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Old 07-29-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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natural gas-powered generator inside home?


After the latest storms we started thinking about getting a power generator. One question I have is this: are there generators that are natural gas powered and that would be safe to install inside the house -- e.g. in the utility room -- and connected to the same gas line that feeds our water heater? How much space would I need for a unit like that? Thanks!

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Old 07-29-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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No there are not any that go inside the home. Those that are in commercial buildings, operate in a area that has both water & Halon systems to suppress fires. Also are usually concrete structures in that manner, which doubtful that your home is.

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Old 07-29-2010, 07:51 PM   #3
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I suppose you could do it if the generator has an exhaust line that is easy to expand, but I don't know what building codes would say about that. And you'd want a very good safety setup to go with that. Probably cheaper to build a small generator house outside your house, built with all concrete and steel, even the roof, so it can withstand the winds.

I want to get one of these later on when I have the spare cash:

http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...partial&s=true
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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natural gas-powered generator inside home?


Aside from the exhaust issues, cooling also needs to be considered. It would get very hot in the room running a gas engine.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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Aside from the exhaust issues, cooling also needs to be considered. It would get very hot in the room running a gas engine.
absolutely.

In rooms that house air or liquid cooled generators, there is either ductwork to bring fresh air to the unit or louvered openings that open when the gen starts and an exhaust fan to draw outside air into the room. If you leave the things in a closed in room, you will have some serious heat issues quite quickly. Imagine how hot your car engine gets. Now put that into a room with no vents.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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natural gas-powered generator inside home?


I have worked on a lot of inside generators in data centers and hospitals. They all have the same setup, the radiator is sitting against an opening in the exterior wall with a large (5-8') fan in front of it. There is also a second opening either on the other side or the roof. When the generator starts the louvers open and the fan sucks fresh air in and the blows it out thru the radiator, it's like a wind tunnel in the room. This not only cools the generator, but it sucks out all the exhaust air that escapes the engine and gets into the room. The exhaust will leak out, so even if you vent the exhaust pipe outside, you are still in danger.

These systems are very expensive and engineered perfectly, then built to spec.

Your best option is to get one of those generators linked to above, they sit outside just like an air conditioning condenser.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:07 PM   #7
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natural gas-powered generator inside home?


Along with the other statements, the gas line would not be large enough to handle the water heater and generator
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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Along with the other statements, the gas line would not be large enough to handle the water heater and generator
Excellent point. Normally when I install a residential generator there is also a plumber running a new line from the gas meter to the generator. I never really got into their side of the job, but I've been told that they need to upgrade to a high flow meter or something of the sort.

So ilyaz, if your desire to put the generator in the utility room was just to use the current gas line, that wouldn't work anyway as jbfan stated.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:58 AM   #9
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natural gas-powered generator inside home?


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Originally Posted by ilyaz View Post
After the latest storms we started thinking about getting a power generator. One question I have is this: are there generators that are natural gas powered and that would be safe to install inside the house -- e.g. in the utility room -- and connected to the same gas line that feeds our water heater? How much space would I need for a unit like that? Thanks!
I really discourage you try to install the generator inside the house due there are few issue as the posters mention very clear.

One is heat issue it don't matter if air cooled or water cooled engine the issue is heat it will kick up a bit of heat espcally with exhaust pipe it can get pretty hot {can get up 1100 - 1300°F on gaz units } unless you get heat warpped it will be not too bad.

Other issue is noise it can get pretty loud espcally with 3600 T/M { RPM } engines they can scream pretty loud just like you start up large lawn mower inside the garage for couple seconds it will transit the noise all over the house.

as other mention gaz pipe and pressure setting majoty of them will have to increase the size or pressure or both depending on the set up you have there.

I have two diesel generators in my shop and they are inside the building but in one corner and well surounned with spancrete when they are running it is not very loud at all due the exhaust go up ditto with raditors { roof mounted }

Oh yeah If I recalled right someone did try to install the gaz generator in the garage and the inspector found out and he was really livied { ticked off } and stick a red tag on the door real quick.

Merci.
Marc

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