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Old 10-13-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
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Whole House generator for backup

We will be in Florida for three months this winter leaving the house to upstate New York winter elements. That could mean anything including below zero temps to snow, wind, etc. The power has been off more and more now that the infrastructure is getting older and a local coal fired power plant has been shut down. I am looking at propane powered automatic generators. The propane company is suggesting a 10,000 watt Briggs & Stratton unit. They are talking at around $5,000.00. Anyone using a backup system with good or bad experiences ? Any advise ?
Thanks
Tom
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompen View Post
We will be in Florida for three months this winter leaving the house to upstate New York winter elements. That could mean anything including below zero temps to snow, wind, etc. The power has been off more and more now that the infrastructure is getting older and a local coal fired power plant has been shut down. I am looking at propane powered automatic generators. The propane company is suggesting a 10,000 watt Briggs & Stratton unit. They are talking at around $5,000.00. Anyone using a backup system with good or bad experiences ? Any advise ?
Thanks
Tom
good morning...I have a 11000kv generator for my house.we live in NC but also had one in NY when we lived there. It runs on propane and very economical. Make sure you have the automatic transfer switch. My generator here has a Kohler engine. very reliable. Paid 3000.00 and additional 1000.00 to have installed and electrical permit. I did send my insurance company a copy of the electrical inspection for their records. Never regretted having this installed. It controls my hot water heater,refrig/freezer, and emergency lights,some electrical outlets. If you're using your generator for keeping the pipes from freezing, then 10,000 would be adequate. hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Thanks Henry.
I guess I wasn't sure 10K was enough. I guess it is. We do have 2 fridges and a freezer, sump pump, and furnace that needs to be powered. They are not likely to start at the same time. The furnace is a new Lennox propane and actually doesn't need much power. Sure would give me some peace of mind. We have family and neighbors to check the house, but if the power is off they have their own stuff to take care of.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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I live off grid and have a 12 KW propane for back up. In my case it automatically starts when the battery power is getting low. It is a Kohler & was about $3K on the interent three years ago. I did the installation. I have a large propane tank that is filled once a year. It is much quieter than the 8KW diesel Onan I have previously for back up.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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I need to clarify the pricing. The $5,000 looks like what I will be in for when completed. The generator is $3800 delivered, plumbed, running and adjusted. Includes a whole house switch over box. I will have to pay additional for the copper tubing and wire to hook it up. I also have to have an electrician make the final connections in the box. So I think I am looking at $5,000.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #6
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$5000 is nothing compared to frozen pipes, cracked plaster, freezer and fridge losses, etc. etc.
10k should be more than plenty of backup power
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #7
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good morning...I have a 11000kv generator for my house.we live in NC but also had one in NY when we lived there. It runs on propane and very economical. Make sure you have the automatic transfer switch. My generator here has a Kohler engine. very reliable. Paid 3000.00 and additional 1000.00 to have installed and electrical permit. I did send my insurance company a copy of the electrical inspection for their records. Never regretted having this installed. It controls my hot water heater,refrig/freezer, and emergency lights,some electrical outlets. If you're using your generator for keeping the pipes from freezing, then 10,000 would be adequate. hope this helps.
11000kv?
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:23 AM   #8
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I have been trying for several years to talk the wife into a home genny... We have a little portable job (4K) that got us through a 3 1/2 day ice storm, but since its 120V it wouldn't run the well pump, water heater,,, etc... It did keep us warm with the propane furnace and such,,, but dang, sure would be nice to have running water.... We of course now have the rv,,, but I usually winterize it as it's in an un-heated garage...
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:12 AM   #9
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If I may toss in my 2 cents; We had a house in the Pocono's in Pa for years and we never had a genny. We used it every weekend and upon leaving on sunday evenings we would shut the main water valve, drain the water from the system, throw bio degradable anti freeze in each drain trap, turn off the power to the water heater and go on our merry way. Did this for 10 years as so did our neighbors and never had a single problem. If you aren't going to be there for the winter, why spend money on a genny?
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:44 AM   #10
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Monkey:
I have a 5K generator that works well. If I am there. I was very happy with it. The change is that we will be gone 3 months or so. No one there to hook it up and keep it full of gas. This one is propane and is hooked to my 500 gallon bulk tank, and will automatically start when the power goes off.

Gadget:
I couldn't imagine trying to protect everything in the house that could freeze. Food, plants, refrigerated stuff, etc. The main thing is the sump pump. If we get a wet spring or winter the sump pump needs to run. If the basement flooded and then froze it would be a real mess. Good suggestion though.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompen View Post
Monkey:
I have a 5K generator that works well. If I am there. I was very happy with it. The change is that we will be gone 3 months or so. No one there to hook it up and keep it full of gas. This one is propane and is hooked to my 500 gallon bulk tank, and will automatically start when the power goes off.

Gadget:
I couldn't imagine trying to protect everything in the house that could freeze. Food, plants, refrigerated stuff, etc. The main thing is the sump pump. If we get a wet spring or winter the sump pump needs to run. If the basement flooded and then froze it would be a real mess. Good suggestion though.
My suggestion was intended more for a person that is closing the house for extended periods of time. I didn't think there would be plants and food to maintain. You do take the food and plants out of your RV when not using it, so the same applies to the home, at least for us.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:05 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=tompen;1777624]Monkey:
I have a 5K generator that works well. If I am there. I was very happy with it. The change is that we will be gone 3 months or so. No one there to hook it up and keep it full of gas. This one is propane and is hooked to my 500 gallon bulk tank, and will automatically start when the power goes off.

Yes that's exactly what I want,,, run off propane, auto start/transfer,,, etc... Maybe someday.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:48 AM   #13
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We have a Whole House Generator. 12 kw. It runs on Natural Gas. Your final cost of $5000 is about what we payed in 2005. 200 amp ATS, and a new circuirt breaker box was part of the install. Checks it's self out weekly. 12 KW is plenty for our house with water pump and AC. It will not run electric range oven.
It is a B&S. Some problems/concerns I have had over the years.
1. My model did not have a battery charger for starting engine. I put one on it. Newer models are supposed to have one.
2. My install did not have a way to remove power and force generator on without pulling meter. I installed a 200 amp disconnect between meter and ATS.
3. I have had problems with brown out voltages on one leg keeping generator running. Wish there was a Surge Guard that worked on 200 amp service like I have on RV for 50 amps. There may be, but can I afford it.
4. Plugs must be changed at least every 2 years.
5. Only use Mobil 1 oil.
Other than these items. Generator has been almost flawless.
Nice to come home after a power failure. To find your house is the only one that has lights.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:03 AM   #14
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10,000 watt is more than enough.. I recently had a friend considering such a unit,,, I talked him into an eneegery audit and he got a much smaller unit at a much lower price.

I think.. When I last ran off a generator, My transfer panel monitored wattage and both legs were drawing around 1300 to 1700 watts. My generator was 5500 so I had lots of spare power (it was the RV's Onan).
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