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While I don't want to get too far off the merits of the "deal" being discussed, I thought I'd share some preliminary research with the group.

HitecDrftr's earlier post to the thread about alternative fuels piqued my interested. The good drifter offered up this link (http://www.propane-generators.com/) to a vendor that offers carburetor conversions/adapters. I'm eyeballing the tri-fuel (propane, natural gas, existing gasoline) option. I'm keen to the idea of not having to manage the gasoline logistics and leverage natural gas. The big puzzle piece, what engine was under the hood (more accurately, gas tank) of the KingCraft? Well, a deep dive into the RV and go-kart forums around the web leads me to believe that it's a Honda GX390 clone. Also, the EPA compliance cert toward the rear of the manual IDs Jiangsu Jiandong Group Co. Ltd. as the manufacturer, who, after a little further research is a known manufacturer of Honda clones, aka "CHondas" (Chinese-Hondas).

I'd be happy to hear about any one else's integration plans or links to other forums, resources, etc.

Also, just as a price point comparison, and to keep our eyes on the prize, here's the "All Power America" re-branded version at Sears for $719.99:
http://www.Sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07107331000P?mv=rr

Pantelones,

Try giving propane-generators.com a call at 1-800-553-5608. They are so knowledgeable and helpful that they might be able to tell you right off the bat if they have heard of this generator, and if they can fit it.

Here is a great article that was originally posted by Popular Mechanics. It's no longer on their site for some reason, but someone else found it to be a great article also and posted it:

Installing a backup generator

I used a qualified electrician but these are the basic steps used for my type of setup. The 4 circuit generator panel they used is the one I have, but it's a good bit more than the $100 they spent back in '98. (Cheapest I have seen in today's dollars for model # QO48M30DSGP is $145 at this place: mostelectric.com Everywhere else is selling it for well over $200)

So basically, for a setup like mine you need:

A Generator
A tri-fuel conversion kit, approx. 6 feet of natural gas hose, and a set of brass quick disconnects
4 Circuit Generator panel with manual transfer switch (This comes with two 60Amp "Main" breakers)
10/4 Wire, Wirenuts, 20Amp breakers(4), and 15Amp breakers(4). (Breaker sizes & quantities will depend on what you want to run with the generator.) These breakers will go inside the generator panel.
Weatherproof exterior inlet box (To connect the generator through the wall to your generator panel)
10 to 25 feet of generator extension cord (depends on where you mount the inlet box)
An electrician to install the stuff if you are not familiar with doing this type of work
A plumber to add a gas valve and quick disconnect on your gas meter. (If you are not familiar with this kind of work)

It sounds like a lot, but once it's all installed it's a sweet deal, and the best bang for your buck. It's not as fancy as an installed backup generator that starts up automatically when the power goes out, but it allows you to keep your unit portable, still run on gasoline, or still run for extended periods without refueling (Natural gas) To be able to run on propane, you would also have to buy a propane adapter from the conversion kit place.

Of course, you could forget the hardwiring portion above and just run extension cords to your generator from inside the house. Nowhere near as elegant, but functional.

Hope this helps,

-Hitec-

Hitec,

You are a gentleman and a badass!

Thanks for all the info. We are both on the same "bang for the buck" wavelength.

Pantelones

islandbayy said: ...I liked the Aldi's generators so much, I ordered a 40ft container from the Chinese factory directly and resold them...
Wow, I salute you man. We ordered a container of monitors once for the bulk pricing. Then we got them. O - M - G! :-O

We sold them as monitors, we sold them as building supplies, we sold them as bad coke mirrors, we sold them cost to every store in the city, we filled garages and homes and doorways and we STILL had an endless supply. PHEAR the standard container!

Yah, with all this bad weather, ice storms, hurricanes, Im thinking of doing it again, prices are a bit higher now, and maybe a 20 ft container, or see if I could do 1/2 container load of just the small gensets, 1200 wattish, their small enough to store away nicely, light weight, wife is 80lbs, and can lift one, long run time, only thing it cant do is run a toaster :p but why do you need toast during natural disaster

thanks op. Bought one today.

So who makes the engine and is it very loud when running?
Thanks!

Got the generator. Thinking to hook it the the house. Where to buy a manual transfer switch? What amp is good for 5000 watts? How much will an electrician charge for a simple garage installation? Thanks very much.

gonowhere said: Got the generator. Thinking to hook it the the house. Where to buy a manual transfer switch? What amp is good for 5000 watts? How much will an electrician charge for a simple garage installation? Thanks very much.Watts divided by volts = amps. 5000/120=?

A transfer switch and professional installation will cost more than the generator.

Gonowhere,

I am not trying to insult your intelligence but I was concerned with the "garage installation" in your post. What exactly did you mean?

wizard76 said: Gonowhere,

I am not trying to insult your intelligence but I was concerned with the "garage installation" in your post. What exactly did you mean?
I'm sure that's where his electric panel is located. Can't possibly be thinking about running the generator inside his garage.

My local Home Depot has about 10 refurbished units for sale. They are 5500 watt, and the price is $450, remember thats $405 with a Lowes 10% coupon from the post office.

I just purchased a Generac 3750 watt for $449, shipped, on Amazon. Brand new, not a refurbished unit.

With the recent ice storm, i got scared into buying one, there are still power outages here, and its been 20 days since the storm.

Still wondering how loud is it? Thanks.

What I was going to do is run a 220v to my garage from my breaker (Dad will help me) and build something like a 20 foot 10 gauge power cord to go from the generator's 220v output and plug that into my garage 220v. Then, when the power goes out I'll just wheel this out of my garage, plug it in and fire it up. Anything wrong with this approach?

mazeroth said: What I was going to do is run a 220v to my garage from my breaker (Dad will help me) and build something like a 20 foot 10 gauge power cord to go from the generator's 220v output and plug that into my garage 220v. Then, when the power goes out I'll just wheel this out of my garage, plug it in and fire it up. Anything wrong with this approach?Yeah, without a transfer switch to isolate your generator from the utility line in, you'll backfeed electricity into the network and electrocute a utility worker who is trying to repair a downed line. It's also illegal.

wizard76 said: Still wondering how loud is it? Thanks.A bit louder than a lawnmower.

titewad said: mazeroth said: What I was going to do is run a 220v to my garage from my breaker (Dad will help me) and build something like a 20 foot 10 gauge power cord to go from the generator's 220v output and plug that into my garage 220v. Then, when the power goes out I'll just wheel this out of my garage, plug it in and fire it up. Anything wrong with this approach?Yeah, without a transfer switch to isolate your generator from the utility line in, you'll backfeed electricity into the network and electrocute a utility worker who is trying to repair a downed line. It's also illegal.

Even if I kill the main?

Willie58 said: I have the 6000 watts model and I have used it a few times.
This pass month was 4 days straight, and again as I'm typing this I'm using it again we losted electric again yesterday evening and the power company saying that it will be another 48 hours plus hours before we're back on line.
I have to to say that I'm very pleased with this generator.

I have losted my manuel for this unit and would like to find a new one or a copy of one/ My unit is a Kingcraft item # 1705 6000 watts
If someone has a copy of this manuel I am willing to pay for a copy of it.
contact me at <wwalter1@columbus.rr.com>
Thanks
Willie58


Here's a PDF of the manual Willie.

Huh...the attachment didn't stick. I just emailed your way. Good luck!

Well CRAP no stores in Texas

Thanks titewad. Some of them are extremely loud! Going to try and pick one of these up today.

mazeroth said: titewad said: mazeroth said: What I was going to do is run a 220v to my garage from my breaker (Dad will help me) and build something like a 20 foot 10 gauge power cord to go from the generator's 220v output and plug that into my garage 220v. Then, when the power goes out I'll just wheel this out of my garage, plug it in and fire it up. Anything wrong with this approach?Yeah, without a transfer switch to isolate your generator from the utility line in, you'll backfeed electricity into the network and electrocute a utility worker who is trying to repair a downed line. It's also illegal.

Even if I kill the main?
There are laws regarding electrical connections and what you are describing is illegal and has the potential to hurt or kill someone. Do not backfeed into your electrical panel without a transfer switch. Any connection that is not failsafe, meaning there is no accidental way the generator current can get back onto the power grid, is illegal and dangerous.

A transfer switch will only allow one power source into your panel at a time, and isolates the generator and the power grid from each other making it impossible to make a mistake and send generator current into the grid.

Thanks, but I was not sure that a 50 amp transfer switch is good enough. OFF COURSE, will run the generator outside.

titewad said: gonowhere said: Got the generator. Thinking to hook it the the house. Where to buy a manual transfer switch? What amp is good for 5000 watts? How much will an electrician charge for a simple garage installation? Thanks very much.Watts divided by volts = amps. 5000/120=?

Except that it is a 240v generator.

EthanWeisinger said: Well CRAP no stores in Texas Yep, gotta go to Oklahoma if you want 1.

Wow, I can't believe how much Square D brand manual transfer switches have gone up in only 5 years. I got mine for $100 in 2004, now they range from $235 to over $400 for the same exact model. (QO48M30DSGP Generator Panel) Amazon wants $288 for one! This is the least expensive model you will find to do the job safely. (Generator panels with power gauges are nice, and so are automatic transfer switches, but you certainly don't need either one of them.) The prices for these Square D units are WAY more than you need to be paying, and the bloated prices will only be worse on panels with gauges and automatic transfer switches.

Best place to get them is on Craig's List (I saw one for $125) or somewhere else where you can get one "used". (More than likely they will have been used no more than a handful of times at best. They will have seen very little wear, and will probably include breakers for all the circuits.)

If you are considering the Hardwiring route you should also consider getting one of these: Weatherproof Inlet Box

and one of these: Gentran 30 Amp power cord

Again, I would shop around to find the best prices.

Tightwad is correct that the "accessories" and installation will cost more than the generator, but doing it this way is an extremely cost effective alternative to buying a "Packaged" home generator backup system such as a Guardian type system. You will get more wattage for your money. If your area experiences frequent outages however, maybe you DO want to go the Guardian type route just to minimize your interactions with the generator.

-Hitec-

Just as an FYI, I live in central IL (small town) and just talked to a local electrician that I trust. He recommended exactly what is being talked about here, a transfer switch panel that only works for selected circuits. This makes sense rather than a whole house transfer switch because a 5000 watt generator will not power an entire house and is also a lot more expensive. He told me the transfer switch panel would cost $500 to $600 installed.

titewad said: mazeroth said: titewad said: mazeroth said: What I was going to do is run a 220v to my garage from my breaker (Dad will help me) and build something like a 20 foot 10 gauge power cord to go from the generator's 220v output and plug that into my garage 220v. Then, when the power goes out I'll just wheel this out of my garage, plug it in and fire it up. Anything wrong with this approach?Yeah, without a transfer switch to isolate your generator from the utility line in, you'll backfeed electricity into the network and electrocute a utility worker who is trying to repair a downed line. It's also illegal.

Even if I kill the main?
There are laws regarding electrical connections and what you are describing is illegal and has the potential to hurt or kill someone. Do not backfeed into your electrical panel without a transfer switch. Any connection that is not failsafe, meaning there is no accidental way the generator current can get back onto the power grid, is illegal and dangerous.

A transfer switch will only allow one power source into your panel at a time, and isolates the generator and the power grid from each other making it impossible to make a mistake and send generator current into the grid.


i need to chime in here. there's being cheap and then there's just plain being dangerous. the linemen have a hard enough job without having to worry about accidental backfeeds that could kill them over downed lines that were supposed to be dead. invest in a proper manual transfer switch and if you're even vaguely concerned that it's beyond your ability to install, hire a professional.

incidentally, you could kill the main and plug the generator in via your garage. but in doing so, you'd only get power for that particular circuit. please people, don't be stupid.

Wow, I stand corrected. Here is what appears to be a very good deal from Amazon, except that it's out of stock. It includes a generator panel with manual transfer switch (AND gauges, AND circuit breakers), an inlet box AND a 25 foot power cord for only $250.99 and it comes with free shipping. What it does NOT include is 2- 60Amp Main breakers. I guess you can order it and get it when it comes back in stock. Read the Amazon reviews for more information. Very Nice.

Very Good Deal on Generator Package

It is really not that hard.
Power goes out
kill main breaker
Kill all large appliance breakers
Kill smaller breakers depending on generator size
Fire up Generator and plug in

I had and electrician install a 50 amp receptacle to my Hottub circuit. I do the above, plug the generator in to this receptacle and then turn on the breaker to my hot tub located inside my main panel. Powers my house as needed. I do this with a 3500w generator. I did this in the recent ice storm in KY and I ran my furnace blower, circ pump for my 300 gal SW fish tank and had power for the TV and lights. I am hoping to get this generator at Aldi or something bigger though.
Parts for the box and the connecting cord came from Lowes. Probably cost $75.
As stated above, my main breaker was off during my generator use.

Just curious, but what part of "There are laws regarding electrical connections and what you are describing is illegal and has the potential to hurt or kill someone. Do not backfeed into your electrical panel without a transfer switch. Any connection that is not failsafe, meaning there is no accidental way the generator current can get back onto the power grid, is illegal and dangerous." did you not understand?

-Hitec-

Take my advice just one time of needing a generator is worth spending the money. Our electric was out for 9 days during the recent ice storm in KY. I had purchased a small generator from Big Lots approximately 1 year before and had not had to use it. Needless to say it got a workout during this period. I had not only my family of 4 but all of my wifes family. There was 11 people depending on me during this time. Also if you heat with electric please do yourself a favor and have an alternate source of heat. Thankfully I had an old kerosene heater in my garage having this was the only thing that prevented us all from having to go stay at a shelter. The generator was nice but the heater was an absolute necessity

I TRIED TO BUY ONE OF THE GENERATORS AT OUR ALDI STORE BUT THE STORE ONLY GOT 1 IN THERE WAS ABOUT 20-25 PEOPLE IN LINE FOR THAT 1 GENERATOR.

There were a lot of people in line here as well. I left...

What kind of engine is the 13 HP that comes on the Aldi generator?

I was told they have these generators a few times a year.

During the widnstorm several months ago I lost electric for a week, but was lucky enough to get a kingcraft from an ali that was also without power and had closed so they still had generators as nobody snapped them all up. So I have the 3500 watt model or something like that. It worked great.

I am going to keep an eye out for this one again as I am sure it will be sold again down the road. In the mean time I will get one of those transfer switches and get all that stuff setup as I have the smaller generator that did fine but would like a little more power to run more items if needed.

HitecDrftr said: Wow, I stand corrected. Here is what appears to be a very good deal from Amazon, except that it's out of stock. It includes a generator panel with manual transfer switch (AND gauges, AND circuit breakers), an inlet box AND a 25 foot power cord for only $250.99 and it comes with free shipping. What it does NOT include is 2- 60Amp Main breakers. I guess you can order it and get it when it comes back in stock. Read the Amazon reviews for more information. Very Nice.

Very Good Deal on Generator Package




This is back in stock but I have a question. It doesnt look like it has the outsaide wetherized plug adaptor or is that the hug box with the switches? in the add for this in other bought, there is another one pictures and it has the wetherized plug adaptor for the outside and the box that goes inside etc. OR am I missing something?

I got mine on Thursday in central Illinois. I had stopped by the Aldi's store earlier in the week and found out the they would be available on Thursday and to be there early and they opened at 9:00. I got there at 9:20 and of the 18 units they got it they only had 3 left! The store clerk told me there were people waiting in line at 6:30. This is a small town of 19,000! Anyway got the wheel kit put on, filled engine with oil, added a little gas and it started on the second pull (must choke). A little louder than I would like but for the money I am very pleased!

stlshopper said: What kind of engine is the 13 HP that comes on the Aldi generator?

It's a Honda GX390 clone.

WoozyMoose said: I bought this generator at Aldi's in March 2007 for the same price. It's been a good machine thus far. Did the job during our 5 day power outage last June. Seems to consume more gas than I expected --- not terrible though. No starting difficulty all that time. However, tried to start it this winter -- got it started (sometimes not) but the thing stopped running in less than a minute. Might try it today.

OK folks -- here's an update for my KingCraft generator. I had not really run it for 10 minutes straight since our power outage in mid June 2008.

Since it is 41 to 45 degrees outside today in SE Michigan -- I decided to give mine another try. It did take about 10 different pulls (normally start up only takes 2 pulls). But she did start up correctly on the 10th pull & she continued running for 10 minutes before I shut it off. My oil level is still good -- I'd say I ran it approx 25 hours last June -- instructions say to change the oil after 50 hours. It's running just fine.



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