Our electricity goes out often, at least once every 2 to 3 months. All the outages are to be expected, given our location, but Duke Energy has been impressive with response. We’re typically without electric for only a day or less.
About three years ago we installed a small battery-backup solar system. It’s not big, 3600W, only six solar panels and a few batteries. It won’t run big appliances for long, but it’s plenty big to run our refrigerator, LED bulbs, TV, electronics. It would probably run the basics for weeks on end if there was sun during the day. But we have private well water, and the solar system won’t run the well pump. Or the hot water heater. Or the electric range or oven. So we still need a generator. We had a small 3500W PowerMate generator, but it wasn’t quite powerful enough to start the well pump. (It’s a deep well, and a big pump!)
Purchasing a DuroMax portable generator.
Nearly two years ago, in 2017, we purchased a Dual-Fuel DuroMax XP12000EH electric generator from our local Home Depot. (AKA the Beast.) It will run on either gasoline or propane gas. This generator has plenty of power with 12000-watts when running on gasoline. Electric start. We don’t run it constantly, even when the power is out, because we have the luxury of a solar battery-backup system for the fridge and stuff. During a power outage, we only end up running it for a few hours a day, intermittently, when we take a shower, cook or do laundry. Basically anytime we want to use water – or the well pump. A friend recommended this model, and so far, after two years of use – going on our third winter with it – we couldn’t be happier. Every time I’ve gone to start the engine, it fires right up with the electric start.
The only issue we had was the rubber vent hose on top of the fuel tank seems to be disintegrating. I wrote DuroMax tech support by email and was surprised to receive a knowledgable, prompt reply. If you need something or have questions, email DuroMax, they’ll reply!
I wanted a cover for the Beast since we store it just outside our covered patio, in a good location to just start it right up quickly when needed. I didn’t want flimsy nylon tarp cover – like they make for grills. Duromax and others offer nylon covers for this generator, but for me, they typically only last a year or two on other stuff like grills. So I whooped up my own custom cover. It was challenging to make it durable, weather resistant, but also light enough for my spousal unit to easily remove it. I ended up using a few fence pickets, a few 2×2’s, and a spare piece of Ondura Corrugated Asphalt Roof Panel. (Ondura Asphalt Roof Panels are terrific … they do anything… great portable covers, and firewood covers, too I’ll write more on these roof panels in another post.) Ohhh, and a piece of rope. Here’s a few pictures, easy enough to duplicate.
I just freshened it up for the winter season. Changed the oil (even though we only put maybe 20 hours on it total since last season), flushed the gasoline (always try to run ethanol-free ‘puregas‘, just to avoid problems), brushed off the air filter, cleaned the water traps (no water!). It impressed me again, started right up, original battery and everything!
Highly Recommended: Dual-Fuel DuroMax XP12000EH electric generator
This DuroMax portable generator is fully capable of running most of your household appliances. Check it out at your local Home Depot.