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What is your generator situation

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
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Residential Generator


Been thinking I need a generator. Most likely a propane stand-by with electronic transfer switch. These things cost a bundle is it worth it?

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Old 03-16-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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Residential Generator


Where are you located ?
Lose power much ?

I've never lost power...but the $500 is well spent as an insurance policy

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Old 03-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #3
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Where are you located ?
Lose power much ?

I've never lost power...but the $500 is well spent as an insurance policy
I live in a rural area, with old bare power lines. The previous owner had an old diesel generator (not sure it if works*) and the neighbors tell story on having one ice storm where three families were in their house for a few days. Me personally have never been without power for more than a few hours. My dad was out in Chicago for a week.

*BoA had to disconnect to bring to code as was not properly done.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Between the ice storms in the winter and the summer thunderstorms, we lose power fairly frequently. I bought a natural gas generator with a transfer switch so everything is automatic. During the past 9 years it has come in very handy, once for three days straight.

It keeps the family happy and I wouldn't want to be without one now. In the overall view they really aren't that expensive. I guess it depends on how often you lose power and if you think it's worth it. To me it's worth it's weight in gold because "when momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy."

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:51 AM   #5
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Between the ice storms in the winter and...

...and if you think it's worth it. To me it's worth it's weight in gold because "when momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy."
You can say that again!
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:33 AM   #6
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I figure if I use it just once in 20 years it has paid for itself
Even 10 years --$500/10 = $50 a year "insurance" policy
I've spent more on a round of drinks

You see so many stories on the news about people who have been without power for days after a storm
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:55 PM   #7
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I have two stand by diesel generators in my home / shop in wisconsin I know you will ask me why two .,,, one is at 5 KW while second unit is at 20 KW and both are very slow speed diesel the 5 Kw run at 900T/min while the larger one only run at 450 T/ min but never have issue with fuel due I have on road diesel fuel supply at my shop and I used them in my truck and my house and shop heater use the common fuel.

Power outage ? yeah kinda pretty fequnet with me due I am on the end of the spur.

Longest outage .,, 2 week constant running due ice / hevey snow storm

and yeah I have two portable units one is diesel and the other unit I have is straght LP gas { liquid draw not the vapour }

In France where I am now I have 8 Kw diesel unit that run 1000 T/ min and I used at least once a month some case more depending on weather and the POCO rates.

Merci,Marc
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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Anybody have any experience with these? Since you mentioned two generators this popped into my head. The transfer switch and generator are very salty so this could be a temporary solution and then become a back-up? Although, I tend to have more diesel just sitting around than gasoline...

Tri-fuel generators
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:36 AM   #9
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Anybody have any experience with these? Since you mentioned two generators this popped into my head. The transfer switch and generator are very salty so this could be a temporary solution and then become a back-up? Although, I tend to have more diesel just sitting around than gasoline...

Tri-fuel generators
Never dealt with a tri-fuel unit but have dealt with Honda and in my opinion they are very good units.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:42 AM   #10
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I chose "Never needed one, never want one". I wouldn't say I never want one...I just don't see the value in it since the power so rarely goes out here. Give me a couple outages and I'd probably change my mind.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:15 PM   #11
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I chose "Never needed one, never want one". I wouldn't say I never want one...I just don't see the value in it since the power so rarely goes out here. Give me a couple outages and I'd probably change my mind.
Only lived here six months so will see what happens as now its Spring
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:19 PM   #12
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Ok we will keep a post to see how many members here reported the outage and how long

Mine .,, in France it allready did few days ago 3 hours outage { a dolt hit the transfomer }

Merci,Marc
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:11 PM   #13
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i've done quite a few generator installs in homes....if you can find one for $500 then buy it. The automatic transfer switch alone is probably worth that. Most people usually have me idiot proof their plain jane gas generators. you can get 9 hours runtime out of a decent genny that puts out about 6.5kw on around 2.5gallons of gas. Most of the gas genny's have a 30A twistlock on them so to legally install them what i do is run a cable to and weatherproof twistlock plug on the side of the house and build them a cord to connect to the twistlock on the genny to the one on the house. I install a 30A gen panel with a mechanical interlock. 30A will run alot of stuff if you've got gas heat and hot water. basically i'm generally able to give them their t.v, most lights, freezers and fridges, running water if theres a pump, microwave. ranges and dryers are a no no LOL. with a set up like this when the power goes off all they have to do is go throw the transfer switch in the gen panel and fire it up. Alot of people always tell me "why don't you just backfeed the panel" well the answer is simply because you can't legally do it. even running a transfer swith directly to your house power isn't the best way to go as you genny is only able to produce so much and you have to make the call on what circuits to turn on and off. Also this scenario makes it very easy to overload the generator and unfortunately burn out the engine. A gen panel is definately the way to go...even if your installing an automatic transfer switch unless you mave a monster genny like the 20kw one mentioned above that's capable of runnign your whole house. If your doing the install yourself expect the parts to cost around $400 plus the cost of the generator.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:43 PM   #14
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Andrew.,

I know you mention about my generator and yeah it is pretty good size unit and the 20Kw unit will handle both house and shop at the same time due I have triple transfer switch set up it kinda instering how it set up the first one the uility / generator transfer switch while the other two is for both generators plus exteral plug if need larger unit if the situation arise.

{ one instering twist with my generators it can run in parallel mode so it mean it can run both generators or Uility plus generator at the same time }


But for most home I deal with generator set up seems 8 Kw to 15 Kw is the most common with manual transfer set up for automatique set up it will required larger unit if you are on 2008 NEC code


Merci,Marc
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by andrew79 View Post
i've done quite a few generator installs in homes....if you can find one for $500 then buy it. The automatic transfer switch alone is probably worth that. Most people usually have me idiot proof their plain jane gas generators. you can get 9 hours runtime out of a decent genny that puts out about 6.5kw on around 2.5gallons of gas. Most of the gas genny's have a 30A twistlock on them so to legally install them what i do is run a cable to and weatherproof twistlock plug on the side of the house and build them a cord to connect to the twistlock on the genny to the one on the house. I install a 30A gen panel with a mechanical interlock. 30A will run alot of stuff if you've got gas heat and hot water. basically i'm generally able to give them their t.v, most lights, freezers and fridges, running water if theres a pump, microwave. ranges and dryers are a no no LOL. with a set up like this when the power goes off all they have to do is go throw the transfer switch in the gen panel and fire it up. Alot of people always tell me "why don't you just backfeed the panel" well the answer is simply because you can't legally do it. even running a transfer swith directly to your house power isn't the best way to go as you genny is only able to produce so much and you have to make the call on what circuits to turn on and off. Also this scenario makes it very easy to overload the generator and unfortunately burn out the engine. A gen panel is definately the way to go...even if your installing an automatic transfer switch unless you mave a monster genny like the 20kw one mentioned above that's capable of runnign your whole house. If your doing the install yourself expect the parts to cost around $400 plus the cost of the generator.
I have to be able to also cover our heat pumps. Our house is pre-owned broken into halves one side is an add-on which is physically larger than the original house. I am replacing both HVAC with back-up hydronic heat. So guessing outages will be caused by ice storms or T-storms. So looking at a 18Kw propane. Rinnai tankless runs on 120v.

The house has two breaker panels and a 300 amp service. Had I built the house I would have split each panel in half and only had generator service half a panel. When we need to use generator will have to turn things off or run through propane.

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