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whole house generators

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oliver power
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Any suggestions?
 
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Dick2
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

From reviews and other posts, it looks like it would be a good idea to avoid Generac.

It would probably be a good idea to add up the total wattage that you expect to use when the generator is operating and size the generator accordingly.
 
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Dusty MI
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Location: Lansing MI. area

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:48 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I feel that LP is the best fuel to use for stand by generators.

Also do you want to be able to power/run everything ? One can get by with a much smaller generator if you only run the essentials, heat, water, refrigerator, a little light, microwave will give you hot food. If your water heater in not electric, you can even have hot water, all with as small as 4000 watt 230/120 volt generator.

We have a 4000 watt 120 volt generator on our motor home and I figure we could get by with that. Our well pump is only a 1/3 hp 120 volt.
 
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timcasbolt
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:19 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've got a big Onan on propane that is not for sale.
 
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Billy Shafer
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:50 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Kohler or Powertech. Stay away from Generac. Onan is not what it used to be since Cummins bought them.

Kohler has good units. With good support and people that know what they are talking about.NG or propane would be the way to go. Have an amp load total of your house done. This will tell you what size to buy. Buy one that can handle a little more than you need.
 
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Old Iowa
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have an Onan and I have had good service. Some have stated that they are having poor service and parts through Cummins. I have not but I would check before I bought in your area.

I would get a good brand that has local parts and service available. IF you use propane for anything that is the best fuel source. If you have a gas gen set I would get some of the pre-packaged gas to keep. It is sealed so it does not go stale like the regular station stuff.

About ten years ago on Christmas eve the whole family was at my sister's house for Christmas. They had major Ice storm. Lines and trees down every where. We spent the first night without electric because her generator would not start because of bad fuel. So in the early morning in zero weather I am cleaning the carburetor and others are walking to find some fresh gas. There where so many trees down that a car was useless. Finally got it going. She had to use it for ten days before she had electric back. Keeping it going with gas was a real pain after the second day. There where no stations with electric close by. Had to clean streets and borrow lawn mower gas to keep it going. She switched it over to propane and has ZERO problems since then.
 
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Billy Shafer
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Onan used to be top of the line. Not anymore. As for parts prices.
Quoted last week to me. 307-0004 start solenoid.
193.55 Found a cross match at local auto store.
24.95

Guy called me several months ago.
MCCK braided plug wires.
980.23 for two.
Found some at an aircraft supply house.
140.00
Little longer than needed,but they worked.
 
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El Toro
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a Kohler and since I have NG It will run on NG or LP. It's rated at 14kw on LP. I only had 13 circuits transferred. My neighbor has a Generac and said he had a few problems, but was fixed. You can buy any brand from Norwall.com and there's free shipping and no sales tax.

I would suggest you hire a master electrician that has wired the transfer switches for some time. The same for the master plumber and if permits are required have them buy them so you get a final inspection. Also which ever brand you choose find a service tech for that brand in your area and shop around and compare prices so your warranty isn't lost. Hal
 
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Butch(OH)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Besides KW rating and the brand/quality/service issues choosing a fuel is important, lots more important than some make of it. Gasoline should be you last choice IMO even if you have a farm tank full of it at all times. Natural gas is OK so is LP IF you already are using it at the site. I went with diesel and am happy with it.
 
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massey333
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Why Billie,CBS & Consummer just did a testing and said Generac was best over all made in Port.and whole house.At least it sounds good??You are right on service and parts on a local bases,however Dad had a 40K unit that no one local could fix,but I got a # for Them in Wisc.who told me to stay around 1/2hr or so and someone would call.They called,give them the numbers and problems,they sent parts,all info sheets and how to install parts plus # and Names to ask for if problems,all for a 20yr.old unit.I fixed it and then got rid of it(2yrs later).I got 3 Diesel Katolights,but Generac has maybe 90-95%of the home market within 50-100 mile radius.Onan and Kohler don't have a decent Dist.network.NO I'am not a Generac fan.
 
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Chip812
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I read somewhere (recently) that to run your house on a propane/NG generator, it cost $75/day (in propane/NG)... Anybody know if that is a correct statement?
 
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Butch(OH)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Could be, fuel usage is variable with loads. During a recent 60 hour outage my next door neighbor burned just over 1 gallon per hour with a pretty large, guessing 15,000 watt, gasoline generator while running the entire house like he was on grid power. The math here is 1 GPH x $4 X 24 per day,,, It is my understanding that propane or NG is cheaper per BTU but by how much I do not know as I dont use them. My generator is diesel 15 KW and during that same outage I burned just over a quart an hour with the wife using power like the grid was on.
 
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El Toro
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

One thing I forgot to mention not sure about the other generators, but with Kohler you need a separate 120vac dedicated breaker to supply constant voltage to the generator to keep the battery charged. That needs to be installed in the transfer switch. Mine has places for 16 circuits. Hal
 
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JGayman
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What is pre-packaged gas?
 
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Old Iowa
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: whole house generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

An example is Coleman white gas for their lanterns. It is just unleaded clear gas. I used to use it in a little portable generator we took camping all of the time. It was only 1000 watts but it ran better and did not gum up the carb. on the canned stuff. You can find other brands in some big box stores. It is high usually $8-10 per gallon.
 
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