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COLT GOLD CUP 03-10-2019 07:21 PM

Whole home generators
 
Thinking of getting one. People that have them. What brand and size did you get.

HT77 03-10-2019 08:27 PM

Not to dissuade you but the only person I know that has one has had mixed results concerning dependability. It has failed to fire a couple of times. The point of paying all that money is having power when your electricity goes out and since it doesn't happen that often even one failure is bad.

The only advice I can give is do some objective research and don't assume what the salesman tells you is the entire story.

frogfurr 03-10-2019 08:57 PM

We don't have a whole home generator but do have a generator that will run our 220v well pump (toilets and livestock water), some lights, and our pellet stove for heat.

Getting into emergency generator use and the wiring can be a bit involved.

Our generator is a Honda 6500w Industrial. It serves our needs. There are much quieter Honda's. Believe me, after listening to this generator for a week, quite becomes pretty important.

There are generators that can run computers and TV's and generators that can not. Priced accordingly. A week without Internet and TV makes for a grumpy family.

USMM guy 03-10-2019 10:23 PM

I have a 13,KW power take off gen set.
 
It runs off of my Kubota tractor. It runs my whole house quite efficiently at about one point two gallons of diesel per hour. It was not all that expensive to buy and it runs like a top. I would highly recommend one to anyone that owns a tractor. Proper wiring is of course a must.

We looked at Generac standby propane generators. Very expensive to buy and install. Very inefficient, and expensive to maintain. Sales hype is one thing facts are another.

frogfurr 03-10-2019 10:46 PM

I also have a Kubota tractor. Unfortunately when these storms come through I can not have the tractor attached to a generator and still use this tractor to clear trees felled by these storms at the same time. That is why we have a portable generator. If one has two or more Kubota tractors then please disregard this post.

FightinTXAggie 03-10-2019 11:15 PM

I have a Perkins (Caterpillar) 21KW diesel generator from Hardy Diesel. Actually, the Diesel engine is a Perkins, the generator attached to it is an Italian Mecc-Alte.

It would qualify as a primary power generator.

It is paired with three, 7 KW, SMA inverters in an off-grid configuration, and has been a heck of a reliable workhorse (knock on wood).

If wired to a grid-tied home, one shouldn’t need the inverters.

USMM guy 03-11-2019 12:48 AM

I see where you are coming from.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by frogfurr (Post 12767292)
I also have a Kubota tractor. Unfortunately when these storms come through I can not have the tractor attached to a generator and still use this tractor to clear trees felled by these storms at the same time. That is why we have a portable generator. If one has two or more Kubota tractors then please disregard this post.

But fallen trees are not usually an issue where I live. I prefer to get the power back up. And then if there is a fallen tree to deal with. We will get to it when we can.

Plantar5 03-11-2019 07:36 AM

I’ve been using a 9500 w portable gen with electric start and has done the job for keeping well, boiler, stove etc, basically everything except my central air. Having enough gas filled cans and the noise and inconvenience is a bit of a PIA, but the power companies have improved somewhat and gotten their acts together.
Cost was about 8-900$.
Generac is the most popular around here for whole house setups but I never could justify the $10-12k to do it. I wouldn’t mind not having to roll out the portable, and it would be a decent resale feature, but it’s cost prohibitive imho, at least for me.

biteboy 03-11-2019 09:51 AM

We have a dual fuel (LP/gas) portable generator which I can roll into place easily when the need arises. It will provide sufficient power for the well pump & house circuits. I considered using a whole house stationary system like Generac, but considering I haven't used the portable generator at all (except to test) I think I'm ahead of the game $$$ wise. P.S. I also had a licensed electrician add the lock switch, separate breaker and appropriate plug & box for it.

STORM2 03-11-2019 10:05 AM

I went 10 kw portable with house breaker panel wired with appropriate plug. I had a licensed electrician do the work. I can run everything including A/C or heat. I cannot run the A/C and other 220 at the same time, but we can operate with that limitation. I wanted the off property option...but it is heavy. We have used it 3 times. 2 brief (3-4 hour) ice events and one summer A/C, 25 hour event (it was 100 daytime degrees outside), that event justified the breaker wiring cost! I now consider back-up power a NO-GO item.

win3030 03-11-2019 06:57 PM

I have a Generac 11K propane, flawless for the last 4 years. Kicks on within 5 seconds of an outage. Longest it's run was for about 3 days.

Craig Doherrty 03-11-2019 07:39 PM

Mine is an automatic 7kw system that powers the well, heating plant, refrigerator and some of the lights. It is hooked to our main 500 gallon propane tank. Stove top is gas so when the power goes out the generator comes on we are not really inconvenienced. Cost about $7,000. Well worth it for peace of mind when I'm away for extended periods of time in the winter.

scubadad 03-11-2019 09:40 PM

We have been looking at the generac whole house system. Call me lazy but I want the automatic set up don't want to deal with all the bs and extension cords.

USMM guy 03-11-2019 09:56 PM

It is a given that people will prefer different options.
 
Both according to needs and budget. My wife and I looked at the Generac route. Sure the automatic switch on is a really nice feature. But there were other considerations that we looked at as well. In addition to things that I mentioned in an earlier post.

The fuel efficiency of the propane generators is ridiculous. At the time when we were figuring out which way we were going to go. We determined that we could keep our house up and running, using everything in the house at the same time if wanted for about three bucks worth of diesel (Off road) per hour. A similar propane powered generator would cost about ten bucks worth of propane to run for an hour. That was a couple of years ago. But the cost evaluation is similar for current fuel prices. This was and is a big consideration for me.

mistman 03-11-2019 10:13 PM

I went with a GE 13K plumbed into the natural gas line. Comes on automagically, it has a 50 amp load shedding switch hooked up to the a/c but it's never kicked in. It runs my whole panel, we have a pump on the well and the septic so it's kind of important to keep the septic tank flowing. I'm only 2 miles from the largest gas storage facility in the NW, it's honeycombed under some local hills. There are many folks in the area collecting royalties from wells on their properties. Unfortunately the attempt to drill gas on my property only resulted in what they call fizzy water but I have a 16" and a 24" main on my property along the hwy. NG is cheap and abundant around here and is always flowing.
I had the gennie planned into the house when built, it's almost 6 years old, comes on weekly to exercise and has never needed anything other than an oil change. I had it professionally wired in. The cost wasn't too bad considering it was a new build, I bought the generator (~$4k), the electrician wired it in and the gas guys plumbed a line to it. I wasn't charged for the concrete slab or installation. I had it running for 5 days straight one time, not a problem.

SFC Rick 03-12-2019 07:02 AM

I'll step in on this topic. I have had a Generac 17kw for over 12 years now. It's the typical wired into the house circuit and propane 200gal tank. It has never failed us yet. The unit self starts and runs each week to test and charge the battery. We have run it 3weeks 24/7 during a Hurricane strike (actually 2 hurricanes) the first was only 2 weeks run time. It is able to completely run all of the house appliances and A/C central heat and air. Total convenience and certainly makes life easier. We know when there is a blackout when the lights go out for 45 seconds and the generator kicks in. BTW this is the best $5000 I ever spent, and if I ever move...the generator is going with me.

Jaird 03-12-2019 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFC Rick (Post 12768518)
I'll step in on this topic. I have had a Generac 17kw for over 12 years now. It's the typical wired into the house circuit and propane 200gal tank. It has never failed us yet. The unit self starts and runs each week to test and charge the battery. We have run it 3weeks 24/7 during a Hurricane strike (actually 2 hurricanes) the first was only 2 weeks run time. It is able to completely run all of the house appliances and A/C central heat and air. Total convenience and certainly makes life easier. We know when there is a blackout when the lights go out for 45 seconds and the generator kicks in. BTW this is the best $5000 I ever spent, and if I ever move...the generator is going with me.

Similar experience. 20KW Kohler. Longest outage was 5 days. Whole house generator = money well spent.

Bbrown 03-12-2019 09:16 AM

Size depends on your needs, do you want to run electric stove? Electric hot water heater? A/C? Electric dryer?

We put a Generac 22kW on my parent's house several years ago, propane which they already had. We oversized, mainly because the cost increase for the larger unit was relatively insignificant. Never failed and been happy with the investment. My father needs it for an O2 concentrator, without it he wouldn't survive. It was therefore considered a medical necessity and tax deductible for them. They run whatever they want during an outage.

And it adds value to the property.

1saxman 03-12-2019 05:49 PM

I'm thinking about a whole house/natural gas but my neighbor got one five years ago and the power hasn't failed yet for more than an hour. Of course, we're in hurricane country as well as ice storms, tornados, big snows and basically everything else, and the power has gone out here for multiple days in the winter and summer, one time each since moving here in 1994. However, since then, the power company has done a lot of work in the right-of-ways and the power has been boringly reliable - ever since Bill spent $10K on the generator. :) I thank him all the time for stepping up and making that sacrifice. Also, all power within the development is underground so any disruption has to be caused off-site.
Then my wife started bugging me about getting one. I was all for it at first, but now I'm thinking of all the other projects I can use that money on that will be of immediate benefit rather than waiting for the blackout that might not come. For example, we have really good groundwater here although we're all on municipal water and sewer. I'd like to put in a well to supply an irrigation system which would make all the difference in the world for the lawn - I can get an irrigation meter but the water bill can get high in the summer, and in a drought they put on water restrictions. The asphalt driveway needs to be redone - get my drift? But as sure as I don't put in the generator, the damn power will go out for a week and I'll never hear the end of it. :(

DaveVK 03-12-2019 08:48 PM

Using 10KW portable gas generator now that keeps everything powered, inc 2 HVAC systems.

For auto whole house solution, I don't like the idea of single natural gas pipeline supply should the supply be cut off. If the house is serviced by natural gas, I'd rather have the backup fueled by a propane tank or diesel.

1911crazy 03-13-2019 02:06 AM

I’m thinking about a diesel 10,000 k welder/generator. Install another oil tank for the diesel.
Serves two purposes.

I have a 4K welder generator now and a 3500 generator. The 3500 runs my keurig coffee maker while the 4K generator runs the freezer. We lost power over seven days once. I heat with wood and oil boiler.

USMM guy 03-13-2019 01:09 PM

The lady down the street has a 20 KW Generac.
 
With her 500 gallon propane tank which can only be filled to 400 gallons. If she starts out with a full tank she can run for four days, and then she is out of business. I keep enough diesel around to run for weeks.

Descartian 03-13-2019 05:12 PM

If you have the money go for a liquid cooled model. They typically run at 1/2 speed as an air cooled 17-1800rpm), they use less fuel, run cleaner, need less maintenance, are much quieter and will last a lot longer.

All that said they’ll be 2X the price. I’ve been researching them for a long time. I think this’ll be the year I get a 24k-27k liquid cooled natural gas unit (I live inner city).

GONRA 03-13-2019 05:41 PM

GONRA's Generac (NG Powered) is GREAT! See above posts......

Plantar5 03-13-2019 06:38 PM

If I was going for a whole house gen over 12KW, I’d go with a diesel powered.


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