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Lifelong Fix'r
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I'm not sure exactly where this question belongs, but here it is. After experiencing power outages lasting 8-1/2 days and 2-1/2 days in the last several years, I've bitten the bullet and contracted to have an automatic back-up generator installed. The company I chose is the one PENELEC uses in our area when you request a referral from them. Anyway, when the estimator was here, she chose an installation site that makes me a little nervous, so I thought I'd ask you guys, because I know I can trust your advice.
The reason for my concern is that the prevailing winds at my location blow toward this end of the house about 90% of the time. I currently have a portable generator that was put into use during the last extended outage. About 3 hours after it was started, my CO alarm went off. Needless to say, there was no smell or any other kind of warning; I wasn’t even having physical symptoms yet, but the alarm was right and probably saved my life.
I definitely don’t want to have that problem again, so I’m concerned about the proposed location being so close to the basement window, which is single-pane glass in an aluminum frame, and the attic vent at the peak of the house. Not to mention that all my windows are original to my 1970s house, so the wood has shrunk and, even with storm windows, they leak like sieves in many instances.
SO … Is it better to put the generator where the exhaust will blow against the end of the house, [Location-1] or to remove the “trees” and put it beside the deck where the exhaust will blow down along the side of the house [Location-2]?
2021-01-13 - Generator Location-1.JPG
2021-01-13 - Generator Location-2.JPG
2021-01-13 - Generator Specs.JPG
 

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Hi, my vote would be #2 , that way it’s not in front of your meter, another consideration would be the location of your bedroom, you don’t need the noise when your trying to sleep.
 

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Around here the genset needs to be 5 foot from any openings in the building to avoid CO infiltration.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. You do not get any warnings. That is one of the reasons it can be so deadly.
 

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I have an 80KW GENERAC. It sits on the side of the hangar where the meter. Be sure to leave enough room between the generator and the house to get in there when working (I've got a few feet).

What are the things on the foundation? Basement windows or just vents into the crawlspace?
 

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If there's an electric meter, there needs to be the usual working space 30" wide x 36" deep x 78" tall.

When did it become fashionable to emit hot, CO-laden exhaust at ground level? My granpappy always said you use chimneys/stacks for that. Minimum 2' above top of any structure.
 

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Naildriver
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When did it become fashionable to emit hot, CO-laden exhaust at ground level? My granpappy always said you use chimneys/stacks for that. Minimum 2' above top of any structure.
So you are suggesting building a chimney on the side of the generator where the exhaust can be directed above the roof? It may or may not help with resale value, and would be butt ugly.

I vote for location #2 as well, but it is only 4' from the original. It may give more space for maintenance there without the trees.
 

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Licenced Electrician
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Seharper is correct about the working space in front of the meter. The utility guys will tell you Location 1 is a no-go.
 

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So you are suggesting building a chimney on the side of the generator where the exhaust can be directed above the roof? It may or may not help with resale value, and would be butt ugly.
You mean like every chimney in history, going back to European castles? Chimneys are not a new concept, and are Code for most fuel appliances since there's ever been a Code. If you have a wood stove, gotta have a chimney. Your gas furnace has a chimney. Gas water heater? Chimney. It's one of the major PITAs with gas tankless heaters.

Your frickin' sewer stack has a chimney.

I'm asking "what is special about slab-mounted generators that they don't need one?"
 

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Naildriver
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I'm asking "what is special about slab-mounted generators that they don't need one?"
I guess the same reason your car or your lawn mower doesn't need one, gee.
 

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Might be a listing issue. Manufacturers didn't see a need for a stack and paid to have it listed that way. Only seen a stack when the genset was inside the building.
 

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Usually Confused
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Another vote for #2. If you have close neighbours, any local rules about placement so noise doesn't impact them?
 

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If it is natural gas, the placement is usually near the gas meter. If it is propane that is not a consideration. Our code requires 10 feet to a building opening unless the generator is listed for a different distance. I know that Generac has models listed for 5 feet. Your posting indicates a sticker for reduced setback, whatever it is. An opening is an operable window, a door, a louver, a dryer vent, etc. If that cellar window is a standard hopper window, option 1 is too close. Depending on the generator and the openings on the deck side, option 2 might work. Some towns in our region have local rules for placement of a generator, too.
 

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I believe the exhaust is out the left side looking at generator. So location one or two is okay. Your unit can be located within 18” of the foundation. Your portable generator probably produces much more CO than the your fixed generator will. If the generator gets mounted close to the basement window it will need to be locked closed. Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The contractor picked the location to make it easy to install with a short supply run and plenty of wall space for transfer switch, etc.

Your concern (the one that counts) is where you want it - I'd advise having it installed far away from your bedroom window so you 1) don't hear it at night, and 2) fumes are less likely to get into the bedroom.

Keep changing the batteries on your CO detector!
 

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Why don't you review these installation diagrams with your installer and check local codes that might apply. Permits may be required for electrical, plumbing and zoning. The diagrams give you options that satisfy Kohler's safety standards. When deciding, don't forget to consider the requirement for distance from shrubs and trees.

ADV8928.pdf (electricgeneratorsdirect.com)

Don't worry about noise, these generators from Kohler, Generac, etc. are quiet enough that you barely hear them inside the house. I know from my experience with my Generac.
 
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