The Generac LP3250 propane-powered portable generator provides enough power to run a couple of big appliances at once. Owners say using propane can be an advantage when gas is scarce, without the maintenance issues that frequently plague gasoline fuel systems. This model is efficient and lightweight, but the company draws criticism for poor customer service.
Reasonable accessibility. The Generac LP3250 is propane-powered, with an on-board platform to hold a 20- or 30-pound propane tank. As a light-duty generator, it's rated at 3,250 watts of continuous power, with up to 3,750 watts of surge power. The LP3250 has four covered 5-20R outlets and a single, covered 14-20R twist-lock outlet. It's worth noting that although the outlets are rated for 20 amps, this unit's circuit breakers are rated for only 15 amps. This somewhat curtails its power output because the breakers will trip if you try to draw the full 20 amps. For extra protection, the LP3250 features low-oil pressure shutdown and outlet covers.
Sufficient for smaller appliances. The Generac LP3250 can handle small- to medium-size loads without complaint, users say. Most say it's powerful enough to run a sump pump, but not quite beefy enough to power a clothes dryer. The LP3250 has "enough power to run the refrigerator/freezer, my computer, TV, a few lights and fans," says one owner at ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, adding that it isn't strong enough to "run the whole house but just enough to run the essentials for a few days without power." Generac estimates nine hours of run time at half load on a 20-pound propane tank, and most owners agree or estimate even better results.
Low maintenance. Without a gasoline fuel system, maintenance is simplified on the Generac LP3250. "The fact that I no longer have to worry about the carburetor getting clogged up with shellac if the motor isn't started for a while is worth the price," says an owner at HomeDepot.com. All generators make noise, but owners say over and over again that the Generac LP3250 is "relatively" or "surprisingly" quiet. Reviews like this model's quick, easy and clean fuel changes compared to gas-powered machines and say it's very maneuverable. The LP3250 carries a two-year warranty, but it's plagued by the same complaints about terrible customer service that we find for many Generac models.
Here the Generac LP3250 gets an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 from more than 80 users. Most say it runs smoothly and quietly, although the start-up process is more complicated. Reviews from Generac.com and a few duplicate reviews from Amazon.com are included here.
Review: Generac LP 3,250-Watt Propane Powered Portable Generator, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of March 2014
Almost 60 Amazon.com users post a review here, giving the Generac LP3250 4 stars out of 5. Most say the generator runs well, but a few warn that it's more complicated to start than a gas-powered unit. A few owners complain about terrible customer support.
Review: Generac 6000 LP3250 3,250 Watt 212cc OHV Portable Liquid Propane Powered Generator with Tank Holder, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2014
3. Electric Generators Direct.com
Product experts with ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com give the Generac LP3250 an A rating, saying it's powerful enough to run most sump pumps. Almost 30 users review the Generac LP3250, and 100 percent recommend it. Most say they're pleasantly surprised by how quiet it is, but add that assembly is more complicated than some models.
Review: Generac LP3250 - 3250 Watt Portable LP Generator, Contributors to ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, As of February 2014