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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Buying a whole house generator for home

    After this electric outage which lasted 61/2 days and many others through out the years we have decided to buy a generator as a backup. A day or two is fine, we have a portable gas generator that helps along with oil lamps and a space heater in the winter.

    Since we have a 500 gallon Propane gas tank we are interested in getting one that runs on that. We have looked at Generac and Kohler.

    If anyone has purchased either in the past year or two what is your review and to anyone that knows about these two manufacturers, which one uses less gas.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    Brilliant idea. Only trouble: you must keep it top operating condition 24/7, to be useful in time of need.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,359

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    Another reputable brand is Cummins Onan. Despite the Cummins name being associated with diesel engines, they also make propane and natural gas powered generators.

    (Disclaimer: my brother works for Cummins so there's a natural bias. )
    Last edited by Fencepost; 09-08-2011 at 01:42 AM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    How much approximately would one Cummins Onan generator cost? Do we get discounts if we buy through your brother?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    Be sure to check consumption. Have a neighbor that has one, when the electric was out for several days theirs kicked in and ran fine but used nearly 3 gals an hour. Of course it powers a very large house, but at that rate it could be a problem after a storm when propane may not be available for delivery.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    Cost of running a generator is a real issue.

    I recently bought a portable generator to cope with hurricane Irene.

    It is 5250 watts and the manual states it will run 13 hours at half load on a full tank. Capacity is 7.5 gallons.

    With gas averaging 4 dollars a gallon, The cost to operate is nearly 60 dollars for 24 hours at half load. I can approach half load with just a few things that I would want in an outage so realistically, the cost to operate is going to be higher.


    Natural gas may be a bit cheaper but there is no way we can approach the economies of scale that the utility companies have.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    JP: OMG! That's a crazy price to pay for 24hrs of power!

    We were looking over on this site selling GE generators for home use and they give a ton of information like this:
    MFG Brand Name : GE
    MFG Model # : 40324HD
    FG Part # : 40324HD
    Specifications Amperage (amps) : 54.2 A
    Amps : 54.2 A
    Assembled Depth (in.) : 34.6 in
    Assembled Height (in.) : 38.5 in
    Assembled Width (in.) : 39.4 in
    CSA Listed : No
    Color Family : Grays
    Depth (in) : 34.6 in
    ETL Listed : No
    Electrical Product Type : Standby Generator
    Energy Star Compliant : No
    Engine Displacement (cc) : 803.0
    Engine Make : Briggs & Stratton
    Engine brand : Briggs & Stratton
    Frequency : weekly
    Height : 38.5 in
    Height (in) : 38.5 in
    Hour Meter : Yes
    Item Package Type : Cardboard Container
    Item Weight : 570 lb
    Low oil shutdown : Yes
    Manufacturer Warranty : 4 year including parts and labor limited warranty
    Operational volume (dB) : 72.0
    Product Height (in.) : 38.5
    Product Length (in.) : 34.6 in
    Product Weight (lb.) : 540.0
    Product Width (in.) : 39.4
    Rated Wattage : 13000.0 W
    Rated wattage liquid propane (watts) : 13000.0
    Rated wattage natural gas (watts) : 11500.0
    Remote Monitoring : Included
    Response time (sec.) : 30.0
    Returnable : Non-Returnable
    Sound Decibels : 72 dB
    Width : 39.4 in
    Width (in) : 39.4 in
    ..But none of that tells me what it costs to run?
    I also can't seem to find any info on diesel options?
    You'd think a big company like GE would really want to sell you on how efficient they are?

    I've sent them an email, I'll reply if they cough up any info.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    To survive during power outages, I recommend a gas fire place that uses no electricity for heat, and run the generator only when you need to. I usually get 3 or 4 days with my 5500 watt generator. It usually only runs a couple of hours at a time.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    2

    Smile Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    Backup power is always a good idea but whole house power is its own set of considerations. Generac usually only warranty hole house generators for about 600 hours. often they don't last that long, not because of the manufacturer but because of the type of engine. Either std gas or LP they run at high speeds and suffer from it. Pls consider a diesel generator in your planning. They are more fuel efficient and cost effective. They also don't have the electrical system to fault as a standard gasoline engine. They are more expensive to buy But worth looking at. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Buying a whole house generator for home

    GENERAC Guardian series generators are warranteed for 3 years . No hour limit . Not sure about their other models .

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