Generator Recommendation?

xcorallusx

New member
I would like to buy a generator that wont fry my leds, apex, dc pumps and other equipment and would like to spend 1-4k. Are there any recommendations for a good brand? I have a large system (1000 gallons+). We have natural gas hookup, how hard/expensive would it be to go that route? Thanks!
 

drew2007

New member
For 1-4k get yourself a portable gas generator in the 8000-10,000 watt range. Something for natural gas hookup would be for the whole house on standby which will probably run you 10-20k. I have a 10,000w briggs and stratton portable with a plug for a whole house hookup. I can power most of my house on that.
 

Bent

I got nothin'
I put in a 20kw generac after I got sick and tired of all the crazy weather knocking out my power.

Best 6-7k I ever spent on my home. Now when the power goes out, in 10 seconds the generator flips on (plumbed to natural gas), then all I do is pay a gas bill till the electric comes back on again. It self exercises every week and performs a self test, it has wireless capability so you can check on it's maintenance schedule and operation via your hand held device. It really was a fantastic investment.

Plus, for certain people stand by generators are a tax-credit. Not a deduction, a CREDIT. As much as 60% return. Look it up.

Get a standby and put your important crap on battery backups that will cover the 10 second loss and you will have constant power at all times.
 

xcorallusx

New member
Thanks for the replys, I saw some generacs on homedepot's site in the 3-4 grand range that I think would be enough watts(14-17kw). We have a natural gas hookup, and I have a friend who can do the electrical. How hard would it be to remove the unit and relocate it when I move in a few years?
 

Bent

I got nothin'
It wouldn't be to hard to move.

Installation isn't too difficult either provided the natural gas is already there.

Do you have electric or gas heat? What about your water heater?


Truthfully I would get a 20kw or bigger since you are going to spend the money anyway. But again, it all depends on what you are going to run on it. If you have a gas water heater and gas heat, the 15-17 should be enough. But if you are running electric heat, electric water heater plus some mega-huge fish tank, your gonna need to go substantially bigger.
 

xcorallusx

New member
It wouldn't be to hard to move.

Installation isn't too difficult either provided the natural gas is already there.

Do you have electric or gas heat? What about your water heater?


Truthfully I would get a 20kw or bigger since you are going to spend the money anyway. But again, it all depends on what you are going to run on it. If you have a gas water heater and gas heat, the 15-17 should be enough. But if you are running electric heat, electric water heater plus some mega-huge fish tank, your gonna need to go substantially bigger.

We have gas heat/water heater, I wanted the generator mainly for the tanks, and if there was any leftover juice we could power the fridge etc. How hard is it to install the unit? I've cleared out the area by the breaker box and have mulch down and was thinking about sitting it on large cement slabs.
 

Nanook

Ancient Eskimo Legend
Staff member
RC Mod
We have had a Generac 17,000 watt generator for about 8 or 9 years. The generator has needed magnetos and had numerous other issues along the way. I would opt for a different brand like Kohler or Hipower and go with something larger, perhaps 25-30KW. The guy that did my work the last few times said that most of the home generators he gets called to repair are the Generacs. He said that Kohler and Hipower were much more reliable, he also recommended getting up into the next level as they were just more dependable than the ones you get at Home Depot for $4000-5000.
 

origreefer

New member
Don't waste your time with generators, they fail. My new generator failed after just 1 hr usage. During a major power outage. Sears answer, yes sir it's under warranty, we'll have it fixed for you in about 2 weeks. Luckily I had a friend whose power had been restored and he lent me his generator, otherwise the 7 days I was without power would have been doomsday for my tank. I now use solar power with battery backup. It doesn't fail. Years ago, during another power outage, all the gas stations were without power and the propane folks were not delivering. Trust me, battery backup is the best.
 

amutti

New member
Depends on what you want to run on it. There is no need to run much more than some circulation pumps for a day or two. My house is wired for a generator, and I bought a Rigid 8,000/10,000 one at Home Depot during an extended power outtage that runs great, but uses a lot of gas even under minimal load. I only run it in for 6-8 hours a day (keep food cool/well pump/tv for the kids). For my tank I prefer using a small honda generator. The one I have us 1,000/1,5000 and sips gas, is very quiet, small and light. This I run 24 hours a day during outtages.

It doesn't look like they still make the one I have (it clearly say 1,500 peak on the side), but this is pretty much the same thing: http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/models/eu2000i

They also make a 900/1000 model for a little less, but significantly better fuel efficiency (like 8hrs on .6 gallons). I think I paid around $750 for the one I bought. It is very expensive compared to even the Rigid one I bought, but a few days of gas in the larger generator (8+ gallons every 11 hours) and you'll make up the cost. Not to mention it's tiny and can be stored anywhere (and transported anywhere)

BTW, I did see your tank was huge, and I'm only suggesting this if you choose only to run circulation pumps.
 
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Bent

I got nothin'
My generator has never failed. Ran it for a week straight during a big outage and it ran like a top.
 

Mark426

New member
I have a 20kw Generac Whole House Generator as well. It has worked perfectly for over 10 years. Had to replace a few parts in the carb once. Other than that just a yearly oil change.
 

d2mini

Premium Member
Generacs are like $14k installed. Install is around double the cost of the generator.
We lose power from hurricanes here in the south but the last time that happened was IKE... like 5 years ago. No power for 17 days at the end of summer. But other than having to get gas for it, the Briggs ran everything we needed. I can't justify that much money for something that would be used so seldom. For power outtages that are just a matter of hours, my vortechs are on battery backups.
 

moondoggy4

Team RC
Every area is different, some gas companies will charge for a upgrade to the meter if you are installing a gas generator, but some will not charge if it is for a spa.
 

dkeller_nc

New member
I would like to buy a generator that wont fry my leds, apex, dc pumps and other equipment and would like to spend 1-4k. Are there any recommendations for a good brand? I have a large system (1000 gallons+). We have natural gas hookup, how hard/expensive would it be to go that route? Thanks!

Given that you are in Blacksburg, my guess is that your biggest risk is from ice storms. My perception from living in an area where the outage risk is both ice storms and hurricanes is that a direct hit from a hurricane means 10-14 days without power. A severe ice storm means 2-3 days without power. I've been told that's because even a severe ice storm generally takes down a lot of limbs and smaller trees, while a hurricane drops all of that plus gigantic trees that requires heavy equipment to move.

For a 1000 gallon system, my thought would be that it would use 3,500 watts continuously to power most everything. That's easy to supply with a relatively small, portable generator. A high-quality, fuel-efficient and nearly silent Honda would set you back about $2,500. A cheap but iffy Briggs & Stratton based generator of the same size can be had for as little as $600.

If your job and lifestyle means that you're home most of the time, I'd go with a portable genny and a large gas tank (50 gallons). Then I'd add a charger/inverter with auto-kickover and 3 deep cycle marine batteries wired in parallel. The battery set-up will provide in-tank circulation for 8 hours or more, which should be long enough to set up your generator in case of a major weather catastrophe.
 

Bent

I got nothin'
Generacs are like $14k installed. Install is around double the cost of the generator.
We lose power from hurricanes here in the south but the last time that happened was IKE... like 5 years ago. No power for 17 days at the end of summer. But other than having to get gas for it, the Briggs ran everything we needed. I can't justify that much money for something that would be used so seldom. For power outtages that are just a matter of hours, my vortechs are on battery backups.

Well that all depends.

Anyone who charges you that much for install is raping you.

My install cost around 3k. That was only because I had to rent a ditch witch and dig up half my yard, plus cut into my driveway to get the gas line ran.

If you moved it yourself, poured your own pad, already had gas hookup and ran the pipe yourself, the electrical work should be less than 1k. It cost me 1200 to run electrical because I put a new fuse box in and it required quite a bit of conduit to get it where it needed to go.

Even IF, you had it delivered, gas ran to it with a meter installed, someone pour the pad, and someone to run electrical. 8k for all that is just plain dishonest, unless it comes with a backroom hand job.

After all the storms and outages, people have really started gouging the public to install these things, and it's just flat out theft.
 

Bent

I got nothin'
Eventually Capitol Hill in all it's wisdom will start requiring all the gas companies to run their pumps off electricity when the contracts come through anyway, so all this will be moot. When the power goes out, the gas will too.
 

d2mini

Premium Member
Well that all depends.

Anyone who charges you that much for install is raping you.

My install cost around 3k. That was only because I had to rent a ditch witch and dig up half my yard, plus cut into my driveway to get the gas line ran.

If you moved it yourself, poured your own pad, already had gas hookup and ran the pipe yourself, the electrical work should be less than 1k. It cost me 1200 to run electrical because I put a new fuse box in and it required quite a bit of conduit to get it where it needed to go.

Even IF, you had it delivered, gas ran to it with a meter installed, someone pour the pad, and someone to run electrical. 8k for all that is just plain dishonest, unless it comes with a backroom hand job.

After all the storms and outages, people have really started gouging the public to install these things, and it's just flat out theft.

As stated above, depends on the area.
But that's what it is around here for a turnkey install.
Pad, box, upgraded gas meter, permits, inspections, etc etc.
And careful with the language... family forum.
 
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