The 7,000-watt Briggs & Stratton 30470 can start and run almost anything in a large house, including multiple appliances, sewage pumps and consumer electronics. Despite its size, this portable generator is fairly easy to maneuver. Automatic voltage regulation means that the 30470 is safe for delicate electronics. Like many large portable models, the Briggs & Stratton is relatively noisy, but owners say that's a small price to pay for reliable, surge-free electricity.
Heavy-duty power for homeowners. As part of Briggs & Stratton's Elite Series, the 30470 is more powerful than a basic-level portable generator. Its 7,000-watt output and 8,750-watt surge capacity is beefy enough run an entire household, including submersible well and sewage pumps that require more starting wattage than smaller generators can provide. The 30470 has four AC outlets and one 30-amp, 120/240-volt twist-lock outlet. User-friendly features include low-oil shutdown, a fuel gauge and a fuel shut-off switch that lets users drain gas from the carburetor. Its electric start is a big hit, although the machine must be plugged in when not in use to keep the starter battery charged.
Clean, consistent power. Users are unanimous in their praise for the Briggs & Stratton 30470's power. One reviewer at Sears.com says he used his 30470 to power five homes for five days, while another owner at ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com posts, "The generator easily powers the kitchen lights, two refrigerator/freezer units, well pump, sewage pump, propane furnace and hot water heater with no problem." According to a leading consumer organization, the Briggs & Stratton's voltage fluctuates very little, providing clean power that's safe for electronics. Reviews say it runs for about 10 hours with its 7-gallon gas tank, which isn't as economical as the Westinghouse WH7500E (Est. $950) .
Heavy but user-friendly. At 248 pounds, the Briggs & Stratton 30470 is one of the heaviest generators in our report. Still, owners agree that once you get the wheel kit on -- assembly takes 10 to 15 minutes -- the 30470 is pretty easy to move around on its 12-inch solid wheels. "As heavy as the unit is, the balance on the wheels is excellent," writes one owner at ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com. Reviews say in comparison to other generators in this class, the Briggs & Stratton is fairly loud. Otherwise, complaints about the 30470 are very limited, and its three-year limited consumer warranty is one of the best available.
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Editors include the Briggs & Stratton 30470 in their large comparison test of portable and standby generators. Each model is used to power a variety of home appliances and then tested for power delivery and power quality. Ease of use, run time and noise levels are included in the evaluation.
Review: Generator Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of February 2014
2. Electric Generators Direct.com
In addition to getting an A rating from experts at ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, the Briggs & Stratton 30470 has a 4.9-star average score from more than 150 owners. Users say it's easy to operate, reliable and durable.
Review: Briggs & Stratton 30470 - 7000 Watt Electric Start Portable Generator, Contributors to ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, As of February 2014
With an average of 4.1 stars from about 40 owners, the Briggs & Stratton 30470 isn't one of the most popular or highest rated portable generators at HomeDepot.com. The majority of the reviews are positive, however, with owners calling the 30470 powerful and reliable. Reviews from the manufacturer's website are included.
Review: Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 7,000-Watt Gasoline Powered Portable Generator, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of February 2014
About 35 users post their opinions of the Briggs & Stratton 30470 on Sears.com, giving it an average score of 4.5 stars out of 5. Their comments are brief and to the point; most say the 30470 can power the entire house without a problem.
Review: Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 7000 Watt Portable Generator, Contributors to Sears.com, As of February 2014
About 35 owners review the Briggs & Stratton 30470 at Amazon.com, giving it an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. A few say that it runs well during large storms that last a week or longer, but many of the reviewers have only briefly used the generator.
Review: Briggs & Stratton 30470 7,000 Watt 420cc Gas Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014