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Recommendations for generator for emergency use

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by WabbitPoo, 8 Jan 2021.

  1. WabbitPoo

    WabbitPoo

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    We dont get many power cuts in these parts, but I have realised that if and when we do, I have no way of generating heat (other than boiling water on a camping stove for a hot water bottle)

    So, I was thinking of getting a generator so we could at least run a fan heater (plus charge the phones etc)

    Every time I read reviews on say, amazon, you get loads of 4 and 5* reviews then lots of 1 and 2* which say "wouldn't touch it with a barge pole" etc

    I'd welcome recommendations from the good citizens on here for a small, emergency-use model that won't let me down the first time I actually need it (hopefully never!)
     
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  3. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Running a fan heater from a generator isn't all that clever- most of the cheapies will be maxed out at 2kw. Boiling a kettle is a similar problem.
    Unless you have other uses for a generator you'll be wasting your money- buy a 1 ring camping stove for £10, some powerbanks for your electronics and some warm clothes.
    EDIT And candles, some big, some tealights.
     
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  4. WabbitPoo

    WabbitPoo

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    a small fan heater wont draw more than 1KW will it? An old electric fire used to be 1KW per bar, or at least that's how my Dad told me it was...! Thanks for the info.
     
  5. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Most fan heaters will go 1k or 2k, those camping stoves probably chuck out near enough 2k. For very occasional use you'd need a good gennie (not a cheap one), the Honda 10i & 20i are superb but you pay for it
     
  6. Do you have gas central heating? Would it be possible to use a generator to power the boiler and pump? No idea if this is feasible / a good idea or not.
     
  7. sxturbo

    sxturbo

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    depends on budget,

    Hyundai do some extremely good silent generators that are reliable, however they do cost a small fortune.
     
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  8. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    The little Hondas would be up to that job as well but again at a cost (the 20i is about a grand).
    If i was in the sticks with frequent power cuts i'd be looking at the small diesels- much cheaper to run
     
  9. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I am not so bad, I do have a fire place, although never used, so could I suppose light a fire, but idea of moving the central heating from a fused connection unit (FCU) to a plug and socket so it can be powered from in inverter and batteries does make some sense. But I have never measured how much power the central heating needs, or tested to see if it will work from a simulated sine wave inverter.

    I have a 150 watt and a 300 watt inverter, got a feeling not big enough. I have caravan batteries which have been brought home to keep charged, so around 150 Ah of battery. But really speaking best emergency heater is likely calor gas, or in my case wood in the old fire place.
     
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  11. soloheadbeg

    soloheadbeg

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    I bought one in Lidl (parkside around 2.5 kW I think) about 10 years ago. Family thought I was nuts but around two years later during a massive storm we (along with most of Ireland) lost power for 4 days and family thought I was a great fella being able to keep the oil fired central heating on, a few lights, tv, chest freezer, phone charging etc. I believe there is some risk associated with using some generators with sensitive electronic equipment like phones etc. but I haven’t had any problems so far. A few extension leads distributed around house all you need. The boiler and pump are conveniently isolated using two plugs so these plugged in easily to an extension lead. I had to manually open the motorised valves to distribute heat appropriately. I’ve had good reason to use the generator on about three occasions since. Parkside is a little noisy but this is a small price to pay. You might only use it 4 or 5 times in the next 20 years but it really makes a difference when needed.
     
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  12. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    We had a power cut last week, I have my power to my boiler via a plug. So I plugged it into a lead then in to the generator which was in the garden, as it is a heat only boiler, we had hot water and heating. I have this Honda generator that is over 20 years old

    https://www.justgenerators.co.uk/honda-generators/honda-eu10i-generator.html

    Andy
     
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  13. msheppard36

    msheppard36

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    Some years ago we had a very bad storm up here in the Highlands. The power was knocked out for 4 days. It was quite a difficult time but what I didnt think about was there was no power going to our treatment plant's internal pump. It caused a major problem so afterwards I decided to install a stand-by generator. I have a 7.5kw petrol one from Draper, think it was about £800. Had it wired up to a changeover switch by a sparky friend of mine and although we get occasional power cuts for an hour or two, it really is a god send. Everything works as normal. I think all in was about £1000 but well worth it.
     
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  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Very much so, on both counts (feasible and 'good idea')! Other than for lighting, it's the main reason I have a small generator.

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I would add that, like someone else previously mentioned, my present one is a Lidl generator, which I purchased 5 or so years ago at a 'special offer' price of around £120. So far, it has always done what was required of it every time the need has arisen, without any problems (other than that its 2-inch fuel hose/tube once sprang a leak and had to be replaced).

    Kind Regards, John
     
  16. conny

    conny

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    Can I just mention a safety aspect of using a genny which may be forgotten?

    Whatever method you use to gain some power DO NOT put a plug to plug lead, (widow maker), from genny to a house socket!
    Whilst it seems an easy way to get power without a number of extension leads over the house the potential for a death is very high.
    Anyone working on the outside power lines could be electrocuted by back feeding from your genny to the National Grid.
     
  17. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Which is why it is illegal (specifically in the Electricity Act).

    You must have a break-before-make changeover switch.

    Special conditions apply to solar and similar inverters which must detect loss of network and close down.

    much safer to simply run extension leads to your boiler and freezer, and plug them in.
     
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