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  #26  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:33 PM
Chunker Chunker is online now
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Made it through more than one hurricane down on the gulf coast with a simple 4000 watt gas generator. Last one I was there for we were without power for 12 days. Ran the freezer and other items during the day. Had a window unit in the bedroom and ran it at night with some light and TV. We survived just fine and slept well in the muggy south. One tank of fuel lasted about 7 hours. Stocked up on fuel in advance so no issues there. Never felt the need to spend big bucks for something to be used maybe once every few years. I guess if it is a common occurrence to be without power then it would be worth it.
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  #27  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:35 PM
lightman lightman is online now
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When I retired about 25% of my neighbors including me bought generators. Most if not all are Generac 20 or 22KW. A local farm coop stocks them along with filters and minor parts.

I considered several options and the Generac running on Natural gas won out. I have a diesel tractor and considered a PTO driven generator. But I didn't want the work involved to connect it evertime that we needed it. I also didn't want to deal with hauling diesel fuel. I considered a larger diesel generator but that takes me back to hauling or ordering fuel.

A few of us have had some trouble with Generac. Mine had a bad control board right out of the crate. It was replaced under warranty. The first time it started it threw a rod. Again it was repaired under warranty. It seems like they built them really fast and depended on the service guys to fix them. After this it has been dependable for a few years now.

The 22KW runs my entire all electric home. We do exercise a little judgement and try to manage the load. That is, we don't cook, wash dishes, wash and dry clothes, ect all at the same time. But the generator will do it.
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  #28  
Old 03-13-2019, 07:41 PM
Huski92 Huski92 is offline
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I have a auto 22k Generac. Itís a great price of mind with me and my wifeís careers. If we are home, we can run the whole house. If we are at work and a disaster hits, she may not be home for a day. I may be gone for days.


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  #29  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:07 PM
Huski92 Huski92 is offline
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I have a auto 22k Generac. Itís a great price of mind with me and my wifeís careers. If we are home, we can run the whole house. If we are at work and a disaster hits, she may not be home for a day. I may be gone for days.


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  #30  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:11 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
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This is something I’ve researched and dreamed about for years. I do have a portable generator but it isn’t large enough to run the whole house and all the extension cords running everywhere is a PITA. Wayyyy down here in SoFla the power goes out often as a result of hurricanes or other similar storms. It would be really sweet to have a whole home generator that automatically flips on. The problem I have is where I live its difficult to get the approval to bury the tank. Whether it’s propane or diesel it has to be a certain distance from things so if it blows or goes nobody else gets injured. And I don’t have a yard large enough to put it the required distance from the neighbors or street.
My only advice to the OP is if you do get one make sure it’s properly protected as my neighbor has one and flying debris from Irma last year destroyed the housing thereby damaging the generator itself and they were out of luck.
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  #31  
Old 03-13-2019, 09:17 PM
old dog new trix old dog new trix is offline
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We have a 14k Kohler with an auto transfer switch and a 250 gal propane tank. It runs my whole house and once ran 4 days straight. Only one issue in 6 years was an ant nest the 1st year that got built in the main breaker in the unit that caused a missed start. Itís 30yds from the house next to the woods. The installer came out in the rain, diaged it and pulled a breaker from a new unit at his shop to get me running that nite. Since then I put an ant trap trice a year in the enclosure and no more issues.
My point is all things break no matter how well made, **** happens. I think a good installer with a reputation for good support is as important as the brand.

I went with the Koehler due to good reviews , and our local Generac dealer was very rude and had an attitude.
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  #32  
Old 03-13-2019, 09:31 PM
FightinTXAggie FightinTXAggie is offline
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Depending on the extent of local emergencies, people may also consider a moderate-sized solar array mounted on the roof of a house or outbuilding, or even on a pole/stand that “tracks” the sun (to give more solar generating hours per day).

Such an array can easily be relied upon to power refrigerators, freezers, lights, televisions, well pumps, etc., etc., during the day when the sun is out.

This could then be paired with a small portable generator to power an A/C unit, and heavier loads (electric stove/oven, microwave, etc.).

If one didn’t mind a little bit of “electric censorship” during a disaster, this is a good setup, maintenance free, and, if tied to a grid, could also be used to “sell back” electricity to the power company the rest of the year, lowering one’s electric bill substantially. Of course, without a battery storage setup, solar will only work during the day....but in the South, is a substantial source of supplemental, maintenance free power.

It won’t, however, run an A/C unit unless you have a very large array. Hence the “censorship”.

Last edited by FightinTXAggie; 03-13-2019 at 09:33 PM.
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  #33  
Old 03-14-2019, 08:10 AM
diedeldr diedeldr is offline
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We have a similar 21kw Perkins Diesel as FightinTXAggie described, bought from http://www.centralmainediesel.com/ about 15 years ago. (They had a free shipping promo, could not pass that up)
Found a good, used Square-D manual transfer switch on eBay.
Bought some reconditioned, lined 55 gallon drums to store the fuel.
Hurricane a couple years ago, ran the place for a week on it, wife was happy.

perkins unloading generator

Last edited by diedeldr; 03-14-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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  #34  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:48 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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I'm not a big fan of LPG/NG generators, simply because they're horribly inefficient. You'll burn 80-100 gallons of propane a day depending on the size and load. One is also dependent on resupply trucks... NG is dependent upon uninterrupted service- during the last 2 hurricanes that hit my area, natural gas was intentionally shut off in some areas, as the ground was saturated and they didn't want to risk a break in the pipes with gas flowing.

I keep 50+ gallons of fuel (gasoline) on hand, and can travel to get more. I can stretch my fuel supply by running as needed, rather than 24/7.

I've found that a relatively small (3.5k) will keep the freezers and refrigerators, as well as a fee lights goin, and use the 5k for bigger loads.
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  #35  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:45 PM
old dog new trix old dog new trix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
I'm not a big fan of LPG/NG generators, simply because they're horribly inefficient. You'll burn 80-100 gallons of propane a day depending on the size and load. One is also dependent on resupply trucks... NG is dependent upon uninterrupted service- during the last 2 hurricanes that hit my area, natural gas was intentionally shut off in some areas, as the ground was saturated and they didn't want to risk a break in the pipes with gas flowing.

I keep 50+ gallons of fuel (gasoline) on hand, and can travel to get more. I can stretch my fuel supply by running as needed, rather than 24/7.

I've found that a relatively small (3.5k) will keep the freezers and refrigerators, as well as a fee lights goin, and use the 5k for bigger loads.
I have to disagree with the 80 -100 gallons a day of propane. Mine ran 4 days and it used about 90 gal scoring to the gauge. Granted I was running at less than 50% load at most. The other big Beni fit to me is propane doesn’t go stale like gas or diesel fuel.
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  #36  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:05 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Gas is difficult to store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old dog new trix View Post
I have to disagree with the 80 -100 gallons a day of propane. Mine ran 4 days and it used about 90 gal scoring to the gauge. Granted I was running at less than 50% load at most. The other big Beni fit to me is propane doesnít go stale like gas or diesel fuel.
But diesel can easily be stored for years and be fine. And I am not sure what the specifics of your setup actually are. But Country is correct. Propane is a very inefficient fuel with which to power a generator that is actually producing any appreciable amount of power.
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  #37  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:41 AM
SFC Rick SFC Rick is offline
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Sorry gentleman... but your myths about diesel storage and propane usage are grossly exaggerated.

I have a 200 gallon propane tank that last 3 weeks under load running 24/7....guess what? That's not hyperbole... that is actual data from my usage during 2 hurricane outages of 2 and 3 week durations. Like I said before, having had to chase down 5-8 gallons of gasoline a day to run my gasoline generator during previous hurricane outages, that was the primary reason to toss out the gasoline generators(besides brush lifespans) and opt for the permanent propane generator.

80-100 gallon propane usage a day.... come on, no one is going to believe that.
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  #38  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:15 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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What size generator were you running?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFC Rick View Post
Sorry gentleman... but your myths about diesel storage and propane usage are grossly exaggerated.

I have a 200 gallon propane tank that last 3 weeks under load running 24/7....guess what? That's not hyperbole... that is actual data from my usage during 2 hurricane outages of 2 and 3 week durations. Like I said before, having had to chase down 5-8 gallons of gasoline a day to run my gasoline generator during previous hurricane outages, that was the primary reason to toss out the gasoline generators(besides brush lifespans) and opt for the permanent propane generator.

80-100 gallon propane usage a day.... come on, no one is going to believe that.
With 200 gallons of Propane for three weeks? I am skeptical of your claims of Propane efficiency. And yes despite what your claims are. I can easily store off road diesel in bulk indefinitely. .
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  #39  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:07 AM
FightinTXAggie FightinTXAggie is offline
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Diesel storage...

I bought a 1000 gallon diesel tank off of an old man that buys, reconditions, and sells them. He has told me (on more than one occasion) that he has often bought old farm tanks that have been sitting with varying amounts of diesel fuel in them for over 40 years. I believe he said the oldest diesel he has used (recently) was from the 60's, found in a tank.

When he buys these "forgotten" or no longer needed tanks (often from heirs after the old farmers/ranchers have been long dead), he transfers the diesel into another tank on his trailer so he can load the one he bought, empty. Then he uses that diesel in his trucks and equipment...sort of a fringe benefit.

He says that he has NEVER found diesel that he couldn't use. And he has been doing this for a living for over 40 years. His recommendation was to just keep a clean fuel filter on the tank, and diesel will literally last a lifetime.

So far, knock on wood, that has also been my experience.
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  #40  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:59 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Just to clear the air.

On propane gen set fuel efficiency, or lack thereof. Some published usage charts.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...hart&FORM=IGRE.

I have found these figures to be pretty optimistic. Not surprisingly as they are published by the manufacturers.
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  #41  
Old 03-15-2019, 06:45 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFC Rick View Post
Sorry gentleman... but your myths about diesel storage and propane usage are grossly exaggerated.

I have a 200 gallon propane tank that last 3 weeks under load running 24/7....guess what? That's not hyperbole... that is actual data from my usage during 2 hurricane outages of 2 and 3 week durations. Like I said before, having had to chase down 5-8 gallons of gasoline a day to run my gasoline generator during previous hurricane outages, that was the primary reason to toss out the gasoline generators(besides brush lifespans) and opt for the permanent propane generator.

80-100 gallon propane usage a day.... come on, no one is going to believe that.
Brother, I've nothing but respect for you- but an 14-22k propane generator, under 50ish % load, WILL burn fuel at the rates I cited...

Sorry, but I'm not buying 180 gallons (the max allowed in a 200 gallon tank, to allow for expansion) lasting 2 weeks, 24/7. Even the manufacturers don't claim that kind of efficiency....
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  #42  
Old 03-15-2019, 08:07 PM
lightman lightman is online now
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I chose natural gas for the convenance. I didn't want the added work hauling diesel, monitoring fuel levels, ect. The same for propane. My generator is the only thing that I have that runs on gas. (but not for long). I can't hardly tell any difference between the minimum bill and the bill from the time the generator runs. The gas has not been turned off in my area for many years if ever and no one remembers gas pressure dropping so low that stuff won't work. The power in my area is not usually off very often or for very long. I was off twice so far this month for about 6 hours total. All of these facts weighed on my choices. I was looking for something that would give me adequate service with a minimum amount of labor on my part.

I have hooked up several larger diesel generators (300 horse power or so) and have a great amount of respect for a diesel. I just didn't want to mess with fuel. I also didn't want the noise. A cold dead diesel is also a bear to start. I do like the way they will carry the load, don't bog down, ect.
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  #43  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:33 PM
SFC Rick SFC Rick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
Brother, I've nothing but respect for you- but an 14-22k propane generator, under 50ish % load, WILL burn fuel at the rates I cited...

Sorry, but I'm not buying 180 gallons (the max allowed in a 200 gallon tank, to allow for expansion) lasting 2 weeks, 24/7. Even the manufacturers don't claim that kind of efficiency....
Don't worry...The wife just told me I was full of **** and didn't remember it correctly. So I concede that I must be flat out wrong. LOL!

All I can say now it was for days....
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  #44  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:24 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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Actually it is only 160 gallons allowed for a 200 gallon tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
Brother, I've nothing but respect for you- but an 14-22k propane generator, under 50ish % load, WILL burn fuel at the rates I cited...

Sorry, but I'm not buying 180 gallons (the max allowed in a 200 gallon tank, to allow for expansion) lasting 2 weeks, 24/7. Even the manufacturers don't claim that kind of efficiency....
Eighty percent is what they allow.
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  #45  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:58 PM
COLT GOLD CUP COLT GOLD CUP is offline
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Thanks for all the answers guy's. You give me some things to think about now.
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  #46  
Old 03-16-2019, 06:44 AM
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combat auto combat auto is online now
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Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
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.
Generac also, natural gas...OP, It is like everything else and analogous to insurance...Hope you don't need it, but if you do, you'll be glad you have it...No big deal for a few hour outage, but during the Sandy Hurricane some people around here lost their electric power for several weeks.

I pay for annual maintenance but you can do it yourself (oil/filter/spark-P/etc.). Only other items I've had is the battery replacement, they don't last too long.

I'd say it is expensive, but think of what many of us on this Forum spend on custom guns, and re-frame your view of expensive :-).
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Last edited by combat auto; 03-16-2019 at 06:47 AM.
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  #47  
Old 03-16-2019, 07:27 AM
vhntr1 vhntr1 is offline
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I have a 17 kW Generac runs the whole house And my barn have a 500 gallon propane tank to it I've had it nine years runs falsely we lose power quite a bit where I live probably use it five times a year it's been flawless power out for no more than 20 seconds, Best Money I've ever spent.
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  #48  
Old 03-16-2019, 09:04 AM
muzzleblast... muzzleblast... is offline
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Another Generac 22 KW air cooled, propane fueled owner here. It was the largest KW output I could find without going to a much more expensive liquid cooled unit unit. I have a 1000 gallon propane tank. The main concern in my area is the potential for major ice storms every few years. The unit fires up and self tests every Wednesday at noon. We have only had a couple of short duration outages in the couple of years I have owned the unit. So, far it has worked well.
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  #49  
Old 03-27-2019, 09:06 AM
CherokeeT CherokeeT is offline
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I have a Generac (sp) whole home system - it has been great up here in the winter when we are often absent First Energy supply for hours, a few times in the summer also. Was hit by lightening once and cost me 1500 to repair but t is worth it. only failed once in 7 years, which is how we discovered the lightening strike. It is programed to test run once a week at a time we are home, and you can also check to see when it last run if you want to. Highly recommend but not cheap.
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  #50  
Old 03-27-2019, 10:06 AM
Taxed2death Taxed2death is offline
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I have a Generac 22Kw system that runs on natural gas and have a kit to convert to propane if needed, not that I have had to to-date. It is programmed to run once a week at a prescribed time for 30 minutes under a load and I have a telemetry system that allows the installer to monitor it for any issues. I also have a contract with them to maintain it with oil changes and other maintenance needs. It has "saved the day" more than once when we have had weather-related power outages, some lasting over a week. It is already very quiet, but I have some noise abatement structure around it to minimize what remaining noise signature it has, and this is very effective as well. I have a very reliable source for natural gas, thus that fuel choice. Mine ran continuously for over a week on the longest outage I've had since installing it, and no issues at all with either the generator or the power in the house.

I do have a backup in the form of a 10Kw diesel generator and an 8Kw gasoline generator. To this add a small Honda generator that I use for camping and at my hunting lease.

If you want to run systems into the house that are not installed as full-house, and not just run a bunch of extension cords, you will want an interface at your breaker box that allows you to plug your generator in and that will prevent feedback to the grid.

Last edited by Taxed2death; 03-27-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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