My review of Yamaha portable generators and how they compare to other brands such as Honda and Cummins.
Cummins Onan Portable Generators are some of the quietest on the market and right there with Honda.
My review of the Briggs & Stratton line of portable generators and how they compare to the competition.
Review of the Generac Portable Generators and how they compare to others including the Honda Quiet generators
Honda Portable Generators review and findings in my quest for the perfect home generator.
I found the APP 6000 Portable Generator by General Power Products at Menards listed for $599. It’s $649 if you buy it from the manufacture’s website.
This site offers a completely unbiased review of portable generators and includes the noise level of each generator, something that is often overlooked and often regretted.
Let me take a moment and explain how I went from looking at a full fledged home generator to a portable generator and saving thousands of dollars!
I was ready to buy a home generator and invited three companies to provide quotes (natural gas generator plus installation).
The first company was sent out by home depot; we often shop there and walk by a home generator on the way out, so during our last visit, we asked for a quote for the generator and installation.
Company #1 quoted me $6,700.00 for a 17kw Generac which included running the electrical, installing the transfer switch and $500 of gas pipe work. I asked about other generators, but the salesman was not allowed to talk about any other generator other than what Home Depot carried.
The second company we picked out quoted us $7,100.00 for a 17kw Generator and was told it's the same thing as a Generac, they just labeled it differently for marketing purposes (I verified this and Generac does have a number of brand names).
The third company came in at $8,030 for a 14kw Kohler. It was pointed out that it would be in our best interest to go with a 14kw rather than a 17kw. He stated that Kohler is a quiet generator compared to Generac and that I could tack on 10% more for a Kohler.
Portable Generators VS. Home Generator
I later found out that if manually turning on my generator and filling it up with gas wasn't a problem, that I could get by with a portable unit. I could get a 6500kw portable for less than $1000, $800 for a mechanical interlock switch ($200 + $600 labor) and save a ton.
The 3rd company also pointed out that anything above a 14kw may require a natural gas feed upgrade by the gas company, an upgrade that may run as much as $1,700 (that's $485 for the alteration fee [technician to change the meter] plus $1,209 for the meter itself!) - something none of the other companies mentioned. Here is a copy of a Alteration Bill from the gas company.
The proposed solution would be an outlet outside that I would wheel the generator to, plug in and start delivering the needed backup power. Needless to say, I decided to buy a portable generator and have company three do the wiring.
For me, a portable made sense and saved us a lot of money. I have no problem wheeling the generator to the box or having to refill the unit with gas. If the situation was such that I needed the power to kick on when I was away (travel a lot) or unable to lift heavy equipment, then I would have went with a stationary home generator.
Other benefits of portable generators include:
- Generator can be moved to any location for whatever need. Have your mother's house installed with a mechanical interlock and she is ready to go - Chances are you won't both be without power...
- Home generators need to run for 20 minute a week (something like that) and can be loud depending on the model. This constant noise can irritate neighbors and ruin a peaceful day.
- Home generators need services (tune up, oil change, etc) ever few months. Do it yourself and you may void the warranty and is something one needs to consider.
- Portable generator cost thousands of dollars less than a full blown home generator!
So, to that end, I've created this review of portable generators with emphasis on noise levels. Visit my Standby Generators page to see what I ended up buying! Should you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please feel free to leave a comment. If you are local and would like information about the company I ended up selecting, feel free to leave a comment at the link above and I'll provide you with details.