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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 10/12/2007 8:38:21 AM EST
just wondering what the costs are like, how you like it, etc
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 9:26:20 AM EST
I saw a "This Old House" episode where they did one of these (natural gas) for a homeowner in like, St. Louis...

The generator does a self diagnostic, etc,..

I was impressed...

I think the big cost drivers are the hook-ups...gas line, and getting the transfer switch installed in your electrical panel. The other big labor item looks to be burial of the gas line and or electrical....

Great idea, cost is not excessive.... If I build a house, I would budget for this.

Link Posted: 10/12/2007 9:28:09 AM EST
I had a 30k unit from Generac at my old house. It powered everything.

I believe I paid 9k total including installation.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 1:07:51 PM EST
Are you folks useing natural gas as your main source or back up?
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 1:18:28 PM EST
I just had one installed a month ago. It was in the $7k range. Whole-house, automatic mechanical switch box, the whole shebang, installed. It had "new car engine" smell when they ran it to test it, which I got a kick out of.

I went through my electric company, who recommended an approved contractor.

Being on a well, I'm extremely happy to not have to drag out my portable generator (which I plan to sell) for water when/if the power goes down.

Now I can't wait for the power to go out!
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 1:22:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2007 1:29:34 PM EST by scotty1911]
do your self a favor dont ever buy one of these and try to run it on propane. and nautral gas will kill ya too if the power if off for over 24 hours.

go get a diesel general and go manual transfer, esp if you use oil for your heat. a diesel will use less and 1 gallon of fuel per hour vrs 100 bucks a day a for a big one ( 30 k ) in propane, down to 50 a day for natural gas one.

here some too look at

edit the standard generac genny you can buy also has an engine life span of less than 2000 hours. i know it seems like a lot but its really not. i used to instal and service them i now tell people to run away. a good diesel one will last 10 k hours with out a problem. they show a 21 k watt that uses .8 gallons per hour at 100 % load

edit edit i just looked a generac 18 kw will use 2.8 gallon of propane per hour at 100 %
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 3:09:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rabon:


natural gas


The Genny that runs on it are inexpensive but I wouldn't rely on 'em.

I suggest a diesel only generator. A DD in the 200-450KW range should be enough to power a decent size house plus have extras for the neighbors and whatnot.

Good luck.


Link Posted: 10/12/2007 3:13:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By Billmanweh:


why manual transfer?


It is cheaper than having a separate automatic transfer panel... mines a Russelectric 800, normally you'd get one that is twice the size of your genny.

Good luck.


Link Posted: 10/12/2007 4:31:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Billmanweh:

diesel huh? why manual transfer?

diesel is because you can get it almost anywhere, has a good shelf life, and if you run oil heat you can use it to run the genny.

why on the manual transfer, because the auto ones cost way to much money, and they typically wont hold the rated load with out causing long term problems. ( ie contacts burn up when switching under load ) also do you want to come home after a a day at work and find your genny has been running for 8 hours and cost you 50 bucks in fuel. or worse you where low on propane and now your out. or how about advertizing to every body who walks by you have heat and power when your not home. also with a manual you can shut down and restart when ever you want
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 4:36:33 PM EST
Yes I do. I can power the basics but no A/C. Katrina taught us something
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 4:43:10 PM EST
The switching unit is not cheap, and needs to be installed by someone qualified. We have a manual switch, you can get a fully automatic system too..We need to also manually start the propane generator first..

its great when its needed, the propane gen. is easy to keep, not like the diesel or gas..
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 4:49:41 PM EST
I have one. runs on propane and I have a 500 gal tank of it. Mine is Kohler. It's awesome. it runs all the important appliances and circuits in the house. Power flickers, generator automatically comes on. Highly recommended.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 4:51:19 PM EST
My neighbor does, and while it's cool most of the time, I hear it start up and run after momentary brownouts when the power comes back on right away. He could probabably adjust the delay between power out and generator start though.

Link Posted: 10/12/2007 4:57:22 PM EST
if you're not using the diesel for heating oil are you just keeping a storage tank somewhere?
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:04:34 PM EST
I have a 30kw on a PTO mount for one of my tractors...not completely hardwired to automatically switch, though.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:10:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By anjan9:
I have one. runs on propane and I have a 500 gal tank of it. Mine is Kohler. It's awesome. it runs all the important appliances and circuits in the house. Power flickers, generator automatically comes on. Highly recommended.

Ditto on the Kohler, and unfortunately I've not heard good things about the durability or reliability of the Generacs. Kohler, Onan, and Caterpillar are really the big commercial generator manufactuters... most of the rest are second-tier.

And I don't know how much Diesel fuel some of you are planning on storing... but that's a major PITA. At around a gallon an hour, you're going through five jerry cans per day. Diesel does store better than gasoline, but it still must be rotated out... and unless you're steadily using it up and replacing it (running it through your power-stroke Diesel dually or something), you're going to run into storage problems.

In contrast, getting a propane tank buried in your yard is quite doable. Get a large enough tank and you've got enough fuel to run a good-sized generator 24/7 for several weeks... plenty of time to get somebody in there to refill your tank. You can also use that propane to power your furnace, heat your water, and run your cooktop in the kitchen. Yes, you'll use a little more Propane to power your generator compared to other fuels, but the storage is much easier (Propane and NG have a lower energy content than liquid fuels like Gasoline or Diesel, and require proportionally more fuel to power the genset).

Just be aware of some of the issues with buried tanks, including water table, and corrosion.
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