whole house generators, who has/had one?

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  • troy_mclure

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    Mar 13, 2010
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    Watson
    the house we are buying has natural gas, and is on a small grid so is last to get restored after an outage.
    we are considering a whole house generator. Generac is the only name i know, so other brands to check out would be appreciated.

    what are your thoughts, experiences, advice?
     

    DBMJR1

    Madame Mayor's Fiefdom
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    Jul 27, 2008
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    New Orleans, La.
    Both my father, and mother in law have Generac systems.

    Both installations were done by competent installers.

    Both systems work well.

    The thing to remember is that you need a service kit.

    Small engines require oil changes at about 100 hours of run time.

    You can't count on the service technicians showing up four days after a major storm to change your oil for you, and an engine that's locked up does nobody any good.
     

    shotgunjim

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    May 20, 2016
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    Baton Rouge
    Have one at house we just bought and it gives you peace of mind when hurricane season comes along. Ran from Friday nite to noon Sat. They shut Generac factory down with covid so finding dealer/installer with one may be fun. I would recommend buying from someone who has been in business for a while and offers service. PM me if want my recommendation. jim
     

    mforsta

    Pops
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    Jun 25, 2012
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    Denham Springs
    I have 22Kw Generac installed by Optimize of Baton Rouge. All I can say is they are professional top to bottom. From sales, to install, to the follow up visit by the owner it was nothing but pleasant. I had two other companies give me estimates. Just from the estimate experience, I would not want them to do my install.
     

    jneubig

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    Dec 19, 2015
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    We have a 17KW air cooled Generac. Was installed back in 2009 shortly after Hurricane Gustav knocked us out of power for three weeks. Fortunately, we have not really had to use it for an extended period of time as of yet. Had a couple times where it ran for a day or so due to heavy thunderstorms knocking out the grid and quite a few couple three hour runs. Sure is nice to have.
     

    TrapperT

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    Feb 7, 2020
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    Sulphur,La.
    Just say NOOOOOO to Generac crap.Its just a regular generator
    with a purdddy cover. They are very very loud.In fact I live near
    a neighbor that has a new one installed in the last 3 months.I
    can hear it over my other neighbors generator and mine.It is
    super loud.Im running a 9500 and neighbor is running an 8500
    and we can hear the generac at our houses over ours in the yard.

    And you have to use gas.so she had to spend well over 5k for
    the tank,gas, and the generator.Not any more cost effective
    than a regular generator.Stick to the basics.Buy a good ol
    Honda generator with enough power to run your basics at your
    home and hook it up with the correct cables to do so.You will
    be doing the same thing as a generac,just way cheaper and
    much easier to maintain.When the neighbors gas ran out,it
    took them 2-3 days of working and priming it ,to restart.

    Good Luck
     

    cyclone1970

    Oldie
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    May 10, 2014
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    Covington LA
    We have had a 22KW water cooled, natural gas, Generac stationary generator for a number of years. Could not be happier. It runs quietly and powers our whole house. Nothing cannot run in the house when generator running. We heat our water and bake our food electrically and I have two central AC systems. We do have a gas drier. I also have it serviced annually.

    If you buy a unit that is under-powered for your needs, particularly an air-cooled unit, you are asking for lots of noise and problems no matter what manufacture. I am not condemning air-cooled units, per say, but understand that stationary generator motors range from lawnmower sized to automobile sized and the load capacities vary greatly.
     

    BlueShamu

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    Oct 21, 2015
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    D'town
    Aunt and uncle have one....it’s powered by a 35 HP Briggs and Stratton engine with a natural gas aspirated carburetor.

    They say when they have to use it, their gas bill goes through the roof.


    Sent from the ISS using Tapatalk
     

    pullstart

    Lastof6
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    23   0   0
    Dec 19, 2009
    701
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    Metairie, La
    If willing to spend ~ $9-14k you can purchase a water cooled, 1800 rpm generator from MTU, ONAN-Cummins, Kohler, Taylor Power, Cat or the like. Installation is extra. I would avoid the 3600 rpm ail cooled lawn mower engines that manufacture have installed in generator. They run hot and not ideal for these conditions. I you decide to go that route due to low first cost, be sure to get one with a 5 year warranty minimum. You make get 5 or 10 years out of it then replace when it dies.

    I have a 20kw ONAN, water cooled, 1800 rpm, natural gas on 10" caster wheels. I only pull it out in advance of a storm. no need to run it every week. I keep in in my garage. Search Ebay, craigslist, or Facebook market place if you know what you are looking for in a used genset.
     

    SouthernUnderGod

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    Nov 28, 2016
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    Baton Rouge, LA
    For a time I was chief engineer for the local office of a national broadcasting company. The local office was a “cluster”- several radio stations / “formats” in one building with multiple transmitter sites, repeater sites, etc.

    All had automatic transfer equipment. We had mostly Kohler generators, a few Generac and the main office was Cummins-Onan. The many remotes sites were propane with a couple of diesels, and the office was natural gas. The Onan was the best, hands down. I had an Onan when I was in the electronic security business (40 years ago) and it was perfect.

    The Kohler units were good, too. I have friends with both Kohler and Generac. As with my commercial experience the Kohler units seem to be favored. My backyard neighbor has a Kohler that runs his entire 5,700 sq. ft. house, pool and even the landscape lighting. My next door and the across the street neighbors all have Kohler. One had a Generac but had it swapped out for a Kohler within weeks. (I’m a lot poorer so I have a Harbor Freight on wheels with a way to back feed into the house wiring. I’m trying to save money for a Kohler but I keep spending too much on firearms and accessories.)

    One comment for rural users. The diesel units were always in need of maintenance. Diesels aren’t the “run on anything”, run long and hard engines of yesteryear. Environmental stuff has complicated them and there are far fewer diesel mechanics, even fewer good ones... whether for generators or trucks. So if you can’t get natural gas, I think propane is best. Most are fine with a tank that is used for a small house, and it is best to get on a refill route.

    If you don’t think that you can afford Kohler, buy what you can afford. I did.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

    sandman7925

    Wealthy women wanted
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    Aunt and uncle have one....it’s powered by a 35 HP Briggs and Stratton engine with a natural gas aspirated carburetor.

    They say when they have to use it, their gas bill goes through the roof.


    Sent from the ISS using Tapatalk

    I’ve heard stories of people getting gas bills in the thousands that had no idea that’s how it worked.
     

    Bigchillin83

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    I’ve heard stories of people getting gas bills in the thousands that had no idea that’s how it worked.

    i have a buddy who is ocd about bills and money down to the penny, he knows how much he pays a day for garbage ect.. he said the last time he used his 17kw guardian it cost him $167 a day and he ran it for like 6 days, said his bill was well over $1000.00

    i dont have one i have a portable 6500 running 9500 cranking, i can run everything my 2500 sq foot house, minus the central ac/htr.. have ran the stove, oven,well water pump, elect hotwater heater, every light and fan, fridge, 2 deep freezers, 1-6000btu and 1-8500 btu window units, microwave ect.. it is kinda a hassle to drag the ol generator out 20ft from my shop and put the window units in but i like the mobilty..my generator runs about 1 hour per gallon under a heavy full load, and will purr for 2-3 hours on a gallon with just a window unit on and all lights fans and recepticals.... if a storm was to bad i can load it up and haul buggy with it and have power where ever i go.....
     
    Last edited:

    sandman7925

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    i have a buddy who is ocd about bills and money down to the penny, he knows how much he pays a day for garbage ect.. he said the last time he used his 17kw guardian it cost him $167 a day and he ran it for like 6 days, said his bill was well over $1000.00

    i dont have one i have a portable 6500 running 9500 cranking, i can run everything my 2500 sq foot house, minus the central ac/htr.. have ran the stove, oven, elect hotwater heater, every light and fan, fridge, 2 deep freezers microwave ect.. it is kinda a hassle to drag the ol generator out 20ft from my shop and put the window units in but i like the mobilty..my generator runs about 1 hour per gallon under a heavy full load, and will purr for 2-3 hours on a gallon with just a window unit on and all lights fans and recepticals.... if a storm was to bad i can load it up and haul buggy with it and have power where ever i go.....

    Yeah and at that kind money unless I had someone with a disability in the house it's not worth it. None of us were grown in a lab, we are all alive today because our ancestors lived without electricity.
     

    John_

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    Hammond, LA
    Yeah and at that kind money unless I had someone with a disability in the house it's not worth it. None of us were grown in a lab, we are all alive today because our ancestors lived without electricity.

    Bingo. And its become more of a convenience as some people just can't live without the internet or tv for a couple hours plus. I thought about it hard as the elect power in Hammond is really fragile (compared to where I previously lived for 35 years) but I just cannot justify $10-20k up front for a perm generator installed, and an air cooled smaller unit at that. Not yet at least.
     

    Bigchillin83

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    Friday night I was the only one running on nat.gas
    Saturday there were 2 of us.
    Monday 3 more are looking for conversion kits.
    Especially the guy with a 3 month old baby.
    The hunt for gasoline was real !

    i was lucky the gas stations by the house all have generators now.... even if i usually fill up 5-6 cans i can run my generator for around 4 days with that if its a cat 1-2 ,and if its a cat 3-4 i got pleanty more cans lol... only cost me $60.00 to fill up 6 cans and if i dont use it, the truck will eat it up lol
     

    Bigchillin83

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    me and the wife talked about the whole house generator... if there was a medical issue it would be alot diff...

    we took an average and in the last 10 years we have only been out of power for longer than 6 hours about 60 hours a year... theres been 1 year with the max of 120 hours. but again on an average its 60 hours. Me and my fam are very outdoorsy if thats a word, :eek3: we homeschool and most days are spent with class outside anyway and we homestead with chickens and farm animals, trap, hoop nets, crawfish, crab and hunt on our own property.. so i guess im gettin at we arnt a internet/computer/tv required type of family. But back to it by time you add up the $15000 for turn key generator plus $120-160 every 24 hours of run time... it just dont add up to enough beans to me...
     

    Gator 45/70

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    i was lucky the gas stations by the house all have generators now.... even if i usually fill up 5-6 cans i can run my generator for around 4 days with that if its a cat 1-2 ,and if its a cat 3-4 i got pleanty more cans lol... only cost me $60.00 to fill up 6 cans and if i dont use it, the truck will eat it up lol

    That's right ! Us civilized people like our beer cold vs the **** warm beer drinkers...Bunch of Heathens !!! :mamoru:
     
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