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portable generators for onsite installs10/30
Hi Everyone, i posted this question on the cabinet install forum, but only got two responses. We are starting to work for a home builder and he has given us two complete homes of cabinets; kitchen,closets,laundry,bathrooms and cabana. We start installs next week,one house at a time. There is no power there yet and we need to get a generator. Most of install time is levelling and joining cabinets with euro legs and attaching uppers to walls. Power tools are jig saw,holesaw,chop saw, small portable bosch table saw for fillers and ripping toekick and chop saw for same. Otherwise,its mostly cordless driils which run most of the day before needing a charge. Any brand recommendations and size that i should be looking for? power will be needed on and off during the day and one or two crews of two people will be there to install. One crew for bathroom vanities,the other for large kitchen. Thanks, Harold.
First determine what size you need. A 3500 watt continues generator is the equivalent of 2-120 volt 15amp outlets (120VX15AX2outlets=3600 watts). Plenty to run your portable table saw and a chop saw not to mention all the low power stuff, chargers, jig saw etc. Brands at this level are going to be your Generacs up to your Hondas. Probably $400-$2000. depending on electric start, how load, and other options. Costco/Sam's Club usually have a few choices. Going bigger is fine but more gas, and heavier. So size it accordingly. I have a Generac 3500watt/4500 peak and it's not too big but still need 2 people to lift it into a truck bed. The worst thing we deal with in California is the generator sitting with fuel in the fuel bowl for long periods of time, in Ca. they add alcohol to our gas and it corrodes out aluminum carburetors if it sits because it attracts moisture.
Why not rent one? It might be years before you need one again.
Thanks Ken, the math was very helpful. I was looking at a small Honda at 2200kv for 1000.00 and didn't think would handle the job. The generac is heavier, but we have a 14" cube van with a ramp and would be able to get to job site easily and it runs about 349.00-689.00 for a 6500 model. Will probably take that route.
Buy a Honda whatever you do. They will last 20x longer than any other brand of portable generator on the market. I speak from experience. I have owned Generac, Porter Cable, DeWalt and half a dozen other brands. Most are not made to last more than a couple hundred hours of use. Out the dozen non Honda units I have owned I never got more than 100 hours out of a third of the units, another third approached 200 hours and the last third kicked the bucket between 250 & 300 hours. I have several Honda's with over 5000 hours on them. Never had a Honda die before 3000 hours. This is one item that there is truly an amazing difference in quality and longevity.
So Harold, if you look at the specs on the 6500, that is 6500 running watts and starting loads of up to 8125 watts. That's tons of power. I don't know if you're familiar with the twist lock outlet but there's a 120/240 twist lock which is what the new RVs are using. This allows you to run one long 4 wire 10 gauge extension cord that splits into 2 banks of 120 outlets. Both separate from each other. And you could use 240 volt equipment as well if the need arises (think mig welder).
I agree with Robert on anything Honda but you have to have the need (amount of usage) to justify the price. The msrp on a Honda 6500 is $2750. My generator sits 95% of the time.
I have a couple of Honda 2000s and a similar sized Yamaha. THe honda by far is a better generator. For what you are doing the 2000 should work. Be careful with cheap hondas, often they are a honda engi e on a crappy generator and noisy as can be. The real Hondas are the qiuetest available
Bought the Honda eu2000 on amazon for 1K. Its coming Thursday and we will try it out. Keep you updated. Thanks, Harold.
Itd be more expensive up front but if it were me, and I felt like running on genset power was going to be a common/semi-common occurrence with this contractor and others, given your tool load I would buy two small inverter generators like the Honda EU2000 or Generac equivalent.
First off, cordless tool chargers perform horribly on conventional square wave generators so the true sine wave power you will get from an inverted genset will make sure all your tools run at spec. Second, having these gensets means that they automatically idle down to deliver only the power needed. So for instance while your guys are fitting work and the only things running are the cordless chargers, the honda will run basically at idle and be almost silent and consume nothing for fuel. When you pull the trigger on a bigger tool, the genset will ramp up.
Having two of these means that you'd only have to run the second when your running the TS or need all 4000 watts. There is nothing worse than having a large genset whirring away, sucking down .75 gallons of fuel an our to power a light bulb or cordless charger.
If your contractor isnt compensating you with a higher number on your bid for not having his ducks in a row and power on at the job, fuel consumption will be a stinker.
Id be questioning why the GC is unwilling to have a temporary brought in (at his own cost) and deferring power demands onto the subs. Its one thing for a foundation or early framing crew to go without power but once your to the stage of installing cabs to not have power is, well, odd to say the least.
We have been using the eu2000 Honda for a week now and it is impressive, small and silent, it will handle chargers, chop saw, Bosch tablecsaw and uses almost no gaz. 42 lbs and very compact. The other trades that have their 6500 heavy monsters all though it was a toy, but they are really impressed. Not for heavy duty construction, but perfect for two machines at a time and a charger and you can have a conversation while standing next to it and barely know it's running, harold.
Glad it worked out Harold. And just think, you have a nice small, quiet generator to fire up the kids bounce house.
Thanks Ken, my kids are 39 and 42, but maybe for my 9 grandchildren😀. Or when my wife sends me to the dog house, I can now have some electricity😉
WEe have been using the honda for over a year now without a hitch. when you are standiung next to it, you cannot tellit is running and it is light weight.