If you are planning to make your home off the grid by using mainly renewable energy source such as solar energy, here’s a suggestion, get yourself a gasoline powered generator set!
I know it is counter intuitive to living a green lifestyle, but you’ll thank me when there is a technical problem with your home solar power system. The idea of having a generator set is for backup during times when you have no power left on your battery bank or due to any kind of emergency situation.
The Type Of Gasoline Powered Generator You’ll Need
You would require a generator that would generate enough power to run your refrigerator, maybe a small portable air conditioner, a few lights, a small TV, charge your cell phones and at times charge laptop batteries also.
As a quick thumb rule, you will need approximately 3,000 watts continuous rating and a surge rating of 4,000 watts. There are many generators sold by hardware chains like Lowe’s, Home Depot etc. that will match your specification, but the prices will be around $600 – $700.
I did some research on the internet and determined that the DuroMax XP4400E would meet your requirements as well as budget best. This is a short DuroMax XP4400E review and my first impression when I got the generator from Amazon.com/.
DuroMax XP4400E Review – Portable Generator For Your Home
The DuroMax model that I chose had battery powered electric starter instead of the one with rip-cord. This is a useful feature because I don’t like getting myself sweaty trying to get the generator started.
I received my order in about a week’s time after I made my purchase on Amazon. Though the external cardboard box displayed signs of rough handling, the generator packed in foam was intact without any damage.
The total weight of the package was 130 lbs. As the Fedex driver wheeled the box right into our garage, I was relieved of a lot of trouble.
It took me about 20 minutes to unpack the generator since it took me a little while to remove the shipping braces that supported the engine.
After unpacking the generator, I turned it upside-down on a mat to install the wheel-kit. Tools are provided with the generator to fix the wheels and handles. At the time of shipping itself, the tires were inflated to bear the weight of the generator.
I filled the DuroMax XP4400E generator set with SAE30 oil after putting it in the right position. I used 10W30 since we lived in a relatively warm weather condition. If you want to use generator oil, you need to select the oil suitable for a four-stroke engine.
As the oil-fill tube is placed in an uncomfortable position, I had to use a funnel with a tube that I had to avoid spillage of oil. You need about 20 oz of oil. In order to condition the engine, my suggestion is to change oil after the generator runs for 6 hours, twice after 8 hours and every 20 – 30 hours after that.
I also filled up gasoline through the mesh fuel filter below the gas cap. I then opened the fuel valve and started the generator. The engine turned, but it did not start. The mistake was on my side. I misunderstood the on position of the choke valve to be the off position.
Once this was set right, the engine started up immediately! Till the choke was opened, it sputtered and emitted a lot of smoke. After that it ran smoothly without any visible smoke from the exhaust.
I am not sure of the noise level generated when it is running. It is low and does not bother me when the generator is running outside and I am inside the house.
The control panel of the generator is provided with two 120V, 20 Amp, outlets and one 30 Amp outlet that can be switched between 120V and 240V, a 12V outlet to charge a car battery, a circuit breaker and a voltmeter.
The output voltage remained steady at 115 volts when I tested the generator with loads ranging from 60 watts to 2400 watts. I have not tested the performance of the generator at higher loads.
I found the DuroMax XP4400E to be well engineered and less polluting than the expensive Honda, Subaru, and Yamaha units sold at the hardware chains.
Finally, here is a small tip – ensure that you mix the fuel with some anti-oxidant like Stabil before putting it in the tank for small engines that are not run frequently. Gas mixed with anti-oxidant should last for about one year.
There you have it, a short DuroMax XP4400E review and my experience using the generator for the first time. If you are thinking to get yourself a gasoline powered generator, click on the button on the right to get the XP4400E from Amazon.com and have it shipped to your home right now.