Portable Generator for my small apartment.?

My local power supplier PG&E sometimes cuts power to my apartment for fire prevention. I need assistance selecting a portable generator for my apartment.

I work from home, so the absolute necessities I need to power are the following.

-My Modem for internet

-My Laptop, 2 monitors, keyboard, mouse, and a landline phone.

Extra things I would prefer to have to ability to power if budget allows is my fridge, also, entertainment items such as a play station and my TV.

I would need a generator that also ranges on the quieter side, out of respect for my neighbors.

Preferred budget <$1,000. If swayed, I can see <$1,500.

10 Answers

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  • james
    Lv 7
    2 weeks ago

    If going to a generator you need a 15,000 wat. or 20. That is 15 to 20 amp. The fridge takes 7 to 8 amp. But you only need run it a few hours a day.  You can go solar & a battery for the electronics if you wish. I run a 20,000 wat in a 3rd world Country were we can loose power for days to a week of more.  I do it like this. Run freezer all night to make ice. It will kick in & out once cold. In morning put ice in cooler box. Put in days needs in there. Run fridge 2 hours to recool it.  Now you have day power to run wash machine or other. Run fridge a hour or two before putting power to freezer. Lights & other you have lots of extra power for them even with a 15. But with out the fridge you only need 1 solar plate. & a battery to run the electronics. As the battery will charge & be full when the power goes out. Yes I have 1 solar plate also. For outside lights. & a few things to run of battery at night. You can also shut of the freezer at night once cold.. To save gas. 

  • Mr. P
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Have a close look at your lease as I'm sure cutting your power off is illegal without some form of rebate. You may even not have to pay ANY rent if they do this without your permission.

    Secondly - get a UPS that is capable of supplying your computing needs, and add a couple of large 12v batteries to it to give you longer runtime.

    I would buy a gas powered fridge to avoid that problem entirely. They are usually sold for RV's, but means you won't have a problem.

    And if your landlord won't play ball - get the biggest and loudest towable generator and leave it on all night for a week. If anyone blames you for noise - just redirect the complaints to him.

     Oh, and filling your home full of burning candles for light would also be a consideration....wouldn't his actions actually be causing a fire risk then?

  • 3 weeks ago

    You can run all that from a smaller solar system, done that myself.

    Landline phone has power when service is cut, and no need for two monitors.

    A pair of the cheapy solar panels at harbor freight tool will run your puter, even satellite network setup.

    Forgo the pointless stuff til power is restored, you won't need the computer on watching TV and the panels will run a decent TV and DVD player.

    Go to bed, run the fridge on it.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      You can still get phone service provided on copper pairs to your house in most places.

  • 3 weeks ago

    The fridge will be OK for 24 hours. Get a UPS for power backup, and buy a book to read for when the power is out.

    • SimplytheFACTS
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      IGNORANT NONSENSE, a fridge can get too warm in 4 hours, a freezer may last 2 days...

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Hey Kenneth, all that stuff could easily run off a 1000 watt inverter from Harbor Freight.  If it were me, I'd skip the genny, particularly since you live in an apartment, go pick up a deep cycle battery at Menards, Home Depot or an auto parts store and connect the inverter to it.  Then get a plug in battery charger, make sure you charge the battery at least once a week on the low setting for a few hours to keep it full, so it's available when you need it.  If you end up with an extended outage you can charge the deep cycle battery with a set of jumper cables hooked to the car battery for 20 minutes or so, then take it back in the apartment and continue working.  It's not an ideal arrangement, but it can get you through.  We have a pair of deep cycle batteries, about the size and weight of a car battery, with an 85 amp hour capacity each, that run an entire 12 volt system in our place.  Kitchen LED strip lights under the cabinet, in the den and a small 12 volt LED light on each night stand with a USB plug for charging cell phones.  Our batteries are kept charged by a single 120 watt solar panel, it's been working that way for 6 years now.  It offsets a small amount of power from the power company, so it saves us a dollar or two a month maybe, but all that stuff keeps working even when the power is out, which is huge.  I have a 750 watt inverter that I have used during outages to run the TV, DVD player and our laptop as needed, which is usually just for the evening.

    If you decide to go solar, I would not recommend the Harbor Freight solar packages, they are extremely light and not reliable, you can tell by the warranty. Any good brand of panel is warrantied for 20 years or more.  I would guess that if you needed to run on solar with your equipment for several hours a day, maybe a pair of 100 watt panels would be enough to do the job.  Add in a 20 amp solar charge controller from ebay and you'll always have power to keep the important stuff running.  Take care, Rudydoo

    Source(s): homepower.com
    • Rudydoo
      Lv 6
      3 weeks agoReport

      Another option is what we did 30 years ago on our property. Put a second battery in your vehicle, a switch so it can charge from the car when it’s running, and a portable inverter. You can run an extension cord from the car inverter to your apartment, and if needed, run the car a couple times a day.

  • L
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I agree with everyone pointing you away from a gas generator.

    We don't know how your apartment is laid out AND you need to know that you CANNOT run the generator indoors because the carbon monoxide accumulation will kill you and possibly others.

    There's one possibility that might work, but it won't be inexpensive.

    Ask you landlord if a solar generator is possible.

    If your apartment has a southern exposure to the sun - and a balcony - use of four 100 watt hard solar panels or three 120 watt solar panels + a solar generator may provide you with enough for the computer, monitors, modem, landline, smartphone recharge - and at night, TV and game console for at least an hour...

    I've made several - in a large rolling tool case, one or two 100 amp-hour sealed, AGW lead acid or LiPo rechargeable batteries can be mounted (they weigh ~65 pounds each). You'll also need a solar controller and 3-4 solar panels that can be in direct sunlight for several hours each day - your devices can be powered at the same time the battery storage recharges. You will also need a AC-DC power inverter to convert the battery's DC power to AC. For computers and monitors, might be best to be a pure sine wave inverter. There are tutorials at YouTube if you want to go down the DIY path. There are a few more parts you'll want/need and you can find them in the tutorials. I got all the parts from Home Depot, Amazon and car-parts stores.

    Because there's no motor, the only noise is when the small fans turn on in the power inverter when commercial power goes out and the genny is being used.

    I live in Northern California and have PG&E as our energy provider. We just had solar panels installed on the roof (single family home), but in a power outage, they are useless because they are grid-tied and there is no automatic switchover... I'm planning to get that switchover device and whole-house batteries (for only a few important circuits) as soon as battery prices improve and the tech stabilizes a bit.

    We don't know how large or how much power your refrigerator uses - you may need to drop this from your wish list.

    Check BePreparedSolar.com or goalzero.com if you can't build one.

    • Rudydoo
      Lv 6
      3 weeks agoReport

      This could work. Refrigerator s use around 1.25 kWh per day, probably take 300 watts of solar just to fun that.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Before wasting your time on this discussion...will your landlord even permit a portable generator?  Where are you storing the fuel for this thing?  In your apartment...???  I would be surprised if an LL was going to be OK with this, regardless of how quiet. 

    You could have easily listed actual energy usage...nobody here knows how much you'll need...how advanced or inefficient is your laptop?  

    For just basic tech stuff, I'd actually look into battery backup (UPS) as opposed to a generator anyway.  

    More information on how to pick the right generator...

    https://www.consumerreports.org/generators/how-to-...

    Good luck. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    I assume your landlord will allow this....as the generator would need to be placed outside on a common area of the property--far enough from the building so the fumes don't enter....and you have somewhere to safely store it...and the gas?

    I never heard of a reasonably quiet generator.  a basic generator is about 400...i would guess the more powerful ones tend to be louder

    YA isn't a good place to get reliable recommendations.

    you can move the power from one thing to another..for example, cool your fridge and then unplug it for 3 hours and power your other things.

    I know a couple people  that got CO poisoning from running a generator from a garage....

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Many of them are gas powered & you cannot have those inside. 

  • Brian
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    You might want to check with your apartment manager. I doubt that they'd be all that keen on a gasoline/diesel generator running on the property.

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