What kind of electric generator should I buy?

Old 08-20-14, 02:52 AM
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What kind of electric generator should I buy?

I want to buy a home generator. Live in a suburb of a large city (Indianaplis). Live in a new upper middle class community with all buried electrical lines.

Have a finished basement with a sump pump that has a portable battery back up system. Looks like a car battery. Never had to use it though.

Power outages are seldom but want a generator just in case there's a long outage.

House is total electric but has a natural gas line. Only thing that's run on natural gas is the fireplace. Not sure why but that was the way it came. House is 5 years old.

Should I get a portable generator or one of those permanent one that comes on automatically? I know the permanent ones are expensive but can run on natural gas.

Which should I get?

Oh, my house has 200amp electrical service.

Thank you for any tips and suggestions.
Old 08-20-14, 08:52 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

The permanently mounted system is definitely the better choice but is much more costly. Most municipalities require a load calculation form filled out so that a correctly sized generator is installed.

Totally electric is a heavy load for any generator.

You may end up using a portable 5k or so for certain items like the sump pump.
Old 08-20-14, 01:55 PM
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First you need to come up with a budget. Then determine how much work you want to expend when the power goes out.

As PJmax mentioned a automatic system is best but it's also the most expensive. Less expensive would be a portable generator with a transfer switch/panel wired into the house. And, least expensive would be a portable generator and you run extension cords to the things you want to power. The price can be anywhere from $20'000 to $500 depending on what you want.
Old 08-20-14, 04:47 PM
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Do you ever wonder why most people in the city do not have generators? Because they rarely make any kind of financial sense. There are a few exceptions but in most instances the cost of the generator will be much higher then the cost of any issues resulting from not having one.

If you were on well water, a small one to run your pump might provide a much appreciated convenience but if you are on city water I would not bother. That is my opinion, anyways.
Old 08-20-14, 08:27 PM
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I have a 5k gasoline powered Honda generator. I have a manual full house transfer switch. That means I can run anything in my house off the genny but of course common sense needs to be used as you can use more power than you are generating. My house is all gas so that there is no heating loads on the genny.

I used it thru two major outages..... 7 days and 10 days. Cost... priceless

If you have electric heat then that is a primary concern along with the sump pump backup.

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