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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Harbor Freight Predator 3500 Generator On Sale!

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2oldman

Mecca

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wopachop wrote:

Good choice for home usage when the power is out?
Homes are either 100 or 200amp. I think this gen might be a bit light for that.

Sandia Man

Rio Rancho, NM

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've heard mostly good things about the HF Predator, but when we were looking for a secondary genny to compliment our onboard Onan (way overkill for most uses) 5 years ago I went with a Champion 3100 inverter genny. The price for HF Predator 3500 you stated is pretty much every day pricing, can be had for under $700 on sale, black friday pricing would be a good time to acquire.

My specifics for our secondary genny were inverter type, capable of powering our AC unit, eco-mode, quieter, increased fuel efficiency, and most important was remote start mimicking our Onan's ease of startup/shutdown. Over 400 hours and 5 years later, it still runs like a, you guessed it, a champ. Customer service was great when we needed high elevation carb jet, had it on my doorstep 3 days later.

Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you back feed a transformer from your house you will kill the workers trying to repair the electrical lines.

NEVER use a generator to power up your house.

clicking the main circuit is not enough to stop the back feed.

WA. has big fines for doing this. when caught, the power company will pull the meter, and you will pay big to get it installed again.


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wopachop

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Posted: 11/18/20 11:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting how does it back feed with the main turned off? Does it have to do with the neutral and being alternating current?

Not sure if directed at me. My suggestion to my friend is run electrical cords into the house to power the fridge and computers for school. Seems like a quick and easy option. Or a propane generator since the house is on a huge propane tank.

2oldman

Mecca

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Posted: 11/18/20 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wopachop wrote:

Interesting how does it back feed with the main turned off? Does it have to do with the neutral and being alternating current?.
Beats me, but it seems extremely unlikely a lineman wouldn't know if the line he's working on is energized by somebody's generator.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 11/18/20 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You must install an interlock to prevent a genset from back-feeding into the utility system.
A small genset would be used normally with an extension cord feeding specific items like refer, microwave and a few lights.


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Posted: 11/18/20 12:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jkwilson wrote:

The Predator 3500, Echo Bearcat IG3500E and Northern Powerhorse 3500i are all the same generator, and are a good quality unit for the price.

But $799.99 is the regular price at both Harbor Freight and Northern Tool, so it’s not on sale. Harbor Freight occasionally has a coupon that applies to the Predator. I think it was 15% a few weeks ago, but they are rare.


Yep, regular price. It's often on sale for $699.


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#1Flyboy

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Posted: 11/18/20 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it’s made in communist China I guess once it quits running you recycle it as an anchor? I’m not impressed with China quality....

Dave H M

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Posted: 11/19/20 06:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some weird skinny being spread here, maybe urban legend.

If you turn the main breaker off how in the world are you gonna back feed?

Where i live the interlock switch at the service panel works to make it impossible to back feed into the grid and it is OK with REA.

I powered my service panel with the Predator with the use of the interlock system for years. I had square D. Ask google about the square D interlock and how it works.

And BTW, this thread went south and down the tube at warp speed. [emoticon]

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 11/19/20 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

wopachop wrote:

Good choice for home usage when the power is out?
Homes are either 100 or 200amp. I think this gen might be a bit light for that.


[emoticon]

2oldman, you chopped up wopachops question then took it out of context. 3500W gen CAN provide up to 30A at 120V which can easily power any RV with 30A shore cord.

You do not need a 24Kw-48Kw (100A-200A) generator to power a home under emergency conditions, period.

Very few folks who have bought whole home backup gens rarely buy bigger than 12Kw-15Kw, might see some at 20Kw level because of heatpump or all electric heating system that want to power.

Typically in emergency use, you only power the CRITICAL loads.

For clarity and completeness, I quoted wopachops question in it's entirety in red below.

wopachop writes "Good choice for home usage when the power is out? Or go with something a little bigger? Pretend its your average family with a couple kids.

My friend wants those giant built in units hooked up to the service panel. To me that seems like a good choice for an older couple with medical machines and want it to automatically change over.

I keep telling her just get a smaller gen and run eletrical cords as a cheaper option. This summer they warned about shutting the power off is why its an issue. Has to do with preventing fires from the main electrical lines. "


wopachop, to answer your question, YES, this IS a "good choice" under emergency conditions as long as your friend understands that-

1 This gen provides a LIMITED amount of power compared to their connection to the commercial electrical grid, will need manual load shedding if they need multiple high wattage devices to be run at the same time. Would be fine for any 120V loads like lighting, TVs, stereos, refrigerator/freezer, computers, gaming stuff, streaming stuff, Internet routers and even CPap if needed (however I would suggest that might be better with some battery backup in case the gen runs out of fuel or stops through the night). Even a couple of small portable "space" heater could be carefully run.

2 This gen provides only 120V so only will be able to power 120V devices, will not power 240V things like a electric stove/oven, 40gallon or larger electric water heater, will not power large whole house A/C units that require 240V, will not power electric whole house heating systems (including heat pumps) that need 240V, will not power deep water wells that use 240V pumps, will not run anything that needs 240V.

3 This gen if they wanted to connect to breaker panel can only power ONE side of the panel (IE 120V and limited 3500W power). Would be best to just run extension cords to where needed instead of attempting to connect to breaker panel.

4 This is a completely MANUAL portable gen setup, not designed to be permanent, permanently connected to your breaker panel, no auto start/autorun, will have to run extension cords.

5 under no circumstances should it be run inside the house, on the porch, inside a connected garage or in the basement.. Respect the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning by placing a short distance away from the home.

6 If your friend wants or needs a gen to tie into breaker panel, I would suggest a little higher wattage of 8Kw and those will provide 240/120v and can be tied into breaker panel with proper transfer box or existing breaker panel might be able to be retrofitted with a gen breaker interlock kit. See HERE for Interlock kits.

Heck, I used a 120V only 4kw portable gen for many years to provide backup power just by running an extension cord through a window..

Now, I have an electric start 8.7 Kw gen in a tractor shed away from my home and a manual gen transfer panel with priority circuits so I do not have to run a lot of extension cords and allows me to run my water well [emoticon] running water in an emergency.. PRICELESS! [emoticon]

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