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Thread: Standby Generators

  1. #1

    Standby Generators

    For those that can afford it and live in their own home, consider a natural gas or LP fueled generator with automatic transfer. If you have gas in your home, the generator has permanent fuel supply. If you live alone, auto transfer is needed. If not manual transfer can save some money.

    I've had a Generac for 2 years and though I never lost power in the recent hurricane, I was comforted by the fact that I would be able to remain home should the only issue be electricity.

    Basic sizes for minimal power (heat/hot water/fridge/lights/tv/pc) are less expensive, more coverage=more expensive.

    Well worth the cost (depending on your attitude toward insurance in general).

  2. #2
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    thanks, do you have a gas one now?
    I went last weekend thru about 15 gallons of gas for my generator, matter of fact the local natural gas company had a commerical this morning about them, sounded good, i have natural gas in va beach, so it'd be a never ending supply as long as elec and gas was out, but 30 years here and never had a gas outtage i know of.

    i have propane at my other house, thats where i keep my 5500w generator and ride out the storms there, but the gasoline is a bitch
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
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    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    I have had a Generac stand-by generator for 6 years now. Mine has a 100 amp service and runs on propane. The longest it has ran was 3 days after a severe thunderstorm knocked the power out. I have no where to go so I an very thankful that I spent the money. Seconds after a power failure, the motor starts and the system transfers automatically to power most of my home.

    I also have a satellite phone as the cell phone service is almost nonexistent. Having both, while stuck in bed home alone every night, is very reassuring.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 08-30-2011 at 06:51 PM.
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  4. #4
    I have an el cheapo Briiggs and Stratton 7K natural gas standby. Had it before my wife relied on BiPap at night. It came w a few parts that could convert it to propane. I bought smaller fearing a larger generator would require changes in my nat gas feed to house. Compared to Generac, mine is loud but runs all lights, TV, computers, microwave, garage door, furnace, water pump, fridge, etc. Great for gimps. My total cost was below 4,000. 10 seconds after power failure it kicks in and greatly improves our quality of life.

    Mine does not carry central air or our electric range but it is great as is. Recommend if you get one to have wired a shutoff where you can reach it (in my case in case of blizzard) to occasionally rest and cool down generator even for just an hour or so in case of prolonged power failure.

  5. #5
    In earthquake country there is a very reasonable possibility that you won't have natural gas service to run a generator. So the only options are propane and have a lot of 5 gallon portable tanks on hand, a big propane tank that I wouldn't have any need for other than to run the generator in an emergency, or gasoline and having enough fresh gasoline on hand is problematic. Have struggled with this whole scenario for earthquake preparedness and don't have any good answers to preparing for the inevitable, but a disaster that doesn't have the regular possibility of occurring like a tornado or hurricane on a seasonal basis.

    Welcome any suggestions.

    All the best,
    GJ

  6. #6
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestranger52 View Post
    I have had a Generac stand-by generator for 6 years now. Mine has a 100 amp service and runs on propane. The longest it has ran was 3 days after a severe thunderstorm knocked the power out. I have no where to go so I an very thankful that I spent the money. Seconds after a power failure, the motor starts and the system transfers automatically to power most of my home.

    I also have a satellite phone as the cell phone service is almost nonexistent. Having both, while stuck in bed home alone every night, is very reassuring.
    how much propane did you use for the 3 days?

    i have a 300gal tank out back, bit in dec/jan i can go thru a tank in 3 weeks just for heat, but the good think is most hurricans are sept timeframe so it would be full then since i have elec a/c
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    For those that can afford it and live in their own home, consider a natural gas or LP fueled generator with automatic transfer. If you have gas in your home, the generator has permanent fuel supply. If you live alone, auto transfer is needed. If not manual transfer can save some money.

    I've had a Generac for 2 years and though I never lost power in the recent hurricane, I was comforted by the fact that I would be able to remain home should the only issue be electricity.

    Basic sizes for minimal power (heat/hot water/fridge/lights/tv/pc) are less expensive, more coverage=more expensive.

    Well worth the cost (depending on your attitude toward insurance in general).
    Cost?
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  8. #8
    Senior Member forestranger52's Avatar
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    My generator information says that it burns approximately 1.5 gallons of propane an hour depending on load. I turn off everything that I do not need.

    The 50 amp was about 2 grand and had a one cylinder motor. Since I was going to have that much invested anyways, I upgraded to 100 amp service and a two cylinder motor for about 5 or 6 hundred more.

    Like almost everything that I purchase, with a small percentage increase in spending over the required expense, many more options and much better equipment, become available.
    Last edited by forestranger52; 08-31-2011 at 06:54 PM.
    C 5/6 Comp.
    No Tri's or hand function.

    Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

    Teddy Roosevelt

  9. #9
    Senior Member DaleB's Avatar
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    I envision a future where on site power generation, waste disposal and water cleaning/delivery will be the norm. I think it's a huge point of personal responsibility to be able to provide these things independently, for at least a short period of time, if not as indefinitely as possible. Has anyone else seen the solar powered closed loop electrolysis based hydrogen power system that can fit in or under a backyard? OK, so the first one cost $500k to make, but imagine this technology evolved into an 'outside unit' like an HVAC, etc. That would be neat. Independence. I think the more control we, as individuals, maintain over things that flow which are indispensable to human life (e.g. water, electricity, fuel, even information) the safer and more stable life will be over the long term. Freedom has evolved to mean many subtle things in the 21st century but it seems to me it's migrated pretty far from the original definition.

    Hang on...this isn't the politics forum...I digress.

    One thing I noticed over the past few days about generators. Briggs and Stratton (sp?) are LOUD and Honda's are QUIET! I love my Honda neighbors. I've got a Briggs and Stratton guy behind me who decided to move his generator as far from his house as possible, which put it much closer to my house. Thanks. It was easier to turn off in the middle of the night that way, though.
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  10. #10
    After the blizzard and Irene I need to investigate.
    Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

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