I paid $649 for a Briggs & Stratton model 030235 portage generator on sale at Pep Boys. I live in Houston and there are often storms and flood events that can knock out electric service. I also wanted to have emergency power for my small insurance and mortgage business.
The generator is rated at 5550 watts with 8550 starting watts. It has a 5 gallon gas tank and can run for about 7 hours at 50% load. It has 120 and 240 outlets and came with a heavy duty extension cord set.
Oil was included in the box and after I put the oil and fuel in it started on the first pull. It is moderately noisy, about what you would expect from this size generator. The documentation is adequate.
One of the reasons I selected this generator is the large number for starting or surge watts. One of the main uses for my generator will be to run window air conditioners. A typical 10,000 BTU unit may run on 1200 watts but will need an extra 1800 starting watts. A larger unit could take even more starting watts so I suggest 2,000 or more extra starting watts if you want to run an air conditioner. You won’t be able to run your central air conditioner with this generator because they typically need 10,000 or more starting watts, plus the running watts.
Here is an idea of what you could run with this generator:
- Two 10,000 room air conditioners (2,400 watts)
- Refrigerator (800)
- Freezer (500)
- Television (500)
- Microwave (1,000)
- Plus a few small light bulbs
If you are going to get a generator here are some tips:
- Don’t wait for a hurricane or flood, generators will be sold out or very expensive
- Don’t undersize the generator, get one that is large enough for your needs
- Get a few 5 gallon gas cans and some extra fuel
- Add fuel stabilizer to the stored gas and change at least annually
- Get a heavy duty extension cord designed for generators
- Be careful and read the directions, generators and gasoline are dangerous!
- Generators are a target for theft, store them securely
If you have any questions about this generator you can contact me at my Texas flood insurance website.