Is UST a decent brand for a generator?

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  #1  
Old 11-07-12, 12:24 PM
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Is UST a decent brand for a generator?

During HURRICANE "SANDY", I was able to score a UST 7500W generator from my local Home Depot(timing is everything). I was able to use it for a day and as Murphy's Law would have it, my power came on. My goal was to keep it for possible future uses, but I am questioning the brand. See, I always bought name brand supplies due to customer service and reliability. FWIW, I maintain my equipment/tools as so they can last. With that being said, is this UST generator a decent brand that I should keep. Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-07-12, 12:41 PM
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So you bought whatever generator you could get your hands on. Used it for a day. And now that the power is back on you are considering returning it? Sounds more like an ethical question than one about the quality of the generator since it it ran properly when you needed it.
 
  #3  
Old 11-07-12, 12:49 PM
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No no, I am not going to return it, that would be ****ty. I was going to sell it what I paid for it. I am not looking to make a profit at all. Maybe someone else can use it for what I paid for it, that's all.
 
  #4  
Old 11-07-12, 01:00 PM
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If you take care of it I think it would be fine for emergency service. If you are a contractor and will be running it hard/often I would consider something higher quality. Even a consumer/home owner grade engine is capable of running a thousand hours and unless you will be using it a lot I don't know if it would be worth the money to step up to a commercial or more brand name unit.

I have several Honda brand generators that I use for my business. The 2'000 watt ones cost about $1'000 each and the 3'000 watt is about $2'000 (they are the EU inverter series). A couple of them I have run them for so long that I can't remember how much they've run but it's well over 1'000 hours and one is probably over 2'000 hours. They are good but they are expensive. To me they are worth it but you've got to use it a lot to justify the price.

The biggest thing is how you store it with gas varnishing and clogging the carburetor if you don't prepare it properly for long term storage. If your UST is stored properly it should start right up the next time you need it and probably get you through any storms in your lifetime.
 
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Old 11-07-12, 01:06 PM
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Thank you, that's what I wanted to and needed to hear. I have several STIHL/REDMAXX power tools that I maintain. As far as use, this is for the occasional power outage, nothing like everyday use. Looks like a keeper.
Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 11-07-12, 03:49 PM
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I think you'll be happy. If you sold it and bought a really expensive one you'd feel like kicking yourself every time you went a season without using it. At a certain price point you just consider it cheap insurance and worth keeping around.
 
  #7  
Old 11-07-12, 04:33 PM
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Thank you Pilot, I appreciate the input. It's one of things I guess I don't want to use. FWIW, this hurricane did some major damage here on Long Island. Luckily, I was spared the damage; just some loss of power for a few days. Once again, THANKS!
 
  #8  
Old 11-08-12, 07:07 AM
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I've been through three major storms since college. Each has taken out power for a week. Storms that hit in the summer seem to be the worst especially down here where summer lasts longer. The first couple days are OK but after the fridge warms and things in the freezer thaw you really start to appreciate what refrigeration (and air conditioning) does for our modern lives.

Whenever a storm is threatening make sure you have an ample fuel supply on hand. I use a small gasoline generator for light use just running a tv and some lights and I keep four 5 gallon jugs of gas on hand. I store the jugs in a row (in the shed, not near the house) and every week take the oldest one and pour it into the car and refill the can. This insures that the fuel stays fresh and is a convenient source of fuel when you forget to fill up the car.

Keep cash on hand. The last storm we had several gas stations opened running on generators but they were unable to process credit cards so fuel could only be bought with cash. The same with several stores which were cash only.

Don't panic. It's surprising how many people think they are going to die when the power goes out. Humans are perfectly capable of surviving without electricity and central heat & AC so I find it easiest to just suck it up and get into the situation at hand and not worry about why this or that is not fixed yet. Power goes out. Start making a plan of what food to eat first. Nobody opens the fridge or freezer door without a plan to minimize loosing the cold. Heck, even get to know your neighbors. Got 20 lbs of steak in the freezer that is thawing and will go bad. Find a neighbor with a gas grill and beer.
 
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Old 11-08-12, 08:36 AM
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Pilot,

Great advice. I was actually well prepared for this storm(except generator). I will be even more prepared for the next one. Once again, THANKS!
 
  #10  
Old 11-13-12, 07:02 PM
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A few words of warning about generators, particularly the inexpensive ones:

My neighbor sells and repairs small engines from his barn - he has a staff of four. During an ice storm, I had power, but no one else did. I was in his barn/store, and he and his staff were in a frenzy. They had a line-up of at least 15 generators needing repair, and they were doing their best to repair them quickly under generator power.

He said that generators are more finicky than lawn mowers, snowblowers and other small engines.

He recommends the following for a generator:

- run it with some type of electric load connected (even a light) monthly, and more often if you can.

- use fuel stabilizer in the gas (this is critical). He uses both Seafoam and another product like Stabil.

- after you test run it, leave the engine on and turn off the fuel shutoff valve. It will then run the engine dry and shut off. That way, you make sure there is no gas sitting inside the engine and carburetor.

- Do all the regular maintenance, as described in the book.

- Every year or two, bring it to a small engine guy for a clean and check, unless you can do it yourself. Also bring it in for servicing after a week-long outage.

- Buy the most reliable engine you can afford. That may be a waste of money until yours fails when you desperately need it.

My cheapo ($400, 3000-watt) was sputtering daily during Hurricane Irene (five days without power). I had done everything listed above except bring it in for the clean and check. It was sputtering because of dirt in the carburetor it had picked up after two years, and failed after a few days during Irene. My friend who was very nice and also felt he owed me me one (he didn't, but he was really nice) drove up with his Honda generator to let me finish out the storm. His Honda was nine years old, had been used once for five days, and he had taken little care of it since then, but it ran beautifully. Hondas are great if you can afford one.

My friend the power equipment man had tried to talk me into buying a better unit when I bought the cheap one from him, and this time recommended a Robin Subaru, which he said has a very reliable engine, although it has less electronics and a somewhat less clean power output than a Honda (althoguh good enough for electronics). This time, I followed his advice and bought the Robin Subaru. Haven't had a major outage yet since I bought it a year ago, but one will come one of these days. These weird storms keep coming.

Regardless of which model you have (you can never buy a perfect generator), baby it. The biggest problem is that people buy them, test them or use them once, and then put them away for two years. Then they find out that they won't turn on when the outage hits.
 
  #11  
Old 11-13-12, 08:50 PM
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Thank you for that post!!!!!!
 
  #12  
Old 11-19-12, 11:13 AM
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Here on Long Island as well, in East Northport. I picked up the same exact generator - timing was everything. Local HD had a truck delivery at about 10:00 PM Tuesday, day after Sandy.

I had no power for 14 days, so the $800 paid for itself... especially when the temps dipped into the 30s.

We put around 120 hours on the generator during that time, changed the oil twice and just prepared it for storage. Honestly should have changed it three times with that many hours

As you probably know, it has some sort of Chinese knock-off engine, looks eerily similar to my friend's engine in his Honda generator. It should be fine for emergency use.

I plan on keeping it through the Winter, and will look at a Generac or similar home backup unit in the Spring.
 
  #13  
Old 11-19-12, 07:19 PM
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Thanks for the post. I'm going to keep it, looks like it will serve my purpose here.
 
  #14  
Old 11-19-12, 07:40 PM
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Hope you guys are doing well down there on Long Island by this time.

"Great advice. I was actually well prepared for this storm(except generator). I will be even more prepared for the next one." - Sandman

And Sandman, we're all really hoping that there won't be another storm like this that you have to be prepared for.
 
  #15  
Old 11-19-12, 08:38 PM
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Irene last year, Sandy this year, who know what next. I'll be ready!
 
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