Natural Gas Generator?


Old 02-19-07, 07:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 445
Natural Gas Generator?

Hi, Im exploring this option as we have enough power outtages to possibly warrant one. My only knowledge on them so far are from marketing pamphlets at HD and Loews.

Can anyone give me some pro's and con's on these?

Some questions:

- Any special brands or places to get one, or is HD good?

- Im seeing products costs, but I have no idea how much this could run to have it installed.

- It seems very advanced, but is this something the average person can install?

- Looks like there's a difference in air cooled and liquid cooled - liquid cooled is quieter?

- Fortunately I would be able to have it installed right next to/outside the wall of my breaker box. SO i wouldnt have to have extra gas/electric lines run for extensions.

Anything else helpful would be appreciated!
Sponsored Links
Old 02-19-07, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
This is probably NOT something to do yourself.

To find out about installation costs you have to ask. The cost will vary depending on the specifics of your situation and on what sort of install you want.

Get three or more quotes, and make sure to compare apples to apples.
Old 02-19-07, 07:52 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 445
Thanks Racraft. I was hoping you would say that! Wasnt looking forward to messing up another project

Is HD a good place to shop for a brand?
Old 02-19-07, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I have not purchased or shopped for a whole house generator, so I don't know how that particular store is. You can certainly talk to them as one of your estimates.

My advice, again, is to get at least three estimates. If, when you get an estimate, you don't like what you hear or someone leaves you with a bed feeling in your mouth, then don't consider their estimate.
Old 02-19-07, 08:09 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 445
Thanks, as always, racraft!
Old 02-19-07, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
The other thing is that you will have to have the electrician to come out to your house if you want to install the Natrual gaz generator if so this will work out like this

want to know what you will need be on during power outage

size of generator [ the electrician will help you with this one in case other wise list it here we can able give you a rough idea how big the unit you want ]

the main gas meter you have in your house there is a good chance you will have to concat the gas company if you want the generator hook up because most resdentail gas meter genrally are too small to handle the generator load

as using the generator the electrician will have to install the transfer switch if want hard wired or portable unit plug in to the transfer switch
[RED] this is a very imporant part here [/RED]

as for chosing what brand of generator you will have to make a estamate at least 3 diffrent company or electrician [ Big box store genrally will not give you the estamate only the cost of the generator only and transfer switch ]

the differancie between air coolled and liquid cooled units is not much differnce at all mainally is the enclosere if have good sound damper on it

with sound auntted [ dampped ] genrally cost more but more quiet running

just note that the aircooled units genrally are 15KW or less for larger units will be liquid cooled

most house stand by generator genrally are 10-15 KW range but i done few home have much bigger units

the other thing it will come up from time to time is the location some area are picky with the generator location due noise

the real cost i just cant tell you because there is too many variation to deal with it.
1] size of unit
2] type of transfer switch
3] interal wiring may have to change { it do happend alot of the time }
4] get the permits for generator set up
5] few other things along with this set up

the last thing is if you do get the generator make sure you follow the manufacter insturction very carefully

i rather have the generator installed by electrician [ there is few codes that have to deal with it ]

Merci , Marc
Old 02-19-07, 10:41 AM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
HD carries a slightly lower end unit as compared to a real distributor. Their units are not terrible though.

One thing I will say is to NOT let a HD contractor install it. This is just from my experience though. YMMV.
Old 02-19-07, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post

pete what this YMMV stand for ?? i am lost on this one

oh yeah i agree with speedypete with insallement

i have few issuse with this as well

the other thing is when you look at the units check the warranty as well

myself i always refer a very good units like Onan , Koholer , few other depending on what set up

i have 15 kw Onan diesel generator for my house and it work very well for me because i dont have natual gas in my spot [ i could use the LPG but i use the same fuel for heating fuel as well so keep the fuel fresh ]

Merci , Marc
Old 02-19-07, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Google knows all.

Entering YMMV yields:
Old 02-19-07, 02:18 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
I've been cruising too much lately I see.
Old 02-19-07, 02:28 PM
Pendragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 1,839
Couple of things here.

HD sells Guardian/Generac units, same as many 'local distributors', and they are about the same price for the units, as the price is set by the manufacturer, not the retailer. Most commercial units around here are diesel powered Generac's. That leaves installation costs and the only way to know that is to make some phone calls.

The most obvious difference you will find between air cooled and liquid cooled is cost. Liquid cooled units are *substantially* more expensive (about 2x as much) than air-cooled. They are also quieter, tend to last longer and are available in larger output wattages than air-cooled.

A 13-15kw unit will run pretty much any 'average' home < 3000 sq ft.
Pick the size you need, then upsize it, that gives you room to grow and is easier on the generator. A larger generator running at 75% load will use less fuel and run cooler than a smaller unit running at full load.

Virtually any gasoline powered generator can be converted to run on propane or natural gas (or all three). For each fuel source you 'downgrade' to from gasoline to propane to natural gas, you will need to increase the size of the generator to compensate for the lost output from the lower power fuel.

A generator rated for 15kw on propane will make only 13k on natural gas, for example.

While this is a project you could do yourself if you are VERY comfortable around electricity, I'd recommend you let a professional do it. A whole house generator has some very specific initial startup and test procedures.
I wouldn't buy one from a home center unless I was going to install it myself.
Old 02-19-07, 05:09 PM
hornetd's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
Figure out what you need

Don't let Home Depot tell you what you need. The package that Home Depot advertises has a transfer switch assembly that will only transfer the preselected loads that are wired to it. In my un-humble opinion (IMUO) you will get more bang for your buck if you spend your money on a higher quality generator and use a manually operated interlock kit to provide safe transfer of the entire buildings load to the generator. If you actually need automatic operation then consider going the extra expense for a whole house Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS). The amount of load you can use with your generator is limited by the size of the generator set but which loads you can operate can also be limited by the type of transfer switch you use.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes