Whole House Natural Gas Generator

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Anon64
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Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Anon64 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:33 pm

I was wondering about whether people view whole house generators as increasing the value of their home. My power does not go out much (it's out now though and this is the third time in about 5 years). But if it's a good investment, I would be more inclined to get one.

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whodidntante
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by whodidntante » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:43 pm

I doubt you would recover your investment, or even close to it.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:46 pm

Anon64 wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:33 pm
I was wondering about whether people view whole house generators as increasing the value of their home. My power does not go out much (it's out now though and this is the third time in about 5 years). But if it's a good investment, I would be more inclined to get one.
I live on a mini ranch in a rural area and have looked into this.
Depending on the size of the home, an automatic standby generator linked to the home can run well North of $5-10k plus electrician installation. Recouping the investment seems nil.
One of the problems are that the unit will not be used, if ever, yet still must be maintained and tested to be sure that it will run when it's needed. And, over time, it will degrade whether it is used or not.

Also, unless it is an area where off the grid power systems are popular, or needed, and also where the "grid" is not dependable, most folks will see it as an accessory and not a necessity, which means on a home sale they wouldn't care of it was there or not. It wouldn't be a "dealbreaker" or something well worth paying for. . . unless they were a "prepper" or "survivalist" or inclined to such.
I wouldn't look at it as an investment for the future but rather something that serves your needs and security right now.

As far as a more realistic cost vs benefit, there is also the option of installing a power bypass panel and having a smaller portable generator such as a Honda 7500, etc, able to hook up and power the essentials such as HVAC, refrigerators, etc.

Emergency power transfer switch systems look like this:
https://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.co ... ystem.html

This way, you take your generator with you when you sell the house. But the transfer system remains.
j :D

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Wildebeest
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Wildebeest » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:54 pm

We have a whole house generator and the power went out and we were delighted, that the generator kicked in at 4:30 AM.

Do we think we get the money out of it? No!

We plan to die in our house.
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samsoes
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by samsoes » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:03 pm

They're not investments. Mine's main purpose is to keep the sump pumps and furnace running in the event of a cold-weather outage. It's happened to me. It was an awful, expensive mess.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:05 pm

samsoes wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:03 pm
They're not investments. Mine's main purpose is to keep the sump pumps and furnace running in the event of a cold-weather outage. It's happened to me. It was an awful, expensive mess.
This is exactly why I've been exploring emergency generator systems. Not to mention the horses need water and we have a well.
j

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by radiowave » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:24 pm

An alternative would be a portable generator and manual transfer switch. If you lose power, mostly inconvenience in the summer (I've been through 4 hurricanes, not fun after the 5th day of no power). But if you are in a very cold climate, e.g. you lose power when it's many degrees below freezing, and you need to get the furnace working, that could be a lifesaver, or at least save a lot of money avoiding broken pipes and water damage.
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Ron
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Ron » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:30 pm

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=231906

We have one for our all electric house (generator powered by propane). Was it worth it? Probably not from a strictly financial sense.

Would we do it again (installed 5 years ago)? Without a doubt. And it has nothing to do with resale value.

Ours (along with seven others within a two block area from our house) have been running since 4:20 pm yesterday - and are still running with an estimated service restoration forecast of by 11:00 pm Wednesday; earlier if we get lucky.

We've been through the October snowstorm of 2011 and Sandy in 2012, when we were out close to a week during both weather occurrences. We had our 20 Kw unit installed in the spring of 2013 and had numerous occasions when we had "inconvenience type" outages ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.

No doubt about it. You can do it much cheaper with a portable unit. However since we've installed this unit, the portable we once used (along with all the extension cords, that we purchased after Sandy) is collecting dust in the garage. And since we still travel quite often (both retired) we don't worry about coming home to a flooded basement or a fridge full of spoiled food - along with water from the ice maker all over the floor as we feared in the past.

FWIW,

- Ron

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Watty
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Watty » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:08 pm

Anon64 wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:33 pm
But if it's a good investment, I would be more inclined to get one.
One thing to consider is how long it could be expected to last. I don't have a clue how long they should last but it is 15 or 20 years and you don't sell the house for 10+ years it will not have a lot of useful life left in it.

Basically any value will be significantly depreciated so even if a buyer was willing to pay extra for it, which is not a given, you would only get part of your purchase price back.

honduranhurricane
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by honduranhurricane » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:11 pm

When we purchased our house, the prior owner mentioned the nat gas generator several times,,,,I did not care and it was not a factor in my decision. Now, I would not live without one (replaced the older one when it died after 15 years). We lose power for brief periods annually (few hours to a day or 2), and it seems to be when its quite cold (like right now, coastal MA). The peace of mind is priceless for me and the family.

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sapphire96
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by sapphire96 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:19 pm

Ron wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:30 pm
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=231906

We have one for our all electric house (generator powered by propane). Was it worth it? Probably not from a strictly financial sense.

Would we do it again (installed 5 years ago)? Without a doubt. And it has nothing to do with resale value.

Ours (along with seven others within a two block area from our house) have been running since 4:20 pm yesterday - and are still running with an estimated service restoration forecast of by 11:00 pm Wednesday; earlier if we get lucky.

We've been through the October snowstorm of 2011 and Sandy in 2012, when we were out close to a week during both weather occurrences. We had our 20 Kw unit installed in the spring of 2013 and had numerous occasions when we had "inconvenience type" outages ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.

No doubt about it. You can do it much cheaper with a portable unit. However since we've installed this unit, the portable we once used (along with all the extension cords, that we purchased after Sandy) is collecting dust in the garage. And since we still travel quite often (both retired) we don't worry about coming home to a flooded basement or a fridge full of spoiled food - along with water from the ice maker all over the floor as we feared in the past.

FWIW,

- Ron
Out of curiosity, are you in the Poconos/NE PA?

smitcat
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by smitcat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:51 am

FWIW + During Hurricane Sandy many natural gas lines had problems with both water in the lines and lack of pressure after day number 2.
Seems with larger scale outages the pumping stations were out as well.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Ron » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:36 am

sapphire96 wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:19 pm
Out of curiosity, are you in the Poconos/NE PA?
Yes...

- Ron

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Ron » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:21 am

smitcat wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:51 am
FWIW + During Hurricane Sandy many natural gas lines had problems with both water in the lines and lack of pressure after day number 2.
Seems with larger scale outages the pumping stations were out as well.
That's one of the advantages of having our own supply - a 500 gal underground propane tank buried in our back yard. Of course, one of the disadvantages are that we need to keep an eye on the supply gauge and schedule a fill, if need be. OTOH, it's not like our genset burns through a lot in a day. It's been running since 16:30 Friday and it's now 9:15 Sunday - a total of just over 40 hours, and the meter shows it burned 10% of the available fuel. BTW, I haven't had the tank refilled since the original fill was done - 5 years ago :mrgreen: ... When it get down to 50%, I'll call my propane supplier for a fill.

I've only shut it down about 10 minutes - 5 minutes each day to ensure the oil level is OK (as suggested by the manufacturer). It needed a bit of oil on Saturday (I haven't checked it since its last maintenance done in May) and none this morning.

- Ron

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jimmyq
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by jimmyq » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:34 am

I opted to just get a stand-alone gasoline generator and transfer switch. Sure, it's not as convenient because I have to hook everything up and start up the generator when I need it. But it was a heck of a lot cheaper and seemed to be a good compromise since I only really need it once a year at most. I also make sure to start it up at least once a year even if there are no power outages just to make sure everything's still working.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by deskjockey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:56 am

We got one after enduring several day-plus power outages a few years ago (and the spoiled food that came along with them). Financially, it is not an investment--it is definitely an expense. But, as others have said, when you need it most, it is a great thing to have. No frozen pipes, no spoiled food, no need to decamp to a hotel because of the heat/cold. Ours tests itself every week and we have it serviced annually. It cost about 13K total to install.

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dm200
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by dm200 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:58 am

I wonder (don't know) if such a generator might be of great appeal to a certain "niche" market - such as person/family with someone who is very dependent on electrical power? Maybe consider other features of the house (such as accessibilty) as well - over time.

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Lemonaid56
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Lemonaid56 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:18 am

In the area we live in Maine power goes out once in a while, usually short time periods. I would still recommend having one and would buy one for any home if we lived in the same area. We have had ours just over 15 years. We bought this one because it runs on propane (less maintenance ) and it automatically kicks in when it senses outages.
My recommendation is for the a natural/propane generator with an auto start feature. The reason we got ours was because I was traveling a lot for work and did want my wife or helpful neighbor to cart out the portable generator and have to start it outside the garage during a storm or in the below freezing cold. We also travel all times of year and did not want to have to worry about furnaces and water pumps and fire alarms not working or any number of things that need electricity to go wrong while we were traveling.
In 15 years ours shows over 300** hours of running. This also includes the 15 minutes it starts up once a week to keep everything moving and to test the system (all automatic, you just program the times). Some of those times our area has been without power for a day or two but more frequently the power was out a few hours, and that is just a nuisance.
Its more for the piece of mind my family will be warm and have heat and be able to cook meals. Worth every penny.

**Just verified on the hour meter and it has run more than my guesstimate!
You must keep in mind that power may go out when you are not at home and having a portable will do you no good. I highly recommend the auto-start models. Ours was under $3k , installed.
Last edited by Lemonaid56 on Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cycle
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Cycle » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:55 am

When self driving car fleets start showing up in the next 5-10 years the demand for exurb and country homes will take a nose dive (at least in mcol and lcol areas). Don't expect to get any money back on money invested today, you'll be targeting an extremely niche market and there will be a surplus of homes available to that market.

For one thing, people simply won't want hideous attached garages and driveways when they don't have a personal car, and the vast majority won't have one. When paying per mile for transportation its going to take a lot to convince an urban renter to buy a house where their Waymo account charges are going to be 20X from what they are used to.

I could be wrong of course.

Power goes out not even once per year and why is this a big deal? I understand you may need to shut off the water during the winter, but even then its not the end of the world. On the scale of first world problems, seems somewhere between ones monocle shattering and the internet being slow.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by riverguy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:04 am

Cycle wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:55 am
When self driving car fleets start showing up in the next 5-10 years the demand for exurb and country homes will take a nose dive (at least in mcol and lcol areas). Don't expect to get any money back on money invested today, you'll be targeting an extremely niche market and there will be a surplus of homes available to that market.

For one thing, people simply won't want hideous attached garages and driveways when they don't have a personal car, and the vast majority won't have one. When paying per mile for transportation its going to take a lot to convince an urban renter to buy a house where their Waymo account charges are going to be 20X from what they are used to.

I could be wrong of course.

Power goes out not even once per year and why is this a big deal? I understand you may need to shut off the water during the winter, but even then its not the end of the world. On the scale of first world problems, seems somewhere between ones monocle shattering and the internet being slow.
Seems like the opposite to me. More would move further out of cities as longer commutes are easier if you don't have to be driving. You can be working/sleeping/etc while driving.

Hideous attached garages and driveways? lol?

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Ron » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:06 am

Most garages (2,3,4 in our area) are used to store "stuff", not used to shelter cars :mrgreen: ...

- Ron

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Watty
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Watty » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:31 am

riverguy wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:04 am
Cycle wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:55 am
When self driving car fleets start showing up in the next 5-10 years the demand for exurb and country homes will take a nose dive (at least in mcol and lcol areas). Don't expect to get any money back on money invested today, you'll be targeting an extremely niche market and there will be a surplus of homes available to that market.

For one thing, people simply won't want hideous attached garages and driveways when they don't have a personal car, and the vast majority won't have one. When paying per mile for transportation its going to take a lot to convince an urban renter to buy a house where their Waymo account charges are going to be 20X from what they are used to.

I could be wrong of course.

Power goes out not even once per year and why is this a big deal? I understand you may need to shut off the water during the winter, but even then its not the end of the world. On the scale of first world problems, seems somewhere between ones monocle shattering and the internet being slow.
Seems like the opposite to me. More would move further out of cities as longer commutes are easier if you don't have to be driving. You can be working/sleeping/etc while driving.
+1

As I recall it took over 20 years from the time airbags were introduced until they became standard equipment and then it took another 15 years or so until most of the old cars without airbags were off the road. Even if self driving cars are successful, which is not a given, any generator you buy today will likely have little value when self driving cars become the norm if they ever do.

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Smorgasbord » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:35 am

About 20 something years ago, my neighborhood had problems with the power constantly going out, so many of the houses have or had backup generators. My house had one in the past, but some previous owner decided it wasn't worth it to keep it around. For losing power a few times a year, I wouldn't bother with a generator, but it might be worth it to do other backups. For example, a chest freezer costs about ~$5 a month to run (in my area at least). During the non-freezing months it may be worthwhile to keep one stocked with ice to cool the contents of your main refrigerator (and cool drinks) if the power goes out for a while. An extra battery for your sump pump might not be a bad idea either.

Regarding self driving cars, it seems like trains encouraged people to move out from city centers last century. In some ways, I expect self driving cars to be like a train station in everyone's driveway which may encourage people to spread out more.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by smitcat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:57 am

Ron wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:21 am
smitcat wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:51 am
FWIW + During Hurricane Sandy many natural gas lines had problems with both water in the lines and lack of pressure after day number 2.
Seems with larger scale outages the pumping stations were out as well.
That's one of the advantages of having our own supply - a 500 gal underground propane tank buried in our back yard. Of course, one of the disadvantages are that we need to keep an eye on the supply gauge and schedule a fill, if need be. OTOH, it's not like our genset burns through a lot in a day. It's been running since 16:30 Friday and it's now 9:15 Sunday - a total of just over 40 hours, and the meter shows it burned 10% of the available fuel. BTW, I haven't had the tank refilled since the original fill was done - 5 years ago :mrgreen: ... When it get down to 50%, I'll call my propane supplier for a fill.

I've only shut it down about 10 minutes - 5 minutes each day to ensure the oil level is OK (as suggested by the manufacturer). It needed a bit of oil on Saturday (I haven't checked it since its last maintenance done in May) and none this morning.

- Ron

Interesting - 20 KW units on all elctric homes typically run at more than 50% load and more than 3 gph when it is cold in a larger home. With a 10% headspace and 500 gallon max the typical run time would be about 5.5 days.

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just frank
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by just frank » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:20 pm

Cycle wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:55 am
When self driving car fleets start showing up in the next 5-10 years the demand for exurb and country homes will take a nose dive (at least in mcol and lcol areas). Don't expect to get any money back on money invested today, you'll be targeting an extremely niche market and there will be a surplus of homes available to that market.

For one thing, people simply won't want hideous attached garages and driveways when they don't have a personal car, and the vast majority won't have one. When paying per mile for transportation its going to take a lot to convince an urban renter to buy a house where their Waymo account charges are going to be 20X from what they are used to.

I could be wrong of course.

Power goes out not even once per year and why is this a big deal? I understand you may need to shut off the water during the winter, but even then its not the end of the world. On the scale of first world problems, seems somewhere between ones monocle shattering and the internet being slow.
Conversely, when flying cars (AAVs) become popular a few years after that, exurban demand could go back up. :twisted:

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Cycle
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Cycle » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:34 pm

just frank wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:20 pm

Conversely, when flying cars (AAVs) become popular a few years after that, exurban demand could go back up. :twisted:
No need for roads at that point!

Need for daily travel could be greatly diminished when most are working from home via augmented reality, whether this would cause dispersal or contraction is hard to say.

deskjockey
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by deskjockey » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Cycle wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:34 pm
just frank wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:20 pm

Conversely, when flying cars (AAVs) become popular a few years after that, exurban demand could go back up. :twisted:
No need for roads at that point!

Need for daily travel could be greatly diminished when most are working from home via augmented reality, whether this would cause dispersal or contraction is hard to say.
Just wait for the Self-driving VTOL AAVs (SDVTOLAAVs?) to come on the market after that, then everyone will want to live in the most inaccessible places you can imagine. Start buying mountaintop real estate now to get in on the ground floor!! Granted, it may take a century or two... but whose counting?

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by ZippyTheWonderPig » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:24 pm

I think they make sense in certain locales.

I good buddy from college (30 years ago) who I still visit lives in Upstate NY on 20 acres.

Due to snow/ice, he has a least 4-6 outages a year, usually lasting from 1/2-day to several days.

When he built the home, he has a transfer switch wired in a build a pad/enclosure for a gas powered generator.

2 problems with this - 1) gas powered generator maintenance is a pain of epic proportions; even with running it monthly, etc., the fuel lines deteriorate, and 2) he quite petite wife could never get it started if he was out of town.

He bit the bullet about 5 years ago and put in a permanent propane fired unit (they used propane to cook, so he just upped the tank size) and I think the cost was about $4K. Neat unit, it runs and tests itself weekly and send him an email with results.

If you have frequent and/or long outages it is probably worth it.

I thought about a natural gas one after Hurricane Ike (I am in HOU, no power for 15 days on that one); however, other than Ike I've not lost power for more than 12 hours since 2001 so I did not do it.

multiham
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by multiham » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:49 pm

I do not view my whole house natural gas generator as something that will increase the value of my house. I do think there are certain people who have experienced extended power outages and if my house and another are in their consideration set, may help sway them my way.

We just lost power for about 30 hours. I am so glad we had the generator. No worry about having to throw away food. No worries about pipes freezing. In fact, it was just another day for us here as our cable and internet was still working. Ours will power everything in our house except the electric dryer. We invited others over who had no power and watched movies, etc. Not sure it pays out in dollars and cents, but definitely know it pays out in peace of mind. Everything is automatic so no worries if I'm traveling and the power goes out.

UALflyer
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by UALflyer » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:46 pm

Watty wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:08 pm
One thing to consider is how long it could be expected to last. I don't have a clue how long they should last but it is 15 or 20 years and you don't sell the house for 10+ years it will not have a lot of useful life left in it.
An average natural gas powered generator is expected to last about 3,000 hours over its lifetime, which, for most people, will end up being 30+ years.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by GCD » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:02 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:46 pm
Anon64 wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:33 pm
I was wondering about whether people view whole house generators as increasing the value of their home. My power does not go out much (it's out now though and this is the third time in about 5 years). But if it's a good investment, I would be more inclined to get one.
I live on a mini ranch in a rural area and have looked into this.
Depending on the size of the home, an automatic standby generator linked to the home can run well North of $5-10k plus electrician installation. Recouping the investment seems nil.
One of the problems are that the unit will not be used, if ever, yet still must be maintained and tested to be sure that it will run when it's needed. And, over time, it will degrade whether it is used or not.

Also, unless it is an area where off the grid power systems are popular, or needed, and also where the "grid" is not dependable, most folks will see it as an accessory and not a necessity, which means on a home sale they wouldn't care of it was there or not.
Yeah, I more or less agree with this.

I built a house in rural South Dakota that was on a well. If the power went out so did the water. In my case a backup generator was more of a necessity than an accessory. Even there it's hard to say what exactly the buyer was thinking when I sold the house. I basically got my money back out of it, but just barely. The cost of the generator was included in the price of the house. But after market swings, etc., who's to say if I really got my money out.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:09 pm

We are selling our house shortly. The realtor said itโ€™s expected in a high end home. Of the 9 houses on our block, 7 have automatic whole (or half) house generators. Much of our town lost power this weekend; some homes are still dark.

The house we are moving to, in Massachusetts, has a half house generator (and solar), which was on this weekend with the storm.

ResearchMed
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:32 pm

deskjockey wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:56 am
We got one after enduring several day-plus power outages a few years ago (and the spoiled food that came along with them). Financially, it is not an investment--it is definitely an expense. But, as others have said, when you need it most, it is a great thing to have. No frozen pipes, no spoiled food, no need to decamp to a hotel because of the heat/cold. Ours tests itself every week and we have it serviced annually. It cost about 13K total to install.
We also saw it as a "when you need it most..." issue.
It's definitely not an "investment". I doubt anyone will give it considerable weight when we go to sell this home, and even if they did, we live in an upscale neighborhood, so the generator price as a percentage of house price is very small. (It might make a tiny bit more of a difference in terms of new owners not needing to deal with time/effort of installing one, but that's also not a big deal.)

We had been thinking of one, given that our street seemed to be under constant repair by <whichever service group was on site>, and it was annoying to have the power out like that.
And then... there was Sandy... That was a real wake-up call.
It didn't affect us, but some other storm *might*.

And... we have a sump pump... or the "Garden Level" media/fitness room and Guest suite (bedroom, full bathroom, full kitchen) was already nicely finished when we moved in. And none of the furnishings would be covered, and we can hardly sling the sofa or elliptical over our shoulders and haul it upstairs, etc...

And then... there was the possibility of pipes freezing...

So we bit the bullet and had a nat gas generator installed.
Because we travel a lot, we didn't think a system that required human assistance made sense, so we had the Full Monty, with automatic transfer switch, etc. We selected certain circuits: lighting for all staircases, a few main rooms, the main fridge, microwave, and WiFi and one TV. We didn't select the A/C as that would have required a bump up in the size of the generator, and our main concern was to prevent flooding or freezing, not A/C for our comfort. We left out the washer/dryer, but kept the tankless water heater connected. And of course, we had the thermostats connected for the water heater and the two nat gas heating systems.

In retrospect, I think we should have just gotten a larger generator and had the entire house just included as a whole.

However, the main goal is achieved, and there is a definite sense of less concern when the weather forecast looks grim.
(We also added a second, backup sump pump!)

So far, the system has kicked in a few times, the longest being about 8 hours. So we know "it works" :happy

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Ron
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Ron » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:02 pm

smitcat wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:57 am
Interesting - 20 KW units on all electric homes typically run at more than 50% load and more than 3 gph when it is cold in a larger home. With a 10% head space and 500 gallon max the typical run time would be about 5.5 days.
Spec sheet on my genset show 1.89 Propane G.P.H. at 50% load and 2.90 Propane G.P.H. at 100% For most of the two days, it was running around the 50% load. You can certainly hear the difference when it revs up to meet closer to the 100% load output.

When we were doing the specs with the dealer, I specified that I wanted to ensure that it could run around 5-7 days off a full tank. While I can have propane ordered/delivered in a day or two extending the run time by multiples, I wanted to plan for the "what if's" - like a storm that dumped 2-3 feet of snow and fuel delivery would be backed up or non-existant (I'm a suspenders and belt guy :? ).

- Ron

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by smitcat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:20 pm

Ron wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:02 pm
smitcat wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:57 am
Interesting - 20 KW units on all electric homes typically run at more than 50% load and more than 3 gph when it is cold in a larger home. With a 10% head space and 500 gallon max the typical run time would be about 5.5 days.
Spec sheet on my genset show 1.89 Propane G.P.H. at 50% load and 2.90 Propane G.P.H. For most of the two days, it was running around the 50% load. You can certainly hear the difference when it revs up to meet closer to the 100% load output.

When we were doing the specs with the dealer, I specified that I wanted to ensure that it could run around 5-7 days off a full tank. While I can have propane ordered/delivered in a day or two extending the run time by multiples, I wanted to plan for the "what if's" - like a storm that dumped 2-3 feet of snow and fuel delivery would be backed up or non-existant (I'm a suspenders and belt guy :? ).

- Ron
Yes - during Hurricane Sandy the gas stations as well as any gas or oil deliveries were non existent after day two. Most of our area was out for at least 10 days and for many of us it was 12+ days before we had electric or any real availability of gas stations - they were all down.
One reason why we went to a 1,000 gallon tank for our oil burner for heat and hot water.
Specs for 20KW should be right around where you mentioned - about 3.3 gph at full load and maybe 1.5 at no or low loads below 25%.
With a fully electric home any cold weather will have you well into the higher demands.
Since your 500 gallon tank is buried you can likely safely run up to a 90% head space but normally you would want to limit it to about 80%.
Most say to never run low below a 20% level due to pressure and feed problems but I have seen folks run as low as 10% with no real problems.
So best usable tankage is then 80% or maybe 400 gallon max on a full load of fuel.

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stargazer
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Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by stargazer » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:37 pm

Live in a semi-rural area with periodic power outages (many trees), some extending 5+ days. As I write this, we are off the electric grid, and have been since Friday's nor-easter blew through. Installed a propane-powered Generac generator 10 years ago. Best investment we ever made. We rely on electricity for heating (both a heating oil/baseboard system and pellet stoves), and for well-water (electric well pump). To conserve propane, we kill the generator before bedtime and reboot it the following morning. We pay a maintenance company to service the unit (routine upkeep); two visits annually ($225.00/visit).

Overall installation cost was $12k (unit, electrician, gas hookup, inspections). The generator has gotten us through Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and many coastal storms.

stargazer
Last edited by stargazer on Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:38 pm

ResearchMed wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:32 pm
deskjockey wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:56 am
We got one after enduring several day-plus power outages a few years ago (and the spoiled food that came along with them). Financially, it is not an investment--it is definitely an expense. But, as others have said, when you need it most, it is a great thing to have. No frozen pipes, no spoiled food, no need to decamp to a hotel because of the heat/cold. Ours tests itself every week and we have it serviced annually. It cost about 13K total to install.
We also saw it as a "when you need it most..." issue.
It's definitely not an "investment". I doubt anyone will give it considerable weight when we go to sell this home, and even if they did, we live in an upscale neighborhood, so the generator price as a percentage of house price is very small. (It might make a tiny bit more of a difference in terms of new owners not needing to deal with time/effort of installing one, but that's also not a big deal.)

We had been thinking of one, given that our street seemed to be under constant repair by <whichever service group was on site>, and it was annoying to have the power out like that.
And then... there was Sandy... That was a real wake-up call.
It didn't affect us, but some other storm *might*.

And... we have a sump pump... or the "Garden Level" media/fitness room and Guest suite (bedroom, full bathroom, full kitchen) was already nicely finished when we moved in. And none of the furnishings would be covered, and we can hardly sling the sofa or elliptical over our shoulders and haul it upstairs, etc...

And then... there was the possibility of pipes freezing...

So we bit the bullet and had a nat gas generator installed.
Because we travel a lot, we didn't think a system that required human assistance made sense, so we had the Full Monty, with automatic transfer switch, etc. We selected certain circuits: lighting for all staircases, a few main rooms, the main fridge, microwave, and WiFi and one TV. We didn't select the A/C as that would have required a bump up in the size of the generator, and our main concern was to prevent flooding or freezing, not A/C for our comfort. We left out the washer/dryer, but kept the tankless water heater connected. And of course, we had the thermostats connected for the water heater and the two nat gas heating systems.

In retrospect, I think we should have just gotten a larger generator and had the entire house just included as a whole.

However, the main goal is achieved, and there is a definite sense of less concern when the weather forecast looks grim.
(We also added a second, backup sump pump!)

So far, the system has kicked in a few times, the longest being about 8 hours. So we know "it works" :happy

RM
How did you add a "backup sump pump"?
j

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:40 pm

Ron wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:02 pm
smitcat wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:57 am
Interesting - 20 KW units on all electric homes typically run at more than 50% load and more than 3 gph when it is cold in a larger home. With a 10% head space and 500 gallon max the typical run time would be about 5.5 days.
Spec sheet on my genset show 1.89 Propane G.P.H. at 50% load and 2.90 Propane G.P.H. at 100% For most of the two days, it was running around the 50% load. You can certainly hear the difference when it revs up to meet closer to the 100% load output.

When we were doing the specs with the dealer, I specified that I wanted to ensure that it could run around 5-7 days off a full tank. While I can have propane ordered/delivered in a day or two extending the run time by multiples, I wanted to plan for the "what if's" - like a storm that dumped 2-3 feet of snow and fuel delivery would be backed up or non-existant (I'm a suspenders and belt guy :? ).

- Ron
Isn't the coverage time dependent on the size of the propane tank?
What size propane tank do you have?
What is a "belt and suspenders kind of guy"?

thanks,
j

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Ron » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:09 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:40 pm
Isn't the coverage time dependent on the size of the propane tank?
Yes, that's how I selected the size of the propane tank. 1000 gal would have been a bit much; 200 gal would have been too little.
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:40 pm
What size propane tank do you have?
500 gal (either 400/450 gals in a full tank, accounting for 80 or 90% head room - the "free area" where the liquid converts to vapor).
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:40 pm
What is a "belt and suspenders kind of guy"?
Don't want my pants to fall down under any circumstances (e.g. conservative in nature) :mrgreen:

- Ron

ResearchMed
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:05 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:38 pm
ResearchMed wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:32 pm
deskjockey wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:56 am
We got one after enduring several day-plus power outages a few years ago (and the spoiled food that came along with them). Financially, it is not an investment--it is definitely an expense. But, as others have said, when you need it most, it is a great thing to have. No frozen pipes, no spoiled food, no need to decamp to a hotel because of the heat/cold. Ours tests itself every week and we have it serviced annually. It cost about 13K total to install.
We also saw it as a "when you need it most..." issue.
It's definitely not an "investment". I doubt anyone will give it considerable weight when we go to sell this home, and even if they did, we live in an upscale neighborhood, so the generator price as a percentage of house price is very small. (It might make a tiny bit more of a difference in terms of new owners not needing to deal with time/effort of installing one, but that's also not a big deal.)

We had been thinking of one, given that our street seemed to be under constant repair by <whichever service group was on site>, and it was annoying to have the power out like that.
And then... there was Sandy... That was a real wake-up call.
It didn't affect us, but some other storm *might*.

And... we have a sump pump... or the "Garden Level" media/fitness room and Guest suite (bedroom, full bathroom, full kitchen) was already nicely finished when we moved in. And none of the furnishings would be covered, and we can hardly sling the sofa or elliptical over our shoulders and haul it upstairs, etc...

And then... there was the possibility of pipes freezing...

So we bit the bullet and had a nat gas generator installed.
Because we travel a lot, we didn't think a system that required human assistance made sense, so we had the Full Monty, with automatic transfer switch, etc. We selected certain circuits: lighting for all staircases, a few main rooms, the main fridge, microwave, and WiFi and one TV. We didn't select the A/C as that would have required a bump up in the size of the generator, and our main concern was to prevent flooding or freezing, not A/C for our comfort. We left out the washer/dryer, but kept the tankless water heater connected. And of course, we had the thermostats connected for the water heater and the two nat gas heating systems.

In retrospect, I think we should have just gotten a larger generator and had the entire house just included as a whole.

However, the main goal is achieved, and there is a definite sense of less concern when the weather forecast looks grim.
(We also added a second, backup sump pump!)

So far, the system has kicked in a few times, the longest being about 8 hours. So we know "it works" :happy

RM
How did you add a "backup sump pump"?
j
It's a second sump pump (could be connected as "one system" or entirely separate, as ours is) that is set for a slightly higher level of water. IF the first sump pump fails, or if somehow the water is rising 'too fast', then the second sump pump kicks in.

We can test the second by turning off the first one.

At first, they were a combined system, but I didn't feel comfortable with that, so we added a new sump pump that isn't linked/connected to the first, except by "water level".

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

CurlyDave
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:15 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:46 pm

As far as a more realistic cost vs benefit, there is also the option of installing a power bypass panel and having a smaller portable generator such as a Honda 7500, etc, able to hook up and power the essentials such as HVAC, refrigerators, etc.
This is the way we went, and I have never regretted it.

We live in rural Oregon and have frequent power outages, 4 to 6 times per year, and they can last from a few hours to a day at our location. Others in the community have outages that can last up to a week.

I went even lower cost than you are suggesting -- look at a power interlock, which is about a $100 item which installs on your existing electrical panel and lets you safely backfeed the panel through a 240 volt breaker. The interlock prevents backfeeding the grid. Our power company has seen my installation and approves it.

If I were buying new, I would get a much less expensive generator than the Honda, probably a Champion. Dual fuel 7500 watt generator for under $1k. The Hondas have far greater longevity as far as running, but if I run my emergency generator 500 hours in a lifetime that will be an enormous use. I am thinking more like 200 hours is realistic.

Dual fuel is important. Gasoline or propane. Propane does not deteriorate in storage. Gasoline gums up in a few months. I hooked it up to the house propane tank, and we are good for a long time. Plus there is no lifting gas cans and spilling gasoline. If you run out of propane and can not get a delivery, the dual fuel allows you to buy gasoline and use that in an emergency.

No, it won't run my electric dryer, electric oven, or the heat pump for the house. But it will run everything else with ease.

We test it out every few months, and I make certain that DW is the one to hook it up and start it, so she knows how if I am gone.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by smitcat » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:16 am

CurlyDave wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:15 pm
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:46 pm

As far as a more realistic cost vs benefit, there is also the option of installing a power bypass panel and having a smaller portable generator such as a Honda 7500, etc, able to hook up and power the essentials such as HVAC, refrigerators, etc.
This is the way we went, and I have never regretted it.

We live in rural Oregon and have frequent power outages, 4 to 6 times per year, and they can last from a few hours to a day at our location. Others in the community have outages that can last up to a week.

I went even lower cost than you are suggesting -- look at a power interlock, which is about a $100 item which installs on your existing electrical panel and lets you safely backfeed the panel through a 240 volt breaker. The interlock prevents backfeeding the grid. Our power company has seen my installation and approves it.

If I were buying new, I would get a much less expensive generator than the Honda, probably a Champion. Dual fuel 7500 watt generator for under $1k. The Hondas have far greater longevity as far as running, but if I run my emergency generator 500 hours in a lifetime that will be an enormous use. I am thinking more like 200 hours is realistic.

Dual fuel is important. Gasoline or propane. Propane does not deteriorate in storage. Gasoline gums up in a few months. I hooked it up to the house propane tank, and we are good for a long time. Plus there is no lifting gas cans and spilling gasoline. If you run out of propane and can not get a delivery, the dual fuel allows you to buy gasoline and use that in an emergency.

No, it won't run my electric dryer, electric oven, or the heat pump for the house. But it will run everything else with ease.

We test it out every few months, and I make certain that DW is the one to hook it up and start it, so she knows how if I am gone.
Hello Curly Dave,
We have a system similar to yours with a portable genset that can be linked in quickly - FWIW we have just over 2,500 hours now on our genset that we bought just under 15 years ago. Some years it gets very few hours but with Sandy as one example we were down 12 days initially and then another 3 days within a week later - about 350 hours right there. Hours also get put on the unit when we take it 'traveling' for power away from home. I believe buying a good quality inverter genset for the long hual to be the best choice for these types of uses. They are quiet and just with the fuel 'savings' alone over 500 hours they pay for themselves over the fixed speed high rpm units.
You can get tri fuel or dual fuel for any genset either initially or easily converted and gasoline can store much longer than you have indicated.
I think your geneset purchase was a very good one....

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Sandtrap
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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:34 am

duplicate
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am

CurlyDave wrote: โ†‘
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:15 pm
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:46 pm

As far as a more realistic cost vs benefit, there is also the option of installing a power bypass panel and having a smaller portable generator such as a Honda 7500, etc, able to hook up and power the essentials such as HVAC, refrigerators, etc.
This is the way we went, and I have never regretted it.

We live in rural Oregon and have frequent power outages, 4 to 6 times per year, and they can last from a few hours to a day at our location. Others in the community have outages that can last up to a week.

I went even lower cost than you are suggesting -- look at a power interlock, which is about a $100 item which installs on your existing electrical panel and lets you safely backfeed the panel through a 240 volt breaker. The interlock prevents backfeeding the grid. Our power company has seen my installation and approves it.

If I were buying new, I would get a much less expensive generator than the Honda, probably a Champion. Dual fuel 7500 watt generator for under $1k. The Hondas have far greater longevity as far as running, but if I run my emergency generator 500 hours in a lifetime that will be an enormous use. I am thinking more like 200 hours is realistic.

Dual fuel is important. Gasoline or propane. Propane does not deteriorate in storage. Gasoline gums up in a few months. I hooked it up to the house propane tank, and we are good for a long time. Plus there is no lifting gas cans and spilling gasoline. If you run out of propane and can not get a delivery, the dual fuel allows you to buy gasoline and use that in an emergency.

No, it won't run my electric dryer, electric oven, or the heat pump for the house. But it will run everything else with ease.

We test it out every few months, and I make certain that DW is the one to hook it up and start it, so she knows how if I am gone.
Thanks for the info.
Here's a link to a power panel interlock system
http://www.nooutage.com/interlock_kits.htm
And a link to the Power Transfer Switch system.
http://reliancecontrols.com

Is there any advantage or disadvantage between the "Panel Interlock System" and the "Power Transfer Switching" systems?

Is there anyone here with experience with either system?

This from the Interlock System Site.
Is this equivalent to a transfer switch?

These interlock kits are a perfect alternative if there is no room for a separate transfer switch or transfer panel on the wall next to your breaker panel, or on the outside of your house near the power company meter. These kits are Listed to UL 67 by an independent lab. However, these interlock kits DO require:
* modification of your load center breaker panel
* free branch breaker spaces
* proper installation and check of operation
Unlike many other breaker-based factory-built transfer switches, these kits are not functional when the front panel is removed.
thanks,
j

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by mouses » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:41 am

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:05 pm
samsoes wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:03 pm
They're not investments. Mine's main purpose is to keep the sump pumps and furnace running in the event of a cold-weather outage. It's happened to me. It was an awful, expensive mess.
This is exactly why I've been exploring emergency generator systems. Not to mention the horses need water and we have a well.
j
I put in a phone call to get a natural gas generator this weekend. It was 40 degrees in the house for two days. I am just glad it was not a 5+ day outage like the last one. More and more houses here have generators of one sort or another. They are close to being necessities in this area. What a misery this past week has been, and another storm of this sort headed here two days from now.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:49 am

mouses wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:41 am
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:05 pm
samsoes wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:03 pm
They're not investments. Mine's main purpose is to keep the sump pumps and furnace running in the event of a cold-weather outage. It's happened to me. It was an awful, expensive mess.
This is exactly why I've been exploring emergency generator systems. Not to mention the horses need water and we have a well.
j
I put in a phone call to get a natural gas generator this weekend. It was 40 degrees in the house for two days. I am just glad it was not a 5+ day outage like the last one. More and more houses here have generators of one sort or another. They are close to being necessities in this area. What a misery this past week has been, and another storm of this sort headed here two days from now.
A warm 18 Degrees on the back porch this morning. My Hawaiian Blood is curdling. :shock:
I'd be worried about pipes freezing if the power went out.
New to this climate.
Is this a concern?
j

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by mouses » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:49 am
mouses wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:41 am
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:05 pm
samsoes wrote: โ†‘
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:03 pm
They're not investments. Mine's main purpose is to keep the sump pumps and furnace running in the event of a cold-weather outage. It's happened to me. It was an awful, expensive mess.
This is exactly why I've been exploring emergency generator systems. Not to mention the horses need water and we have a well.
j
I put in a phone call to get a natural gas generator this weekend. It was 40 degrees in the house for two days. I am just glad it was not a 5+ day outage like the last one. More and more houses here have generators of one sort or another. They are close to being necessities in this area. What a misery this past week has been, and another storm of this sort headed here two days from now.
A warm 18 Degrees on the back porch this morning. My Hawaiian Blood is curdling. :shock:
I'd be worried about pipes freezing if the power went out.
New to this climate.
Is this a concern?
j
Yes, pipes possibly freezing is a concern if the temperature gets too low. Inside the house one is supposed to run the water from each faucet periodically or let it drip. I have never done the latter method because my faucets tend to stop dripping. For more exposed pipes, there are things like heated tapes one can put around them. Outdoor faucets can have something done to them by a plumber (I forget what, since I had it done years ago) that prevents their freezing.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:30 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am

Thanks for the info.
Here's a link to a power panel interlock system
http://www.nooutage.com/interlock_kits.htm
And a link to the Power Transfer Switch system.
http://reliancecontrols.com

Is there any advantage or disadvantage between the "Panel Interlock System" and the "Power Transfer Switching" systems?

Is there anyone here with experience with either system?

This from the Interlock System Site.
Is this equivalent to a transfer switch?

These interlock kits are a perfect alternative if there is no room for a separate transfer switch or transfer panel on the wall next to your breaker panel, or on the outside of your house near the power company meter. These kits are Listed to UL 67 by an independent lab. However, these interlock kits DO require:
* modification of your load center breaker panel
* free branch breaker spaces
* proper installation and check of operation
Unlike many other breaker-based factory-built transfer switches, these kits are not functional when the front panel is removed.
thanks,
j
The interlock kit is either the same one I have, or very close. I think mine came from eBay and was well under $100 3 or 4 years ago. I Have seen the Power Transfer Switch also and in my case the interlock was easier to install. My breaker panel was already installed indoors with the face flush with the wall, meaning the box was between the studs and the wires were behind sheetrock. It was much easier to free up the necessary space in the breaker box than it would have been to install a second box and get the wiring to look right. You do need to have the lower right hand double breaker space free in the panel, but in most cases moving existing breakers to meet this requirement is very easy and fast. You need to either have, or add, a circuit with heavy enough wire to carry all of the current the generator can produce.

If you get a 7500 watt generator, this is 30 A at 240V, which requires 10 ga wire. This wire needs to go from the panel to an outdoor receptacle, which is where the generator will hook up.

For me, this was a DIY project since I am comfortable working on electrical circuits. If you need an electrician to do it, get an estimate for both ways. Either way works and there is no particular advantage of either one. Get the lower cost option.

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Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:39 pm

CurlyDave wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:30 pm
Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:36 am

Thanks for the info.
Here's a link to a power panel interlock system
http://www.nooutage.com/interlock_kits.htm
And a link to the Power Transfer Switch system.
http://reliancecontrols.com

Is there any advantage or disadvantage between the "Panel Interlock System" and the "Power Transfer Switching" systems?

Is there anyone here with experience with either system?

This from the Interlock System Site.
Is this equivalent to a transfer switch?

These interlock kits are a perfect alternative if there is no room for a separate transfer switch or transfer panel on the wall next to your breaker panel, or on the outside of your house near the power company meter. These kits are Listed to UL 67 by an independent lab. However, these interlock kits DO require:
* modification of your load center breaker panel
* free branch breaker spaces
* proper installation and check of operation
Unlike many other breaker-based factory-built transfer switches, these kits are not functional when the front panel is removed.
thanks,
j
The interlock kit is either the same one I have, or very close. I think mine came from eBay and was well under $100 3 or 4 years ago. I Have seen the Power Transfer Switch also and in my case the interlock was easier to install. My breaker panel was already installed indoors with the face flush with the wall, meaning the box was between the studs and the wires were behind sheetrock. It was much easier to free up the necessary space in the breaker box than it would have been to install a second box and get the wiring to look right. You do need to have the lower right hand double breaker space free in the panel, but in most cases moving existing breakers to meet this requirement is very easy and fast. You need to either have, or add, a circuit with heavy enough wire to carry all of the current the generator can produce.

If you get a 7500 watt generator, this is 30 A at 240V, which requires 10 ga wire. This wire needs to go from the panel to an outdoor receptacle, which is where the generator will hook up.

For me, this was a DIY project since I am comfortable working on electrical circuits. If you need an electrician to do it, get an estimate for both ways. Either way works and there is no particular advantage of either one. Get the lower cost option.
Thanks for the help and suggestions.

As a retired tradesman, I was going to do it myself. But, the logistics around my panel are funky so I might pay an electrician to do it. Rates are reasonable in my area.
I have a 3 story home and the service and panel are on an outside stucco wall, face mount, not flush inset.

It is a huge panel that is packed tight. I do have lots of space around it so I think the Transfer Panel will be fine. Not sure of where to locate the generator receptacle plug in. Is there a limit to how long the power chord can be that goes from the generator to the panel receptacle. (may not be correct terms). ????

I may be putting in an very large enclosed patio area around the home and have a lot of space on the opposite side of the house. I could put in an automatic generator later on, on that side of the house. (opposite the breaker panel).My underground propane tank is also on that side so it would be convenient to power the generator. I wonder how much trouble it would be to get a power feed from that end of the house, over the garage probably, and to the transfer panel. It would be a long long run.

The OP's post on a whole house gas generator has got me thinking.

Thoughts?
ps: more concerned about logistics than cost.
j
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CurlyDave
Posts: 685
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:37 am

Re: Whole House Natural Gas Generator

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:41 pm

Sandtrap wrote: โ†‘
Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:49 am

A warm 18 Degrees on the back porch this morning. My Hawaiian Blood is curdling. :shock:
I'd be worried about pipes freezing if the power went out.
New to this climate.
Is this a concern?
j
Pipes will freeze at 32 degrees, so you are right, it is a concern.

If the pipes are PEX, freezing will not hurt them. All other types (pvc, iron or copper) can burst if they freeze.

If you look at your insurance policy, most of them exclude water damage from burst pipes unless heat is maintained at 50 or 55 degrees in the building. They know something.

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