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Posted: 12/13/2013 12:53:26 PM EDT
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?






Link Posted: 12/13/2013 12:54:50 PM EDT
No more wisdom to share, but I agree wholeheartedly with your premise.  Propane is the perfect back-up generator fuel.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:02:48 PM EDT
Whatever the most readily available fuel is should be your choice. Tag for more info
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:06:14 PM EDT
most carbs on generators can be converted to run on propane with kits.

here is a home made approach

http://www.instructables.com/id/Converting-a-generator-to-run-on-propane/?ALLSTEPS
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:22:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By flint_knapper:
most carbs on generators can be converted to run on propane with kits.

here is a home made approach

http://www.instructables.com/id/Converting-a-generator-to-run-on-propane/?ALLSTEPS
View Quote


Nice addition to the thread.  I was planning on buying new but I love the shit out of some  how-to know how


Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:32:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?






View Quote


More indefinitely
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:33:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2013 1:38:49 PM EDT by DOW]
This should be reposted in the generator forum.



























Wait...we don't have one yet?



FWIW I have a Generac XG8000E and so far, so good. I have a manual transfer switch installed as well.

Next house will have a standby generator with an automatic transfer switch, and I'm thinking it will be gas. Sandy taught me one thing - If you're not willing to keep enough gas on hand for at least the intermediate period after a bad storm you're screwed. Gas ran out almost immediately after Sandy hit and was impossible to find for a long time.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:35:17 PM EDT
I am currently building a house and I am trying to make a decision between diesel and propane. The house will have a 500 gallon propane tank either way. After our experience with Katrina I am quite sure in an event like that 500 gallons is not going to be enough. My dilemma now is I can easily get diesel from quite a few different sources close by (rednecks have diesel) but propane could be a problem after the S hits the F. During Katrina all of the propane trucks ran off of diesel so none of the propane companies were making deliveries at all. And it's not like you can run pick up a 100 gallons of propane.
The other side of the equation is dealing with the ongoing issues of storing diesel. Diesel is easy to get but hard to store. Propane is easy to store but could be hard to get when I need it.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:38:07 PM EDT
I have a 16KW Gen running off a 1000 gal tank. Bought at and installed by Lowe's.
2 1/2 gal / hr at full load.
Love it.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:39:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dock_Rocker:
I am currently building a house and I am trying to make a decision between diesel and propane. The house will have a 500 gallon propane tank either way. After our experience with Katrina I am quite sure in an event like that 500 gallons is not going to be enough. My dilemma now is I can easily get diesel from quite a few different sources close by (rednecks have diesel) but propane could be a problem after the S hits the F. During Katrina all of the propane trucks ran off of diesel so none of the propane companies were making deliveries at all. And it's not like you can run pick up a 100 gallons of propane. The other side of the equation is dealing with the ongoing issues of storing diesel. Diesel is easy to get but hard to store. Propane is easy to store but could be hard to get when I need it.
View Quote



You can always go with a larger tank and bury it. I would also suggest having two tanks (one for the house and one for the generator) because Murphy will make sure SHTF the day before your tank was scheduled to be refilled.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:40:24 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Dock_Rocker:
I am currently building a house and I am trying to make a decision between diesel and propane. The house will have a 500 gallon propane tank either way. After our experience with Katrina I am quite sure in an event like that 500 gallons is not going to be enough. My dilemma now is I can easily get diesel from quite a few different sources close by (rednecks have diesel) but propane could be a problem after the S hits the F. During Katrina all of the propane trucks ran off of diesel so none of the propane companies were making deliveries at all. And it's not like you can run pick up a 100 gallons of propane. The other side of the equation is dealing with the ongoing issues of storing diesel. Diesel is easy to get but hard to store. Propane is easy to store but could be hard to get when I need it.
View Quote


Buy a 1,000 gallon tank instead of a 500 gallon tank.  Buy used if you are concerned about the price of it.  Alternately, you could buy a 500 gallon tank for the house and a 500 gallon tank for the generator.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:46:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:48:45 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jebt:
I have a 16KW Gen running off a 1000 gal tank. Bought at and installed by Lowe's.
2 1/2 gal / hr at full load.
Love it.
View Quote


Just ballpark, what's a setup like that cost?  Thanks.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 1:57:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2013 1:58:00 PM EDT by alphabavo]
Remember that your propane tank will not always be full, and that a decent size propane generator will burn quite a bit of fuel. If you were considering a 500 gal tank before the generator, I would move up to a 1000 gallon tank so that you always have plenty of fuel.

Also, consider purchasing a dual or tri fuel generator (runs on gasoline, propane or natural gas), that way you can use whatever fuel is more available at the time.

Water cooled will be more reliable than air cooled, but require more maintenance.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:00:56 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:


Just ballpark, what's a setup like that cost?  Thanks.
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Originally Posted By jebt:
I have a 16KW Gen running off a 1000 gal tank. Bought at and installed by Lowe's.
2 1/2 gal / hr at full load.
Love it.


Just ballpark, what's a setup like that cost?  Thanks.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Generac-17-000-Watt-Automatic-Standby-Generator-with-100-Amp-16-Circuit-Transfer-Switch-6242/204006873?N=bx9sZ2bctkb%3FNCNI-5#.UquRi3-9KK0
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:01:06 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jebt:
I have a 16KW Gen running off a 1000 gal tank. Bought at and installed by Lowe's.
2 1/2 gal / hr at full load.
Love it.
View Quote



My mother in law has a 12kw stationary backup powered by propane.  Automatic transfer switch and everything.
I think it cost her a couple thousand dollars to purchase and have it installed.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:04:23 PM EDT
The only thing I can add, in talking with people who live off the grid, is that propane can be quite costly in amount of fuel consumed compared to gas or diesel.  I would check with other people around you who may have a similar set up before going all in.  I was considering converting my generator to propane, but that idea is on hold until I can get some more research in.  I have a 250 gallon tank, but I also store a small amount of gasoline.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:05:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By alphabavo:

Also, consider purchasing a dual or tri fuel generator (runs on gasoline, propane or natural gas), that way you can use whatever fuel is more available at the time.

View Quote


Wholeheartedly agree with this.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:12:25 PM EDT
My BOL has a 500gal tank. When I get the generator up there, I'll be setting up a second 500gal tank, and keeping it shut off so that the gas doesn't get burned up if the family doesn't top off the main tank when they should. I wouldn't want non essential appliances like the water heater tapping into my emergency fuel.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:15:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NotAFudd:


More indefinitely
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Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.


Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:19:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bowbender7:


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.


View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.




Diesel can have an exceptionally long shelf life, and natural gas can supply a generator of almost any size. The limiting factor on a natural gas generator would be the size of the gas line supplying your house after the meter.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:22:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bowbender7:


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.


View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.




I think you are missing the point.
in'def?nitle/
adverb
1.
for an unlimited or unspecified period of time.
"talks cannot go on indefinitely"
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:26:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Danner130:
No more wisdom to share, but I agree wholeheartedly with your premise.  Propane is the perfect back-up generator fuel.
View Quote


+1000 on propane.

As far as tidbits, make sure everything is vermin proof.  I had a mouse decided to nest in the bell end of a 24k, and he loved to chew on the insulation while he was making the nest.  It had tiy slots for air holes for cooling, and the bastard snuck in there.  Had to screen the air hole slots.

It also may be different with modern computer controlled engines, but a propane designed engine would be preferable over a dual fuel, and will probably make more power/better efficiency since it will be higher compression.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:41:52 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By NotAFudd:


I think you are missing the point.
in'def?nitle/
adverb
1.
for an unlimited or unspecified period of time.
"talks cannot go on indefinitely"
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Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.




I think you are missing the point.
in'def?nitle/
adverb
1.
for an unlimited or unspecified period of time.
"talks cannot go on indefinitely"



Propane lasts longer in storage.  Who knows how long?

Is your vocabulary nazi shit going to last indefinitely?  









Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:50:23 PM EDT
A turbine-powered back up generator would be awesome... you can get a turbine to run on pretty much anything flammable.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 2:51:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bowbender7:


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.


View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.




You do realize Utilities can supply NG at several pressures and can feed just about any generator you can find.

7IWC is standard house pressure, then you have elevated pressures at 10IWC, 2 PSI, 5PSI, 10PSI .  [10 will feed just about anything. ] It's also not all about the pressure but pipe sizing and flow. 10IWC on a 4 inch pipe will feed several subdivisions without any problem.

Most of the issues occur because the installer didn't size the pipe correctly for the length and tries to blame someone else [like the utility] for the resulting problem. The other issue, the installer didn't ask for a larger meter installation [like a 425 meter] to replace the standard 175/250 meter. The flow rates between the two are significant without any change in actual pressures.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 3:10:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?


View Quote


The upsides are basically as you describe - the fuel lasts more-or-less forever and the genset itself is cheaper.  For purpose of comparison, here are the downsides:

1.) Spark operated engines don't last as long as diesel equivalents.  

2.) Refilling propane tanks requires a propane supplier with appropriate trucks, pumps, etc...  If gas and/or diesel can be had then you can accomplish a refill on your own without any special equipment.

3.)  Storing larger amounts of propane - say for longer run times or larger capacity units - can become impractical as tank sizes grow larger.  Similarly, special mechanisms might be necessary for low temperature, high flow, etc..

The above become less of a factor for smaller units used for occasional use.  If you already have propane tanks then it's likely a no-brainer - just make sure you've got plenty of capacity and the ability to get refills up your place under bad conditions.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 3:27:27 PM EDT
I like the 2 500 gallon tank options, one for the house and one for the genny.

I do not like automatic on generators, if you are not home and stuck away from home, you could use up all your propane while you are not there. If you are home when the power goes out they are great.

You can buy adaptors and hoses to go from a 100 lb tank to your generator, that way if you run your tank dry, you have an alternative. You can drive to town and fill that up.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 3:53:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fxntime:


You do realize Utilities can supply NG at several pressures and can feed just about any generator you can find.

7IWC is standard house pressure, then you have elevated pressures at 10IWC, 2 PSI, 5PSI, 10PSI .  [10 will feed just about anything. ] It's also not all about the pressure but pipe sizing and flow. 10IWC on a 4 inch pipe will feed several subdivisions without any problem.

Most of the issues occur because the installer didn't size the pipe correctly for the length and tries to blame someone else [like the utility] for the resulting problem. The other issue, the installer didn't ask for a larger meter installation [like a 425 meter] to replace the standard 175/250 meter. The flow rates between the two are significant without any change in actual pressures.
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Originally Posted By fxntime:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.




You do realize Utilities can supply NG at several pressures and can feed just about any generator you can find.

7IWC is standard house pressure, then you have elevated pressures at 10IWC, 2 PSI, 5PSI, 10PSI .  [10 will feed just about anything. ] It's also not all about the pressure but pipe sizing and flow. 10IWC on a 4 inch pipe will feed several subdivisions without any problem.

Most of the issues occur because the installer didn't size the pipe correctly for the length and tries to blame someone else [like the utility] for the resulting problem. The other issue, the installer didn't ask for a larger meter installation [like a 425 meter] to replace the standard 175/250 meter. The flow rates between the two are significant without any change in actual pressures.



I maybe mistakenly thought that natural gas supplies were pretty much just 4-7 IWC other than commercial applications.  The only natural gas where I am is provided by my ass in a far too limited supply




Link Posted: 12/13/2013 4:00:59 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kubota3430:
I like the 2 500 gallon tank options, one for the house and one for the genny.

I do not like automatic on generators, if you are not home and stuck away from home, you could use up all your propane while you are not there. If you are home when the power goes out they are great.

You can buy adaptors and hoses to go from a 100 lb tank to your generator, that way if you run your tank dry, you have an alternative. You can drive to town and fill that up.
View Quote

You can switch most generators off of stand by mode.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 5:42:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bowbender7:



I maybe mistakenly thought that natural gas supplies were pretty much just 4-7 IWC other than commercial applications.  The only natural gas where I am is provided by my ass in a far too limited supply




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Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
Originally Posted By NotAFudd:
Originally Posted By bowbender7:
I live in rural MO and have a 500 gallon propane tank.  Due to a recent scare, I am buying a generator.  After research, propane makes the most sense hands down.  The fuel stores more indefinitely and sometimes ice covered hills won't let you get out to buy more gasoline.
The fact that they run cleaner and and need less maintenance sinched the deal.  

Before I buy, does anyone have wisdom to share?








More indefinitely


Gasoline and diesel have short shelf lives. Natural gas doesn't run under enough pressure to run feed big generators.  For practical purposes, propane can sit for years and be reliable.




You do realize Utilities can supply NG at several pressures and can feed just about any generator you can find.

7IWC is standard house pressure, then you have elevated pressures at 10IWC, 2 PSI, 5PSI, 10PSI .  [10 will feed just about anything. ] It's also not all about the pressure but pipe sizing and flow. 10IWC on a 4 inch pipe will feed several subdivisions without any problem.

Most of the issues occur because the installer didn't size the pipe correctly for the length and tries to blame someone else [like the utility] for the resulting problem. The other issue, the installer didn't ask for a larger meter installation [like a 425 meter] to replace the standard 175/250 meter. The flow rates between the two are significant without any change in actual pressures.



I maybe mistakenly thought that natural gas supplies were pretty much just 4-7 IWC other than commercial applications.  The only natural gas where I am is provided by my ass in a far too limited supply







No problemo, 10IWC is usually tops for elevated on residential [save for some  2Lbs systems] Usually all that is needed is a 425 meter, + 1-1 1/4 fuel lines. Some systems [generators] are set for 10IWC, all you need is a elevated meter regulator and all else is the same. 10-14 IWC is about all the other appliance regs can handle, any more and you need to reduce the pressure to the appliances by using a in line reg.

Once you get out in the country, it's pretty much medium pressure before the meter [or high regulated down] around 40-50PSI. 5/8 will run a lot of gas unless you use a EFV [excess flow valve]. You'd then jump to 1 1/8th just so you wouldn't trip the EFV. [cuts out service line pressure in case of a high flow situation like a damaged service and resulting leak.]

Pressure issues are almost always on the customer size, either due to customers adding load on undersized piping, or contractors not piping the correct size to the generator or telling the customer the meter they have [it costs $$$$$$ to upgrade to a non standard meter size] will be sufficient because they failed to do a load test. [adding up all the appliance gas loads]

Around 12-15K generator size you will usually need to go to a 425 Meter.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 5:50:52 PM EDT
Live in the country-500 gallon propane tank. Generac 20kw generator with automatic transfer switch. Runs whole house and the pool if I want to. BEST INVESTMENT EVER. Total cost with installation around 7k.
Link Posted: 12/13/2013 6:23:41 PM EDT
If NG is available, that would be my first choice.  It has compromises, but overall, I think it is the best
choice for a dedicated emergency standby generator for most residential uses.   Given you
say "rural", I'll assume NG isn't available.  In that case, LP would be my second choice for most of
the same reasons.  Given that I've personally worked in ice storms for 9 days and knowing that
we have few very rural customers out even longer, I would plan on being able to store enough
fuel for at least a week.  You may need to refill, but you need enough to last through getting
the roads cleared, power restored to the propane company, for their employees to get back to work,
etc.

Diesel makes the most sense to me (for residential use) only if you already have a need to store
large quantities and/or are considering using a PTO generator.

I don't know that I've seen a tri-fuel or diesel/LP standby generator in residential sizes.  I've seen
them in portable gen sets, but while I could live with their constraints, for only a few dollars
more, you get a lot more power and protection with a dedicated standby unit.  One of the best
features about emergency standby units with an ATO, is that they work even when you aren't home.

I have a dedicated 1.25" line directly from the meter feeding my unit.  On LP, I probably could have
gone with 1" or even 3/4".  Running on LP, it should consume between 1.5 and 2.5 gph.
500 gallon tank should be large enough for a weeks worth of use.
Link Posted: 12/14/2013 12:43:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ranger327:
Live in the country-500 gallon propane tank. Generac 20kw generator with automatic transfer switch. Runs whole house and the pool if I want to. BEST INVESTMENT EVER. Total cost with installation around 7k.
View Quote



My budget won't allow $7k.  No more often than I expect to need it, I'll diddle when necessary.  I just want to be able to run the fridge, freezer and heat pump. Maybe a lamp or two and electric range or microwave.  Tv and all that bullshit I can easily do without.

I need to find out what kw rating I need to run those basics comfortably.

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