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Whole-House Generators??

Old 05-25-2018, 05:57 AM
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Default Whole-House Generators??

Which Brands are best? How many Kw will I need? The house will be about 3000 sqft. Should I just get the connection in the main electrical box and buy a cheap portable generator with enough watts?
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BottomPicker View Post
Which Brands are best? How many Kw will I need? The house will be about 3000 sqft. Should I just get the connection in the main electrical box and buy a cheap portable generator with enough watts?
Biggest question is how will you fuel it and how much fuel will you need in an emergency.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:07 AM
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Buddy of mine has a Generac natural gas whole-house generator. I believe they have a sizing chart on their web site. I've considered one. Very convenient with the auto-transfer function. It'll run the entire house like nothing happened.

I've decided to get a small, portable just to keep the fridge and a couple of fans going. We don't have to worry about freezing to death in these parts.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:20 AM
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Generally speaking, if you want to have the ability run everything you'll be in the 20 kw range.

I opted for a diesel because of the fuel efficiency. Mitsubishi 4 cyl, 25 kw generator (100 amp breaker).

I can run everything, 5 ton AC, 1 ton AC, 2 fridges, 2 freezers, pool pump, irrigation, oven, dryer, microwave and all fans / lights / electronics. 2300 sq ft house and 2400 sq ft shop.

I have propane range and water heater.

Most I have seen was 87 amps.

Burn about 1 gallon / hr @ 50%
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:12 AM
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They are not that expensive. Do it right and get a whole house generator. I have a 17kw that will keep the refrigerators running, the lights on, and the well pump running. Won't run the AC (my house is 4200 sq ft). I use a window air conditioner in the bedroom if needed. I have a 500 gallon propane tank buried in the yard (no natural gas where I live). Ran for 5 days after the last major storm rolled through.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by cdrhoek View Post
They are not that expensive. Do it right and get a whole house generator. I have a 17kw that will keep the refrigerators running, the lights on, and the well pump running. Won't run the AC (my house is 4200 sq ft). I use a window air conditioner in the bedroom if needed. I have a 500 gallon propane tank buried in the yard (no natural gas where I live). Ran for 5 days after the last major storm rolled through.
How much did it cost you? We are being quoted around $20K for similar which seems nuts. Would like to do it but not at that price.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuna Colada View Post
How much did it cost you? We are being quoted around $20K for similar which seems nuts. Would like to do it but not at that price.
running the minimum will cost around 8-10k, when you want the AC and “everything “ to work it gets costly. 20k sounds like you want the entire home on the gen?
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:28 AM
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Have the 20KW Generac. The unit itself is around $4,800. The transfer switch is additional, plus install and a slab. Get the automatic switch. Also get the "hard start" kits for all of your A/C units and any other large initial demand item. Most importantly you need to size the unit to tax the genset at least 60-75% of its capability. Under using its power is just as bad as maxing it out.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:30 AM
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Look into the Briggs and Stratton. It is the only 20KW I know of that will manage 2 5 Ton A/C units. It does this by not allowing them both to run at the same time. I cycles them. .................My unit is now 12 years old. Went TOTALLY under water during the floods in 2016 and the local Briggs rep came out, picked it up, rebuilt if for 1700 bucks and it is running like a charm again.

7-10K all in depending on where and how it is installed.............
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:36 AM
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I dont personally have a Generac, but most of the owners I build custom homes for seem to like them. The most popular seems to be the 22kw. If you get that size with the smart module, it cycles the loads so that it can run pretty much everything. Its about $10 to $13k job, well thats what my electrcian bills me for the install. That is for everything including gas lines and hookups
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:39 AM
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Been very pleased with my purchase:

Generac 22kw whole house generator
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:51 AM
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I have an 8kW diesel Kubota. It will run both 2-ton AC's and all the other little loads with no issue. I have to turn off AC's to heat water or run the dryer, but that is no big deal. Two 55gal drums of fuel will run for two weeks, depending on the load on it. I do have to start it and transfer load manually. Don't see the need to go bigger or more complicated.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:02 AM
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Debating on the whole house if we stay in FL but if it is only used once a year every few years, I can't justify the spend. What we have currently though is a transfer switch and a portable propane generator and a 100 gallon tank. During Erma we were able to run everything but the dryer and AC as we have a gas range and tank less hot water heater. The next purchase will be a portable AC unit. I will use it in the garage from time to time and then we can always use it in the bedroom if the power goes out.

I bring all of this up as would you be better off getting new gas appliances and a smaller portable generator with a transfer switch or spend the money on a whole house system that may get used a few times a year at most? Just something to think about.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:05 AM
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We went with an 8 KW NG Generac. It will run fridge, freezer, well pump, air handler, and about 50% of the rest of the house. We are all NG so not a lot of power demand. Roughly 2200 sq ft house.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Alureing View Post

running the minimum will cost around 8-10k, when you want the AC and “everything “ to work it gets costly. 20k sounds like you want the entire home on the gen?
LOL....Way overpriced! I have one, along with a lot fo my neighbors. Next door neighbor just had a 20KW Generac installed with the 100 amp transfer box for $5075.00

That wil do his whole house with (AC) and Hot Tub
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FASTFJR View Post
LOL....Way overpriced! I have one, along with a lot fo my neighbors. Next door neighbor just had a 20KW Generac installed with the 100 amp transfer box for $5075.00

That wil do his whole house with (AC) and Hot Tub
Yep, I have a little over $4K in mine and that's installed with auto transfer switch. I did already have the circuits I wanted in the previous box that we used with a portable.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:18 AM
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Having just gone thru the thought process and implementation, we opted for portable generators.

Our situation is forced hot air furnace, NG water heater, NG stove/oven, no well pump, 220V dryer.

Our logic,

1) probability of long term use is slim
2) a single small generator (EU2200) with a load shedding transfer switch, handles all of our needs(barring central Air and dryer.)
3) we could buy a small AC unit to handle a bedroom
4) we could still use washer but would need to line dry clothes.
5) we have no "need" to have auto start up if we lose power.
6) Smaller generators can be converted to run tri-fuel
7) Small portable generator could be used on boat, camping, ATVing, etc
8) Should we need to evacuate, we can take a generator with us.
9) two EU2200's, small AC unit, trifuel kits and transfer switch in total is less than $3,000.
10) Two EU2200's gives us redundancy.
11) Flooding is not an issue with portable generators.





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Old 05-25-2018, 09:41 AM
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How I figured it was, I need a genset to run everything that would be running when I'm not home. A/c, fridge, freezer plus some lighting and tvs. Some contractors will tell you to add everything together on your panel, no need. You're not going to run everything in your home at the same time, a/c and heat, for instance. I have a 2500 sq.ft. home. 31/2 ton a/c. Gas stove, natural gas grill, hot water baseboard heat. I have an natural gas 11KW Generac. This past winter it ran for days without stopping. It has run in the summer and the a/c was not effected, ran perfectly. Just remember, it's better to have a little too much than a little too little. It's normally just my wife and I, but when the power goes out for the in-laws, they move in with us. So, if you do install a genset, keep it a secret. You can thank me later.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaBoss21 View Post
How I figured it was, I need a genset to run everything that would be running when I'm not home. A/c, fridge, freezer plus some lighting and tvs. Some contractors will tell you to add everything together on your panel, no need. You're not going to run everything in your home at the same time, a/c and heat, for instance. I have a 2500 sq.ft. home. 31/2 ton a/c. Gas stove, natural gas grill, hot water baseboard heat. I have an natural gas 11KW Generac. This past winter it ran for days without stopping. It has run in the summer and the a/c was not effected, ran perfectly. Just remember, it's better to have a little too much than a little too little. It's normally just my wife and I, but when the power goes out for the in-laws, they move in with us. So, if you do install a genset, keep it a secret. You can thank me later.
When running for days make sure you shut down between 75-100 hours to change the oil and filter. I buy the kits buy the half dozen for about $20 a kits, includes oil and air filter along with a new spark plug
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FASTFJR View Post
LOL....Way overpriced! I have one, along with a lot fo my neighbors. Next door neighbor just had a 20KW Generac installed with the 100 amp transfer box for $5075.00

That wil do his whole house with (AC) and Hot Tub
More info. I'm building a new house and I want to make sure it handles the whole-house A/C. I looked at the Generac's at Lowes and Home depot for 22KW for only about $5,000. That seems reasonable. As far as pouring a pad. Are you crazy? My dad was an mechanical contractor in the 70s and 80s and cheap pre-poured pads can be had easily. That's what you put elec a/c compressors on. I'll probably have elec water heater, but turn that off. I'll have a propane stove and grill. I just want to make sure that the fridge and 2 or 3 freezers and house a/c will be covered. Don't want mold growing and destroying a new house. Im going to get a 500 gal propane tank. Thanks for all the responses.
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