My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
never too old to learn
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After watching the panic in Florida over Dorian I decided to research portable generators to keep us comfortable in the event of power loss. I’ve read about hook-ups and transfer switches, and have a decent electrician I can contact. I then looked at various generator offerings with this one catching my attention: a Westinghouse WGen7500. Amazon has a good price running right now (as does HD, but Amazon delivers). I still need to ascertain that this would run my two refrigerators, a freezer, the well pump, and of course the furnace, but I’m interested in all opinions on the brand itself, and model, and the company’s reliability.

Thank you!
 

·
never too old to learn
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Gas or electric furnace? If electric, watts and volts please.
Oil burner, circulator and four zones, indirect hot water heater: I looked quickly for the plates but this is 33 years old and I haven’t had time to really delve into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
The generator you want will be fine. Parts and pronto service are important. Check into these if you get some time.
 

·
never too old to learn
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The generator you want will be fine. Parts and pronto service are important. Check into these if you get some time.
Thank you. This may be overkill but I would prefer wiggle-room. I’m hoping to hear from others who may own one of these, as well. Online reviews at the seller sites vary but are more positive than negative. Westinghouse is a good, old name, at least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
It is a decent generator but made in China so be aware parts and service may be sketchy at best. Cheap is good until it lets you down in the middle of a major storm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
First of all, how reliable is your electric service under normal bad-weather instances? If you lose power fairly often (once or twice a year), then a genset that size or a bit larger would work well to "get by with". Most of the gensets offered now are made in China, but some are more reliable than others.

One option would be to get the 10kW generator head offered by Northern Tools and rig it up to work off of a riding mower. That way your generator's engine is run/used regularly and remains in good working order. Plus the added benefit of having truly mobile power where there's no outlets, or 220V where only 110V is available.

Another option, if you don't expect to be without power long-term, would be a battery backup system. Personally, I think these are more fluff and less use than their high prices seem to suggest.

Another option is a tractor or PTO-driven generator, or even a larger, more high-quality backup generator.

It's extremely rare that we lose power up here (NW Minn.), and only once in 15 years have we lost power for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time. For us, a 4kW generator would get us by under normal conditions. The trick would be to just plug one thing in at a time. For a very small generator that's meant to keep your cold and frozen foods safe and provide lighting, a small unit is fine. A unit like you're looking at will be OK, but one thing worries me. You mentioned a well pump. Well pumps start under full static load and have very high starting amps, much like an air compressor. Check to see what the starting amps are for everything you want to run at once, then figure worst-case-scenario that the heaviest half of those items are all trying to start at the same time. Will your generator handle it???

Another think is fuel. How long do you want to be protected? Do you want automatic backup power? If so, natural or LP gas would be the way to go. If looking to get by till power is restored, how much do you want to play "Musical Cords" plugging in this and that so as not to overwhelm your generator? Keep in mind that the more work a generator does, the faster it runs out of fuel.

What about exhaust? Given worst-case conditions, it has been my experience that winds are often dead-calm after a storm. You need to make certain that there's no way for exhaust gases to build up, even for pets. Then the issue of generator noise.

As mentioned, it's RARE for us to lose power up here these days. Used to be regular-but-short-lived outages, but our electric utility has really been on the ball about making the system much more reliable. Still, we live in the middle of nowhere and we're last on the line to get anything restored, get roads plowed in Winter, etc. We're also all-electric. I mentioned that I have a small, China-made 4kW generator. I also have that 10kW Northern Tools generator head....just in case. But we also get to -40F and below in Winter, so even both of those generators combined couldn't keep us warm. That's why I'm in the market for something that will serve our worst-case-scenario needs. Now....what'd I do with those 'D' batteries?!?!? ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Also, do what I did and call Customer Service first "before " you buy it. One reason why I went with the Champion. Also check on the Warranty. Most are 2 Year, but Champion is a 3 Year. Another reason why I went with them. Troybilt Customer Service was horrible. You can read about my problems with Troybilt in my other thread.
When I called Generac it was like Troybilt all over again. I have no experience with a Westinghouse, but it sure looks good. But be sure to do your homework first.
 

·
We're all friends here
Joined
·
14,191 Posts
There are some good suggestions here. I can tell you that 7500w is more than enough to handle the things you mentioned. My old 5500w Generac runs the fridge, freezer, furnace, water heater, sewage grinder pump (220v) and several lights. I don't know anything about Westinghouse these days, so check the reviews.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
I like reviews too and always read them on something I'm interested in, especially when it's a sizable purchase, but, when I went to post a negative review on Troybilt, it would not let me without going through some kind of lengthy process. Which made me think that maybe some of their positive ones could be fake and/or negative ones frowned upon. This even added more to my dis-like of them. I would also test try a review too on a brand that you are considering. Just to make sure no one has something to hide. You don't have to write anything, just check to see if you are able to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I repaired generators for many years, first it was in a small engine shop. Later, in an electric motor repair shop. In that time, I saw gensets go from almost all of them being Made in the USA, to nearly all of them being made in china. The American made one's were somewhat better quality, but you paid dearly for parts. Most all of the chinese gens are okay, I would avoid any with completely unknown names. I once saw a really cheap gen that had the armature explode under normal use, and very low hours. I assume from a poor winding job and centrifugal force made for a bad day for the owner.

All Chinese generators I've seen, no matter if it's a Generac, Champion, or a Sung Lee (or whatever unknown name is on the side of it), uses an AVR (automatic voltage regulator). When buying a new chinese generator, BUY A NEW AVR!!!! It will go out! They're basically like an expensive fuse, if you try to overload the gen (even just the slightest), it will usually zap the AVR before it lets the magic smoke out of the windings (shorting out the stator/armature). The chinese AVR's are at least cheaper than the older USA made Generac AVR's (around $25 vs. $85).

As to wattage ratings, remember 7500 watts is for 220 voltage. It's HALF that for 120 voltage. As far as I know, all portable dual voltage generators tap half the windings and use a floating neural for 120v. I couldn't tell you of how many "good ole boys" down on the deer camp would bring in their portable generators during deer hunting season and couldn't figure out why the "jennys" had stopped working when someone tried using the microwave while running the A/C all on the one 30a plug coming from the camper! Sure enough, most all of them had shorted out half the windings in the process! We ended up with a lot of junk generators with good engines that way! As said before, split the load up as much as possible. Even after that, I would be hesitant having the refrigerator going at the same time the well pump starts up!

They're expensive, but Winco generators are the best out there! If you lose power a good bit, I would consider looking into one. Also, they're hard to find, and most are single voltage (110V), but an older Onan generator from an RV would be nice to have. As far as I know, they're 4-pole and not 2-pole gens like most portable gensets. The engine will run at 1750 instead of 3600 rpm. They're quieter and the armatures hold up better turning a slower speed. And yes, the engines are designed to run at the slower RPM, because they're not just using an off-the-shelf engine connected to the generator.
 

·
never too old to learn
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for this information! Before yesterday I didn’t even realize you can’t run your generator outdoors in bad weather without special covers (got that in research and it will present more challenges in getting this done). What I have gotten here will be very helpful.

-Westinghouse has no listed service centers anywhere near me even though HD carries them. The same goes for the Champion brand.
-Regardless of what some sites say, most of these are made off-shore. That doesn’t mean they are bad: as mentioned above there are always the good, the bad, and the truly ugly.
-There are at least two Briggs&Stratton Diamond Service businesses quite close to me and I might jingle up their customer service to see how warranty work, if necessary, is handled. B&S seemed to have some of the highest fuel consumption when comparing equal loads.

We don’t lose power often and what I need to determine is what would be a the most convenient scenario for riding out a blackout (those musical cords come to mind). Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Your Briggs and Stratton mention reminded me of another point. I've been using their engines for decades and believe they still make great engines, but not the Electrical Components. That is what failed on my Troybilt. Big time. A machine with just a few hours on it and still looking brand new, burnt out 3 parts. A Rotor, a Regulator and the Brushes. How a Generator can burn out 3 of those parts that quick sure is a puzzle to me. Have to say that their Customer Service was pleasant, understanding and apologetic, but still would not fix it for me. (See other thread, I was 2 1/2 months over Warranty, but my fight was that is was broke "while" under Warranty, I just didn't know it). Therefore, I made sure my next one did not have B & S made Electrical Components on it. Engine still runs great though, lol. Although I've got no use for it now.
 

·
never too old to learn
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Your Briggs and Stratton mention reminded me of another point. I've been using their engines for decades and believe they still make great engines, but not the Electrical Components. That is what failed on my Troybilt. Big time. A machine with just a few hours on it and still looking brand new, burnt out 3 parts. A Rotor, a Regulator and the Brushes. How a Generator can burn out 3 of those parts that quick sure is a puzzle to me. Have to say that their Customer Service was pleasant, understanding and apologetic, but still would not fix it for me. (See other thread, I was 2 1/2 months over Warranty, but my fight was that is was broke "while" under Warranty, I just didn't know it). Therefore, I made sure my next one did not have B & S made Electrical Components on it. Engine still runs great though, lol. Although I've got no use for it now.
MTD has (or had) Troy-bilt, and I have read elsewhere that they use B&S engines for some generators, but who supplies the electrical add-ons? The more I look into buying a mid-size generator the muddier the water becomes. Good customer service seems to be the tipping point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
I have read elsewhere that they use B&S engines for some generators, but who supplies the electrical add-ons?
That's what I was saying, B & S does. On my Troybilt anyway. But in my case, Troybilt was the one who accepted them, therefore the responsibility was on them. Also as mentioned, I believe B & S still makes great engines, but not the Electrics. When I had problems with mine, I posted it and at least one person stated that B & S Electrical Components were problematic. Therefore I made sure my next one did not have B & S Electrics on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
The more I look into buying a mid-size generator the muddier the water becomes.
I know the feeling, lol. I went through the same thing.

Good customer service seems to be the tipping point.
Along with good reviews and nothing I could find that was too horrible, that was the main reason I went with my new choice. So far so good. I'm pretty happy with it. Enough so that I'm looking at some larger ones now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Do you need how much power that total needs? in theory, your appliances should be able to use between 40% and 80% of whatever power your generator can output. Base on above you list, I suggest you use 5000 watts generator like Wgen550 generator. What is the first factor being paid attention? Noise? weight? power consumption? durability? Different factors, different choices. For durability, Wgen550 one of the bigger draws of this model, however, is its durability, both for the generator itself and its power output. Within this casing is a 20 CC Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine, encased in a long-lasting cast iron sleeve, as well as a tank capable of storing up to 6.6 gallons of gasoline. Hope can help you.
 

·
never too old to learn
Joined
·
363 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Do you need how much power that total needs? in theory, your appliances should be able to use between 40% and 80% of whatever power your generator can output. Base on above you list, I suggest you use 5000 watts generator like Wgen550 generator. What is the first factor being paid attention? Noise? weight? power consumption? durability? Different factors, different choices. For durability, Wgen550 one of the bigger draws of this model, however, is its durability, both for the generator itself and its power output. Within this casing is a 20 CC Westinghouse 4-Stroke OHV Engine, encased in a long-lasting cast iron sleeve, as well as a tank capable of storing up to 6.6 gallons of gasoline. Hope can help you.
Thank you for the input! I did decide on a generator at the end of September: I bought the Generac GP8000e and had the panel wired with an interlock. My electrician said I’d have more than enough wattage with this model and I’d prefer to much than too little.

Two weeks after installation we lost power and I got to use this for two hours before bedtime. It did its job.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top