Advice & Recommendations - whole house generators
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 58
Like Tree130Likes

Thread: Advice & Recommendations - whole house generators

  1. Top | #1
    AJgrn78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:26 PM
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    1,223
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 84 Times in 79 Posts

    Advice & Recommendations - whole house generators

    Hello All,

    The other week we lost power for about an entire day, by all means not as bad as others experience but of course we end up trying to keep the house warm in the winter, keeping the freezer cold, and everything else we take for granted.

    I think we'd want something pretty substantial in case of an extended outage, a large wattage natural gas powered unit. We have a 200amp panel with all but 2 spaces occupied, a 100amp panel in the pool shed that also powers a hot tub, and a 100amp panel in our detached shop. We have 2 fridges and a large freezer running 24/7. Gas appliances though.

    I'd like something capable of running most or all of the house, does that mean something like 20kw? Does anyone have experience with specific brands that they'd recommend? Generac, Kohler, and Briggs&Stratton are the ones we saw at the last home show.

    Thanks for any input!!
    Gizmo2 and Robnik like this.
    1984 JD 316 w/ cat 0 3-pt hitch and 2000 rpm pto, 48" tiller, 49" snowblower, 42" belly mower
    2015 JD 1025r, 60d MMM, 54" front mounted snowblower, Heavy hitch, Ballast box
    1980 JD 1050 4wd, JD 75 loader, IH 60" brush hog
    1980? Satoh S550g Elk, 60" belly mower
    McCulloch Saws - 1970's Mini Mac 30; Mac 10-10
    1978 Ariens Sno-Thro 32"; Troy-Bilt 24" snoblower
    1996 Polaris 680 Ultra Snowmobile, 2004 Yamaha Raptor 660, 2016 Polaris Sportsman 570
    1996 KTM EXC 300
    Gravely ZT-HD 60"

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. Top | #2
    ctrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    09-13-2019 @ 08:58 PM
    Location
    Leeds, Maine
    Posts
    581
    Thanks
    114
    Thanked 153 Times in 80 Posts
    I have a 15kw Generac that I installed at least 12 yrs ago. I too have a 200a panel in the house and a 100a subpanel to the garage. It's been a pretty good unit. There are some things I did do different and some things I would look for again in a new unit. Most at the time came pre-wired with the feed and controls in a 50' flexible conduit. #1, I didn't like the limited length or the controls and power in the same raceway, so I bought some 3/4" and 1 1/2" PVC conduit and wiring for each circuit and placed the generator where I wanted, behind the garage, then fed the house underground. One thing I should have done was rotate the placement 180° so the exhaust noise was pointing away from the house. It's not bad, but that's a big thing to consider if it is running for hours on end, especially at night.

    The new ones may be different, but I don't like that mine does not idle when not under load. When it starts it's full speed and when it shuts down it does the same. It's got to be hard on the engine.

    The other thing I don't like is the ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) is wired with branch circuit breakers, I think 10 total, and has wiring that extends into the house panel. You then remove the wiring from each circuit you want to feed with the generator and wirenut them together. I would much prefer having the whole panel fed through the ATS from both sources; the utility and the generator. Maybe the new ones are different. I have always wanted to re-do mine but still haven't done so.

    Mine is propane. I think NG is a little less in BTU, so less power from what I've read. Not much, but some. If money were no object, I would look into an Onan diesel.

    A lot will depend whether you do the install yourself or have it done. I've found that Generac is very territorial about parts information and in my area there are a few registered dealers which vary greatly in their service, so be aware that who you choose makes a big difference. I won't go into details, but I had an issue, called 2 dealers for their help and was told by one I needed a new engine at $4500. The other dealer was more helpful, installed a new regulator and showed me some things to look for.

    One of the biggest things overlooked is the frequency. They need to be tested under load, as much load as possible.
    mjncad, rtgt, Robnik and 2 others like this.
    2012 JD 2320
    1985 JD 318
    1952 JD MC
    1974 IH 784 4WD

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to ctrider For This Useful Post:

    mjncad (03-17-2018)

  5. Top | #3
    AJgrn78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:26 PM
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    1,223
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 84 Times in 79 Posts
    Great input, thank you!

    I agree, I'd much prefer to have a unit that powered my entire main panel directly in the event of power loss. I'd have it hooked up by an electrician to make sure it was correct.

    I think the NG vs diesel would depend on whether there is an NG unit that could handle the load...I'm not sure how to estimate what I'd need.
    Robnik, Herminator and PJR832 like this.
    1984 JD 316 w/ cat 0 3-pt hitch and 2000 rpm pto, 48" tiller, 49" snowblower, 42" belly mower
    2015 JD 1025r, 60d MMM, 54" front mounted snowblower, Heavy hitch, Ballast box
    1980 JD 1050 4wd, JD 75 loader, IH 60" brush hog
    1980? Satoh S550g Elk, 60" belly mower
    McCulloch Saws - 1970's Mini Mac 30; Mac 10-10
    1978 Ariens Sno-Thro 32"; Troy-Bilt 24" snoblower
    1996 Polaris 680 Ultra Snowmobile, 2004 Yamaha Raptor 660, 2016 Polaris Sportsman 570
    1996 KTM EXC 300
    Gravely ZT-HD 60"

  6. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  7. Top | #4
    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:01 PM
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    34,153
    Thanks
    5,766
    Thanked 3,945 Times in 2,908 Posts
    Just the other day I was ready to have my BIL pull the trigger on a portable 17.5 kw generator for his house.

    I discovered a lot (maybe all) only provide a maximum output of 50 amps from a single receptacle. On the particular generator I was looking to recommend it had 1-240v 50 amp, 2- 240v 30 amp and and a few 120v 15 amp and 20 amp receptacles.

    I am not an expert in the field of generators or their hookup but I have no idea how you would hook one of these up to a house panel and provide the rated 240v 73 amps.
    I for one felt mislead.
    Last edited by Gizmo2; 03-16-2018 at 10:54 AM.
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD, The Wife
    BX42 Chipper, XUV 560 Gator, Z915B ZTrak

  8. Top | #5
    jgayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:31 PM
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,757
    Thanks
    366
    Thanked 1,597 Times in 1,215 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by AJgrn78 View Post
    I think the NG vs diesel would depend on whether there is an NG unit that could handle the load...I'm not sure how to estimate what I'd need.
    You won't have any issues finding a NG unit that will handle the load. With diesel you'll have to install a storage tank and deal with delivery / storage / treatment issues. With NG you should have unlimited fuel unless the service is interrupted by some kind of disaster.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

  9. Top | #6
    jgayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:31 PM
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,757
    Thanks
    366
    Thanked 1,597 Times in 1,215 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    Just the other day I was ready to have my BIL pull the trigger on a portable 17.5 kw generator for his house.

    I discovered a lot (maybe all) only provide a maximum output of 50 amps from a single receptacle. On the particular generator I was looking to recommend it had 1-240v 50 amp, 2- 240v 30 amp and and a few 120v 15 amp and 20 amp receptacles.

    I am not an expert in the field of generators or their hookup but I have no idea how you would hook one of these up to a house panel and provide the rated 240v 73 amps.
    I for one felt mislead.
    Wow... that is a huge "portable" generator. 50-amps seems to be about it for residential portable units. The normal way to hook up is via a transfer switch, an interlock in the breaker panel or one of the GenerLink gizmos that attach to the meter base. Then you simply install a 50-amp male receptacle outside somewhere convenient into which you will plug-in the generator. It's very similar to the questionable "backfeed" method that is so popular except when done correctly it is completely legal and it does not pose an electrocution risk to anyone.
    Gizmo2 likes this.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

  10. Top | #7
    ctrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Last Online
    09-13-2019 @ 08:58 PM
    Location
    Leeds, Maine
    Posts
    581
    Thanks
    114
    Thanked 153 Times in 80 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    You won't have any issues finding a NG unit that will handle the load. With diesel you'll have to install a storage tank and deal with delivery / storage / treatment issues. With NG you should have unlimited fuel unless the service is interrupted by some kind of disaster.
    Oh, good point. That was the other thing I ran into with the propane. I ended up buying the tank, regulators, and paid for the installation because that was the only thing in our house using propane. I have since found out that other fuel dealers would have let me lease/rent and simply pay for the fuel. I ended up paying $750 at the time. The other issue with that is the tanks have dates on them and will get tot the point where no one will fill them. Just something to keep in mind too.
    jgayman, wentonbrown and PJR832 like this.
    2012 JD 2320
    1985 JD 318
    1952 JD MC
    1974 IH 784 4WD

  11. Top | #8
    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:01 PM
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    34,153
    Thanks
    5,766
    Thanked 3,945 Times in 2,908 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Wow... that is a huge "portable" generator. 50-amps seems to be about it for residential portable units. The normal way to hook up is via a transfer switch, an interlock in the breaker panel or one of the GenerLink gizmos that attach to the meter base. Then you simply install a 50-amp male receptacle outside somewhere convenient into which you will plug-in the generator. It's very similar to the questionable "backfeed" method that is so popular except when done correctly it is completely legal and it does not pose an electrocution risk to anyone.
    I know all that but I was expecting a single 73 amp output even if it were a hardwired output. NOPE!
    PJR832 likes this.
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD, The Wife
    BX42 Chipper, XUV 560 Gator, Z915B ZTrak

  12. Top | #9
    jgayman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Last Online
    Today @ 01:31 PM
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,757
    Thanks
    366
    Thanked 1,597 Times in 1,215 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    I know all that but I was expecting a single 73 amp output even if it were a hardwired output. NOPE!
    I'm sure there's probably some "code" issue somewhere. Plus, hardwired connections wouldn't make much sense on a portable unit.

    Maybe your BIL would be better off with a slightly smaller generator since it appears he may not be able to use all of the capacity anyway and the larger engine will just burn more fuel.

    Probably where you could use more of the capacity would be if using extension cords as you could attach things to the multiple outlets on the generator and not be limited by the single 50-amp connection.
    Gizmo2 and PJR832 like this.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

  13. Top | #10
    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:01 PM
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    34,153
    Thanks
    5,766
    Thanked 3,945 Times in 2,908 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    I'm sure there's probably some "code" issue somewhere. Plus, hardwired connections wouldn't make much sense on a portable unit.

    Maybe your BIL would be better off with a slightly smaller generator since it appears he may not be able to use all of the capacity anyway and the larger engine will just burn more fuel.

    Probably where you could use more of the capacity would be if using extension cords as you could attach things to the multiple outlets on the generator and not be limited by the single 50-amp connection.
    Yeah, I'm sure, just never really thought about it and was sort of blindsided by it all.
    I guess he will be going with a 15 kw.
    rtgt and PJR832 like this.
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD, The Wife
    BX42 Chipper, XUV 560 Gator, Z915B ZTrak

  14. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •