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Old 08-12-2013, 06:24 AM   #31
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Oh, please.... nothing "half-ass" about my setup.

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Old 08-12-2013, 06:57 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by raylo32
The best part of this kind of setup is that once you get it you'll probably never need it. Worked for me... so far anyway.
Isn't that the truth? Our power used to go out all the time, no sooner than we put in a transfer switch and we quit having outages.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:06 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by wkearney99
Right, so when the power goes out say, in the middle of a winter snow storm, you'll have to first dig all the way to the shed to get the generator. Then drag it and it's cord over to the house's transfer switch plug (otherwise you'd have voltage drop issues from too long of a cord). And repeat the process for the gasoline, until you run out and have to dig out the car to go get more, but no nearby stations have power, so they can't pump any gas.

Or you still have to go to work during the outage. Who's going to keep the genset refilled? Or keep it from being stolen? But let's hope someone's not stupid enough to try and run it inside the building to prevent that. Sadly, no, it happens all too often and people end up dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Then there's the simple fact that most portable generators are not designed to be used for constant duty. Just a couple of hours, not days on end.

Yes, life it full of ways to half-ass all sorts of things. Doesn't make them good ideas, let alone defensible ones.
I have to disagree. If it meets your needs there's no reason to have a whole house backup running 24/7. We went a whole week using a generator....disconnected it and roll it into the garage in the morning, come home after work and start it up for 6-8 hours. No spoiled food. It did what we needed it to do.

There are enough propane/ng kits to where you can easily get away from the gasoline dependency.

It sure beats having to throw out all your food because the stores are out ice, or not having any water because the well has no power.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:24 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by raylo32 View Post
It really depends on your power reliability and electrical needs. If you live in a metro area that is not the third world and don't have a PITA wifey or anyone hooked up to a medical device that requires constant power, an automatic whole house setup is serious overkill and a huge waste of $$... unless of course $$ is no object. Otherwise alls you need is a mid-size portable generator (4-8KW, preferably converted for propane or nat gas) and a transfer switch. The best part of this kind of setup is that once you get it you'll probably never need it. Worked for me... so far anyway.
I agree with this, assuming you spend $2,500 to get a good quality propane generator and then spend $500 to have a transfer switch installed.
Of course, for 50% more you can get a 8kw with auto transfer switch.

We have had three outages in the year I have lived here.

Last edited by Toller; 08-12-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:29 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by dmclean701 View Post
I mounted it on a concrete pad about 20 feet from the house and it was not too noisy.
You might be right about that, but 20' away from my house is in my neighbor's yard. It would probably be noisy for him.

Generac says concrete is noisier; I haven't tried it myself, but am surprised how quiet a stone base is; I have to go right to the window to confirm it is running.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:00 PM   #36
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That's pretty much exactly what I did. I got a nice Yamaha inverter generator and converted it to run off my outdoor nat gas connection. Expensive but worth every penny... to me anyway. Damn that thing is quiet. And I am convinced that if I had gone cheap the weather gods would have made me actually use it. Alls I have done so far is run and load it every few months for maintenance. No need for 8K since I can hardly get this thing to 3/4 load even with the furnace going as it is. So extra capacity would just be a waste in my case. And it goes w/o saying I don't need an auto xfer switch. I can roll the genny out and have it online in about 3 minutes if need be. And the chance that we have a major power outage when we just so happen to be out of town is too low to worry about. And IF it happens worst case is we lose a few groceries. I can replace a LOT of groceries... and take a few Hawaii vacations by not worrying about that one in a million case. We do have PEPCO but this is not Iraq (no offense).

But I installed the xfer switch (Reliant) myself. That was a fairly easy project.

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Originally Posted by Toller View Post
I agree with this, assuming you spend $2,500 to get a good quality propane generator and then spend $500 to have a transfer switch installed.
Of course, for 50% more you can get a 8kw with auto transfer switch.

We have had three outages in the year I have lived here.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raylo32
That's pretty much exactly what I did. I got a nice Yamaha inverter generator and converted it to run off my outdoor nat gas connection. Expensive but worth every penny... to me anyway. Damn that thing is quiet. And I am convinced that if I had gone cheap the weather gods would have made me actually use it. Alls I have done so far is run and load it every few months for maintenance. No need for 8K since I can hardly get this thing to 3/4 load even with the furnace going as it is. So extra capacity would just be a waste in my case. And it goes w/o saying I don't need an auto xfer switch. I can roll the genny out and have it online in about 3 minutes if need be. And the chance that we have a major power outage when we just so happen to be out of town is too low to worry about. And IF it happens worst case is we lose a few groceries. I can replace a LOT of groceries... and take a few Hawaii vacations by not worrying about that one in a million case.

But I installed the xfer switch (Reliant) myself. That was a fairly easy project.
Did you find installing the natural gas kit to be very hard? I've considered installing an lp kit with ours.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:11 PM   #38
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Yeah, we got PEPCO'd bad for about 2 years. I had about 4 or 5 multi-day outages (as long as 5 days) and many more short ones. If it drizzled we lost power. But the county and state came down hard on them and we haven't had a hiccup now for 2 years. I'm sure the cycle of no tree maintenance will repeat and we'll start having some outages. But no sign of it yet. I still credit my generator purchase for the situation.

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Isn't that the truth? Our power used to go out all the time, no sooner than we put in a transfer switch and we quit having outages.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:26 PM   #39
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Yes and no. Installing the kit itself is a piece of cake except my Yamaha generator is fully enclosed in "bodywork". So USCarb didn't have a kit for it.

The kits typically have a collar that goes in line with the carb in intake tract. But mine didn't have room for a collar. So I had to disassemble the bodywork, pull the carb and ship it them. They drilled and tapped it and installed the gas inlet stub right in the carb body. For an open frame generator the job to install a kit would be much easier.

The only other minimally tricky part was adjusting the "load block" to get it running smooth.

Oh, if you get a kit, get a tri-fuel kit, then you can use propane, nat gas or gasoline.

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Did you find installing the natural gas kit to be very hard? I've considered installing an lp kit with ours.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:25 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by raylo32 View Post
Yeah, we got PEPCO'd bad for about 2 years. I had about 4 or 5 multi-day outages (as long as 5 days) and many more short ones. If it drizzled we lost power. But the county and state came down hard on them and we haven't had a hiccup now for 2 years. I'm sure the cycle of no tree maintenance will repeat and we'll start having some outages. But no sign of it yet. I still credit my generator purchase for the situation.
It's similar here. Our power company does not do tree maintenance very well; they wait until it grows up into the line and then chop it off when there is a problem. I always found that funny, because there is another POCO across the state line that poisons everything within 15 ft of their lines... Due to our location if it was a city-wide outage, we were always one of the last to be serviced. This seems to have changed a little over the years....
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:32 PM   #41
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Hooking up the gas is a big expense or can be ...
My propane supplier connected mine for cost of materials, about $65 if I remember. He gets to sell more propane and his rates are competitive.

Also, I got a 20KW unit installed for less than $5500, I paid a guy I know who is a union electrician who's kids are friends with my kids to help me with the install on a Saturday, (ironically the power was out that day). He did the main stuff and I was his grunt. I did stuff like unbonding the neutral bar, gopher stuff, running new ground lines to the panels while he did the control wiring and the service connection. I am lucky, as I have a service shut off on the pole
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:40 PM   #42
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We just installed a propane 150kw Generac this spring. No shortage of power now.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #43
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We just installed a propane 150kw Generac this spring. No shortage of power now.
I hope you mean 15 KW not 150 KW!
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #44
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No, its a 150kw plenty of power.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #45
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No, its a 150kw plenty of power.
that's a big'n right there.

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