Back up Generators - finally looking.

   #1  

beowulf

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Our local utility (PG&E) is offering rebates of up to $1,200 for back up generators, so I am looking into that. It looks like most brands qualify- the list is very long. I am considering a dual fuel whole house back up system - likely Generac. I will be making calls today to see what installation will cost, getting recommendations, or if DIY is an option. Running the well when we don't have power is a prime concern (1.5 HP down at 420'). I have a 5500 W Troybilt gas unit that has worked out well when needed to keep fridge and freezer, lights and such going. Likely that I can get information from a local electrician as to what I need and cost, but this is usually my initial go-to stop.
We have not, historically, lost power that often, but now they are shutting things down proactively for weather or fire issues. Suggestions?
 
   #2  

5030

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I'm sure this thread will go crazy but, I suggest buying a unit that outputs at leas 33% more than anticipated need. I have a Generac and it's been trouble free, but mine is a diesel (JD engine) and is single and 3 phase and it runs the entire farm feeding from my 500 galloon diesel storage tank. Mine is 30KW. Probably should have bought a 35KW but I didn't. With everything online I'm almost at 30 KW.
 
   #3  

grsthegreat

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If your talking standby generator, you might be looking for 50+ weeks after order to get it unless the supplier happens to have some on hand from previous order.
 
   #4  

5030

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Seeks to be the norm for about everything except food today. With food, it's just not there at all.

I know for a fact that Kioti dealers must now have a signed sales contract and a deposit to build a unit, if it's not floorplanned. Have a friend who owns a Kioti dealership and he told me.

Regardless, I run Kubota's...lol
 
   #5  

bdhsfz6

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Consider your fuel source first.

Propane requires a large tank to provide long term generator operation. Gasoline gets "stale" and can't be stored for extended periods. It could also get scarce during a wide spread outage if gas stations can't pump. Diesel works best for me since I have a 1000 gal fuel oil tank for my furnace.
 
   #6  

CloverKnollFarms

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Looking
I’m considering a PTO unit. Much more affordable than a stand alone unit if you already have a pto. We have a 50k watt at the farm
 
   #7  

jaydee325

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Our local utility (PG&E) is offering rebates of up to $1,200 for back up generators, so I am looking into that. It looks like most brands qualify- the list is very long. I am considering a dual fuel whole house back up system - likely Generac. I will be making calls today to see what installation will cost, getting recommendations, or if DIY is an option. Running the well when we don't have power is a prime concern (1.5 HP down at 420'). I have a 5500 W Troybilt gas unit that has worked out well when needed to keep fridge and freezer, lights and such going. Likely that I can get information from a local electrician as to what I need and cost, but this is usually my initial go-to stop.
We have not, historically, lost power that often, but now they are shutting things down proactively for weather or fire issues. Suggestions?
Have you read the fine print of the rebate offer? Do the terms allow them to preferentially shut off power to you in a power shortage or challenge?

A friend of mine installed a whole house backup generator. The utility offered to lower her kW cost a few cents a kW hour if she would agree to be the first disconnected (via smart meter) in a power shortage. She decided the meager savings offered did not make sense for her.

The cost per kW from a generator far exceeds the cost per kW from the utility.
 
  
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#8  
OP
beowulf

beowulf

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Have you read the fine print of the rebate offer? Do the terms allow them to preferentially shut off power to you in a power shortage or challenge?

A friend of mine installed a whole house backup generator. The utility offered to lower her kW cost a few cents a kW hour if she would agree to be the first disconnected (via smart meter) in a power shortage. She decided the meager savings offered did not make sense for her.

The cost per kW from a generator far exceeds the cost per kW from the utility.
Thanks for the heads up. I will check on that, but I don't think so. I do know that they have a program where they will lower cost for certain choices, but you have to agree to those and I don't think it has anything to do with the rebate. We would not consider this but for the announced plans for proactive shut offs at times. We looked at battery storage as well as we have solar, but are mostly considering a whole house back up system as the batteries we looked at were costly and we were told may not start up our well. The cost to run the generator is not a major concern as it will not be used frequently - hopefully. We just want to feel a bit more prepared. We can afford the whole house system and the rebate just makes it a bit more interesting right now.
 
   #9  

RalphVa

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We've a 12.5 kw diesel Isuzu powered generator bought from Central Maine Diesel about 9 1/2 years ago. Plan to do the 10 year service of coolant change and all filters and engine oil change this year. Recently had to run it for 74 hours, and it ran out of fuel at 69! Has a 50 gallon underbelly tank that I thought was 60 gallons but only managed to put 50 back into it. Fuel consumption in the very cold weather was more than double what it was the first 159 hours.

Runs everything but pool, carriage house and 4 ton heat pump. The clothes dryer, hot water heater and a couple other breakers are on circuitry that only allows them on if the generator had room. Had no problems running any of them.

I knew what could be powered from a 4.4 kw generator that I'd used for 2 or 3 years before and went from there. Had two "whole house" generator people come out, and they generally wanted to put in about a 30 kw diesel unit. Our average consumption is 2.5 kw.

We bought a 200 amp panel with auto switchover from GenTran. They also supplied those 4 other circuits that only come on if there's room. The electrician had to call them 2 or 3 times to figure those out.

Cost of ours was about $15,000, $10k for the Isuzu unit.
 

ponytug

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I can recommend the Generac dealer in Sacramento. They ended up fixing my neighbor's installation after the local Generac installer didn't get the installation right.

If your propane tank is above ground, I would check in Generac's installation tables for how big the tank needs to be at whatever your expected worst case low temperature is. There is a derating of the tank volume for temperature to allow for enough propane boil off.

All the best,

Peter
 
 
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