Generator question

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#1 Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 12:29pm
Joined: Nov 23, 2011

Generator question

Any generator experts out there? I have been looking in to getting a whole home generator connected to my natural gas line. What do you think? Giant waste of money?

I don't even know if it will work if we have massive grid failure. If the gas company has no power will I still my home still have natural gas?

Edited by: Shnozberries on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:05am
Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 12:45pm
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Shnozberries wrote: Any

Shnozberries wrote:

Any generator experts out there? I have been looking in to getting a whole home generator connected to my natural gas line. What do you think? Giant waste of money?

I don't even know if it will work if we have massive grid failure. If the gas company has no power will I still my home still have natural gas?

Going the NG route is the best option, as you can get the generator to accept both NG and propane.........with that you should have a propane tank as a backup...preferably buried in the ground.

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 2:17pm
my mothers keeper
Seattle, WA
Joined: Jun 15, 2011

generator question

i have the same "wondering" about a whole house generator. we have a gas line right next to the spot where the generator would go...what a luxury it would be!

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 3:19pm
Joined: Oct 25, 2011

what size would you need

first find your size at above link. Compare costs of generators that use different fuel sources, then compare costs and availability of those fuels.

"In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king." Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus
Mon, Sep 17, 2012 - 11:37pm
Cincinnati, OH
Joined: Aug 14, 2011

Norwall Power Systems

I have a Briggs and Stratton 15 kwh whole house NG generator with an Automatic Transfer Switch. Had it installed in 2011. I have a working knowledge of generators and made my selection based on several factors including cost and size. some things to consider:

1. Buy from Norwall - they will ship directly to your house. FYI - once at your house - you will need 4 guys to move a 15 kwh generator. Don't waste your money on a brand name like CAT for example. Yes they and others make a good engine but you pay for the brand marketing of CAT and others. Briggs & Stratton has been quality for decades.

2. You want an ATS so that the back-up power goes on automaticly - usually about a 15 second delay. this will add a couple hundred.

3. You want a generator that offers an advanced wiring option that allows you to bring "load" up in a sequenced way. It used to be that a whole house generator would need to be very large in terms of kwh - but if its wired in such a way that power for certain devices, like your air conditioner, cycle on after other devices like your fridge have come back on.

4. A big cost wildcard will be where your service entry is in relation to your gas line entry and your panel box. I got lucky in that my gas and electric enter at the same corner of the house which is also where I wanted the generator to sit. Others will not be so lucky and that will drive up the cost significantly.

5. Cost elements to consider - you will need a residential building permit and an electrical permit in most areas. You will also need a special battery "like a Marine deep cycle battery - this will cost about $150. My set-up cost about $5,500 installed - which is relatively cheap - I did my research and I knew what to buy and why.

6. Your Generator should run once a week to keep it in good working order. Mine fires up every Monday morning at 9:30 AM

Let me know if you have any questions - I will try and answer.


David David[at]rightleftwrong[dot]com
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - 10:23pm
Nashville, TN
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

Whole house gen

I have a Generac 20Kw that runs off of Nat gas. I had it installed last year through my local gas company. It has the auto switch feature. It has been VERY nice on a few occasions where the power has been disrupted by tornadoes, thunderstorms, and when a local farmer knocked over a power pole. Each time the power was out for four hours or more, and having the lights/freezer/reefer/air conditioning was sweet.

I found out that the natgas grid is the most reliable grid power available. It runs solely on internal combustion engines which burn natgas, to keep up the pressure, and unless there's a disruption at the source or a break in the pipeline or pumping station, natgas should be available continuously, even if electrical power is out.

My Generac is air cooled, so in high temp (+90) conditions it is recommended that it only run for 8 hours, then shutdown for a couple to cool down, then eight again. In cooler temps, it can run for longer periods of time. It has an auto shutdown feature if overheated or if it has low oil.

A liquid cooled version is available, but will cost substantially more-almost half again as much. LP versions are also available, but you'd better have a large tank. If I had to choose between an LP source or a diesel version, I'd go with the latter because diesel, kerosene, used motor oil, jet fuel, waste veggie oil are available for fuel. I chose the natgas option over both LP and diesel for convenience, and because I already have a Listeroid with a 4Kw gen head for last ditch power generation.

If you have the benjamins, I'd highly recommend a whole house, especially if you travel and have a family. Peace of mind and all that. It will also come in handy if what we all think is going to happen does happen. Electrical grid disruptions have become de riguer in countries with monetary problems. Argentina and Greece come to mind. A generator of some type would be nice to maintain some level of normalcy, especially in places like Kali, where they have already resorted to rolling blackouts and brownouts due to lack of power generation.

Wed, Sep 19, 2012 - 6:19pm
West Suburbs and NE MN, MN
Joined: Aug 6, 2011

I would have to recommend a

I would have to recommend a Honda Generator. We use a Honda 3500 to run our cabin. Typically we only use it in the evenings in late fall/winter, as it gets pretty dark at this latitude after 4:30 PM in the months of November through April.

We have used it since 2000 to build our cabin and for relaxing evening at deer camp and winter evenings ever since. It has been flawless to the extent that I never have to think about it. I change the oil every other year or so, when I remember. It routinely goes up to a month without running. It has never failed to start on the first or second pull, or run well, even at temperatures down to below -30 f. I use non oxygenated gas and mix in a little Sea Foam , as we do for all our small engines and never have an issue with carbs or gas going bad.

I have a friend who uses his Honda generator heavily day in and day out on remote job locations in his construction business. In over 12 years he told me he has not changed the oil over 3 times. It is one piece of equipment he doesn't have to think about because it always has worked.

PS Sea Foam is very good stuff for preventing gas/carburetor related problems in small engines....use it and skip the Stabil.