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O/T-Installing a gas generator

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by GBatch_25, Jun 24, 2011.

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  1. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    I am considering having a natural gas backup generator installed. Can folks here recommend who does this sort of thing? I know the local gas company will give me a quote but am curious whether HVAC contractors or what type of contractor does this kind of work?

    Thanks for any and all input including recommended generator brands to consider.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
     
  2. Grayson Mayne

    Grayson Mayne Member

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    If it were me I would use either a Northern Lights or an Onan Gen set. That is what many of the commercial boats use. Most of them in marine applications are diesel but you can probably get them in propane applications. Gene what is your situation, are you rural, do you have a dependable tractor of at least 30 hp, if I would consider at generator that connects a tractor pto. Most of them are on a two wheel dolly. The generator itself requires no service if you are no using it. Store it in an out building and roll it out and connect it to the tractor when you need it. You will however need to maintain a n adequate supply of fuel. The tractor with a separate generator is very reliable. I you can find one with copper windings buy that on.

    My brother has a 28 hp diesel tractor and has a setup as I have described. I works very well for him. I think my brother bought his generator used, from a chicken farmer for 400.00. It is 25KW and will run his house.
     
  3. Grayson Mayne

    Grayson Mayne Member

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    Gene a very good friend of mine was a cummings and onan dealer. He had many contracts with condominiums in Ocean City. The diesel sets always required less maintenance than the propane powered units. I am talking twenty years ago and the propane units may be better now but I like diesel. If you keep you fuel supply well treated with a quality algaecide if will store well for a long time.
     
  4. HDLLLIII

    HDLLLIII Member

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    Gene you will need an electrician. The generator will be wired to your home through your existing service. A journeyman electrician has all the skills and knowledge to correctly install the unit you choose.
     
  5. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Gene-diesel generators were my main stay when I worked for the NYFD.

    The following is needed for reliable diesel operation.

    1) clean fuel
    2)day tank where fuel from the main tank can be polished (cleaned)
    3) reliable batteries & charging system
    4)heated environ for both the generator, batteries & fuel

    Most important run the genset at least once every 14 days under the load it is designed to carry.

    When I was an electrical contractor I installed lots of gensets.

    Propane is good if you don't need a high output set. 8K or less--go with propane---above 8K go with diesel. Propane has less energy than gasoline & diesel has more energy than gasoline.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  6. Harv Shell

    Harv Shell TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Gene, Kohler standby generators were rated #1 by CR and Builder magazine. My best seller in the line is the 14RESL, 14KW will power up to a 5 ton A/C and all the necessaries for most homes. It is reasonably priced for the quality and includes the transfer switch with 16 circuit breaker panel. 5 year parts warranty compared to 3 years for the cheaper ones. You can check them out at the website above. Good luck, Harv.
     
  7. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    I live in a suburban community 30 miles west of Chicago. It's NOT a farm and I don't have a tractor. I'd be running this on natural gas. No diesel or LP gas.
    Thx for the input.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
     
  8. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Gene,

    It depends upon what you want to acomplish with it. I live in a rural area with lots of trees next to our power lines. We loose power three or four times a year but it is always back on in two to eight hours. I have a 5000 watt gas generator. I have a sub-panel in the basemsnt which has a manual transfer swith to chang its supply to the generator. The sub-panel has the circuits I want to power with the generator. The 5000 watt generator will run my TV, modem, computer, lights, wood burning fireplace blower, refrigerator and freezer. It will not handle my electric water heater. This gets us by until the power company fixes the lines.

    If you want to supply an electric water heater you will need a 8000 or 10,000 watt generator.

    The portable gas generators are a lot less expensive and easier to maintain than a natural gas or diesel unit.

    Jim Skeel
     
  9. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Do not forget when you do not have electricity, it is likely that the gas stations nearby do not have power either, which means their pumps won't be working. Refilling may be a problem during long outages, and in the case of gasoline, may be particularly hazardous. Diesel is less volatile but it is also more expensive than gasoline.

    I have a 25KW natural gas generator that powers my 4000sqft home (2 central A/C, 3 refrigerators, well-pump, pool pump, mucho electronics, etc.). Virtually unlimited fuel supply (no fuel storage hassle too). The system automatically goes on during outage and goes off when the grid comes back on. My system is isolated from the community's when the generator is on. It 'exercises' for 20 minutes every week, letting me know that all's well.

    The generator is about the size of a central A/C unit, and mine sits by the cabana by the pool (next to a 2-inch natural gas line), a good distance from the house. Keep this in mind because inspite of their muffler, they can be rather noisy.
     
  10. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    Marked for later read. Ray
     
  11. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    The natural gas is a good choice. The reason in my area is we have NG at our home so all we have to do is tap in the line and the gen will never run out of fuel. Its clean and it will never gum up the gen from old fuel. Onan, Kohler are both good gen's to have. We have 2 co that put in these gen for home use. You just have to look in the yellow pages to see what you have nad you could also Google for your area. Goos luck.
     
  12. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    In a disaster situation, I wonder how reliable the natural gas supply would be. If anybody knows, I'd be interested in the answer.
     
  13. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Joh Galt--In a disaster situation, how reliable will anything be? Do you think the Natural Gas supply will be cut off but they will gladly sell you gasoline or diesel? I think if it came down to that serious of a situation, it would be a take by force deal. It would be dog eat dog. JMHO.
     
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