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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default natural gas generators

    What is the best generator to use and who should install it for me? somerset

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,622

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    Around here the most common is a Generac.They are even sold through the big box stores like HomeDepot. HD acts as a selling agent of the people that install it.

    What you need to do first is decide what size you need. Do you want a whole hose unit or a supplemental unit that will provide the bear essentials.

    Personally, I get by with a small 5KW unit others choose much larger units which are significantly more expensive to buy and to operate.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    The supplier or an electrician who is familiar with the installation will put it in. Not only do you need the generator, you need the automatic switching and sub panel that keeps things working. There is a fair amount of electrical work that goes into the installation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    5,436

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    Another issue to worry about: natural gas supply. In a major catastrophe, gas supply will be limited.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    jersey
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    174

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    After Sandy electric service was restored long before natural gas was along the Jersey Shore. Depending on where you are and what your preparing for LP may be an option.

    I install them all the time, Generac is most common but I wouldn't say they are the best. If your just trying to be ready for a day or two after a storm they are ok. In combination with a nexus service rated switch, installed on a slab... It isn't a bad investment at about $10-$12k installed depending on where you live and how often you loose power.
    Help us name our new Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    1,330

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    Generac is most popular, the main benefit of that popularity being that parts for servicing and people qualified to do the work will be more common and more readily available. I'm sure better units can be had, but if the one guy who installs and services those in your area goes out of business, you've got a big problem on your hands. If there were any real issues with Generac I doubt they would be this popular.

    Natural gas is as reliable as a brick where I live with almost never any interruption in supply; it only happens when they're working on the gas lines here. Most of them here have already been upgraded in recent times so interruptions have become almost unknown. If flooding, earthquakes, or old infrastructure is an issue where you live, then an underground propane tank might serve your needs better. Either can be a good choice.

    Phil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    All the replies are good but I have one comment. Your generator needs to be large enough to handle motor startup which can be substantial like for the refrigerator. 8KW is the minimum for a house. Have it sized by the installer and if you're considering adding air conditioning tell the installer.

    You can go with either manual or automatic switchover, the installer can tell you about your alternatives. Test the unit periodically to make sure the battery is holding up.

    This job will require extensive modifications to your service entrance so be prepared. Make sure permits are pulled so that the job is inspected.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    Shopped around, and am having a 8kw Generac w/5 year warranty installed next week. Went with a local firm to handle "all" - they handle Generac warranty work so figured if parts and help are ever needed, they're only a phone call away. After being out of power for 8+ days during Storm Sandy, got tired of portables and lugging gasoline (which was also difficult to find cuz pumps were down).

    Have been told there are "better" generators out there, but if Generacs were that unreliable, they'd be gone .... here's hoping we won't ever need it, but if we do, it'll power right up.



    Quote Originally Posted by John freeman View Post
    All the replies are good but I have one comment. Your generator needs to be large enough to handle motor startup which can be substantial like for the refrigerator. 8KW is the minimum for a house. Have it sized by the installer and if you're considering adding air conditioning tell the installer.

    You can go with either manual or automatic switchover, the installer can tell you about your alternatives. Test the unit periodically to make sure the battery is holding up.

    This job will require extensive modifications to your service entrance so be prepared. Make sure permits are pulled so that the job is inspected.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    Quote Originally Posted by crylakel View Post
    Shopped around, and am having a 8kw Generac w/5 year warranty installed next week. Went with a local firm to handle "all" - they handle Generac warranty work so figured if parts and help are ever needed, they're only a phone call away. After being out of power for 8+ days during Storm Sandy, got tired of portables and lugging gasoline (which was also difficult to find cuz pumps were down).

    Have been told there are "better" generators out there, but if Generacs were that unreliable, they'd be gone .... here's hoping we won't ever need it, but if we do, it'll power right up.
    Sounds like a great choice, especially if you already have gas in your home.

    Gas cooking and heating and water heater drop a home's electricity energy requirements down to the 3 to 5KW range.

    I had to grin about gasoline stations being down. Many years ago I was caught up in the same thing so I carried a generator to my favorite gas station, hooked them up and soon they were the only game in town!
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,330

    Default Re: natural gas generators

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    Many years ago I was caught up in the same thing so I carried a generator to my favorite gas station, hooked them up and soon they were the only game in town!
    Maurice, I wouldn't worry with you doing this since you have the required knowledge, but I would NOT recommend the average "Joe" trying this because of the possibility of static discharge at the gas pump- we don't want to give the Fire Department more work to do

    Some portable generators have their frame directly grounded to the system and some do not. If everything (including the frame) is not connected and grounded correctly based on the specific type, the chance of a 'ground potential' difference causing a static discharge is high. Normally it's not a significant problem but with pumps and flammables it's a whole different story.

    Phil

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