Hurricane Aftermath The Best Of Backup Generators Review

Backup Generators Defined

Just what are backup generators!  Backup generators are standby generators that start automatically when your primary source of power quits. The primary electrical power source is your electrical power coming from your electric utility company like Edison or PG & E etc. A transfer switch senses the loss of power from the primary source, starts up the standby or backup generator and transfers the load to the standby generator. Backup generators serve a critical role of giving your homes or businesses continued power  after a natural disaster or any other causes that put your utility power source out of action. The Best Of Backup Generators Review is written to help us all prepare for the unthinkable.

This necessity is more urgent in places that are prone to flooding, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, massive snow storms etc. Or if you simply want to have that peace of mind that you will have that dependable back up system whenever the need arises.  Don’t forget that our electrical grid is also susceptible to down times that could be caused by hackers. In many third-world nations, power outages are the norm. Some folks predict that even super advanced nations like the United States of America could under certain circumstances suffer a catastrophic event that it will be utterly ruined in many places within a short period of time. Ever heard of the HUGE volcano boiling underground in Wyoming?

In this review we will cover two categories of backup generators.  One is a built-in or stationary unit. The other is portable.

Stationary Versus Portable Backup Generators

Depending on your purpose for getting electrical backup power, there are two major types to choose from. I would call them the stationary and the portable backup generators.  Stationary backup power is hardwired to your house or building. Portable units are movable and have the flexibility for you to move around to different locations as natural disasters may call for a need to move your dwelling place temporarily.

Portable units could be great companions to your RV’s or homes away from home! These units are ideal for additional power source to your on board RV generators. The disadvantage to the portable units would be having to carry around several extension cables or cords to supply different equipment on the go.

Stationary Backup Generators

1) Champion’s 14-kW Whole House Home Standby Generator. Available for purchase by clicking photo and link below.

The unit below is a stationary type backup generator. This could get piped in to run on either propane or natural gas. So there is no real need to ‘refuel’ as long as your source of natural gas or propane fuel remains intact.  It is self-starting upon loss of primary power through a battery starting system.  It uses a 24-volt starting system that operates in temperatures ranging from -22° F to 104° F with no warming kit necessary. At 14 kilowatts or 14,000 watts it is over-sized for a normal 3-5 bedroom house.

This model can easily support two homes with the average number of appliances. This will be ideal for larger homes with several air conditioned units and additional electrical appliances such as large refrigerators and freezers. This will be ideal for 24/7 big restaurants that intend to continue operating even during power outages in the area. Remember that feeding many dislocated families is one of the bigger challenges during natural disasters.

Champion 14KW Stationary Backup Generator

Champion Power Equipment 100294 Home Standby Generator

2) Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator with 50-Amp Indoor-Rated Automatic Transfer Switch

This stationary type of backup generator is ideal for a standard 3-5 bedroom house. At 8.5kw it will support your central ac and heating. Natural gas fuel is a great option for this piped-in fuel system. As long as your natural gas source is not damaged you are guaranteed of not only gas for heating and cooking but also for fuel to your backup generator!

The Best Of Backup Generators Review

Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator with 50-Amp Indoor-Rated Automatic Transfer Switch

Portable Backup Generators

1) Champion 12,000-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Lift Hook

The unit below is rated at 12KW or 12,000  Running Watts and will run up to 9 hours on a 10.9 gallon tank of fuel. This particular unit uses gasoline. This will easily support a 5 bedroom house with a central air, large refrigerators and freezers, electric stoves. You will need an electrician to build you a plug that will connect and disconnect this from your main panel at home or else you may use several electrical extension cords.

Unlike the stationary units, this portable unit does not have an automatic starting system although that can be added by qualified electricians if desired. Batteries are included for manual starts.

Champion 12KW Portable Generator

Champion 12,000-Watt Portable Generator with Electric Start and Lift Hook

2) Champion 7.5KW/7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start.

This model is a great favorite for its ability to switch to two different fuels. It runs on either gasoline or propane using a fuel selector switch.  It uses the same propane fuel that we use in barbecue grills. Operates at 9375 starting watts and 7500 running watts on gasoline and 8400 starting watts and 6750 running watts on propane. It uses Trust Volt Guard built-in surge protector to prevent overloads. 

Manual starting system is with the aid of starting battery which comes with the unit. There is no provision for automatic start. This will easily support a 3-5 bedroom home with the average number of appliances including one central air and heat. 

Champion 7.5KW Portable Backup Generator

Champion 7500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Electric Start

The Best Of Both Worlds!

My choice and dream? To have both types of systems at my High Desert location including an RV ready to roll when the need arises to change dwelling locations for any reasons at all. The RV and portable generator will be a great combination on outings anyway and we do not need to wait for natural disasters to put them into great productive use! And hey it does not cost a dime to dream!

I now have the dual-fuel generator featured above standing by and ready to roll in an all-concrete house somewhere in the Rock In The Tropics. It is just a matter of time before the next Super Typhoon hits the Rock. When it does there are not much left standing. It takes months to restore power.

Thank you all for stopping by. Do leave a comment or two below. To get added to the list of folks who will continue to receive future articles please add your email addresses as well. It is all free.

Joe Joson

From The Rock In The Tropics


12 Comments

Linda · November 2, 2018 at 4:40 am

So this is what a generator is!!! I remember my father and I were watching a show called The Ranch and Bowe, a Rancher in  the house had one of these. Someone took it and his power went out. I had no idea what the fuss was about regarding this item. But now I do….This is what knowledge is for. 

    Joe · November 2, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Linda!

    Happy to see that you stopped by read and left a comment on my post! Even more pleased that you found the post useful!

    If you have any sites you would like comments on please let us have the link so we may leave comments on it!

    Thanks again!

    Joe Joson

Al · November 3, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Joe – thanks for this article and your recommendations.

I have considered getting backup generators in the past, and the one factor that I struggle to find information about is maintenance.

Because these are only likely to be used when “stuff happens”, I would hope that would be infrequent – but when it happens is the time you really need your generator to start properly and have no issues with continued operation.

What sort of ongoing maintenance is required and are any of these models more robust than others?

    Joe · November 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Hello AI !

    You are absolutely right about having to use them only when stuff happens! And you definitely want to make sure that after sitting there for too long without much action that it will do its job!

    Two things that we need to do. At least replace your engine lubricating oil from the crank case every 3-4 months even when not run. Once inside the engine, lube oil deteriorates with time whether we run the engine or not. Next, test your starting battery by actually starting and running your generator.  WARNING: TURN OFF INCOMING UTILITY POWER BEFORE SUPPLYING POWER TO YOUR HOUSE WITH THE GENERATOR. The same is true for when returning primary (utility power) back to the house. Kill the generator first or turn the main generator switch before turning on the utility (power company) power.  Never have both power sources on supplying power to the house at the same time!

    This is if your system is not one of those stationary units that are equipped with automatic loss of power and switching sensors. 

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! 

    Joe

Bo the Webguy · November 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm

We got a generator a couple of years when Matthew rolled through here in South Carolina back in 2016.. We were out of power for a few days and it was nice to get the fridge back and make coffee. When Florence came through this past September, we quickly pulled the generator out and was back watching TV in minutes after losing power.

We have a Generac which looks very similar to one of the Champions you have listed here. I am sure they are comparable.  Our generator does not have an electric start, but after being in storage for 2 years, it started on the first pull of the cord. Very Happy with our backup power source when we lose power here on the coast. 

Micah · November 3, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Thank you Joe for your description of backup generators. It is good to know the differences between a portable and stationary generator and the pros and cons of each. You never now when a natural disaster will strike, and it is important to be ready when one does strike.  I would like to have both a portable and stationary generator but I don’t think that is going to happen. Thanks again for your great content.

    Joe · November 3, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Hello Micah! 

    Thank you for stopping by and dropping off your comments! It is true that these generators are not cheap but just like most vital equipment out there like solar systems for homes, they can be supported by loans integrated with our mortgages payable in 15-30 years. 

    Cheers!

    Joe

Chris · November 3, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I’ve been looking into purchasing one of these generators for our cabin in North Wales, but I’m still unsure about what it is going to cost me AFTER I make the initial purchase. 

For example – I’ve heard numerous nightmare stories about constant repairs and fiddling shortly after the machine is bought and put to go. How regularly do they need a ‘check up’ to avoid things going wrong with them?

    Joe · November 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Chris!

    Thanks for your comment and question! Questions on issues and maintenance is of course the majority of concern and it is fair to do our due diligence before moving forward.  The stationary units shown when installed by certified technicians should give you years of trouble free service. Oil change every 3-4 months, test run of the starting system once a month should be all that you need to do once installed.

    Hope this helped.

    Joe

    This one unit at 8.5KW will easily support a whole house with 5 bedrooms. It runs on propane or natural gas. It retails at Amazon for around $2.2K. https://amzn.to/2JBjc3H.

Brandon Pierce · November 4, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Great reviews of backup generators.  We live in tornado country for sure, and your logo picture on definitely resonates with us.  We even get a hurricane now and again too.  Never owned a backup generator, but definitely been thinking about purchasing one.  These reviews will help me narrow it down for sure.  Thanks for your help.

    Joe · November 4, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Hello Brandon!

    Thanks for the awesome feedback. Great to hear that the article could somehow help pave the way for an educated decision. Since most of American homes have natural gas piped in, I am myself looking at the smaller unit that would support vital loads like refs and freezers, air conditioning unit and a few other must-haves like computer and communications systems. This unit takes both natural gas and propane for fuel so they could both be piped in. 

    Champion 8.5-kW Home Standby Generator with 50-Amp Indoor-Rated Automatic Transfer Switch. At $2,299.00, this is the smallest KW unit listed in Amazon and the Champion website as far as Standby generators. This will more than power up most electrical units in a 5 bedroom home. A 7KW will also do the job.

    Cheers! Hope this helped!

    Joe Joson/Joson Inc (Wealthy Affiliate)

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