Generator help

Generator help

This is a discussion on Generator help within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I am considering buying a generator for the house. I am looking at this one. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0N8256...v_ov_lig_dp_it I will also need an interlock so I can ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    Generator help

    I am considering buying a generator for the house. I am looking at this one.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0N8256...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    I will also need an interlock so I can run the whole house, or at least as much as the genny will stand.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K2F120...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    I want to be able to run it on propane, but I've not had much luck finding a company that services my area. I am considering getting two 20 lb BBQ style tanks and hooking them together with this.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-Hoo...ct_top?ie=UTF8

    Any thoughts on this or better ideas?
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Iíve been looking at similar generators for a while and I think me and you are thinking the same way with things. How long are you planning to run it for though? For me, the issue of being able to run what I want is the amount of space required to store the necessary amount of fuel.
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    VIP Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok View Post
    Iíve been looking at similar generators for a while and I think me and you are thinking the same way with things. How long are you planning to run it for though? For me, the issue of being able to run what I want is the amount of space required to store the necessary amount of fuel.
    Havok, it is for backup purposes when the power goes out, which in Memphis is on a fairly regular basis. Out local utility company is a monopoly owned by the City and they are about useless. To answer your question, only until the power comes back on. Around here, that could be an hour or two, or two to three days.

    I kinda figure that if most people are running theirs on gasoline and there is no power to the gas stations, I can go where there is power and still get propane.
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    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionround View Post
    I am considering buying a generator for the house. I am looking at this one.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0N8256...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    I will also need an interlock so I can run the whole house, or at least as much as the genny will stand.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K2F120...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    I want to be able to run it on propane, but I've not had much luck finding a company that services my area. I am considering getting two 20 lb BBQ style tanks and hooking them together with this.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-Hoo...ct_top?ie=UTF8

    Any thoughts on this or better ideas?
    The dual tanks are great - I have them on my fifth wheel, two installed and two in reserve. However, you really need to consider getting larger tanks - like forty or higher. It's surprising how quickly propane runs out, especially in cold weather.

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    If you want a whole house generator you might want to look into something like these, Iíve seen them at both Home Depot and Lowes.

    https://www.generac.com/
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    VIP Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    If you want a whole house generator you might want to look into something like these, Iíve seen them at both Home Depot and Lowes.

    https://www.generac.com/
    I'm going to pass on the Generac. I don't have $8-9000 to drop on this.
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    VIP Member Array lionround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    The dual tanks are great - I have them on my fifth wheel, two installed and two in reserve. However, you really need to consider getting larger tanks - like forty or higher. It's surprising how quickly propane runs out, especially in cold weather.
    I have some serious back problems and I will have to tote them to get them refilled. I need something I can pick up once it is filled.
    Memphis -- No. 2 on the list of most crime ridden cities in America. Working on being No. 1 but we just can't catch Detroit.

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    VIP Member Array Sister's Avatar
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    We just got a duel tank generator about a month ago. Will ask CWO to tell you what it is later after work, real nice and price was much less than what we had been looking at. Itís propane and gas.

    Edited: Just saw you have back issues, I can move this one and Iím not strong at all so it would prolly work out for you too.
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    I bought a portable 5500-watt gas generator after the hurricanes of 2004. Running continuously it will consume about 10 gal/day. I have not tried running the central A/C with it, but I have found it will handle anything but not everything at once. Run the water heater, turn it off, take a hot shower, etc. Even ran the dryer on it but that was a heavy load. I picked up a $100 window A/C unit for the bedroom for comfortable sleeping. Something that does surprisingly load it down is the coffee maker.

    If you're looking to get by for 2-4 days, a portable will do the job with some load management and ample fuel of choice. Longer than that and really heavy loads calls for a step up in size/rating. That 9500-watt generator would carry more but maybe not for long term.

    To use mine, I open the house main breakers (mandatory!) and plug into a 240V garage outlet. It is not intended as a permanent hook up. Power used to go off and on here with regular frequency but not long enough to justify expensive units. FPL has gotten much better with its power service in recent years.

    An inexpensive Harbor Freight handcart and bungy cord will help you tote propane/gas cans around.

    If you're looking for short-term electrical backup, a portable will do. If it's going to face long-term use, like power out for a week or more, or the wife insists on running everything in the house on it, a higher capacity--and expensive--unit is needed.
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionround View Post
    Havok, it is for backup purposes when the power goes out, which in Memphis is on a fairly regular basis. Out local utility company is a monopoly owned by the City and they are about useless. To answer your question, only until the power comes back on. Around here, that could be an hour or two, or two to three days.

    I kinda figure that if most people are running theirs on gasoline and there is no power to the gas stations, I can go where there is power and still get propane.
    Gotcha. Iím looking at one for hurricanes so our fuel consumption will be very different.
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    Member Array TimGunn's Avatar
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    The place we are now building is off grid. We have solar but ordered the Generac Powerpact 7.5 kW for winter and back up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I bought a portable 5500-watt gas generator after the hurricanes of 2004. Running continuously it will consume about 10 gal/day. I have not tried running the central A/C with it, but I have found it will handle anything but not everything at once. Run the water heater, turn it off, take a hot shower, etc. Even ran the dryer on it but that was a heavy load. I picked up a $100 window A/C unit for the bedroom for comfortable sleeping. Something that does surprisingly load it down is the coffee maker.

    If you're looking to get by for 2-4 days, a portable will do the job with some load management and ample fuel of choice. Longer than that and really heavy loads calls for a step up in size/rating. That 9500-watt generator would carry more but maybe not for long term.

    To use mine, I open the house main breakers (mandatory!) and plug into a 240V garage outlet. It is not intended as a permanent hook up. Power used to go off and on here with regular frequency but not long enough to justify expensive units. FPL has gotten much better with its power service in recent years.

    An inexpensive Harbor Freight handcart and bungy cord will help you tote propane/gas cans around.

    If you're looking for short-term electrical backup, a portable will do. If it's going to face long-term use, like power out for a week or more, or the wife insists on running everything in the house on it, a higher capacity--and expensive--unit is needed.
    In my house, that is the most important and necessary appliance we have.

    When I bought my Generac 10k/8k portable 2 years ago, I wrote down what each appliance consumes, and figured out what I can run at one time without overload. Each product has the wattage used printed on a label, and some of them are estimates based on online data. I would love to be able to run my central air, but the start-up surge would blow past what the Generac can handle. For this reason, I bought a few oscillating fans to place in the rooms for a bit of comfort if it's hot out.

    OP, one bit of advice if you go with a portable unit, buy a good chain and lock to secure the unit. A running generator during a power outage is music to a thief's ears.

    Other considerations would be the heaviest gauge extension cords possible, especially as you get closer to the generator.
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    Member Array Nifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionround View Post
    Havok, it is for backup purposes when the power goes out, which in Memphis is on a fairly regular basis. Out local utility company is a monopoly owned by the City and they are about useless. To answer your question, only until the power comes back on. Around here, that could be an hour or two, or two to three days.

    I kinda figure that if most people are running theirs on gasoline and there is no power to the gas stations, I can go where there is power and still get propane.

    Unrelated to anything you are asking but I've heard some bad stories about Memphis. Is the infrastructure that bad?

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    Distinguished Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    I have two 7500KW Generac portable gas generators and Reliance transfer switches (two houses). This spring we were out of power for 3 days. running both units 24 hours a day took 42 gallons of gas. The load is heavier in Mom's house and that generator took almost twice the fuel as the one on my house.

    I have thought about propane and a whole farm generator, but the cost doesn't pencil out when I look at the fact that this is only the second time I've needed a generator in the last 6 years.
    They both have around 160 hours on now, with fresh oil and gas every year even if they don't get used. It pays to keep up on maintenance so when you need it, it is ready to run.

    The Generac's replaced a 12000kw Harbor Freight generator that died after 4 days of use (average half load) and they didn't stand behind the warranty. They claimed abuse because it had 82 hours on it and we had only had it 5 days. When it is -20 below and 30mph wind, heat is a necessity, not a luxury.
    I drove 120 miles in a blizzard to Harbor Freight because they were half the price of what I could get locally. I got exactly what I paid for.

    Generac is more expensive than many portable generators, but well worth it in the long run.
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    For portable generators Honda's are fantastic...if price isn't a big concern. For a lot less $$$ look at Champions! Not a Honda but still very dependable and very reasonably priced! I found out about them through the RV folks. Champions are very popular with RV'ers. They are almost as quiet as a Honda. I had a 7800 watt Troybuilt that I went though about 8 hurricanes with. It was very NOISY and went through about 12 gallons of gas a day. Getting a transfer switch professionally installed is definitely worthwhile! I have a 4000 watt Champion that I have been very pleased with! It uses less than 1/2 the gas that the TroyBuilt did and is MUCH quieter as well! Good luck!
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