I’ve Always Wanted a Generator

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I like to be self-sufficient and prepared.  I have always wanted a generator but never felt enough need before to buy one.  Now, with the plan to build the tiny home, I feel that need.  The tiny home is being built to give us more independence: independence from rent, from a mortgage, from expenses.  Having a generator on hand to supply power, when you don’t have access to grid power, is just one more step to achieve that independence.  The generator we chose will power tools, an electric space heater, a small refrigerator, computer and lamps.  It’s all we need.

We looked at three different options: the Goal Zero solar generator, the Honda EU2000I gas generator, and the Yamaha eF2000iS gas generator. After much consideration, we settled on the Yamaha EF2000iS generator/inverter, and here’s why.

We liked them all, but we eliminated the Goal Zero solar generator because it was too much cost, and it provided the least amount of wattage. The wattage provided is a big factor.  We feel we need at least 1800 watts of power to run an electric heater or refrigerator if the power goes down.  It’s also good wattage to run any power tool. Less than that, and you can’t do much more than run a computer and a lamp.

We liked the Honda and it’s well proven.  The downside is: it doesn’t have a gas gauge. I like having a gas gage to know when I am about to run out.  It’s a safeguard that allows me to always be prepared and to refill it before it runs out.

The Yamaha, similar to the Honda, uses the latest technology, and has a gas gauge.  It’s a little lighter in weight than the Honda.  It also had a lower price and was on sale at the time we bought it.  The Goal Zero solar generator would have been our first choice if it could just handle more wattage.

January 22, 2016 UPDATE:  We had a blizzard so I got to try out the new Yamaha generator for the first time.  We didn’t really need it, because the power didn’t go out, but I had to crank it up anyway.  Found out that I wasn’t set up for it because I had no way to run an extension cord from outside to inside.  The generator has to be outside, away from the house.

First, I tried running it in our basement (against the advice of the instruction booklet), because our longest extension cord could just reach from the basement up through the floor and into our living room.  The house quickly flooded with gas fumes. Not good!

Since the power cord I had already was not long enough, I ended up buying another one, increasing the gauge from 14 to 12 (the lower the number, the thicker the wire).

The plan for running the generator is this:  I cut a hole through the wood floor going to the basement.  I run a 50′ extension cord through the hole to the generator, which will sit outside of the basement door.  This should work.

Yamaha 2000-watt 79cc OHV 4-Stroke Gas Powered Portable Inverter Generator

1600 watt rated AC output, 2000 watt maximum AC output, 13.3/16.7 amps @ 120V
Super-quiet muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor - 51.5 dBA at 1/4 load
Smart Throttle varies engine speed based on load - improves fuel economy and reduces noise

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Price: $983.10

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