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Petrol generator for farm use

  • 28-08-2021 6:41pm
    Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭ jaginsligo

    Hi guys,

    The farm yard doesn't have power & I'm looking for a petrol generator to power things like power washer, power tools, maybe a welder (very seldom). It won't be used much, maybe 20 times a year & probably only for an hour or 2 at a time

    I saw this on screwfix , would it do what I need?

    dont want to spend a fortune, appreciate the advice


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,105 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    Make sure your generator has enough power, Our power washer is 3200 watt whereas that generator is 1800w, you'd need 1000 watt more than your highest demanding tool to be safe. I'd imagine a welder is demanding too

  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭ dohc turbo2

    Welding using a generator with modern welder is asking for trouble , would burn the card in the welder , with a handy size generator anyway

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,105 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    My generator is only 2500w so could never use it on a welder....

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,456 ✭✭✭ SuperTortoise

    You'd need something around a 6000w generator to run a welder, and it wouldn't be a big welder at that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭ jaginsligo

    Thanks lads, might leaving welding off the list

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,424 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    We have a few generators here over the years. Some things to look out for:

    • Cheaper generators are usually disposable if they go wrong in the alternator. You can replace AVR's and brushes etc, but if they go bang, then because of their weight, it usually works out cheaper to buy a new one. We have had first hand experience of this. Local company looked at it and said it wasn't worth fixing. I then contacted and they said same thing - basically the cost of shipping that weight of a part from China was prohibitive. If you look on their site they do not show generator windings for sale.
    • Make sure you know what phase you are buying. Some of the cheaper items are 3-phase with a single phase separated out. These are not worth buying as most stuff you will be running will be single phase - plus you won't get the full power rating in the single phase - so make sure the outlets are either 3-pin domestic/std sockets or it states it is a single phase generator.
    • Ensure the power rating is the continuous power and not the start up power. Generators can provide a higher power output for short burst on start-up, the norm is to rate them from the continuous power figure, but watch for some sellers who might quote the higher start up power figure.
    • Drills are around 1kW (0.8kW - 1.3kW usually), angle grinder is around 0.8kW and a large 9" grinder can be over 2kW. You need to think about what your likely power consumptions will be, add a margin to it and then look at generators with that output as a minimum. If you get close/exceed the max rating you could blow the AVR or burn the windings (blowing AVR is a easy fix, burnt windings can be fatal).
    • In regards to brands, be careful - many are Chinese machines branded as German machines - i.e. Böhmer-AG, MIL Germany, etc. Rule of thumb that I use is if they are listed on Generator Guru - Portable Generator Parts and Spares, then chances are it is a Chinese sourced product. Nothing wrong with these as long as you take the above points into consideration relating to disposability and phases. There is always a tendency to tell posters to buy the recognised brand. In this instance I would agree to a certain point - you could buy 2 - 3 of these Chinese items for the price of an industry recognised brand, but conversely a higher chance of unfeasible repairs. So if you're not going to be relying on one and are willing to accept if the internals go that it is scrap, then go for it. If that doesn't sit well with you, then maybe a recognised brand would be better. The item you list is part of and their website states that they source from China/Far East - plus it is on Generator Guru. I'm not saying it is a bad machine - I know nothing of it. Just be aware that at the lower end of the market, faults might not be repairable easily.
    • When not in use keep it somewhere dry - sounds obvious but dampness can come in many forms - dew, condensation, etc. Any dampness on the windings can shorten their lifetime - this includes in with cattle/sheep as the breath can leave a dampness on the windings and corrode them over a winter.

    We have both - a larger old generator which we use for welding and power heavy tasks and a Chinese one for powering lights in an off-grid shed - so I can appreciate the +/- points of both. The large generator has been rebuilt and we have 2 Chinese 2kW items - one of which the generator part is now a paperweight (albeit engine is still fine).

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭ MfMan

    I got one of them a few months ago. Previously had Aldi piece of crap which was a b*tch to start and had poor power output. This one, for the few times I've used it so far, does the things I need, i.e. mag drill, grinder, hammer drill, demolition hammer (smaller than kango). I don't do any welding, so can't comment. Takes straight petrol rather than 50/1 oil mix.

    *red face on* I couldn't start it when I got it first and was on the point of returning it. Then I read the manual again and discovered I had the wrong 0/1 switch turned on - it was the economy one I was toggling instead 😀 Starting fine since. *red face off*

  • Registered Users Posts: 140 ✭✭ jaginsligo

    Have to say the knowledge in the forum is unreal &the fact that people are willing to share it

    Fair dues to ye, great stuff

    Thanks again

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,248 ✭✭✭✭ Esel

    Takes straight petrol rather than 50/1 oil mix.

    That's because it's a 4-stroke. Only 2-strokes need oil in petrol.

    Not your ornery onager

  • Registered Users Posts: 701 ✭✭✭ minerleague

    Question - should a petrol powered water pump be run at full revs or just enough to pump the water? ( was always told chainsaws should be run at max revs )

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,424 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    We have one - cheapish 4-stroke petrol version off Amazon. Onto our second one now. The pump gave up on the first one - engine still going fine. We always run at full rev's and the engine is fine - you'd need full revs so as you don't labour it. I can't remember what happened the pump - I think it cavitated.

    They are a great job for lifting water from a stream or river to dilute a slurry tank prior to stirring. One thing that would help them run is an extended period of use. We usually use it for short bursts, but sometimes a good 5 - 10 minutes under load is good for them.