Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > Just Conversation
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-16-2022, 11:46 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 793
Stand-By Generator for Sticks & Bricks Home

This is a "sort of" an RV related question for my sticks & bricks home. The Texas electrical grid (operated by ERCOT) reliability is "iffy" at best. Same for the CenterPoint grid serving the greater Houston area. As such, I'm strongly considering getting a permanently installed 20,000 - 25,000 watt size stand-by generator for my home.

I've had exceptional reliability and great performance from the Onan Quiet Diesel 7500 watt generator in my previous coach and the QD 8000 generator in my current coach. As such, my first inclination is to pursue a Cummins stand-by generator for my home. A Cummins generator is $1,000 - $1,500 more expensive than the very popular Generac and the less popular Kohler generators.

After watching a family member and a close friend struggle with very poor reliability and performance of their Generac generators following Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, LA two years ago, I'm highly tainted against considering a Generac generator.

For forum members who have stand-by generators at their homes, what brand do you have and what has been your experiences with reliability and performance of your stand-by generator?

Also, please comment on this perception I have: An air cooled generator (i.e. Generac) is inherently less reliable that a liguid cooled, diesel fueled generator. Is this perception correct? If true, would it be worth double the cost to purchasea liquid cooled stand-by generator?

Thank in advance for your sage advice!
__________________
Mike & Cindy in Katy, TX
2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037
2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
fagnaml is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-16-2022, 11:55 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 454
I wouldn't bother with generac myself in my somewhat limited searching on backup gensets. Your perception is the same as mine.

You could probably get by with an aircooled one but being in texas, I'd look at the liquid cooled ones. Another thought to consider is are you sure you want to go diesel? I think Nat gas would be a better alternative in a built up area.

If not for 2 reasons, power goes out, you can't get fuel at stations or very limited fueling options.

2nd' dealing with the storing of diesel and keeping it fresh in the containers and in the gen tank. I understand you have a diesel genset now so you could probably rotate the fuel and be good to go. But it still requires storing fuel for a few days to a few weeks of backup at worst case scenario.
inthepines is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 672
So, if I am reading your question correctly you are asking for advice comparing a natural gas fueled Generac whole house generator to a Cummins diesel fueled whole house generator. I am amazed that a diesel Cummins generator of the same size as the natural gas Generac is only a few thousand dollars more, but be that as it may:

Natural gas should be more reliable than diesel. Where are you going to find diesel if the area is blacked out and the fuel station pumps don't work. Natural gas rarely, rarely goes out at least in Houston where I lived for half my life.

Natural gas fuel systems- a carburetor most likely, are very reliable as there are no undesirable components like ethanol on gasoline to gunk them up. Diesel fuel systems are reliable as well, particular if the generator is started once each week to check for fuel system problems- leaks, etc.

The basic mechanics of the gas generator aren't as robust as the diesel, but for a few hundred hours of service, who cares.

So my conclusion is that they are about the same.

David
DavidEM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:04 PM   #4
Senior Member/RVM #90
 
MSHappyCampers's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 51,195
I would go with a natural gas generator. I'm not familiar with the different brands so can't advise you on that.

We installed a manual master transfer switch that switches the entire house from the utility company to a power cord through the wall in our storage room that I can pull out and plug into a 5000 watt portable generator. Of course, we can't run the AC water heater, oven/cooktop, or the HVAC system, but it gets us by for the short periods of power outage that we normally have.
__________________
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:12 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 3,944
I'm not sure about the potential hand-wringing over diesel storage degradation; vast amounts of fuel for generators are stored at hospitals, data centers, hotels, performing arts centers, shopping malls, etc and I'm guessing that most of it is never polished and some likely does not receive stabilizing chemicals, either.

Fuel source choice depends on how long you need to have generation capacity, the ability to source that fuel during and after a negative event, and how one can maintain that fuel in storage without significantly degrading it.

In TX the bitter freezing cold was a factor - neither coal at generation facilities, nor methane (froze in pipelines due to water content) were reliable, and with power out, replenishing diesel stocks was pretty iffy for much of Texas. I'm *guessing* that gasoline and propane were similarly affected. Not sure there's a 100% 'good answer' to this.
__________________
2005 Four Winds Majestic 23A
ďTo the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.Ē - Dr Suess
Solo_RV_Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 793
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
So, if I am reading your question correctly you are asking for advice comparing a natural gas fueled Generac whole house generator to a Cummins diesel fueled whole house generator. I am amazed that a diesel Cummins generator of the same size as the natural gas Generac is only a few thousand dollars more, but be that as it may:

Natural gas should be more reliable than diesel. Where are you going to find diesel if the area is blacked out and the fuel station pumps don't work. Natural gas rarely, rarely goes out at least in Houston where I lived for half my life.

Natural gas fuel systems- a carburetor most likely, are very reliable as there are no undesirable components like ethanol on gasoline to gunk them up. Diesel fuel systems are reliable as well, particular if the generator is started once each week to check for fuel system problems- leaks, etc.

The basic mechanics of the gas generator aren't as robust as the diesel, but for a few hundred hours of service, who cares.

So my conclusion is that they are about the same.

David
Sorrow to confuse the forum! My question is about the forum's experiences with Natural Gas stand-by generators AND is air cooled generator OK vs. liquid cooled.

The only reason for mentioning the generators in my coaches is those Cummins Onan generators have been very reliable hence my inclination toward a Cummins brand, natural gas stand-by generator for my home. Or would a $1,000+ cheaper Kohler or other brand be OK?

In the 25,000 watt size, Cummins offers an air cooled natural gas generator for $6,000 AND offers a liquid cooled natural gas generator for $12,000. Is a liquid cooled generator worth twice the price?

Thanks in advance for your advice!
__________________
Mike & Cindy in Katy, TX
2016 Newmar Ventana LE 4037
2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
fagnaml is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:21 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Ft. Myers, Fl.
Posts: 444
Had a liquid cooled Generac at my old house. What a POS
outlawten5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:23 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
saddlesore's Avatar


 
Foretravel Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Home is Where WE PARK IT...
Posts: 5,364
We had a 25k gen set with a Ford 6 cyl. gas engine converted to propane as standby.. Set a 500 gallon tank.. Propane unlike gasoline or diesel has no storage issues. And Natural gas has issues if You are not in their service area OR you are in an Earthquake prone zone...ie: earth moves and pipes break, then things can go boom..er.
__________________
Retired truckdriver, Full Timing in a Foretravel.
Escapees of Box Elder, South Dakota
....Whether our shack is moving or parked.. We are still home.
saddlesore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 12:27 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
rssnape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Central, SC
Posts: 594
I donít think you mentioned if you have Natural gas service at your house. I came by an older Generac water cooled 10kw Natiral Gas generator. It has older controls but in the year Iíve had it, it never misses a weekly exercise and has always come on during our frequent power outages. I put a dry contact in the transfer switch hooked to my alarm system so I get a text message every time my generator has to replace lost power.

If you have NG service I would look at higher end NG generators.
rssnape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 02:38 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
gatorb8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida panhandle
Posts: 1,016
have a 22KW generac air cooled nat gas whole house for 4 years, runs weekly for 10 min, has not missed a beat in 4 years, ran fine for 4 days after “Sally”
__________________
2018 Adventurer 19RD 19í 11Ē
Ford E350 V10 Cutaway Chassis Class C
#10050 GVWR, #18500 GCWR Smoke that!
gatorb8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 02:48 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,684
i'm surprised that your local town or county would permit a liquid fuel standby generator but then again i'm certainly happy to learn new things.

we've had a Kohler natural gas whole-house standby genny for more than a decade. I exercise it weekly, under the entire household load, for 20-minutes. the only service calls we've had have been for a faulty starting battery and for regular preventive maintenance. since install we've put just over 2700-hrs on the Kohler and it purrs like day 1. about the only criticism I have is about their app. it's not very useful.
__________________
Rich, Ham Radio, Sport Pilot
Retired 9-1-1 Admin.
2016 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q/2010 Jeep Liberty
rk911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2022, 05:17 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
SergioP's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 250
We have a 22kw air cooled natural gas powered Generac whole house generator. Got it July 2015 for the hurricanes. Never thought we would need it for the winter.

Last years freeze had it running for 5 days straight. We were nice and warm, no pipes froze, everything was like normal. Well the cable was out. We donít even notice when the power goes out. The TV/cable box is on a backup power supply, so it powers the tv til the generator kicks in. Takes about a minute for power to come online.

The only maintenance thatís been required was a starting battery, and a couple oil changes.

Got it installed from www.standbypowerhouston.com They were very professional, it took about a month from the first visit for an estimate to it up and running. They pour a slab, then install the transfer switch, then the generator, wire it up, the gas line is last.

My mother in law got one a couple years ago and has had no problems with hers either.

If you are worried about it being air cooled in the Houston heat, you should feel the amount of air that is exhausted from it. Itís a strong blast of air, sure some of it is exhaust.
__________________
2018 E450 Forester 2291s
SergioP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2022, 04:42 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: NC
Posts: 987
One sure way to get the power company to beef up their service to install alternate power routes to our rural neighborhood was to buy a backup generator. They've been working like dogs all year to make sure they don't lose any income.
A 9K propane Generac runs the whole house although we did not add the dryer and the oven to that circuit. Water heater is 110V, house is 1500 square feet. We already had a 500 gallon propane tank as we have a Goodman propane furnace.
It ran for about a week in January a few years ago when we were in FL and a freak wind shear knocked down a bunch of trees along with the power lines near them.
It was $6K installed in 2017 and well worth it.
__________________
2005 Cummins 2WD 3500 LB CC dually 2014 Blue Ridge 3025RL
Toby Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2022, 05:22 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Watertown NY USA
Posts: 5,128
I believe my Briggs and Stratton propane powered 16.5 KW stand by generator is about ten years old. It has worked flawlessly when needed which isn't as often as it was before and a couple years after I had it installed. I live out in the country and back when I had my generator installed we had frequent power outages. After we had a severe ice storm which took a lot of lines around our area down, the lines have been replaced and many of the older poles have been replaced. Just this past month we did have a transformer fail not too far from home and our power was out for 5-6 hours.
I do have open frame generators but thankfully I have not had to use them at home since I had the stand by generator installed. I have used the open frame units at my daughter's house and my son's house a couple times though.
My biggest reason for installing the stand by is I have a sump pump system in my cellar with 2 one half HP electric pumps which when we have spring runoff run 24-7 for a couple weeks or more. If I don't have constant power my fully finished basement would be flooded and I would risk damage to the basement floor and walls. Each of these pumps will pump 9600 gallons per hour. The buried discharge line is 4" line which runs 260' behind my house where the land drops off and the line finds daylight.
I have a service contract with the company who installed my generator. They come twice a year and service the generator including changing the oil, oil filter, air filter and spark plugs once a year. Each time they come they run the generator and test the voltage output and the automatic transfer switch.
They also load test the battery each time they come.
Other than putting a coat of wax on the housing I never have to touch the generator. My generator is propane as is my water heater, cook stove, my furnace and the clothes dryer. Natural gas is not available in my area. I do have change over or conversion kits for all my propane appliances in case they ever do run lines past my house but I don't think I'll ever see it happen.
This is the newer version of my generator:
https://apelectric.com/briggs-stratt...rything%20Else
__________________
2002 Fleetwood Storm 30H on Workhorse P32 chassis 8.1 gas.
LETMGROW is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Powering your sticks and bricks off of your 7500 W Onan generator 99aces MH-General Discussions & Problems 17 07-02-2020 07:02 AM
Tax implications of selling a sticks & bricks and moving into an RV? Dahai iRV2.com General Discussion 25 03-17-2019 02:31 PM
Sticks and Bricks as second home? vsheetz Full-Timers 16 01-03-2015 10:44 AM
Back feeding power to sticks and bricks from generator charlie2 Class A Motorhome Discussions 85 11-06-2014 07:19 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.