New generator bought – Briggs & Stratton 5500 Watt

Ready to open my present......
Ready to open my present......

I have been wanting to pick up a new generator for quite some time – but ball and chain wifey wouldn’t cooperate. With the recent storms here in the Southeast and damage to our property – she is finally seeing the light. She actually called me up Thursday and said “Honey – the biggest and strongest man around – go ahead and go buy that generator you have been wanting.” Alright – I exaggerated a little – but she did give me the go ahead.

I didn’t hesitate for a moment. I went to Home Depot and picked up a Briggs & Stratton 5500W Storm Responder model. Due to the massive power outages in the area over the past week – there were not many models to choose from. I originally was going to go with a 3000 – 3500 watt model – but decided to go for the gusto and go bigger.

5500 watts of continuous power with 8250 watts of peak start up power will handle most everything I need in an emergency situation. I now have the generator sitting in my garage along with a tote box on top of it with spare extension cords, power strips, and oil.

I am pretty pleased with the features. It has 4 120 volt plugs on the front panel along with a 30 AMP RV plug. It came with a 25 foot generator plug that connects to 2 of the 120 volt plugs and has an adapter at the end to plug in an additional 4 120 volt extension cords. I also bought an adapter which converts the 30 amp RV plug down to 20 amp – and then I bought a plug which plugs into that which has 4 120 volt plugs. In the end – this means I have a total of 10 120 volt plugs. Plenty.

 

POWER by Briggs & Stratton

 

In case you are interested in seeing typical wattage use various things – here is a list I found at http://www.yamaha-motor.com/outdoor/generator/sizing.aspx .

I have several 5 gallon case cans stored away in my shed that U have kept for vehicle use if needed. I need to add more now for the generator. It will run for 13 hours at 1/2 load on 7 gallons.

Oh – by the way – it was manufactured in the United States.

Take care all – Rourke


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18 Comments

  1. Remember:

    Use a “stabilizer” in your stored gas.

    Shut off the fuel valve and let all the gas left in the carb burn off till it dies before you store it.

    Try to find gas that has no ethanol in it. Cars can handle up to a 15% mix, but MOST small engines cannot, it will rot the plastic and rubber parts of the fuel system.

  2. Rourke, That is a damn fine generator. I think it was a wise choice going with something that has a bit of power to it. The Briggs and Stratton is the only way to go. Some of the other generators I have seen don’t have it in the engine department. If you are going to trust it to keeping the power on for the family it is good to go with a company that is tried and tested. Looks like someone has a shiny new toy to fiddle with. I am amazed at how easily the fairer sex comes on board after a little SHTF stuff happens. It is a good thing that they start to realize the wisdom that we have when it comes to survival.

  3. Rourke, in a recent e-mail I sent you about my AAR from the EF-4 here I described how my house was scoped for my gen from the road out front till my friendly pack of furry “door greeters” pursuaded them to move on.

    Keep the gen out of sight from any road observable place, yet don’t run it indoors, breath the fumes etc etc.

    I have a few gens, the main house gen is a 8k that runs everything well. Three kilowatts is a bit small for my personal use, 5k or better is good. The more you load the gen, the less voltage all the outlets get.

    Good luck with your unit, keep that gas handy and preserved well.

  4. Rourke,

    Getting a whole house generator is at the top of my bucket list. One of my fears is that an extended power outage will result in the loss of a freezer full of food. That would not be good. We have selected a generator at Costco and have lined up an electrician and a propane technician to tie it into our main electrical box. Now we need figure out how to get it over to our island via ferry. This will be a costly addition to our emergency preps but luckily, something we planned for budget-wise.

    Thanks for the reminder that the moment is now – you never know when an outage will occur.

    — Gaye

    • SurvivalWoman –

      Sounds awesome. I had thought of a whole-house model at some point – have to see what happens.

      I actually would like to get a smaller model for portability and powering smaller items like power tools.

      Thanks – Rourke

  5. Watch how much load you put on that wire, by now having up to 10 outlets, the main feed line can overheat especially if you’re running it a distance and now that you knocked it down from 30amp to 20amp. Also don’t use the cheap 16/3 gauge extension cords typically found in outdoor centers for items that draw a lot of amps or long runs, they will overheat and cause power loss. Best cords to use are the 12/3 type for runs up to 50-60 feet, if you are planning on using things with heavy amps or longer runs, then a 10/3 gauge cord is recommended. Our CERT class had a class on this subject given by local electrical line supervisor/line worker – I learned a LOT from that class.

    Oh yeah, then don’t forget a way to secure the generator to something, they have a tendency to walk off during power outages.

  6. Hello, I think the idea of buying a genny to power the whole house is generally a mistake. The exception would be a very short outage. The reasons are1) Most gennys are gas hogs and people use up the fuel quickly then they are stuck. 2) Gennys that large are LOUD, drawing unwanted attention. 3) Generally speaking it doesn’t take that much electricity to keep the freezer/fridge/lights running and be quite comfortable. The extra money spent on a large genny might be better spent on other preps.
    So what did I do? I bought a Champion inverter generator. It was $499 from Sam’s club. Although made in china it seems very well made and works/runs extremely well. While you pay more per watt with inverter gennys, there are significant advantages. Mainly much lower noise levels and much greater fuel efficiency. This thing sips gas. While only 2000surge/1600 continuous watts I can run both my refrigerator and upright freezer at the same time and did I mention it just sips gas? I figure 30 gal. of fuel would last me about a month. Can’t beat that.
    Also it is possible to use your vehicle/alternator as a small genny by hooking up an inverter to the battery and leaving the engine running, I have an old Mercedes diesel car that has a 55 amp alternator and by attaching a Xantrex 700 watt inverter using allegator clips to the battery it will also power the above upright freezer and fridge. Though not at the same time. Plus you can charge 12 volt deep cycle batteries just by running jumper cables. Plus the diesel engine sips fuel as well,only using 1 qt. of diesel per hour. This may not work with newer vehicles but works well for me. Another thing to consider is this. Sam’s has 750 watt inverters for $39 dollars. Might pay to have a couple of these on hand to loan any neighbors so they can have some basic electricity and keep them off your back. Might be cheap insurance.
    This is what has worked for me and just my .20 adjusted for inflation.

    • Homer –

      Thanks for the info. I have looked at that Champion Inverter Genny – need to look at it again.

      Thanks – Rourke

  7. I forgot to say, congrats on getting the generator. By being able to keep the fridge and freezer running you just increased your emergency food supply as well. Take care.

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