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Home generators


EmilC
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Good morning
Sweated thru hurricane Henri here on Long island. Fortunately not as bad as predicted.
Our local electric company warned that power outages could have last up to 2 weeks if it made landfall.

Time to get serious on a home generator.  Gas powered. Enough to power fridge and HVAC system

Any words of advice would be appreciated

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I invested in a natural gas Generac 20kw with a whole-house transfer switch about 4 years ago.  It's kicked in a few times over the years - maybe the longest for about 12 hours.  After the power goes out, it fires up and 20 seconds later, the power is back on again and I'm listening to my klipsch speakers 🙂 Pretty awesome.

 

I also have a 2.5kw Honda portable gas generator that's about 21 years old now.  It's saved out butts many times, sometimes for days at a time.  You have to string extension cords around your house but you get good at it.

 

You probably don't have natural gas on LI. Generac (and others) have propane options too.  Storing two weeks of fuel (gas or propane) for a generator large enough to power a fridge and HVAC requires a lot of thought.

 

The last option is a solar generator.  It's a case with batteries that can be recharged from the wall or from solar panels, with an A/C inverter to plug stuff into.  They've come  a long way lately.  Bluetti makes some nice stuff.  Realistically, you could power your fridge and a few other things, but it would get expensive to power your HVAC.  The major advantage is you don't need to store fuel.

 

It's nice to have some options.

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11 minutes ago, pbphoto said:

The last option is a solar generator.  It's a case with batteries that can be recharged from the wall or from solar panels, with an A/C inverter to plug stuff into.

Storage is the major problem. You can buy solar panels for under US50¢/Watt if you shop very carefully. But batteries are just plain expensive, even if you go with conventional lead-acid.

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I recently purchased the Duromax EP12000EH for my home. Installed the outside 50A receptacle, transfer switch and new sub-panel. I've got about 13 hours on it and the system has performed great. I'm selling the 12k and upgrading to the 13k, so I can run both of my HVAC's, if needed. 

 

I have a 500 gallon in ground propane tank to tap off of.  

 

Overall, the Duromax have good reviews, but it looks like you could still get a dud if the shipper is not careful. 

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A single HVAC system and a fridge? Maybe 10K watts or so. The Honda ones are really nice and quiet, but expensive. Have plenty of gas cans handy. They all burn a lot of gas if you keep em running.

 

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I believe Generac and Cummins are the big two

Cummins have pulled ahead with a quiet unit that can use LPG and Nat Gas

Quiet is important

In ground 500gal or larger tank

and unit sized to run the entire house

I would have a small portable backup set up for LPG  and a carb change to regular gas.

My understanding is that if you have solar attached to the grid

the solar shuts off when the grid is off, wow.

https://www.cummins.com/na/generators/residential/standby-and-portable

 

Lots of choices on this web site

https://apelectric.com/cummins-rs20a-20kw-quiet-connect-generator/?msclkid=00513bb69c1b1672a8c25a956afcc69f&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=02 - Cummins Air Cooled Shopping 13-20kWs&utm_term=4581458797625195&utm_content=Cummins RS20A ID 6403 Paused

 

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I'm at the same crossroad. I just dealt with a flooded basement last week in Michigan after a 24 hour outage. Was considering a whole house Generac or Kohler since I am on natural gas with city water and sewer...but I've heard they are extremely pricey to have installed. 

 

I narrowed it down to a WEN 11000/8300, a Firman 10000/8000, and a Champion 11500/9200 portable generator if I do in fact go this route.  I would love the capabilities of the whole house genny with automatic transfer switch if I can afford to do it...another problem is I have been debating selling my house and don't care to drop $10k plus to move on. I don't travel much so running extension cords, etc isn't a big deal if I am home. That stray thought of being in Florida or something and having a crisis up here scares the crap out of me. 

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you guys

 

 

Tim

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My nephew in Maine just purchased a turn key 27Kw Generac system for very slightly under $10,000 with dealer install & licensed electrician. He runs off two- two hundred LP tanks. Going up to that capacity from 23Kw was a whopping $500...  There was also a four month wait for the equipment.

 

BTW, having lived in Florida for twenty years, there is a reason its called Florida Flicker & Light. When it gets cold, everyone turns on their electric heat. Rolling brownouts are a treat during the holidays. Generators come in hand for storms down there, too.

 

Mike

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15 minutes ago, teaman said:

I'm at the same crossroad. I just dealt with a flooded basement last week in Michigan after a 24 hour outage. Was considering a whole house Generac or Kohler since I am on natural gas with city water and sewer...but I've heard they are extremely pricey to have installed. 

 

I narrowed it down to a WEN 11000/8300, a Firman 10000/8000, and a Champion 11500/9200 portable generator if I do in fact go this route.  I would love the capabilities of the whole house genny with automatic transfer switch if I can afford to do it...another problem is I have been debating selling my house and don't care to drop $10k plus to move on. I don't travel much so running extension cords, etc isn't a big deal if I am home. That stray thought of being in Florida or something and having a crisis up here scares the crap out of me. 

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you guys

Tim

 

I've gotten by over the years with a mid sized portable generator that can power the sump and fridge at the same time, and probably some other stuff, but those are the big two.

I am in the same section of the power grid as City Hall, so I am never down for long.

 

The one thing I should get, and may still get, is a manual transfer switch and an outside 220 outlet that the generator can plug into and use the home wiring and keep the doors and windows closed. It should also be able to run the furnace if needed. This would be sump or furnace.

 

This also requires that you have gas on hand or are able to siphon from the cars to fill it up.

4 hours is the longest I have ever run it during a storm when the power cut out and the sump needs to run, I left everything else disconnected and off inc the fridge. Some neighbors flooded in their nice finished basements. There is no substitute for good drainage on the property, all of my downspouts run to swails 15-20ft from the building and away to the back of the property, a block away others have flooded to the basement rafters when my sump barely ran at all.

 

My brother in TN had a tornado do a lot of damage about 15mi from his home a few months ago.

When he told his wife those poor people wouldn't be able to take a hot shower for weeks, she immediately agreed to a whole house with in-ground back up tank.

When you arrive at your new home, a whole house may be worth considering.

 

Keep the portable in case things get bleak.....

 

 

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56 minutes ago, michaelwardjoines said:

 

 

BTW, having lived in Florida for twenty years, there is a reason its called Florida Flicker & Light. When it gets cold, everyone turns on their electric heat. Rolling brownouts are a treat during the holidays. Generators come in hand for storms down there, too.

 

Mike

what about AC  and an external  pump   , how many months per year does that run in Florida , when we are in Miami during the Holidays  , the pump is ON at night cause the humidity is too high , it's definitely not dry  weather or SF California weather  --

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42 minutes ago, RandyH said:

what about AC  and an external  pump   , how many months per year does that run in Florida 

 

I never had the heat on unless my parents visited for a week or two in the winter. Otherwise, my a/c was always on. Too much humidity as you point out. Went through two systems and had I stayed, a third. But the buyer got that pleasure.

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I had a 22K Generac installed. Natural gas required another larger pipe installed. Still waiting on the second transfer switch (125 amp) to arrive; the 200 amp came with the generator. Also awaiting city to install larger gas meter at no charge. I tried to talk my way out of the additional gas but the installer was adamant that in order to perform whole house duties the generator needed more volume. I can't see having the pool heater running, using the gas grill etc, etc during an outage but I did specify WHOLE home. $16k and don't know when the 125 amp switch will arrive. City refuses to sign off on another 200 amp switch which is available. 

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3 hours ago, Bubo said:

 

I've gotten by over the years with a mid sized portable generator that can power the sump and fridge at the same time, and probably some other stuff, but those are the big two.

I am in the same section of the power grid as City Hall, so I am never down for long.

 

The one thing I should get, and may still get, is a manual transfer switch and an outside 220 outlet that the generator can plug into and use the home wiring and keep the doors and windows closed. It should also be able to run the furnace if needed. This would be sump or furnace.

 

This also requires that you have gas on hand or are able to siphon from the cars to fill it up.

4 hours is the longest I have ever run it during a storm when the power cut out and the sump needs to run, I left everything else disconnected and off inc the fridge. Some neighbors flooded in their nice finished basements. There is no substitute for good drainage on the property, all of my downspouts run to swails 15-20ft from the building and away to the back of the property, a block away others have flooded to the basement rafters when my sump barely ran at all.

 

My brother in TN had a tornado do a lot of damage about 15mi from his home a few months ago.

When he told his wife those poor people wouldn't be able to take a hot shower for weeks, she immediately agreed to a whole house with in-ground back up tank.

When you arrive at your new home, a whole house may be worth considering.

 

Keep the portable in case things get bleak.....

 

 

Back in the early 2000's the east coast was out of electricity for five days or something crazy. My sump pump never overflowed as luckily the week the power was out was pretty dry. This past week we had seven straight hours of storms and when I went down to look at everything in my finished basement around 12:30am all was dry. Went back down at 2:10 and there was already an inch and a half of water across the entire basement. I tried bailing it but the water was coming in faster than I could get it out. Luckily a friend rushed out at 3am with his portable genny and we started the sump pump around 5am. Even with that reaction and being right here with it caused a lot of water damage. Luckily the majority of my basement is tiled, but the baseboards and Pergo in the outer rooms were saturated. We put big industrial carpet fans down there immediately after we got the water sopped up and after a week I was still finding water. 

 

I really like the thought of going whole house, because in any event, if I am home or away that piece of mind with instant on and off with natural gas wired into my entire home 200A panel would take a load off. I'm still waiting on a dehumidifier because the dampness even after a week of fans is crazy, unfortunately every store was sold out of generators and dehumidifiers before the power even came back on. I think this post is pushing me in the direction of the whole house model though. Even being away for an afternoon with a sump pump out now would scare the hell out of me. Now, trying to find a local contractor that can do the work in a timely manner.

 

 

Tim

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20kw Generac.   Best money I've ever spent.  Went in 12 or 14 years ago.  We use it more than I ever thought we would.  Its saved me money by keeping food frozen and running my pool pump when it was freezing out.  Having ac when heat indexes are over 110 is nice as well.  Zero regrets over spending the money.

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19 hours ago, Bubo said:

I believe Generac and Cummins are the big two

Cummins have pulled ahead with a quiet unit that can use LPG and Nat Gas

Quiet is important

In ground 500gal or larger tank

Cummins what else. 

1) Calculate DEMAND/usage accurately.

2) Plan for expansion.

3) Determine best fueling options in your area.  NG is $$ friendly, larger diesel tanks will need cleaning/chemicals when not used over time.

4) ATS - Automatic Transfer Switch.  Spend the money.

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28 minutes ago, Seadoc said:

Cummins what else. 

1) Calculate DEMAND/usage accurately.

2) Plan for expansion.

3) Determine best fueling options in your area.  NG is $$ friendly, larger diesel tanks will need cleaning/chemicals when not used over time.

4) ATS - Automatic Transfer Switch.  Spend the money.

If I had a farm or business burning Diesel, I would consider it especially if NG is unavailable.

Diesel will literally get bacteria infections and other stuff if it hangs around too long

Farm with a tank that fuels the equipment, different story.

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Everything is bigger in TX inc heat waves....

Texas Power Demand Could Hit Record Tuesday Amid Heat Wave

Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021 - 01:05 PM

Temperatures across Texas will approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) through Wednesday and could send power demand to record highs thanks to residential and commercial buildings cranking up their air conditioners to escape the heat, according to Bloomberg

https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/texas-power-demand-could-hit-record-tuesday-amid-heat-wave

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