Whole house genterator

Does anyone have a whole house generator? What brand and do you like it?

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| Does anyone have a whole house generator? What brand and do you like it?
No.
Kohler.
I dunno.
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wrote:

do you like it?

Home depot carries Genrac...about $5,000 plus installation, which should run 2,000 dollars or so. that would run the house in most cases,,, you have to check the size.. they make all sizes. Get one that runs on natural gas or propane if you dont have natural gas.
Phil Scott

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Why suggest Kohler if you do not have one? Have you installed one? What makes them so special?
wrote:
| Does anyone have a whole house generator? What brand and do you like it?
No.
Kohler.
I dunno.
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| Why suggest Kohler if you do not have one? Have you installed one? What makes them so | special?
Nothing more than I have downloaded all their product PDFs and read them.
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wrote:

installed one? What makes them so

Kohler is one of the big names in the small to medium sized gen set business for large homes and small businesses. they got that way by producing a generally good product. You have to do your own research. Some are noisier than others. If you can find a recognised name brand with a Honda motor that might not be a bad way to go. Honda's are generally more quite than other options and thier motors are bullet proof.
If you plan on running the thing for extended periods you should buy about 40% larger than the actual load you expect it to carry... of course there is no need to run your 40 amp clothes drier or electric oven in an emergency... you can figure a minimal lighting, and heating load. If you want hvac you can buy a small window AC for the bedroom for emergencies and use that, cutting your gen set requirements dramatically. If you wish to run a long time on the gen set with say a tank of propane, that would extend run time also.
to that end some people wire thier gen sets to only a few of the homes circuits...say refrig, lighting, and furnace. If its not an electric furnace you can do that with a very small unit.
Phil Scott

and read them.

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wrote:
| If you plan on running the thing for extended periods you | should buy about 40% larger than the actual load you expect it | to carry... of course there is no need to run your 40 amp | clothes drier or electric oven in an emergency... you can | figure a minimal lighting, and heating load. If you want | hvac you can buy a small window AC for the bedroom for | emergencies and use that, cutting your gen set requirements | dramatically. If you wish to run a long time on the gen set | with say a tank of propane, that would extend run time also.
I've been in a 10 day power outage before. Ice storm knocked down _every_ power line and broke _every_ pole in the entire rural parts of a county I used to live in.
People might be tempted to get a NG generator. An area of the county I live in now lost gas supply due to the rain spawned by Hurricane Ivan causing a mud slide that tore out a gas main. The electric stayed on.
And as we know, diesel doesn't store very long.
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Brian wrote:

I've installed several generator sets for homes and I'd would suggest you look very carefully at the power quality issues on a whole house generator. Even a solid state controlled microwave oven may need better quality power than some generators are capable of providing. If you need to run the well pump, an electro mechanically controlled heating plant and a few lights almost any generator can produce good enough quality power for that set of tasks. If , on the other hand, you want to operate expensive entertainment or other solid state electronic items the power quality becomes a major issue. Honda makes a series of generators that feed their output to an inverter that puts out a true sine wave quality power.
In terms of fuel you should use the fuel that you will have the easiest time getting and handling and you sometimes have to weigh one of those factors against the other. During the aftermath of Hurricane Isabelle we discovered that our fire department's propane vender had no sustained back up power for his telephone system. They had plenty of propane ready to deliver but we could not reach them to order it. For one customer I made up a drum pump with a sectional pick up tube and foot valve that would reach almost to the bottom of underground tanks. If they ran low on fuel during a prolonged power outage all they would have to do would be to find a staffed fuel station and they could pump the diesel they needed without the station having power. -- Tom H
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I have an Onan 16kw diesel with a Cummins engine. It runs the whole house, and fuel consumption depends on how I live...lightly loaded, the set gets 2-4 hours/gal, but running the water heat/washer/dryer/etc. will push it over 1 gal/hr.
I get amused at the gener-wrecks and hondas that say 4500 Watts! 6000 Surge! Yea right. Plug a 5KW load in and see what happens. Been down that road...if it spins at 3600 rpm homey don't buy it.
My Onan will do 16KW all day long and as for "surge", it can do 21KW for up to 30 minutes, by the rating plate. Don't know if that's true, but I have slapped it with an 18kw load. The engine made that "I'm working now" sound but otherwise it didn't care.
'Course it ain't cheap. I have a small business here and MUST have juice always, so there was the justification. The set, tanks, and controls cost about $10K. + what it's building cost.
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I am seriously looking for a 10-15kW generator that uses NG. Ever hear of Generac or Onan?
I have an Onan 16kw diesel with a Cummins engine. It runs the whole house, and fuel consumption depends on how I live...lightly loaded, the set gets 2-4 hours/gal, but running the water heat/washer/dryer/etc. will push it over 1 gal/hr.
I get amused at the gener-wrecks and hondas that say 4500 Watts! 6000 Surge! Yea right. Plug a 5KW load in and see what happens. Been down that road...if it spins at 3600 rpm homey don't buy it.
My Onan will do 16KW all day long and as for "surge", it can do 21KW for up to 30 minutes, by the rating plate. Don't know if that's true, but I have slapped it with an 18kw load. The engine made that "I'm working now" sound but otherwise it didn't care.
'Course it ain't cheap. I have a small business here and MUST have juice always, so there was the justification. The set, tanks, and controls cost about $10K. + what it's building cost.
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Something to remember with having an emergency generator is that you will need a transfer switch so that you cannot back feed into the utility. In eastern Canada when they had the ice storm, some people were backfeeding and shocked several linesmen. The repair work stopped until they found those generators and shut them down.
You will find that almost if not all utilities will cut you off if you do not have a transfer switch.
Cheers ... Bob

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Umm yeah I am an electrician and I do plan on using a transfer switch. I am asking what "brand" the populous prefers.

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Onan is quite popular... What did you want to use as the prime mover? A natural gas motor, or what? Are you a country dweller with access to a tractor with a PTO? (A real concern is to ensure that whatever you use to power the gen set will not have the fuel go bad due to lack of use...)
HR.
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NG

Onan is quite popular... What did you want to use as the prime mover? A natural gas motor, or what? Are you a country dweller with access to a tractor with a PTO? (A real concern is to ensure that whatever you use to power the gen set will not have the fuel go bad due to lack of use...)
HR.
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There are several brands in the Market, some Big enough to power up a downtown skyscraper.
I don't have one but have seen a model standing about 5-6ft tall, fit's easily in any standard basement };-))
you might want to look into the "Microturbines" they work with cheap Natural Gas & i am almost sure they can power up an entire house, they share off the utilities and a transfer switch puts them in charge if & when the power fails from said Utilities.
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