Earthquake ig800w main view

A must-have household appliance?

It’s been suggested that portable generators are the next “must-have” appliance for your home.  The Earthquake IG800W inverter generator is quickly filling that bill for several reasons.

When you first hear of the brand name “Earthquake” you might wonder why.  Until you know that Earthquake Powered Chore Equipment is better known for their other products.  They are the worlds leading manufacturer of earth augers.  They also make rototillers and log splitters among other “earth” tools.  Make sense now?

Their entry into the inverter generator market is a home run!  They make only one (so far) and this is it.  This model has quickly become a consumer favorite and a best seller at Amazon (and Amazon sells tons of inverter generators).

The range of portable 1000 watt inverter generators are the popular choice for those needing portable electricity and know that they will only power up one device at a time.  The benefit of low operating noise, light weight, and the ability to charge the ever present sensitive electronics (think cell phones and tablets) makes this category the next must-have household appliance.

But like anything else, you should know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re not getting.  Read on for a detailed analysis of this new star.

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WEN 56352 main viewThe WEN 56352 is an excellent choice for a mid powered portable generator.  It is rated 3000 running watts and 3500 starting watts.  This amount of power may seem in the lower range for the price.  However the included features make up for this being in the lower end of power to price ratio.  The lower power output in this range makes this less versatile in running several devices during a power outage, but more than enough for job site needs.

You get the basics in a 7 HP OHV 4-cycle gas powered engine, but the additions make this unit value.  This WEN model 56352 gives you the option of 120/240 Volts, DC charging ability, and included wheel kit, AND you even get an hour meter, to make your maintenance schedule easier to keep track of.  Unfortunately for our friends in California, the WEN generator is NOT CARB compliant and not for sale or use in California. Read the rest of this entry

DuroMax XP4400E front viewThe DuroMax XP4400E is the most popular mid-range portable generator on the market.  The features to price ratio makes this an obvious choice for those wanting good power with a few bells and whistles not available on other similarly priced offerings.

Some of the features to jump out at you as “value-added” are the electric start feature, DC availability, dual voltage capability (120/240), and a generous 4400 watt peak power over its 3500 running watts for appliances with a lot of on and off usage.

Top that off with an included wheel kit for easy portability and you can see why it is a favorite for all types of user needs.

If you were considering hooking this model to your household power supply via a transfer switch, the wattage may be a bit too low, but at least it has the 4-prong outlet (NEMA L14-30R) that most transfer switches require for more than 4 circuits. Remember to use a certified electrician to perform this task.

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DuroStar DS4000S main viewThe DuroStar DS4000S is a great choice for those wanting a mid-range generator with respect to both power and price. It is average-powered with its maximum 4000 watt output and mid to low priced for what it can do.

This is a consumer favorite and delivers what you might expect for the features and price.  Year in and year out, it remains one of the best selling portable generators on the market.

In fact, it is one of the best price to power ratios in this category.  It would be a wise choice as a first generator, or as a workhorse due to its dependability.

There is enough power to run your important household devices in an emergency but you might not find enough power if your intention is to hook into your home’s electrical panel. If you plan to run sensitive electrical equipment, you want to consider an inverter type generator which will deliver a cleaner, more consistent electrical supply. Read the rest of this entry

Sportsman GEN4000LP main view with tankThe main reason to consider the Sportsman GEN4000LP is for the fuel – liquid propane.  The vast majority of portable generators run on gasoline.  The main benefit of liquid propane is that it runs cleaner, however there are several other benefits to consider as you read on.

Although burning liquid propane burns cleaner, they still must be run with other safety considerations as they can still produce deadly Carbon Monoxide (up to 40% less) and should never be used in closed areas such as garages or basements.

This generator is not CARB compliant, however Sportsman does make a CARB compliant 7000watt model.  Made in China, these portable generators are distributed by Buffalo Tools in St. Louis, MO.  Their website is informative (www.buffalotools.com) but they do not sell the public. Read the rest of this entry