Generator advice please




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  1. #1
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    Question Generator advice please

    A Friend of mine offered me a petrol generator..Since ESKOM is up to no good again I am thinking about taking him up on his offer. Asking price is undetemined and I know stuff-all about these things! Read quite a bit on the forum about it, but my questions remain!
    Gennie is ZONGSHEN 4kW with automatic protective voltage regulator. AVR3
    I honestly only need it for powering lights (LED) and to keep my fridge and freezer going.
    I have solar heating for my hot water plus heat pumps if needed...(200liter)

    I've read a lot about cheapie chinese stuff and I guess this is one of them? Will it do the work I require from it?
    AND: How much should I pay for it?
    It runs smoothly enough and is NOT key start - the old elbow trick...yank, yank etc...
    I honestly have no idea of how old this thing is...It has been fitted with wheels to drag it around where one wants it. It does not have a power lead to connect to my housing electricity and I would probably need to get an electrician to do the proper connecting...?
    Comments and advice please. Don't be shy; and blunt directness works as well. I have no feelings that can be hurt...well actually the machine does not..!
    John van Dyk
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    1) I'd be surprised if that thing generates close 4kW, in fact it will probably cut out at 3kW
    2) prices when new were around R4k

    I wouldn't offer more than R2k for it.

    I have a similar unit and a microwave oven is almost too much load for it. I run some laptops, LCD screens etc with a max draw of around 500W.

    It definitely can't run an old oil bath welder which is supposed to peak at 15A which at 220v AC is 3300W.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    I am a qualified electrician (I am no longer in the trade) and back in the 2000's used to install and commision generator back-up systems for homes as an additional income stream. I did many installations where the generator was one of these Chinese jobs and you do get what you pay for. Yes, they work, sometimes surprisingly well, but maintenance is far more than on a name brand like Honda, Yamaha or Briggs & Stratton, not to mention spares availability is hit and miss. You will find the carburettor seals, wiring and alternator quality is not quite on par.

    I eventually only installed known brands. Buy once, cry once is very true when it comes to generators, more so when you take into account what a properly installed change-over switch and associated wiring costs you.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    Thanks for the replies thusfar.
    Now: I also have have about 4kW worth of solar panels on my roof. Merely to lower Eskom costs. Power does not go through a battery bank but excess is fed back into the grid. Would it be more worthwhile to take the plunge and get a hold of the necessary batteries, and be more self reliant re electricity? My current system #shuts down in the event of an outage because it feeds back into the system. If it would stay on, lines would remain 'live'!
    I want to have my swimming pool pump and pressure pump from my borehole, running off solar anyhow..somewhere in the future...
    John van Dyk
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    I have a Turner Morris 8kva petrol gennie i bought from a gov supplier and installer. Was told suppliers / manufacturers are local and by chance saw their shop in Pta. Hope they are still there.

    Gennie runs like a dream up to now, touch wood
    Last edited by julius caesar; 2018/12/05 at 07:16 AM.
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by john_ysbeer View Post
    Thanks for the replies thusfar.
    Now: I also have have about 4kW worth of solar panels on my roof. Merely to lower Eskom costs. Power does not go through a battery bank but excess is fed back into the grid. Would it be more worthwhile to take the plunge and get a hold of the necessary batteries, and be more self reliant re electricity? My current system #shuts down in the event of an outage because it feeds back into the system. If it would stay on, lines would remain 'live'!
    I want to have my swimming pool pump and pressure pump from my borehole, running off solar anyhow..somewhere in the future...
    lots of thread on grid tie and standalone full PV systems

    the simple answer is you need to work out cost and the return on that investment

    but showing the finger to a company who's CEO earns R8m for doing a bad job sounds good to me........
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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    1) I'd be surprised if that thing generates close 4kW, in fact it will probably cut out at 3kW
    2) prices when new were around R4k

    I wouldn't offer more than R2k for it.

    I have a similar unit and a microwave oven is almost too much load for it. I run some laptops, LCD screens etc with a max draw of around 500W.

    It definitely can't run an old oil bath welder which is supposed to peak at 15A which at 220v AC is 3300W.


    Jelo

    A Old Oil Bath welder? 15A? How old is that? I have my dads oil cooled welder 160A afrox? is this the same? So How much amps and Watts does it really draw?

    Sorry for hi jack on the thread to the PO.

    I am also interested to know alot more on the chinese brands? as genies are getting very expensive.

    This other guy just upset me the other day.I think he said he had a 3.5KVA gennie (Not sure what name brand) he wanted R3K. I told him he must tell me if he is serious. As he is a truck driver so he is almost never around.

    When he came back he said cash cruisaders gave him R3K for it so he let it go.

    Good luck on this decision.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by rourke View Post
    Jelo

    A Old Oil Bath welder? 15A? How old is that? I have my dads oil cooled welder 160A afrox? is this the same? So How much amps and Watts does it really draw?

    Sorry for hi jack on the thread to the PO.

    I am also interested to know alot more on the chinese brands? as genies are getting very expensive.

    This other guy just upset me the other day.I think he said he had a 3.5KVA gennie (Not sure what name brand) he wanted R3K. I told him he must tell me if he is serious. As he is a truck driver so he is almost never around.

    When he came back he said cash cruisaders gave him R3K for it so he let it go.

    Good luck on this decision.
    I think he referred to the power input, being 15Amp 220V from the wall plug.
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by rourke View Post
    Jelo

    A Old Oil Bath welder? 15A? How old is that? I have my dads oil cooled welder 160A afrox? is this the same? So How much amps and Watts does it really draw?
    Adendorffs 140A unit.

    140Amp Strike Oil Cooled Welder (White)
    220V
    Input Current: 15A
    Welding Current Range: 40 140Amps
    Duty Cycle 20%
    Gross Weight: 24kgs

    It's not new........ Mine is just yellow but the same thing.

    A big reason why I bought a DC welder. Weight, current draw, did I mention weight?
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Generator advice please

    I have a Hoffman 5000 (yes its Chinese) for several years - since the initial spell of load shedding started. Used only as a standby. I guess its run about 200 hrs in total. No problems so far. Change the oil approximately once a year and clean and re-oil the air filter. We use it for our office, boreholes, lights, tv and fridge & freezer. No heavy work such as geyser which is solar.
    As a standby its done its job.

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