Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Power generators for home use???

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

isaku5

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
3,296
Since 2000, DH has been hinting (ever more bluntly) that we should have a generator in case of prolonged power outages in the winter. In addition to the heating system, we would need one that would power our water pump as we have our own well.

His point is understandable as we have had outages lasting up to three days. Luckily, it was just an inconvenience, but we very well could have had frozen pipes and all the trouble that that brings. This brings me to the point (at last lol): Do any of you PS''ers who live in the frozen north have power backup? If so, what was your generator of choice?

We''d really appreciate any advice on this.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
well, we''re not in the frozen north but we do suffer power outages. the last one was 63 hours. however, we have a commercial size back up generator [http://www.guardiangenerators.com/Products/Residential/Residential.aspx] that tests itself every monday and comes on automatically whenever the power goes out. we have a 2nd propane tank dedicated to it alone. it will run the whole house for at least 2 weeks and perhaps more if i don''t do laundry and we don''t play halo, keep the lights off, etc. however, the point was to not do without! we had the work done properly with a county permit....our contractor got the permit for us. though the generator is located near the well we did not spend the extra bucks to have it hooked into the generator. i forget what the problem was at the time. our water tank sits above the house and gravity takes care of the problem even to the bath upstairs. having said that i think a back up for the well would be perferable. i''m not sure that a portable generator will do the trick if necessary.

ours is a slightly less expensive model of this: http://www.guardiangenerators.com/Products/Residential/QuietSource/LiquidCooled.aspx

we got the 20 kw. the difference between the above and ours is a slightly fancier enclosure. not sure if they even make ours any longer.

despite it being a quite running unit, put if away from the hosue.

cost some $$$ but it is some of the best $$$ we''ve spent.....however, i could have had some great bling by the time we paid for the permit, the unit, the contractor. but i repeat: some of the best $$$ we''ve ever spent!

movie zombie
 

Gracie1

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Messages
24
We also have a guardian, although ours is the 10,000 kw. It is enough to power our entire house, with the exception of Central A/C. We also have well water and need to power our electric pumps - we tend to lose electricity for many days, and so we have no bathroom for those days, which can be quite a pain. We have a 100 gallon propane tank to run the generator. We just had the electrician install the generator this past Monday and we need the propane people to come back out and hook up the generator to the propane tank, but in theory, as Movie Zombie said, it should test itself every week and turn on automatically when there is a power outage. We actually can''t test until the propane tank is hooked up.

Last year we had a generac portable generator, also 10,000 kw, that worked for about 2 minutes before it died - we still don''t know what happened to it, but it never worked again, so we decided to go with a stationary model that is, hopefully, more dependable.

We bought it at Home Depot, by the way.

Good Luck.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
re our 20,000 kw: it will run the entire house including central heat and air.......and our dedicated propane tank is larger than the regular one for the house as it is 500 gallons v. 300 gallons for our 1st tank that supplies the house when the power is on.

i had good luck with a smaller portable type generac......however, i don't think the one i had was designed to run electrical for well/pump. it did the house fine but given where i live it got a work out at my previous smaller home and i have to figure i simply got the $ out of it that i spent.

3 days isn't really that long to be without power unless you just packed the freezer with food and can't get out to get ice. then it is a problem. i went 7 days once without power and it was that event that made me get a portable generac. it wasn't really small and it did work well for my needs then.

we're now in a larger house, have freezers to worry about, and live farther off the main grid hence we were without power longer than the average for the last bad storm. hubby says it was the best $$ we've ever spent.....after ripping out the carpet and replacing it with tile. no getting out in the bad weather to have to start the generator, no massive storage of liquid gas for the generator, etc. power goes and we don't have to be out in the wind/rain trying to start a gas powered generator.

good luck.

movie zombie

eta: ours is liquid cooled.........and turns at 1800 rpm which means it can run continuously as opposed to the air cooled models which run at 3600 rpm and generally are NOT rated for continuous operation [this courtesy of my husband looking over my shoulder!] but we definitely wanted a generator that would hold up to continuous operation!
 

isaku5

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
3,296
Thanks for all the great info, movie zombie and Gracie. I should have added in my original post that we have natural gas ( the kind you pay for lol) and DH was looking at a trifuel unit which he is licensed to permanently install. The natural gas only units are a little pricey and invole a permanent installation (again DH can do this) whereas the trifuel is a much cheaper (under 1k) unit. Granted, it could only handle the essentials, but having been without anything for 40 years, it might be an acceptable compromise.

I printed off all the info you provided and which DH carefully read too and hopefully we can make an informed decision soon.

Thanks again for your help as I wasn''t optimistic about receiving replies on such a subject.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
My arm isn''t up to it but there is a book to be written on this subject.

couple cautions...
1: in some areas natural gas goes off with the power.
2: propane can be a problem in extreme cold.
3: it has to be installed with proper isolators from the grid and that really isn''t a do it yourself job unless your highly skilled at electrical work and even then its better to hire it done.

Gasoline does not store well(less than 3 months it can turn) at all its the worst of them to rely on.
diesel is better with treatment it can last 5-7 years in a tank but in extreme cold weather has issues.

Improperly done it can cause fires and or fry the lineman fixing the downed line if its done wrong. 10 years in jail + the guilt for the person responsible for back feeding the line that kills someone.
 

isaku5

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
3,296
Date: 1/12/2007 4:28:13 PM
Author: strmrdr
My arm isn''t up to it but there is a book to be written on this subject.

couple cautions...
1: in some areas natural gas goes off with the power.
2: propane can be a problem in extreme cold.
3: it has to be installed with proper isolators from the grid and that really isn''t a do it yourself job unless your highly skilled at electrical work and even then its better to hire it done.

Gasoline does not store well(less than 3 months it can turn) at all its the worst of them to rely on.
diesel is better with treatment it can last 5-7 years in a tank but in extreme cold weather has issues.

Improperly done it can cause fires and or fry the lineman fixing the downed line if its done wrong. 10 years in jail + the guilt for the person responsible for back feeding the line that kills someone.
Wow, thanks for all the cautions, Strm!!! Our only saving grace it seems is that the natural gas has always stayed on when the power went out, but then again, how do I know that for sure since neither the furnace or the water pump can run without electricity and all of our kitchen appliances run on electricity too??

What would you recommend as backup power??
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Date: 1/12/2007 5:15:38 PM
Author: isaku5

Date: 1/12/2007 4:28:13 PM
Author: strmrdr
My arm isn''t up to it but there is a book to be written on this subject.

couple cautions...
1: in some areas natural gas goes off with the power.
2: propane can be a problem in extreme cold.
3: it has to be installed with proper isolators from the grid and that really isn''t a do it yourself job unless your highly skilled at electrical work and even then its better to hire it done.

Gasoline does not store well(less than 3 months it can turn) at all its the worst of them to rely on.
diesel is better with treatment it can last 5-7 years in a tank but in extreme cold weather has issues.

Improperly done it can cause fires and or fry the lineman fixing the downed line if its done wrong. 10 years in jail + the guilt for the person responsible for back feeding the line that kills someone.
Wow, thanks for all the cautions, Strm!!! Our only saving grace it seems is that the natural gas has always stayed on when the power went out, but then again, how do I know that for sure since neither the furnace or the water pump can run without electricity and all of our kitchen appliances run on electricity too??

What would you recommend as backup power??

hire a professional who knows the area and has references for it.
verify the references.
If the natural gas stays up its the most popular.
propane is the second best choice but needs a tank specifically designed for the winter conditions and may need a pilot light that burns in low temps to keep the tank flowing.
Generally that means a large horizontal tank that don''t always fit the yard where the temp gets below zero.
diesel isn''t used that much anymore but in some areas is the most popular.

A lot depends on the weather what works, the ideal solution for Texas isn''t ideal for N. Dakota.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
yep, need to check and see what your local area requires for a permit which will tell you what needs to be done and pretty much why. propane tanks are never filled to capacity because of fluctuations in temperature....sometimes very extreme. check with your local library, neighbors, contractors, county, etc. to get more information for what is appropriate for your area. we've given you enough info to start a good search and know what questions to start with. however, it appears that none of us live down the road from you so what works for me won't necessarily work for you.

there may be issues in your area that effect whether a liquid or air cooled unit is best.

there are additives to gas that you can buy that will prolong shelf life but who wants all that liquid gas around?

even if you have natural gas, liquid propane may be your answer....you won't know until you do more research.

this is not a do it yourself project unless your hubby is a certified electrician and/or a licensed contractor. as storm noted, there are issues here that effect lineworkers doing repairs all year long, not just when the power is out. the liability and possibility of killing a lineworker because power from your generator surges back into the lines just isn't worth it.

eta: this is absolutely something you want done with a permit in case there are liability issues down the road.......

movie zombie
 

isaku5

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
3,296
Thanks very much movie zombie and Strm. More research is definitely in order and we will do it thoroughly before we make a purchase.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
Welcome
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    Vintage OEC Bracelet
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top