Generator Recommendation?

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Old 11-01-11, 09:49 AM
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Generator Recommendation?

Within the last two months, I've lost power at my house for significant periods of time due to a hurricane and recent snow storm I've now decided it might be time to invest in a gas-powered generator, especially before winter kicks in.

What I'd be looking for at a minimum is something to operate the burner (oil), the refrigerator, and maybe 6 or so outlets/lights throughout the house. My electrician recommended a house generator and quoted me approx. $2K. Not sure I need to power the entire house though. I know others that have gotten by with less.

Thoughts? What should I be looking at? Estimated cost? I assume this would be wired to the panel? I've never owned a generator and have zero experience in this area.

Thanks in advance-
 
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Old 11-01-11, 10:19 AM
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My electrician recommended a house generator and quoted me approx. $2K.
Well I did the bare minimum with my home. Small portable gen, transfer switch, wire. Parts and my labor came in at just under $1000.

If your electrician has quoted you $2000 thats a great price IMO.

But possibly you can actually post what he is including. Make/model of gen? What transfer switch, etc...

Not sure I need to power the entire house though.
You will never be able to power the whole house with a gen, unless you get into large units and big $$$$$.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-01-11, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
Well I did the bare minimum with my home. Small portable gen, transfer switch, wire. Parts and my labor came in at just under $1000.
Go it!! So what are you able to do with your set up?
 
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Old 11-01-11, 11:25 AM
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I have a colman 4050 watt surge gen 3250 run watts. I got on sale for $299 I believe. I think it was less though.


6 breaker transfer swith from reliance.

I run.

Refridge
Boiler controls
Well pump
Three ceiling fans.
Outlets in three rooms for TV, computers including lighting. Bathroom lighting a must...LOL. I am all CFL lighting.

I do have to manage the power only when it comes to the well pump. I did not want to spend the money on a larger gen. They get pricey. I will switch the refidge off if we need to run the well for showering, etc Otherwise it runs all I need. It more then anyone has in my neighborhood.

Hey its emergency power to get you by. And thats all you really need. People that want to power thier whole homes are missing the boat with thier thinking IMO.

Smaller gen= less fuel + less maintainance.

If you could calculate your wattage and surge watts it will give you a better understanding of what size gen you need.

If you could manage with 3000 watts something like this is a inexpensive option.

There are other gens out there but I like the colemans.

http://www.amazon.com/Powermate-PM01.../dp/B0052LM2YY

Then a switch like this.

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Contr...0168190&sr=8-1

So thats like $700 plus tax and the wire for the inlet box to the transfer switch you would be around $900.

What was the electrician offering????

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-01-11, 11:35 AM
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You're not going to power an entire house for $2,000, not even close. Just for my critial circuits (well pump, fridge, freezer, gas tankless water heater, some lights and outlets), I need about 7.5 KW. Note that this does not include any heating or cooling. The 8 KW unit I plan to use is about $2500. That does not include the transfer switch or installation.

I wouldn't even consider a gasoline portable generator. Gasoline doesn't store well for long periods, and if the power is out, gas station pumps won't work. I plan to use a propane unit since I already have a tank and some propane appliances.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 01:34 PM
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I'm not a big fan of an expensive generator that need regular maintenance sitting around sometimes for years without use. If you have a use for it elsewhere I'm a fan of portable generators so you get more use out of your investment and the regular use helps insure the generator will actually start when you need it.

I have a two phase approach for my house. I have a small, quiet & efficient Honda EU2000 which powers our TV, lights, fridge & gas furnace (fridge & furnace can not be on at same time though), stuff that will be used long term when snowed in. That little generator runs forever on a tank of fuel and is extremely quiet. It's also very portable and easy to start so I use it when I need power in the yard instead of running a lot of extension cords. Then I have a big, noisy, fuel drinking 13kw generator that I run when we want to run the well pump, wash clothes and use the dishwasher.

Maybe the 2000 watt size is too small for your needs. I also have a Honda EU3000 with electric start that is an absolute dream. NOT CHEAP but it starts with a turn of the key, sips fuel and purrs quietly when running. When not powering the house during power outages it has enough power to start a air compressor and circular saw on a job site.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
You're not going to power an entire house for $2,000, not even close.
You're right. I realize that now. Thanks-
 
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Old 11-01-11, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
I have a colman 4050 watt surge gen 3250 run watts. I got on sale for $299 I believe. I think it was less though.


6 breaker transfer swith from reliance.

I run.

Refridge
Boiler controls
Well pump
Three ceiling fans.
Outlets in three rooms for TV, computers including lighting. Bathroom lighting a must...LOL. I am all CFL lighting.

I do have to manage the power only when it comes to the well pump. I did not want to spend the money on a larger gen. They get pricey. I will switch the refidge off if we need to run the well for showering, etc Otherwise it runs all I need. It more then anyone has in my neighborhood.

Hey its emergency power to get you by. And thats all you really need.
This is exactly what I'm looking for. I have town water so that's not an issue.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
What was the electrician offering????
He was thinking something like 5000 watts with 6 circuits (e.g., a Powerhorse 7000 with a Gen tran switch). He said everything installed would be in the $2K range.

He did suggest I can pick out my own based on his specs. He recommended a local supplier who could help with the selection and he would give me his thoughts.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 04:13 PM
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It sounds like his quote is pretty fair for including all materials, labor and the generator, presumably cord and inlet too. You can do it cheaper yourself, but then you have to do it.

A 5kW is a little bigger than you actually need, but the price isn't that much less for a smaller unit. This is certainly the most common size people go with. One advantage of going with a smaller generator is that you could get a quiet one like a Honda, but you really pay for that.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 04:36 PM
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a Powerhorse 7000
Geez... I dont think thats a good generator IMO.

So basically he is charging you $1000 in labor... I dont think thats a good deal.

You should calculate your own wattage. Voltage x amps + watts. Find all the suff you are going to run. Look at the ratings plate on the appliance and figure it.

Here is a good calculator to get a rough idea. Dont try to run things you dont need.

Wattage Calculator - Power To Go

Mike NJ



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Old 11-01-11, 06:29 PM
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I have about $2500-2800 invested in my system. I did get a fairly expensive inverter generator (Yamaha iSE3000) because I wanted superior power quality and a fairly quiet machine. I converted it to run on natural gas and that was about $250-275 in parts. It is a small generator but it suits my needs exactly. Other than a 22 minute outage a few weeks ago all it seems to do is to pretty much guarantee I don't have any outages. I originally bought it because of twice going through three-day outages in the middle of a cold snap.
 
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Old 11-01-11, 08:56 PM
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Since you have an oil fired heater, have you considered a small diesel generator? They make small 4 or 5 kw diesel units that you could hook up to your exisiting fuel oil tank. That way you woulndt have to worry about storing gasoline or trying to find fuel when the power is out.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Auger01 View Post
Since you have an oil fired heater, have you considered a small diesel generator? They make small 4 or 5 kw diesel units that you could hook up to your exisiting fuel oil tank. That way you woulndt have to worry about storing gasoline or trying to find fuel when the power is out.
Interesting . . . I will look into this.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 07:35 AM
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you could hook up to your exisiting fuel oil tank

Would'nt you need a pump of some sort?

All the diesels I have seen are a small fortune.



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Old 11-02-11, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
I'm not a big fan of an expensive generator that need regular maintenance sitting around sometimes for years without use. If you have a use for it elsewhere I'm a fan of portable generators so you get more use out of your investment and the regular use helps insure the generator will actually start when you need it.

I have a two phase approach for my house. I have a small, quiet & efficient Honda EU2000 which powers our TV, lights, fridge & gas furnace (fridge & furnace can not be on at same time though), stuff that will be used long term when snowed in. That little generator runs forever on a tank of fuel and is extremely quiet. It's also very portable and easy to start so I use it when I need power in the yard instead of running a lot of extension cords. Then I have a big, noisy, fuel drinking 13kw generator that I run when we want to run the well pump, wash clothes and use the dishwasher.

Maybe the 2000 watt size is too small for your needs. I also have a Honda EU3000 with electric start that is an absolute dream. NOT CHEAP but it starts with a turn of the key, sips fuel and purrs quietly when running. When not powering the house during power outages it has enough power to start a air compressor and circular saw on a job site.
Those Honda generators are indeed nice (though expensive). A lot of RVers use them because they're so quiet. But for peace of mind and ease of use, I prefer to have a permanently installed standby unit. Trust me, where we live it would not sit unused for years (or even months). And routine maintenance is minimal for something that runs on propane. Besides, my well pump is 220 VAC.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 03:28 PM
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My in laws have a permanently installed and totally automatic system. His wife is not so technical or physically capable so when he's away the system will come on automatically.

Unfortunately I am the only one that knows how to work my setup. If the power goes out while I'm out of town my wife is in the dark. But, it would not be fun & manly if I were not out in the rain dragging around power cords bigger than a garden hose and trying not to get caught in the pto shaft between the tractor and generator.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 09:36 AM
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Thought I'd renew this thread as I'm about to pull the trigger on a unit. Someone recommended a Generac XG7000E. Any thoughts on this unit? Can I do better for the $$ ($1,199)? I've also read the unit is LOUD.

how about a Coleman PM0676800? It has a Yamaha motor. Would this run more quietly than the Generac?
 

Last edited by neskier; 12-14-11 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 12-14-11, 10:47 AM
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For noise level look at the full specifications of each unit and check the db (or dbA) rating. Smaller numbers are quieter.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 06:37 PM
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Any thoughts on this unit?
I don't have any thoughts, but there are a number of reviews by people who do have an opinion on the Home Depot website.
 

Last edited by CasualJoe; 12-14-11 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 12-14-11, 07:06 PM
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I ordered a Generac GP7500e. Cheap from Home Depot, but they were not in stock and wanted to charge me shipping. I ended up ordering from Norwall Power Systems, no tax, no shipping and same price as Home Depot. So far it has worked. There are varying opinions of Generac. I think they have improved, as long as you don't need parts or tech help from them (from what I have read). Although there is plenty of internet info for help. Currently I am working on finishing my install at home so I can connect it to my home when needed, run my load center and run it on natural gas or propane since storing gasoline stinks.

Generac GP7500e install and conversion
 
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Old 12-14-11, 07:20 PM
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Home Depot is advertising on their website that their price includes shipping for $1139.

Generac XG7000 Watt Gasoline-Powered Portable Generator

$1,139.00 /EA-Each

Price includes shipping
 
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Old 12-14-11, 07:29 PM
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Thanks. I'd be looking at the xg7000e with electric start.


Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
Home Depot is advertising on their website that their price includes shipping for $1139.
 
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Old 12-14-11, 07:40 PM
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The REAL expensive part is hooking up the generator to your house.

My generator can power my furance (800W running 1400W start), my fridge (800W running, 2000W start) and quite a few lights, TV and computer.

That generator cost me 350$. (3000W normal, 4000W peak).


The underground raceway PVC + rental of trencher + 80 feet of 10AWG RW90 (3 wires x 80 feet) + 80 feet of 6AWG bare copper + transfer panel + all the little crap you need like fish tape and PVC glue = 600$ (And that's all DIY)

At least my link can accommodate a 8000W generator for 240V in the future.
 
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