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Who Makes a GOOD Diesel Generator?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Auctioneer, Feb 7, 2010.

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  1. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a good diesel generator for our place. 2 furnaces in the main house and one in the cottage. Well pump lights and stove and oven. Not all will be used at once but it could happen if we have guests. Whats out there that is good?
     
  2. oldgahchamp

    oldgahchamp Active Member

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    Why a diesel? They are hard to start in very cold weather. I would suggest propane. Larry
     
  3. Joen

    Joen Member

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    If the only use for the Generator is your home, and you have nautral or propane gas available I would look into one of them in lou of a diesel, if diesel fuel gets old and with the temp. chenges it can get algee growing in the fuel tank then you have a hell of a time cleaning tank. only my thought
     
  4. birdtracker

    birdtracker Active Member

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    Propane is alot cleaner burning. Menards, Lowes and Home Depot would be a starting place. Birdtracker
     
  5. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    If you have natural gas running into the house, I would suggest a natural gas generator. You'll never run out of fuel. A widespread electrical outage in your area will also affect your local "filling" stations. Chichay
     
  6. Stretch43

    Stretch43 TS Member

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    I have a Generac 13KW natural gas unit and i am extremly happy with it. Ron
     
  7. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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  8. 6878mm

    6878mm Member

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    Nobody told this bloke " Who makes a good deisel genset"
    Lister, is good, air cooled and starts easily
     
  9. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    I have a 45 KW Onan at my home in Carolina, it has a 200 amp auto switch. Other than when field rats decided to make it their home, I haven't had any problems with it.

    Andy
     
  10. Chugiakshooter

    Chugiakshooter Member

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    Kubota or mitsubishi are good engines for generators in 6 or 8 kw.Do not use a propane generator they are a pain in the A@@ in cold weather, the propane will not come out of the tank when its below zero.
     
  11. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    andybull:

    You sure that genset isn't a 4.5 kw??

    sissy
     
  12. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    Recoil Sissy:

    It's 45 KW with a Cummins engine.
     
  13. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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    The boiling point of propane is -44 degrees. That means it is still a gas down to that temperature unless under "HIGH" pressure. Jimmy Borum
     
  14. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    Northern tool is a good source for many different types of generators. They have large and small. their small diesel generators have Hatz diesel engines and and are fairly loud, they also have another small 6.5KW diesel which is fairly quite and runs well. They also have large ones up to 100KW which will run 15 normal houses. most have John Deere diesels. A regular house needs 8-12KW to run EVERYTHING, 4-6 to run the bare essentials.

    I have a 8KW Generac... Don't buy a Generac!!! The wiring is all done with the same color wires and nobody in the maintenance business will work on them as Gerenac doesen't pay their bills. Mine just failed last Friday nite when we needed it and I now have to replace an output breaker, As I said, I will be doing the work on it because nobody local to me in So Cal will do warrantee work on Generac products.

    Onan, Kohler, Honda, are the names to look for. Cummins owns Onan now, and if you are looking for a larger >20 KW then they are good. Smaller units typically are not diesel due to the expense of the motors. Kubota and Yanmar both make small diesel gen units but be prepared to pay $3-4K for a 6-8KW unit. You can buy a Honda gas powered 8KW electric start unit for 1/3 that.

    Mine is natural gas, and it can be set up for propane also. These are the most common units.. Most all permanent mount gensets are set up to automatically start when the power is interupted, and most automatically "Excercise" themselves weekly. Mine starts at 11:30 AM every friday and runs for 10 minutes, all by itself.

    A Generator is a great thing to have in an emergency. But there is maintenance involved, and it pays to be mechanically inclined as not many things are more useless than a generator that wont start when you need it.

    If you don't want to pay a bunch for a genset. Find a used Onan from a motorhome and use it. They are usually 4-6 KW which will run most vital stuff in the home. They are bullet proof and run on gasoline, and usually you can find one for $100-200. Keep it indoors if you want it to last! you can wire a 3 pronged plug into your electric panel with a separate breaker to back feed your house, after tripping the main input breaker.

    There is a new outfit on the internet that I found when researching Detriot Diesel generators on google. I have forgotten their name, google "Detroit Diesel Generators" This outfit reconditions (and paints red) used ex-military 20kw gensets which have 2-71 Detroit Diesel engines. These units will run literally forever in a civilain application, and use 3 gallons per hour at full load. 20KW will run a small farm, or 3 tract sized houses. as I recall they were priced around $3500. Once again they need to be enclosed in a barn or out building as they are noisy, and need to be protected from the weather.These are excellent machines an I have seen many with in excess of 20,000 hours (over 1,Million miles).

    Diesel Gels at <30 degrees so have a way to preheat your tank if you live in the colder regions. After the engine is running it will heat the fuel itself with the bypassed fuel. Even though diesel can get algae it doesn't go bad like gas does and lasts for many years. The algae can be filtered out easily. You can also run used cooking oil, Bio-diesel, blends of used motor oil and gas, kerosene, jet fuel, and a variety of other fuels. I have ran just about all of these in my Mercedes diesel car and they all run, some better than others but in a pinch (like a full social and infrastructure meltdown) the versatility of diesel is definately the way to go. With a gas powered engine you can run gas! Gasious fuels are the same story, when you run out your choices are very narrow. Diesel has many alternatives, that's why the Germans used them in everything they made.

    Randy
     
  15. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    My 11 year old Honda 5000 watt generator just got us through 2 days of no power due to an ice storm. I had it converted to propane when I bought it and it is stored in a metal shed outside my home all year. I start it a couple of times a year with the pull cord, always on the second or third pull it starts and runs like a champ. I change the oil once a year with synthetic oil and clean the air filter. Thats the sum total of maintenance. My electrician put a switch in the system so when I fire up the generator the power from the street is disconnected and the generator is isolated to the house circuits. It will run for about 2 days on a 40 lb. tank going full tilt. We have gas inserts in the fireplaces with fans that will heat the house so no issues with heat. Over the years I have used this generator for a total of 25 - 30 days. It will run non-stop for as long as I keep propane in it and when I shut it down all I do is turn off the gas. Nothing in the carb to foul up.

    Bob
     
  16. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    If you ever do any remote welding, buy a Miller or Lincoln welder then you have a built in 10 mkw generator and they can be had in LP

    We have a 35 kw generator that hooks up to a tractor PTO, we always have a tractor that we can pull it with and usually keep about 1000 gal+- in the fuel tank, the downside is running a 75 hp tactor to run the stuff in the house, a 5 kw unit would do that, but hey if the power goes out in the summer we can still run the A/C
     
  17. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    I have not read all the posts here but I will tonight. I have been out for 4 days clearing driveways and plowing what needs to be plowed. I have a Kubota 18HP diesel engine that is in a dead lawn mower. I was going to put that to good use. Then thought I would just buy something so I would not have to rig something up. I have diesel on the place here because of the farm tractor. We do have Natural Gas going through the place and to the house and I can just hook into the line for the gen. That is what I'm starting to think is the best way. I do not want gas because of the problems of gas hardning. Diesel I have never had a problem with but at times the tractor can be hard to start. Any and all info would be welcome and needed. Thanks for your help.
     
  18. twotimer

    twotimer Member

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    I have a 20kw quite source genarac that runs on propane. It starts every week automaticlly to "exercise" It runs everything in the house- 2 ac units, elevator, freezers etc. Had it 5 years, only trouble was the battery went bad. Had to get out a little generator to charge the batt. so I could have a cup of coffee in the a.m. Mike
     
  19. glenn mcleod

    glenn mcleod Member

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    Propane is the fuel of choice for house heating in northern Minnesota in the rural areas where nat'l gas is not available. The propane gas line is buried only about 4-6 inches below the ground (to prevent cutting,etc) and it never freezes to my knowledge. We have had -50 degrees and -30 degrees is very common and mine has never froze and I never hear anything about freezing of propane in my area. Glenn
     
  20. len loma

    len loma TS Member

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    I have been involved in the generator business for 16yrs now. A few points to consider. A diesel generator is going to be very expensive up front to purchase. Being water cooled in cooler climates you will need a block heater installed. That is going to be very expensive to just have sitting there waiting for a power outage. Then there is the gelling problem when it gets really cold. Water in fuel from sitting? Old fuel varnishing? When a generator sits for quite a while un-used the rotor will lose magnetism. Without this it will not create power. It might need to be flashed to excite magnetic field. Not a big deal but certain something the average wife is not going to do when your gone.

    Is Northern going to service or have parts available for their 5,10,15 year old Northern brand generator? I'd stick with a name brand. Use a portable generator? What if no body is home and your emergency sump pump is off? Have plenty of gasoline at home? Service station going to have power to operate their fuel pumps?

    Dollar for dollar a LP or natural gas home standby is your best bet. No panic and no problem. Generator starts automatically and switches transfer switch to power home with generator. You do nothing and go about life less stressed out. Power resumes it switches back to utility power and shuts down. As far as I am concern Generac sets the standard for home standby generators. Been building HSB longer then anyone.

    Best of luck
     
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