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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Generator for the house

I think I need to get one, probably somewhere
between 3000 and 6000 watts. Quiet would be nice.
What brands have you folks had good luck with?
Thanks much.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 09:56 PM
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The Honda 3000 watt inverter is nice. Compact, quiet, electric start. Only negative is that it does not have a remote start capabillity.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 10:24 PM
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Well if it is for a stationary position (like your house) I would get at least 7500 kw if you want to run anykind of air conditioning. The biggest factor is fuel. What is it going to run on. I would suggest propane power and get a large propane tank for the back yard. Before you go buying look at the fuel usage. Lots of people go to home depot and buy the gas jobbies but they don't look at the fuel usage. If I remember correctly alot of them use a tank every 10 hours. If you have no power then the corner gas station can not pump you any gas either.

I guess it depends on your plans and when you are going to use it. Here in south Louisiana if you need your generator chances are good you will be without power for a week or more (for ex. after a hurricane). You will need a bulk tanker to hold all the gasoline you will need to run your generator. Natural gas sounds good but as soon as their is a break in the line they shut that off so you need to have your own self contained system.

Another thing to consider is the hook up. Buy a unit with a transfer switch as they are quite expensive by themselves. Then it cost about $1000 to have it all wired up (and it has to be done by an electrician if you want any warranty) plus a small fortune to fill up you 200 gallon propane tank. The cost of the generator is only about 1/2 the total cost.

My friend went through all this after Rita so if you need anymore info I can try and find out where he bought his from. I know the only regret he has is not buying a larger size.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid-in-sideways, totally worn out, shouting.."holy crap.... what a ride!"
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 08:58 AM
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Buy more kW than you'll need...... I bought a 7500, but it's only 7500 MAX, only 5500 nominal...

It'll run what I need should I ever need it.....

Plus, It's still small and quiet enough to stick on the trailer and bring to the track.....

John


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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Here's our 5kw US Army surplus unit.



Plusses: Runs full load 24x7, super overbuilt, need's no enclosure.
Minuses: Loud as a mofo, gallon of gas an hour, 24v starter is kinda not convenient.

Wired it in with a manual tranfer switch and it runs all the key circuits, beer fridge, tv, overhead lights, kitchen...



Adrianspeeder
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Youll use more LP in a given unit when compared to gasoline (something like 20% less BTU..i dont remember exactly) but its hard to keep 100 gallons of gasoline at your house. Gasoline also has a shelf life. There are also Diesel units in that size range that are nice and quiet but quite a bit more expensive. The "get what you pay for" lesson applies here as well.
Transfer switch is a smart move here too. Its not smart or safe to back feed power through a dryer plug (max ampacity is almost always 30). A 7.5KW unit peaks around 30 amps @ 240volts. Problem is most 12 seer 2 ton a/c units (average house size) will run around 8-15A total but need anywhere between 30-50A to start (depending on configuration). A 10.5 KW will start a 1.5 ton AC and run it with a water heater and a few lights as long as they dont all start at once. Trying to be "cozy" when the power goes out can be expensive. Most people around here are just concerned with the Refridge and some lights. Hope you find what you are looking for.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianspeeder
Here's our 5kw US Army surplus unit.

[

Plusses: Runs full load 24x7, super overbuilt, need's no enclosure.
Minuses: Loud as a mofo, gallon of gas an hour, 24v starter is kinda not convenient.

Wired it in with a manual tranfer switch and it runs all the key circuits, beer fridge, tv, overhead lights, kitchen...

[

Adrianspeeder
Surplus is awesome! I want to find one of those turbine powered APUs..wanna go in halfsies? :lol: :lol:
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 08:13 PM
 
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generator

JBR-3,


Just went through a big ice storm in OK. I have a Generac generator for our house. It was installed in 2002. 10,000 watts and 80 amps is the rating. It runs on natural gas, has auto start system and switching system and other features that are handy.

You need to run some calculations on your house watt and amp load. You must also calculate starting watts and amps which can 3 to 5 times running watts and amps.

You can find how do this from Generac or other generator manufactures.

I decided to run 115 volt system only, not any 220 volt items like A/C, dryer, water tank etc. because it would take about 18 to 20,000 watts.

I hope this helps.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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I've been thinking a little more. What I might just do
is get two units. First get a smaller quiet Honda to
power just a few circuits, but no heat or hot water,
I have electric heat.
Then get a second, larger unit when I can afford it.
I like the idea of two units, in case one goes kaput.
I keep hearing good things about the Honda, but
they seem to be the most expensive.
I'm guessing that you should fire them up several
times per year, just like any engine...??
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 08:45 PM
 
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Yup, good idea and got that covered too.



These are on sale from pep boys for cheap a few times a year. Didn't buy the 39 dollar cart though. haha

I run em at least twice a month so ya have faith they start when really needed, and have some extra stuff on hand. Carb, spark plugs, fuel filters, ext.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 09:10 PM
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The one I have is from Wacker. It's got a Honda engine and is relatively quiet. It has 220 and 110 on it as well. It's an industrial grade model. It's built better than most and it came with a complete replacement parts list for the entire generator side.... I don't think most others do that. So I can fix it to say the least if it should fail...

I plan to wire it into my main disconnect outside the house should I ever need it. Just disconnect from the city, open it up and lug in my pre-fabbed cable.

I keep it filled up with some Sta-Bil mixed in with the gas. It'll crank on the first pull.

John


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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I just went thru this after our last power outage. There are some real helpfull sites that show how much each appliance will require, from there you can figure out which ones you need to run at the same time and how much generator you'll require. It would be an advantage to get one a little more than what you need, however bigger engines use more fuel. The LP/Propane option is real nice, but that raises the cost considerably. We don't loose power very often, and were never down for more than a couple days, that played a part in my decision as well, for me I'd be happy enough to run the furnace, fridge and a few lights.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 09:04 PM
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Guys:
No matter what, either purchase a transfer switch or have a qualified electrician do your wiring to foolproof it so that there is no way to backfeed thru the meter and out onto the overhead lines. Just as the overhead lines have 7200 volts into the transformer and 120/240 volts to your house, when your generator backfeeds thru the transformer you have now just put 7200 volts onto the overhead line and ELECTROCUTED one or more lineman trying to restore power to everyone in your neighborhood! Or worse yet a family member like happened just a couple monthes ago. The son hooked up the generator while the father was working clearing the downed trees and happened to contact the overhead cable and was killed.
Always look at powering only the necessities. Just because it is nice to have AC or Hot water, you never know when your power is going to be restored, so never use more fuel than is absolutely required, and more power consumption translates directly into more fuel consumption!
Our preference around here is diesel. Doesn't hardly ever go bad, lot more readily availible, and when the bulkpumps can't fill a truck or cylinder, you can always use a siphon out of a 55 gallon drum! My 2 cents worth. Sorry so long.

Bryan Totten
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 09:04 PM
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Guys:
No matter what, either purchase a transfer switch or have a qualified electrician do your wiring to foolproof it so that there is no way to backfeed thru the meter and out onto the overhead lines. Just as the overhead lines have 7200 volts into the transformer and 120/240 volts to your house, when your generator backfeeds thru the transformer you have now just put 7200 volts onto the overhead line and ELECTROCUTED one or more lineman trying to restore power to everyone in your neighborhood! Or worse yet a family member like happened just a couple monthes ago. The son hooked up the generator while the father was working clearing the downed trees and happened to contact the overhead cable and was killed.
Always look at powering only the necessities. Just because it is nice to have AC or Hot water, you never know when your power is going to be restored, so never use more fuel than is absolutely required, and more power consumption translates directly into more fuel consumption!
Our preference around here is diesel. Doesn't hardly ever go bad, lot more readily availible, and when the bulkpumps can't fill a truck or cylinder, you can always use a siphon out of a 55 gallon drum! My 2 cents worth. Sorry so long.

Bryan Totten
"When in doubt shoot again"
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 10:58 PM
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just put togather a( one of ur) boss 429,and hook it up to a few gens, lol


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