Back up Generators - finally looking.

truckdiagnostics

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Then there is the choice between air cooled and water cooled. Air cooled you have to check the oil daily which is a non starter for us as you have to be physically able.
 

ericm979

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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.

Does the well pump into a tank which feeds the house via gravity?
If so you could use a sub panel and transfer switch to run the well pump every few days or so off a portable generator, and that might let you run off solar and batteries. This probably would not work if you have a pressure tank.

There are some rebate programs for batteries too. You might be able to get in on that.
 
  
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beowulf

beowulf

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Does the well pump into a tank which feeds the house via gravity?
If so you could use a sub panel and transfer switch to run the well pump every few days or so off a portable generator, and that might let you run off solar and batteries. This probably would not work if you have a pressure tank.

There are some rebate programs for batteries too. You might be able to get in on that.
Ericm, No. No tank at all. But we are planning that for a second house my daughter is building on our property. And while planning all that (2 tanks, domestic, fire reserve, etc,) I thought that maybe we should get a tank for our well (now consisting of a pump in the hole, controls, pressure switch and pressure tank) because then we could keep that storage tank (say 2500 gallons) somewhat full and have a booster pump after the storage tank to pump into a pressure tank and then if we lost power I could have my portable generator run the booster pump to take water from the storage tank into the pressure tank- which it could easily handle - instead of worrying about starting the pump in the hole. That would also save wear and tear on the pump in the hole as it would not be starting and stopping on a 40-60 lb setting. Anyway, that would be one way to manage the loss of water issue when power went out - for a while anyway.
Still, a whole house generator would solve all the issues - hopefully.
 

Larry Caldwell

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What does "whole house" mean to you? Dual fuel, to me, means a portable genset. Whole house generators normally are set up with a fixed fuel supply not gasoline, because their fuel requirements are heavy and you have to store a lot of fuel. Whole house units are usually either natural gas, propane, or diesel in that order of preference. Maybe diesel over others if you need farm diesel and typically have a few hundred gallons on hand.

Get a good clamp meter and measure the starting inrush on the well pump, or maybe just use the rule of thumb that starting current is typically about 4x running current. Your 5500 watt genset will start the well pump as long as nothing else is running. Add a 4600w water heater and a couple kw of headroom for lights and entertainment, and you are looking at 12 kw or so. Add a washer, dryer, and electric range, and you are easily into the 20 kw to 25 kw demand, and a generator that will put out 100 amps. It would be a nuisance to try to feed that out of a gas can.
 

ultrarunner

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PGE has done a 180 on generators from the 1980’s when I bought a 1000 Watt Honda.

For those not familiar PGE sent out notice requiring customers to register generators kept at service address.

When registered the info went into a database for field crews. PGE also sent me a booklet on safe operation which went into great detail on the hazards of back feeding.

I wonder how the new program will tie into areas with planned phase out of small Internal Combustion Engines?
 

ranger danger

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I've been running my off grid property in the Sierra's for 5 years on a military tactically quiet diesel generator. MEP 803a 10kw nominal with an over rating of 14kw. Uses 5 gallons of diesel every 9 hours at 3/4 output. I recomend it over anything Generac makes!
IMG_9555__79814.1596026236.jpeg
 

etpm

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My wife and I live in a 2100 square foot house. The furnace is propane, as is the stove and water heater. We have a fridge and a chest freezer. We are on a well with a 1.5 HP pump. Our 7500 watt generator is oversized. It does not run the whole house but does not need to. We never have the whole house powered up at once. Who needs lights on when the room is not occupied? I'm pretty sure a 5000 watt unit would start the well when either the fridge or freezer was also starting. With LED lighting I am now considering a battery to power some lights, the furnace, internet, phone, and TV. Then intermittent generator use to run the well and charge the batteries. That would use way less fuel.
Eric
 

grsthegreat

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I installed lots of smaller auto start generators that operate a 8,10,12,16 or 24 space panel, depending on size of generator. Although most,and i mean 80-90%, of the units i service are whole house units, not the partial house systems.

i have a whole house i put in 4 years ago. Replaced a 5,000 watt partial house unit. Never want to go back.

im older, and lazier now. I want my creature comforts. I also dont want the wife to have to go out snd start old generator and manually transfer house like she used to do, if i wasnt home.

i like the mil spec units, i just dont want to mess with diesel. I also want to protect my heated water troughs in barn and pasture. I put alot of $ into these, and a freeze about 5 years ago nearly took them out. My 22kw protects it all, no worries.

plus, i can fix anything on it that could go bad….heck i have all parts in work truck that could go wrong except if the entire unit were to fail (Like a direct lightning strike). I know nothing about a diesel generator. Heck, i feel stressed out if i have to work on my truck or tractor. Diesel engines intimidate me.
 

Diggin It

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If I could have gotten a diesel auto-start, auto-transfer for nearly the same price, I would have. Diesel fuel is easier for me to get if I run low during a long outage. I've had a number of multi-day outages and areas near me have had more. Any passing storm could take the grid down for days.

I only have a few hours on mine, all from test runs (which I need to do another longer, loaded run), so I can't speak to longevity, durability or reliability. But I like knowing that I won't (shouldn't) have to go outside, tote a portable and cords, try to get it started and have 20-30 gallons of gasoline on hand.

On a long outage, I'll have to monitor my 500 gallon LP tank a lot closer and I'm not wild about the required daily shut down to check oil.
 

ultrarunner

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I get frequent questions in generators for home use probably since for decades I was the only one with one plus maintain Hospital standby gensets at work.

All want a fully automatic whole house that they never think about which I don't know of any because someone has to think about maintenance.

Rolling out a pull start, extension cords, pulling out the refrigerator from the wall, fueling, etc... are of no interest... except in a few cases after the fact when power was out for a week and the shock of the utility bill for propane or natural gas hit home...

Life is full of tradeoffs...

All I can say is those interested better get on the list as more internal combustion restrictions go into effect.

The sanctioned remedy is massive solar with Battery Backup but the utility is fighting back asking solar owners to pay more in fixed costs even to offset natural gas customers as the infrastructure costs projected to be spread out by a shrinking user base.
 
 
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