Generator

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by geds, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. geds

    geds New Member

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    I'm thinking about getting a standby generator for the house. I want one that runs on natural gas and will be easy for the missus to run when I am not home. I figure 6-10 KW is the size I need. I have forced air gas heat and gas hot water, so need a few lights, microwave, fridge, stove, fan or two, alarm system, and two sump pumps.

    I already have a manual throw out panel installed next to my main breaker box. I figure if I install the input for the generator on my lower deck just outside the basement door, the generator would be protected from the elements as it would be under the screened porch next to where I store my smoker. I already have two weather proof outlets there, so could disconnect one and run a heavy wire back to the throw out panel for the input line. This would be a 40' run counting corners.

    My main gas line is a 2 psi line located right by the hot water heater and would require a tee, shut off valve, and 20' of copper line. I would need to drill a hole beside the electrical box and install a connector for the gas line from the generator. I figure I need a certified plumber to make the connections according to code, but it shouldn't take him/her more than an hour to do so.

    My biggest question is what brand generator to get? Should I go with a portable tri-fuel and wheel it out when needed? Or should I go with a pad mounted Briggs & Stratton in an insulated shell and is an autostart? The B&S I am looking at is 7KW and runs just under $2000. The tri-fuel I came across is a Powerland Tri-Fuel (Gasoline, LPG & NG) Generator 10KW 16 HP / Manual Electric Start.

    Any thoughts or advice?

    Thanks!
  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    if you plan on moving and disconnecting it.. tri fuel would be ok.. but sounds almost like you want a dedicated unit. if so, and lp is the fuel.. build it a nice house and leave it.

    get a cheap portable from harbor freight if you need to drag one around.
  3. Twicepop

    Twicepop Active Member

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    I bought a portable several years back, not cheap, but... It will run most everything in my house except the furnace. I brought in an electrician to see why it wouldn't run the furnace. He told me that most/many of the newer furnaces are very touchy about the power source they're hooked up to. He said that any variations in the polarity of the power produced by this generator and what comes via the electric company, may be enough to stop the furnace from functioning because of the built in safety features. If you're planning on purchasing a generator, check this out to see if it's true, if so it might keep you from experiencing the same problem I had.


    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...vel3Horizontal1-3-_-NA-_-202214405-_-N#header
    Home Depot, and Lowe's both carry these type generators. They run on natural gas, and come on when the power goes out. The only concern that I have with them is that if they are hooked to the house power system, there might be some power going to a line that the Elect. Co. employee is trying to work on. I've been looking at these for a while now. Much better than a portable generator. They will run the whole house with ease.
  5. Ed Wagner

    Ed Wagner Member

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    GENARC, I've installed several of them, auto transfer switch and subpanel comes with them.
  6. 68c15

    68c15 Well-Known Member

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    x2 for generac. they are the king of generators in my book.
  7. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I would love one of these. I have a portable 5000w unit that paid for its self the 1st week I had it. We had a bad storm and the power went out. I was able to run the sump pump and my finished basement stayed dry.
  8. ka64

    ka64 Well-Known Member

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    X3.........
  9. geds

    geds New Member

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    Ed - what do you charge to install them? Lowe's wants $1100 to start with and the generator only costs $2200.
  10. Ed Wagner

    Ed Wagner Member

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    Our charge was the generator( average cost about $2500 ) plus $200 to install. I also serviced them for 1 year, oil change etc., free of charge.
  11. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    I am a electrical contractor and certified dealer for both Generac and Briggs. The Briggs unit is every bit as good as a Generac unit and we have had good experiences with them. The key to all of this is to have a real electrician do a real install with a transfer switch,manual or auto. Carver, this prevents all backfeeds to power company lines and is the only safe way to do it. Many will talk about alternative install methods that eliminate the transfer switch but all are rigs and dangerous and unsafe. The cost of the install is high but the peace of mind of doing it right is priceless. Picture a old time knife switch with power company juice coming in at the top and generator juice coming in at the bottom. The house power to the panel in the middle. The knife position determines which source feeds the panel and CANNOT feed from both sources at the same time. All other rigs can feedback and hurt someone. DO NOT be fooled, A transfer switch is the ONLY way to do it in a safe,legal,approved manner. Can you imagine the problems after someone is electrocuted by a rig set up that was done to save money and no other reason. Big problems. Please do it right-buy a transfer switch and get an electrician,real licensed electrician and make sure he gets a permit and inspection.
  12. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Use a transfer switch and you are safe. Manual or auto,does not matter, just use one and a electrician to install. Only way to do it.Period.
  13. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    7kw is 7000 watts. Divide watts by volts(240) and you get 29.17 amps produced by this unit. AWG wire size could be a #10 but I would go to #8 size to counter voltage drop from distance and also a peak power monent from the gen-set. #8 is good for 40 amps. # 10 is rated at 30 amps.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  14. geds

    geds New Member

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    I already have a manual generator disconnect switch wired (did so when we built the house). So if I go with a Briggs with a 40' wiring run (open basement and I'll pre run the wiring so the only thing the electrician needs to do is make the connection in the box and on the receptacle) what should I expect in terms of cost?
  15. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    You must have made your profit on the generator and not the install. Impossible to pour slab,set unit and install transfer switch,install control wires,etc for 200 bucks. At 25 dollars a hour for a licensed electrician that would only pay 8 hours of work. To do it right would take at least that long. Where is the profit and overhead. Maybe that is why you USED to install them. I would quit it too.
  16. geds

    geds New Member

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    They come with a fiber plate now. Can't I place that on my deck which is already level?
  17. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Fiber plate is fine. Might shift or settle but you can fix that. If you run the wire, a 8 three with ground I would say a electrician could hook it up in a hour or so. Depends on service call rates in your area but I would charge about 200 bucks for just that and a trial run of all equipment to check grounding etc. You should also have a ground rod at the generator location and ground the generator case to that. # 4 awg is a good size for that otherwise you will need to encase the ground wire in conduit. Using # 4 insulated stranded wire eliminates the need for conduit.
  18. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    If you get a house unit instead of a portable unit the connection at the generator is hard wired.( directly to the unit without a receptacle.) Cord caps of this size are difficult to install and use and can cause connection problems. Better to hard wire directly.
  19. geds

    geds New Member

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    Thanks Willie! Any reason I shouldn't place the generator on the deck instead of on the ground?
  20. Willie

    Willie Active Member

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    Also please leave a lot more wire at each end than you think you will need. Most people just don't leave enough slack to do a good job. A small amount of waste is ok. Maybe 5 foot total for both ends is a figure I can live with as waste. Your electrician will thank you.
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