switch box if you want to use all that juice. They're ALL more expensive when you talk 50 Amps. The regular 30 Amp already costs money, about $100 for cable (depends on the length you want), $300 bucks for the transfer switch with 8 to 10 breakers (a bit less with <6 breakers, but then you can't power as many appliances), and then installation labor. With my generator, I paid less than $1,500 for everything: generator, transfer switch box (required by law or you're liable, the risk is all yours if you chose to back feed to your house), cable, and labor. With a bigger unit (50 amps), good luck, you're talking a lot more money (I stopped adding up when it approached $3,000, including generator).

All in all, this generator is a winner; it powers my house (what I want), it has good fuel consumption, it's also "lighter" (160 lbs, compared to 250+ lbs for 7500W ones), and the price is good. I hit literally dozens of generator sellers on the Internet and locally for many weeks, and this one at Amazon.com beats them all. This may change, of course, but I'd still pick this model.

Some drawbacks: 1) no electric start. Well, they're notorious for not working anyway, especially in cold winters. I borrowed a generator from my brother-in-law and the electric start rarely works, we always end up pulling the cord to get it started anyway (both his and my generator start at most on the second pull, 100% of the time). 2) No Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). This means the voltage output can vary quite a bit and may damage sensitive equipments. The manufacturers' manual requires that you use UL listed surge protectors for TV's, stereos and computers. I do that and so far, no problem. Only more expensive generators have AVR's and I didn't feel it was justifiable to pay hundreds of dollars more for one (then you have the fuel consumption issue if you buy bigger! Remember, in this case: less is better!).

Like insurance, you hope you don't have to use a generator, but when you need it, you will be glad you have it.

I hope you have good luck choosing and buying your generator. This one works really well for me. If your needs are similar to mine, picking this one is a no-brainer.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.