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Old 09-08-2011, 10:24 AM   #1
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Natural Gas Generator Installation


Hello,

I'm having a natural-gas generator installed. The gas line comes into the house on one side. The electricity comes in the house on the opposite side. Which utility should be run across the house, the electricity or the gas? Does it matter?

Pat

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Old 09-08-2011, 10:37 AM   #2
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Natural Gas Generator Installation


Depends upon accessibility as well as generator placement for the least obnoxious operation, i.e. near a garage as opposed to a master bedroom.

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Old 09-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #3
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Hello Pat and welcome to the best darn DIY"r site on the web.

Like the previous poster mentioned look at where the gen will sit, if either location is OK with you, then evaluate cost of each utility and determine final location based on that cost.

Mark
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
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Natural Gas Generator Installation


I don't have one, but my neighbors recently installed a natural gas Generac unit. The company installing it placed it near their gas meter and piped it from there. My neighbor wanted it on the opposite side of the house (where the electrical service comes in), but the installer said they don't install them that way. They indicated that they install it nearest the gas supply, unless there is a specific reason not to, such as it being on the front of the house. They said that is the best approach, and the only way they've done them. They weren't working for me so I can't say whether they were hacks and full of crap, but I thought I'd put that out there for your consideration.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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Natural Gas Generator Installation


As Brric mention the location for generator location that one item and second item the electrical cable or conductors from generator to the transfer switch { there are few ways to use the transfer switch set up } is not a major issue however the main issue may get you is the gaz pipeing size and gaz meter as well both may or may not need to upgrade to handle extra fuel flowage.

I have work on quite few natural gaz installments and more than half of my time I did see they will increase gaz pipe larger to handle the pressure drop issue.

Genrally there is two way to slove on natural gaz piping size is either go larger one or after the gaz meter change the pressure layout to 2 PSIG system { some will split with low pressure verison in the house while the high pressure go to generator or few case revamp the whole thing and put a secondary regulator inside the house }

That part on gaz side I really suggest to have HVAC or plummer or Gaz compaine assist you on that on proper sizing so the main reason why if the pipe are too small it may be ok unloaded to light loaded but once you get hevey load on the generator it will lean out cause to stumple a bit just like you drive a car and feel like running out of gaz that how it will react.

And make sure you get proper permits many place is hitting this part pretty hard.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:50 AM   #6
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Natural Gas Generator Installation


We're having a 10KW unit put in that will be run on LP.....what I didn't expect is that my supplier is running a separate line from the tank directly to the generator.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
We're having a 10KW unit put in that will be run on LP.....what I didn't expect is that my supplier is running a separate line from the tank directly to the generator.
Your furnace and appliances can only use propane gas but your generator most likely requires liquid propane.

Propane is stored in your tank as a liquid and the liquid vaporizes to maintain the tank pressure. The tank has separate valves for liquid or gas, so you need separate lines too.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by iamrfixit View Post
Your furnace and appliances can only use propane gas but your generator most likely requires liquid propane.
Don't think so, most if not all propane generators have a switch to either run on NG or propane, last time I looked NG was a gas and so is the component of propane used for internal combustion engines.

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #9
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"Jackofall1" is correct. My propane supplier stated that the separate line for the generator is simply to ensure an adequate supply from the tank, i.e., the generator is not drawing vapor from the same regulator as the rest of the appliances.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rico567 View Post
"Jackofall1" is correct. My propane supplier stated that the separate line for the generator is simply to ensure an adequate supply from the tank, i.e., the generator is not drawing vapor from the same regulator as the rest of the appliances.
This methold is pretty common if the tank is quite a distance from the generator or have dual purpose tank { draw both liquid et vapour with two diffrent pick up tubes }

Most small generator I know they are run on vapour gaz but few can specficed to draw on liquid this is true on larger units the last large gaz generator I work on just couple days ago that is a 1,7 megawatts gaz generator it have dual fuel set up which it will use either Natrual gaz vapour or liquid propane gaz { thru the vapourizer unit to change over from liquid to vapor }
If your gaz generator have vapourizer then you can able use the liquid without issue plus what more you can able run on forklift bottles for a while.

I have done that few time when just test it breif before hook up to very large gaz tank.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:49 AM   #11
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A friend had a generator that used liquid propane, it of course used an on board vaporizer to convert the liquid to gas.

With a smaller propane tank or in very cold weather pulling vapor directly off the tank can become a problem, especially with anything that consumes LP gas in a larger quantity.

If you use the gas fast enough the pressure will drop in the tank; the lower the pressure the colder the liquid gets. As the temp continues to drop the liquid will slow or even stop converting to vapor. The smaller the tank the faster this becomes an issue. Using liquid instead of gas alleviates those issues.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #12
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Natural Gas Generator Installation


And the need to counteract that circular expansion > colder > less volume cycle can get some people in trouble. There was the case of a local restaurant owner who flew a hot air balloon with the logo of his business on the side. One cool day, he wanted to fly the balloon, and to be sure he was going to get plenty of propane pressure for his balloon burners, he put the propane tanks into the big dishwasher in his restaurant to warm them up. Trouble is, those big commercial dishwashers put out water at 180F; I will leave the conclusion of this disaster to your imagination.......
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:21 AM   #13
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I have worked on a few natural gas generator installs and the main concern, from my view point, is the gas supply. Most times the supply of natural gas is an "ounce" supply versus a "pound" supply....or lower pressure versus higher pressure. The supply line is higher pressure and then is converted down by the regulator on the gas company side. Your appliances and generator are not setup to receive 1 to 2 pounds of gas pressure. The choices are that you will have to locate the generator near the gas meter and upsize the feed line so that the generator gets enough volume of lower pressure gas to run properly under load. Sometimes the supply is not adequate for requirements. Then you have to get the gas company to convert you to higher pressure via a new regulator and maybe a new meter. After this is complete, then each appliance will get all the volume required but the pressure will be too high. Solution is to install a regulator at each appliance to control the pressure. Sounds confusing but really isn't.

Read the generator installation manual and find out what the required volume of gas is required to feed it is. Determine what pressure / volume you have available at the meter and desired generator location. If you locate very far from the meter then the pressure / volume drop may require a conversion to higher pressure gas supply. There are charts online to help with the calculations but I would always suggest having your gas company convert you over to higher pressure and then install regulators at every appliance. The higher pressure allows you to locate the generator where you want it and utilize smaller sized piping. Call the engineering department at your gas supplier and they can help you.

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